Monday, February 11, 2008

Mad (food) Scientist, Part 2

It's alive, er, edible!!!!

The curried coconut-scented lentil-brown rice-black beans and tomatoes thing turned out really well! (I have got to get a better name for it...). The flavors all played well with others, and the result was a slightly sweet, slightly spicy, colorful pot of beans with good flavor and texture.

As I went to make the recipe, I realized one major error. I was going to use evaporated skimmed milk plus a little bit of coconut extract instead of coconut milk. I thought I had some in the pantry, but it turned out I had sweetened condensed milk. They are not interchangable. Not at all. However, it worked out pretty well. It gave a subtle sweetness to the rice, which would have been better had I used more curry powder.

And, I found another good use for the faux cream of coconut. It made a pretty good substitute for Coco Lopez, in the lovely drink called the Painkiller.

I still think that evaporated skimmed milk plus coconut extract would be a good, not-sweet, low-fat, substitute for cocunut milk, but I shall have to wait another day to actually do the experiment. Curses. Foiled again.

Tropical curried rice and beans
1 cup split lentils
1 cup instant brown rice
1 16 oz can black beans
3 cups chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 to 1 teaspoon coconut extract
2-4 Teaspoons curry powder, to taste

Put rice and lentils in a pot with a tight-fitting lid.
Mix together sweetened condensed milk and coconut extract. Stir to combine. Add coconut milk to rice and lentils. Add the black beans, including the liquid in the can. Add 2 cups of the stock to the pot. Heat to boiling, uncovered, sirring often. Once the mixture reaches a boil, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add a little bit of chicken stock if mixture starts to get too dry.

Uncover pot, add tomatoes and liquid. Cook for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more salt or curry powder if needed.

Turn off heat and let rice and beans sit for 10 minutes. Uncover, stir and eat! Serve with Painkillers.

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