Mexican Brown Rice Casserole
- 11/2 cups brown rice
- 3 cups of water
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1/2 white medium onion
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1/2 cup sour cream or crema fresca
- 2/3 cup shredded cheese (any kind that melts)
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of oil
- In a pan with a lid cook the brown rice. Add the rice and the water, cover and let over low-medium heat until it is done. It is usually done when most of the water is absorbed, around 20 minutes.
- Slice the poblano pepperoni half, remove the ribs and seeds. (If you want your dish to be spicier, leave the ribs.) Then slice thinly.
- Heat a skillet with the two tablespoons of oil. When hot but not smoking, add the poblano peppers. Move constantly. Mean while slice the onion and add to the skillet when the poblano pepper starts changing its color and begins to brown a bit.
- When the onion is translucent, add the corn and turn of the heat. Add a big pinch of salt.
- Pre-heat the oven at 350ºF
- Prepare an oven proof casserole dish by rubbing a teaspoon of oil on the bottom and all the sides, place the rice, top with the sautéd vegetables, add the cream and finish with the shredded cheese.
- Place in the oven until the cream and cheese are bubbly and the cheese is melted.
Note: This casserole could be made vegan if vegan cream and cheese are used. It could also be made a day ahead. To reheat just place in the oven covered for 20 min, uncover and let the cheese melt and brown a bit.
Rice is a must in Mexican cuisine. It always goes next to mole dishes or enchiladas, or almost any saucy dish. The typical Mexican rice is fried before cooked in a red sauce and it is always made with a white grain rice. This casserole is a healthier twist on the traditional Mexican rice and works well with any casserole.
I do not know why, but I have the idea on my mind that all casseroles are Holiday oriented dishes and mushy and flavorless. So to prove myself wrong, I decided to prepare this one. It all starts with brown rice, which has a nuttier flavor and a chewier texture than the regular white one and of course, it is full of health benefits. Then I decided to add deliciously browned chile poblano, onion and corn. And I topped it all with cream and shredded cheese. Then it goes in the oven and it is delicious and full of flavor. This type of rice goes perfectly well with a carne or portobello “asado” grilled. Or it can be eaten as a starting dish, it is so go you could even make corn tortilla tacos with it.