Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Coconut Peas & Rice (2)

You guys, I'm so depressed. On Monday, I went back to work after an eleven day Christmas staycation and when I left the house, it was 27F and it was the worst. And then yesterday, it was 8F. And now this morning, it's 11F and it took 15 minutes (which is basically the length of my commute) for the car windows to defrost. I know I should be thankful to have a job and that my house is so warm that when I step out into cold, my whole body hurts but these wintry cold days with truncated durations of sun exposure give me really bad case of SADD. I need a tropical getaway really badly. I know, I just went to Grand Cayman in November, but that feels like a lifetime ago and my tan has completely faded so I can't even hold onto that souvenir for comfort.

This is when I turn to food to comfort me and I like reliving meals I've had on my enjoyable holidays to sort of transport me back.

In the summer of 2012, I went to Turks & Caicos with my sister and we went to a fancy restaurant called Seven. We enjoyed an amazing dinner and had this great side dish of coconut peas and rice. It was so good that when we got home, I tried to recreate it and I came up with a pretty decent version. But since that first go around, I've modified the recipe and it's become a bit more coconutty and flavorful. Instead of water, I've been using chicken stock which adds a ton of flavor and savoriness. Anyway, it's become delicious enough that I decided I had to share the updated version. I love it because it's so yum but also because it reminds me of our holiday; this is like my weirdo self-prescribed medication for SADD.
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
½ onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups jasmine rice
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup peas
2 scallions, chopped

Start by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in the onions and garlic and cook until softened. Stir in the rice until each grain is coated in fat and v. lightly toast the rice. Then, pour in the coconut milk and chicken stock and stir.
Reduce the heat to low and then place a lid on the pot and let the rice cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the moisture has absorbed completely into the rice.
When the rice is done, pour in the peas - frozen is fine - and then stir through.
Garnish the rice with chopped scallions and serve with whatever main dish (and maybe a few other side dishes) you like.
On this particular night, I made steak. In a hot cast iron skillet, I melted some butter with olive oil and popped in a few sprigs of rosemary and some garlic to flavor the fat.
Then, I nestled in a well-seasoned ribeye, that I had let come to room temperature before cooking, and seared the steak until it was golden brown and delicious.
I let the steak rest before cutting it into smaller portions to serve up family style.
I absolutely loved this meal. The steak was tender and flavorful; we had some roasted broccoli, Caesar salad, and smashed potatoes. I've been making these smashed potatoes a lot lately and they're awesome. Next time I make them, I'll have to make an effort to document them because they're too good not to share. And of course, the peas & rice; carbs are always the star of the meal for me. The rice is fluffy and flavorful without being overpowering. It's good enough to eat on its own and yet, it's a great side dish that doesn't steal focus.
Here's the recipe page:

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