Lisa on April 1st, 2015
Scrambled Eggs with Cabbage & Smoked Gouda

Scrambled Eggs with Cabbage & Smoked Gouda

Cabbage — and all of its cruciferous cousins — is capable of being sweet and innocent or pungent and reeking of sulfur. What makes it different? Timing. The longer you cook cabbage or broccoli or Brussels sprouts, the more thoroughly their sulfuric compounds break down and become noticeable. (Hence the distinctive aroma of corned beef and cabbage.) At the same time, it’s a smart idea to cook cruciferous veggies since they’re goitrogenic in their raw forms. If you have a hyperactive thyroid and want to impair its function, goitrogenic foods might be a great idea, but if you’re like the majority of folks with thyroid problems who have underactive thyroids — hypothyroidism is particularly prevalent in women — the last thing you want to do is impair what function you’ve got. So with those caveats in mind, please do cook your cabbage and broccoli and Brussels sprouts (and leafy greens and cauliflower), but just not too much. Since this cabbage is thinly sliced, you can sauté it for 10 minutes before adding the egg and cheese. Then you’ll have still-sweet cabbage that pairs well with smoky cheese and velvety eggs.

Scrambled Eggs with Cabbage & Smoked Gouda

Melt a generous pat of butter or ghee in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add a handful of thinly sliced cabbage or coleslaw and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until cabbage has softened and is starting to turn translucent. Stir in an egg and a sprinkling of shredded smoked Gouda.

Continue to cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the egg is fluffy and opaque. Serve garnished with a dash of sweet or smoked paprika. If you’d like to make more than one portion, figure on 1 egg and 1 handful of cabbage per person and use a larger skillet.

Enjoy!

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Coffee Chocolate Muffins

Coffee Chocolate Muffins

Most people enjoy drinking coffee while eating chocolate, so why not put the two ingredients together in the form of lush muffins? Unlike coffee, muffins can’t spill, and unlike chocolate, they can’t melt. Talk about a convenient go-to breakfast! And thanks to their base of almond, coconut, and buckwheat flours, these muffins are surprisingly hearty: almonds are protein-forward, coconut flour has more fiber than just about any other flour, and buckwheat flour has the nearly the lowest glycemic index of any flour. (Wild rice is lower, but wild rice generally isn’t milled into flour. You can mill your own, though, if you have a flour mill or high-powered blender! Try ultra-nutty wild rice in pizza crusts and other savory baked goods.)

Using butter, half-and-half, and eggs from pastured animals gives these muffins even more nutritious flavor. And while I used some of my latest batch of cold-brewed coffee in the batter, you can use whatever coffee is your favorite. I tend to go with cold-brewed since the flavor is stable and it can be refrigerated for two weeks. (Versus traditional hot-brewed coffee, which changes drastically in flavor once it has cooled. It doesn’t lend itself nearly as well to re-using.) Making your own cold-brewed joe is easier than you’d think!

Coffee Chocolate Muffins
Makes 12 muffins.

4 T. butter, preferably from grass-fed cows
75 grams (about 2.6 ounces) of 75% or darker chocolate, snapped into pieces
3/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup raw buckwheat flour OR brown rice flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 eggs, preferably from free-range hens
1 cup half-and-half, preferably from grass-fed cows
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup coffee, preferably cold-brewed

Preheat oven to 375F and line a muffin tray with parchment paper cups.

Place the butter and chocolate in a small pot over the lowest heat setting on your stove and let them slowly melt, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on the pot and pull it off the stove when a few lumps still remain. Keep stirring to finish melting the chocolate.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, and coffee. Whisk in the melted butter and chocolate.

Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and promptly scoop the batter into waiting muffin cups. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes or until the tops are turning golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Completely cooled muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temp for 4 days (unless it’s hot and humid) or refrigerated for a week.

Enjoy!

