I tend to cook in one of two fashions.
- I come home from work starving, and quickly make something like a fried egg sandwich, or a quesadilla, or a bowl of cereal (gasp)- something that I can have ready in about five minutes because I don’t want to wait any longer.
- I come home from work almost starving, and decide to cook something proper, because I’m very hungry but can wait longer than five minutes. I then proceed to cook rice and sausage and lentils and a pound of bacon and a gallon of pudding and enough pasta to feed an army, a menu also known as Anything and Everything That Strikes My Fancy. I then spend the next week and a half working on the leftovers, because I am only one person, but my cooking brain can’t comprehend that.
This time was a mild case of #2.
I hungrily surveyed my fridge, and remembered I had a large bunch of cilantro waiting to be used. Aha, cilantro lime rice, I thought. My sister Merry makes a delightful cilantro lime rice, full of peas and lime zest and love, which is the best thing ever to eat beside fish. But upon further surveying, I saw I didn’t have peas or lime, so I was going to have to make do, which is, after all, my favorite kind of cooking. I like recipes in theory, but generally stray pretty far from them when I actually attempt them.
This time, that method turned out pretty well, so I wanted to share the joy, in case you like cumin as much as me.
Start with plain cooked rice. 1 cup rice to 1.5 cups water comes out perfectly, not sticky or crunchy.
I made two cups of rice for this recipe, because like I said, no control over my cooking brain when it comes to quantity.
- In a wok or large skillet, fry a whole diced onion in plenty of oil or butter.
- Add a bag of drained whole kernel corn. If you char the corn a little, it adds nice texture and flavor.
- Add the cooked rice, and fry and fry it till everything is hot and chewy and delicious.
- Now, the seasoning. Add a little more cumin than you think you should. I didn’t measure, but add enough so you can definitely taste it. Salt to taste.
- Pour several generous tablespoons of lemon juice over it. I only had canned, but it would be even better with a fresh lemon.
- When it’s done cooking, take it off the heat and stir in at least half a bunch of chopped cilantro.
And there you go. Simple and delicious.
I ate it with a sort-of-caprese salad. It probably breaks some law to eat Mexican and Italian flavors together, but it was delicious. If you want to copy it, I simply tossed together:
- Halved grape tomatoes
- Cubed pepper jack cheese
- Fresh basil
- Salt and pepper
- A drizzle of 18 year balsamic vinegar