Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Taking the Fifth - Crab, Bacon, Peas and Coconut Jasmine Rice

I've decided I don't want to pontificate on modesty or its natural extension to the issue of public breast feeding. I might wish for a return to pre-mini skirt days, but that ship sailed while I was still in junior high, in the waning days of the Johnson administration. If this generation wants to wear their underwear outside their clothing, there is little I can do to remedy the situation. Thanks, Madonna.

Besides, I run the risk of losing the whole thread of the discussion mid-argument and let's face it, I've embarrassed myself often enough with lost words and chickens crossing the road. Oy.                                                                                                                                                 

Still, I can't resist sharing some of the visual aids I collected in anticipation of my pontification. First, a word from Real Men:

Right back atcha, "real" men!

Udderly appropriate for the discussion I have decided I am not going to have:

Speaking of ships, one of my favorite sights was a young women, dressed in slim blue jeans, a casual long sleeve shirt, and a traditional head scarf, singing karaoke outside the Red Frog Pub.  We had quite a number of presumably Muslim women onboard, some traveling with husband and children, others traveling as a women's group. I say presumably because of the head scarves; other than that, they were dressed casually, although modestly - long pants, long sleeves - in other words, not much different from an Orthodox Jewish woman if she happened to find herself on the Carnival Sunshine the first week of January. 

Here is the recipe I developed as a side dish for the turkey osso buco. You didn't think I was going to let that gorgeous bacon go to waste, did you?

Crab, Bacon, Peas and Coconut Jasmine Rice
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
2 cups jasmine rice, washed and drained well
1 - 13.5 to 14.5 oz. can coconut milk (shake can to mix well before opening), poured into a 4-cup glass measuring cup
Enough water added to the coconut milk to make a total of 3 cups of liquid
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
1/2 pound bacon that has been cut into squares, cooked until brown but not too crisp, and well-drained (like the bacon you cooked while making turkey osso buco)
3/4 cup frozen green peas, rinsed with warm water in colander till defrosted, and drained
1/2 pound good quality imitation crab, chunk style, removed from packaging and patted dry

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium sized, heavy saucepan over medium heat. When butter is melted, add brown sugar and salt, stir until dissolved. Turn heat to high, add rice and stir until all grains coated evenly. Add coconut milk and water. Stir. When boiling, immediately cover with tight fitting lid, turn heat to medium-low and simmer undisturbed for 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat but do not open lid. Really, no peeking! Let sit for 10 minutes. 

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the imitation crab and cook in the butter for a few minutes, stirring, until it is warm and fragrant (the combination of the butter and heat brings out some real crab flavor). Add the cooked bacon and the drained peas, and heat together just enough to warm through.

When the rice is done, remove the cover and fluff the rice with a fork. Add the coconut and the crab-bacon-pea mixture to the rice, and use the fork to gently combine. Season with kosher salt and white ground pepper as needed.

NOW - if you absolutely despise surimi (imitation crab) you can certainly substitute real lump crab at $23 a pound, or cooked shrimp, or leave the protein out altogether. I happen to love surimi, but your mileage may vary.

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