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New Feature: Side Dish of the Week

June 10, 2009

When someone asks “What’s for dinner?” they’re really asking “What’s your entree?” No one ever cares about the lovely side dishes. They’re always an afterthought. What veggies are about to liquefy in the veggie bin? What’s in the pantry? What can I throw together in the next 5 minutes, so the meat has company on the plate?

I say, No More.  It’s time the supporting players got some top billing. So, welcome to the first installment of what I expect to be a regular feature: Side Dish of the Week. The first entry is easy as could be, but more interesting than just plain rice.

Pineapple Rice

(Makes about 4 large servings)

12-oz. can crushed pineapple in its own juice

Water

1 cup rice (I used a basmati and wild rice blend from the bulk bin at Whole Paycheck)

1 tsp salt

Chopped fresh mint (Optional)

Directions

  1. Drain the pineapple in a strainer, catching the juice in a measuring cup. I know this sounds weird, but there’s a reason for it 🙂
  2. You should have about 1 cup of juice from the pineapple (see, I told you you’d need the measuring cup). Add the juice to a medium saucepan; add as much water as you need to make 2 cups. Turn up the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
  3. When the liquid begins to boil, add the rice and salt. Stir, and drop the heat to low.  You want the rice at a slow, slow simmer.
  4. Simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.  I have no idea how long this takes. I’ve never timed it.
  5. When the rice is fully cooked, turn off the heat and add about 1/2 of the crushed pineapple. Stir to combine.
  6. Add the mint, if you want. Or not. It’s fine without the mint.

I served this with the Mojito Pork (posted yesterday) and a salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette. It would also be great with grilled chicken, jerk chicken, or anything vaguely tropical.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. E11even permalink
    June 14, 2009 11:43 am

    as someone who actually orders at a restaurant based on which side dishes come with the meal, I can get totally on board with this feature.

  2. Cindy Norman permalink
    July 6, 2009 8:11 pm

    Definitely add the mint. It makes this rice so special.

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