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Friday, February 26, 2010

Guacamole Turkey Burger

Apparently it's Mexican week on my blog! :)

Bob has wanted me to do a Red Robin copycat burger for a long time. If you've never been to Red Robin, they have tons of varieties of burgers, including turkey burgers and "chicken burgers" as they call them (it's an actual chicken breast, not ground chicken). Bob's favorites are the two with guacamole. I've recently been eating more avocados after avoiding them for a while because they made my mouth itch, strange I know. I looked at the Red Robin menu online and decided I would pick elements of the Santa Fe Burger and turn it into the ultimate turkey burger.

I made Alton Brown's Guacamole and topped the burger with Monterey Jack cheese (Pepper Jack would have been amazing but we didn't have any), sour cream, fresh chopped tomatoes, and chipotle mayonnaise. I knew I would like this burger -what's not to like?- but I had no idea how good it would be. This is one of my new favorite dinners! It was SO good! You could make this using any meat - turkey, chicken (ground or whole), beef, sirloin, even salmon!

Guacamole Turkey Burger

Serves 2

1/2 pound ground turkey (or meat of choice)
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing grill pan
Monterey or Pepper Jack cheese (2 slices or equivalent amount of shredded)
guacamole, purchased or your favorite recipe (I made 2/3 of Alton's recipe)
2 Tablespoons light sour cream
1 Roma tomato, chopped
2 hamburger buns

Chipotle mayonnaise:
1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 teaspoon adobo sauce, to taste
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
Squeeze of lime juice, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine the ground turkey with the Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Shape into 2 patties.

2. Brush a grill pan with extra virgin olive oil and heat over medium-high. Open buns and place the pieces that face the burger down onto the grill. Cook until slightly toasted. Remove to a plate and keep toasted side face-up.

3. Brush additional oil on grill pan, if necessary, and add turkey burgers to the pan. Cook until nice and brown on one side, flip, and cook fully. Adjust heat as necessary. When the burgers are completely cooked, add cheese on top of each, turn off the heat, and put a lid over the grill pan to melt the cheese.

4. Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise ingredients.

5. To assemble the burgers, spread chipotle mayonnaise on each half of the bun. Place a turkey burger on the bottom portion of the toasted bun, then top with guacamole, ~1 Tablespoon sour cream, and chopped tomatoes. Top with the other side of the bun, and enjoy!

Source: You're Gonna Bake It After All, chipotle mayonnaise from Bobby Flay

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Red Chili Chicken and Rice

Monday I posted about Pioneer Woman's delicious salsa, so today I will post a recipe that I served to go with the salsa (wait, shouldn't it be the other way around?!)

I first saw this Rick Bayless recipe on Elly's blog. Rick Bayless is a celebrity in Chicago, and most Chicagoans are proud to have such a talented and decorated chef practice his craft here. I've been to Frontera several times, on one visit Rick was there meeting with the staff. I've also been to his Mexican street food restaurant XOCO, and he happened to be there quality control taste-testing the drinks! I'd love to try Topolobampo sometime. Last time I called they were booked for 6 weeks!

I quickly bookmarked this recipe when Elly posted it, and then I saw that Annie recommended it as well, so I knew I'd love it. It's been on my 'to make' list for a long time, but for some reason I kept moving it. I finally realized I had all the ingredients one night and went for it - it's fabulous!!! I have a weird relationship with black beans, so I left them out. The ingredient list is simple, but the components combine together perfectly to make a very tasty dish. If you want to make this a little less healthier, you could even top it with some cheese and sour cream - not sure what Mr. Bayless would say about that, but he'll never know!

Red Chile Chicken and Rice

Serves 2

1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 1/4 Tablespoons ancho chili powder, divided*
1/2 medium onion, large dice
1/2 cup rice
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
7.5 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
2 Tablespoons chopped green onions, roots and wilted outer leaves removed before chopping
salsa, for serving

*I only had regular "chili powder" and did some Googling but couldn't find a definitive answer as to what types of chiles are in it . . . so I just used it and it was great.

1. Heat the oil in a medium heavy pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with salt and 1/2 Tablespoon of the ancho chili powder. Place chicken in the hot oil and brown on each side, 2 - 3 minutes. Remove to a place, leaving behind as much oil as possible.

2. Add the onion and rice to the pot. Stir for several minutes, until the rice turns from translucent to opaque. Add the garlic and the remaining 3/4 Tablespoon ancho chili powder. Cook one minute, and then add the broth and salt to taste. Stir well.

3. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Cut the chicken breast into 1" pieces. Add them to the pot along with the beans, if using. Recover and cook 12 minutes longer.

5. Sprinkle the green onions and test a kernel of rice. It should have no more than a hint of chalkiness in the center, in which case you place the cover back on, remove it from the heat and let stand 5 - 10 minutes. If it's not cooked, cook for another 5 minutes or so (at this point I added a tad more chicken broth because I think my pan was too big and the added surface area caused more of the liquid to evaporate; if you use the right size pan this should be fine).

6. Fluff the mixture with a fork and serve with salsa.

Source: Adapted from Elly Says Opa!, also featured on Annie's Eats, originally from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

Monday, February 22, 2010

Restaurant Style Salsa



I've recently rediscovered the Pioneer Woman. This may sound a little strange, but I went to her blog off and on several years ago. For some reason, it was really confusing to me. This was before my Google Reader days, and all those different forums - photography, cooking, etc. - were just overwhelming, so much to the point that I didn't visit very often. After all the buzz about her cookbook tour this past Fall, I added her to my Google Reader and have been pleasantly surprised. I see why so many people love her blog. I know it will be a great resource for me when I finally take the plunge and get a DSLR camera too!

Recently PW posted this Restaurant Style Salsa. Now, I have two favorite salsa recipes already (here and here), but her pictures looked so good and I figured it couldn't hurt to try another, so I made it for Superbowl. The problem is that I now have 3 favorite salsas! I can't decide among them! The black bean(less) salsa is an entirely different beast in my mind, but PW's is very similar to this one, yet I love them both. Maybe someday I will make them side by side, but I have a feeling I will just keep going back and forth between them :) Plus, each batch makes a LOT of salsa!

PW's salsa is exceptionally fresh tasting, despite not having any fresh tomatoes. It's really delicious. With how quick and simple it is to whip up a batch of fresh salsa, it makes me think twice about buying it from the store (Unless Rick Bayless's Frontera salsa is on sale of course!) As of now, I plan to keep making all of these salsas, and often :)

Restaurant Style Salsa

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
2 10-ounce cans Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies*
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 whole jalapeno, quartered and sliced thin*
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup cilantro (more to taste)
juice from 1/2 lime

*PW used 1 can regular and 1 can mild Rotel and included the seeds/ribs of the jalapeno. I could only find regular Rotel, so I began by leaving out the ribs and seeds. It wasn't quite spicy enough, so I dumped them in. Then it was pretty spicy, maybe a little too spicy. Use your judgement depending on the heat you prefer!

1. Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you the salsa to the consistency you prefer (around 10 to 15 pulses).

2. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip (love this part!) and adjust as needed.

3. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips or your favorite Mexican fare.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ben & Jerry's Hot Fudge Sauce

Bob and I had his sister and her boyfriend over for dinner a few weeks ago. I debated about what to make for dessert. Flipping through my Ben & Jerry's Dessert Cookbook, I wanted to make just about everything! I finally decided on Hot Fudge Sundaes - French vanilla ice cream, homemade hot fudge, whipped cream, sprinkles, and of course maraschino cherries.

This hot fudge was pretty simple to make, it just takes a while. The great thing is that it keeps stored in fridge (where it hardens to a consistency of traditional fudge), so you can enjoy the leftovers at your own pace. I actually thought it was even better a few days later . . . eaten by itself . . . directly from the container . . . cold . . . with a spoon. Yeah, it's that good :)

Hot Fudge Sauce

Makes 2 cups

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 stick butter
6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk*
1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream*

*I just used 1/2 cup of whole milk because it's what I had on hand.

1. Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring frequently, in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Add the cocoa and whisk until dissolved.

2. Using a slotted spoon, gradually stir in the sugar. (The mixture should be the consistency of wet sand.) Cook, stirring occasionally, over simmering water for 20 minutes. Check the water level in the double boiler occasionally and replenish if necessary.

3. Gradually stir in the milk and cream and keep stirring until completely blended. Continue cooking, stirring and checking the water occasionally, for 1 hour. The fudge is ready when it is completely smooth and all the sugar is dissolved. Store leftovers in fridge; it lasts a "long time" according to the book.

