The other day, I planned to make Spicy Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa. I asked Tim what he wanted to go with it, and he said rice. I didn’t want to use a preflavored box of rice because it’s so easy to make your own, and that way you can control the ingredients and flavor, so I set out to find a recipe. Of course, the first person I turned to was Rachael Ray. She had a recipe for this spicy green rice that I thought would be perfect with our spicy fish.
I can’t believe how I’m succumbing to cooking and eating spicy food just because Tim likes it so much. See what peer pressure does to you?
Anyway, I decided to give this green rice a try because it seemed pretty easy and also healthy with all of the spinach that’s in it. Rachael’s recipe used white rice but I used brown to up the healthy factor even more. I also used instant rice because, well, I just wanted it to be done quickly. Overall, the whole meal was pretty quick, very easy, and spicy enough to satisfy Tim but not too spicy for me to be able to handle it. The cilantro gave the rice a little “pep” that we really like. I served this with a squeeze of lime, which added some zing and was a nice compliment to the spiciness.
If you’re looking for a new starch recipe to add to your repertoire, give this one a try.
Oh, this makes a lot of rice, but it can be easily halved if you want.
Spicy Green Rice
Makes 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 of an onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups brown instant rice*
- 2 cups chicken stock, divided*
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed and finely chopped
- 3/4 pound (12 oz) baby spinach
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Add onions and jalapeno, season with salt and pepper, and cook 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften. Add in rice and cook for a minute or two to toast it – until it starts to smell nutty. Add in the chicken stock, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for five minutes (or whatever the package directions are on your rice). Let stand for about five minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
While the rice is cooking, in a food processor puree the spinach, jalapeno, and cilantro with about 1/4-1/2 cup of chicken stock, just until you get a nice smooth consistency. Don’t make it too liquidy or your rice will be runny and not absorb the extra liquid.
Stir the green puree into the cooked rice. If necessary, let stand until any remaining liquid is absorbed.