Recipe Source: Bayless, Rick. Rick Bayless' Mexican Kitchen. Scribner, New York, 1996 p. 258 - 9
So I'm looking at the photo I took of this recipe, and I'm looking at the recipe, and I'm having trouble believing that it's the right recipe. The bookmark says that it is, as does the small stain on a corner of the page. And I distinctly remember looking at this page while standing in my kitchen. Unfortunately, my notes from that day are long since missing - as are most of my notes - so I'm afraid you'll have to bear with my admittedly "iffy" memory.
I made a few changes. If you own this book (and if you don't you should, I love it) you'll notice that the original recipe title was "Achiote Rice Supper with Pork Carnitas." That would be the biggest change I would have to make, since we just don't do pork these days. Looking at the picture it looks like I substituted some sort of poultry. Based on my usual preferences, that poultry would almost certainly have had to be turkey. I just like turkey better than chicken. I don't keep achiote seeds on hand. I know I had some anatto powder on hand, because I remember using what was left for this recipe. Unfortunately I also remember that the anatto powder was elderly, so I distinctly recall rounding out the flavor with some cumin. No, it is not the same. It is, however, in common use in Mexican cuisine (depending on where, of course), one of my favorite flavors, and usually in abundant supply at my house. I probably threw some chili powder in there too on general principles, also because I recall the final product as having been vaguely spicy. I would have increased the garlic because there should always be more garlic. (What if you have to defend your family from vampires?) I would have used more chiles and I remember having used more peas just to avoid having to save half a bag of frozen peas. The broth would have become vegetable broth. The rice would have been brown, because that's what I keep on hand. Finally, it looks like I avoided the carrots altogether. Sometimes I substitute parsnips as they're much less cloying than carrots, but in this case it looks like I just discarded them altogether.
What I do remember is that this recipe was delicious. All three of us enjoyed it tremendously. My daughter, who has become obsessed with rice lately, could simply not get enough of this one-dish meal. I'd planned to save leftovers for weekday lunches but that was very clearly not going to happen. Try this sometime soon. You'll be glad you did.
Rice with Meat and Peas (serves 4; approx. $2.94/serving)
2 tablespoons anatto powder
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chile powder
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons garlic paste
1 pound turkey tenderloin, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and diced
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 cup brown rice, soaked
2 cups vegetable broth
1 onion, finely chopped
Chopped fresh cilantro to taste
- Mini-prep miniature food processor
- Small saucepan.
- Medium or large-ish saucepan with lid
- Combine the spices in your mini-prep with the oregano, garlic paste and vinegar. Process to a space. If you need to give it a little more water to achieve "paste" status go ahead; with the garlic paste that probably won't be necessary but you never know.
- Put the turkey cubes into the saucepan. Cover with water by 1/2" with the lime juice. Adding salt here is optional; I've been using a lot less of it and since I was using store-bought broth and garlic paste I didn't use it. The original recommended it.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Partially cover and continue to summer until all the liquid is gone and the meat begins to fry in its own rendered fat. Keep an eye on it. Turkey tends to be a very lean meat.
- Reduce the heat a little and brown the meat in its own fat. I can't remember if I had to add a little or not. Turn frequently so it browns evenly.
- Remove the meat and set aside. If there is a lot of fat, pour off all but what is necessary to coat the bottom of the pan very lightly.
- Add the rice and the onion to the pan and cook over medium heat. Cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Be sure to stir up any crunchy bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Meanwhile, combine the broth with about 2 tablespoons of the spice paste. (Refrigerate the remainder of the paste for later use.)
- Add the warmed broth to the rice mixture along with the turkey and roasted chile.
- Stir, cover and cook until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
- Stir in the peas. Heat through.
- Transfer to your serving bowl, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.