Monday, February 7, 2011

Welcome to Grain Day Pimps and/or Hoes

Today was Grain Day at school!

 We cooked about a million grains. (Actual number seven, eight if you count the noods). 
Kasha, Soba Noodles, Brown Basmati Pilaf, Short Grain Brown Rice, Long Grain Brown Rice, Cous Cous, Bulgur, Wild Rice(not pictured),

Then each group, there were three, prepared a dish or two from a couple of the grains.


Kasha Potato Loaf. This was as delicious as it looks.
So, not delicious at case you didn't catch that. 

 Soba Stir-Fry 

What. A. Freak.
 Wild Rice Salad

I learned that there is no real right way to cook grains. You sort of just have to follow a water to grain ratio and feel it out from there. There are little things that may or may not yeild slightly different results, but different chefs seem to think different things so my research so far is inconclusive. These things may or may not be true:

1. You can toast the grain before hand or you can start the grain cold.
  • Toasting the grain- Parching the starch and ending up with a fluffier result after cooking. Heating the oils in the grain before cooking and enhancing flavor
 2. You can start grain in cold water and bring it up to a boil or add the grain to boiling water.
  • Starting in cold water- End product is much starchier=creamier more homogenized
  • Adding grain to boiling water- Grains are noticeably separate at end of cooking
3. You can rinse grain or not before cooking.
  • Rinsing- Gets rid of excess starch on outside of grain so doesn't cause congealed texture
  • Not rinsing- Leaves excess starch so adds to creaminess in dishes like risotto 

4. You can soak the grain or not.
  • Soaking cuts down cooking time and helps digestion of the grain.
  • Not soaking makes sure none of the nutrients leach out into the soaking water (I may have made that up but I think I'm pretty sure I didn't)
5. Michele Wolfson is a fucking top notch floor sweeper. Look at that stance.

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