Exotic Pineapple Rice

In my youth, Toast Hawaii was the height of food fashion.  Slice of toast, ham, pineapple, topped with cheese – in the oven – ready.  We loved that!  Even if quite laughable today, it was exotic back then (I almost put the exotic in this post title in quotes…).

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Another exotic thing we had – to which I was always immensely looking forward coming home from school – was the Exotic Pineapple Rice my mother used to make.  The recipe came from our TV magazine, where you could often find inspiring stuff (inspring then, not exactly inspiring today).  The original recipe was vegetable rice only, the addition of meat was my mother’s idea.  Way back then, you could also only get one kind of curry powder;  looking back, it was the sort of cheap stuff you find in very cheap discounters today.  For this recipe, I used a really lovely penang coconut curry powder that a friend gave me.

Browsing through my handwritten recipes the other week, I found that recipe and was wondering whether I would still like it today.  It certainly no longer deserves the exotic label, but I wanted to give it a go to see whether it would satisfy the demands of my 21st century palate.

This is supposed to be served warm, but it’s also quite nice served cold as a party salad.

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Exotic Pineapple Rice with Pork Fillet Strips

250 g rice
2 tsp curry powder
750 ml vegetable stock
freshly ground black pepper
250 g spring onions, cut into fine rings
2 tbsp oil
150 g frozen peas
1 small can or 4 slices fresh pineapple, cut into bite-size pieces
1 can mini mushrooms
250 g pork fillet, cut into strips
4 tbsp sherry
small knob of butter

Serves 4

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Mix pineapple pieces and mushrooms with 2 tbsp sherry and set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix the pork fillet strips with 2 tbsp sherry.

Heat the oil and sauté onions.  Add rice and stir, making sure it’s all covered with oil.  Take pan off the stove, stir in the curry powder, then add the stock.  Put back on the stove and bring to a boil, then simmer at low heat for 20 – 25 minutes.  Season to taste.  Add the unthawed peas to the rice and cook for a further 5 minutes.

In a separate pan, fry the pineapple and mushrooms without fat or oil until heated through and slightly browned, then stir into the rice.

In the same pan, heat the butter and fry the pork fillet strips until cooked [I prefer them browned.]  When they’re done, add them to the rice, stir it through, and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Verdict after many many years of more refined cooking:  even if it’s nothing special, I still love it.  It was so worth making again, and if I were still at school, I’d definitely be looking forward to come home to this dish.

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