A well-made chiles rellenos is an inviting combination of crunchy coating and voluptuous melted cheese.

Today’s Seasonal Pantry focuses on Chiles Rellenos and in the column I promise to provide links to good Mexican accompaniments, including Mexican rice and beans. Unfortunately, there’s a problem with Seasonal Pantry archives from 2004 and earlier: The list of ingredients that opens each recipe is omitted, rendering the recipes useless. Thus, after the links here, I have added my 2004 recipe for Mexican Rice.

Mexican-Inspired Cole Slaw  A refreshing side dish that is perfect with chiles rellenos.

Mexican Quinoa Pilaf with Nopales  Also a good accompaniment, especially when you want a heartier meal.

Taqueria Guadalajara’s Avocado & Tomatillo Salsa

Tomato Concassé, with Simple Salsa Cruda

All-Purpose Cilantro Sauce (see variations at the end of the recipe for Mexican-style sauce)

 Mexican Rice • Serves 4

  1. 1/4 cup olive oil
  2. 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  3. 1 poblano chile, seeded and minced
  4. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  5. Kosher salt
  6. 1 1/2 cups white rice, preferably Valencia
  7. 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  8. 3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock, boiling hot
  9. 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  10. Black pepper in a mill
  11. 2 cups shelled peas, optional
  •  Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium low heat.
  • Add the onion and poblano and saute until they are soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes more.  Season with salt.
  • Add the rice and saute, stirring constantly, until it begins to turn golden, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the chipotle powder, chicken stock, and crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender and all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  If using, fold in the peas after the rice has been cooking for 5 minutes.  Remove the cooked rice from the heat and let rest undisturbed for 10 minutes.
  • To serve, add 2 tablespoons of the remaining cilantro, fluff with a fork, taste and correct the seasoning. Serve promptly.