Well, our trip to Hawaii not only yielded some good tiki drinks, we found a really great side dish- coconut rice. You may be familiar with coconut rice, as it is often served with Thai and Indian dishes, but it is a side that can (and we think should) be made as a regular side-dish at home. Coconut rice simply combines jasmine rice, coconut milk, water, oil, salt and some shredded coconut. Coconut rice, as you would expect, is a bit sweet but it is by no means cloying. The sweetness actually creates a nice match with main dishes that are a bit spicy, sour and/or acidic- so the coconut rice turns out to be a very versatile dish. So if you are making curry, fish or shellfish, a spicy stir-fry or even a roast chicken , the coconut rice will be a great side, and certainly a nice break from potatoes. (And most kids love the sweet rice).
Coconut rice is also easy to make and you can find most of the ingredients in any supermarket. To make the rice, simply oil a medium pot then, over medium-high heat, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a slow boil. Stir regularly for the first few minutes to avoid sticking. We also use extra shredded coconut to toast for garnish- but this is optional. Once you reach a boil, add a lid to the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until most of the coconut milk is gone. Then remove the pot from the heat, but keep the lid on for 10 minutes. After 10 minutres check the rice for seasoning (add salt of needed), garnish with toasted coconut and/or a lime wedge (if you like) and serve.