Arroz by Any Other Name ...

(Rice, Sour Cream, Cheese, and Green Chili Casserole)


(Loosely based on a side dish served in a Mexican restaurant in Old Tucson in 1973)

This is a wonderful casserole. It can be the side dish in a meal, or a vegitarian entree, or you can add shredded chicken and make it into a main dish. It travels well, and works well as a contribution to a pot luck dinner. Leftovers are even good cold (or hot).

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Arroz by Any Other Name ...

James Speed Hensinger

Makes eight-ten servings. The recipe can be doubled or trebled for large parties if needed. I often either cut it in half or make several casseroles and freeze the extras unbaked.


Ingredients

2 cups uncooked long grain rice
4 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, (or less since the cheese is salty)
1 16oz container sour cream (Reduced fat sour cream works fine.)
1/2 to 1 tablespoon finely chopped canned jalapeño chilies
1 16oz can pitted black olives (sliced) (drained) Reserve several olives for garnish.
1 pound monterey jack cheese (1/2" cubes or shreded)
2+ 6oz cans whole Anaheim (aka California) chilies (washed and cut into 2" slivers) (I use fresh roasted chilis from my freezer in a 16oz package)
1/2 pound mild cheddar or longhorn cheese (shredded)
1 2oz jar chopped pimento (drained)
1/2 cup chopped green onion for garnish


Preparation

Cook rice in salted water & set aside.
  For high altitudes, add 2 Tbl. water per cup of rice and cook for 5 minutes longer.

Mix sour cream, olives, and jalapeños in a bowl. (Fold gently to avoid breaking olives).

Apply non-stick spray to a 2 1/2 quart lidded ovenproof casserole.

Layer rice, jack cheese, olives, chilies, and sour cream mixture in casserole, starting with 1/3rd of the rice. Try to divide ingredients so that you have a layer of rice on the top, bottom, and middle with two layers of the other ingredients. OR if you have a large enough bowl, just mix everything except the yellow cheese and a few of the olives. Then just spoon the mixture into the casserole

Top with cheddar cheese, and garnish with the reserved olives.

Cover and bake 45 minutes in a 325 degree oven, or until a table knife inserted in the center comes out hot. (This depends on the size and shape of your casserole.)

Note: If the cheese butter fats separate and float, the baking time was too long. If your meal timing is off and the Arroz by any other name ... is ready early, it will hold in a warm (125 degrees) oven or even in a picnic basket if wrapped in several layers of towels.

Let stand 15 minutes to allow the jack cheese to firm slightly before serving. Serve with a garnish of chopped green onion.

Enjoy!

 

 

 



Copyright © J. S. Hensinger