At our weekly potluck dinners with friends, there are usually around 10 adults and 4 kids (and more on the way!) to feed each week. We've all got toddlers and tight budgets so cooking for that many people can be difficult. Our cheap and easy defaults are usually tex-mex or pasta. Now, bringing side dishes for pasta is simple: bread, salad, dessert. But tex-mex usually poses a bit of a problem. Mexican rice is an option, but no one really gets too excited about it. Black beans? Ehh... We've even given thought to "fiesta" corn and such. It all gets really reluctant thumbs up.
Buuuut, I've found my solution. And you are going to love me for this. Well, you're going to love my friend, Jeana, for this. Jeana is all things recipe. She's my go-to guru when I'm looking to whip up something new or different for dinner. The other day I had a bag of lentils staring me down and I was stumped. My first thought was, I bet Jeana has cooked lentils before, I'll call her. And she had. She's just that good.
She just started a new blog for all things cooking, gardening, etc and you can see it here. She's a Texas girl, too. We're a different breed. In a good way.
When Jeana passed this recipe on to me, I l-o-v-e-d it and asked her where she found it. Oh, I made it up, she said.
Made it up?! She's my recipe hero.
Cilantro Lime Rice
Jeana and I cook rice differently so I tweaked her recipe a bit. I don't brave rice on the stove. It never works for me. I only use a counter-top rice cooker. I was given a new huge 12-cup one at Thanksgiving and we're kind of co-dependent. I also don't juice or zest limes or crush garlic cloves. Call me a lazy cook.
But I DO chop up fresh cilantro. I do keep dried cilantro in my spice cabinet for cilantro emergencies, but it has to be an emergency. You just can't dishonor cilantro like that. To be really appreciated, it's got to be fresh. Mmmm...
For every 1 1/2 cups of rice, add:
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic (the lazy, keep-in-your-fridge kind)
Place your rice into rice cooker, add all of the ingredients on top. Add water to the line matching the number of cups of rice added. Push the cook button. You're done.
If you're not lazy and like to zest limes and all that, you can instead use the juice and zest of 1 lime, and press 2 garlic cloves. If you are cooking on the stovetop, add water to the lime juice to equal 3 cups of water. Bring water and juice to a boil, add all the ingredients, and return to a boil. Then cover, and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. If you've got a microwave rice cooker (have I ever told you about how I accidentally set one of those things on fire in college?), microwave all ingredients on high for 5 minutes, then medium for 20 minutes.
Because I can't help myself, I also add chopped fresh cilantro to the top before serving.
Even my family who call themselves cilantro-haters loved this one. You know what goes great with this recipe? My beef and cheese enchilada recipe. See?! Dinner dilemma solved.