• The Dancer's Pantry

.Garlic Cilantro Rice.

Updated: Mar 5



I've been away from the blog for a few weeks dealing with an unwanted cold and a prolonged shoulder and back injury (dancer problems)... But, while these pesky pains have kept me out of the kitchen, it has given me time and space to think about the “basics” of our every day cooking.


While I thoroughly enjoy developing entrée recipes for all of you, I also recognize that for many of us, sometimes a new approach to a side dish or condiment can be even more useful to our culinary journey as well as more achievable.


I have spent time considering how if we begin moving away from our "go-to", and sometimes limiting approach to every-day cooking by adding little twists and changes to our approach, we may move towards creating more nutritious and flavorful meals that could possibly help us to look at our week day meals with excitement and enjoyment.


It’s a challenge we all encounter when we open the fridge and see the same pasta, rice, beans, etc. we have been eating for the last 3 days and try to feel "excited" about what we are going to eat. It’s easy to get “bored” or “tired” of the food in our fridge and throw it away… We have all been there. I am guilty as charged! But, I believe that with small adjustments to our weekly staples, we are more likely to finish what we made and save ourselves the waste (physically and financially).


Speaking of basics… Let’s talk about rice. Rice is definitely a staple in my home. My dad, a self proclaimed “rice fiend” cooks rice at least once a week. Specifically yellow rice. Growing up I loved the way it looked steaming under the lid. I loved and still do love, the way it smells when the lid is lifted to give the rice a good fluffing. But, most importantly, I loved how easily my dad could whip up a quick dinner of rice and beans, some sort of protein, and if we were lucky even plantains. When we were kids and my parents were juggling my sister and my insane pre-professional ballet life, my dad would improvise on Shabbat dinner if we didn’t have time to make matzah balls. He would cook white rice and we would ladle the broth over a small bowl. It was delicious and to be honest, it was probably more time and cost effective for a family of 4.


If you ever have the privilege of coming to my parents house for dinner… Rice could definitely make an appearance. If you get an invite to my house, you will most likely find left over rice in the fridge.


While I could write a whole post about the differences in rice, the culture of rice, and the economic life of rice… I’ll save that for a different post and get you cooking now.


Here is my recipe for Garlic, Cilantro Rice.


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.Garlic Cilantro Rice.



Ingredients:

Serves 5-6


Produce:

  • 2 bushels of Cilantro chopped (little, to no stems)

  • 5 cloves of garlic diced

  • 1 onion (I prefer yellow) medium dice

  • Half of a lime

  • Small bushel of green onions chopped (white and green sections)


Dairy:

  • Half a stick of salted butter (or non-dairy butter)

  • *Olive oil if you prefer no butter


Baking and Spices:

  • 2 cups of Jasmine Rice

  • 2 cubes of vegetable boullion (*You can use vegetable broth instead of water or bullion)

  • 4 cups of water

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin


To begin sauté one chopped onion in half a stick of salted butter on high heat in a large sauce pan or medium size pot.


When the onions begin to turn translucent add in the diced garlic. Turn the heat to medium and stir frequently to avoid burning. When the garlic turns golden brown pour two cups of Jasmine Rice into the the pan or pot to toast the rice. Add one teaspoon of garlic powder and one teaspoon of cumin and stir well to combine.

*Make sure to watch that the rice doesn't burn. If the kernels are starting to darken lower the heat. They should look translucent.


Next add the chopped cilantro to the rice. Stir well to combine and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

*I prefer to add cilantro to the rice early in the cooking to help impart as much cilantro flavor as possible. Many recipes prefer to add the cilantro after the rice is cooked.


Take the two cubes of vegetable bullion and cut them each in half.

*I like to place each piece in one quarter of the rice so when the water heats up, the bouillon "melts" evenly.


Pour 4 cups of water into the rice and turn heat to high. When the water has begun to boil, lower the heat to low or simmer and cover with a tight fitting lid. Let the rice sit for 20-25 minutes.

*Try to avoid lifting the lid to check on the progress as you'll let out the steam needed for cooking.


When the water has fully absorbed and evaporated the rice should be finished cooking. Remove the lid and let it sit uncovered for 3 minutes to cook out any remaining moisture.


Finally take the chopped green onions and sprinkle them into the rice. Fluff the rice with a fork or stir with a spoon.

*If you want a pop of acid squeeze half of a lime into the rice and stir to combine.


Pour the rice into a bowl and eat as is... Or add it to a burrito, a stir fry, or even into a salad. Add this beautiful and flavorful rice to any of your favorite go-to meals and see how it changes it for you!


Enjoy!


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