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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Rice/Beans/Grains/Seeds

NEW YEAR’S RECIPE: Hoppin’ John

    Hoppin’ John: a Southern New Year’s Eve
    tradition for good luck. Photo courtesy
    Friedas.com.

     

    In long-standing traditions, people the world over eat certain foods to ring in the New Year. We’re aiming to fix a New Year’s Eve dinner with all of them.

    Here are the foods that hopefully bring health and prosperity in the new year. Coincidentally, all of them are very nutritious—another reason to enjoy them as you usher in the new year.

  1. Beans: money. Ancient man used certain beans as currency (cacao beans are the most famous example). As civilization evolved, beans symbolized coins. Beans are a nutritional powerhouse: Make a New Year’s resolution to add more of them to your weekly diet. Enjoy a bean salad or hot bean dish: anything from black beans to lentils to the Hoppin’ John recipe below, made with black-eyed peas and rice. Check out our Beans Glossary for more bean inspiration.
  2. Figs: fertility. Want to hear the patter of little feet in the new year? Chow down on figs. We love them with fresh goat cheese. One of the first foods cultivated by man, figs are naturally rich in minerals and vitamins, including antioxidants.
  3.  

  4. Fish: money. Silvery scales resemble money and fish swim in schools, which signifies abundance. Fish are packed with nutritional benefits, from protein to omega 3s in fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna—head for the sushi bar).
  5. Grains: abundance. We’re making risotto—a personal favorite. Make recipes with whole grains, and you’ll get lots of fiber and nutrients that can lower cholesterol, risk of heart disease, diabetes and other health problems. Beyond brown rice, work barley, quinoa and other whole grains into your repertoire (list of whole grains and more health benefits). Check out our Beans & Grains Glossary and our Rice Glossary.
  6. Grapes: a sweet year. When the clock chimes 12, Mexicans pop 12 grapes, one for each stroke of midnight. Each grape represents a month. If you get a bitter grape, beware of that month!
  7. Greens: money. Green vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber and are low in calories. Make anything from your favorite Brussels sprouts dish to a big green salad.
  8. Noodles: long life. Whole wheat and buckwheat noodles (like Japanese soba) are a great source of fiber. Enjoy your favorite pasta or Asian noodle dish.
  9. Pork: good luck. Pigs are a lucky symbol because they root forward and are rotund. Include some bacon, pork or sausage in your New Year’s Eve dinner.
  10. Pomegranate seeds: prosperity. The pomegranate’s many seeds symbolize abundance. Scatter them in sauces; sprinkle them on everything from porridge and yogurt to luncheon salads to ice cream and sorbet.
  11.  

    HOPPIN’ JOHN: A RECIPE WITH SEVERAL
    “LUCKY” INGREDIENTS

    Hoppin’ John is a traditional Southern dish enjoyed on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day to usher in a year of prosperity. It combines several good luck foods: beans, greens, pork and rice.

    Some recipes substitute ham hock, fatback, or country sausage for the conventional bacon; some add green peas, a splash of vinegar and/or favorite spices.

    Enjoy Hoppin’ John as a hearty side with your favorite protein and a green salad (toss grapes and pomegranate seeds into that salad to up the good luck ante).

    This recipe is courtesy Frieda’s, one of America’s finest specialty produce companies. Use dried habaneros if you like a slightly milder, smokier flavor.

    HOPPIN’ JOHN RECIPE

    Ingredients

     

    Black-eyed or blackeyed peas are a Southern specialty. Photo courtesy Zursun.

  12. 1-1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
  13. 11-ounces pre-soaked blackeyed peas (or soak regular blackeyed peas overnight)
  14. 4 1/2 cups water
  15. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  16. 1 bay leaf
  17. 6 bacon strips
  18. 1 cup onion, chopped
  19. 1 cup red or green bell pepper, chopped
  20. 1/2 cup celery, minced
  21. 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  22. 1 garlic clove, minced
  23. 1 habanero chile, seeded and finely minced (or dried habaneros, reconstituted according to package directions)
  24. Salt and pepper to taste
  25.  

