(Arroz Amarillo y Maiz)
I love to cook with rice, and this version of a Latin American dish is one of my favorites. I pair this bright flavored rice with pernil, tacos and rotisserie chicken. And sometimes I just toss chicken in the rice and use the combined mixture as a main dish.
As always, the better the ingredients, the better the dish. And this is sometimes hard for me as I do my best to keep a tight food budget. Unfortunately, I love cooking and trying new flavors. I try to keep to my philosophy of using inexpensive staples with one or two star ingredients. I think that the food traditions of nations who have been challenged throughout history to feed their people have the most to teach about this idea. It is these people who can produce food that is extraordinary using inexpensive staples such as rice or beans with amazing depth of flavor. They are my inspiration. My star ingredient today is saffron - the most costly seasoning in the world. My favorite is Penzeys Coupé Spanish Saffron. It is one of their best saffrons, packing the most flavor and color into those little pinches. A little goes a long way, and I can't resist it. The fresh cilantro is costly in the grocery, but I keep four large pots of it growing on my porch.
Saffron Rice and Corn
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups long grain white rice
2 cups sweet corn
1 cup chopped onion
1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 pinches saffron threads
1 bay leaf
In a pot, bring chicken broth to a boil. Add rice, saffron, bay leaf and olive oil and boil for one minute before covering and turning to low. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed into rice and rice is tender. While rice is cooking, saute onion in butter in a skillet until translucent and just barely golden in color. Set aside. When rice is finished, remove bay leaf and add onions and corn. Stir and warm until corn is heated through. Add cilantro and serve.
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