When I got an email informing me that I had been chosen for Foodie Fights Battle 7, I was really, really excited! I hurried over to see what the magic ingredients were going to be, and I wanted to cry. I love pineapple and basil, but to be honest I’m kind of sick of both of them right now. It made it kind of hard to be creative.
I knew one thing: I did NOT want to make a curry. (Yeah, you can see how that went!) It just seemed too predictable and if you know me, you know that I try my hardest to not be predictable when it comes to things like this. (Asparagus ice cream, anyone?) So I tried to think of things to make: Tuna with a pineapple, basil, and black bean salsa? Too boring. Coconut shrimp with pina colada sauce and basil risotto? Too Red Lobster. Pineapple doughnuts? Sound delicious, but what would I do with the basil? Plus I didn’t feel like frying anything. Flank steak topped with a pineapple sorbet? Maybe another time, I don’t really feel like eating that now.
When it came down to it, all I really felt like making was curry! Based on the other ideas that I had, I figured that I also wanted to use beef and coconut. And so green curry beef with pineapple and coconut rice was born. I do have to say, this came out even better than I expected it to – it may be one of the best curries that I’ve ever made. I made it up as I went along, adding more heat here and more basil there. At one point I decided that it needed more color, so I chopped up some green beans that I had gotten at the farmers market and threw those in. Awesome decision! The beans paired with the sauce beautifully – you almost forgot they were in there, adding all their vegetably healthfullness. They also added a nice crispy texture to the dish, which was the one texture that it had previously been missing.
So maybe curry was predictable. So what? It was healthy and delicious. And at the end of the day, isn’t that all that matters?
Green Curry Beef with Pineapple and Coconut Rice
- 1 can lite coconut milk, divided
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1-1/2 Tbs green curry paste (homemade or prepared)
- 1 lb top round beef , cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 Tbs fish sauce
- 1/2 can bamboo shoots, drained
- 1/2 jalapeno, minced
- 1 large hand full green beans, chopped
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 1/2 pineapple, cut into bite sized pieces
Combine 3/4 cup coconut milk and 3/4 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is dissolved. Remove from heat and keep covered.
Meanwhile, combine remaining coconut milk and curry in a large skillet. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Add beef, fish sauce, bamboo shoots, jalapeno, green beans, and basil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is nearly cooked through – about 10 minutes. Add pineapple and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Serve dishes of curry with coconut rice spooned on top.