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coconut rice

Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes

Easy Coconut Rice Video

Easy Coconut Rice from Karista's Kitchen

I’ve been making this easy coconut rice for years. It goes with just about everything.

I pair it with my Hawaiian Slow Roasted Pork, marinated pork tenderloin that I throw on the grill with some pineapple, grilled or roasted chicken breast, stir fry’s, miso sake roasted fish, grilled or roasted veggies and sometimes I make it just to eat with my nori.

This is the ultimate and easiest side dish for a busy weeknight, weekend barbecues or slow cooked roasts.

Because this easy coconut rice is one of my most pinned recipes on Pinterest, I thought I should post a video of how easy it is. So I had one made! Here’s the video and I’ll post it on my Facebook and Instagram pages as well.

Enjoy this Easy Coconut Rice and let me know how you like it.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Easy Coconut Rice

Serving Size: 4

Easy Coconut Rice

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup canned coconut milk (not light or low-fat)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 cup Jasmine or Basmati rice
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Prepare the coconut rice by combining the coconut milk, rice, water and pinch of salt in a saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Then turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
  • Fluff with a fork and keep it covered until ready to serve.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork VRAI Magazine

    Marinated Pork and Mango Skewers with Coconut Rice

    Pork and Mango Skewers with Coconut Rice // Karista's Kitchen for VRAI Magazine

    It’s starting to feel like spring and I am beyond elated! The high today is 67 here in the valley and it’s going to be a great day for prepping the new garden.  Ranger Craig is building the rest of the garden boxes while I prepare a quick meal for my friends over at Red Bird Acres.  We’re off to see baby chicks and piglets again!  Ok, I admit, I’m really excited about seeing the baby chicks and piglets this afternoon.

    Before I get my day started, I want to share with you my latest recipe and article for VRAI MagazineMarinated Pork and Mango Skewers with Coconut Rice. The blend of marinated pork with sweet mango, peppers and red onion make for the tastiest combination of flavors.  Perfect for a casual weekend with friends and family.  If it’s too cold to grill outdoors, these skewers can easily be prepared indoors on a grill pan.  Or stir fried and then ladled over the coconut rice.

    Enjoy your weekend!  Just in case you haven’t seen pictures from the last piglet visit, I’ve posted a few for you 🙂

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Red Bird Acres in Corvallis, Oregon

     

    Duck Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork

    Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Chianti at Home

    Allspiced Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze over Coconut Rice

    By choosing to click and read this blog post, you confirm you are of legal drinking age in the country where this site is accessed.

    The mornings are felt with a slightly cool breeze from the west, drifting from the ocean that lies just beyond the small range of mountains.  As I sit on my back porch with my morning coffee in hand, I hear the sound of a train in the distance and my choir of bull frogs are beginning the morning hush after an evening of choir practice.

    My songbirds are chiming though, making it known the competition is on.  Their melodies much sweeter to the human ears.  I won’t tell my bull frog choir however.  They seem to delight in their nightly choir practice.

    Where the songbirds sing in my backyard // Karista's Kitchen

    And so now, as I sit on my back porch watching the warm sun rise from the east, sipping my coffee that I actually took the time to make via my French press (the one I so joyfully discovered at the bottom of a box yesterday).. this is home.

    They say, home is where you hang your hat.  Or at least that’s what I’ve always heard.  At the moment however, no hats have been hung in my house.  Most likely because we can’t find the box of hats.

    Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Asian Cherry Glaze // Karista's Kitchen

    We have however,  found the dishes, the cutlery, the pots and pans along with all the essentials for a well stocked kitchen.  Including our wine glasses. Definitely essential items for a well stocked kitchen.

    Along with our stash of kitchen items, I found the box filled with my very carefully wrapped selection of wine; including my favorite Chianti.

    Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Coconut Rice

    Although I pair DaVinci Chianti at home with our hearty winter dishes of pasta and slow cooked meats, I also adore DaVinci Chianti served with spring and summer dishes of grilled chicken, salmon and Ahi Tuna Tacos.

    Recently, I served our favorite chianti with an Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin topped with an Asian Cherry Glaze.  Simple to prepare, yet it feels slightly indulgent with the subtle flavors of Asian cuisine.

