Friday, August 5, 2011

Forbidden Rice with Grilled Pineapple

Forbidden Rice is this beautiful deep purple, black rice that has retains its texture when cooked so it has a bite and is also very nutty and full of flavor. Apparently, it is called "forbidden" because back in the day, it was thought to be so special that only emperors were even allowed to eat the stuff. It was strictly forbidden to commoners. Nowadays anyone who can find it, can have it. Finding it might be a trick. I got a bag of it at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia one time, but I bet you could find it a Wholefoods in one of their snooty sections. You could certainly make this dish with a long grain, white rice if you can't find the forbidden stuff, but part of the fun of this dish is that you are using an ingredients that is not a staple in your pantry. I thought this was a very fun and easy twist on plain rice. I served it with grilled chicken and I think it brightened up the meal. It was also great the next day when I ate it cold with my lunch.
Forbidden Rice with Grilled Pineapple
1 cup forbidden rice
1 can pineapple
1 red onion
1 lime
red pepper flakes (to taste)
salt and pepper
vegetable oil

1. Follow the instruction for cooking your rice. Mine was to bring 2 cups water to a boil and add the rice and a pinch of salt. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes until the rice is tender.
2. Meanwhile, slice the red onion into bite-sized hunks and also slice the pineapple (or just drain it, if you were smart and bought pineapple chunks). Reserve 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice from the can for the dressing.
3. Since I was already grilling my main course that night, I put the pineapple and onions on the grill. I tossed them in vegetable oil, salt and pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
You could certainly saute them in a frying pan instead.

4. When the pineapple and onion have cooked through and are nicely charred, remove them from the heat.
5. To make a dressing for the rice, combine 1/4 cup pineapple juice with the juice form 1 lime, a pinch of salt and pepper, and 2-3 Tbs. vegetable oil. Whish together until well combined.
6. Put the cooked rice into a large bowl, pour over the dressing and toss until thoroughly combined.
7. Add the onions and pineapple and toss again. You can serve this hot or make it ahead and serve it at room temperature.

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