Coconut Rice

Following the ski season, I assumed that I would have a pretty mellow and in-one-place kind of summer.  I envisioned lazy mornings in Rapid City drinking cup after cup of espresso from my red Le Creuset cup, followed by a tremendous mountain bike ride mid day, and finally a game of cribbage while nibbling on recipe test items and sipping a glass of Oregon Pinot.  While some days have been like this, I’ve been surprised at how quickly my summer filled up with traveling, family milestones, moving planning, and ducks-in-rowing for law school.  And of course running, as I can’t turn down any bucket list item (I’m running the NYC Marathon in November—stay tuned for more on that!).

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Mornings have looked a little more like this…coffee in a thermos, athletic wear on first thing in the morning while also getting recipes going for the day.  It is busy but I love it.  And I love this oven mitt.

I’ve also been doing lots of recipe gathering and testing.  Some of this testing is more labor intensive than others, and so come dinner time the last thing I want to do is fiddle around with finicky recipes.

Enter coconut rice.  I had this recipe dog-tagged in Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings cookbook for the longest time.  But for the past year I had been avoiding coconut until I was sure it wasn’t an agitator for my digestive system (most tree nuts do not agree with me).  In April I got the green light for all things coconut, and I’ve since been making up for lost time.  One of the first things I made after the coconut go ahead was this rice.  And since then, I’ve made it at least once a week.

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Coconut rice is also the perfect addition to anything and everything grilled.  Our favorite so far is with a tahini marinated chicken, but a close second were these pineapple juice-turmeric glazed pork skewers.  The rice also goes well with Pinot Noir. 

I cut the sugar by half from the original recipe and added a pinch more salt, but when Chrissy described this as “crack rice” she really wasn’t kidding.  For something that looks so plain, it could seriously be a stand-alone dish.  But since I do like protein, I normally serve it alongside some grilled chicken or pork.  Or as pictured here with a fried egg on top for a feel-fancy lunch.

When travelling—either leaving for somewhere or returning back home—it is also the perfect dish.  If you’re returning home but don’t want a post-flight grocery store run you’re in luck.  It requires no more than canned coconut milk, long grain basmati rice, a little sugar and salt.  Topped with an egg you remembered to leave in the refrigerator…golden.  Or if you are trying not to buy too many perishable things for an upcoming trip, this rice is also for you.  Plus leftovers make for an astounding plane meal, and I’ve even mixed a little of the leftover rice into my morning oatmeal.  Delicious.

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Also pictured here is a corn succotash-ish dish.  I wasn’t thrilled with it, so I’m still working on figuring out the right twist.  It wasn’t bad—charred corn is never bad—but just nothing stellar.  But topped with the coconut rice…seriously there is nothing coconut rice can’t save.  The super woman of dinner.

Whatever you’re serving, this rice will be a welcome addition.

Coconut Rice

Serves 5 as a side dish

The stuff

1 ½ cup long grain basmati rice

1 can FULL FAT coconut milk (try to find a brand that is just coconut milk—no added fillers.  This provides the most coconut-y flavor, and thus the best flavor)+ empty can of water

2 tablespoons sugar (I’ve tried both maple sugar and regular sugar with stellar results.  I also feel like honey would be equally delicious)

2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

The How

Combine rice, coconut milk, 1 ¾ cups water (the empty coconut can filled to the brim), sugar and salt in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat.  You’ll probably get a layer of creamy coconut on top.  Stir this in, then re-cover and let sit for 10-15 minutes.  Give a little fluff with a fork, and try and share with the rest of the table.

 

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In other cooking projects…This bread was delicious.  I’m going to mess around with a more flexible overnight fridge rise, and maybe some molasses action.  We had it as a grilled cheese with a roasted garlic-raspberry sauce…and oh my gosh was it good! 

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