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Roasted Pepper and Pepper Jack Rice Squares

5 Dec

This may not be the prettiest dish out there, but it was really jam packed with flavor.  It had a really lovely amount of heat and the cumin was perfectly smoky.  The top layer of cheese was perfectly crisp and golden brown and was offset nicely by the bright flavors of the cilantro.  This dish reminded me a lot of the rice side often served at Mexican restaurants, which I always Hoover up really quickly.  I was planning on having some left overs for this week, but we both went back for seconds and polished off this entire recipe.

Roasted Pepper and Pepper Jack Rice Squares

Adapted from One Perfect Bite

1 tbs. olive oil

1/2 cup Carolina rice, uncooked

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 hot red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined and chopped

1 7 oz. can roasted green chilies, chopped, liquid reserved

2-3 small cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

2 cups homemade turkey stock

1 cup super hot pepper jack cheese, grated

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375º.

Spray a shallow casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring, until rice turns opaque. Add onions and cook until fragrant, roughly 1 minute. Add red pepper, green chilies, garlic, salt and cumin. Stir to combine and cook until fragrant, roughly 1 minute. Slowly whisk in stock and reserved liquid from green chilies and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat.  There should be about 1/4 cup liquid remaining in the pan at this point.  Add cilantro and most of cheese. Toss to combine. Transfer to prepared baking pan. Top with remaining cheese.

Place in oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes until rice is tender and cheese topping melts. Let stand 10  minutes. Cut into squares and serve.

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