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ElsieD

Cooking with Grains

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Posted (edited)

I am seeing more and more references to grain bowls lately and would like to try my hand at cooking grains.  My cooking experience of these so far is limited to quinoa although I have enjoyed eating others, such as wheatberries, mostly in salad form.  Are there any books on the subject you would recommend?  Do you cook with grains and if so, how often?  Which grains do you cook?


Edited by Smithy Adjusted title (log)
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And I read about Buddha Bowls...the same thing I think...and have yet to make one.  We eat a very light and simple supper and they sound ideal.  I have to pull myself together and figure this one out.

 

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And here’s a template  for grain bowls. 

Click.

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32 minutes ago, Anna N said:

And here’s a template  for grain bowls. 

Click.

 And some sauces.

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I've tried using barley, bulghur and farro. Of those, farro is my favorite. I bought some buckwehat groats at the health food store the other day, but have yet to try them. Have not yet tried freekeh. Millet is "meh," tastes and acts a bit like quinoa but not as nutritious, I don't think. Teff strikes me as something like flax seed -- good in combo with some other stuff, but not by itself. Haven't tried using millet or teff in a grain bowl; I have them more for use in baking bread.

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If you like farro you’ll love freekeh.  Just to be sure, you know it comes cracked and whole.  I find the whole is more difficult to find but I like it the best.

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Posted (edited)

@Honkman and @BeeZee  Thank you for the refence to the books and thank you @Anna N for the links.  I haven't had a chance yet to study them but I will.  Today I went to Bulk Barn and bought 12 different grains. They are:  Amaranth, buckwheat groats, bulgur, farro, cracked Freekeh @Okanagancook they didn't have whole) Kaniwa (anybody heard of this?), Kasha, millet, red quinoa, teff, wheatberries and spelt.

 

I put them all in evernote with nutritional values and basic cooking instructions for each.  I have already learned that amaranth gets gummy and congeals if you allow it to sit around so that doesn't look promising to use in a grain bowl but likely will work for cereal.   I only bought an eyeballed cup of each so if I don't like something, i won't have wasted much in the way of $$$.  I see @kayb  that you have used barley. For some inexplicable reason, i have a real dislike of barley so didn't get any.  Weird, too, because we ate it at home and while I wasn't nuts about it, in true Dutch immigrant fashion, we are what was put in front of us, without complaint.

 

I'm looking forward to playing with these.  Fun times ahead.  Any advice appreciated.


Edited by ElsieD Fixed a typo (log)

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Try a health food store like Natures Faire if you have that chain your way for the whole freekeh.  At NF here it comes in a nice cardboard canister.

 

Someone made delicious amaranthan pancakes on Egullet.  I think I copied the recipe so tomorrrow I will try and find that for you if you fancy pancakes?  Right now I am watching the Jets crush the Wild!:ph34r:

 

i agree about millet...it’s budgie food.O.o

 

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We too are happily watching the Jets thump the Wild.  In between we are watching the Jays beating up on the Yankees.  Life is good.:rolleyes:

 

We love pancakes so if you can find that recipe that would be great.  I don't think whole freekeh will be hard to find but I think I better cook my way through the twelve grains I bought today first.  I'm really excited to try all these, including the millet, to see what they are like.  I have had wheatberries a few times as a salad and loved it but I am unfamiliar with most, but not all, of the others.  This us going to be fun.

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I think when I cooked my whole freekeh I soaked it in boiled hot water for 30 minutes before cooking it.  Just helps to soften it.

i love wheat berries too.  I make a wheat berry salad for my annual pig roast and surprisingly, everyone loves it...always popular.

i will get the recipe for you.

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Highly recommend when you cook your farro you toast it in oil or butter in the skillet first, then add water. Really brings out the rich, nutty taste. I think it's probably my favorite. I riffed on a recipe I found somewhere and created a "salad" of farro cooked like that along with brussels sprouts, in a balsamic viniagrette, that was pretty good. Barley is OK. Bulghur I like a good deal. Also need to get to the bulk store and get some rye berries; found a recipe for a Reuben grain bowl that sounds marvelous.

 

Two cookbooks I have that I like are Bowls! by Molly Watson, and Grain Bowls, by Anna Shillinglaw Hampton.

 

Have never tried amaranth. Will be anxious to hear.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Check out the Making Mexican at Home thread which I brought forward for the amaranth pancakes as made by EatNopales.  

 

 


Edited by Okanagancook (log)
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 Don’t forget that the grains can be cooked in the Instant Pot and most of them take kindly to freezing.  Just saying.

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Anson Mills offers a variety of heirloom grains and their website has a number of useful recipes. The recipe instructions tend toward the insanely detailed side of things -- even for familiar and "easy" grains like rice or corn grits. But I've found that to be more instructive in the long run, as it helps you get a sense for what's happening with the grains as they cook.

 

I've also started cooking rice in a ceramic donabe recently, and have been meaning to try some other grains in there as well. I asked Glenn Roberts from Anson Mills about that, and he informed me that pretty much any grain can be cooked in a donabe, provided that one gets the hydration right.

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16 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

Anson Mills offers a variety of heirloom grains and their website has a number of useful recipes.