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Lisa on March 23rd, 2015
Vietnamese Pork with Sprouts & Cilantro

Vietnamese Pork with Green Beans, Sprouts & Cilantro

Southeastern Asian dishes manage to be all things at once: savory and sweet, tart and smooth, soft and assertive. Vietnamese, Thai, and neighboring countries offer an enchanting blend of incredibly savory ingredients like tamari and fish sauce paired with fresh, sharp ingredients like lime juice and fresh herbs. (Basil, mint, and cilantro are classic Southeast Asian herbs.) Traditionally, the garnishes are offered on the side, or you can toss them directly into the pork and green beans as I opted to do.

Along with classic ingredients, this dish also includes peanut butter for a creamy undertone and pomegranate molasses for a sweet/tart note. Any one of the flavors could be overriding out of of proportion, but when used judiciously, they blend into addictive harmony. The base sauce could be used for any kind of meat or seafood you’d like — shrimp, chicken, or beef would be equally welcome — and likewise, you could include whatever veggies you have on hand. Or toss the sauce with freshly cooked pasta. Striking varieties made with black rice are all the more alluring.

Note: if you’re unfamiliar with fish sauce, the scent of it may throw you off. My advice? Don’t sniff it — just use it. It’s incredibly savory (talk about umami!) and would be missed if it weren’t there. We all like Caesar dressing, right? That’s because of the anchovies, which are very similar to fish sauce. And I bet you like Worcestershire sauce! Anchovies/fish sauce strike again.

Vietnamese Pork with Green Beans, Sprouts & Cilantro
Makes 4 servings.

For the sauce:
1 T. tamari (be sure it’s gluten-free if you’re making a gluten-free dish; otherwise, you can use standard soy sauce)
1 T. fish sauce
1 T. peanut butter (the ingredient list should read “peanuts” or “peanuts, salt”)
1 T. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. pomegranate molasses OR tamarind paste*
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips OR 2 tsp. dried basil

For the pork:
1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed
3/4 lb. ground pork, preferably from pastured hogs
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large carrots, grated or shredded
1 medium radish, grated or shredded (daikon is a great option)
Double handful of sprouts
Chopped cilantro (anywhere from a few leaves to quite a large handful if you’re a big cilantro fan like me)

To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir well to combine. The lime juice and vinegar will prevent the fresh basil from blackening.

To make the pork, fill a medium pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the beans and cook for 3 minutes or until they’ve reached their desired tenderness. Drain well.

Melt a generous knob of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pork and garlic and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often to break up the pork, or until the garlic is fragrant and the pork is turning golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients and the drained beans. Stir in the sauce and let cook for another 3 minutes to marry the flavors. Serve immediately. If you like, have bowls of grated carrots and radish on the table as garnishes, or offer your guests additional sprouts and/or cilantro.

Enjoy!

* Pomegranate molasses is typically used in Middle Eastern cuisine, but it makes a great substitution for tamarind paste and is often easier to find. Or look for tamarind paste in Asian stores or in the Asian section of well-stocked grocery stores.

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Butternut Squash, Cabbage & Almonds Tossed with Butternut Squash Oil

Butternut Squash, Cabbage & Almonds Tossed with Butternut Squash Oil

What’s the best oil to pair with butternut squash? Why, butternut squash seed oil, of course. Just like its winter-squash cousins pumpkins and acorn squashes, butternut squashes have hearty seeds that can be roasted and then pressed for oil. Stony Brook Foods in New York makes a full complement of squash oils: pumpkin, acorn squash, butternut squash, kabocha squash, and delicata squash.

During a trip to New England last fall, I was able to sample all five of Stony Brook’s oils, and I must say that they are all delicious — they’re lush, buttery, nutty, and quite unlike any other category of oil I’ve tasted. (What differs most from one to another is where they fall on the buttery-to-nutty spectrum.) These oils are polyunsaturated oils, which means they fall into the “delicate and don’t-heat-them” category. They’re perfect for dishes like these — drizzling the oils onto the dish as a final touch ensures you’ll get to taste the oil in all of its rich, buttery flavor. It’s the perfect pair for the natural sweetness of the butternut squash and pears. Just be sure to store your polyunsaturated oils in the fridge to preserve their freshness!

Butternut Squash, Cabbage & Almonds Tossed with Butternut Squash Oil
Makes 2 servings. Can easily be doubled or tripled.

About 1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash (the cubes should be about 1″)*
About 1/4 of a small head of cabbage
Handful of whole almonds
1 Bosc pear
Drizzle of apple cider vinegar
Drizzle of butternut squash oil
Sea salt to taste

Fill a medium pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the squash. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the cubes have reached their desired tenderness, then drain well.

While the squash simmers, slice the cabbage into thin ribbons and coarsely chop the almonds. Heat a generous knob of butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat and stir in the cabbage and almonds. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until the almonds are turning golden brown.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the drained squash with the sauteed cabbage and almonds. Cut the pear into bite-sized pieces (discard the stem and core), then drizzle with the vinegar and oil. Toss well and taste to see if you’d like to add more vinegar and/or oil. Salt to taste and toss well again before serving. Leftover salad can be refrigerated for 3 days.

Enjoy!

* The easiest way to cut up a hard winter squash like butternut is to first cut it in half by using a mallet and 8? steel knife: position the knife and dig it in slightly, then whack the top and alternating ends — tip, handle, tip, handle — of it with the mallet to force the knife through the squash. Scoop out the seeds, saving them if you’d like to bake them separately at a later time. Place the squash cut-side down on the cutting board and carefully trim away outer skin, cutting the squash into smaller pieces if necessary to create more flat surfaces that allow you to cut safely. Cut squash into cubes. If you would like to reserve the rest of the squash for other uses, place in a zip-loc bag and refrigerate for up to a week.

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Lisa on March 16th, 2015
Skillet Beans & Bacon

Skillet Beans & Bacon

Bet I’m not alone in having a big jar of dried beans in the pantry. Once in a while, I look at it and think, “Hey, I should use those!” Inevitably, though, I don’t think of my dried beans in time to properly soak and simmer them, so instead I reach for canned beans. But this time I managed to plan my bean dish a day ahead of time so that they could soak overnight.

The idea was to cook my dried Great Northern beans and make baked beans with them. They took longer than I thought they would to soften, though, so I wound up making skillet beans instead. (If they’re simmering in a skillet rather than burbling in the oven, it’s easier to poke them once in a while to check their tenderness.) But the end result was equally delicious! And I also found out that you can freeze leftover cooked beans for later use — what I didn’t use in this dish wound up in lamb stew several weeks later. If you also freeze your leftover cooked beans, you might want to freeze them in one-cup batches to make it easier to measure out for other dishes.

Skillet Beans & Bacon
Makes 4 servings.

For the beans:
2/3 cup dried Great Northern or other beans OR 15 oz. canned beans (that’s about 2 cups)

For the sauce:
1 yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. chili powder
2 tsp. pomegranate molasses*
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 T. stone-ground mustard
1/2 lb. bacon, preferably from pastured hogs
Sea salt to taste

To make the beans, soak them overnight with plenty of cool water. The next day, drain well. Place in a pot and cover with at least 2″ of water. Simmer for an hour or until the beans have begun to split and have reached their desired tenderness. The best way to see if they’re “done” is to cut one in half — if the center is still opaque, the beans need more cooking time. Drain well. If you’re using canned beans, hold off on using them until you’ve made the sauce.

To make the sauce, cook the onion in a large skillet with a generous knob of ghee or a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the onions are becoming translucent and soft. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook for another 3 minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant. Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the bacon. Add 1/2 cup water, bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. While the sauce simmers, coarsely chop the bacon.

Stir the bacon and cooked beans into the sauce and continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes. If the sauce starts looking too dry, add another 1/2 cup of water and reduce the heat to low. (If you use canned beans, don’t drain them — just stir in the beans + the liquid.) Salt to taste.

Serve the beans and bacon piping hot. Leftovers can be refrigerated for 4 days. This makes a great breakfast when served with a freshly scrambled or poached egg!

Note: if you made 2/3 cup of dried beans, you’ll have 2 cups to use in this recipe, but if you made more than that, you can freeze the leftover beans for later use.

Enjoy!

* If you don’t have the pomegranate molasses, use 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses and an extra teaspoon of lemon juice. The pomegranate molasses adds a lovely sweet/sour flavor, though, so you might want to look for it in Middle Eastern grocery stores or in the Middle Eastern foods section of well-stocked grocery stores.

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Lisa on March 12th, 2015
Butternut, Ham & Pea Pasta

Butternut, Ham & Pea Pasta

We’re finally easing out of winter and into spring, but winter squashes like butternut still abound in produce markets. Might as well figure out creative ways to cook with them while we wait for the zucchinis and cucumbers to start sprouting in our gardens! For this quick dish, I simmered three ingredients at the same time — pasta, butternut, and peas — while I sauteed ham on the side. (Or, more accurately, a Canadian/U.K. version of bacon, which is made from the loin rather than the belly. That means to an American, “bacon” abroad is often what we’d call ham, while an Englishman who orders bacon in the States is going to be surprised by what’s next to his eggs.) The entire dish is ready in 10 minutes. That’s fast food the right way!

Butternut, Ham & Pea Pasta
Makes 2 servings. Feel free to double or triple the recipe.

About 1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash (the cubes should be about 1″)*
Whole-grain pasta of your choice (be sure to use gluten-free pasta if you’re making a gluten-free dish)
About 1 cup frozen peas
Generous knob of butter
1/2 lb. ham, cut into small cubes, preferably from pastured hogs

The squash will need 10 minutes to cook, and most whole-grain spaghetti takes between 7 and 10 minutes. If the spaghetti takes 7, start simmering the squash first, then add the pasta 3 minutes later so that they’re both done at the same time. Add the peas during the final 2 minutes of simmering to thaw them. Drain well.

While the squash and pasta and peas cook, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the ham and cook for about 5 minutes, flipping the cubes occasionally, or until the ham is turning golden brown. Toss with the drained pasta and veggies and serve immediately. So simple! The savory ham will be a welcome contrast to the naturally sweet squash and peas, and the butter combined with the residual starch from the pasta will form a subtle cream sauce.

Enjoy!

* The easiest way to cut up a hard winter squash like butternut is to first cut it in half by using a mallet and 8″ steel knife: position the knife and dig it in slightly, then whack the top and alternating ends — tip, handle, tip, handle — of it with the mallet to force the knife through the squash. Scoop out the seeds, saving them if you’d like to bake them separately at a later time. Place the squash cut-side down on the cutting board and carefully trim away outer skin, cutting the squash into smaller pieces if necessary to create more flat surfaces that allow you to cut safely. Cut squash into cubes. If you would like to reserve the rest of the squash for other uses, place in a zip-loc bag and refrigerate for up to a week.

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Lisa on March 9th, 2015
Coconut Macaroons with Crème Fraîche

Coconut Macaroons with Crème Fraîche

Whenever I tweak a classic recipe, I see if I can upgrade an ingredient along the way — palm sugar or sucanat instead of white sugar, freshly whipped cream instead of spray-can whipped cream (or worse yet, Cool Whip, which is trans fat and chemicals and does not contain any actual cream), plain-whole-milk-Greek-yogurt-turned-cream-cheese instead of the classic silver brick, etc. Invariably, not only are upgraded ingredients healthier options, they taste a lot better.

One of the staples that I hadn’t yet tried to upgrade was sweetened condensed milk. True, it has a silky texture, but it is shriekingly sweet and always contains inordinate amounts of white sugar (and is also usually made with milk from not-grass-fed cows). What to replace it with? Preferably something that would be equally silky, but unsweetened so that I could control the amount of sweetness I added to the recipe. The answer turned out to be crème fraîche with a drizzle of maple syrup. Crème fraîche is even richer than condensed milk — it’s made with cream, after all — and it’s probiotic because it’s cultured. Double win! That extra creaminess translates to macaroons that manage to taste light and buttery at the same time. They’re a little tricky to shape since they’re so lightweight, but with a gentle touch, you’ll have gorgeous little macaroons to grace your dessert dish.

Coconut Macaroons with Crème Fraîche
Makes 2 dozen macaroons.