     

    Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Coconut Rice

    DaVinci Chianti pairs easily with the sweet, warm, earthy flavors of the Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin.  Typically used in desserts, the allspice, which is a single spice, has subtle notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg and is often used in Jamaican savory cuisine.

    I’ve paired the Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze which also uses one cup of DaVinci Chianti.  I love how easy it is to roll this tenderloin in the fragrant Allspice and either grill it outdoors during the summer months or roast it in the oven on a busy weeknight.  The glaze is easily assembled and prepared, and when served with the grilled or roasted tenderloin and coconut rice, it makes a delicious and beautiful meal for the weeknight or weekend dinner guests.

    For those who like wild game or want to prepare this dish for a special occasion, I’ve also included a version of this recipe using pan seared duck.  It makes a lovely presentation and the rich flavor of the duck is beautifully complimented by the rich fruit flavors and medium body of the Chianti.

    Pan Seared Duck Breast with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Coconut Rice // Karista's Kitchen

    Chianti at Home describes special moments in a day. Moments that bring family and friends, delicious food and great wine together.  Moments that remind me of my glorious visit to Tuscany, getting to know the beautiful people behind this gorgeous wine.

    The loveliest of individuals who take great pride in creating this enchanting Chianti.  I think of them as I sip, as I savor the lush flavors that dance on the tongue.  Flavors that mingle and play ever so nice together

    2013 DaVinci Wine Storytellers

    Almost a year has passed since traveling to Italy as a DaVinci Wine Storyteller.   It’s now time to pass the baton.  Twelve new finalists for the 2014 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Experience have now been revealed.  I’m riddled with anticipation and excitement for these fantastic twelve, talented individuals. Who will be the final four 2014 Storytellers?

    You can help select the final four Storytellers by voting for your favorite in each category: Photography, Travel, West Coast Foodie and East Coast Foodie.  Click HERE, be sure to “like” the DaVinci Wine Facebook page and then browse the list and categories and vote.

    2014 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Finalists

    2014 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Finalists

    Chianti at Home … a wine for every season, every occasion.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    All-Spice Rubbed  Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze

    The tenderloin can be grilled or roasted as listed in the Directions

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    For the rub:

    1 teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

    1 teaspoon ground all-spice

    1 large pork tenderloin or 2 small; this can also be prepared with Duck Breast. Recipe Follows.

    Olive oil

    Coconut Rice (recipe follows)

    Green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

    For the sauce:

    1 cup sour cherries

    2 tablespoons honey

    1 cup DaVinci Chianti

    ½ teaspoon cinnamon

    3 tablespoons soy sauce

    2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

    ½ teaspoon corn starch (optional)

    Directions

    Mix together the salt, pepper and ground all-spice.  Rub the tenderloin with oil and then season with the salt, pepper, all-spice mixture.  Let the tenderloin sit for a few minutes while starting the glaze.

    Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low or medium low, and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced.  The sauce should thicken as it cools, however, if you’d like to thicken it while it’s warm, add two tablespoons of warm glaze to a small bowl and then whisk in the ½ teaspoon of corn starch.  Once this mixture (called a slurry) is smooth, whisk it into the glaze and bring the glaze back to a boil for about one minute.  This will thicken the sauce.

    Preheat the oven or grill to 400F.   To roast the tenderloin, place it in a baking dish and then place the baking dish in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the center of the tenderloin reaches 145F.

    To grill the tenderloin, place it on the pre-heated grill, cover and cook, turning every 2-3 minutes for about 10-15 minutes, depending on size.  The tenderloin is done when the internal temperature reaches 145F.

    Let the pork tenderloin rest for few minutes before slicing.  This will allow juices to redistribute and keep the tenderloin moist and juicy.

    Place the coconut rice on a platter and then slice the tenderloin.  Place the tenderloin slices on top of the coconut rice and drizzle with the Asian Cherry Glaze.  Garnish with thinly sliced green onions.

    Serve with DaVinci Chianti!

