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Cooking Grain Foods - The Basic Information

Updated on June 29, 2010

Cooking grains,beans and vegetables some basic information

You will need to be well aquainted with some basic cooking methods for gooking grains, beans, and vegetables, which are basis for a healthy diet.
You will need to be well aquainted with some basic cooking methods for gooking grains, beans, and vegetables, which are basis for a healthy diet.

Some Basic Information about cooking grains. The idea of cooking grains and beans from scratch is unappealing to many people. Yet nothing could be simpler once


Cooking Grains

The Basic Information

To cook grains, you need merely add a specified quantity of the grain to a specified amount of boiling liquid, then just let them cook unsupervised. What could be simpler? Also, since cooked grains can be kept in the refrigerator for days and reheated, cooking large quantities is recommended. Cooked browned rice, in particular, is called for in many of the dinner menus, to be served plain or as an ingredient in another dish. So do prepare larger quantities of rice in order to have left over's for such occasions. While long-grain rice is specified in some of the recipes, if you prefer, you can substitute the softer-textured short grain variety.

When you no cooked grains on hand and are really in a hurry, cook bulgar. Bulgar derives from wheat has been parboiled, dried and broken up. It cooks in only 15 minutes and is very similar t rice in taste and appearance. Just pour boiling water over dry bulgar, let stand for 20-30 minutes until it is soft and fluffy, then drain off the excess water, as they do in the Middle East for such dishes as tabbouli. Because it is precooked, bulgar expands less after cooking than whole grains, such as brown rice. A cup of uncooked bulgar yields about 2 1/2 cups of cooked grain; A cup of brown rice expands to 3 or more cups.

If grains have not been cleaned (the package will tell you), you may need to rinse and drain before adding them to boiling liquid. To cook any whole grain, bring water or stock to a boil, add grains slowly, reduce temperature to low and cook tightly covered for a required amount of time or until all the water is absorbed. Don't stir during the cooking, and allow the grain to rest, covered, at the end of the cooking period for another 10 minutes or longer to permit the grain to fluff. (Some cooks follow a different procedure-lifting the lid of the longer-cooking grains, like rice, to let the grains separate about 5 to 10 minutes before the end of the cooking period.)

The table that follows gives cooking time and liquid required in cooking various grains, though you may wish to vary slightly the amount of liquid used or the cooking times in certain recipes. Oven-toasting of grains before adding them to the liquid is optional. It does seems to improve the flavor and texture of the cooked product and is desirable in in such instances for certain grains, such as buckwheat or brown rice. Here is a recipe for brown rice in which the grains are first oven-toasted, which uses slightly more liquid.

Recipe For Brown Rice

2/3 cups of brown rice

2 cups of water or stock

Spread the rice in a baking dish with sides, and place in a 350 degrees oven for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Combine the toasted rice and liquid, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40-45 minutes

This will yield about 4 cups.

                              For Each Cup Of Grain

Grain                       Water or Stock        Required Cooking

Brown Rice                2cups                  40-45 minutes

Barley                      3cups                   60 minutes

Buckwheat (kasha)     2 cups                 15 minutes

Bulgar                      2cups                   15 minutes

Millet                       3cups                   45 minutes

----------------------------------------------------------Whole berries

Whole rye

Whole triticale

These three grains take 3 cups and about 50-60 minutes to cook (then pour off the excess liquid).

----------------------------------------------------------Many people think that cooking grain can be very difficult, yet nothing could be simpler ounce you know a few basic rules, try this information and you will be on your way to cooking some great dishes.

The Handicapped Chef Carlton Haynes is owner of Triple H catering and Consulting Service and Chef Brand Foods for more information contact us at  


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