Saturday, April 21, 2007

Spice of Life

Maybe I'm finally getting the knack of taking something (in this case, a recipe) I really like and making variations on it - after all, variety is the "spice of life", right? Not to mention, I'm finding that this new technique aligns perfectly with my quest to make the most of my pantry!

Thanks to yet another idea from Carolyn, last night we feasted on a delicious Mexican-inspired chicken and brown rice risotto. Yes, this sounds very similar to my last meal idea but if you take my original brown rice risotto recipe and add your favorite southwest flavors, it's anything but boring!
My "mix-in" ideas... (Cold Stone on the brain - we took advantage of my Entertainment Book's coupon for an after-dinner treat)

  • chopped onions and/or scallions (I used both... add the scallions in towards the end)
  • the liquid from canned green chiles
  • jarred jalapenos, and their juices
  • finely chopped cilantro
  • shredded Monterey Jack cheese (cooked into the rice and used as a garnish)
  • fresh diced tomatoes (added these at the end for color and fresh flavor)
To keep the flavors consistent throughout, I also "marinated" the chicken in a bit of a dry rub that I keep on hand, a splash of olive oil, and some more of the diced jalapenos and green chiles. Once the chicken was almost cooked through, I tented the pan with aluminum foil and melted down some shredded cheese. I finished it all off with the remaining scallions (or any fresh garnish, on hand) and enjoy! This might be a new favorite!

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