25 March 2013

Baked Costa Rican Rice

A few years ago, a friend brought this Costa Rican rice "casserole" (for lack of a better word) as a dish to pass for a Mexican dinner on a hot summer evening. I immediately fell in love with it! And then I changed it up to suit my tastes! The flavors of warm spice, fruit and creamy rice are saving my sanity as I await Spring weather in Michigan.

We are on the "cusp" of Spring here in Michigan. The calendar clearly says it is Spring and the temperatures are a balmy 22 degrees with consistent snow flurries. It sort of reminds me of the movie "The Shining", except the entire population is slowly going crazy. We YEARN for sunshine and warmer temperatures, a day to be outside without boots and hats. The weather has become a constant source of conversation, frustration, and in my case, over consumption of food and beverages. Ugh.

Baked Costa Rican Style Rice

1 cup long grain rice (We like a blend of white, brown and wild rices, Lundberg makes a great blend)
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup orange juice
1 lime juiced
zest of 1 lime
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp sugar
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 15oz can black beans drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped fresh pineapple (I have used canned Tidbits)

Preheat oven to 400

Cook the rice in chicken broth according to package directions.

In a small bowl, combine orange and lime juice, olive oil, zest, garlic, sugar and cilantro. In a large bowl, combine rice, beans and pineapple, stir to combine. Pour juice blend into rice mixture and gently combine. Salt & pepper to taste. Turn out into a casserole dish and bake 20 to 30min.

We also love to add strips of chicken that have been coated in spices and grilled or baked! (The spicier the better!) I usually brush a couple flour tortillas with a bit of melted butter and pop them in the oven to get crispy during the last 5 minutes or so of baking.

This is a great weeknight dish to use up leftover chicken, rice and the last bit of orange juice in the carton! The last time I made it, I had a handful of leftover red quinoa that I added and it was delicious too!

I hope you enjoy trying this and it's Spring where you are.....

STILL working on photos.....