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Saffron Rice with Caramelized Pineapple (Arroz Azafran con Pina)

by Susana Trilling

Serves 8

For the rice:
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
7 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon saffron
½ chile poblano, roasted, seeded, peeled and julienned
1 red bell pepper, roasted, seeded, peeled and julienned
2 cups coconut water or unsweetened canned or powdered coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups rice
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
4 ¼-inch slices of pineapple, cored

For the plantains:
2 plantains, peeled
1 cup sunflower or vegetable oil

For serving:
1 cup chives, chopped

For the rice:
In a heavy 4-quart stockpot, heat the butter over low heat.  Add the onion and fry until soft and clear, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saffron, and continue to fry for another 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the chile poblano and red bell pepper and fry for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the coconut water and stock and bring to a boil.  Add the rice and stir well. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add salt. Cover and let cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until all the stock is absorbed. Do not peek at or stir the rice during the cooking process.

For the pineapple:
Place pineapple slices in an 8-inch, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook about 10 minutes, turning the slices occasionally until caramelized.  Add 2 tablespoon water to pan. Cook until absorbed. Chop the slices into small pieces.

For the plantains:
Cut the plantains in half. Cut each half lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slices (about 4-5 slices). In an 8-inch cast-iron frying plan, heat the oil until smoking. Add the plantains and fry 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until brown.  Remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels. Keep warm.

To serve:
Fold the pineapple pieces and juice into the rice. In a small bowl, place 1 tablespoon of chives and spoon rice on top to mold. Place 2 slices of plantains on a plate and invert the bowl of rice on top. Remove the bowl and serve.

© Susana Trilling
Seasons of My Heart, 2004 Oaxaca

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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