Friday, August 21, 2009

Brown Rice side dish (veggie friendly)

So with the South Beach diet I have started experimenting with different foods, such as brown rice. This brown rice side dish I made last night was probably the best offering I've had so far and part of it was a mistake. I was originally cooking the criminis as a side for the pork chops but I felt the brown rice was lacking some oomph so I added the mushrooms which gave it a good depth of flavor. You could use stock instead of water here too, but Bittman and Ruhlman have convinced me to stop using the box stock from the store.

But here's the problem, the only thing I really measured out when I made this last night was the brown rice, everything else is an approximate of what I did. You have to play with the water to get it right, if you've cooked risotto before you'll be fine. I cooked this in a 5.5 quart dutch oven, hopefully it will work for you.

2 TBLSP butter
1 medium onion diced
5 cloves of garlic, diced
1.5 cups of brown rice
Boiling water
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms quartered
1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Boil water and add dried mushrooms to rehydrate.

Place dutch oven over medium heat add butter and melt. Add two-thirds of the diced onion and cook until clear, 5-7 minutes, and then add rehydrated dried mushrooms. Add garlic, cook for another minute or two and then add brown rice. Store to coat with butter, onions and garlic for two to four minutes. Add enough water to cover everything and stir.

Cook until some of the water is absorbed and then add some more, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover for 10-20 minutes checking at least twice to give a stir. This is the hardest part, but if anything be cautious and check more frequently, it will take longer to cook but you won't have to worry about it sticking or having too much liquid.

In a cast iron pan over medium high heat add a little olive oil and then add remaining onion. After a minute or so add the quartered crimini mushrooms and some black pepper. Cook until they have a nice color and add salt, set aside over low heat to keep warm.

After rice is cooked (you need to taste it), add Parmesan and stir to combine. Add mushrooms and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed (I add a little salt and pepper throughout the entire cooking process, not just at the end).

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