Celery Coconut Curry Cream Rice with Pecans and Raisins
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
This dish is excellent to use up left over rice. If you have cooked too much rice like most of us do, this is a wonderful dish to make with your left over brown rice. I remember when I was young my Grandmother would make some sort of rice pudding dish with left over rice. I was never a fan of rice pudding but I do love coconut curry cream rice with pecans and raisins.
One day I had a lot left over, and decided to try making a cream sauce to go over the top. I know that rice and raisins go well, together so I decided to prepare this with some celery. If you have ever made celery and raisin sala,d you will know that it is excellent.
Considering all the ingredients, I decided to add a little curry to spice up the flavor. I love coconut milk curry pasta and other curry dishes using fresh coconut milk. To my surprise, I was extremely happy with this dish and it was a wonderful way to use up some left overs. I hope that you will try and enjoy.
4 Cups of Celery
3 Tablespoons of Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 Cup Coconut Milk
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Pepper
1 Teaspoon Curry Power (adjust for your taste you can use less)
3/4 Cup Pecan Halves
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 ½ Cups Precooked Brown Rice
½ Cup Uncooked Raisins
In a 2 quart greased casserole baking dish place the 1 ½ cups of precooked brown rice and raisins and mix well. Please note you can use vegetable non stick spray or just grease with olive oil. The pan should be coated so the mixture does not stick when baked.
Cut the celery in ½ inch diagonal pieces
Place the celery in a covered sauce pan and add water to cover the celery. Boil the celery for 10 minutes until tender. When tender remove and drain.
Coconut Curry Sauce:
The base of many sauces are the same. Sauces are very easy to make and enhance the flavor of food. I have already explained how to make a sauce in one of my other articles. For all of you who have not seen this recipe, this is how to make basic sauce.
In the sauce pan melt the buttery spread until it is just bubbling. Do not allow it to start to brown. On white sauce we can not brown the butter. On brown or darker sauces the butter has to be browned. Slowly add the flour, curry powder, pepper, and salt to the bubbling butter. Stir continuously so that this does not burn or stick to the bottom of your pan. At this stage you want to not brown your flour too much so it is a white or yellowish color when it is done.
When making sauces I always use a cooking whisk to stir my ingredients with. Slowly add the coconut milk to the flour mixture making sure you mix well to remove all the lumps and make a smooth creamy sauce. This sauce needs to come to a rolling boil and bubble for a few minutes. You do not want to completely cook your sauce now. You want this sauce a little on the thin side. The sauce will finish thickening when cooked in the oven. If you over cook the sauce and it is a little thick just add a little extra coconut milk. You can even add a little water at this point to help thin the sauce. After the coconut milk is added before the sauce boils add the celery into your sauce mix. This will add a little extra flavor to your celery and give it a nice curry taste.
Remove the mixture from the stove and pour over the top of the brown rice and raisins. Mix well.
Add on top a layer of almond halves or you can use crushed almonds. It is your choice how you want your almonds. You may also mix the almonds into the rice and raisins.
If you are like me I make my own homemade bread crumbs from the wonderful French bread we have here on the islands. Well if you use homemade or store brand you will need to mix your bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Spoon evenly over the top of the rice and almonds cream curry sauce.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Place your baking dish uncovered in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
You may add any vegetable to the rice you wish. This one I added raisins. I have also omitted the raisins and added some snow peas or sugar snap peas for a different flavor. You may like to add some peas or broccoli to this dish also. It is a fun dish and there is no right or wrong way to make it. Experiment with the rice mixture and enjoy.