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE rice with blackeyed peas and water in a Dutch oven. Stir in thyme and bay leaf. Cover and bring mixture to a boil. Uncover and reduce heat and simmer 15 to 18 minutes or until rice and beans are done, checking to make sure mixture does not boil dry.

    2. MEANWHILE, in a medium skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons of drippings in skillet. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, parsley, garlic, and habanero chile to drippings in pan. Sauté about 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Crumble bacon; add to skillet. Remove from heat.

    3. DRAIN off any excess liquid when rice and beans are done. Remove bay leaf. Stir bacon mixture into rice and beans. The longer it sits, the more the flavors blend.

    WHO IS HOPPIN’ JOHN NAMED FOR?

    Probably, nobody. Some food historians believe that the name is a corruption of the Haitian Creole term for blackeyed peas: pois pigeons (pwah-pee-JONE).

      

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HALLOWEEN RECIPE: “Deviled Eyeballs,” Halloween Deviled Eggs

Turn traditional deviled eggs into deviled eyeballs, eye-popping treats that delight young and old alike. We just love this recipe!

Serve the Deviled Eyeballs with Eyeball Martinis.

Makes: 16 halves
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 min for eggs

RECIPE: “DEVILED EYEBALLS,” HALLOWEEN
DEVILED EGGS

Ingredients

  • 8 hard-cooked eggs (how to make them)
  • 2 fully ripened avocados from Mexico, halved,
    pitted, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated horseradish, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or cracked black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  •  

    Are you looking at me? Photo courtesy Avocados From Mexico.

     

    For The Eyes

  • Roasted red peppers
  • Black olives
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BOIL. Cook and peel eggs (cooking instructions). Cut in half lengthwise. Remove yolks to medium bowl; arrange whites on serving platter.

    2. COMBINE. Add avocados and lemon juice to bowl with yolks; mash until smooth, mixing well. Stir in horseradish, salt and black and cayenne peppers.

    3. FILL. Fill egg white halves with heaping tablespoon of mixture, piling high.

    4. DECORATE. To make devilish eyes, thinly slice roasted red peppers to create veins on the “eyeballs.” Top with sliced black olives.
     
    Find more delicious avocado recipes at AvocadosFromMexico.com.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Try Hemp As Food

    Our tip of the day is to try some hemp foods. June 4-10 marks the third annual Hemp History Week, an event that aims to generate awareness of hemp as a healthful and sustainable food crop for both America’s families and farmers (while American farmers often net less than $50 per acre for soy and corn crops, Canadian farmers just across the border net an average of $200-$400 per acre for hemp).

    Hemp has been grown commercially in the U.S. since the first European settlers arrived in early 1600s. Thomas Jefferson grew it; the Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper; and until the mid-20th century, hemp was a valued food crop.

    Chef Johnny Gnall recently tried a variety of hemp foods. His report follows. You can email Chef Johnny. directly at with questions and suggestions.

    Hemp foods, long available in health food stores, have been slowly creeping into the mainstream. The biggest problem is government, which classifies all three hemp plant species in the genus Cannabis with the variety that produces marijuana; and many consumers think the same.

     

    Hemp seeds produce milk, oil, flour and much more—including hemp variations of our favorite foods. Photo courtesy HempHistory Week.com.

     

    Of the three species of Cannabis, one has long been used for hemp fiber; one for hemp seed and hemp oil, which are made into a broad variety of food products; and the third for the recreational drug. The federal government has declared it illegal to grow any Cannabis variety (some states have recently allowed medical marijuana to be grown).

    But fiber and food hemp have no drug value. Food hemp is harvested for the seeds, which contain little to no measurable amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in drug forms of Cannabis. Eating hemp-based foods will not cause a false positive drug test. But it will supply outstanding nutrition.

