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Cilantro Lime Rice with Pineapple

IMG_3091Some foods are just meant to be together.  Whether it’s based on tradition, a sense of nostalgia or some type of food flavor pairing science, there are foods that just play off of each other so nicely.  Take for instance, teriyaki and pineapple….total foodie soul mates!   The week before our Luau party I had teriyaki on the brain.   One night I decided to grill some teriyaki chicken kabobs for the family.  I decided to experiment with my side dish to see if I could get some good pineapple flavor infused into a rice dish (something I thought up in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep).  I searched around for some inspiration and found one recipe that looked just like what I had in mind.  If it turned out well, I wanted to serve it as a cold side dish at the Luau.  My husband came home from work and saw the ingredients out on the counter and balked at the idea of pineapple in rice.  I told him he was going to try it as is and that I wouldn’t make a special version for him sans pineapple (tough love for a guy that had been at work for 12 hours).  He actually LOVED it, ate seconds and said it was a ‘keeper’ recipe.  For what it’s worth, I did serve it again at the Luau and it was gone pretty quickly!  It’s tangy, sweet, fresh and a little bit spicy with some red pepper flakes or a few shakes of Aleppo pepper.  Jasmine white rice is a fragrant rice from Thailand and works well in this dish.  You could also use basamati rice but it tends to be a little more expensive.  Serve with any sort of Polynesian or Asian flavored meat.  Try it with my Teriyaki Pulled Pork Sliders with Pineapple Salsa!

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Cilantro Lime Rice with Pineapple (Serves 6-8)

2 cups jasmine white rice (or basmati rice)

juice of 2 limes (feel free to add a little zest too)

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 Tbsp butter

1 20 oz can crushed pineapple (tidbits would work but crushed mixes in very nicely), drained slighly

salt and pepper to taste

dash of red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper (optional)

In medium or large sauce pan, cook rice as directed.  Take off of heat, stir in butter, lime juice, chopped cilantro and crushed pineapple.  Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  Serve immediately if serving warm or chill and serve as a cold rice salad.  If serving cold, you may want to add a little more lime juice just before serving or serve with lime wedges.

Adapted from Our Best Bites Blog