We often make side dishes that are hearty enough to be a main if you just increase the portion size a bit. Tonight's dinner, Fiesta Rice, happened to be one of those recipes - I'm sure it would be a knock-out side dish for a Mexican entrée, but it was filling enough for us as a main dish dividing it out into 4 servings instead.
To bring out the sweetness in the corn, the kernels are first pan-roasted in olive oil until they begin to caramelize. Fresh green onions are then cooked in a pat of butter, followed by brown basmati rice, cumin and minced garlic to give the rice a chance to quickly toast. Instead of using water to cook the rice, chicken broth and fire-roasted diced tomatoes with chiles are added to infuse the dish with a southwestern flare. After the rice has cooked, black beans and a big handful of chopped cilantro are tossed in with a splash of fresh lime juice to brighten the flavors. You can use regular chunky diced tomatoes if you already have them in the pantry, but I do like the extra depth that the fire-roasted tomatoes give. A hearty dish that packs a deep smoky flavor, combined with the golden corn, black beans and nutty basmati rice was a filling blend that transported us back to the time we were living out west in Arizona! You could probably get away with adding some chipotle chilies if you wanted to kick up the heat, but even we liked this dish without the added heat since it had such a bold flavor already.