Kitchen Adventures: Food inspired by flicks

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Food column by Becca Owsley

By Becca Owsley

Watching a food movie is kind of a dangerous endeavor. It puts me in a mood to cook everything in sight.

The food is a distraction. I stop looking at the story unfolding on screen and instead look at all the food and try to find out how it was made.

This happened after seeing “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” a film featuring two competing restaurants in the French countryside. One is a traditional French restaurant and the other an Indian restaurant. By the end of the film I was hungry and ready to cook.

A similar thing happened after seeing “Julie & Julia” in 2009. Every week I’d try something new and post it on Facebook. It was how I first got interested in writing about cooking experiences.

But the promotion department of “The Hundred-Foot Journey” knew this would be the result of their film by tweeting and posting recipes leading up to the film’s release.

There were several to choose from, including Beef Bourguinon a la Hassan, Vegetable Coconut Curry, Madeleines and Coconut Rice.

For this adventure, I chose Coconut Rice and then added some veggies cooked in spices.

The rice dish isn’t difficult. Basmati rice can be found in the rice section of the grocery store but any rice could probably work if you are in a pinch. I added a few more red pepper flakes than the recipe called for.

To serve on top of the rice use any variety of veggies. I chopped up some squash and used a frozen vegetable medley with grilled chicken strips from the freezer.

Cook the veggies in a skillet with chicken broth, diced garlic and spices that could be found in other Indian recipes like cumin, cayenne pepper and ginger.

Cook them all in the skillet until the vegetables are tender and the spices are all infused. If you don’t like things spicy, don’t use much cayenne pepper. It doesn’t take much to add a kick.

To plate, serve the vegetables and chicken on top of a bed of the Coconut Rice. It not only looks fancy but tastes wonderful.

Whether you see the movie and get inspired or are just in the mood to try new foods this is a good recipe to try.
Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Coconut Rice
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small saute pan over low heat, add 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut. stir for four to five minutes until golden, remove coconut from pan and set aside.
In a stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil.
When the oil is hot, add the garlic and the red pepper chili flakes. Saute until soft and fragrant, one to two minutes.
Add the rice and stir to coat.
Add the stock and the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
Once the rice begins to boil, turn the heat to low. Place the lid on the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked an all the liquid has been absorbed.
Fluff rice with a fork and stir in the toasted coconut and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Recipe suggested by “The Hundred-Foot Journey” from the “Kitchen Decoded” cookbook in stores in November.