    Pan Seared Duck Breast with Asian Cherry Glaze

    Serves 2-3

    Ingredients

    For the rub:

    1 teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

    1 teaspoon ground all-spice

    2 Duck Breasts, thawed if previously frozen (Often I find them in the freezer section of my meat market)

    Olive oil

    Coconut Rice (recipe follows)

    Green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

    For the sauce:

    1 cup sour cherries

    2 tablespoons honey

    1 cup DaVinci Chianti

    ½ teaspoon cinnamon

    3 tablespoons soy sauce

    2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

    ½ teaspoon corn starch (optional)

    Directions

    Mix together the salt, pepper and ground all-spice.  Rub the Duck Breasts with the seasoning. On a cutting board lined with parchment or plastic wrap, place the duck breast one at a time on top of the parchment or plastic and then place another piece of parchment or plastic on the duck breast.  Pound the duck breast with a meat mallet or a rolling pin until it’s a bit thinner and will cook a bit faster.  If you like, score the duck breast skin in a crisscross pattern.  Do not remove the skin.  The skin has delicious flavor and gets crispy when pan seared.

    Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low or medium low, and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced.  The sauce should thicken as it cools, however, if you’d like to thicken it while it’s warm, add two tablespoons of warm glaze to a small bowl and then whisk in the ½ teaspoon of corn starch.  Once this mixture (called a slurry) is smooth, whisk it into the glaze and bring the glaze back to a boil for about one minute.  This will thicken the sauce.

    To prepare the duck pre-heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a dash of olive oil.  Once the skillet is hot, place the duck breasts skin side down and brown, about 5 minutes.  Once the skin is nice and deep golden brown, flip the duck breasts to the other side and cook another 5 minutes.  I like my duck breasts medium rare, a little pink in the center.  Cook another 2-3 minutes if you prefer it cooked through.

    Once the duck is done, transfer it to a carving board and let it rest for a few minutes.  Place the coconut rice on a platter and then slice the duck.  Place the duck breast slices on top of the coconut rice and drizzle with the Asian Cherry Glaze.  Garnish with thinly sliced green onions.

    Serve with DaVinci Chianti!

    Coconut Rice

    This recipe is easily doubled

    Ingredients

    1 cup coconut milk

    ½ cup water

    ¾ cup basmati rice

    ¼ t salt

    Directions

    Combine coconut milk, rice, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, then cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender.  Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm.

     

    Recipe by Chef Karista Bennett

     

     

    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Spiced Apricot Chicken and a Guest Author

    Thighs with Coconut Rice

    It took me a few days to put into words how I feel about this lovely lady.  A most poetic author, who never fails to capture my attention with her “dreamy” prose.

    Dreamy.  Marni’s word.  Every time I hear it, read it, see it – I think of her.  Long time acquaintances, now friends.  I won’t give away the story as she’s written a bit about it below, but I can tell you, I never forgot her.  You know, that one person you sort of knew, really liked, but never had the opportunity to be real friends?  And then, years later I discovered her blog.  Her love of the written word.  Her talent I so admire.

    Sometimes Marni lets me sneak peaks at what she’s writing, what she’s working on.  And again, it’s always “dreamy”.   A talented gal, Marni started a stationary company along with her blog called “noted“.  There you’ll find her beautiful and exquisite line of stationary as well as poetic verse of life, love, family, humor and anything that strikes her fancy.  I find myself constantly checking her blog just to read a new snippet of her writing.  And of course, I have “noted” stationary (and a pencil!) in my office.  She’s a published author, gracious and lovely with a quiet strength that exudes a zest for life and love and all that’s dreamy.

    In honor of this most delicious post, Marni asked me to post a dish that one might take to a neighbor.  A perfect pairing with her story.   This Spiced Apricot Chicken with Coconut Rice is an enchanting meal for a neighbor, family or friends.  Thank you Marni for guest posting!

    t Rice

    ——————————————————————————————-

    Hi! My name is Marni and I am the creator of “noted.”, a stationery line as well as a blog where I note my favorite moments. Karista has been a friend both near… here in Mesa, Arizona, and far… social media and through blogging.

    Her daughter Alex and my son Hayden were friends in kindergarten. Back then life was a blur of childhood activity. There seemed to be only short moments of pocketed conversation between school drop offs and pick-ups and the occasional play date or birthday party for catching up.