Source: Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice cream & Dessert Book

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pico de Gallo Chicken Quesadillas

I found this recipe on AllRecipes a LONG time ago (I think at least 2 years) and had it saved. I kept putting off making it, which is unfortuante, because these were fantastic!!! The pico de gallo was so fresh tasting with plenty of lime (just like I've had in Mexico!) and I loved how it was added to the quesadillas and used for topping. Bob took one bite and said "oh yeah!" and nodded his head - that's pretty much his sign of approval :)

Pico de Gallo Chicken Quesadillas

2 tomatoes, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
2 limes, juiced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into strips (or the equivalent of cooked chicken)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 12-inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup sour cream, for topping

1. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Add chicken and saute until cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.

3. Put the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in the hot skillet and saute the sliced onion and green pepper until tender. Stir in the minced garlic and saute until the aroma is strong. Mix in half of the pico de gallo and chicken breast meat. Set aside; keep warm.

4. In a heavy skillet, heat one flour tortilla. Spread 1/4 cup shredded cheese on the tortilla and top with 1/2 the chicken mixture. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup cheese over the chicken and top with another tortilla. When the bottom of the tortilla is lightly brown and cheese has started to melt, flip quesadilla and cook on the opposing side. Alternatively, place filling (1/8 of the cheese, then 1/4 of the chicken, then 1/8 of the cheese) on half the tortilla and fold it over. Repeat with all 4 tortillas.

5. Remove quesadilla from skillet and cut into quarters. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve quesadillas with sour cream and remaining pico de gallo.

Source: Adapted from

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mango Lassi

Note: You may have noticed that I changed the look of my blog a bit. I will continue to tweak it until it I'm happy, so it's a work in progress at the moment. One big change is that I have added links to the pictures in my blog header under the "PHOTOS ABOVE" tab. Hopefully this will help with tracking down a recipe if you see something you like :)

Bob and I visited my sister and her boyfriend Steve in Michigan in early December. We paid another visit to the adorable Bavarian town Frankenmuth. We bought pastries at the Bavarian Inn, visited the Cheese Haus, and drove by Bronner's, the World's Largest Christmas store. I say drove by because we didn't go in; it was crazy busy!!! We had already gone in the summer, and let me tell you, it's incredible. If you like Christmas, you will love this store! They have every type of decoration you can imagine, as well as every type of ornament that exists. Bob and I bought 7 ornaments, each of which uniquely represents us as individuals or as a couple. See these cute little S'mores ornaments:
I have the one on the right :)

During our visit, Steve made us some Mango Lassi's. While Bob loves fresh mango, every time I've tried it, it tends to have a very pine-y taste. This might indicate that it's not ripe, or that the piece I try is too close to the stone, but when Steve offered this traditional Indian drink to me I definitely didn't think I would like it. Well, I was right, I didn't like it . . . I loved it :) Maybe because he used mango pulp, which is made out of perfectly ripe mangoes, or maybe it's the combination with the yogurt and cardamom, but this drink is fantastic!

Mango Lassi

Makes 2 cups

1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup mango pulp (or chopped mango)
4 teaspoons sugar, to taste (I used a tad more)
Dash of ground cardamom (optional)
5-7 ice cubes (optional)

1. Put ice, mango, yogurt, milk, sugar, and cardamom into a blender and blend for 2 minutes.

I found mango pulp at an international foods store in Michigan.

These measuring spoons were my great aunt's. They are pretty funny :)

2. Pour into individual glasses, sprinkle with a little cardamom, and serve.

Note: The lassi can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

Source: Steve, adapted from Simply Recipes

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mexican Rice

I have a major backlog of posts waiting, but I'm trying to spread them out. This one is from November! :)

One of my favorite things about Mexican restaurants, other than the chips and salsa, is the rice. Usually rice and beans are served with your entree and people tend to push them to the side. Not me. I always ask to substitute the beans with extra rice, and if I don't eat the rice at the restaurant, I will take it home. I love that it's, for lack of a better word, dry - meaning that it's not saucy but still very flavorful. I've never really tried to make Mexican rice at home (other than Rice-a-Roni!) so I decided to give it a shot, especially since this recipe is originally from Cook's Illustrated. I was a little nervous during the cooking process that there would be too much liquid, but that wasn't the case at all. The end result was a rice that rivals the best Mexican restaurant!

