Recipe fantasy to food reality.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Green Rice with Crab and Shrimp

It was getting to be time for another girls' night in, so I invited all my girlfriends over for dinner and cocktails. The tequila was flowing plentifully, so I didn't manage to get any good pictures in.

Green Rice with Crab and Shrimp

generous 1 cup long-grain white rice
3 1/2 cups drained canned tomatillos
large bunch cilantro
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 poblano or other green, fresh chiles, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound crabmeat
1/2 pound cooked shrimp
1 1/4 cups fish stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
slices scallions to garnish

1. Put rice in a heatproof bolw, pout in boiling water to cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
2. Put the tomatillos in a food processor or a blender and process until smooth. Chop half the cilantro and add to the tomatillo puree with the onion, chiles and garlic. Process again until smooth.
3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the rice and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes, until all the oil has been absorbed. Stir occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking.
4. Stir in the tomatillo mixture, with the crabmeat, stock and wine. Cover and cook over low heat for about 20 mminutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir occasionally and add a little more liquid if the rice starts to stick to the pan. Add salt as required, then spoon into a dish and garnish with the remaining cilantro and the sliced scallions. Green salad and lime wedges make good accompaniments.

I've made it before, but the first time I tried this recipe, there were some really surprising elements. I'm going to include a bunch of notes here, so you're not as scared as I was if you try this. First of all, the tomatillo-pepper-onion-cilantro puree (I forgot to put in the cilantro last night - duh!) has quite a lot of body and liquid to it. The texture ends up being really odd and not light and fluffy. This may not be true with people who are not cursed with rice, but it's always been the case for me. I didn't even add the stock, because there was so much liquid in the puree. Also, to prepare the shrimp, I just fried them on high heat quickly, with the shells on, and then removed the shells and tails before adding them to the dish before serving. The shrimp added a nice color contrast, which was nice because the dish is so green.

I don't think I've perfected it (and you can't get a straight answer from partygoers about the quality of your food) so I'll keep playing with it. It's a really yummy, healthy dish, though, so do check it out. And it goes really well with pinot grigio or margaritas. Maybe too well.


At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am totally making that when i get back home next week.

- bitekman

At 9:24 PM, Blogger Sara E Anderson said...

I served them with very thinly-sliced red onion marinated in lime juice with cilantro. It's a very good pair (and pretty too), but it's important to marinate them at least overnight so they're mild enough to not drive anyone you kiss batty.


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