08 March 2016

Cilantro-lime rice

Here is my take on Chipotle's cilantro-lime rice. In Persian cuisine, there are several herb pilaf dishes such as: Sabzi-polo (rice with assorted herbs), Shivid-polo (rice with dill), Baghali-polo (rice with dill and fava beans) and, many others. Armed with this heritage, I present my Persian influenced cilantro-lime rice. 

2 cups Jasmine rice
2 cups water
100 gr (3.5 Oz) Cilantro-lemon puree (recipe follows)
2 TBSP vegetable oil
2 TSP salt 
1/2 Persian lime, juice

Cilantro-lemon puree:
100 gr (3.5 Oz) cilantro ( leaves and stems. Leaves only for a more dark green color; stems are however flavorful)
4 ice cubes
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1/2 preserved lemon

To achieve a  vivid green herbal color the key is blending herbs with ice and freezing them! I therefore blended washed and dried cilantro, ice cubes, oil, and preserved lemon and froze the resulting fine puree over-night. Note that using preserved lemon is the best approach to achieve the desired citrus background flavor.

Boil the rice, water, oil, and salt and over medium low heat for 10 minutes or until there is no water floating on the surface. Stir occasionally, but not liberally, as over-stirring may break the rice grains (Persian rule!). Squeeze the lime juice in, and plant the cilantro cubes in different locations. 

Lower the heat, cover the pan and let steam for 15 minutes.

When cooked, stir to mix the colors and serve. Note that the center of cilantro cubes will keep their green color, allowing the dish showcasing a spectrum of green colors.
The herb cube recipe above, yields twice as much cilantro-lemon puree as the rice recipe calls for. I marinated some chicken with the rest and als some lime, roasted garlic and Poblano, making a Mexican style chicken kebab. Avocado Hollandaise shown above is from here

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