Mexican Rice

2 ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 medium white onion, peeled, trimmed and quartered
2 cups long grain white rice
1/3 cup Canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
3 medium jalapenos, ribbed, seeded, and minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro (optional)
1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

Preheat oven to 350F and move a rack to the middle position.
1. Process tomatoes and onions in the food processor until smooth and thoroughly pureed, about 15 seconds, scraping down the bowl if necessary. Transfer the mixture to a liquid measuring cup; you should have 2 cups. If necessary, spoon off excess or add water so that the volume equals 2 cups.

2. Place the rice in a large fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear, about 1 1/2 minutes. Shake rice vigorously in a strainer to remove all excess water.

3. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed oven-safe Dutch oven or straight-sided saute pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rice and fry, stirring frequently, until it is golden and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium; add the garlic and minced jalapenos; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes.

4. Stir in pureed tomatoes and onions, chicken broth, tomato paste, and salt; increase heat to medium-hight and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven; bake until the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring well after 15 minutes.

5. Stir in cilantro, if desired, and serve with lime wedges.

Source: Adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from Cook's Illustrated.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Haricots Verts with Shallots

Last week I stopped off at Trader Joe's on my walk home to get a few things I needed for dinner. I saw this huge package of haricots verts (French-style green beans), and I couldn't help but get them. As soon as I got home I Googled "haricot vert recipes" (at this time not completely sure of the plural form) and found this awesome one on Smitten Kitchen. Unfortunately, I didn't have any of the ingredients except the haricots verts and butter - no problem, it was still fantastic!

The next day I got the other ingredients and made the dish exactly as the recipe states, and it was incredible - I love this recipe so much. The shallots cooked in butter are amazing, and I love the slight crunch of the beans. These are the perfect side dish - quick, healthy, and delicious. I highly recommend the cooking technique even if you don't use the shallots, tomatoes, and lemon - the beans turn out perfect. I'm so happy to add this to my side dish repertoire :)

Update: I've submitted this entry to the Side Dish Showdown hosted by Reeni of Cinnamon Spice & Everything nice!

Side Dish Showdown Blogger Event

Haricots Verts with Shallots

1/2 pound haricots verts, trimmed
2 teaspoon butter
1 small shallot, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons diced tomato
Wedge of lemon

1. Cook beans in boiling, salted water for 3 1/2 minutes. Quickly strain and submerge into cold water to stop cooking process.

2. In the same pot that you cooked the beans, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until just translucent but not brown, 1 - 2 minutes.

3. Add the drained beans back to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook until heated through.

4. Transfer beans to a serving platter, top with tomatoes, and squeeze lemon juice over the dish. Serve immediately.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

This year Bob and I hosted a Christmas celebration in Chicago for his parents the weekend before Christmas. This was my first holiday dinner, and really my first big dinner where I was responsible for the entire meal. I was so excited but very nervous. I knew I wanted to make a turkey breast, since there were just 4 of us, but I had never made one before. My 'practice' turkey breast was a flop because we accidentally bought a turkey breast roast, which is boneless, and I'm convinced it was injected with saline or something because it was overly salty.

In searching for a fool-proof recipe for the turkey breast, I found this one of Ina Garten's that had 5 stars on Food Network - there were SO many overwhelmingly positive reviews, I couldn't pass it up. This turkey was so incredible - it was juicy (thanks to my remote control digital meat thermometer!) and so flavorful. I think rubbing the herb paste underneath the skin is key - it allows the flavors to penetrate the meat. I made a gravy to go with this (ok by "made" I mean opened a can and added some bourbon!) but I ate mine plain - it was that juicy and good.

One of my reasons for serving it with gravy, instead of pan juices like the recipe suggests, was two-fold: 1) Bob's favorite food is gravy (sadly not kidding) and he would be devastated without it, and 2) reviewers on Food Network noted that they had to keep adding wine or water to the pan and it would keep evaporating so they weren't left with much pan juice in the end. I had a similar issue - the pan juices browned and stuck to the pan as the 'juice' dissipated. If you'd like to use the pan juices for the turkey (which I'm sure would be delicious given the herbs, lemon juice, and wine), I recommend adding much more wine or water or a combination, then checking occasionally and adding more as needed. Yes, the holidays are over, but a turkey breast can be great any time of year, especially if you use the leftovers to make turkey soup, one of my favs!

Sorry no pic of the intact bird - things were a little hectic!

A boneless turkey breast I made in January:

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

Note: This recipe is for a bone-in turkey breast, but I have since made it again using a boneless turkey breast and it came out fantastic as well. Use what you like!

