Innovation in the kitchen is not my forte: I like to follow recipes. But every now and then I am lazy and home on a weekend and unmotivated to shop. It’s then that I open my cabinets and my refrigerator and see if I have enough on hand to whip something up.
And it just so happened that last weekend, I had a tub of basmati rice and leftover pineapple from my pineapple with molasses and lime zest. Here’s what I did: I cooked that rice according to the package directions. I chopped up some ginger, some onions and some celery and got my cast iron skillet really hot (next time, I’ll just use my non-stick pan). I added vegetable oil, tossed in the veggies, and cooked them a bit; then I added half the rice. I moved the rice around and then let it sit so it started getting crusty. I also added some Sriracha and soy sauce. While that was cooking, I cut up the leftover pineapple and when the fried rice started looking like fried rice I tasted it and liked it; then I added the pineapple and stirred it around, turning off the heat. Voila! Pineapple fried rice.
But this story gets cooler. It’s really not that extraordinary to make pineapple fried rice when you have rice and pineapple lying around; but it is pretty cool to use the leftover rice and the leftover pineapple to make a dessert with not much more effort.
The key is something I told you a long time ago, something you should always remember: leftover white rice makes for a very easy rice pudding.
It’s simple: you just add milk to your leftover rice. See my leftover rice? (Sorry for the splashed soy sauce.)
Just add milk to cover, then sugar to taste. (I start with 1/3rd a cup and go from there.) You can add vanilla, you can add nutmeg, you can add orange zest, whatever you want. Bring it to a simmer and stir until it’s all absorbed.
On this night, while the rice and milk were simmering (slowly, don’t let it foam up), I took the leftover pineapple and put it in a pan with brown sugar, butter and some chopped up ginger. I cooked it until it was syrupy and the pineapple was tender.
Then, when the rice pudding was nearly rice pudding, I just dumped all of the pineapple and its sauce in with the rice. I cooked it a bit more then ladled it into a bowl, topping with lime zest just because I had it.
Not bad, eh? I mean it’s not four-star food. Heck, it may not even be three-star food. But it’s food and it’s fun and it’s the kind of thing you get to do when you’re home alone on a weekend. So get yourself a pineapple, get yourself some rice, and have a ball. Just clean your stove better than I did, no one wants to see that.