This is inspired by one of my favorite hard to find Trader Joe’s products, Peruvian chimichurri rice. I’ve learned the hard way to never fall in love with products at Trader Joe’s! Also, I decided to come up with my own chimichurri sauce inspired recipe.
With origins in Argentina and Uruguay, chimichurri is made with herbs, oil, red wine vinegar and peppers (or red pepper flakes). This rice is cooked in the style of Spanish rice with canned diced tomatoes and water and combined with shallots, garlic, ginger, peas and chipotle peppers for a kick. So, the rice is finished with fresh herbs and a touch of crème fraîche for a flavorful side dish. Serve with grilled meat, roast chicken or on its own topped with an egg.
Rice is one of my favorite bases for dinners. Also, it’s cheap, filling and so easy! Cooked, fluffed long grain white rice cooked in the diced tomatoes and water is tossed with the other ingredients in this recipe.
Shallots have a mild, slightly sweet flavor. If needed, swap in yellow or red onion. Also, the general rule of thumb is 3 medium shallots equal 1 medium onion.
I always use fresh cloves of garlic, the pre-minced jars of garlic don’t taste the same. Jarred garlic loses a lot of the powerful garlic flavor and can taste sour.
To easily peel ginger, use the tip of a spoon to carefully peel away the skin.
Either fresh or frozen shelled English peas can be used in this recipe. Also, peas add a fresh flavor and texture to the rice.
The rice is cooked in a combination of diced tomatoes and their liquid as well as water – similar to how Spanish rice is made.
Smoked and dried jalapeño peppers are rehydrated in a tomato, vinegar and garlic puree called adobo. This gives the rice a bit of heat. A little bit goes a long way so I only use one chipotle pepper. Since they come canned in larger quantities I recommend storing the leftovers refrigerated in a resealable container for other uses.
The thick, cultured cream adds a rich and buttery element to the rice. Also, if you can’t find crème fraîche, substitute with sour cream (it will be slightly less thick and tangier) or to make it dairy free, omit entirely.
The addition of plenty of fresh chopped cilantro and parsley are what give this recipe its name. These are two of the main ingredients in chimichurri and add a fresh element to the rice.
A splash of red wine vinegar helps to balance the other flavors in the recipe by adding a touch of acidity.
Heat a medium pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the shallots and sauté peas and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and continue to sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the rice and sauté, stirring frequently until toasted, about 2 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes and chipotles with adobo plus 1½ cups (360g) water. Increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low, cover and let simmer. Cook until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 18 minutes.
Let rest for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork. Stir in the crème fraîche vinegar, cilantro and parsley. Season with salt.
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