    WE’RE HAPPY WITH HEMP FOODS

    If you’re looking for an easy way to pile on nutrition, start eating more hemp foods. Before you assume that this advice comes from some sandal-clad liberal living in a commune (not!), consider the facts:

  • Hemp is an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (as well as super omega-3 and super omega-6).
  • It’s rich in unsaturated fat (that’s the good kind of fat—more on good and bad fats).
  • Hemp is also rich in pure, digestible protein, and is a heart-healthy superfood.
  • It has a good balance of all eight essential amino acids, plus three times the vitamin E and twice the iron and magnesium of flax seed.
  •  
    This makes a pretty compelling case for all of us to start eating more hemp-based foods. Step into a natural foods store and you’ll find hemp is made into culinary oil, hempmilk (a nondairy milk that is more digestible than soymilk), ice cream and snack bars; bagels, burgers, oatmeal, pasta and taco shells. The shelled seeds—called hemp hearts—are added to cereals, dressing, desserts, omelets, salads, smoothies, soups and yogurts for added nutrition, and are toasted as snacks.

     

    Hemp hearts, which are shelled hemp seeds.
    Photo courtesy Healing-Source.com.

     

    As good as it is for you, hemp is not the most accessible and well-known of foods. Most consumers and cooks are unfamiliar with it and few mainstream grocery stores carry it.

    I recently tried a number of hemp products available in my local natural foods store, and found them to be easy to use as substitutions and additions in various recipes.

    Moreover, the fact that most hemp products are gluten- and dairy-free makes them a great go-to ingredient for those with food allergies or other dietary restrictions.

    Hemp seeds typically add a subtle nutty flavor to foods, pleasant and in no way overpowering—almost like a hint of peanut butter.

     

    There are four hemp products that I found to be particularly versatile and tasty. The brands are trusted ones, but it’s the foods themselves to which I‘d like to draw attention.

    Use these suggestions as a starting point, but realize their versatility and think outside the box. What foods can you think of that could use an upping of protein and good fats? You’re only limited by your own imagination…and you’ll be healthier for it.

    Hemp Milk (“Tempt” from Living Harvest): I used it to make polenta, and it was excellent. The nuttiness was welcome, providing a creaminess despite the lack of dairy. The hemp milk behaved in the same way dairy milk would. There’s no reason you can’t substitute it wherever you might use cow’s milk.

    Cold-Pressed Hemp Oil (Nutiva brand): Don’t use hemp oil to sautée or fry; do use it in bread dippers, on salads and in other dressings, and anywhere you might drizzle olive oil. I actually used it (along with the hemp milk) to make a couple of batches of cornbread, and the subtle nuttiness worked extremely well. Baking is probably the only way you should cook with hemp oil; it generally shines best when raw.

    Raw, Shelled, Hempseeds (Hemp Hearts from Manitoba Harvest): You can pretty much eat these little guys plain and by the handful. Their light, fluffy texture and that same nutty flavor are actually quite pleasant. You can also mix them into just about anything, including batters and doughs, cereals, grains and pastas. I found them to be particularly tasty in quinoa, where its flavor and texture were right at home.

    Hemp Oatmeal (Nature’s Path brand): This is essentially oatmeal with hemp seeds mixed in, a tasty and convenient product in individual packets. Try it with a tablespoon of maple syrup and handful of raisins, or with a few ounces of hot milk (or hot hemp milk) stirred in. Or mix the entire packet into another cereal, homemade granola, trail mix or even a muffin batter. It’s a tasty way to get some essential nutrition.

    Join natural products advocates, retail stores, health and wellness practitioners and citizens across the country in celebrating hemp. Check out Hemp History Week.

    More about hemp.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Fun With Pearl Couscous ~ Israeli Couscous

    Make a pearl/Israeli couscous salad instead
    of rice salad. It pairs well with just about any
    other ingredients. Photo by Travelling Light |
    IST.

     

    Chef Johnny Gnall has been experimenting with pearl couscous sent from Bob’s Red Mill, with delicious results. His report follows. If you have questions or suggestions for tips, email Chef Johnny.

    When most people think of couscous (KOOS-koos), they think of Moroccan couscous: fluffy piles of semolina, their tiny grains not much larger than coarse cornmeal.

