I may have mentioned once or a hundred times that //Distrito// is one of my favorite restaurants in Philadelphia. They used to have this dish on their menu that was so good it legit brought tears to my eyes – arroz con crema. It was a rice side dish that was cheesy, creamy, warm, and oh, so amazingly slutty. They had it on their menu for a while and then they took it off, and I was so sad. Then, one day, hubby and I found ourselves unexpectedly without kiddo, and we decided to go out to dinner. Distrito came up, of course, and we hadn’t been in a while so I went to their menu to see if it had changed recently.
AND OH BOY IT SURE HAD.
THEY PUT ARROZ CON CREMA BACK ON THE MENU.
And that was it. I was so happy I had tears in my eyes. Literally!! I made dinner reservations at that very moment for that night and when I put that first forkful of warm, cheesy, creamy rice into my mouth, I just closed my eyes and when I opened them, again, tears.
It is THAT good.
I have tried a couple times to replicate this recipe, but I think now I have finally hit on it. The secret? Risotto. Not rice. Maybe? I don’t know what Distrito’s real secret is, but this came out SO surprisingly close that I just have to share with you guys!!
I hope you try this and love it as much as I do!
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 large or 2 small-medium poblano peppers, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup shredded chihuahua cheese (or can sub Monterey Jack)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1. Warm a non-stick skillet over medium heat. (Do not spray with cooking spray or add oil!) Add the diced poblano pepper. Saute until it softens a little bit, then add the corn. Saute all together until any water from the vegetables is gone, and the pepper and corn start to brown a little. Reduce heat if they are cooking too fast, but don’t burn them. You just want them to be browned a little bit. When finished, turn the heat off and remove the skillet from the hot burner.
2. Melt butter in a large pot (preferably Dutch oven) over medium heat. Warm vegetable stock in a separate saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the arborio rice, and stir to coat the rice with the butter. Let it toast in the melted butter while you stir, about 3 minutes.
3. Using a ladle, add 2-3 ladlefuls of warm stock to the arborio rice. Stir constantly until the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid, and add 2-3 more ladlefuls of stock. Repeat this process until there is no stock left in the saucepan. When the rice has absorbed almost all of the last of the stock, turn the heat off.
4. Add the cheese, and stir to combine. As the cheese melts it will create a delicious creamy sauce with the remaining stock. When the cheese has melted, add in the poblano and corn. Stir until warmed through. Serve warm and enjoy!