(the cousins, in normal form...)
It's hard to get back into blogging when you've abandoned it for so long. Part of me wants to call it quits and close up shop. The other part of me has a notebook full of ideas and no real sense of where to begin. It's like an empty journal just staring you in the face, making you nervous about writing in it because you don't want to spoil it. Alas, I feel I must write. My life has been too full of details over the last 5 months to let them slip through the cracks.
I discovered a new recipe this summer (well really, I first tasted it in Spain) when my sister-in-law and her husband and three darling children came to live with us. Her sweet, cuddly, funny, sometimes loud little family lived with us for 6 weeks this summer, and we had many an opportunity to bump into each other in the kitchen. They were good, friendly bumps, mind you...we love cooking together! And so it seems I was always peering over her shoulder, "How do you do that?" or "Don't do that step 'til I get there, I have to see you do it," and on and on. Naomi's an amazing cook, and I savor every moment of learning from her (of course the learning isn't just about cooking--the cooking is just the means, you know?)
So she has this amazing "Cilantro Rice" recipe, that I'm sure she put together out of her own culinary genius. So I watched and learned, and attempted some, but her's was always better. She served it with some amazing beef (I need that recipe, too!), and it pretty much accompanied any other lonely main dish that needed a side.
But then she left. Bummer. Now I have to do it all by myself. So I practiced, like every week. And added my own twists and turns, probably just because I couldn't exactly remember how she did it. And then it got better and better. And then somehow or other my husband volunteered his (my) services to make the Rehearsal Dinner for Rachel's wedding (which was in October and is a whole other story!). And of course, Cilantro Rice got put on the menu.
So all this to say, rice was sort of my life this summer! Mixed with family, lots of family, and some friends along the way. Now, it's totally possible that I've just blown this rice way out of proportion; I mean, it's just rice, right? Suffice it to say, I think it's the memories that came along with it that makes it close to my heart.
So after all this rambling, are you interested in the recipe? Just remember, if it doesn't turn out for you, you need at least 10 people staying at your home, and maybe a few extra visitors here and there to make it really work.
2 cups Jasmine Rice (important)
3/4 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves (peeled, left whole, and removed before serving)
1/2 bunch cilantro (trimmed off the stalks)
juice of 1 lime
3 1/2 cups total of chicken broth combined with the lime juice
1 tsp salt (about, to taste)
Process the cilantro with the broth/lime juice. Set aside. Drizzle olive oil into a saucepan, almost to cover bottom. Saute' onions and garlic in oil, til clear. Add rice, stir just a bit, and add broth/cilantro mixture and salt. Bring to a boil, stir, and cover and cook for 13 minutes. Test to make sure rice is done, and add a few minutes if necessary. When finished, turn off burner, and leave lid slightly open on pan to let out the steam. After about 5-10 minutes, fluff with a fork, remove garlic cloves, and serve.