Here it is. My mom has been asking for this post for weeks. I made this dish a while back, while I was visiting home and my whole family loved it. My mom has a list of her comfort foods which includes my Macaroni and Cheese, Thai Red Curry, Indian Chana Masala, and now this casserole. So if you're in need of a warm, comforting meal, try this one out!
Arroz Verde al Horno (Green Rice Casserole)
Adapted from Lottie + Doof
1 Poblano chile, seeds removed
1 Green bell pepper, seeds removed
1/2 Cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
1/4 Cup Mexican oregano leaves, loosely packed
5 Cloves of garlic
4 Cups vegetable broth
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Cup chopped onion
2 Cups long grain rice
A few cups of water
1 1/2 Cups grated Oaxaca cheese
1 1/2 Cups grated Manchego cheese
1 Cup heavy cream
Place the first six ingredients in a blender and puree. Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for a couple minutes. Add the puree and bring to a boil. Add a couple of tablespoons of salt to taste. Add the rice to the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered. Every few minutes, stir the rice and add water as the broth becomes absorbed. Keep this up until the rice is thoroughly cooked. You don’t want it to have a crunch.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the rice mixture with 2 cups of the cheeses and the cream. If you cannot find these cheeses, they can be replaced by mozzarella or quesadilla cheese. Place the mixture in a casserole dish and cover with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the oven on to broil until the cheese browns on top.
This is a perfect winter casserole. The oregano gives it a really earthy taste and there is just the right spice, while the cheeses give it that comfort-factor.