Accidental Discoveries When Hitting Pot Bottom

CREAMY COCONUT RICE WITH DRIED FRUIT

A Delicious Bed of Coconut Rice

I love this coconut brown rice. Actually I love just about any coconut rice but the addition of dried apricots and raisins gives this one an extra hint of sweetness and some nice texture.

I first made this dish back in 2014 while throwing a picnic to celebrate the end of the school year.

Regular people serve food along the lines of fried chicken, potato salad and sandwiches at a picnic.

Apparently I am not a regular person.

Present at my picnic was a hodgepodge of dishes. Think avocado cornbread, spinach crêpes, peanut chicken mai fun, smores, rocky road brownies, lime cheesecake pie, butterscotch cookies, green tea cupcakes, etc.

It was a definite food coma-sugar overdose combination.

And it was definitely worth it.

Picnic Hodgepodge
So much food, so little stomach space

As you can tell, there were many different dishes to make for the event.  I had a final exam that morning and then I spent the afternoon speed cooking so I wasn’t as attentive as I should’ve been. You should be certain to stir the rice every so often while it’s simmering…unless you want to replicate my accidental discovery.

I left the rice cooking a little too long after it absorbed all the coconut milk.  Most of the rice was fine except for a layer adhered to the bottom of the pot.

After scooping out what I thought would be the “good” rice, I prepared myself for battle with the scorched remnants.

To my surprise, it peeled off in a single sheet.  Yes, the rice was stuck together but instead of blackened, it was a beautiful golden brown. One of my friends had come to help me cook and we looked at this odd sheet of rice substance curiously.  Dare we taste it?

It was delicious.

We snacked on the caked rice (not be confused with rice cakes) while making the rest of the picnic food. Still warm and chewy, it almost like a somewhat sweet, somewhat savory cookie.

This doesn’t mean you should turn up the heat and intentionally burn the pot.  Trust me, scrubbing and scraping burnt-on food and black marks is no fun.  I’ve done it more times than I’d like to admit.  But if you let the rice cook longer than you should, no worries.  You’ll just have a tasty tidbit to tide you over until dinnertime.

Coconut Rice and Pineapple Pork

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Coconut Rice

COCONUT RICE W/ DRIED FRUIT


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Author:

Recipe Type: Rice

Cook Time: 45+ minutes

Serves 4

This creamy coconut rice gets a boost of flavor from toasted coconut, toasted almonds and a medley of dried fruit.  It makes a wonderfully nutty foundation for both meat and vegetable-based entrées.  Want something sweeter?  Increase the amount of coconut milk and serve it as a rice pudding. How versatile!
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Ingredients
 
1 cup long-grain brown rice
1 can of regular or lite coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted
1/6 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/6 cup dried mango, chopped
 
Instructions

 

  1. Rinse brown rice in cold water and then put it into a 1 1/2 quart saucepan.
  2. Add coconut milk.  Put 1/4 cup water in the empty can, shake and add to the saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir occasionally to keep the rice from adhering to the bottom of the pot.
  4. A little more than halfway into cooking, add toasted coconut, toasted almonds and dried fruit.
  5. Turn off the heat and keep covered.  Let the rice rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.  Garnish with additional toasted coconut and a lime wedge.

Pairs Well With

Coconut Rice with Shredded Chicken       Coconut Rice with Fried Plantains        Coconut Rice and Salmon with Mango Relish      Coconut Rice with Sweet Potato Curry

Hints

* Want even bolder flavors?  Add the zest of one lime, curry powder and/or fresh ginger to coconut milk.

* If you’re not a fan of almonds or you just want to mix it up a little, try substituting different nuts.  Cashews work very well and for you big spenders, macadamia nuts add a more tropical flair.

* Don’t be afraid to use lite coconut milk.  The rice in these photographs was cooked in lite coconut milk and I think it’s just as tasty.

* Because dried mango is a little chewier, I like chopping it into slightly smaller pieces than the dried apricots.  If you don’t have any dried mango, it’s okay to omit it.  Try adding small cubes of fresh mango or pineapple after the rice is cooked.

* To recreate the rice photographed above, lay a bed of coconut rice underneath pineapple pork medallions.  Garnish with toasted coconut and almonds.

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