bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
A couple of years back, I suddenly became wildly interested in cooking grains and dried beans. Ok, I seem to recollect that I became wildly interested in buying grains and dried beans and keeping them in pretty jars, but eventually one does have to eat them. Since then, I I've researched and cooked bulgur (cracked) wheat, barley and barley groats, buckwheat groats (kasha), millet, quinoa, oat groats and amaranth. Most of them are pretty yummy. Most of them make it into our food arrangements on a regular basis. We've also added couscous to our repetoire (who can't like a starch that cooks in five minutes if you dump it in boiling water, cover it, and take it off the heat?

But what I really need is a proportion chart, where the amount of grain and the amount of water are laid out for boiling and for slow cooking processes.

This is the best chart I've found so far:
http://www.rivercityfoodcoop.org/?section=products&page=cooking_grains
http://www.blueplanetco-op.com/wholegrains.html

There are some good grain cooking cookbooks, and I'll need to raid the Easton library for them (Madison PL, though good on many levels, has little on slow cooking and nothing on grains).

However, here's a few websites:
http://www.hgof.ns.ca/index2.php?function=cooking_tips
http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t--1018/boilabsorbsteam-other-grains.asp
bunnyjadwiga: (Tapestry Rabbit)
Well, so we tried it again on Saturday.
Original from Granado, trans. by Brighid ni Chairain
Para hazer escudilla de mijo, o de panizo machado -- To make a dish of millet, or of chopped panic-grass

Take the millet, or chopped panic-grass, clean it of dust, and of any other filth, washing it as one washes semolina, and put it in a vessel of earthenware or of tinned copper with meat broth, and cause it to cook with stuffed intestines in it, or a piece of salted pig's neck, to give it flavor, and when it shall be cooked, mingle with it grated cheese, and beaten eggs, pepper, cinnamon, and saffron. (You can also cook the said grains with the milk of goats or cows.) And after they shall be cooked with broth, letting them thicken well, they shall be removed from the vessel and shall be left to cool upon a table, or other vessel of wood, or of earthenware, and being quite cold, they shall be cut into slices, and shall be fried with cow's butter in the frying-pan, and serve them hot with sugar and cinnamon on top.


This time I wanted to use some of the millet with dinner, first, so:
2 cups millet
7 cups water (3.5 water / 1 millet proportions) *
Brought to a boil, covered, and then reduced the heat very low and simmered until very soft and creamy.
This time, with less water but a longer slower cook, the resulting mass was more like pictures of polenta I've seen.
Pulled out about half for dinner.

With the remaining millet, mixed:
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch saffron
1/3 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup shredded 4-cheese mix
2 eggs, beaten

over heat, until a thick mush results.
Dumped it out into a rectangular plastic chinese food container and left it on the counter to cool.
After about 45 minutes, the resulting object could be shaken loose from the pan in a single oblong.
We put it in the fridge uncovered over night (for fear that it would accumulate condensation if we covered it.

In the morning (ok, about 15 hours later), we took it out, sliced it about 1/3 " thick and 2x4" slices, and fried it in butter in nonstick skillets, trying for a nice uniform browning on both sides. The more times we fussed with it, the more likely it was to fragment, but I'm afraid I wasn't daunted by that!

Definitely a success. I will hold out some millet plain for those who have dairy issues.

* Sarah still wants to try it with broth, I just forgot to put the meat base in. I liked it with no broth, myself. It might be quite good with a light vegetable broth though.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Well, after leaving the millet mixture in the fridge for 48 hours, I got it out last night and prepared to fry it.
First I poured off the liquid on top. Then I tried to slice it.
It was definitely too wet/gooey. Drat!
So, we fried some in butter in globs. Interesting, but it kept falling apart when I went to turn it.
Still, it was fried starch-- what could be bad? Especially with cheese.
Sarah wants to try it again with broth in the cooking water, and I want to use less liquid.

However... there is a problem. There are three dishes I had already planned on for the meal:
Eggplant Morisco
Lombardy Sops
Carrot-Cheese Pie
that all have cheese. That makes a 4th cheese dish. Hm. That may be too much dairy.

Drat drat drat.

Back to the drawing board, I guess: I could do plain rice and barley or bulgur with almond milk...
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Last night I started working on the Millet Polenta..
I cooked 1 cup millet in 5 cups water (started out with 3, but had to keep adding because the water was gone while the millet was not cooked). I didn't add broth or anything.
Then I added a pinch of saffron, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella, and 1/2 cup grated parmesan. Cooked it until it was good and thick, then put it in a rectangular container and refrigerated it.
Tonight we'll try slicing and frying.

It's pretty clear that the combination of cheese was a) too much and b) a suboptimal combination, and that yes, one really does need broth, milk or something else to flavor the millet. So we'll have to try it again, but first I think we should finish this iteration!
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
I'm going to try this one (from Granado):

Para hazer escudilla de mijo, o de panizo machado -- To make a dish of millet, or of chopped panic-grass

Take the millet, or chopped panic-grass, clean it of dust, and of any other filth, washing it as one washes semolina, and put it in a vessel of earthenware or of tinned copper with meat broth, and cause it to cook with stuffed intestines in it, or a piece of salted pig�s neck, to give it flavor, and when it shall be cooked, mingle with it grated cheese, and beaten eggs, pepper, cinnamon, and saffron. (You can also cook the said grains with the milk of goats or cows.) And after they shall be cooked with broth, letting them thicken well, they shall be removed from the vessel and shall be left to cool upon a table, or other vessel of wood, or of earthenware, and being quite cold, they shall be cut into slices, and shall be fried with cow�s butter in the frying-pan, and serve them hot with sugar and cinnamon on top.


So, I'll need to:

  • Cook the millet with broth
  • Mix the hot millet with beaten eggs, cheese, pepper, cinnamon & saffron.
  • Cook a bit more, sufficient to make it thick.
  • Cool the millet
  • Cut into slices
  • Fry slices in butter.

I'll let you know how it goes.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Because I liked it enough to do it again:
6 squash: 3 smallish acorn squash, 3 small (9") neck pumpkins
1 cup dry millet
4 roasted red peppers
4-5 onions
5-6 cloves garlic
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp cinnamon

- cook up the millet with about 3 cups of water
- split the squashes in half and scoop out the seeds
- chop up onions, garlic and peppers, saute' in olive oil
- mix onion-pepper saute with millet; add ginger-garlic paste and cinnamon.
- Adjust seasoning as desired
- Place squashes on baking sheets and fill with stuffing.
- bake at 325 for about an hour.

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