Sunday, August 7, 2011

Experiments in Brown Rice


     I have too much brown rice. Some people came over for dinner yesterday, I overestimated and made two cups too many of rice. So, what do I do with a giant bowl of brown rice???? Well so maybe I have a few ideas: grilled rice balls, rice pudding, rice soup...risotto? Can I make risotto with brown rice? Let's take a minute to Google. Yes, yes I can. And I have just found the perfect recipe: Creamy Carrot Brown Rice Risotto. Yum.

     It's just that my life on the weekends is very sedentary: sit on couch, watch Lord of the Rings Again because it is coming on the television (I love the Lord of the Rings, did you know? Yes, I'm one of Those people. Absolutely and irrevocably. Now you know.) Re-read all the books of my childhood, cook, eat, hang out with friends - Repeat. So, having just eaten breakfast and retreated to my favorite corner of the couch (which is not a corner at all but the middle where all the cushions are nice and sunken in - it's one of those comfy couches with ridiculously large and fluffy pillows, be jealous), I am just not inspired to get up and cook again. I need people to feed. Where are You when I need you? *Pause for laziness*

    I found people to feed! Also, I forgot that if you wait long enough sitting on the couch, you do inevitably get hungry and then need to eat something. Oh the effects of time. So, I got up. And completely bastardized the recipe I found online. I'm sure the recipe made by Happy Healthy Mama (whose blog is very nice...even though the name makes me feel very....young and twenty and inferiorly un-mama-like) would have been delicious. It's just, she used basil and tarragon and thyme - I could not find any in my mother's spice cabinet. She used vegetable stock; I only had water.

     So, this went from being a not very traditional risotto to a completely and utterly untraditional risotto - which is nevertheless Delicious. I followed the same basic pattern of the recipe: cooked brown rice, carrot pureed in the food processor, cooking up the onions and then adding rice, carrot puree, and liquid, but changed all the details. I used garlic and ginger paste instead of garlic cloves, and rosemary, oregano, and a bay leaf as my spices. I also added red chili flakes on top, what is life without a little spicy?

     The resulting risotto is a very very satisfying lunch (and dinner). It is creamy, with just a little bit of that bite of brown rice. The rosemary accentuates the sweetness of the carrots, and the hint of oregano and red chili flakes cut in with just the right savory and spicy notes. I do love coming up with a good recipe. But I love even more having a big bowl of hot steaming food to devour while watching my movie, and the bunny rabbit living in my yard!

PS. Not that I approve of the sedentary lifestyle...but it's a weekend and summer vacation people! I'll go back to work during the week.
Creamy Carrot Brown Rice Risotto
Adapted from Happy Healthy Mama

3 cups Cooked Brown Rice (i.e. 1 cup uncooked brown rice in 2 cups water cooked in either a rice cooker, the microwave, or a pot on the stove) 
3 Medium Carrots, Sliced (I used two medium, two small and sliced to 1/4'' thickness) 
1 tbsp Olive Oil 
1/2 Onion, Finely Chopped 
1 tsp Garlic Ginger Paste 
1 tsp Ground Oregano 
1 tsp Rosemary 
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 tsp Salt (or more to taste) 
1/2 tsp Black Pepper (or more to taste)  
1 1/2 cups Water 
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Chili Flakes 

Fill a large saucepan a few inches with water, and suspend a colander over it. Heat the water until it is boiling, then lower the heat to medium-low. Add the carrots to the colander, cover it loosely with a lid, and allow the carrots to steam for five minutes or until they are tender. Then, put the carrots into a food processor and blend them until they are a fine puree, I added a few spoonfuls of the hot water from the saucepan to make the puree smoother. Set the food processor aside.

In a large skillet at medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic-ginger paste, and allow them to cook until the onions are translucent (5-7 minutes). Then, add the oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir them, and allow them to fry up for 1-2 minutes with the onions. Next, add the rice and carrot puree, stirring the spices in to combine. Add the water, and stir. Lastly, add the red chili flakes, stirring gently to make sure everything is combined. Stir and cook until the water has evaporated and the rice is creamy to taste, if the rice is still not tender, add more water and cook longer. When it is soft and creamy, season with more salt and pepper if needed, and serve!

1 comment:

  1. I love changing up regular rice by adding veggies and spices! this recipe looks fantastic. :) Thanks for sharing!