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recipe collector...civil engineer...cookbook devourer...looking to share cookbook & recipe reviews and my real-life kitchen dramas as I re-engineer recipes ...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Three Free Thursday Part II: Pineapple-Ginger Rice with Edamame

Happy Three Free Thursday, Blog Readers! This is the second entry of my new biweekly "Three Free Thursday" blog entries.  To recap the process, on the first Thursday, I select three free recipes from sources on Twitter.  On the following Thursday, I report back via blog entry the full results of my adventures in the kitchen and let you know if you should try these recipes at home. Enjoy!

Recipe: Pineapple-Ginger Rice with Edamame
Source: @WholeFoods

Let me start by saying, "miso" disappointed.  Sorry - I really couldn't help myself.  Honestly, this recipe truly let me down.  I love pineapple and ginger and edamame, so it seemed impossible that combining these tasty ingredients wouldn't create a perfect side dish (or meal by adding chicken or tofu). Things began well enough as I chopped and measured ingredients and the warm aroma of ginger engulfed my kitchen.  As I added the miso to the simmering vegetable broth and ginger, I immediately realized that there was scarcely enough liquid in my pan. For the 4 cups of brown rice listed in the recipe, less than a cup off liquid was not going to be enough to coat the rice in miso/ginger taste.   Proportions were a significant issue throughout this recipe.

Pineapple also turned out to be a dilemma for this cook.  My local grocery store (not be named, but it  "might" be listed somewhere in this blog entry) tried to charge me $5.99 for a single, scrawny pineapple.  While I am all for free trade, a five dollar mark-up from other vendors this week seems outrageous.  Since pineapple costs can be an issue throughout the year, I tried the rice with both canned and (a less expensive)fresh pineapple to determine if canned pineapple was a suitable alternative.  Surprisingly, the canned pineapple performed significantly better than the fresh fruit.  The consistency of the texture and sweetness of the canned pineapple works well in this recipe.

Attack of the killer edamame!

This recipe is better in concept than in execution.  The combination of flavors seems perfect, but the outcome of the dish was seriously lacking.  Within minutes of serving, the pineapple juice leached into nearby rice creating a soggy contrast between sweet and savory.  The flavor of the ginger and miso was barely present in the rest of the pre-cooked rice. Edamame overwhelmed the dish as the recipe called for two cups of edamame to pair with the four cups of brown rice. Without added salt, edamame tends to have a bland taste, so they added very little to the flavor of the dish. This dish also re-heated poorly with the rice clumping together and the edamame shriveling up during reheating.
  • Feel free to use canned pineapple instead of fresh pineapple if necessary.
  • Cook brown rice in the boiling ginger-miso vegetable broth liquid to infuse rice with flavor.
  • Don't mix ingredients ahead of time - assemble quickly and serve immediately to avoid pineapple juice from oversweetening rice.
  • To serve as a main dish, add a healthy serving of grilled tofu or shredded chicken.
Rating: 1 out of 5

Thanks for reading Part II of this week's Three Free Thursday! Feel free to send in recipe suggestions for Three Free Thursday on Twitter to @RecipEngineer or by e-mail RecipEngineer@gmail.com

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