Tuesday, March 11, 2014

COCONUT RICE plus SPICY LIMA BEANS, Perfect Sides for Seafood, Pork or Chicken

I know that when Billy gets home after being on the road for days he longs for a home cooked meal.  There are days when he’s just gotten home and I’ve been busy all the day and not had time to prep anything for dinner.  Honestly, on those days I feel rushed to get dinner on the table I don’t even enjoy cooking, I’d rather order out.  But my man works hard to earn the bacon, so the least I can do is whip something up. 

Coconut Rice and Spicy Lima Beans is one of my go to combos, because I always have the stuff on hand to make the dishes, and they require very little effort.  Coconut milk makes the rice slightly creamy and sweet (Not to mention that it smells amazing when it cooks!), and it pairs perfectly with the sweet lima beans and spicy tomatoes.  I like to serve this combo with fish, pork or chicken; I might just add some spices to the rice while it cooks to suit my fancy!

You may have noticed that there is indeed fish pictured with the Coconut Rice and Spicy Lima Beans, but I wasn’t that happy with this particular fish, so I’m not posting the recipe, but Pan Seared Grouper or Sea Bass would be terrific.

While this meal is quick and easy to whip up, make no bones about it; it’s absolutely delish.  Just because Coconut Rice and Spicy Lima Beans are super simple to make doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of love that goes into them!

Here’s what you do.

Add the rice to the bowl of rice cooker.

You know how when you go out for Chinese and the rice is never sticky and the grains are separate?  That's because much of the starch in rinsed from the rice before it's cooked.

Rinse the rice by covering it with a good amount of water and swishing it around, draining off the cloudy water; repeat three or four times.

Because much of the starch has been rinsed from the rice, and because the rice has absorb some water, less liquid is needed to cook the rice.  Use equal parts rice and liquid.

Add the coconut milk and salt to the drained and rinsed rice.

This is the coconut milk that I like, because it's thin and it doesn't have any stabilizers or gums added to make it thick.  If the coconut milk that you have is thicker add 1/4 cup of water as well.

Close the lid and let the cooker do its work.  

Soon the kitchen will be permeated with the most amazing aroma!

I love my rice cooker because I get perfect rice every time, and also it keeps the rice warm for a good long while.  I bought mine, a gazillion years ago at an Asian market which is more affordable than buying one in a kitchen store.  
I didn't realize for years that the color is actually pink and not white!  I don't know how I missed that!

No rice cooker?  Not to worry, I included stove top instructions in the recipe.

In this case I added the juice of half of a lime; sometimes I also add chopped cilantro.  

You also may cook the rice with spices such as cardamom, cinnamon or bay leaves.

To make the Spicy Lima Beans you're gonna need some diced onion, oil, a can of Rotel tomatoes, a bag of frozen lima beans, and some black pepper.
Sweat the onions in the oil over medium-high heat, until the onions are soft.

Add the tomatoes and 1/4 cup of water and bring that to a boil.

Now that the liquid is boiling, add the frozen lima beans.

Partially cover the pan and cook for about 7 minutes, until the beans are heated through...That's it!

Coconut Rice and Spicy Lima Beans are perfect together and are perfect to serve with fish or shrimp, pork, or chicken.


Serves 4

1 ½         cups       Jasmine or Basmati rice
1 ½         cups       Coconut milk
¼            tsp.        Salt

   1.       Add the rice to the bowl of a rice cooker, or a medium sized sauce pan.  Rinse the rice by covering the rice with a good amount of water, and then drain the water off; do this 3 or 4 times.
   2.       Add the coconut milk and salt to the rinsed and drained rice (I use a thin coconut milk that hasn’t any gums or stabilizer to thicken it; if you’re using a thicker coconut milk add ¼ cup of water as well). 
   3.       If using a rice cooker, just turn it on.  On the stove top; bring the liquid to a boil over medium- high heat (keep on eye that it doesn’t boil over).  Cover the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low, and allow the rice to simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow the rice to sit, still covered, for 10 more minutes.
   4.       Fluff the cooked rice with a fork and serve.

Optional flavorings: 

3 or 4 green cardamom pods which have been wrapped in a small piece of cheese cloth and tied with kitchen twine.
A cinnamon stick, just break it in half.
A bay leaf or two.
You’ll add the spices in step # 2

You may also choose to squeeze the juice of half of a lime to the cooked rice and stir in some chopped cilantro.


Serves 4

¼                         Medium onion, small dice
½           Tbsp.       Grape seed, canola or coconut oil
1-10        oz. can     Rotel tomatoes, spicy or mild.
¼           cup         Water
16           oz.          Frozen lima beans
                            Black pepper, to taste

   1.       In a medium sauce pan; sweat the onions in the oil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the onions are soft.
   2.       Add the tomatoes and water, and bring the liquid to a boil.  Once the liquid has come to a boil add the frozen lima beans and cook partially covered for about 7 minutes until the lima beans are heated through.  Season with black pepper and serve.

     You may also like:

Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole
Roasted Tomato Orzo Pasta


Oven Roasted Asparagus
Vegetable Fried Rice

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