    I remember Alex attending Hayden’s sixth birthday party at the park, and then, as if time fast forwarded leaving a bit of itself behind, there is Karista four years later, packed and ready to move to Washington.  I can see her, standing at one end of my living room while I am at the other, she is looking up and over me, maybe admiring the newly faux finished walls (fad of the times), or maybe looking out the shuttered window behind me at our swimming pool, and then an emptiness fills me that we missed our moment to connect.

    We could have been more than our children’s mothers to one another, we could have been close friends. That  moment  is stamped to my memory, a  memorized  profile pic that pops up whenever I think about her or she sends me a quick text, bringing me back to that day in my living room, and I notice our connection was there all along, waiting for us to realize it.

    Sometimes it’s a parenting question or more often a note of confidence, stirring me on, keeping my words bubbling gently to the top, she knows I work best at a slow simmer. My dreamiest times happen there. Something warm on the stove that needs my calm attention giving my mind space to wander, eyes gazing out the window, drawing them to notice the tree that was bare for the past two years has gathered up the courage to leaf out!

    I honestly didn’t think it would make it. It was a transplanted tree you see. We moved into our home two years ago this past December and immediately our next door neighbor came to my husband,  outside unloading boxes in the garage, and asked if we would mind cutting down a backyard tree. His first introduction. He even had the business card in hand of the tree service and offered to pay himself! He wanted that washed out shade of green with needle like leaves that didn’t seem to serve any purpose but litter his pool, gone.

    I didn’t really like the tree, knew it was temporary, but my territorial defenses surrounding our new space we had as yet to associate as home, rose at the request.  How dare he ask us to cut down OUR  tree.

    After a few months, and experiencing his same pool grief, we agreed, paying for it ourselves while making it clear to him that we would be planting a new tree in that same approximate space. One that wasn’t so messy but a replacement tree none the less.  He was silent. We went ahead and planted a tree that was young and spindly but tall enough to make a subtle statement. Once planted it seemed to fill the space perfectly, not too close to our shared block wall and with the hope of a future canopy of green! I was looking forward to having a shady green corner one day, romanticizing, imagining myself sipping lemonade while turning the dog-eared pages of a borrowed book. Soon the spare amount of leaves it had clinging to its few branches dropped. Mostly in our yard.  Crunchy and dry, the tree went from green to brown in days.

    All that next spring and summer it was bald, like our neighbor Eric. It seemed as soon as it was nestled snug in the newly dug hole it went dormant. Maybe in shock from the new soil, or too much fertilizer, or maybe Eric had won. My curtain of hope closed. Nothing would grow in that finicky spot which is why the previous owners had chosen such a nuisance of a tree. Eric would be happy.  A private person, we would probably never know if he liked the outcome or not. He wasn’t unlikeable, just hard to read, a quiet neighbor…which I know from past experience can be the best neighbor.

    So here we are two years later, I was pretty much ready to give the tree the boot this spring if it didn’t perk up and produce, but this quiet tree I nicknamed “Eric’s tree” is now full of leaves.  Crazy happy leaves, bright green and lush as if it had been resting, quietly saving its energy just to surprise!

    Eric died in a small plane crash along with two other pilots taking off from Telluride this past January. I miss seeing his silent face, occasionally catching his eye long enough to challenge him with a friendly wave.  I am sad for his family. He never had much to say to me but “his” tree will grow to offer quiet shade in both our yards and its lovely ode to life makes me smile every day.

     

    Spiced Apricot Chicken and a Guest Author

    Serving Size: 4

    Ingredients

      For the Spiced Apricot Chicken
    • A tablespoon or two of coconut oil
    • 6-8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 medium shallot, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
    • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1 star anise
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1 cup dried apricots (or a mixture of dried apricots, golden raisins or dried cherries)
    • 1 cup white wine
    • Fresh cilantro for garnish (if you don’t like cilantro substitute with fresh Italian parsley
      For the Coconut Rice
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • ½ cup water
    • ¾ cup basmati rice
    • ¼ t salt

