Poblano Tomatillo Rice

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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1 cup tomatillos, roughly chopped
1 poblano chile
1/4 bunch cilantro, stemmed
Coarse salt
3 Tbsp oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice


You will need to roast, skin and seed the pepper before being able to process it for the rice marinade. The most consistent way to do so is to heat a cast iron skillet on high with a coating of canola oil. When very hot, put the whole pepper into the skillet, using tongs to rotate the pepper occasionally so all of the skin blackens evenly. If your pepper has groves and ridges you will have to press it quit firmly into the skillet to blacken those parts. This will become easier as the pepper softens from the heat. Once fully toasted, place the pepper into a plastic or paper bag, close it and leave it on the counter for 20 minutes – this will trap the heat, effectively steaming much of the skin off. Remove the pepper from the bag after 20 minutes and peel off any remaining skin, then make a slit in the side to gut the pepper of its seed core.

Soak the tomatillos in cold water for a few minutes, then remove their outer husks. Chop them roughly and place them in a blender with the prepared poblano chile, cilantro and a pinch of coarse salt. Blend them until smooth, then add enough cold water to bring the total amount of liquid up to 3 cups.

Add the oil to a saucepan over high heat. When the oil is heated, add the onion, decrease the heat to medium, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and saute, stirring frequently, for another 5 minutes. (Sauteing the rice before cooking will prevent clumping and brings out its flavor). Add the 3 cups of marinade and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat so that the rice is gently simmering, cover and cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender (this may take anywhere from 15-45 minutes depending on the rice you are using – see the instructions on your rice package to determine roughly how long it should cook for). Fluff the rice with a fork and salt to taste before serving. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Serves 4-6.

From feastingfreds.wordpress.com