we got inside in a fantastic mood. the risotto i had planned seemed lackluster - zhara likes a reduced number of dishes, as many toddlers do, and i'm dead bored with the stuff. i've never made this before, but it's in the circuit now, because she loved it so much she asked for it at dinner, too. i've seen a lot of coconut rice done with peas, but in our house they take the stage only as villains in a play where the villains never win. the villains are promptly booed off the stage in shame.
1/2 cup pearl rice, or basmati, or brown
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup frozen soybeans, or peas
1 inch piece ginger, quartered
2 lime leaves
1 ts orange zest
crushed peanuts, optional
heat a little olive oil and saute the onion until translucent. add the rice and and cook a few minutes to toast it. pour in the milk and water, add the leaves and ginger root and bring to boil. cover and reduce to a simmer. after 10 minutes add the frozen peas. we used this mix from trader joe's that has corn, soy beans and red pepper. it's zhara's favourite. cover again and cook until the rice is cooked and the liquid mostly gone, about 8 minutes. remove and discard the leaves and the ginger. add the citrus zest and season to your liking. garnish with peanuts on amenable plates.
the coconut taste is mild, like a lazy afterthought, and the citrus punch brightens it up. i love how creamy it is, and i'm already thinking what a great dessert this will make in its sweet incarnation. but until dessert, next time i'll treat it with some shrimp for a delightful one pot meal.