January 8, 2011

Creamy Pineapple Rice

Oh man, some holiday detox is definitely in order in my life, how about yours? I loved being home with the fam for a few weeks, but it's nice not to be surrounded by hundreds of cookies every day. And also sad. Christmas cookies cause conflicting emotions. You feel obligated to eat them (You don't want to insult Jesus, right? Or Santa?), but they cause tummy aches if you eat them for meals as well as snacks and dessert. Moral of the story: holidays are dangerous. Wonderful and magical and totally worth some of my clothes not fitting for a couple weeks, but dangerous nonetheless.

Let me tell you briefly how much the people that I love love me back before diving into a deliciously rich-yet-not-terrible-for-us recipe: For Christmas, the padres gave me a KitchenAid (!!!) and a coffee grinder, among other wonderful things. The boy gave me two knives, each of which cost more than the entire set we had before (also, they're made with the same folding technique used on samurai swords. That's how you know a boy bought them), among other fun kitchen things. And the twin, in a blinding example of twin-weirdness, somehow picked the same theme for my gifts that I chose for hers: mustaches.

Twins are not to be trusted. Too weird.

It was a wildly successful Christmas. So successful that the blog was shamelessly ignored (sorry) and the sugar high is still wearing off. My first week back in Nawlins has been marked almost entirely by either plain fruits and vegetables or experiments that still need tweaking, but we did enjoy one of my old standbys last night. Super easy to throw together, pineapple rice is a nice way to dress up any number of easy weeknight dinners: chicken breast or pork chops, grilled tofu or steamed asparagus. Best made with regular brown rice (although you can use quick-cooking in a pinch), it's hearty and savory, but the pineapple lends a sweetness that goes beautifully with the creamy, slightly sticky texture imparted by the last-minute addition of a couple pats of butter. 

A quick couple notes about fresh pineapple: Whole pineapple doesn't ripen after being harvested, so leaving it out to ripen (like, say, bananas) is a no-go. A ripe pineapple will have a yellow base that smells slightly sweet. To cut it, hack off the top and bottom using a long knife (samurai manufacturing optional, but highly recommended). Stand it upright, and cut the skin off of the pineapple in strips from top to bottom, following the curved shape of the fruit and cutting just behind the brown "eyes." After skin is removed, just slice the fruit off of the non-tasty core. Or just buy precut pineapple, but that's no kind of adventure at all.

Creamy Pineapple Rice
You can use canned pineapple in place of fresh in a pinch, but I would scale back a little and not be tempted to use any juice from the can, to avoid a dish that's too cloyingly sweet.

1 cup brown rice
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Bring stock to a boil. Add rice and garlic and reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 45-50 minutes, or until done. In the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, add pineapple.

Remove from heat and add butter, fluffing with a fork until melted.

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  1. ooooo!! This would be a wonderful side dish with some of the Chinese things we cook in the wok!

  2. I am making this and super excited about it. I cant say that for many recipes I find on food blogs. Thats why yours is the best.

  3. Haha, and you know that everything on my blog is something that Erik will eat, so it HAS to be good! And in no way weird.

  4. Untrue. Pineapple in anything other than pineapple is weird. But this looks easy, so ill try it. No guarantee I won't pick around the fruit, though.