Ordinary rice is transformed into a side dish worthy of any fiesta with the addition of pineapple, cilantro, lime, and jalapeno.
Sometimes I get bored with having chips and salsa with my Mexican entrees.
Okay, that was totally a LIE!! I don’t think I could ever get sick of chips and salsa or chips and guacamole. BUT, there is time when a healthier side dish to my Mexican cuisine is in order, especially since I eat Mexican several times a week. That is where I typically look to rice.
And plain rice makes a nice bed for my Chicken Chili or leftover Pork Carnitas. But when you infuse rice with some flavor, it becomes worthy of a dish that can be eaten all on its own. Of course you can still use this rice as a bed to serve meat or beans on top of–and then it is really a little flavor party!
You have to be living under a rock to not know of Chipotle’s famous cilantro rice. There are probably thousands of copycat recipes out there. So what makes this one special? Well, it has more flavor! TONS more flavor!! I don’t just stop with the addition of cilantro, but I add jalapeno for kick, lime zest for a bright zip, and pineapple for a sweet contrast that pairs perfectly with any Mexican dish.
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup water
- 1 jalapeno, cut in half and seeded
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 1 bunch of cilantro, stems discarded and leaves chopped
- Bring pineapple juice, water, jalapeno, garlic and salt to a boil. Add in rice and lower to simmer. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes, or until rice is tender and absorbed.
- Remove jalapeno.
- Stir in zest and juice of lime and chopped cilantro.
- Serve on the side or as the bed to a main course.