    But pearl couscous (also called Israeli couscous) has been making its way onto more and more menus and supermarket shelves. The beautiful round beads (pearls) of semolina are most deserving of finding their way to your kitchen.

    Pearl/Israeli couscous is larger and toothier than Moroccan couscous. (EDITOR’S NOTE: We prefer the term “pearl” to “Israeli” couscous. Pearl is an accurate description; “Israeli” seems to limit one’s thoughts of the ingredient to Israeli/Middle Eastern cuisine. You can use it to replace orzo or rice.)

    The pearls have a pleasant, chewy texture when properly cooked, giving the couscous a real comfort food quality. Think of macaroni and cheese made with big, thick elbow noodles. That same type of enjoyable, al dente bite is so satisfying, and it’s something that you can’t get out of Moroccan couscous (though you’re probably not looking for it there anyway).

     

    People often think of pearl couscous as exotic. But it’s made of the same semolina wheat as pasta. You should think of it as any other small cut of pasta, like alphabets; corallini, ditallini and tubettini (tiny tubes); orzo (shaped like grains of rice); and pastina (tiny stars).

    Bob’s Red Mill carries three varieties of pearl couscous: Natural, Tricolor and Whole Wheat.

  • Original couscous is beautiful: The small ecru-white beads are elegant whether in a soup, underneath a protein (see salmon photo below) or in a salad or side dish.
  • Tricolor couscous is fun, visually appealing pearls of white, green and pink (the latter two flavored with spinach and tomato, respectively). It’s especially appealing in a salad, side or dessert (such as a couscous riff on rice pudding).
  • Whole wheat couscous provides a particularly nutritious alternative to rice or pasta (or other couscous). Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pearl Couscous is like other whole wheat pasta that is made with 100% whole grain flour. It contains 7 grams of protein and 25 g fiber per 1/3-cup serving.
  •  

    HOW TO COOK & SERVE PEARL COUSCOUS

    Pearl couscous substitutes seamlessly for rice or any grain. Cook pearl couscous like pasta: Bring salted water to a boil, using 1.5 times the amount of water as pasta (or cover the dry pasta by 2-3 inches). You can also use stock, or toss a bouillon cube into the water for extra flavor.

    Cooking time will vary; test after five minutes. The pearls will absorb some water and should be both soft and chewy. (Remember, it will continue to cook when you remove it from the heat.)

    From there, you can:

     

    Make A Couscous Salad

    Add diced tomato, red onion, feta cheese and torn basil for a Greek-style salad; use cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes or roasted red pepper when tomatoes are out of season. Or use chopped pistachios, golden raisins and cubed roasted squash for a Moroccan-style salad in any season.

    In fact, you can add just about any three ingredients to make a couscous salad. Try a vegetable, a nut or legume and an herb, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and a splash of acid—citrus juice or vinegar. Proteins are also welcome: cubes of chicken and tofu work especially well. The recipe in the photo at the top uses leftover corn and peas, a bit of oil and balsamic vinegar, and a garnish of grated Parmesan.

    For the best presentation, cut or chop your ingredients into small pieces, so they look at home nestled within the pearl couscous.

    Treat It Like Pasta

    Top couscous with tomato sauce and shredded Parmesan to keep it simple. Or toss it with olive oil, herbs and vegetables for Pearl Couscous Primavera. If you want to indulge, make some Pearl Couscous Carbonara with egg, Parmesan and diced pancetta.

     

    Salmon atop a bed of couscous. Photo by M. Sheldrake | Dreamstime.

     

    Go Full-On Comfort Food

    Three words: Mac. And. Cheese. The chewiness of pearl couscous really is wonderful with a gooey cheese like Gruyère or mozzarella, and a topping of crispy breadcrumbs (try panko). The symphony of tastes and textures will have your lids dropping in pleasure.

    Turn It Into Couscous Risotto

    Start by toasting the pearl couscous in a pot over medium-high heat with a touch of olive oil. Then begin stirring liquid in, just as you would with risotto. You can use any liquid that suits you; water or stock with a little white wine are probably your best bets.

