Monday, April 25, 2011

Meatless Mondays: Creamy Rice Casserole

We had a dinner party this past weekend for some of my husband's high school friends and I decided to make this.  Mainly because it cooked in the oven and looked super easy.  The hardest part is the roasting the chiles part, which my husband did so I didn't have to.

We roast our chiles on the grill, just until they are charred on all sides and then put them in a plastic bag for about 10 minutes.  Cut the chile lengthwise and lay flat, pull off the stem and scrape out the seeds.  Turn it over and scrape or peel off the skin.  Poblanos are very common and your grocery store should have them.  They are quite large so 2 should do it and I feel that extra chile never hurt anything.  Poblanos are super mild and have a really good flavor.

This is a great side dish or cook up some pinto beans and you have a complete meal which we've also done with the leftovers.

Today's Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup chopped roasted mild green chile, poblano or New Mexican, fresh or frozen
3 cups cooked rice, preferably cooked in chicken stock or vegetable stock
4 oz. asadero or Monterey jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup Crema (see below), creme fraiche, or sour cream
3 tablespoons minches fresh cilantro
Salt to taste

Crema - I haven't ever made it before this weekend, but decided to try it.  It tastes pretty similar to sour cream, but not quite as tart and is thinner.  I can't find non ultra-pasteurized whipped cream so I made the Crema with it and it turned out good so use that if that's all you can find.  If you don't want to make crema, just use the sour cream - it will be just fine.  I'll be posting a Chicken Verde Enchilada recipe where you use the crema in a homemade verde sauce as well so make a double batch if you are going to try that recipe too.

1 cup whipping cream (preferably not ultra-pasteurized)
2 tablespoons buttermilk

In a small, nonreactive bowl, combine both ingredients.  Cover the bowl loosely, and let it stand at room temperature for 8-24 hours, until the cream is thickened and tart.  Stir the crema well, cover it, and refrigerate it.  Use it as needed.  Crema keeps for up to 10 days.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease a 9x13 pan.

Warm the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion
and saute until soft.  Stir in the corn and chile and cook for about
5 minutes.

Transfer the corn and chile mixture to a large bowl.  Stir in the rice
and remaining ingredients.

Here it is all stirred together.

Add your Crema or creme fraiche or sour cream and mix well

Spoon the mixture into the baking dish and bake, covered, for
25 min.  Uncover the dish and bake for 5 minutes more.

The poblano and the corn together with the rice is just so nice. 
Mine definitely needed salt so make sure you add a little to
your mixture.

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