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I don’t know about you, but I typically have no trouble deciding on a main dish, but when it comes to a perfectly paired side I’m at a loss. I especially had a problem when I made these Caribbean pork chops. Typical sides of pasta or potatoes didn’t seem to match, and plain rice just sounded so boring when compared to the spicy/sweet components of the pork chops. I also don’t know anything about Caribbean cuisine, but a tropical side dish sounded appropriate. My mind automatically when to coconut rice, even though it’s a Thai dish. Mango and coconut sounds perfect together! And the coconut milk should help counter the spiced rub on the pork chops, just like it counters spicy Thai dishes.

Now for those of you who aren’t coconut fans, don’t worry! I, myself, am not a fan of coconut though my dislike of coconut is a textural issue. Shredded coconut is just gritty and nasty to me, but mix coconut milk into something, and I’m a happy camper! The coconut milk combined with the lime juice made for the most wonderful rice, especially since it’s made with jasmine rice. I was absolutely amazed at how good this rice was, and I definitely plan on making it again soon, with or without the pork chops!One Year Ago: Carrot Cupcakes and Spaghetti with Olive Oil and Lemon

Coconut Rice

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups jasmine rice, washed and drained well
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1½ cups water
2-3 tablespoons lime juice, about 1 lime
Toasted coconut for garnish, optional

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, brown sugar, and salt, stirring until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, add rice and stir until rice is evenly coated. Add coconut milk, water, and lime juice, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil and cover pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat but do not open lid; let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Source: Adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

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