Friday, August 28, 2009

Curried Brown Rice with Tomatoes and Peas. Plus, the Worst Date Ever!

About four years ago, long before the Husband-Elect and I started sucking face, I went on a series of interweb dates. Overall, it was a good experience. Sure, a few nights out were painful, but most of the guys were relatively harmless - nothing to see a psychiatrist over. (P.S. If a dude answers the question, “What was the biggest lie you ever told?” with “I do,” … run, don’t walk.)

However, there was an exception.

During that heady year, I went on the worst date in recorded human history. I'm not kidding. I tell people about it, and they're all, "You win." The story's a long one, so I'll try to condense it a bit.

I: eat breakfast with guy; watch as he has grand mal seizure; call ambulance; watch as he refuses ambulance; discover he can’t move arms; call ambulance back; discover he has two dislocated shoulders, one of which is broken; discover he is new to city and estranged from family; discover writing “girl … friend” on ER sheet qualifies one to make major medical decisions; watch horrid shoulder-popping procedure from behind backlit sheet, a la the amputation scene in Gone With the Wind, meet elderly hospital roommate whose spotty English allows him only to A) curse life, B) curse lung cancer, C) curse telecommunications (“Mother&*#$^& phone! Why you no work?!?”); deal with doctor with bedside manner of rabid wolverine; spend 48 hours at hospital; attempt to cheer date with what little I know about him (“So … you like sweaters? Me too!”); miss work; escort date home in double arm casts; get dumped shortly thereafter because he isn’t over girlfriend of nine years.

I have no idea where that guy is now, but I hope he’s deeply, deeply unhappy.

Oh, I’m kidding. I hope he’s fine. I hope his tendons grew back, and the bills only had four zeros after them instead of five. I also hope he’s eating well, which you’ll definitely be after trying today’s recipe. (Ham-handed segue? Not here, folks!)

Yes, yes - it's the one you've been waiting for. Straight from Cook’s Illustrated Best Light Recipe, it’s Curried Brown Rice with Tomatoes and Peas! Filling and flavorful, the dish is guaranteed to cook perfectly because it’s started on the stove and finished in the oven. It’d go beautifully with Chicken Tikka Masala, a samosa, or other such accompaniment, as well.

Of course, if you should try it yourself, please know:

1) This stuff is packing some heat. If you’re nervous, try regular (non-Madras) curry and see what happens.

2) Calorie, fat, and fiber numbers come from Cook’s Illustrated, so only the price is calculated below.

In conclusion, next time you're off on an internet date, eat this beforehand so you feel full. Then, make sure your date's health insurance plan is up to date. Because hey - you never know.

Happy weekend!

Curried Brown Rice with Tomatoes and Peas
Makes 6 gigantic side servings or medium-small main dishes.
From Cook’s Illustrated Best Light Recipe.

1 1/2 cup long-, medium- or short-grained brown rice (uncooked)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon hot curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 can (14.5-ounce size) diced tomatoes, drained
2 1/3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

1) Preheat oven to 375F. Get out an 8x8 baking dish. Spread uncooked rice around bottom of dish.

2) In a medium pot, over medium-low heat, combine oil, onion, ginger, garlic, curry powder, and salt. Saute 8 or 10 minutes, until onions and soft and translucent. Add tomatoes. Cook 2 minutes. Pour in broth. Boil. Once it starts boiling, kill the heat.

3) Pour mixture into baking dish. Cover with two pieces of tin foil. Bake 70 minutes in the middle of the oven, until rice is cooked.

4) Take dish out of oven and let it cool a few minutes. Add peas. Stir. Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, and Price Per Serving
230 calories, 4 g fat, 3 g fiber, $0.66

1 1/2 cup long-, medium- or short-grained brown rice (uncooked): $0.48
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil: $0.11
1 small onion, chopped: $0.25
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger: $0.05
1 clove garlic, minced: $0.05
1 1/2 teaspoon hot curry powder: $0.06
½ teaspoon salt: $0.01
1 can (14.5-ounce size) diced tomatoes, drained: $1.70
2 1/3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth: $0.66 (I used one 15.5-ounce can, and then added about a ½-cup water - Kris)
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed: $0.30
TOTAL: $3.67

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Alexis said...

I can't wait to try the recipe and I think you win the prize for worst first date ever!

Jen_from_NJ said...

I am laughing so hard. I so wish that I could write like you! Thanks!

kittiesx3 said...

I was going to chime in with my worst date story, but nope--you win, hands down.

Daniel said...

Okay, this is the funniest blog post I've *ever* read. Now I'm dying to hear the extended version! :)

Casual Kitchen

Sanjeev Kapoor said...

Really tempting dish to try out with. I was looking for such recipes. you really helped me out. Thanks for it...

Suzene said...

Oh, lovely! Do you know if this freezes well?

Kristine said...

Yep, you win! Wow - he wouldn't even ask you out on a 2nd date?

Interesting recipe. I'll have to try it.

Ambitious said...

Wow. You can't make this stuff up!!!!!

I can't wait to try this recipe =)

goodpueblo said...

LMAO! I'm sorry, I can feel your pain, but that is hilarious. It reminded me of one King of Queen episode, when Arthur has to have some kind of surgery and Doug is left alone with a "new" friend that adds him as his emergency contact..too funny. Anyway, I'll be trying the recipe.

Kris said...

Kristine, I should have written - it was our 4th date. He'd mentioned during date #3 that he was an epileptic who'd recently stopped taking his medicine. He didn't actually dump my butt until a month later, right around when his arms started healing. D'oh.

In retrospect, there were many, many, many, many, many red flags. (Oh, so many.) If I could go back in time and smack myself upside the head with a hammer, I would.

Suzene - I'm not sure it would freeze that well, but maybe try doing it to a small portion and see what happens?

Emily @ Relishments said...

Made the Curried Brown Rice with Tomatoes and Peas for dinner the other night. So good! Thanks for the recommendation!

Laura said...

I thought my blind date with a guy who told me that he wanted to marry me, live with his cousin and have 12 kids continuously for 4 1/2 hours (couldn't seem to say anything else) was the worst date ever, but I must say, I have been topped. Wow. Thanks for the great recipe too, it is awesome!

Mama Hen said...

We need a follow up to the date. What happened?