    Instructions

  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  • In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat over medium high heat, adding a tablespoon of coconut oil. When the oil is hot, brown the chicken thighs. You want to see a nice deep brown color on the thighs. This creates flavor and will make the dish taste fabulous.
  • Once all the chicken thighs are browned (you may need to do this in batches) transfer to a plate and hold.
  • Turn the heat down to medium and add additional coconut oil to the Dutch oven or large pot if needed. Stir in the shallots and let them wilt a bit. Next stir in the garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, star anise, fresh thyme and dried apricots. Give it a quick stir and then add the white wine.
  • Add the chicken thighs back into the Dutch oven or large pot and turn the chicken to coat with the sauce. Bring the liquid to a simmer and then turn the heat to low. Cover and let the chicken slow cook for about 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs reach 165F.
  • While the chicken is cooking, prepare the Coconut Rice.
  • Once the chicken is done take it off the heat and let the chicken rest in the sauce for about 5 minutes.
  • Place the coconut rice on a platter and then layer the chicken thighs on the rice. Ladle the sauce with the dried fruit over the chicken and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
  • To prepare the Coconut Rice
  • Combine coconut milk, rice, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, then cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Pork Sassy Side dishes

    Slow Cooked Hawaiian Pork Roast with Coconut Rice

    www.karistaskitchen.com

    Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast

    I wish I could tell you I just got back from a spectacular Hawaiian vacation.  But I didn’t. 🙁  It’s been a few years since visiting Maui, but I remember it like yesterday.

    Probably because when I vacation with Ranger Craig it’s not really a vacation.  It’s an adventure of epic proportions.  Seriously.

    www.karistaskitchen.com

    Coconut Rice

    I remember vividly our first vacation twentysomething years ago.

    I thought we might lounge on the beach and sip cocktails.  Not a chance.

    www.karistaskitchen.com

    Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pork Roast with Fresh PIneapple

    We were hiking long stretches of beach, exploring old ruins and caves, sunfish surfing, snorkeling, day tripping out to a remote island, only to hike its gigantic mountain.

    By the fifth day I put my foot down.  I suited up, grabbed my beach towel and told Ranger Craig we were hanging on the beach that day.  He relented.  But only in Ranger Craig style.

    A room with a view

    While I was lounging on my beach chair sipping a refreshing cocktail and reading a fabulous mystery, Ranger Craig went surfing, snorkeling and then surfing again.

    I saw him for lunch.  And then finally at dinner.  I knew then life with Ranger Craig would always be an adventure.

    Look! No Hands! My third dive all by myself 🙂

    So that leads me to our more recent Maui vacation.  You guessed it.  Not much lounging on the beach.  Instead Ranger Craig thought we should both get scuba diving certified.

    Hmmm… I thought that would be nice.

    The first dive I almost had a heart attack and died.  I’m not kidding.  Of course, Ranger Craig chose the one diving company in town that believes getting into the ocean for your first dive is the best way to learn.  Well, maybe for most people.

    Ranger Craig and a Maui Sea Turtle

    But I’m not most people.  Although adventurous at heart, athletic I’m not.

    Finally when I was brave enough to stick my head in the water and breathe properly, guess who I saw casually cruising the ocean floor.  Yep, my husband.  In my somewhat competitive nature,  I was not going to let Ranger Craig get scuba diving certified without me.

    Sunset on the beach

    So, I grabbed my instructors hand and the rest is history.  Although, my instructors hand may never be the same again.  I held a tight grip on his hand for the first two dives.  By the third dive we had to have a little chat.  I had to let go, my instructor said.

    Thankfully, the third dive I was so overwhelmed by swimming with sea turtles, I didn’t even notice the instructor had left my side.

    Ranger Craig wants to return to Hawaii for another vacation someday soon.  I’m sure he will come up with something new for us to try.  Probably paddle surfing.  That won’t be pretty.  🙁

    Ranger Craig and I were reminiscing about our Maui vacation recently and laughing (lots of hysterical laughing) about my arduous scuba diving training.  In honor of our fun and adventurous vacation I thought a Slow Cooked Hawaiian Pork Roast would be perfect.  Served with coconut rice just takes this dish over the top.

