You can find 1000+ of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch nearly 100 of my Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. Have fun!


~Aromatically-Spiced Yellow Caribbean Coconut Rice~

IMG_0093Rice is nice.  I like rice -- a lot.  Next to the earthy potato, it's one of nature's greatest gifts to my side-dish world, not-to-mention a staple food for a large part of the world's population.  Extra-long-grain white-, basmati-, jasmine-, wild-, arborio-, and, Thai-sweet-sticky- rices are staples in my pantry.  You'll also find a stash of Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Rice, Rice-a-Roni, and, Goya Spanish-Style Yellow Rice (all boxed-mixes complete with seasoning packets) in there too.  

IMG_5098Rice has always been a part of my life, but, growing up, my mom and grandmother didn't get too creative with it -- it was always stovetop-cooked, long-grain white, served plain, or, with brown butter and sautéd onions stirred into it.  

It was the outside world (a result of all the traveling that Joe and I have done), that contributed all the creative and exotic rice recipes to my recipe box.  That said, it was my mom who taught me how to cook  PICT3936perfect white rice on the stovetop. Mom even bought me a 4-quart stockpot with a glass lid (just like hers), which allows me to keep an eye on the cooking process (which is "half the battle" when it comes to simmering perfect rice every time).  

Fast forward to the mid-1990's, which is when I got exposed to now one of my favorite countertop appliances:  the electric rice steamer.  A Korean girlfriend, Oki Lee, brought one full of perfectly steamed rice to a tennis club fundraiser -- it changed my life.  It's indispensable to me, and, for the most part, I have transitioned all of my rice recipes from stovetop to 6a0120a8551282970b0176168db7d9970csteamer.  To make rice in an electric steamer:  using the cup/measure from steamer, place rinsed rice in steamer.  Add an equal amount of water, a 1-to-1 ratio of rice-to-water. Briefly stir, close lid and turn steamer on.  Do not uncover during steaming process.  In 18-20 minutes, perfectly cooked rice -- and, the steamer will keep it warm for several hours.  It can be used to steam other vegetables too.  Click here to learn how I steam broccoli and cauliflower in a rice steamer.

Coconut milk and aromatic spices give this rice its exotic flavor. Yellow coloring comes from achiote oil and bijol seasoning.  

IMG_5162It's an unbelievably delicious sweet & savory side-dish to all sorts of Caribbean-style pork, poultry, fish or seafood dishes.

IMG_51211  13 1/2-ounce can coconut milk + enough water to total 2 1/4 cups liquid

2  cups basmati or extra-long-grain white rice

3-4  tablespoons aceite de achiote, achiote-flavored vegetable oil (vegetable oil with annatto)

1  teaspoon sea salt

3/4  teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper

1/2  teaspoon bijol seasoning

1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2  teaspoon ground cumin

1/4  teaspoon ground allspice 

2  cups finely-diced sweet onion

1  cup finely-diced red bell pepper

1  cup raisins

4-6  tablespoons minced, fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

IMG_5136 IMG_5136 IMG_5136 IMG_5136~Step 1.  Place the rice and the coconut milk/water mixture in rice cooker and give it a stir.  Close the lid, plug steamer in and turn it on.  While rice is steaming, prepare vegetable/raisin sauté as directed below.  When rice is finished steaming, rake through it with a fork, to fluff it up.

IMG_5125 IMG_5125 IMG_5125 IMG_5125~Step 2.  In a 10" skillet, place enough oil to coat bottom, 3-4 tablespoons.  Add and stir salt, pepper, bijol seasoning, cinnamon, cumin and allspice into oil.  Heat over medium heat, then add onion, bell pepper and raisins.  Stir to combine and adjust heat to sauté, until onion and pepper are softened, but still crunch tender, and, raisins are soft and plump, 5-6 minutes.  Turn heat off.

IMG_5149 IMG_5149~ Step 3.  Transfer steamed rice to vegetable mixture in skillet.  Using a large spoon, combine thoroughly.  Serve this delightfully sweet and savory rice with, or use as a bed for, grilled or roasted Caribbean-style poultry, pork or seafood. 

Stir steamed coconut-rice into vegetable/raisin mixture:

IMG_5156Coming up next: Caribbean-Style Pork Chops & Onions:

IMG_0090Aromatically-Spiced Yellow Caribbean Coconut Rice:  Recipe yields 8 cups rice/8-16 side-dish servings.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; 10" skillet, preferably nonstick; electric rice steamer

6a0120a8551282970b017eeac6e1a6970dCook's Note:  Sometimes we cooks take the simplest of things for granted.  We intuitively know what spices, herbs, vegetables and/or fruits to add to a pot of fluffy white rice to turn it into a spectacular side-dish.  We use this inexpensive grain as a foil to stretch a meal that feeds 4 into a meal that feeds 6-8.  From region to region, even here in the U.S.A. there are different ways to cook white rice.  One of my favorites, from New Orleans is: Commander's Kitchen's Recipe for: "Boiling" White Rice.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Photos and Commentary courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2017)


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment