A cross between a casserole and mac n' cheese, this creamy poblano rice is an unforgettable creation!
This poblano rice dish is really a cross between a casserole and a mac 'n cheese. I wanted to prepare a different rice dish that my friends would remember. Boy did they ever!
They lovingly nicknamed it "The Cheesy Rice", ha ha ha. Whoever got the last helping was the winner! This dish can be made ahead of time and you can add in a variety of ingredients, like peas, carrots, shredded chicken or cooked shrimp.
Poblano rice is a very popular rice dish in Mexico. Poblano peppers rank relatively low on the heat scale, so this dish isn't too spicy, unless you want it to be! It usually has a nice green color, but my version makes it look more like chiles en nogada de poblano rice!
In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat. Add the rice and cook the rice for a few minutes, stirring often. After about 3 to 5 minutes, add the onion and garlic and cook for another minute.
Add the chicken broth and all the dry spices; stir well to combine. Cover pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer (taste for salt). Cook rice, without disturbing it, for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
Fluff the rice with a fork, then transfer to a baking dish that has been sprayed with oil. Stir in the poblano peppers, crema and cheese; cover with foil and bake at 350ºF for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook under the broiler to brown the cheese slightly.
For a variation, I sometimes like to add sweet red bell peppers and green onions on top before baking; makes for a nice presentation.