    Slow Cooked Hawaiian Pork Roast with Coconut Rice

    Serving Size: 6

    Ingredients

    • 3-4lbs Pork Shoulder, bone in
    • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and halved
    • 1 sweet onion (Walla Walla or Vidalia) sliced
    • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
    • 2 cups chopped fresh pineapple (if you can’t find a fresh ripe pineapple, organic canned is a good substitution)
    • ½ cup Tamari (or soy sauce)
    • Salt and pepper
    • Drizzle of oil
      For the Coconut Rice
    • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk (not the light or reduced fat)
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 1 cup Jasmine or Basmati rice
    • ¼ teaspoon salt

    Instructions

  • Warm up your slow cooker by turning it on to high.
  • Season the outside of the pork shoulder with salt and pepper.
  • In a large heavy bottom skillet, heat a drizzle of oil on medium high heat and brown all sides of the pork shoulder. Browning gives the meat a richer flavor while searing in the moisture.
  • Transfer the pork shoulder to the slow cooker and turn the temperature down to low.
  • Layer the sliced onion, garlic cloves, pineapple and grated fresh ginger on top of the pork shoulder and then add the Tamari. Cook for about 5 hours or until the internal temperature of the pork roast reaches 145F and is tender and falls apart.
  • Transfer the pork to a platter, slice or shred and ladle the pineapple and onions with a little sauce over the pork roast. Serve with coconut rice and stir fried greens.
  • To prepare the rice
  • Combine coconut milk, rice, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring a few times, then cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm.
  • Notes

    The rice recipe can easily be doubled.

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    Seafood Shrimp

    Tropical Shrimp Curry over Coconut Rice

    Tropical Shrimp Curry over Coconut Rice

    Ranger Craig and I found a beautiful blue summer sky in the mountains yesterday.  Our first cross-country ski of the season.  It was glorious.  Except when I was laying face first in the snow.  The first snow is always a little slippery.  Right?

    First Cross Country Ski of the Season

    Today, I was thinking about that beautiful blue sky.  Then I thought of all the sweet tropical fruit at the market. It seems my mind and taste buds have wandered off in search of summer.

    Fragrant Aromatics

    I’m devoted to seasonal cooking, but when the organic tropical fruits arrive from South America, I just can’t help myself a little indulgence.

    Fresh Gulf Shrimp from Gemini Fish Market

    This is one of those recipes that is a compilation of about five different recipes that didn’t quite strike my fancy.  So I fudged and tweaked… and this is what I ended up with.

    A little winter indulgence to celebrate the warmth of the season.

    Tropical Shrimp Curry Over Coconut Rice

    I know it looks like a long ingredient list, but it’s mostly spices and fresh aromatics.  It’s truly an easy stove top recipe prepared in about 30 minutes.

    Ingredients

    1 ½ lbs large fresh Gulf shrimp, shelled and deveined

    For the Curry:

    1 tablespoon high heat veggie or peanut oil

    1 tablespoon curry powder

    ½ cup diced onions

    ½ cup diced green bell pepper

    4 green onions, chopped

    1 ½ cups coconut milk (I use Thai Kitchen Organic)

    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

    1 cup diced mango (or diced pineapple)

    2 tablespoons fish sauce

    2 tablespoons Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (Thai Kitchen), or 1 tablespoon hot sauce (Sriracha is good)

    1 teaspoon sugar

    1/3 cup fresh chopped basil

    Squeeze of lime

    Salt to taste

    Coconut Rice (recipe follows)

    Directions

    Start the rice (recipe below) and while you are preparing the curry your rice is cooking.

    In a large sauté pan, sauté the onions, bell pepper, green onions, oil and curry powder over medium heat until wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Add a little extra oil if needed.

    Stir in the coconut milk, diced mango, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, fish sauce and sweet chili sauce or hot sauce and sugar.

    Let the sauce simmer on low for about 10 minutes to meld all the delicious flavors together.  While the sauce is simmering, prepare the shrimp.

    In a medium skillet over medium heat, add a tablespoon or two of ghee (clarified butter) or high heat veggie oil or peanut oil.  Sprinkle the shrimp with a little salt and pan sear the shrimp on each side, about 1-2 minutes per side.  Once the shrimp are done, place them in the curry.  I like to let the shrimp sit in the curry for a few minutes to absorb all the delicious flavors.

    You can also grill the shrimp if you prefer.

    To serve:

    Place the rice in the middle of a large serving bowl.  Pour the shrimp curry over the top and sprinkle with the fresh basil.

    Serve immediately.

    Recipe adapted from multiple sources

    Coconut Rice (recipe can be easily doubled)

    Ingredients

    1 cup coconut milk

    ¾ cup basmati rice

    ½ cup water

    2 T sugar

    ¼ t salt

    Directions

    Combine coconut milk, rice, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, then cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender.  Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm.

