Arroz con Queso - Rice with Cheese

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Arroz con queso is rice cooked with cheese. This is a very traditional side dish that is typical of Eastern Bolivia. Here cattle ranches abound. Santa Cruz and Beni are especially well known for their grill-style restaurants and steakhouses, and arroz con queso is one side that is never missing from a good barbeque.

Arroz con Queso - Bolivian Rice with Cheese


2 cups of rice
2 carrots, grated very thinly
2 tablespoons of butter
1 red pepper, diced very tiny
1 cup of white cheese, grated


In a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. In a pan, toast the rice very lightly in half the butter. Do not brown. Add the toasted rice to the water, once it begins to boil. Do this carefully as it may spatter when added. Cook on low heat until the rice is fully cooked.

While you are waiting for your rice to cook, dice your red pepper, and grate the carrots and cheese.

Sautée the red pepper and carrots in the remaining half of the butter. When these are soft, add the grated cheese and rapidly stir it in, ensuring it doesn't stick to your pan, until it melts and is fully incorporated into the vegetables.

When your rice is cooked, remove it from the pot, place in a mixing bowl, and mix in the vegetables and cheese. Turn it into a serving bowl and serve hot.

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