Arroz Verde (Green Rice)

My new friend, Pat, made this fantastic dinner for us over the summer. One of the things she made was green rice. There are many versions of this delicious Mexican side dish. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the final product! I guess I was too busy eating it!

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Arroz Verde (Green Rice)

Serves 8

1/2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro sprigs (about 1/2 oz)
1 cup tightly packed fresh stemmed spinach leaves (about 1-1/2 oz)
1-1/4 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth
1-1/4 cups milk
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups long-grain rice
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced

Put the cilantro, spinach, and broth in a blender and blend until the vegetables are puréed. Add the milk and salt and blend a bit more until well combined.

In a medium (3-qt.) heavy-based saucepan (with a good lid) over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add the rice and sauté, stirring about every 30 seconds, until it just begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the contents of the blender, stir well, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, turn the heat to very low, and cook for 20 minutes. Stir the rice carefully to avoid crushing it, cover, and cook another 5 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and let the rice steam in the covered pot for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

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