Chef Lorena Garcia makes this stunning brown rice dish to add a healthy balance to a calorie-laden holiday spread. Cilantro and dried cranberries enhance the toasty, slightly chewy rice with their vivid green and red colors and wonderfully herby-sweet flavor. This is excellent alongside turkey, short ribs, roast chicken or fish.

Cranberry-Cilantro Brown Rice

Ingredients

1 cup Long-grain Brown Rice
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
½ Shallot – Finely chopped
3 Garlic cloves – Finley minced
¾ cup Cilantro – Finley chopped
½ cup Dried Cranberries

Preparation

1. Bring 2 cups of water, the rice, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Let the rice boil until some of the water is absorbed into the rice and the bubbles are popping closer to the surface of the rice, about 4 minutes. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is slightly al dente, 25 – 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, uncover, use a fork to fluff the rice, and set aside for 10 minutes to cool.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook while stirring until the garlic is fragrant, about 20 seconds. Stir in the rice, cilantro, and cranberries and turn out the rice into a bowl. Finish with a sprig of cilantro and serve.

Tip from Lorena Garcia:

If you have leftover white or brown rice in the refrigerator, simple add it to the shallots and garlic and then stir in the cilantro and dried cranberries. You may want to add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and cover it to plumb the rice before serving.

About the Chef

Recently featured on The Biggest Loser, The Next Great American Restaurant and as a judge on Top Chef, Lorena Garcia is one of the country’s leading Latin Chefs. Her new cookbook, New Latin Classics: Fresh Ideas on Favorite Dishes was just released in September 2011 and offers simple 30-Minute Latin meals with a healthy twist. These recipes allow you to minimize your time in the kitchen and maximize time around the table with family and friends.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Lorena Garcia.*