Chrissy Teigan’s Coconut Rice


Warning: this stuff is clutch. Can’t-stop-eating kind of delish. Salty and sweet coconut is crack to me. One of my all-time favorite desserts in the world is the delicious sticky rice with slices of mango on top from Thai restaurants. While this won’t yield the same desserty richness or al dente bite of official sticky rice (future post for sure) this is an excellent approximation that captures those same flavors in a savory application. Plus, this recipe is super easy, only takes about 20 minutes, and doesn’t require the soaking and steaming and special equipment that real Thai coconut rice calls for. Niiice.

I modified this recipe from one in Chrissy Teigan’s cookbook. She suggests serving it alongside a pineapple short rib offering. I think it’d taste clutch with any grilled teriyaki chicken, fish, shrimp, or steak, fried pork chops, stir fried veggies, or jerk chicken. I had some various garden goodies I didn’t know what to do with, so I threw them all in a roasting pan at 425 degrees until they were tender-crisp and served with ponzu sauce over the rice. The next day, I ate the rice with some Trader Joe’s shrimp dumplings that I steamed and drizzled with chili oil. It’s a blank palate…but not *too* blank.

You’ll Need

  • 1 1/2 cups of Jasmine rice
  • 1 can of coconut milk. The regular full fat stuff, not the lite version or the milk substitute. The thick creamy delicious stuff.
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt

Method

  1. Put the rice in a strainer and give it a good rinse in the sink. Put the rice in a medium saucepan with the coconut milk, sugar, salt, and fill the empty coconut milk can full of water and pour that in too. The coconut milk will have probably separated in the can into a thick white semi-solid layer and a clear liquidy layer–that’s totally cool! It’ll all become homogenous once the rice heats up.
  2. Bring the rice mixture to a boil over high heat and give it a good stir. Reduce to low, cover the pot, and let barely simmer for 20 minutes. (If you lost the proper lid to your saucepan, you can Macgyver one out of foil). Uncover and stir the liquid layer back into the rice with a fork, fluffing as you go. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 5 more minutes.

Remix The Dish: to reheat the rice to eat with leftovers, microwave it for a minute or two with the rice covered with a damp paper towel. My momma taught me that trick!! It rehydrates the rice so it won’t taste all hard and mealy.

You could also make a poor man’s version of the delicious Thai coconut rice dessert by adding an extra 1/4 cup of sugar to the rice, and simmering another can of coconut milk with 1/2 a cup of sugar, a teaspoon of corn starch, and several big pinches of salt. Serve the rice with fresh fruit, a generous drizzle of the coconut sauce, and sesame seeds sprinkled on top.


Girl and the Goat Roasted Cauliflower, and a little chat about flavors

I had the pleasure of visiting Girl and The Goat one week after the chef/owner Stephanie Izard won Iron Chef Gauntlet. That’s right, the first person to win Top Chef and become an Iron Chef is a woman, and her food is just as stunning as you’d expect.

We went family style and tried everything from goat belly to escargot ravioli to “pig face” to the most delicious shishitos I’ve ever tasted, covered in a crunchy layer of sesame and parmesan cheese. Stephanie is ballsy AF and understands how flavors work together.

When it comes to cooking on the fly, the most valuable skill you can possess is understanding what each component brings to the party. Knowing what an ingredient is supposed to accomplish empowers you to substitute with what you have at hand. Here are the flavor profiles we’re looking at in this dish:

Roasted Cauliflower = earthy, vegetal, soft

Parmesean = salty, umami, rich

Mint = fresh

Roasted Nuts = crunch

Pepperocini = acid, brightness, heat

Next time you take a bite of a dish with several components, think about how they all play off each other–how the sweet meat of a burger plays against a soft and buttery bun, crunchy lettuce, and tangy pickles, or how funky blue cheese works with fresh iceberg, salty bacon, and sweet tomatoes. A great plate combines several different flavors and textures, and this week I challenge you to contemplate this as you eat.

You’ll Need

  • A head of cauliflower (or be lazy and buy one pre-cut from the salad section, no judgement here)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • A handful of mint, chopped (can sub flat-leaf parsley or any leafy green herb)
  • 1/4 cup of roasted almonds (can sub whatever you have in the house–walnuts, pistachios, or even peanuts would accomplish the same thing. Stephanie used roasted pine nuts! Seeds or even crushed croutons work too)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of shredded or grated Parmesan cheese (pecorino, manchego, or and hard and flavorful cheese would work fine)
  • Pepperocini rings (banana peppers, peppadews, jalapenos, or any spicy pickled pepper would work great)

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F. Break the cauliflower down into 1-2 inch chunks. If you’ve never cut up a cauliflower before, I promise it’s way less scary then you’d think. They’re significantly softer than a spaghetti squash or even a cabbage, so no need to say your hail marys or feel like your fingers are living on borrowed time. I like to slice the thing into 4 big pieces then gently separate the florets from the leaves and thick center, using my hands or a small knife. The leaves and stem are edible (and delicious), but that’s for another post.
  2. Toss the cauliflower with about a couple good glugs of olive oil and a few big pinches of salt. Place on a baking sheet (cut side down for maximum browning) and roast until tender, 20-25 minutes. TIP CITY: when roasting veggies, in addition to tossing in olive oil, I also like to hit the baking pan with some Pam spray, as well as spritz the tops of the veg with it before popping it in the oven. Oil promotes browning, and browning = flavortown.
  3. While the veg roasts, rough chop the nuts and the mint. Have some ziploc baggies handy for the leftovers–the nuts and mint would taste awesome tossed with berries, sprinkled over a salad, or mashed into some goat or cream cheese.
  4. Remove cauliflower and toss in a serving bowl with the parmesan. Taste for seasoning, and add more cheese or a little more salt if necessary. (If your nuts are salted, keep this in mind! Nothing shuts down a party like too much seasoning). Sprinkle the mint and nuts on top. Finish by garnishing with the pepperocini.

Remix The Dish: try this cauliflower with peppadews and manchego cheese for a Spanish take, or use basil or cilantro, peanuts, pickled jalapeƱo, and omit the cheese for a Thai spin.