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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tomato Coconut Rice




Flooded Rice Paddy

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Years ago, Bob and I spent several weeks traveling through the American South. We were, of course, charmed by the people and the compelling history of the region. I loved the whole of the Natchez Trace and I wasn't sure that Bob, having found Savannah, would ever leave her. Savannah, save for its famed red rice, spoke to his sensibilities. Now in fairness to him, I must tell you that Spanish rice was a dinner staple when we were children and I think he simply had had his fill of anything that resembled it. Even Savannah Red Rice couldn't tempt him. I wanted to try some Southern meals this week, so I spent some time looking for side dishes that would work nicely with our main courses. I can happily report that I found one that is so delicious that even Bob will eat it. It comes from Joyce White's cookbook "Soul Food." It is very loosely based on the red rice that is served across the South, but there are decided Asian overtones as well. The secret ingredient is the coconut milk and that's decidedly unsouthern unless you find yourself in Thailand or South Vietnam. The rice bakes in the oven and uses every day ingredients to produce a unique accompaniment to grilled meat or poultry. The recipe can be doubled and brown basmati rice can also be used to prepare it. If you opt to use brown rice you should add an additional 20 minutes to the baking time that's stated in the recipe. I really think you'll love this. I know I did. Here's the recipe.

Tomato Coconut Rice...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Joyce White

Ingredients:
2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or parsley
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 cup basmati rice rice
2 cups finely chopped plum tomatoes or well-drained petite diced tomatoes
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart ovenproof baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2) Heat oil in a medium skillet. Stir in onion, herb and bell pepper and sauté 4 or 5 minutes, stirring. Stir in rice and sauté 2 or 3 minutes longer, stirring. Remove pan from heat.
3) Spoon rice mixture into baking dish. Stir in tomatoes, coconut milk, salt, black pepper and pepper flakes. Mix well. Cover baking dish tightly with a lid or aluminum foil.
4) Place dish on the lower oven rack and bake for about 40 minutes, or until he rice is tender, and all liquid is absorbed, stirring a couple times. Cook for another 20 minutes if using brown rice. Serve hot as a side dish to baked fish, roast chicken or meat dishes. Yield: 6 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Yangzhou Fried Rice - One Perfect Bite
Wild Rice, Celery and Walnut Salad - One Perfect Bite
Warm Asian-Style Rice Salad - One Perfect Bite

53 comments:

Debbi Smith said...

This sounds so delicious! I love the idea of using coconut milk and it's so pretty with the tomatoes! Thanks!

PranisKitchen said...

mary
looks so delicious .i used to prepare the coconut rice the addition of tomato is really a good idea.and never prepared by baking the rice..sure will give a try.thanks for sharing.did u use the basmatirice for this preparation

Mary said...

Pranis, I did use basmati rice to make this.

Angie's Recipes said...

What a great idea of using coconut milk to cook the rice dish! I bet it's full of flavours.

Federica said...

ciao!! un piatto unico buonissimo!! complimenti!! ciao!

MaryMoh said...

We eat coconut rice quite a lot. It's a very popular dish in Malaysia to go with peanuts, fried anchovies, spicy sambal, cucumber and curry. We call it nasi lemak. Thanks for sharing yours.

Rue said...

I love coconut milk with rice! I've never baked rice though - this should be fun to try!

Tuty @Scentofspice said...

Nice combination, Mary. We have tomato rice and coconut rice but not the combo :)

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Mary, I cook coconut too, but mine is coconut jam,hehehe.Coconut rice always my favourite, your tomato coconut rice sound good and yummy.

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

That really is an interesting combination. I've had a southern red rice in the queue for posting - meant to get it up last week, but oh well.. never enough time!! This version sounds delicious.

Sushma Mallya said...

wow i just loved the recipe and the click, beautiful...would love to try your version...simple and nice one mary

Katy ~ said...

Mary, this is bookmarked! thank you so much for sharing so that we might enjoy it as well.

Jamie said...

You always find a way to turn something so basic and everyday - like rice - into something special! This sounds so delicious and would go so well with anything grilled!

Michael Toa said...

I love coconut rice. I'm definitelty gonna try this recipe Mary. And thank you for the rabbit foot. I'll keep you up-to-date :)
Have a great day. Michael

Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, I can tell just by looking at the recipe that this is something I'll love! Thank you!
xoxo Pattie

LDH said...

The coconut makes this dish sound so interesting! I enjoy most rice dishes and this one does sound good! I Like the photo of the flooded rice paddy.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

This sounds wonderful, we both love rice anyway so this will be a bonus. Thanks.

®osadimaggio63 said...

