Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rockin' the rice bowl

Burrito schmurrito, all you need is rice bowl. Mexcellent rice, pinto beans, avocado, salsa, and tofu sour cream with a splash of lime.The secret to eating more grains and rice really is a fancy rice cooker. I don't have a microwave at home, so not only does it cook perfect rice every time, it also reheats beautifully in a snap. The secret to amazing Mexcellent rice is sofrito. Sofrito is a mix of onions and peppers that adds the perfect seasoning to any Latin American cooking. Most people have their own special way to make it (mine originated from Daisy cooks,) but it's basic components are onions and peppers. I don't cook it first, (Terry's recipe in Viva Vegan calls for cooking the sofrito) but it usually ends up cooking anyway in the final recipe. I generally use a sweet vidalia or maui onion so it's less overpoweringly oniony if I leave it raw for guacamole or something. My new addition to the sofrito this time is aji peppers. I haven't been able to find them fresh, so I finally broke down and got the jarred ones. My local grocery store has a pretty good selection of Latin American items. The aji peppers are about the same spiciness of a jalapeno, but a little bigger and with a different flavor.


1 vidalia onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2 aji peppers
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch culantro (recao)

Chop all ingredients really fine or throw into a food processor. I do mine in batches in a mini food processor and mix them together. Keeps a few days in the fridge, or forever in the freezer. I save sofrito frozen in 1/2 cup portions in ziplock snack bags.

Mexcellent Rice

1 cup long grain rice
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup sofrito
1/4 cup green salad olives
2 TBS capers
1 good pinch saffron (optional, but makes the rice yellow)

Mix all ingredients together and press the on button on the rice cooker, or cook on stovetop according to rice directions.

I also made some monkey bread. This came from a mix that happened to be vegan (yay!) but it's pretty easy to find a vegan version. Essentially you could use any quick bread recipe and just take balls of the dough, dunk in sugar, and pop into a pan. Top with a sugar and melted earth balance mixture then bake at 375 for 30 minutes, and voila, monkey bread. I have a ton of zucchini, so maybe I'll try out a zucchini monkey break later this week. I'm all for sneaking vegetables in unusual places...


miss v said...

those mexi-rice bowls always remind me of the heavenly chipotle burrito. delish!
oh, and i haven't thought about monkey bread in years!! i used to love that stuff!

River - The Crafty Kook said...

Mexellent! I love tortillaless (new word!) burritos. They are not as filling without a tortilla so I can eat more of the good stuff. Sofrito is such an awesome base for so many dishes!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

I can't stop staring at the avocado in the first pic. Mmm!