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Yellow coconut-serrano rice

SERVINGS
Makes 6 generous servings.
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SERVINGS
Makes 6 generous servings.
RATE THIS RECIPE
(0)

Ingredients

For the rice:
  • 6 cup (or as needed) homemade or store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 cup (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup achiote oil (see recipe above)
  • 1 cup sofrito (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup alcaparrado (see note) or coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 1 cup serrano chile, stemmed and finely chopped (seeds and all)
  • 2 tablespoon kosher or fine sea salt
  • 4 cup long-grain rice
  • For the sofrito:
  • 6 cup (or as needed) homemade or store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 cup (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup achiote oil (see recipe above)
  • 1 cup sofrito (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup alcaparrado (see note) or coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 1 cup serrano chile, stemmed and finely chopped (seeds and all)
  • 2 tablespoon kosher or fine sea salt
  • 4 cup long-grain rice
  • 2 medium spanish onions, cut into large chunks
  • 3 to 4 cubanelle or italian frying peppers
  • 16 to 20 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro
  • 7 to 10 ajices dulces (see note)
  • 4 leaves of culantro (see note)
  • 3 to 4 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored seeded and cut into large chunks
  • Preparation

    Baking Directions:

    To make the rice:Heat 6 cups broth and the coconut milk in a medium saucepan just until steaming.

    I don't usually heat the liquid before adding it to the rice, but if cooked too long, coconut milk can scorch and give the rice an off flavor.

    Heating the coconut-broth mixture beforehand means the liquid will come to a boil faster and cook down faster, lessening the chance of burning the coconut milk.

    Heat the achiote oil in a 4-to-5-quart heavy pot or Dutch over medium heat.

    Add the sofrito and cook, stirring, until the liquid is evaporated and the sofrito is sizzling.

    Stir in the alcaparrado, chile and salt and stir for a minute or two.

    Add the rice and stir until it is coated with seasoned oil and the grains start to turn chalky.

    Increase the heat to medium-high and pour in the heated coconut milk and broth.

    If there isn't enough liquid to cover the rice by the width of two fingers, add more as needed.

    Bring the liquid to a boil.

    Boil (without stirring!) until the liquid is boiled down to the level of the rice.

    Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pot and cook — without lifting the lid or, God forbid, stirring — until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

    The rice can be held in a warm corner of the stove with the lid on for up to 45 minutes.

    Serve very hot or warm.

    Note: Alcaparrado is a bottled condiment that contains coarsely chopped or whole green olives (whole olives are sometimes pitted, sometimes not so check the label), chopped pimiento and capers.

    It is available in Latin markets and most supermarkets with even a tiny Latin food section.

    If you can't find it, no worries: Coarsely chop enough pimiento-stuffed olives to equal the amount of alcaparrado called for in the recipe.

    If you have them, toss in a small amount of capers.

    To make the sofrito:Chop the onion and cubanelle or Italian peppers in the work bowl of a food processor until coarsely chopped.

    With the motor running, add the remaining ingredients one at a time and process until smooth.

    Makes about 4 cups.

    The sofrito will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

    It also freezes beautifully: Spoon it into sealable plastic bags in 1-cup quantities.

    Note: Ajices dulces, sometimes called ajicitos are tiny peppers similar in appearance to Habaneros and Scotch Bonnet peppers, but at the other end of the heat scale.

    They are sweet with a bright green, herbal flavor.

    Culantro is a leafy herb that smells and tastes like cilantro on steroids.

    Both ajices dulces and culantro are available in Latin markets.

    If you cannot find one or both of them, simply leave them out and use 1 1/2 bunches of cilantro.