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Old 11-07-2004, 04:00 PM   #21
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Arroz Verde

Here's a great green rice dish. It looks good, it has a nice flavor (i.e. it's not overwhelming and goes nicely with just about anything).

4 pobalano chilies, or 4 green peppers
4 c chicken (I use vegetable) stock
1 c fresh parsley, coursely chopped
1/2 c onion, coursely chopped
1/4 t garlic, finely minced
1 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/4 c olive oil
2 c long grain rice

Roast the chilies or peppers. Remove their skins, stems, seeds and thick white membranes and discard. Chop the chilies into chunks. Combine 1 c up the pepper chunks, 1/2 c stock in blender and whirl on high speed for 15 seconds. Gradually add the remaining chilies, parsley, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until the mixture is reduced to a smooth puree.

Pour the oil into a 2-3 qt casserole and set it over moderate heat. When the oil is hot (but not smoking) add the rice and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes until the grains are coated with oil. Don't let them brown. Add the pureed chili mixture and simmer, stirring constantly, for five minutes.

Bring the remaining 3 1/2 c of stock to boil and pour over the rice. Return to a boil, cover the casserole, and reduce the heat to its lowest point. Simmer undisturbed for 18 to 20 minutes, until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid. Before serving, fluff the rice with a fork.

You can keep the rice warm in a 250 degree F oven, just remove the cover and drape the pan loosely with a towel.

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Old 11-08-2004, 03:28 PM   #22
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Going back to basics .... rice is a starch which absorbs twice it's volume of liquid (generally) - younger (fresher) rice may take less ... the stuff you've had in the pantry for 5 years will take more. If you toast the rice in oil first - it will have a more nutty flavor and absorb less moisture (generally) because you have "locked up" some of the starch - same thing that happen if you are trying to make a roux and heat it too rapidly.

So (generally) ... the more flavorful the cooking liquid the more flavor the rice will have.

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Old 11-21-2004, 09:24 AM   #23
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Mom was taught to cook rice by a Japanese war bride, and she used the knuckle method. I've never quite understood why it worked; I use the 1:2 way. But to infuse rice with flavor, you cannot go wrong with a good stock as replacement for the water. Mostly, though, you have to remember that rice in the diet is like pasta, potatoes, or bread (in some cases) --a nice background to small amounts of spicy food.
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Old 11-23-2004, 12:04 AM   #24
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The method I was taught, and it works very well, is to use two parts liquid to one part rice. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes more. Fluff and serve.

I use long grain rice (and have recently switched to long grain brown rice as it's healthier). I add salt to the water until it just starts tasting salty, then add the rice.

There are several ways to add "bold" flavor to rice. The first, as you found out, is to flavor the water. Saffron has power to give you good flavor, as do curries, garlic powder, chilies, etc. Or you could even go with sweet things like cherries, or raisins.

The second method for enhancing flavors is to flavor some cooking oil with a couple tbs. of oil with minced garlic, shallots, thyme, sage, or whatever flavor will best compliment the rest of the food. I heat the oil, add the flavor ingredients, lightly brown, then add the rice, all at once. Immediately stir to get the flavor bits into the rice. Cook until the rice looses its translucnet quality, stirring often. Then add twice as much water as you did rice, boil uncovered for ten minutes, cover, and cook an additional 25 minutes. All of the liquid and flavor will be absorbed by the rice.

Try adding things like liquid smoke, or hot sauce, or soy, tamarind, sun-dried tomato, etc. You can also use Italian herbs like oregano, or rosemary. The point is, the rice will absorb the flavor.

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Old 11-23-2004, 11:00 AM   #25
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Hi Claire it's funny that you mention the knuckle method. I guess Japanese are not alone in that a lot of Asian countries use that. We do the same thing and don't ask me why as well but it always work.

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