Made dinner for the first time the other day, and decided to start out with something fairly basic. Especially since we don’t have a rice maker (the old one wasn’t electrically compliant and even though my father got us a European model, there was no room to pack it in our already jammed full bags) and I had never made rice without a machine before. Crazy, isn’t it, how you can get so used to specialized equipment that you don’t even realize it’s been done the old fashioned way for countless centuries before? We don’t have a microwave, either, but I’ve been living without one for the past three years so that’s not as big a deal and probably leads to my being more adventurous in the kitchen. Anyways…
Curried rice with pineapple (the boy LOVES pineapple), chicken, shrimp, and peas. A mellow version, since I’m a spice wimp, that reheats nicely the next day and tastes even better after a bit of flavor melding. I made a nice, big pot and had leftovers for the next two days. I used the AR Curry Pineapple Fried Rice recipe as starting point — while calling it fried rice is a bit of a misnomer, it is a great base.
Finnish ingredients! We’ve got 1 pound of cubed chicken meat (I chopped up two chicken breasts, which are more expensive if you get plain ones rather than pre-marinated ones, for some bizarre reason), 1 and 1/2 cups of uncooked jasmine rice, 3 cups water, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce (I just used soy sauce), 2 tablespoons pineapple juice (which happened to be how much was in the canned pineapple, so that worked out well), 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I use canola), 1 sliced onion, and 20 ounces of drained pineapple chunks (I used 2 smaller cans of crushed pineapple).
In a separate bowl, stir together the curry powder, fish (or soy) sauce, and pineapple juice. I like whisking for better distribution and fewer lumps.
Make yourself some rice! Either with a handy rice cooker or the old-fashioned way over the stove. Check it out, this is my first ever pot of stove-cooked rice. o.O Bring the rice and water to a boil in a pot over high, then reduce and simmer for about 15 minutes while covered. Set aside for rest of liquid to absorb.
Chop up that onion. This is the first time ever I’ve not had to cut up a fresh onion by hand. It felt like cheating! I find that the best way to avoid onion tears, by the way, is to just breathe solely through your mouth. The gas hits your saliva and never gets into the tear ducts. The minute you take a breath through your nose, though, it’s done. It took a couple of times for me to not accidentally do that, but it’s probably the fastest and easiest way to avoid crying since the other methods involve using external sources of moisture to draw away the acid-producing gas released by the onion.
Toss the vegetable oil into the skillet and heat it up. Toss in the chicken and onions to cook. Usually, when recipes say to cube chicken, I just cut it into bite-sized pieces using a pair of kitchen shears. It’s so much easier than using a knife and board, and the results don’t taste that different or look that much worse.
Cook five-ish minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink and the onions are turning translucent.
Add in the pineapple. And in my case, I added in my frozen peas as well and let everything heat up together for another few minutes.
Then I stirred in the curry mixture and folded it through until the entire dish was a uniform curry yellow.
Next, I popped in my shrimp and gave it another good stirring. Never put in delicate meats like shrimp until the last moment, especially if they’re mostly cooked like these guys.
Lastly, toss in the rice and fold everything together so it is all covered in the curry.
Plate and serve!