Saturday, 18 October 2014

Pineapple fried rice

Fucking grass! It's everywhere. You get it growing up through the cracks in your drive, sprouting in your flower beds and you keep having to mow the fucker every few days in the summer. Fucking annoying. On the other hand, grass also provides most of the bulk calorific content for the diet of the majority of the human race. Wheat, barley, maize, oats, rye and especially rice all come from types of grass. Some people even drink grass juice, but they are fucking idiots falling for psuedoscientific bullshit. Well, that, or they are channeling Ermintrude from the Magic Roundabout.

Rice has been the major food source of a huge proportion of the world's population over the last few thousands of years. However, in the 1970s, rice in the house I grew up in was always bland American long grain rice from some company like Uncle Ben or Bachelors. By God, it was dull, tasteless and generally quit shit. It was akin to eating oily polystyrene chips. However, trust my parents to make a bland thing truly bad, they developed a concoction (I hesitate to call it a recipe) that had crap like chopped spam in it which tasted like death probably feels. I last had it maybe 35 years ago but it took until about 2006 until it stopped repeating on me whenever I burped. This almost put me off rice for ever. Then, later in life, I tried new varieties of rice. Rice that had taste and texture and was made into recipes containing any meat that you needed a tin opener to access. Pilau rice in Indian restaurants, egg fried rice in Chinese. Later on it was risotto, pilaf and paella. Truth be told, rice is a fantastic accompaniment to the right dish, as long as it's a decent quality rice used to start with. This means basmati for a curry or Thai jasmine rice for anything east of India.

Now, anyone reading my blog may have realised that I'm not especially arsed about how a dish looks. However, this recipe looks fucking great, served up in half a pineapple.


200g rice
2 tbsp vegetable oil (not olive, it's too strongly flavoured)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 spring onions
5 large, raw prawns, chopped
1 pineapple, halved and flesh scooped out and chopped finely
1 egg, beaten
black pepper
splash of light soy sauce

Put the rice in a pan of water and bring it to the boil. Boil it for about 12-15 minutes (it needs to e firm or, if you're a foodie wanker, al dente). Drain it in a sieve and keep it on the side.

Add the oil to a wok (or frying pan if you prefer, it tastes the same). Put on the heat and once the oil is hot add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add the prawns and the spring onion for about another minute (the raw prawn should change colour to a nice pink). Add the chopped pineapple then throw in the egg and stir it around so it makes a sort of scrambled mess with the other ingredients. Return the rice to the pan and stir it all up so everything gets mixed. Add the black pepper and the soy sauce and continue to mix until it's a consistent colour. Take the rice out of the pan and onto a plate it's almost time to serve it.

A few minutes before you want to serve dinner, put the oven on at 170°. When it's warm, remove the rice from the pan and pile it into the empty half pineapple. Cover the rice with foil and put the whole lot in the oven in an oven-proof dish. Heat it for 10-15 minutes.Take it out, remove the foil and serve.
This is a fantastic accompaniment to my baked fish recipe or anything vaguely East/southeast Asian.

This is about as fucking close as you will get to a wanky dinner party dish in this blog. To be fair, if you made it this far, you probably realise that isn't really my style. Even I, though, have to admit that this does look quite impressive brought to the table in the pineapple. In fact you might find that your guests apparently gasp at the spectacle, but you can guarantee they are thinking "You pretentious fucking twat!". However, if they aren't, and they actually are genuinely impressed by some rice in half a pineapple you need to get new friends since, if you're like me, you're only serving it like that because it saves on the washing up.

Rice is a great foodstuff: cheap, fairly easy to cook and quick to prepare. However, as a rule of thumb, avoid buying the shit they sell in the supermarket in 500g or 1kg packets. Either it's going to be cheap, which will mean it's of crap quality (see above about American long grain rice), or else it's grossly overpriced. The best place to buy rice is a Chinese or other Asian supermarket, and in as big a pack as you can afford/store. It costs more to buy the pack but per kg it's much cheaper. Also, it lasts for ages. I am a bit of a foodie wanker, but I buy Thai fragrant rice by the 5kg sack. It's better quality, costs about a third of the price per kg as a small pack in Tesco's and lasts for literally months. Having said this, the local demographic in your area may dictate that your local supermarket does stock decent Asian rice in big quantities, so have a look.

Tim Rice, you got away without being in the blog... this time

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