September 14, 2009
It’s officially autumn here in Brooklyn. At least it was this weekend. And I’m slowly moving into fall food mode. I usually try to drag the summer meals well into Sept, but I’m feeling apple season, cozy days inside, and comfort food. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m so close to my due date. Or that life has been a little stressful lately. Either way, I pulled out an old favorite this weekend: Roasted Poblano Cheesy Rice.
I’d normally take the word “cheesy” out of the recipe title. It makes it sound, well, cheesy. Like a recipe from an old school ladies magazine. But I like calling a recipe exactly what it is and to skip “cheesy” in the name is to leave out a primary descriptor! This stuff is creamy, cheesy goodness that everyone will love. It goes with most any mexican meal (if you ask me) or you can lighten it up (and keep the spirit of summer alive) by serving alongside simply grilled meat.
My poblano rice was gobbled up before I could get a good photo. While searching for an attractive pic of green rice (not an easy feat), I came across a great food blog that you should check out too: Lottie and Doof. This pic, which Tim graciously allowed me to use (thanks, Tim!), is from a similar recipe called Arroz Verde al Horno from a great Mexican restaurant, Mercadito, in my lovely home city. Can’t wait to try their version, too!
Roasted Poblano Cheesy Rice
(can be adapted for kids 8+ mos)*
1 1/2 tbsp organic butter
1 1/2 c organic onion, chopped (about 1/2 a large onion)
2-3 roasted organic poblano peppers, diced**
4 c cooked organic white rice (try brown for a healthier version)
1 lb organic low fat cottage cheese
8-oz organic low fat sour cream
2 c organic cheddar or monterey jack (or mixed!) cheese, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 350. In the meantime, melt butter in a large pan. When hot, saute onions until caramelized. Add poblanos and saute 2 minutes more, until peppers and onions are well mixed.
2. In a large bowl, mix the cooked rice with the onion/poblano mix. Add cottage cheese, sour cream, and 1 1/2 c shredded cheese.
3. Put seasoned rice in a buttered, oven safe casserole dish. Top with remaining 1/2 c shredded cheese. Bake until rice is warmed through and the cheese on top has melted and turned light brown.
*Poblanos can be spicy! If serving to children under 12+ mos or anyone sensitive to spicy foods, be sure to thoroughly de-seed and de-vein the peppers. In step 2, add the peppers and onions to the rice in small amounts, taste testing along the way. And, of course, once you get the level of heat right, make sure to mash the rice up for your littlest eaters.
**There are lots of ways to roast poblano peppers. I use tongs to hold the peppers over the open flame of my burner, turning until the skin is charred black all around. Then I drop the blackened peppers in a brown bag or in tupperware and seal. After they’ve cooled, I take them out and peel the skin, which comes right off, leaving you with a soft, roasted pepper.