Updated: Aug 7, 2021
Are you looking for the perfect summer side dish? This dish is made with simple ingredients but packs BIG flavors – grilled poblano pepper, charred sweet summer corn, white rice, lime juice, avocado oil, and just the right amount of seasonings. Serve it alongside your favorite Tex-Mex dishes in place of traditional Spanish rice. Or make it a rice bowl by adding cooked diced chicken. It's the perfect make-ahead, light summer lunch or dinner. Try it topped with crumbled feta cheese. It's a knock-out!
I received this recipe about 14 years ago from our local Kitchen Conservatory. My husband, Trevor, gave me a "couples" cooking class as a birthday gift. This amazing rice dish was part of the menu we made that night. Since then, I have probably made it 40+ times. I've made some tweaks along the way but I think I finally have it perfect.
For this dish, I start by making the rice. I do this 2-3 hours before I am ready to assemble the dish. I find that cooled, cooked rice helps keep everything from sticking together. I make mine in my Instant Pot, but you can use whatever method you prefer. You will need about 4 cups of cooked rice.
To cook mine, I use chicken broth instead of water, and I always rinse my rice before putting it into the pressure cooker. I give it a drizzle of oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. I add the lid and let the pot do the work. After cooking, I stir in additional salt and freshly ground pepper to taste along with a couple of tablespoons of butter (I use Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks).
About 30 minutes before you are ready to assemble, preheat your grill. Place the whole poblano pepper directly on the grate and char each side until the skin has turned black and blistered. Put the hot pepper in a 1-gallon freezer zipper bag and seal. This will allow the steam to soften the skin while you cook the corn. Next, rub 4 ears of corn with oil and place on the grate. Don't salt the corn until after cooking. This will keep your corn tender. Grill for about 5-7 minutes per side until the corn has softened and it has nice grill marks. Set aside to cool. Then remove from the cob.
To assemble: In a large bowl, combine the cooled, cooked rice, corn that has been removed from the cob, diced poblano pepper, 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, the juice from one lime, 1/4 cup of avocado oil, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste) and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to well to combine.
Serve with additional cilantro leaves and crumbled feta cheese (I used VivoLife Just Like Feta) if desired. This makes a great side dish for my "Sexy Sweets" (aka Taco-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes). Delish!
Let’s get cooking!
4 cups of cooked white rice. (I added 2 tablespoons of butter and S&P to taste to my cooked rice)
1 large poblano pepper, left whole for grilling
4 ears of corn
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (plus more for serving)
1/4 cup avocado oil
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
How to make:
Cook the rice according to my instructions above or use your preferred method. Allow the rice to cool 2-3 hours before you are ready to assemble.
About 30 minutes before assembly, preheat the grill to hot.
Add the whole poblano pepper directly to the grill.
Cook until the pepper is charred and turned black and the skin is blistered on all sides.
Place the pepper in a 1-gallon zipper bag and seal. Allow to steam while you grill the corn. (See Pro-tip below for removing the skin and seeds)
Rub 4 ears of corn-on-the-cob with oil. Place on the hot grill and cook about 5-7 minutes per side until the corn has softened and it has nice grill marks.
Set the corn aside to cool before removing it from the cob. (See Pro tip below)
In a large bowl, combine the cooled, cooked rice, corn that has been removed from the cob, diced poblano pepper, 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, the juice from one lime, 1/4 cup of avocado oil, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste) and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well to combine.
Serve with additional cilantro leaves and crumbled feta cheese (I used VivoLife Just Like Feta) if desired.
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For the poblano pepper: Remove the pepper from the zipper bag. Place on a cutting board and cut longways and remove the seeds. Scrape the soft blackened charred skin off the pepper with a knife. Discard the skin and seeds. Dice into small pieces.
For the corn: Place a small bowl upside down in the center of a larger bowl or plate. You want the inside bowl to fill the center but still have a few inches on each side. Cut off one end of the corn. Place cut side down in the center of the middle bowl so your ear is standing up on one end.
Hold the top of the corn with one hand while you cut the corn from the cob with a sharp knife. The corn will fall into the larger bowl. No mess!