Yellow Rice and Elote Salad
Makes about 7 cups.
Note: Annatto paste is available at Mexican markets; it comes in a small block, and is displayed alongside the dried chiles and herbs. If you can’t find it, substitute turmeric. Cotija is a firm, salty Mexican cheese that doesn’t melt. Cube it and finely grind it in a food processor. Substitutes include a firm Greek feta, halloumi or, in a pinch, Parmesan. Vegans can make this dish with vegan mayo and simply leave off the cheese, or sub finely minced toasted almonds mixed with a pinch of salt. From Robin Asbell.
• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 tsp. annatto seed paste or 1/2 tsp. turmeric (see Note)
• 3 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 c. basmati rice
• 1 1/2 c. water
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
• 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
• 4 ears of corn on the cob, to make 3 c. kernels
• 1 large jalapeño, to taste
• 1/3 c. mayonnaise
• 1/2 tsp. chili powder, plus more for garnish
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 1 large tomato, chopped
• 2 oz. cotija cheese, to make 1/2 c. (see Note)
• 1/2 c. fresh cilantro leaves
To prepare the rice: In a medium saucepan, warm half of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the annatto or turmeric and mash and stir to remove any lumps, if using annatto. Add garlic and stir until it sizzles, then add rice and stir until the rice is hot and well coated with oil.
Add 1 1/2 cups water and salt, and raise the heat to bring to a boil. Reduce to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes. When all the water is absorbed, take the rice off the heat and let stand for at least 5 minutes before uncovering and letting cool completely. When cooled, drizzle with remaining olive oil and lime juice, and toss gently. Then add black beans and toss to mix. Reserve.
To prepare the elotes: Cut the corn from the cobs and place the corn in a steamer. Over simmering water, steam the corn for about 3 minutes, until crisp-tender. Let cool completely.
In a bowl, combine the cool corn, jalapeño, mayonnaise and chili powder, and stir to mix. Stir in green onions and tomatoes.
To serve on a platter, spread the rice on the platter, then top with the corn mixture. Sprinkle with cotija cheese and cilantro, and sprinkle with more chili powder, if desired. If not serving immediately, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
Nutrition information per 1 cup:
Calories 360 Fat 16 g Sodium 530 mg
Carbohydrates 48 g Saturated fat 4 g Total sugars 4 g
Protein 10 g Cholesterol 10 mg Dietary fiber 7 g
Exchanges per serving: 3 starch, 2 ½ fat.