Cranberry rice with coconut milk/ bbq pork chops

It's been a minute here since I've entered my kitchen... Let's blame COVID-19 for having us supporting restaurants and small business owners (LOL). In all seriousness, the pandemic has taken a toll on all of us and we are trying to cope with the new normal and stay healthy, the best we can.

Like everyone else, I am trying to be on track and reduce bad eating habits as much as I can which means: cooking my own food! Aside from health concerns, cooking is also helping me release out the stress and express my creativity. 

Sometimes, I have a ''taste'' in my head, wondering how the flavors will come together...This recipe is exactly that! I was looking for a bowl of seasoned rice with strong spices, still with a light taste.

To be honest, I was a little bored with my traditional Ivorian fried rice so I've decided to try something different.  Inspired by the Caribbean cuisine, there is just the right amount of spiciness and sweetness at the same with the coconut oil, milk, and the cranberry. 

This is my kind of recipe, easy and quick to make, plus I am a lover of Caribbean food.  It's might the time to check out on how my Jamaican friends are doing and maybe invite myself over...

Besides, we have a lot of similar dishes such as Fried plantain, deep-fried tilapia fish...same-different! When I tell you that the World is a small village eh! Here is the list of the ingredients:

 For the rice : ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • 3 cups of basmati rice 
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp of coconut oil 
  • dried cranberries
  • 1 garlic clove
  • one shallot
  • 1 tbsp of coriander seed
  • salt &pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp of dried herbs mix ( thyme, basil, oregano)
  •  a handful of fresh peppermint leaves (for serving) 

Seasoning for the chops ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • 1 tbsp of yellow curry powder
  • 1 tbsp of coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 fresh ginger clove
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 shallots
  • 1tbsp of paprika powder
  • salt & pepper
  • Optional chili peppers or habanero peppers ⠀⠀

Instructions

In a pot over medium heat, add the coriander seeds, let them pop and release the flavor. After a minute, add the coconut oil, crushed garlic & shallot and stir. Then add the rice, while stirring, add the cranberries, dried herbs, a pinch of salt & pepper. Finally pour the coconut milk and mix everything together; make sure the coconut milk surpasses the rice just 1/2 inch ( adjust with water in case). Let it cook over low heat for 20- 30 minutes.

TIP not to overcook your rice

 Remember, the vapor also helps the rice cook. "Not enough" water is better than" too much'' water so cover your pot with a clean towel if necessary and close the lid on it. ⠀

Now unto the chops!

Clean your chops and let them sit in a little bit of in white vinegar and lemon juice. Crush the ingredients all together and season your chops. Let them rest in the fridge for as long as you want; the longer they stay, the tastier they are! 

It's bbq season, so up next to the grill. Depending on the thickness of your chop, let each side grill for a max of 5-8 min, make sure not to overcook the meat, keep an eye on them. 

 

When ready to serve, sprinkle some fresh peppermint leaves as the final touch and voila, bon appetit, ⠀

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