Monday, July 29, 2013

Black Rice and Coconut Milk Dessert

It's hard to know just what to call this - a traditional rice pudding, in America, is a sort of egg and cream custard, with rice cooked into it. This is almost closer to a risotto. A sweet, nutty risotto. This is my favorite dessert to order at Thai restaurants, so I thought I should try and make it at home!

Black Rice and Coconut Milk Dessert
Serves 8

1 cup black rice ("forbidden rice". I've heard black glutinous rice can be used, but I haven't seen that, and plain black rice worked just fine. I think brown rice would work as well, but you'd be missing the classic deep purple color)
3 cups water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar (or more, to taste)
1 can of coconut milk, shaken well and divided

In a saucepan with a good-fitting lid, combine your rice and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer (covered) for 30 minutes. The rice should still look like it's swimming in water, like a porridge, but if you try a bite, it should be soft and ready to eat.

Stir in your sugar and 12 oz. of coconut milk. Return to a boil, and then reduce the heat again and simmer for another 45 minutes. Stir it every 10 minutes or so - you really don't want it to burn! It will continue to cook, and get pretty thick. After about 45 minutes, it will resemble a classic rice pudding - thick and spoonable. Let it cool a bit, then divide it between 8 bowls and top each bowl with a bit of the leftover coconut milk from the can.

Coconut Shrimp with Carrots

Still working through the to-do list on my phone. Here is another great recipe that has been languishing for a while. Use your imagination - pink little shrimp, nestled up against brilliant orange splashes of carrot, all in a snowy, silky fragrant coconut sauce, served over rice. Everyone loves this!

Coconut Shrimp with Carrots
Serves 4, over rice

1 pound carrots
1 pound shrimp
Salt & Pepper
8 oz. coconut milk
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

In a bowl, sprinkle your peeled, deveined shrimp with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Slice your carrots into 1/8" rounds. Doing it on a diagonal instead gets you Pretty Points. Peeling is totally optional. Set aside.
In another bowl, stir together coconut milk and sugr until dissolved, and then add the mayonnaise. Set aside.

Heat up a medium fry pan, and add about 2 Tbsp. of oil. Add your carrots to the pan and stir-fry until they turn bright orange and just start to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add the shrimp and stir those around until they are cooked through. Add your sauce and cook for another minute or two, or until the sauce is hot and smooth. Remove from heat and serve over rice. Enjoy!

Coconut-Scented Black Bean "Brownies"

I usually like to blog recipes when I have pictures to go with them...but I've been sitting on this recipe for about two months, and just need to get it off my to-do list. So. Picture little fudgey bites, completely gluten and flour free. Dairy free. Full of trendy coconut oil. Mmmm. I made these for a girls luncheon, and we ate the entire pan. It's the coconut oil that really makes these babies sing! I used a Vitamix to make these, but other blenders would probably work just as well. Just make sure you get everything completely blended and smooth.

Coconut-Scented Black Bean "Brownies"
Makes 1 8x8 pan

Preheat your oven to 350 and grease an 8x8 pan. Set aside.

In your blender, add these ingredients, in this order:
3 eggs
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
1 can black beans, washed and drained

Blend until everything is completely smooth - a few errant bean skins won't ruin these brownies, but too many would be distracting.

Pour your batter into your prepared pan and sprinkle the top generously with semi-sweet chocolate chips. (If you need your brownies to be completely dairy-free, skip the chocolate chips.) Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out batter-free.

Serve warm or cold, but consume judiciously - these are a big ol' pan of magical beans, after all. *grin*

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Raspberry Chocolate Porridge

My family rather enjoys a nice bowl of oatmeal in the mornings. It lowers cholesterol, has loads of fiber, and is one more way to sneak sugar into your morning ritual. (Or maybe that's just me and Siu Jeun...) Our favorite way to enjoy it is topped with loads of huge, sweet blueberries (handpicked by us, each summer, in Chelan, WA.) Unfortunately, we can only fit so many in the freezer and always end up running out a few months before our annual summer trip back to Chelan. So, we get creative in the Spring and early Summer, and bide our time. 

Right now, it's raspberry season in the Pacific Northwest. My mother's garden is positively bursting with them, and the 10 canes I planted in my own backyard are also giving us a few handfuls each day. As it turns out, a few frozen raspberries, a sprinkle of brown sugar, and a handful of chocolate chips on top of a bowl of oatmeal makes an (almost equally) delightful breakfast.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sushi Plates

I simply must share. I stumbled across this lunch earlier this week, by combining a few things I knew about my kids (they love pickled daikon sushi, they love korean salted seaweed, and playing with your food is awesome) and I came up with a lunch that was a huge hit.

 The plate is a hand-me-down from a neighbor, but she said it came from Pottery Barn. The kids loved all the little sections. Clockwise from the top, I have: soy sauce, oshinko (pickled daikon radish), salted seaweed papers, rice sprinkled with sugar. 

Both of the kids had thirds on their rice, and cleaned their plates. Success! I may have to remember this for lunches next year for school...