    Take It Swimming

    Once it’s cooked, drop pearl couscous directly into soups, stews and chilis. It provides a pleasant texture and adds body to the food.

    To add some extra love, flavor the couscous cooking water with some of the vegetables or aromatics in the main dish. Just drop them into the pot with the couscous as it cooks. Carrots and onions impart a bit of sweetness, herbs add depth and flavor. Even a bone from whatever beast you may be stewing can be a nice touch to build the complexity of your couscous.

    THE HISTORY OF COUSCOUS

    Couscous is more than 1,000 years old. The Berbers, who lived along the northern (Mediterranean) coast of Africa, west of the Nile Valley (modern Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia—the Barbary Coast/Berber Coast), ate wheat as a staple grain. Over generations, they learned that by grinding the wheat and making couscous, it would keep for years—insurance against drought and famine. The result has long been a base for North African cooking.

    Couscous is made from yellow granules of semolina, made from durum pasta wheat, which are precooked and then dried. The pearl grains are the original couscous. They were made by hand-rolling semolina grains on screens, with olive oil, water and salt, letting the small grains fall through, and rolling them again until a consistent size grain was formed. The grains are then coated with olive oil salt and sun-dried, giving them a toasty flavor when cooked. The name is derived from Bhe Berber seksu meaning well rolled, well formed and rounded.

    The term can refer to the ingredient itself or a prepared dish. Like pasta or rice, couscous is versatile and has numerous preparations. It is simple to prepare: Just add boiling water and let it sit. It can be flavored with exotic spices or served plain. North African stews (tagines) are traditionally served over it.

    Couscous is now widely available in most supermarkets. Keeping with food trends, specialty producers such as Bob’s Red Mill sell whole wheat couscous and tricolor in addition to the natural white pearls.

      

    Comments

    ST. PATRICK’S DAY RECIPE: Barley “Risotto” Stuffed Cabbage

    Risotto is made from rice, but you can cook other grains in a similar fashion. Here, barley, which grows well in the northern Irish climate, gets the Italian risotto treatment. To add an Irish touch, the barley risotto is used as a filling for stuffed cabbage.

    The pearl barley used in this recipe has had its outer bran and husk removed, leaving a small white “pearl” of endosperm. Like white rice, pearl barley is not a whole grain.

    This recipe, which serves four, is from Justin O’Connor, Executive Chef at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. It will be served at the restaurant on St. Patrick’s Day.

    BARLEY RISOTTO STUFFED CABBAGE RECIPE

    Ingredients For Stuffed Cabbage

  • 8 ounces pearl barley
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) vegetable stock
  • 7 ounces cream
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 large leaves of Savoy* cabbage
  •  

    Cabbage stuffed with barley risotto. Photo courtesy Guinness.

     

    *Savoy cabbage has a lovely crinkled skin. If you can’t find it, you can substitute conventional cabbage.

    Ingredients For The Tomato Sauce

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 28 ounces (800g) chopped plum tomatoes
  • 2 ounces (75g) tomato purée
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (200ml) vegetable stock
  •  
    Tomato Sauce Preparation

    1. Sweat. In a pan, sweat onion and garlic with olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Do not allow them to brown.

    2. Combine. Add the chopped tomato and tomato purée.

    3. Add. Add vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper.

    4. Cook. Cook over low heat for 7-8 minutes. Blend and serve.

    Stuffed Cabbage Preparation

    1. Blanch. Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling salted water for 3 to 4 minutes and cool in ice water.

    2. Sweat. In a pot, sweat the onion, mushroom and garlic with a little olive oil for 4 or 5 minutes, without turning brown.

    3. Add. Pour in the stock, barley and thyme. Cover with a lid and slow cook till barley is tender, adding more stock if needed. When barley is cooked, add the cream and Parmesan cheese and cook out for 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste.

