This year will be our first Valentine’s Day since we had baby Olivia. I am not even sure, if we are going to do anything special.
Having worked in the restaurant industry, I avoid certain places on regular Friday and Saturday nights already. The thought of going out on a busy Valentine’s Day Saturday is anything but romantic for me.
This recipe is one I developed with Konrad in mind and I know he wouldn’t mind having it again for a romantic Valentine’s dinner at home. He is a rice lover through and through – he will have it over pasta any and every day.
During our time spent traveling Southeast Asia Konrad discovered his favorite way of eating rice: fried rice baked inside a hollowed out pineapple. I don’t know how typical a Thai dish this is (considering an oven isn’t a standard Asian kitchen appliance), but we have only ever had this dish in Thailand.
First, we need to carve out a ripe, sweet pineapple. I found it easiest to cut a rectangle first and then cut out individual slices.
Cut half of the flesh into chunk to use for the recipe and store the rest for another use.
To keep the fried rice from getting too mushy in the pineapple shell, I pat it dry with paper towel first. Then bake it empty for about 5 minute to dry out even more.
Covering the leaves with foil will keep them from burning.
Once the fried rice is prepared, divide it between the two carved out pineapple halves. It will pile high. And bake for another 10 minutes to heat through.
Being baked inside the pineapple imparts such a unique tropical flavor to the fried rice.
Did you ever recreate a recipe from your travels? How about Valentine’s Day – any plans yet?
- 1 ripe sweet pineapple
- 4 green onions, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups cold cooked long-grain rice (like Jasmine or even brown)
- 1 cup frozen diced carrots and peas, thawed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- ¼ cup roasted unsalted cashews
- 1 tablespoon coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or Tamari for gluten-free)
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Cut the pineapple in half. Carve out the flesh while leaving the skin intact. Chop half of the flesh into small chunks (~1 cup) and set aside. Pat dry with paper towel. Cover the pineapple leaves with aluminum foil to keep from burning. Bake the pineapple boats for about 5 minutes to dry them.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or wok on high heat. Add onion and garlic and stir fry for a minute until fragrant.
- Add half of the beaten egg to the skillet and cook for 30 seconds without stirring. Then stir in remaining egg, cooked rice and carrots and peas. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, turmeric, coriander and chili flakes. Stir fry on high for 5-10 minutes to desired crispness.
- Add in pineapple, cashews, coconut milk and soy sauce and stir. Fill into pineapple shells and bake for about 10 minutes until heated through.
- Garnish with more cashes and green onion. Serve right away
Adapted from Food52.