Hi Mary
queta è una ricetta veramente deliziosa estiva....
Da provare !

My Little Space said...

I love coconut milk rice! Just so tempting...just imagine the aroma coming from the oven. hmmm... yummm.... Have a wonderful day!
Cheers, Kristy

Martha said...

Looks delicous as always -- when I saw the title, I thought it was another Asian dish -- was surprised to find it Southern!

Rachana Kothari said...

This looks so delicious! I love the idea of using coconut milk... Thanks!

Becky said...

Mary, what an interesting twist on an old southern dish. I will give it a try. How do you think this would go with Ina's Asian Grilled Salmon?

Susi said...

I've had coconut rice before but never with the addition of red bell pepper or tomatoes, which seems to be taken this to a whole new level. It sounds delicious!

Gloria said...

Mary, this sounds absolutely delicious! I love coconut rice,but never try with tomato, nice recipe! gloria

Mary said...

Katy, have you turned off comments on your blog? I tried to leave a comment but was unable to do so. Blessings...Mary

Sandi said...

Hi Mary, that looks wonderful...definitely something I would like to try. Thanks for sharing and have a great day. :o)

Little Inbox said...

A new cooking method to me, :)

Jaynie said...

I'm always looking for new ways to cook rice. This looks very interesting and tasty. I'll definitely be trying this.

San said...

We would call it as tomato biryani.Looks so flavorful n aromatic.Kudos to u for baking it n wonderful recipe.

Kamalika said...

LOved the snaps.....the rice looks very tasty and temptng too....

Linda www.mykindofcooking.com said...

Fantastic recipe! My family loves rice. We will have to try this.

Lori said...

This sounds delicious Mary. We eat a lot of rice, most of the time I prefer it over potatoes. I have never had red rice. There is some pecan rice in my pantry that I am looking forward to making.

Magdalena said...

Your rice must be delicious! So far, I have tried rice cooked in coconut milk, but not baked. Definitely I will try this recipe, as it is easy to do, too. Have a good day!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I love how you collect "recipe memories" throughout your travels!

From the Kitchen said...

Even though I was born in the south (Virginia), we only ate rice occasionally and it was in the form of rice pudding. It wasn't until I was married and moved to Charleston that rice really entered our meals. I was amazed to find 50 pound bags of rice in the Piggly Wiggly! What on earth, I wondered, would anyone do with that much rice? I soon found out. I'm with Bob in finding Savannah mesmerizing!

Best,
Bonnie

DailyChef said...

This looks amazing! What a great idea with the coconut milk. And wonderful pictures, once again.

The Blonde Duck said...

I love the name Savannah.

Melissa said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I must say, your blog is amazing. And, this rice reminds me of something my college room mate used to make! Yum!

pigpigscorner said...

I can smell the coconut from here!

Babette said...

This sounds fabulous--flavors I love together...in fact, I'd probably make dinner out of just this, that is how much I like rice, tomatoes AND coconut..Lovley pic, too, mary.

Jen_from_NJ said...

I love the idea of this rice - such different flavors. I have been cooking with coconut milk quite often lately. Your rice looks and sounds perfect! I'm sure that we will love it.

Sweet and Savory said...

What a wonderful recipe, perfect for my husband who can't eat gluten. I have to get coconut milk or I would make it as a side, tonight.

Karen said...

I really like that this is a baked dish. Sounds delish!

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Oh Mary, I love coming here to visit and I leave with the most wonderful recipes. What kind of rice did you use in your picture? The spoon bread is also one I will try. Thank you friend!

Opps, I see you have answered my question.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

roxan said...

Mary, thank you for such kind words! You're more than welcome (invited, even!) to come over any time you like ;)

teresa said...

this is gorgeous! what a perfect side dish, i love it!

Kim said...

Savannah is one of the most beautiful cities and I love going there.
The rice looks and sounds wonderful.

We Are Not Martha said...

I love coconut rice and this flavor combination sounds perfectly lovely!!

Sues

sweetlife said...

coconut milk with rice, I bet it adds just the perfect flavor and tomatoes....great recipe...

sweetlife

heartnsoulcooking said...

GREAT!!! rice dish. Basmati rice is AWESOME!!! and I like the flavor it has and with the combination of coconut milk sounds WONDERFUL!!!
Geri

alwayswinner786 said...

Mary,
Its simple yet elegant. Excellent combo of coconut milk and tomatoes!

Louis la Vache said...

The coconut milk in this is what really "makes" this dish. Delicious!

Andreas said...

Look, two Peking Ducks in their natural habitat. :)

Baking rice with coconut milk sounds terrific.

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