THREE YEARS AS A MEMBER OF THE SECRET RECIPE CLUB!
Last Monday of the month. You probably expect me to whine about the cold, but guess what? As you read this post, I should be far, far away in Brazil, enjoying balmy temperatures, wearing shorts, t-shirts, and recharging my batteries to face the frigid months ahead. But the last Monday means fun, because it’s Reveal Day for The Secret Recipe Club! I was paired with the blog “A Day in the Life on the Farm“, hosted by Wendy. Her story is fascinating: she and her husband were police officers in a large city (which of course meant a ton of trouble in their hands…), but when they retired they moved to a tiny little town of 4,000 people, and bought a house on 12 acres of land. They raise meat chickens, turkeys, and pigs, and Wendy – to fight her empty nest syndrome – decided to host foreign students in their place. Now she works part-time for the World Heritage, placing students into homes for a year of schooling here in the US. Being in academia and therefore often exposed to the troubles that foreign students face (plus, I was one myself), I know how important this type of work can be. Please, stop by her about page and read more about their life on the farm, and how on top of everything she also takes care of her Mom, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. She actually devotes a section in her blog to talk about it, under Life with Mom. Beautiful, touching, and at times funny.
We had so much going on this past month, that I needed to jump on my assignment right away. The recipe I set my eyes on was a drool-inducing dessert, a Caramelized Almond Apple Upside Down Cake. But, I decided against it. Why? With Thanksgiving saying hello, then the holidays, a lot of heavy food will be popping everywhere. I did not want to start early with the excesses, so this cake shall wait. Sorry, folks, but better safe than sorry. Then, I almost went with her cute Pretzel Dogs. Finally it was a tough decision between Zucchini Enchiladas, or Green Rice. As you can see, I went green. Green is good for you, and this was one of the most flavorful rice dishes I’ve made.
(very slightly modified from A Day in the Life on the Farm)
2 poblano chile peppers
1 green pepper (I used half a Serrano)
1 cup long grain rice
1 large bunch of cilantro
1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil (I used grapeseed)
1 small shallot, minced
Dry roast the peppers in a griddle pan (or on a grill), turning frequently so the skins blacken but the flesh doesn’t burn. Place in a strong plastic bag, seal and set aside for 20 minutes
Put the rice in a heat proof bowl, pour in boiling water to cover and let stand 20 minutes.
Drain the rice, rinse well under cold water and drain again. Remove the peppers from the bag and peel off the skins. Remove any stems, then slit the peppers and scrape out seeds with a sharp knife.
Put the peppers in a food processor, strip the leaves from the cilantro and parsley and add to peppers. Pour in half the chicken stock and process until smooth. Add remaining stock and puree again.
Heat oil in a saucepan, add the rice and minced shallot and fry for 5 minutes over med heat until the rice is golden and the shallot is translucent. Add the salt, stir in the green puree, lower heat, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is just tender. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: Lately I’ve been quite smitten with poblano peppers. Very little heat, but so much flavor! Our stove did a great job charring them, I don’t think I was ever able to get such a beautiful blackened skin with almost no effort. Using a paper towel to remove the charred skin was also a great move, a tip I got from watching Marcela Valladolid in her show Mexican Made Easy. I never liked the idea of rinsing the peppers because there’s quite a bit of flavor loss if you do that. The paper towels removed just the skin and I could leave little bits here and there for an extra smoky flavor. Aren’t they cute?
Adding boiling water to the rice and waiting for 20 minutes was also something I had never done, and I liked the texture of the finished product. If you are a cilantro-hater, this rice is not for you, its flavor is obviously very prominent. You could substitute spinach.
This was a delicious dinner! Green rice, simple roasted carrots, and for our protein a few slices of center-cut pork chops, cooked sous-vide, and finished off on the grill. Life is good!
Wendy, I hope you had a great time this month with your assignment! It was wonderful to browse through your site, I read all your posts about your Mom, and am still in awe of your ability to do so much Everyday in your Life on the Farm…
For my readers: if you want to see what my fellow Secret Friends cooked up this month, give a little click on the blue frog at the end of this post. Normally Groups C and D would take a break in the month of December, but apparently me and Dorothy from Shockingly Delicious whined so much about withdrawal syndrome, that The Secret Recipe Club will have a little surprise reserved for both groups. It will be awesome, so stay tuned!
ONE YEAR AGO: Potato-Crusted Italian Mini-Quiches
TWO YEARS AGO: Beetroot Sourdough for the Holidays
THREE YEARS AGO: Cod Filet with Mustard Tarragon Crust
FOUR YEARS AGO: Soba Noodles: Light and Healthy
FIVE YEARS AGO: Potato-Rosemary Bread