I’m always a little hesitant to make sauces and pastes. I know that they are the secret to fantastic flavors exploding in my dishes, but they seem so overwhelming. I hardly know where to begin. Where some people can see infinite possibilities with a mango chutney, all I see is a dipping sauce for my fresh egg rolls.
So, when I decided to make a cilantro pesto I was surprised at my excitement. I wasn’t sure what would use it for initially, but I knew that a cilantro pesto would be easy to weave into anything. I hardly knew myself I was thinking such backward thoughts. It’s like the runny eggs all over again! (btw, I might have eaten nearly a dozen runny eggs over the last few days for breakfast… I just can’t get enough!).
I’m embraced my daring self and discovered a fantastic way to use the cilantro pesto. I call this “fusion” because it mixes Thai, Mexican, Spanish, and Jillted flavors all into one dish. It felt a little nuts when I was making it, but holy molely is it good!
In this recipe I use Field Roast sausages, the Mexican Chipolte flavor. Feel free to substitute your favorite spicy protein. Or, if you want to embrace your daring self, make your own by altering my Fauxsages recipe to use Mexican Chipolte spices instead of Italian spices.
Do not substitute the corn for any other vegetable without seriously considering the consequences first. I’m not kidding. And remember, I don’t even really like corn. Even my stoic husband mentioned the power of the corn kernel in this dish. Imagine taking a bite and tasting spicy, fresh, depth and a POW of sweet. It’s pretty much amazing.
Enough. Make it already!
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 2/3 cup water
- 1 pinch saffron
- 2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
- 2 Field Roast sausages, Mexican Chipotle flavor, chopped or crumbled
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/3 cup manchego cheese, shredded
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves
- 2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger sea salt or plain sea salt
- Make the Cilantro Pesto by combining all ingredients in a food processor until a fine paste. Set aside.
- Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Add rice, water, and saffron to a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about twenty minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir well to distribute saffron.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add yellow onion and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the corn and jalapeno pepper. Saute for a few more minutes or until corn begins to brown. Add Field Roast and cook until warm and slightly crispy. Be careful not to over cook Field Roast. It comes fully cooked and burns easily.
- Stir cooked rice into the vegetable mixture. Add the Cilantro Pesto, cheese, and green onions. Stir well to combine. Taste. Add the lime juice. Taste again. Add more lime juice if it needs a little flavor pop. Serve warm.