Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

January 27, 2022
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Chili rice with green beans and toasted pecans

A favourite Southern combination — green beans and pecans — meets the warming Western flavours of chili spices, lime and cilantro. The milk in the cooking liquid is a traditional Mexican approach. If you’re hankering for meat, think ribs or a piece of barbecued chicken on the side.

1 tsp. (5 ml) ground cumin
1 tsp. (5 ml) ground coriander
1 tsp. (5 ml) ground ancho chili
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) paprika
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) ground cinnamon
1 c. (250 ml) milk
¾ c. (180 ml) water or lower-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp. (30 g) unsalted butter
2 tbsp. (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) dice
2 tsp. (10 ml) minced garlic
1 c. (250 ml) long-grain white rice
1 lb. (500 g) green beans, trimmed and cut crosswise into ½-inch- (12-mm-) long pieces
½ c. (125 ml) chopped toasted pecans
⅓ c. (90 ml) chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. (10 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more if desired
1½ tsp. (7.5 ml) pure maple syrup
½ lime, cut into 4 wedges

In a small bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, ancho chili, paprika, cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt. In a measuring cup, combine the milk and water.

In a medium saucepan (that has a lid), heat 1 tablespoon (15 g) of the butter and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the olive oil over medium-low heat. When the butter has melted, add the onion and ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes more. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add all the rice and a quarter of the milk mixture, and mix well, scraping all the spices from the bottom of the pan.

Add the remaining milk mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heavy nonstick medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 g) butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the green beans and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt. (The pan will look full.) Cook, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently as the beans begin to brown, until the beans have shrunk somewhat, all have a bit of browning and some are dark brown, 9 to 12 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the beans to a plate.

Remove the rice pot from the heat and place a folded paper towel under the lid. Let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover (the foam from the milk will be on top of the rice) and fluff and stir with a fork. Re-cover loosely with the lid (leaving the paper towel in place) and let sit for 5 minutes more. Uncover and transfer the rice to a medium bowl. Stir in all the beans, three-quarters of the pecans (which you’ve already chopped and toasted in the oven at 375°F/190°C for about 7 minutes), and three quarters of the cilantro.

In a small cup, combine the lime juice and maple syrup. Pour the mixture over the rice, and stir to combine. Taste the rice and season with more salt, if needed. You can also add a bit more lime, if you like. Divide the rice among four bowls and serve garnished with the remaining pecans, cilantro and lime wedges. Serves 4.

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Showing 1 comments

  1. On August 16, 2012, Sandra said:
    sounds good but time intensive - would like to try it with a brown rice like brown basmati

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