Sunday, April 19, 2009

Betty's In Love...With Buckwheat!

Buckwheat and me:  We got a thing going on.  

Oh my, oh my, Betty had some fun with this grain.  

Let's review:  Untoasted, the grains are called Buckwheat Groats.  Toasted, they are called Kasha.

At this point I am so enamoured with toasted buckwheat that if I had a daughter I would name her Kasha.

First of all, I was making some peanut butter cookies, so I toasted some buckwheat up and threw it in the dough.  Yummy!  

You could do this with any cookie to give it some crunch and nutty goodness without the nuts.  You don't have to toast the kernels, but, oh, come on. Make the effort.  I am going to toast some up and have them on hand to throw into salads and on top of ice cream too.  

Oh yes I am.

Then, I made Buckwheat Burgers for dinner. These are HOB approved! 

I added Thousand Island Dressing to mine.  

Yum!  Here's the recipe from the Natural Health Website:

3 1/2 cups steamed kasha (see below), cooled.
2 medium scallions, finely chopped.
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves.
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.
Salt and ground black pepper.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1. Place cooled kasha in food processor and pulse until grain becomes doughlike, about 10 seconds. Scrape kasha into medium bowl and add scallions,cilantro, Worcestershire, and salt
and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

2. Divide mixture into four balls with dampened hands, and shape into compact patties.

3. Heat oil in large skillet until shimmering. Add patties and cook over
medium heat until browned on one side, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook until browned on the other side, about 3 minutes.
Serve hot.

STEAMED KASHA: Place 2 cups water,a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon oil
(optional) in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a wok or thin-bottomed skillet and toast 1 cup buckwheat over medium-high heat, stirring it constantly. Toast for about 3 minutes or until it is aromatic and a shade darker. Slowly (to prevent sputtering) pour toasted buckwheat into the now boiling water, reduce heat,cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to steam, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes.
Makes about 3 1/2 cups.

Go crazy on these burgers and add your own spices, etc.  I tried another batch with shredded potatoes and an egg as a binding agent.  

Last, here's a recipe from The Whole Grains Cookbook.  I've made this a couple of times.  The trick is not to go crazy with the food processor and keep the texture coarse.  Sorry, there are no pictures!  We ate it up too fast.  

Rich and Tangy Buckwheat and Chevre Gratin

1 TB olive oil
6 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup buckwheat groats
1 1/2 chicken stock (I use the vegetarian kind)
1 sprig thyme or rosemary
2 oz (1/4 cup) chevre goat cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat and then add the shallots.  When they start to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often.  As they soften, reduce heat to the lowest setting, and stir every five minutes.  Oil a medium gratin pan or 8-inch square baking dish.

In a 2 quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the buckwheat over high heat.  Swirl the pan to heat the grains evenly.  When the groats are fragrant and hot to the touch, quickly dump them into a wire-mesh strainer, rinse, drain, and put them back in the pan.  Carefully add the stock (it will boil up when it hits the hot pan, so hold it away form you and go gradually).  Add the thyme and bring the buckwheat mixture back to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

When the shallots are carmel colored and have cooked down, remove them from the heat.  When the buckwheat is tender, and all the stock is absorbed, take off the heat.  Scrape the warm buckwheat into a food processor and pulse to coarsely puree.  Add the chevre, salt, and shallots and pulse to mix.  Spread the mixture in the prepared baking pan so it is in a thin layer.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the gratin and back for 20 minutes until the cheese is golden.

Oh my, Betty had a good time with this month's grain!  Hope you did too!  Before too long we'll be able to order the Buckwheat Platter at Chili's and it all started here....


Anonymous said...

yum-O baby! I am going to try to make the burgers, and i hope you are bringing those cookies to your adoring colleagues. where can i get some buckwheat? you can call me kasha if you want.

Bossy Betty said...

Dearest Kasha,

I will bring you some buckwheat! I can't wait to see what you do with it since you are one of the most creative cooks I know!


Grace said...

You need to have us book club gals over for dinner. It all sounds so good!! I have had buckwheat pancakes and really liked them. So...when are you having us all over for dinner??

Bossy Betty said...

Let's see...I'm going to have to look at my calendar.

I have to be totally prepared. I have seen those women chow!