It has been absolutely gorgeous out this past week. It has been warm out and we have hit 80 degrees! You heard that right, it not only has been warm, but the sun has been shinning. Big and bright might I add too, without many clouds. When we get weather like this in Seattle everyone gets giddy like a kid. The parks are buzzing with activity. For some odd reason, the weather like this leads many to wear beach attire no matter where they are. I personally like to take in some time at the park across the street with my dogs. Martini and Latte like to lay in the grass a bit soaking up the sun and breezes. I enjoy gazing at the beautiful blue sky overhead through the trees. It is my own little tranquil time with my girls.
All this beautiful weather makes me crave something really flavorful, yet light and satisfying to eat. I was racking my brain on what to make…I need something different and inspiring. I headed over to the International District for a stroll and hit the Asian market that is there. I knew I would find my inspiration there. I walked up and down every isle, trying hard not to place every interesting and weird item into my basket. I did pick up plenty of interesting items, but when I set my eyes on a beautiful pineapple inspiration had struck! Pineapple Curry Fried Rice. It is spicy, a tad sweet, has layers of spice, and not too filling; it is just perfect for this wave of warm weather. Not to mention there is not a lot of actual cooking involved, so your kitchen does not get too warm. The other fantastic thing about this recipe is how you can serve it in the pineapple you cut up for the recipe. This recipe is as tasty as it is impressive to look at.
Pineapple Curry Fried Rice (feed 4)
1 cup of uncooked Jasmine rice, rinsed several times
1 cup of cabbage, chopped small
3 green onions, chopped small
2 carrots, chopped small
2 stalks of celery, chopped on a slant
1-2 chilies (Thai, jalapeno, or serrano), chopped small
1 ½ tsp of curry powder
1-2 tsp of minced fresh ginger
2 -3 tbsp of vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
½ a pineapple; washed, cored and chopped
Soy Sauce (about ¼ a cup or more)
1 tbsp of sesame oil
Fresh Thai basil or cilantro for garnish
Sriracha Hot sauce, for serving
First, cook your rice per instructions on the bag. Once your rice is cooked spread it thin on a baking sheet to cool down. I like to do this in the morning and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator so the rice will cool down and dry out.
Next, take your pineapple and with a sharp knife slice it partially through (not piercing the rind) cross each end of the pineapple. Slice the pineapple along down the sides on an angle and also along the core. With the pineapple flipped over and your hands holding it securely pierce the rind of the pineapple and slice it partially across the bottom to loosen the slits you have carved into your pineapple. (See photos below). Your slices might not loosen the pineapple flesh right away, but you can tug on it and pull it out as cleanly as possible. Once flesh of pineapple is removed you can chop it into chunks and set aside.
Then, place a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat through. Add in your beaten egg and constantly stir it until it all cooks and scrambles. Set aside on a plate for later. Raise the heat on your pan to high and add in about 2 more tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add in your cabbage, green onion, chili, carrot, celery, and ginger. Sauté until it all becomes bright in color and sprinkle the curry powder over it all and be sure it becomes fragrant. Add in your cooled rice, while constantly stirring and tossing your mixture together. You do not want to have any of your mixture stick to your pan. (You might need to add a bit more oil if necessary.)
Finally, add in your soy sauce and sesame oil over it all and toss again. Add in the scrambled egg and pineapple and toss well. Pour your mixture into your carved out pineapple and the remainder around it. Garnish it all with cilantro &/or Thai basil and serve. Be sure to serve along with more soy sauce and Sriracha to add. Eat while still warm.
**Note: This is one of those recipes that you can change to your liking. If you like more or less heat you can add more chili and / or ginger. Also you can layer on more curry, or you can omit it if you are not a fan. You can alter it to your own liking.