Copycat Chipotle Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice (THM E)
I'm about to throw down an easy, zesty side for your E meals.
First, a few tips for cooking your rice to perfection every time.
My favorite rice to use for E meals is brown jasmine rice. Yes, it takes a little longer to cook, but it has fantastic flavor and holds its shape well.
I always start by sautéing my rice in a little coconut oil. This gives your rice a little *bite* and prevents it from becoming mushy after cooking. Just sauté the dry rice in a little bit of butter or coconut oil (about 1/2 tsp) on medium-low heat until it starts to change color.
My second best tip is to add flavor to your rice by using broth as your cooking liquid. My favorite to use is chicken broth, but any kind will do so long as it's low (or no) fat. Even using half broth and half water still adds a ton of flavor to your rice. Nobody likes bland rice, so don't be afraid to give it a little somethin'-somethin'.
Last, and this is pretty important, do not stir the rice after you add the liquid. Stirring the rice activates the starches (a la risotto), and you'll end up with soupy instead of fluffy rice. Also, try not to peek on the rice while it cooks.
If your pans have glass tops, it's very easy to see the rice without having to lift the lid. I hardly ever time my rice, because I always go by the liquid bubbling around the rice. If I can still see bubbles, I keep cooking. No bubbles, turn the heat off and let it sit on the hot eye for about 7-10 minutes so that the remaining liquid has a chance to absorb.
If your pans have opaque tops, then by all means time your rice and lift when necessary towards the end - but no stirring!
Once your rice has cooked and stood with the heat off for at least 10 minutes, add the juice of half a lime and a big handful of fresh chopped cilantro. You want to do this while the rice is still warm so that the juice seeps into the rice grains, but it's not piping hot to where it'll turn your cilantro brown.
My favorite tool for getting the most juice out of your limes is to use a hand-held lime squeezer. It helps get the most juice out of your limes and keeps the seeds from jumping into your food.
I told you it was easy! Just 5 ingredients and you're on your way to a zesty Southwestern side dish for any E meal.