- 4 poblano peppers
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 1/2 pounds firm small to medium zucchini, chopped into small dice
- 2 onions, chopped into small dice
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 red or green hot chili pepper, chopped or thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon cumin (a palmful)
- 1 tablespoon coriander (a palmful)
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram (1/3 palmful)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 bottle beer, such as Negra Modelo (12 ounces)
- 1 can black beans (15 ounces)
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup long grain white rice or light brown rice
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed (optional)
- Toppers to choose from: crushed tortillas or warm soft tortillas, sour cream, shredded cheeses, scallions or finely chopped onions, lime wedges
Char the skins of the poblano peppers by placing them over a gas burner or under a hot broiler with the oven door slightly cracked. Turn the poblanos until the skins are black. Remove and cool in a tightly covered bowl, then peel and finely chop or process into coarse puree in a food processor.
Heat the EVOO over medium-high heat and add the zucchini, onions, garlic, hot pepper, cumin, coriander, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper; stir frequently for 10 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute more. Deglaze the pan with the beer, then stir in the poblanos and beans and about half of the stock. Bring to a bubble, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes to combine the flavors. Cool completely; cover and store for a make-ahead meal.
Reheat over medium heat.
While the chili reheats, make the rice. Melt the butter in a saucepot over medium heat and add the rice. Toast for a minute or two, then stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups stock. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cook covered, over low heat, for 15 minutes.
To a food processor, add the spinach, cilantro, if using, and a little salt and pulse into a fine paste. Stir the paste into the rice after 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let the rice stand another 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve the rice in shallow bowls with zucchini chili and toppings of choice to garnish.