    4. Stuff. Line 4 small teacups, acting as molds, with plastic wrap. Line each cup with a drained cabbage leaf, leaving some of the cabbage leaf extending over the edge. Fill the cups with the cooked barley risotto and cover with the overhanging cabbage. Use the plastic wrap to remove the stuffed cabbage from the cup. Twist the plastic wrap around the cabbage/risotto to form a ball.

    5. Serve. Add tomato sauce to the bottom of each dish; serve stuffed cabbage in the center. Serve while hot or reheat in the microwave.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT UPDATE: New Varieties Of Village Harvest Whole Grains

    Last spring, one of our Top Picks Of The Week was Village Harvest, absolutely delicious pre-cooked and flash-frozen whole grains that are ready to eat after a minute in the microwave.

    This brilliant line addresses the need to eat more whole grains while removing the time challenge of cooking them. All you need to do is open the package and put the grains in a microwave-safe bowl.

    It’s just that simple, and we could eat them every day. The only challenge is finding them: We have to get to a Whole Foods Market. Retailers, please take note! (Here’s a store locator.)

    The line originally included Brown Rice; Brown, Red, Wild Rice Medley; Quinoa; “Un” Fried Brown Rice; and Spicy Thai Brown Rice.

    The varieties have been tweaked, and the expanded line now includes:

     

    Serve whole grains in a lettuce cup.
    Photo courtesy Village Harvest.

     

    Open bag, heat in microwave: In one minute
    you have delicious whole grains. Photo
    courtesy Village Harvest.

     
  • Brown, Red & Wild Rice
  • Corn & Black Bean Creations (with brown rice and wild rice)
  • Cranberries & Almond Creations (with barley, quinoa and wheatberries)
  • Farro & Red Rice
  • Golden Quinoa
  • Red Quinoa & Brown Rice
  • Wheatberry & Barley
  •  
    The company also features dozens of recipes that incorporate the quick-cooking grains.

    We “wholly” recommend these delicious grains and promise you’ll love the discovery.

     

    Here’s our original review.

    How Many Types Of Grains Have You Had?

    Check out the different types of rice and a broader view of the different types of grains.

      

    Comments

    CHINESE NEW YEAR: Ginger Fried Rice Recipe From Jean-Georges Vongerichten

    The Year of the Dragon is considered the luckiest year in the Chinese Zodiac.

    And it began yesterday, when millions of Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese and other Asians rang in the New Year with fireworks, feasts and family gatherings.

    We considered ourselves lucky with a seat at a delicious dinner at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market restaurant in New York City.

    We left with this recipe for Jean-Georges’ signature Ginger Fried Rice. It was on the menu when he opened the restaurant in 2004 (Year Of The Monkey), and has remained a popular dish to this day.

    Made with leftover jasmine rice, fried egg, leeks and fresh ginger, this crowd pleaser is a delicious side with almost anything. It’s also equally enjoyable as a cold or warm rice salad with strips or cubes of chicken or other meat, shrimp, scallops or other seafood.

    Plan ahead when you make the rice, and make enough protein for leftovers to go with the Ginger Fried Rice.

     

    Now you don’t have to go to Spice Market to
    enjoy the Ginger Fried Rice. Photo courtesy
    Spice Market.

     

    GINGER FRIED RICE RECIPE FROM SPICE MARKET NEW YORK

    Yield: 4 servings

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • Salt
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leeks—white and light green parts only, rinsed and dried
  • 4 cups day-old cooked rice, preferably jasmine rice, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  •  
    Preparation

    1. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and salt lightly.

    2. Reduce heat under skillet to medium-low and add 2 tablespoons oil and leeks. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until very tender but not browned. Season lightly with salt.

    3. Raise heat to medium and add rice. Cook, stirring well, until heated through. Season to taste with salt.

    4. In a nonstick skillet, fry eggs in remaining oil, sunny-side-up, until edges are set but yolk is still runny.

    5. Divide rice among four dishes. Top each with an egg and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Sprinkle crisped garlic and ginger over everything and serve.
     
    HOW MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF RICE HAVE YOU TRIED?

