Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cilantro Rice

Cilantro is a polarizing ingredient; you either love it or you hate it. I have yet to find someone who is indifferent to it. Obviously, I'm a lover, as I've shared several recipes with cilantro here. It has such a distinct smell and flavor and I think it adds so much oomph to so many dishes (e.g. pho, salsa, seafood). Quite unfortunately I never had it growing up, probably because my dad hates it.

So, the first time I ever had cilantro was also the first time I went to Qdoba. This was back in high school. A new shopping plaza opened up near my house and my mom, sister, and I went to go check it out. We shopped at The Gap and Banana Republic and then grabbed a burrito lunch at Qdoba. The burrito was made with this cilantro-speckled rice and when I tasted it, I was intrigued. What was this new flavor?! It was cilantro and my life was changed forever.

The cilantro rice that I'm sharing today isn't that same burrito cilantro rice. It's more of a pilaf-y version that you'd eat as a side dish alongside something like steak, chicken, fish, porkchops, etc. It's just a jazzier pilaf for all of the cilantro lovers out there.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
1 cup long grain rice (you could use jasmine rice, basmati rice, even wild rice)
1 cup chicken stock
¼ diced onion
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 scallion, chopped
1 cup cilantro leaves

Start by dicing the onion, chopping the garlic, and chopping the scallion. Set aside the scallion.
Add the onion, garlic, and butter to a saucepan. Stir and cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the rice to the saucepan and stir it around to get each grain of rice coated in a little of the fat. Sprinkle in the salt and give it a quick stir before pouring in the stock. Give the rice one last stir before sticking on the lid, lowering the heat, and letting it cook through. It'll take 10 to 12 minutes.
Tada! Perfectly cooked rice.
Dump the scallions and cilantro right on top and give it a good stir. The residual heat will warm the scallions and cilantro and help release some of those flavors right into the rice.
Garnish with a little extra cilantro and serve.
We ate our rice with a little steak and roasted brussels sprouts. The rice is fluffy and cilantro-y and awesome. Plus, it looks so pretty!
Here's the recipe page:

2 comments:

  1. Okay you know I love you! And you have served me many delicious meals and I have loved them so much. I honestly thought I was some kind of alien because of my distaste of cilantro lmao. When I finally realized this past year that it's a genetic thing that some people find the taste of cilantro to be soapy (for me it's not soap, it's just barf hahaha) I felt so relieved that I wasn't just an asshole. I am jealous that you have the genes to enjoy a flavor that my body physically won't ever enjoy! :( And now I am so curious to research more since you said your dad doesn't like it. My ex-boyfriends dad hated it so much he would make a funny scene in restaurants about it. (He was Irish so it never came off as rude, just cartoon-like and entertaining hahaha). Anyway I am sorry to hijack your post but here is an article that I am not alone (and I honestly felt alone for a long time hahahaha)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/20/cilantro-aversion-gene-study_n_1901124.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa, I had no idea it was genetic. I thought it was just a preference thing - like licorice. Now I'm wondering if licorice hating is genetic too, haha.

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