Sunday, January 31, 2010

Whole Grain Goodness

There is a lot of rice in my diet these days.
Always has been, come to think of it. I spent five formative years and one decadent adult year in Hawaii, and you got rice with everything.
I lived in Japan for half a year, and... rice.
Here in the contiguous 48, I tend to choose rice over almost any other carb. Potatoes are great, believe me, and noodles are oodles of good. But if I'm cooking a nice fillet of fish, the side will be rice. That's just built into me.
It's amazing how varied your rice dishes can become.
Add some chicken and broth; rice can make a meal: here. With beans and greens, rice is always welcome: here. Eggs (and milk and asparagus) do make rice nice: here.
We (Cranky and me) are working on a casserole baked egg-and-rice preparation, and it seems to afford infinite variations.
Since we were so happy with our first version, we did it again yesterday, and we oomphed the flavor profile decidedly into the "fried rice" quadrant of our dining pleasure. The (cooked, cold) rice was stirred with eggs and then mixed with sauteed flavors — shiitake, scallion, sliced carrot, ginger, garlic, Asian liquids. Bakey bake bake (covered, 25 minutes, 350F). Then voilà, and I wish I knew how to say that in Mandarin or Cantonese (though if you were to research fried rice, you'd see that it's become a worldwide phenomenon, with regional variations).
OK, that was yesterday. We had leftovers.
Today we had a smoked pork sausage (spicy-hot), which we cubed, tiny, and fried up. Scattered that all over the warmed leftovers (and I didn't take a picture yesterday because the mushroom juice that leaks out makes the eggs ugly; today they're pretty under a shower of charcuterie). The sausage reminded us, just a little, of those crazy, shriveled Chinese sausages. So we were happy.
Seriously, if rice is on the menu tomorrow, I'm happy.

26 comments:

Zoomie said...

Rice fan here, too, for many of the same reasons, plus Massa, the best reason of all.

Zia said...

I love rice too, especially risotto. Mmmmm... risotto with sausage. Gonna have to make that.

Amy Sherman said...

Whole grain? Does that mean your rice was brown?

alison said...

i'm with you on the rice! happy new year btw!

alison said...

i'm with you on the rice!

Greg said...

Going to have to try Massa. I bought some brown rice at TJ's. to test. Traumatized by a horrible brown rice experience years ago.I think it was the sixties.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: We have a lot in common.

Zia: I love risotto too, but this brown rice we adore just wouldn't work. That's OK; I've got carnaroli (and shrimp in the freezer).

Amy: Yes! I hoped someone would notice. It's that incredibly tender Massa Organics.

Alison: You're late! Happy February to you! And all the other months.

Greg: Try the Massa; it will put the brown rice disaster behind you. (Of course that was in the 60s; we didn't know what we were doing!)

Cyndi said...

Just thought I'd let you know we ended up getting FIVE feet of snow; power was out for 6 days; phones are still out - today is day 12; even had a day without water. Pics on my blog. More rain and snow on the way, right?

cookiecrumb said...

Cyndi: I hope you are safe and warm. Damn El Nino!

Crystal (clstal) said...

I love rice (and since gluten is right out, bread, my other go-to starch is out too). I'm especially glad you pointed to the rice torte - I can't wait to try it!

Heather said...

I agree, some dishes are just built for rice. My "needs rice"iest food is a tilapia fillet.

I don't mind the chew of brown rice. Some things are worth the work.

Greg said...

Thanks for all the love of our rice in this post and in the comments! But please don't discount brown rice risotto! Our rice actually makes a superb risotto--all you need to do is par-cook the rice by simmering it for 20 minutes, and then start the risotto process as you normally would. It will get nice and creamy and yummy. Enjoy! --Greg Massa, Massa Organics

cookiecrumb said...

Greg! Damn, then. You just enlightened me. I will be sure to try this method and post about it so the meager number of readers who stop by here will know. (How did you get here? You have rice ESP.)

Chow and Chatter said...

looks delish love rice too my hubby is Indian

cookiecrumb said...

Chow and Chatter: I hope he cooks! Lucky you.

cookiecrumb said...

Heather: Yeah! But if you get your hands on some Massa brown rice, it's not very chewy. There is some "bran," but it's so soft. Fish and rice; my default.

Crystal: I made this rice torte a couple of times, and it's a winner. I hope you like it. Who needs gluten, right?

Greg said...

I do seem to have some sort of sixth sense about rice posts--I call it Google!

Thanks again. I put up a link to your post on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MassaOrganics and also on our Twitter feed.

cookiecrumb said...

Greg: I am beyond flattered. My cooking is simple home-style, but I suspect that's true for many of us. I remain your biggest fan, and now, I'll be Googling you. Heh.
(We have to talk about ducks. Marin market?)

Barbara said...

I've been eating so much rice lately I thought I should start eating brown rice. It's nice for a change but I prefer white.

cookiecrumb said...

Barbara: I won't lie, I love white rice too. I wouldn't even be eating brown rice if it weren't for this delectable local product, which doesn't taste like health food. No hair shirt for me.

Sam said...

I love Massa rice. I made egg fried Massa rice last week and I love, love, loved it.

cookiecrumb said...

Sam: We are lucky to have it. I read your tweet on fried rice, and thought I might have inspired you. (My dad is making fried rice now, too.)

natalia said...

just the other day i was desperately craving a big bowl of rice with a nice pat of butter right on top.
so i trotted off to the grocery store and picked a little bag.
it was then that my mind began to race with all these ideas and possibilities for this lovely little bag of rice.
it's so versitile, so great.
and it's the one carb i almost always forget about and toss to the side.
shame on me.

cookiecrumb said...

Natalia: Maybe you just need some extra flavors in your rice to make it palatable. Enjoy!

Nico said...

I grew up eating rice everyday as a child in my family home, and when I moved to NorCal, Massa rice quickly became my favorite.

I've made some great risotto using this rice, even without the parcooking, but it takes a lot more elbow grease (read: stirring) than a normal risotto... though, I probably could just parcook :-)

Now I'm experimenting to use Massa rice in dishes like paella!

cookiecrumb said...

Nico: Excellent! Thanks for the reassurance (I bet we're sending Greg to heaven with all these paeans.)