Weekend Plans: Lime Cilantro Rice, After Multiple Attempts
I’ve seen dozens of tweets from people learning how to make sourdough. For about a month, people posting their sourdough starter was an entire sub-genre. People were discussing different yeasts and different ways to deal with the fact that stores were short on yeast, flour, and other bread-making staples. With summer just around the corner, people have stopped wanting the oven to be on and discussions of 375 degrees for 30 minutes versus 350 degrees for 35 minutes have slowed to a trickle (I imagine we’ll see them again come fall).
Given that my local stores haven’t had a problem delivering bread, the main carb that I have been absolutely obsessing over was Chipotle’s lime cilantro rice.
There were years where Chipotle was the closest restaurant to my workplace and if you’re 2 hours into a 12 hour shift, a burrito the size of a nerf football is one of the things that will help you get from here to there. While I’m not in that particular place anymore, I did find myself in a place where I’d go there once a week, maybe once every other week, on the way home. Only $20 to get dinner, no plates to clean up, easy peasy.
So when the lockdown started, man. I was stuck without my Chipotle rice. I did the “google the recipe” thing and, of course, found multiple recipes from multiple people all claiming to have worked at Chipotle and this, seriously, was Chipotle’s secret recipe.
None of them did it for me. But one little trick here, one little trick there… I think I’ve got it.
I make my rice in a little rice cooker. It makes 1 1/3rd cups of rice like magic (two scoops from the enclosed 2/3rd cup). Before telling the cooker to cook, throw a bay leaf in there (you’ll be pulling the bay leaf out when you’re done).
While the rice is cooking, get your fresh cilantro, your knife, and your cutting board. You’ll want a good handful of cilantro. Recipes all say stuff like “tablespoon” but if you buy fresh cilantro, how in the heck do you measure a tablespoon? It’s like going into the back yard and getting a tablespoon of grass. I grab and rip a handful of cilantro off of the bunch of cilantro I buy, then I chop it up. Don’t just grab the leaves, either! Chop up the stems that you grab. Like, chop it up FINE.
Something like this:
Only six or seven times, not twice.
Then I get a lime and zest it. I have this zester. You see the thing that looks like a can opener? I use that part of the tool to pull off 4 long strips from the rind of the lime. Then I take my kitchen shears and cut the long strips into tiny little pieces. Mix those in with the Cilantro.
Then, cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup. Get a reamer and just ream the heck out of each half of the lime. You want that debris. The debris is good. Now look at your measuring cup. How much lime juice do you have? Well, add half that much lemon juice.
When the rice is done, put it into a big metal bowl, add your cilantro, lime rind, salt and juice as you mix it up like you saw the guy in the back of the Chipotle do it a hundred times.
What got me each time was the little things. I didn’t know about the bay leaf. I didn’t know about the lemon juice rounding out the lime juice. It’s with THAT recipe that I finally figured out how to make rice that doesn’t merely remind me of Chipotle.
Now that I’ve FINALLY perfected the recipe, I’m probably going to make that this weekend.
So… what’s on your docket?
(Featured image is Alice being interrupted in her browsing of the book collection.)