While you cook this spicy rice, you will have your home filled with the tickling aroma of the roasted peppers and the sweet corn. Chile, corn, cumin and coriander all nestle together in this bowl, heartily complimenting each other.
It’s been a while that we came back from New Mexico, but the wonderful vibrant sights of the hatch chilies by the roadside is still making me dream of them, until I found bundles of them in the local farmer’s market. It is the season! They had the fresh ones and also ready to use roasted ones.
Did I say I love to touch and feel the fresh seasonal produce full of dirt and dust? The dirt conveys a message; that the produce has not been freezing for months and getting sprayed repeatedly to make them shine. The dirt also draws an image in my mind; green farm fields stretching from one horizon to another. It is good to think and feel this way. It is good for the appetite.
So I got ourselves a lot of unpolished hatch chiles without a clue to what I was going to do with them.
When buying the chile peppers, select large, firm, chiles with no sign of wilting. Wash the chiles before you start doing anything with them.
The adjacent crate was full of corn; while the husk was wet and muddy, the inside looked pretty promising with fresh plump luscious kernels covered with soft silk. I also got an armful of these corns. Once we got home, some of the corn were immediately roasted over the fire, smeared with salt and lemon juice and consumed right away.
The next day I roasted the hatch chiles without a thought. With the corn and the chile combined I made some quick rice – quick and easy but very flavorful side dish to serve with any kind of meal. This is a very versatile recipe. With some meat or beans added to it, the rice can be turned into a one pot meal/main dish of your meal. Creative, adapt and turn it to your own.
I have used a hot chili oil here and if you are a spice lover, do not give this a miss. Hot smoky chili oil has its own magic which cannot be substituted with a hot sauce or any other kind of topping.
Roasted Hatch Chile and Corn Rice
- 3 hatch chiles
- 1 whole fresh corn
- 6 cloves of garlic
- a big fistful of fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds + 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3/4 cup uncooked rice, any white long grained or basmati
- 2 tablespoons oil + 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- Hot Chili Oil (recipe below)
- fresh lime
- 1 cup cooked sausages/chorizo or cooked beans – whatever kind you prefer, if you want to make it a one pot meal (Optional)
For the Hot Chili Oil
- red crushed pepper
- 1/4 cup oil
- cayenne pepper powder
To make the Hot Chili Oil:
Toast the red crushed pepper in a pan till you start to cough and sneeze. (The color will change to a darker shade and you will definitely feel the heat). Switch off the heat and immediately pour the oil and the pepper powder in the hot pan. Switch back the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes. Switch off the heat and let the oil steep for at least a day before you use it for the best flavors.
To prepare the rice:
Cook the rice till tender, but not mushy. The grains should be separate. Spread the cooked rice in a thin layer on a flat surface. Drizzle some oil on it – this prevents the grains from sticking to one another.
To prepare the corn:
Lightly grill the corn, and remove the kernels from the cob.
OR remove the kernels from the cob.
Lightly toast them on a dry skillet till the water evaporates and they are have light brown spots on them. They will be fragrant. Set aside.
Roasting the Chile Peppers:
Roast the hatch chilies till the skin is blistered all over.I roast the chilies directly over fire in my stove.
To roast under broiler, place the chilies in single layer on foil-lined baking sheet. Broil for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently, until skins are blistered on all sides.
To grill the peppers, lay them directly on grill rack & roast 5-7 min, turning frequently.
Place peppers in a paper bag/or wrap in a foil/or put them in ziploc bag, close tightly. Allow peppers to steam for 10-15 min. When cooled, the skin will peel off easily once pulled away from flesh.
Slit the peppers and remove the seeds and the veins. Chop the peppers.
(The roasted peppers may be frozen. Remove the blistered skin, and freeze them in airtight bags).
Now putting it all together:
Combine roasted peppers, peeled and chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, fresh cilantro and 1 teaspoon oil and process in the food processor till pureed and smooth. Set aside.
Heat a thick bottomed pan. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds and lightly roast them till they are a shade darker and fragrant.
Add 2 tablespoon of oil and add the onions. Fry the onions at medium heat till they are tender, and starting to brown at the edges.(If you are using meat or beans, add them now and cook them all together with the onion for about 2-4 minutes.)
Add the roasted pepper, garlic, cilantro puree to the pan; add salt and cook at high heat for 4-6 minutes till the oil starts to separate and the puree reduces in amount (the extra water would have evaporated).
Add the corn and the rice and stir them together for a couple of minutes till the green sauce is well combined with the rice. Cook for about 3 more minutes tossing frequently but carefully so as not to break the rice.
Drizzle the hot chili oil in the pan and stir to combine.
Squeeze fresh lime juice and serve hot with more drizzled chili oil if you want.
This is scrumptious, lip smacking good. If you wish to use any other grain other than rice like quinoa, barley, wild rice, wheat berries, give it a go. I think it will work really well with the roasted peppers and the spices.
Don’t forget the CSN Giveaway! You still have time till the 17th of September.