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Friday, August 13, 2010

Grain Cooking with Chart You Can Print Out

A while back I wrote an article on making grains taste great. I think what had inspired me was that I never knew simple whole grains could taste so flat and wrong until my mom bought one of these plastic rice steamers to make her life easier when I came to visit. Somehow I don't think it makes cooking any easier as you have to clean twice as many things, take the device out and put it away etc. Why not just use a pot and cook it on the stove? You can set a timer just as easily as the one on the cooker. My distaste for the lifeless grain made me realize there are a few tricks that make simple foods taste better.

The pot you cook the grain in, the amount and quality of sea salt you use, the time you take to cook the grain and the amount of water you use all are factors in how the end product will taste.

Too much water and it can be mushy, too little water and it's going to be hard. Neither seem to produce the best flavor. You will find the formula for your own pot and how you measure. A good rule to begin with is 2 cups of water to 1 cup of brown rice. Millet needs more water or it is dry. (3 cups of water to 1 cup of millet works well.) My pots leak out a lot of steam so I use a bit of extra water so that I don't end up with dry grain. Soaking the grain for a few hours helps with digestibility. A pressure cooker brings out the sweetness of the grain.

Salt is important. Just a pinch. Too much and things will taste too salty but a small pinch will bring out the flavor and add alkalinity and strength to the dish.

Once you get your formula down, you will be cooking great grain forever after. It's worth experimenting a little bit, then let the endless possibilities unfold. Grain salads, burgers, sushi rolls, cereals, puddings and more. For recipes try one of my cookbooks. There are a few more days of free shipping at http://stores.lulu.com/susanmarque with a minimum order.


Grains (1 cup dried)

Pot Cooking

Pressure Cooking


Water

Time

Water

Time

Amaranth

2 cups

30 min.

Barley, whole

3 cups

50 min.

2 1/2

60 min.

Barley, pearled

2 1/2 cups

40 min.

2 cups

30 min.

Corn, meal

4 cups

30 min.

Corn, grits

3 cups

20 min.

Kamut

3 cups

40 min.

2 1/2 cups

25 min.

Millet

3 cups

30 min.

Millet, congee

6 cups

120 min.

4 cups

45 min.

Oats, whole

3 cups

60 min.

Oats, rolled

2 1/2 cups

15 min.

Quinoa

2 cups

20 min.

Rice, short brown

2 cups

55 min.

1 1/2 cups

50 min.

Rice, brown congee

6 cups

120 min.

4 cups

60 min.

Rice, medium brown

1 1/2 cups

45 min.

1 1/4 cups

45 min.

Rice, long brown

1 1/2 cups

45 min.

Rice, basmati brown

1 1/2 cups

45 min.

Rice, sweet brown

1 1/2 cups

30 min.

1 1/4 cups

25 min.

Rice, basmati white

1 3/4 cups

35 min.

Rye

2 1/2 cups

60 min.

2 1/2 cups

50 min.

Rye flakes

2 cups

30 min.

Spelt

3 cups

25 min.

2 cups

50 min.

Teff

3 cups

20 min.

Wheat

3 cups

60 min.

Wheat, cracked

3 cups

25 min.

Wild rice

2 1/2 cups

50 min.


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