Food for Thought by Chef Katie Chin, For recipes, visit thesweetandsourchronicles.com

Everyone knows that divorce can be especially challenging when kids are involved. I didn’t have kids when I got divorced but I have plenty of friends in this situation. A good mom friend of mine is going through a recent divorce with two small young children and is having to go through all sorts of back-to- school crap without the help of her spouse. “Will everyone stare at me at the back-to- school BBQ?,” “Why do I have to figure out all this stuff on the school supplies list by myself?” and “How am I supposed to figure out this nut cup thing on my son’s baseball uniform on my own?” The last thing anyone needs is feeling the pressure of making elaborate meals during this hectic time. This recipe for Pineapple Fried Rice is so simple and delicious and the best part is you can use leftover chicken and shrimp to make it. Not only will your kids love it, but it’ll blow everyone’s socks off at that back-to- school BBQ!

Pineapple Fried Rice

When my mom and I made this on the Today show a few years ago, it didn’t occur to me to slice the underside of the pineapple before going on live television so it would be easier to cut on camera. Needless to say, it was a bit of a struggle to cut through that pineapple quickly, but Al Roker charmingly dubbed my huffing and puffing the “Everyday Chinese Cooking Workout”! I love this recipe because the presentation is so impressive—the rice is served right in the pineapple shell. The chunks of fresh pineapple are sweet, bright and refreshing, perfectly offsetting the saltiness of the soy sauce in this dish.

Chicken, shrimp, mushrooms and egg round out this delicious and refreshing dish.

Serves 4 to 6 as part of a multi-course meal

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

1 whole pineapple

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt, divided

Dash of white pepper

2 tablespoons oil, divided

3 cups (450 g) cooked and chilled white rice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 cup (150 g) cubed cooked shrimp

1 cup (150 g) cubed cooked chicken breast

6 white button mushrooms, sliced

½ cup (75 g) fresh or thawed frozen peas

2 green onions (scallions), finely chopped, plus more for garnish

Salt, to taste

White pepper, to taste

  1. Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise. Following the rim, cut deeply around the inside of the pineapple, being careful not to pierce through the skin. Cut the flesh inside the pineapple into cubes by making long slices down the length of the pineapple and then make 1-inch- (2.5-cm- ) wide crosscuts. Scoop out the flesh using a flat-edged spoon and reserve.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs with ½ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Whisk to blend.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add the eggs and stir-fry until they have set, but are still moist. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. Wash and thoroughly dry the wok or skillet, then heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the cooked rice and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Mix in the soy sauce, shrimp, chicken, mushrooms, peas and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cooked eggs, reserved pineapple flesh and green onions and stir-fry for 30 seconds more. Season to taste with the salt and white pepper.
  5. Scoop the fried rice into the pineapple halves and garnish with additional green onion. Serve immediately.

COOK’S NOTE

For best results, the rice should be chilled overnight before cooking this dish.