    Appetizers Kid Friendly Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood Shrimp

    Shrimp Cakes with Apricot Ginger Glaze and Coconut Rice

    Shrimp Cakes with Spicy Apricot Dipping Sauce

    Washingtonians love festivals.  Yep, we have a festival for pretty much everything.  Apples, wine, lavender, birds, art, music, aviation (Ranger Craig’s fave),and Octoberfest in almost every region of our state.

    You name it, we celebrate it.  We even celebrate fish.  Salmon Days in Issaquah.

    Issaquah, WA

    Every year half of Western Washington attends this lively festival.  Well, probably not half of Western Washington but that’s what it feels like for two days in October.  Food, art, glass, crafts, music and more food!  I love the food.

    Smoked Salmon on a Bagel!

     

    Our very own chocolate factory… Boehms Chocolates!

    Of course all that walking around looking at art, crafts, and food made me hungry.  I “taste tested” a few bites of Ranger Craig’s Philly Steak Sandwich and then decided I was still hungry and ended up with smoked salmon on a bagel.  But then I couldn’t leave without a crab cake, and just had to top it all off with ice cream dipped in decadent Boehms dark chocolate.

    Suzie Q with her very own Boehm’s dark chocolate dipped ice cream

    Now we had to walk home. Up a very long and steep mountain.  I’m in pretty decent shape but after Philly steak sandwich, smoked salmon on a bagel, crab cakes, and a Boehms dark chocolate dipped ice cream… our mountain walk felt like a three-day hike.

    On the bright side, hiking back up the mountain gave me time to think.  Time to think about food.

    Yes, I think about the next greatest recipe almost every minute of the day.  Ok, I’m embellishing again but I do think about food, a lot.

    Shrimp Cakes with Apricot Ginger Glaze and Coconut Rice

    This time I was thinking about crab cakes.  But I didn’t have crab on hand so I thought shrimp cakes might be a fun and tasty alternative.

    Organic Green Onions

    I was right. Score again. The Bennett Crew loved the shrimp cakes and told me I should make a double batch the next time.   And I think I need a double batch of the coconut rice. I could eat my weight in coconut rice!

    Organic Cilantro

    Luckily I had plenty of the Apricot Ginger Glaze on hand.  You know how the Bennett Crew feels about their sauces.  I should have a sign hanging in my kitchen…  “Don’t forget the sauce”.

    Shrimp Cakes with Apricot Ginger Glaze and Coconut Rice

    Serves 3-4

    Ingredients

    ¾ – 1 lb cooked bay shrimp (also called shrimp meat, baby shrimp, salad shrimp)

    1/3 cup chopped green onion/scallions

    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    1 egg, lightly whisked

    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

    2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (I like a little more)

    1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (or more to taste)

    2 cups panko breadcrumbs

    1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

    ½ teaspoon black pepper

    Directions

    Finely dice the bay shrimp and mix together with scallions, lemon juice, Dijon, cilantro, ginger, old bay seasoning, pepper and bread crumbs.  Add a dash of hot sauce if
    desired.

    Chill for about 10 minutes.  Form patties, making sure they are tightly formed, and pan sear on each side in grapeseed or coconut oil.  Try flipping the shrimp cakes gently, with a fork to keep them from falling apart.  A few crumbs will escape but if the cakes are tightly formed they will stay together.

    Serve with apricot ginger sauce and white or coconut rice.

    This recipe was adapted from multiple sources.

    Apricot Ginger Drizzle

    ½ cup apricot preserves

    1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

    2 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce from Thai kitchen

    ¼ cup water, white wine or sherry

    Directions

    In a small sauce pan, heat the preserves, grated ginger, chili sauce and white wine over medium heat. Let is simmer for a few minutes then take off the heat.  When it cools it will thicken.  Just re-heat the sauce to thin.

    My shortcut creation… no adapting here. 🙂

     Coconut Rice

    Ingredients

    1 cup coconut milk

    ¾ cup basmati rice

    ½ cup water

    2 T sugar

    ¼ t salt

    Directions

    Combine coconut milk, rice, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, then cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is
    tender.  Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm.