Thursday, March 19, 2009

Grain of the Month!!!

It's Time For Grain of the Month!
Black Rice!
Forbidden Rice!
Can You Dig It?
OH! Don't things just taste better when they are FORBIDDEN??? You bet they do!

There is was, sitting on the store shelf, its bag clearly marked FORBIDDEN RICE. For months I passed by it, each time wanting it more and more because of the intrigue, the mystery, the I-Wanna-Be-A-Bad-Girl appeal of the grains marked FORBIDDEN. Then, one day, when the red-vested employee in the aisle turned his back, I grabbed the bag and put it in my cart. Oh yeah. Rebel Woman. I took it home, cooked it up and, Honey! I fell in love.

How did this rice get to be called "Forbidden"? The story goes that this rice was so delicious and nutritious, it was reserved for the emperors in ancient China. Another story was that the Greeks took over parts of the Middle East and BANNED this rice because they thought their enemies were eating it which made them stronger in battles. Some malcontent on Wikipedia suggested the name was "just a marketing ploy." Please! Who would fall for something like that?

This rice is full of fiber and there's some iron in there for the vegetarians and vegans among us. Betty loves this rice. I throw it in casseroles, fried rice combos, and even in spring mix salads. That's right--after it's cooled, throw it in those lettuce salads. Crazy! Whacky! Yummy! I also just like it plain, or with a little lemon juice sprinkled over it. I'll include a couple recipes here for you complex kind of people who need an extra challenge in your lives.

Note: These recipes have not been Betty-tested, but if you test them, let me know!

Black Rice Pudding
From Epicurious

1 cup black rice
1/2 cup sugar
1 (13 1/2- to 15-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk, stirred well

Bring rice, 3 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with a tight-fitting lid, 45 minutes (rice will be cooked but still wet). Stir in sugar, a scant 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 cups coconut milk and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and rice is tender but still slightly chewy, about 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool to warm or room temperature, stirring occasionally, at least 30 minutes. Just before serving, stir pudding and divide among 8 bowls. Stir remaining coconut milk and drizzle over pudding.

Forbidden Black Rice Salad

Recipe by Mitch Madoff, Whole Foods NYC Commissary/Deli
This is Whole Foods Market, NYC best selling salad!

2 cups Forbidden Rice
3 1/2 cups water
2 Tbls Tamari
3 Tbls Sesame Oil
1 pound roasted diced sweet potatoes
3/4 cup diced red peppers
3/4 cup diced yellow peppers
1/2 bunch sliced scallions

Bring rice, water and pinch of salt to a quick bowl, cover and lower heat to a simmer for 30 minutes. Let rice sit while you whisk together sesame oil and tamari. While rice is still warm toss in the sesame oil and tamari mixture. Let cool, then add sweet potatoes, red peppers, yellow peppers, scallions, and salt, pepper to taste.

That's what I'm talking about!


Susan said...

Black rice???? I have never known there was such a thing!

Bossy Betty said...

This is why I am here!

You have probably just passed by it in the store, your subconscious knowing it was "forbidden."

Dare to go to the Forbidden.

Happy Homemaker said...

I too, was intrigued by this Forbidden grain...I mix it with my brown rice and wheat berry for a wild and crazy side dish. Here's a shout our for all of us cutting edge cooks! ;)

Happy Homemaker said...

Oops! I meant to write "Shout Out"...I'm such nerd!!! :/

Anonymous said...

Madoff? Is this some kind of grain-based Ponzi scheme?

Bossy Betty said...


Hey, listen, if you don't want in on it, that's fine. There are A LOT of people out there just waiting to grab the Forbidden Grain. It's up to you. You're the one who will lose out. You decide. I know you'll make the right move.

Bossy Betty said...

Happy Homemaker,

You ARE a WILD thing, mixing grains like that! WOOOOOOO!!! PARTY!!! You are my kind of gal!