Green rice and stuffed chiles

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Yesterday I made a vegan version of one of my favorite recipes from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian, “Rosario Guillermo’s Green Rice with Stuffed Poblano Chiles (Arroz Verde con Chiles Relleños)”. I used a pressure cooker. I’m sure cooking rice with soy milk in your pressure cooker will void your warranty and send you to hell, so if you’re worried about either of those things you should probably cook this conventionally.

Here are the ingredients. (Tofu is not in the original recipe.)

  • 2 c. parsley leaves, loosely packed
  • 1/2 medium onion (chopped as required by your blender)
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped as required by your blender)
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 4 roasted poblano chiles
  • 2 oz. vegan cheese
  • 3 oz. extra firm tofu, crumbled (optional)
  • 1 tsp olive oil (recipe calls for 3 Tbsp. canola or peanut oil)
  • 2 c. long grain rice
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 c. soy/almond/rice milk

The hardest part of this recipe is prepping the chiles and parsley. I usually buy chiles already roasted from the farmer’s market, but shopping for ingredients at 8pm on a Sunday night limited my choices. I was lucky to find poblanos at all, but it’s that time of year!

The night before, while the chiles were roasting under the broiler, I worked at cleaning and de-stemming the parsley. I did a thorough job of cleaning (the parsley I bought was very muddy) and a less thorough job of de-stemming. Peeling the chiles isn’t too hard after they’re roasted. Depending on your sensitivity to capsaicin you may want to wear gloves for that job. I didn’t bother.

The next day, I put a little oil in the pressure cooker and started heating that over medium heat. Then put the parsley, onion, garlic and water in the blender and pulverized it. I added the rice to the oil and toasted it for 5-10 minutes. (If you think you see short grain rice in there, you do. I forgot to check my rice supply before shopping and had to use 1 c. long grain brown rice + 1 c. sushi rice.) While the rice was browning, I crumbled the tofu and mixed with Daiya shreds. Cheddar would probably be a better choice, but mozzarella is what I had, and the color matches the tofu.

Stirring the rice occasionally so that it browned, rather than blackened, I “stuffed” the chiles with the tofu and cheese mixture. “Stuffing” basically amounts to laying the chile flat, inside up, putting some cheese on it and folding it over … if you’re lucky. In my case, I put some cheese on a piece of chile and then reassembled the remaining pieces into a chile-like shape.

Once your rice is browned you should turn down (or turn off) the heat under the rice pan and let it cool a little. Otherwise, you’ll have green stuff splattered all over your stove like I did. The next step is to pour the parsley mixture into the rice. You could cook for 4-5 minutes. Since I was using the pressure cooker I just let it warm up, then added 1-1/2 c. of soy milk. I should have added all 3 cups, or 1-1/2 c. soy milk + 1-1/2 c. water. I was worried that there was already too much liquid so I cut it down.

Then I brought the pressure up and cooked it over low heat for about 15 min. (At sea level, if you were cooking without a pressure cooker you’d probably want to cook the rice for about 25 min.) After the pressure naturally released, I opened the cooker to find that the rice was a little dry. I added some water, a bit too much as it turned out, and placed the chiles on top. Then brought the pressure up, turned the heat off and let the pressure come down naturally again.

Besides the rice being a little overcooked, this was pretty tasty. Some of the rice on the bottom of the pan will probably be brown no matter what cooking method you choose. The rice is surprisingly rich, with 1-1/2 to 2 c. of soy milk. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to cut the soy milk with half water from the start.

[Sorry about the poor photos. I took them with a video camera.]

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