It is always a delight when dinner can take our imaginations away on a vacation for an evening.
Summer is the right time for light foods, and exotic tropical tastes. We like to dress in thin Silks, and somehow, a flower behind your ear feels more beautiful than the most lavish jewelry. If you want to make a Tropical themed party, you could also serve my Beer-Battered Coconut Fish
and Pina Colada Cream Pie
Have a Rum drink and dance the Hula on your patio.
The dish below is a Hawaiian style one-dish meal. It requires very little actual cooking time or skill. There are many ingredients, but all of them are readily available at the supermarket. For a wonderful family meal, I recommend that you relax with a Mai-Tai beforehand (no Rum for the kinder, of course), and have a simple dessert of sliced fruit such as Mango or Papaya.
Remember this recipe in November as well. It is a marvelous way to get your family enthusiastic about leftover Turkey.
Hawaiian Style Chicken and Rice
1 cup Basmati Rice
2 cups Chicken Broth
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Asian Toasted Sesame Oil
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh Ginger
1 cup chopped Green Onions (tops only, packed to measure)
1/2 pound Straw Mushrooms or sliced Cremini Mushrooms
1/2 pound Chinese Pea Pods or 1 cup Peas
1/2 cup finely chopped Cilantro, packed to measure
1 cup sliced Water Chestnuts
2 cups finely chopped Cabbage
3/4 cup thinly sliced Celery
2 cups diced, cooked Chicken or Turkey
1/2 cup Sake or Dry Sherry
2 tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Sugar
At least an hour before you plan to make the dish: bring the Chicken Broth to a boil in a large pan, add the Rice, stir, cover tightly, turn the flame very low, and allow to cook without opening for 20 minutes.
When the Rice is cooked, turn it out on a slightly oiled platter or cookie sheet and spread it out to cool.
The Rice should be cold when you do the rest of the preparation.
Stir the Sake, Soy Sauce and Sugar together in a cup, and set aside until needed.
Place a large pan (I use a Dutch Oven because it is hard to stir a large recipe in a skillet without spilling it) on the stove and turn the flame up to high.
Pour in the Vegetable Oil, Sesame Oil, and Ginger.
Add the Chicken, Green Onions, Celery, Cabbage, Mushrooms, Pea Pods, Cilantro, and Water Chestnuts.
Cook and stir until the Vegetables are cooked.
Add the cold Rice, and stir to blend thoroughly and heat.
Add the Sake mixture.
Stir until heated through.