The cover of the Tri-City Herald's Food & Wine section July 29 will feature Menu Planner, a weekly feature giving seven days of dinner menus, shopping hints and tips on using leftovers from one meal in a new way later in the week. The section also includes more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects.
Shrimp and Pineapple Fried Rice
Here’s a one-pan dish that delivers color, crunch and tropical flavor without taking up too much of your time. Feel free to hollow out the pineapple halves for serving if you have a few extra minutes; in any case, the fruit has to be extracted and chopped up as a final addition. It’s key to choose a pineapple that has a sweet and pronounced aroma (smell the fruit’s bottom, away from the display of pineapples in the store), with darker rather than yellow-greenish skin.
Wine columnist Dave McIntyre recommends serving this dish with a nice off-dry Riesling, such as Snoqualmie or Chateau Ste. Michelle from Washington state, or a torrontes from Argentina, all budget-minded choices.
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1 whole pineapple
1/2 small onion
2 medium cloves garlic
1-inch piece peeled ginger root
1 small red bell pepper
6 ounces sugar snaps or snow peas
1 small Thai (bird) chili pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 ounces peeled and deveined (uncooked) shrimp
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce, plus more to taste
4 cups cooked brown rice, including frozen organic brown rice (may substitute white rice)
1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce, such as Mae Ploy (optional)
Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise, then cut the flesh on either side of the core in both halves to yield at least 3 cups. Discard the core pieces. If desired, hollow out the pineapple halves for serving, leaving a 1/2-inch wall of flesh on the sides.
Cut the onion into 1/4-inch dice to yield 1/2 cup; mince the garlic (1 tablespoon) and ginger (1 tablespoon). Stem and seed the bell pepper, then cut the flesh into 1/4-inch dice ( 1/2 to 3/4 cup). String the peas, then chop them to yield 1 1/2 to 2 cups. Stem and seed the Thai chili pepper, then cut it into very thin slivers.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers, making sure the sides of the wok are coated. If desired, cut some of the shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces.
Add the onion, garlic, ginger, bell pepper, peas and slivers of Thai chili pepper; stir-fry for about 2 minutes, then add the soy sauce, fish sauce and cooked rice, tossing to incorporate and heat through. Add the shrimp and stir-fry for 2 to 4 minutes, until the pieces are opaque and heated through. Taste, and add an extra teaspoon of fish sauce or sweet chili sauce if needed.
Remove from the heat and add the pineapple, plus any collected juices, if desired; mix well. Divide among 4 individual plates or transfer to the empty pineapple halves for serving.
Nutrition Per serving: 456 calories, 22 g protein, 70 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 108 mg cholesterol, 577 mg sodium, 7 g dietary fiber, 16 g sugar
Adapted from “Almost Meatless,” by Joy Manning and Tara Desmond (Ten Speed Press, 2009).