Cooking Grain Foods - The Basic Information
Cooking grains,beans and vegetables some basic information
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.