If you know me, then you know I don't really cook with "recipes." Rather, I like to collect general principles of cooking, adapting them to different flavors and ingredients as necessary. Of course, one can learn such techniques from a recipe, which brings me to Rick Bayless.
I had the happy opportunity to meet RIck Bayless through my work at the Institute of Culinary Education, and let me tell you—he knows his stuff. Being something of a novice in the field of Mexican cuisine, I felt inspired to host a dinner party inspired by my meeting with Bayless, which is how I discovered the magic of poblano rice.
It's a simple process. Cook your peppers in broth, blend that mixture until smooth, and then cook rice in the poblano broth. Though basic, it's a totally *genius* idea, because it infuses a side dish with such bold flavor that it transcends the bland status of "starch."
I've since applied this process of "greening my grains" to a whole slew of ingredients. I find this technique especially useful in spring, when I tend to overbuy seasonal ingredients like garlic scapes, ramps or sorrel—not to mention those times when I've got quite a bit of leftover herbs. For the ultimate no-fuss version of this technique, I blend up leftover greens (that might otherwise go to waste!) with a touch of water and freeze. Then, when I'm ready to make a big pot of grains for the week (see: freekeh, rice, quinoa, etc.), I'll toss in my pre-frozen portion of greens during the standard cooking process for said grain.
Whether you're topping your grains with a runny egg, mixing them into a rice bowl, or sticking to a side dish strategy, this sustainable technique is a smart way to make the most of fresh produce that might otherwise go to waste. Most importantly, it's a simple way to make everyday meals just a little more exciting.