The other night my husband and I polished off an entire fresh pineapple for dessert. It was sweet, juicy, citrusy and ten thousand times more addictive than even the best bowl of popcorn. Before we even knew it our toothpicks were digging into an empty bowl and we were looking at each other with puppy dog eyes thinking, no more?
I suppose this is to be expected given pineapples are in peak season. I have to admit while I’d been busy filling my winter citrus basket with clementines, navel oranges and tangerines, I’d been remiss at including our tropical friend the pineapple. They finally caught my eye when they went on sale at Fairway the other week and I scooped one up. Three days later I was back scooping up another. And then another. At which point I knew I had to get creative and make use of this incredibly delicious peak season pineapple in a savory dish.
I recalled a blog post I’d read a while ago on 101 Cookbooks, one of the food blogs I follow. Fresh pureed pineapple was used in a dressing for brown rice tossed with cashews, scallions and mizuna greens. I figured the Hawaiian flavor profile of such a dish would happily complement some Asian-inspired spicy shrimp. I added additional diced pineapple to rice and turned the whole dish into a delicious stir-fry.
A couple notes about the recipe:
- this recipe calls for cooked brown rice. So to get the 2 – 2 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice you must take 1 – 1 1/2 cups of brown rice and cook it.
- chili-garlic sauce is a spicy Asian condiment found in the Asian aisle of the grocery store. It’s generally pretty widely available, so no need to go to a specialty store. In a pinch, substitute extra red pepper flakes or an Asian hot sauce.
- to get freshly grated ginger, you need to buy ginger-root, which is found in the produce section of the store typically near the onions and garlic. You want to cut off the tough, outer skin using a chef’s knife. Use a microplane to grate the ginger as you would parmesan cheese.
So if you can keep your hands off the entire fresh pineapple this time of year, Buon Appetito! (Or if you’re like me and my husband, buy a couple of them).
pineapple rice with spicy shrimp
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp + 2 Tbs toasted sesame oil, divided
- 1/4 cup (fresh or canned) pineapple juice
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbs soy sauce
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
- 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 – 2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 cup cashews, chopped
- 1/2 serrano chili, minced
- 2 Tbs soy sauce
- 1 Tbs fresh pineapple juice
- 2 tsp chili-garlic sauce
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
- 1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
1. Start with the shrimp – combine soy sauce, pineapple juice, chili garlic sauce, red pepper flakes and sesame oil in medium bowl. Add shrimp and stir to coat. Set aside – let marinate 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the dressing for the rice – combine olive oil, 2 tsp sesame oil, pineapple juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, pineapple, ginger and salt in a blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
3. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add shrimp in a single layer and sear 2 minutes. Flip and cook second side 1 minute. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Discard marinate.
4. In large skillet, add 2 Tbs sesame oil and swirl to coat. Add shallots and scallions and stir-fry 2 minutes or until shallots are softened. Add cooked rice, cashews, serranos, spicy shrimp and 1/2 of dressing and stir-fry 2 minutes to warm everything through. Transfer to large serving platter and serve drizzled with additional dressing, if desired.
Serves 3-4 as a main course
Rice recipe inspired by 101 Cookbooks food blog by Heidi Swanson