1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 1/2 - 7 pounds (mine was almost 8)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves (I used 1 teaspoon dried)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons good olive oil
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine

Preheat oven to 325F.
1. Wash turkey breast and pat dry with paper towels if desired. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan.

2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste.

3. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan. Note: At this point you may want to add extra wine or water to the pan because, as I indicated above, the liquid evaporates rather quickly.

4. Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 - 2 hours (or longer if it's bigger), until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest areas of the breast (test several places to be sure). Note: If the skin is over-browning during the cooking process, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil.

5. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest to room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey, or with gravy.

Source: Adapted from Ina Garten

Friday, February 5, 2010

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

This must be the week of side dishes because here is yet another! I've never really liked cauliflower. My mom always just steamed it in the microwave, and I never understood why people ate it. As I was searching for side dish recipes in early January, I found this Garlic Roasted Cauliflower on Good Things Catered. Katie always posts such delicious recipes so I figured I would trust her on this one, especially since roasting vegetables can bring out unique flavors. I'm so glad I did, because this was a huge hit! Bob had a second helping of this cauliflower before he even started on his main course! He said it was the best cauliflower he's ever had. Now I call that a successful side dish!

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
4 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
generous sprinkle of salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley)

Preheat oven to 450F.
1. In a large nonstick baking pan, combine all ingredients except for parsley, and toss to combine well.

2. Bake, tossing occasionally during baking, until lightly browned and softened, about 25-30 minutes.

3. Remove from oven, toss with parsley and serve immediately.

Source: Adapted from Good Things Catered

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Smashed Sweet Potatoes for Two

In my effort to make more side dishes for dinner, I tried this recipe for Smashed Sweet Potatoes by Ina Garten. These were delicious! They have a prominent orange flavor from the orange juice, which I didn't mind, but I think any light colored juice would work - like apple or even pineapple. I scaled the recipe down for two, but the original make much more, so it's an easy recipe to adapt for as many people as needed. These sweet potatoes go great with turkey meatloaf muffins!

Smashed Sweet Potatoes for Two

1 large sweet potato
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon orange juice
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon heavy cream or milk (I used skim)
2 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
dash of ground nutmeg
dash of ground cinnamon
kosher salt, to taste (approximately 1/3 teaspoon)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste (approximately 1/6 teaspoon)

Preheat oven to 375F.
1. Scrub potato and poke several times with a knife or fork. If desired, place on a plate in the microwave for about 5 - 10 minutes to get a head start on the cooking process.

2. Bake sweet potato in oven for about 1 hour (if you pre-cooked in the microwave, this may be as little as 30 minutes), or until very soft when pierced with a knife.

3. When sweet potato is cool enough to handle, carefully cut the skin and peel it off, scraping the insides into a large mixing bowl.

4. Using a stand fitted with a paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer or potato masher), combine the cooked sweet potato with the orange juice, cream or milk, butter, brown sugar, spices, and salt/pepper. Mix to desired consistency.

5. Transfer potatoes to a small baking dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until heated through.

Source: Adapted from Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cilantro Coconut Rice

There's not much else to say about this rice expect that it was so, so, so good! I'm not kidding - I really loved it. I used Jasmine rice instead of basmati. I love the sweetness of the coconut in this rice and the freshness of the ginger, jalapenos, cilantro, and scallions. Pair this with Coconut-crusted Chicken and you've got a very coco-nutty meal :)

Cilantro Coconut Rice

1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) basmati (or jasmine) rice
scant 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 Tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh jalapeno, including seeds
2 Tablespoons vegetable/Canola oil
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed fresh cilantro
3 scallions, chopped

1. Wash rice in several changes of cold water in a bowl until water is almost clear. Soak rice in cold water 30 minutes, then drain well in a sieve. (I did not do 30 minutes...maybe 10).

2. Spread coconut in a skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden; watch carefully so it doesn't brown too much or burn. Cool completely.

3. Cook ginger and jalapeno in 1 Tablespoon oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until chile is softened, about 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

4. Stir in water and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil, covered. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender and water is absorbed, 12-15 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.

6. While rice cooks, pulse together coconut, cilantro, scallions, and remaining Tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until finely chopped.

7. Add cilantro mixture to cooked rice and stir gently until combined well.

Source: Adapted from APPLE A DAY, originally from Gourmet, found on

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