Brown rice – I prefer long grain, though at the local Asian market I can get brown jasmine, basmati and aborio fairly easily, each with a unique flavor. Brown rice is nutty and a bit sweet. It’s a great compliment with any fish, beef, poultry or pork. The only addition it needs is a touch of butter and salt. Besides being full of flavor, it is also packed with nutrients. Per cup it has 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and niacin, as well as other vitamins and minerals. It’s a great side that adds flavor to many dishes. Brown rice cooks like regular rice in a 2:1 ratio of water to rice. But it takes longer to cook. About 45 minutes at a low simmer.
I still use white rice, though. White rice varieties are more delicate and are necessary when you want the rice to take on the flavor of a sauce or spice. Brown rice’s rich flavor can overpower the balance of flavors in some dishes.
Jasmine—A long grain rice, delicately fragrant, soft, moist and slightly sticky, compliments any Asian dish.
Arborio (white) – A medium grain rice, with a chalky white appearance. It is this chalky area that makes this grain unique, allowing the grains to absorb unusually large amounts of liquid and hence flavor during cooking. This is also what makes it especially suited to risottos, paellas, dolmades and other Mediterranean dishes.
Basmati— An aromatic long grain rice that has the unusual characteristic of doubling in length but not width during cooking. This dry, separating grain is especially suited to Indian and Middle Eastern dishes, such as curries, pilafs.
Time to hit the comments with some of your favorite rice dishes. I’m curious if anyone makes a good paella. Next week: Soup
Now here’s a little something with brown rice:
Chicken and Rice Wraps
Substitute raspberries, peaches or plums if you like.
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup cooked brown or wild rice
- 4 large tortillas (flavored ok)
- 1/4 cup Raspberry Dressing
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- Fresh mint
Mix together chicken, spinach, strawberries, pecans and rice. Mix together dressing ingredients, toss with chicken mixture. Let sit 15 minutes or more. Roll 1/4 of mixture in each tortilla.