    Check out our Rice Glossary.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: SooFoo Whole Grains & Legumes

    Sandwiched between holiday feasting and Valentine’s Day sweets, January is “Healthy Food Month” at THE NIBBLE. Our first few Top Picks of the year are foods that are delicious and healthy, to start the year on America’s second most popular New Year’s resolution: lose weight/eat healthier (first on the list is better money management).

    SooFoo, a blend of nine* whole grains and legumes, was invented by the person who created SKYY vodka. He blended it at home for his own healthy eating plan, and found many ways to use the versatile food:

  • As a nutritious substitute for white rice—in jambalaya, for example
  • As a substitute for other grains—for example, SooFoo tabbouleh, or mixed with ground turkey for healthy sloppy joes
  • Baked in a casserole
  • In green salads and vegetable salads
  • In pilaf and other rice dishes
  • In soups
  • With cooked greens (chard, collards, kale, mustard greens)
  •  

    SooFoo can be used in a multitude of recipes.
    Here, it’s mixed with some fresh veggies to create a salad. Photo courtesy SooFoo.

  • With international flavors (Asian, Mediterranean, Southwestern, etc.)
  • With mushrooms
  • With pesto or tomato sauce
  •  
    Soon, friends and family who tasted the all-natural, low-fat, sodium- and cholesterol-free blend encouraged him to market it. The name, SooFoo, is a contraction of “super good food.”

    SooFoo proves that “better for you” can taste better, too. Add it to your meal plan for variety, texture and flavor.

    Do You Know Your Legumes?
    Check out the different types of grains and legumes in our Beans & Grains Glossary.

    *Barley, black lentils, brown lentils, brown rice, buckwheat, green lentils, oats, rye berries and wheat berries.

      

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: The Amazing Rice Cube

    From hors d’oeuvre to sushi to snacks,
    Rice Cube turns out dazzling food in minutes.

     

    Faster than most recipes. More powerful than many kitchen utensils. Able to turn out dazzling foods in a single bound.

    It’s our latest super gadget find, the Rice Cube.

    This handy gadget will help you turn out impressive foods for just about any purpose—from hors d’oeuvre and sides to snacks and desserts.

    And it’s so easy, even the kids can help out, or create their own kid-flavored snacks: carrots and peas rice cubes, peanut butter and raisin rice cubes…the combinations are infinite, and include everything from BBQ pork to smoked salmon to a “rice pudding” cube.

    Rice Cube also helps you make sushi at home without having to master the rolling mat.

    Check out this amazing little gadget.

    Good things come in small packages. Consider the Rice Cube for holiday gifts for friends who love to cook and entertain.

    Perhaps your first social event of the new year can be a cube-off competition.

     

    Rice Cube can “cube” other foods, as well. Read the full review.

    RICE 101

    There’s more to rice than “white” and “brown.” Take a look at our glamorous Rice Glossary for gourmet rices that are begging to be cubed.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Eat More Barley

    Chilled barley salad is a healthful summer
    dish. Photo courtesy Zabars.com.

     

    Barley evokes winter and hearty soups, but it’s a year-round food.

    It’s extremely healthful (details below). And it’s a whole grain, part of the group of cereals recommended by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (at least 3 servings of whole-grain foods per day).

    It’s extremely high in fiber. A cup of oatmeal: 3.98 grams. A cup of barley: 13.6 grams of your DV of 48 grams of whole grain.

    Barley is as versatile as any cereal grain (corn, rice and wheat, for example). It has a rich, nutty flavor and a chewy consistency (like pasta).

    You can substitute barley for rice, potatoes or other starch as a side with dinner. Or enjoy a chilled barley salad with lunch or dinner.

    Try this barley salad recipe, with toasted pine nuts, dried cherries and goat cheese. It can be served at room temperature, chilled or warm.

     

    For maximum nutrition, select whole or hull barley (with the bran intact). The prettier pearled or hull-less barley has its outer bran and husk removed, leaving only a small white “pearl” of endosperm.

    See the recipe for the health benefits of barley.

      

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