 And some decidedly flowery prose:

 

Grain is resident in tabbouleh for the purpose of drinking up outlying flavors. Farro performs that task roundly—with bounce and verve. Eating tabbouleh made with bulgur is like driving a sedan down a long, flat road; eating tabbouleh made with farro is like driving a sports car over a series of short, curvy hills—it’s just a lot more fun.”

 

As someone who is finding it difficult to love grains I find this amusing. Not sure yet that I am convinced of the merits of farro versus bulgur. 

 

But I shall be unable to resist further reading on the website. 

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Don't know that I can go with the sports car metaphor, but I really do like farro. Particularly when it's toasted first in a butter/olive oil mixture.

 

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Posted (edited)

I finally got around to cooking my first batch of grains, wheatberries in this instance.  The N.Y. Times has a recipe on their web site for a Wheatberry Salad with Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese which is what I will do with them for lunch tomorrow.  If it's not too ugly I'll post a picture.  @kayb when I do the farro, I'll take your advice and toast it in butter before I do anything else with them.

 

 


Edited by ElsieD (log)

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4 hours ago, btbyrd said:

Anson Mills offers a variety of heirloom grains and their website has a number of useful recipes. The recipe instructions tend toward the insanely detailed side of things -- even for familiar and "easy" grains like rice or corn grits. But I've found that to be more instructive in the long run, as it helps you get a sense for what's happening with the grains as they cook.

 

I've also started cooking rice in a ceramic donabe recently, and have been meaning to try some other grains in there as well. I asked Glenn Roberts from Anson Mills about that, and he informed me that pretty much any grain can be cooked in a donabe, provided that one gets the hydration right.

 

Thank you for this.  There are some good looking recipes on that site.

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Posted (edited)

Yesterday I cooked up some wheatberries and used 1/2 cooked cup to make this.  It is sort of a jumble of stuff - broccoli stems, carrot, corn, green onions, sunflower seeds, cranberries and goat cheese.  When I first made it up I didn't think 1/2 cup wheatberries looked like much but with the other stuff in there, it was lots.  So, I guess 1/2 cup cooked grains is the baseline amount going forward, and I need to dice the veg going forward so the pieces are smaller.   I liked this a lot - one of those things that ate better than  it looked.   Now I need to look for ways to use up the rest of what I cooked.

 

Edited to add:  dressed with a raspberry vinaigrette.

20180427_131013.jpg


Edited by ElsieD (log)
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On 2018-04-26 at 10:49 AM, btbyrd said:

Anson Mills offers a variety of heirloom grains and their website has a number of useful recipes. The recipe instructions tend toward the insanely detailed side of things -- even for familiar and "easy" grains like rice or corn grits. But I've found that to be more instructive in the long run, as it helps you get a sense for what's happening with the grains as they cook.

 

I've also started cooking rice in a ceramic donabe recently, and have been meaning to try some other grains in there as well. I asked Glenn Roberts from Anson Mills about that, and he informed me that pretty much any grain can be cooked in a donabe, provided that one gets the hydration right.

 I will second the thank you for posting about this site.  Wow, what a lot of work they put into it.  I wish I could get their products...I just emailed them to see if they ship to Western Canada.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 2018-04-26 at 10:49 AM, btbyrd said:

Anson Mills offers a variety of heirloom grains and their website has a number of useful recipes. The recipe instructions tend toward the insanely detailed side of things -- even for familiar and "easy" grains like rice or corn grits. But I've found that to be more instructive in the long run, as it helps you get a sense for what's happening with the grains as they cook.

 

I've also started cooking rice in a ceramic donabe recently, and have been meaning to try some other grains in there as well. I asked Glenn Roberts from Anson Mills about that, and he informed me that pretty much any grain can be cooked in a donabe, provided that one gets the hydration right.

 I will second the thank you for posting about this site.  Wow, what a lot of work they put into it.  I wish I could get their products...I just emailed them to see if they ship to Western Canada.

 

@ElsieD If you want an interesting salad, try Diana Henry's "Crazy Salad" from A Change of Appetite on page 230.  It uses farro, lentils and chickpeas in a very flavourful dressing.  Here is a picture....I had some feta kicking around so I put some on the salad.

DSC02356.thumb.jpg.023ad140354b82cba80a6b22d1328aac.jpg

 


Edited by Okanagancook (log)
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I just got a response to my email from Ansonmills:

 

"We do! Our shipper is USPS International Priority Flat Rate Box... 

 
Easy! Just visit ansonmills.com, click Retail and order away.
 
We look forward to milling for you.
 
Glenn Roberts and the Anson Mills Team"
 
@btbyrd  A donabe is similar to the vessels Paula Wolfert uses in her Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking book.  In the grains section she has recipes using freekeh, rice, bulgur, fresh fava beans, polenta, and pasta.  I think I will order some grains from Ansonmills.  Can you tell me your favourites?  cheers.

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Anson Mills website:  Just spent the last hour reading through the site.  Very inspiring.  And no wonder the recipes are "insanely detailed", the recipe developer used to work at Cooks Illustrated for a number of years and also worked on American's Test Kitchen TV show.  After looking through the basic recipes I think i'm going to get the following (but will wait for @btbyrd's response to my question about his favourites.  Not sure how much all this is going to cost o.O.  We'll find out.

 

Carolina Gold Polenta di Riso

Carolina Gold White and Brown Rice

Antebellum Coarse White Grits

Farro Piccolo

Farina di Maccheroni "00" Creama (pasta flour)

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