by Texas Homesteader~
While out tending the garden, I spied a few volunteer cilantro plants. I love cilantro and I always allow it to go to seed in the garden. Although I’m not a big fan of using coriander (aka: cilantro seed) in my cooking, it virtually guarantees that I’ll have volunteer cilantro plants in my garden the next spring.
Cilantro has a pretty short growing season. It bolts and seeds at the very first whiff of heat. Here in zone 8 that happens pretty early. So when it’s growing, I make sure to put fresh cilantro to good use. I love this Cilantro Rice recipe. And it’s so easy too!
Preparing The Rice
Long-grain rice is a pantry staple at our house. It’s an inexpensive and flexible ingredient in so many dishes. But I’ve learned when making long-grained rice, it’s important to rinse it before cooking. This rinses off the excess starch. And it helps your rice to cook up fluffy, instead of a blob of starchy mess. #askmehowiknow.
So before I ever start my recipe, I measure out my rice and put it in a hand-held strainer. I run fresh water through the rice until it runs clear. Once it’s rinsed I’ll set it aside as I prepare to cook it.
You can use butter for this step, but in our home Bacon Grease is king! So I add about a tablespoon of bacon grease to the bottom of my pan and turn the heat on to medium. When the grease is melted I add my chopped onion.
After a couple of minutes I also add my minced garlic and rinsed rice. A few minutes longer and I’m ready to cook my rice.
Cooking Rice – What Works For Me
Now conventional wisdom says to cook long-grain rice you add 1 part rice to 2 parts water or broth & simmer for 20 minutes. I don’t know if it’s just me, but every time I follow those standard cooking directions I end up with a clump of mushy, over-cooked, slightly burned-to-the-bottom rice.
Why? I’m not sure. I don’t know if it’s the power in my stove’s gas burners or what. But that’s the way it turns out each & every time I try to make rice that way. Does that happen to you too? If so, here’s how I now cook our long-grain rice.
After I add the broth & bring it to a simmer I cover the pot, lower the heat and set my timer for 10 minutes. After that time I turn the heat off but allow the rice to sit covered for an additional 10 minutes. This steams the rice for the remaining ‘cooking’ time without danger of scorching it to the bottom.
After that 10 minutes is up I’ll remove the lid and inspect my rice. With a fork I’ll fluff it up and look for any remaining broth in the bottom of the pan. If there’s remaining broth I’ll recover the rice and give it a few minutes more for the rice to soak up the remaining broth before inspecting it again.
In the meantime I’ll make my lime juice & zest. I always have a whole lemon and a whole lime in my freezer to use in cooking. (It’s my Zero-Waste Citrus Tip, y’all) So I slice a frozen lime in half & thaw it, using a vintage juicer to extract the juice. Then I zest the lime. Now both juice & zest stand ready for my rice dish.
Now I’ll sample a few grains of rice. Is it firmly soft but not crunchy nor mushy? Yep! So now I’ll add my chopped cilantro, the lime juice and zest and fluff again with a fork. Time to serve!
This cilantro-lime rice is a delightful side for any mexican-themed meal of course, but we serve it beside anything from Meatloaf to Pot Roast. It’s so good, and so easy. Plus it assures that I can utilize that fresh cilantro from the garden too.
Rice With Fresh Cilantro & Lime
- 1 cup rice, rinsed
- 2 cups broth (mine is unsalted)
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (or to taste)
- 1/2 onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 Tblsp butter (I used bacon grease)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tblsp lime juice
- Salt to taste (I use 3/4 tsp)
- 1 Tblsp lime zest
Rinse rice until water runs clear, then set aside.
Into pan add a Tablespoon of butter or bacon grease and the chopped onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add minced garlic & rinsed, drained rice. Sauté one minute more
Pour in 2 cups broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then turn heat off and leave pan covered 10-12 additional minutes. (Sample the rice for texture - it may need a couple more minutes of steaming. If not, proceed to next step.)
Stir in chopped cilantro, lime juice & zest. Fluff with fork and serve.
Other Side Dishes We Love
- Rosemary Rice
- Buttered Rice w/Fresh Sage & Garlic
- Ranch-Style Beans
- RancherMan’s Green-Bean Casserole
- Roasted Vegetables
- Fresh Pico de Gallo
- Fried Okra
- Fried Okra Fritters
- Homemade Cottage Cheese
- Deviled Eggs With a KICK!
- Tri-Colored Homemade Pasta
- Pasta Salad FAST
- Rosemary Skillet Bread
…and MANY MORE!