1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 T. maple syrup
Dash sea salt
1 egg white at room temperature, preferably from pastured hens

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients but the egg white. In a large mixing bowl, whip the egg white until light and fluffy. Fold the egg white into the coconut mixture, then gently shape the macaroons into balls, using about a standard teaspoon for each ball. Don’t press very hard — you’ll smash them. Instead, touch them very lightly as you turn them with your fingertips to nudge them into spheres. Spread them out on the baking sheet.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are starting to turn golden brown and the bottoms are clearly golden brown. Let cool on wire rack. Completely cooled macaroons can be stored at room temperature for 3 days or refrigerated for a week.

Enjoy!

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Lisa on March 5th, 2015
Scrambled Eggs with Crème Fraîche & Chives

Scrambled Eggs with Crème Fraîche & Chives

Fans of Fine Cooking magazine may have noticed last month’s Food Science column about cooking eggs. (If you haven’t yet checked out the magazine, you should!) In their monthly column, authors David Joachim and Andrew Schloss describe the differences between cooking eggs in butter and in oil, and it turns out that I wasn’t imagining things when I thought that my butter-scrambled eggs were more velvety than the eggs I scrambled in extra-virgin olive oil. As a natural emulsifier, butter helps the watery whites and the fat-rich yolks blend together, plus the saturated fat in the butter prevents the proteins in eggs from denaturing and coagulating too tightly. In cookspeak, the latter means that you’re less likely to overcook eggs that are cooked in butter rather than oil. Butter + eggs = softer, fluffier eggs.

Given that logic, I thought I’d see what would happen if I stirred a spoonful of crème fraîche into my eggs before I cooked them. I knew the flavor would be amazing, and I suspected the eggs would be even more velvety since the saturated fat in the crème fraîche would join forces with the butter in an effort to prevent the egg proteins from over-toughening. Happy to say that yes, my eggs came out even silkier! And with the addition of some dried chives, the eggs had a savory/creamy flavor, much like homemade Ranch dressing made with real buttermilk and herbs. This is a sublime four-ingredient breakfast, lunch, or snack.

Scrambled Eggs with Crème Fraîche & Chives

With a fork, whisk eggs – preferably from pastured hens — with a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkling of dried chives. (Use about a tablespoon of crème and a teaspoon of chives for every 2 eggs.) Melt some butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, using about a half-tablespoon for every 2 eggs. Add the eggs and cook for about 3 minutes or until large, soft curds have formed, stirring occasionally with a heat-proof spatula to gently scramble the eggs.

Immediately serve, sprinkling with a little sea salt if you like. So savory and so simple.

Enjoy!

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Lisa on March 2nd, 2015
Quiche with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Quiche with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Full disclosure: this is a recipe I found in the pages of Food & Wine magazine and then modified to make gluten-free. But since the recipe in the magazine was modified from one at a restaurant called Cakes & Ale in Decatur, Georgia (near Atlanta) and since I visited that very same restaurant last August and utterly loved it, I feel like it’s entirely legit to use the F&W/C&A recipe as an inspiration for a tweaked version.

Quiche makes a great breakfast: it’s hearty, it’s satisfying, and starting the day with eggs and veggies and cheese means you won’t be running for the vending machine by 10 a.m. You might not even be hungry for your lunch! So much better than sugar-crash-inducing boxed cereals or low-fat yogurt, both of which almost always contain more sugar than an equivalent amount of Coke. And if you’re running short on time in the morning, take a slice of quiche to work with you.

The crust in this quiche is made with buckwheat and quinoa flours, both of which have a low glycemic impact compared to wheat flours or starchy gluten-free flours like white rice flour, potato starch, and corn starch. (The latter three, unfortunately, are staples in commercially produced g-f products.) The filling contains roasted Brussels sprouts, which you can’t beat for sheer savoriness. If you’re not a huge BS fan, though — pun intended — swap out the sprouts for 3/4 pound of your favorite veggies. Most veggies are good candidates for roasting. Or swap out the Gruyère for your favorite aged hard cheese, like Parmesan or Manchego. You could make this recipe unique each time you make it!

Quiche with Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Makes a 9″ deep baking dish.

For the filling:
3/4 lb. Brussels sprouts
2 cups whole milk, preferably from grass-fed cows
4 T. butter, preferably from grass-fed cows, melted
5 eggs, preferably from pastured hens
Dash of nutmeg
3 green onions, green part only, minced
4 oz. Gruyère, preferably from grass-fed cows, grated

For the crust:
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 stick chilled butter, preferably from grass-fed cows

Preheat oven to 375F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Thoroughly grease a deep 9″ baking dish (mine was 3″ deep) and set that aside, too.

To make the filling, clean the sprouts by slicing off each base and then stripping away and discarding the outermost layer of leaves. Quarter them, then place them in a bowl and toss with a splash of extra-virgin olive oil or melted ghee. Arrange on the parchment-covered baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until they’re turning golden brown. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325F.

While the sprouts roast, make the crust. Place the flours in a food processor, then cut the butter into chunks and scatter them onto the flour. Process until crumbs form, then trickle a teaspoon or two of water as the processor is running. It only takes a little bit of water to make the dough form a ball! Transfer to the baking dish and press the crust into place with your fingertips.

To finish making the filling, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, eggs, and nutmeg. Stir in the roasted sprouts, scallions, and cheese. Pour the filling into the waiting crust.

Bake at 325F for 1 hour or until the top is set — that is, the quiche doesn’t jiggle in the center when nudged — and turning golden brown. Let the quiche cool on a wire rack before cutting into it. Leftover quiche can be refrigerated for a week and served as breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Enjoy!

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Lisa on February 26th, 2015
Fried Wild Rice

Fried Wild Rice

Bread is the traditional accompaniment to most meals, but many of us are starting to wonder if there might not be tastier, more nutritious alternatives. (And fresh new ideas — bread gets pretty stale, if you’ll pardon my pun.) Enter wild rice! It has the lowest glycemic impact of any grain, plus it has a fantastically rich, nutty flavor. And it’s an indigenous American ingredient, one that’s long been savored by native peoples.

The uniqueness of wild rice stems from the fact that it’s a category of its own — contrary to its name, it isn’t rice. But people have traditionally called it that because the aquatic grains look like long, dark grains of rice. And much like rice, when cooked, the bran of wild rice splits to reveal its softer, fluffier inside. (Although wild rice is more visually striking because there’s more of a color contrast between its exterior and interior.) It’s also easier to think of ways to use wild rice if you think of it as rice: add it to soups, serve it as a pilaf, include it in stir-frys, etc. If you have a flour mill or high-speed blender, you can even grind wild rice into flour.

Most people serve wild rice as a simple side dish, mixed with brown rice and dried herbs. That’s a magnificent way to showcase the full flavor of wild rice. But here’s another easy idea to try: deep-fry it! Just cook the rice as you normally would, then cook it in ghee. The inherent nuttiness of the ghee magnifies the flavor of the wild rice, plus the rice comes out pleasantly crisp. You can serve it as-is or use it as a garnish. You could even treat it as cereal — pour on some milk and add some nuts and/or chopped fruit. Talk about a great way to enjoy a hearty breakfast and get out of the humdrum (and overpriced) cereal aisle!

Fried Wild Rice

Cook wild rice according to package directions (typically a ratio of 4:1 water to rice). To lessen the cooking time, allow the rice to soak in the water overnight or for at least six hours — you’ll cut the cooking time by 2/3, which  means your rice will be done in about 15 minutes rather than 45. If you’d like to imbue the grains with even more flavor, cook them in chicken or vegetable broth rather than water.

Thoroughly drain cooked wild rice. Melt a generous knob of ghee in a skillet just big enough to hold the rice, then stir in the rice. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until rice has reached its desired crispness. It’s best used immediately (served as-is or as a garnish), but it’s still lovely post-refrigeration, especially if you’re going to treat it as cereal and pour milk over it or if you’d like to include it in soups, pilafs, or stir-frys that would involve re-warming it. Fried wild rice can be refrigerated for a week.

Enjoy!

 

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