Isn't this gorgeous? I love mason jars. And here's a funny thing: twelve-year-old girls apparently love to organize things into jars. Even if those things are weird grains that they wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole, it's fun to decant them into the jars and arrange them on the shelf. But great grains they are and one of my resolutions this year is to eat more of them. So without further ado, I introduce the Grain of the Week:
Let's let Mark Dacascos from Iron Chef America have the honors.
Thank you, chairman (makes "call me" telephone gesture). Black rice, also known as purple or "Forbidden Rice", is high in nutritional value and contains 18 amino acids, iron, zinc, copper, carotene, and several important vitamins. It is indeed a deep black color and usually turns deep purple when cooked. Its dark purple color is primarily due to its anthocyanin content...
Blah, blah, blah, it looks cool in the jar and anything called "Forbidden" is usually pretty good. So what to do with it? Well, on the back of the bag there happened to be this recipe for sauted sweet potatoes with black rice which sounded forbiddingly tasty. And so, with an open heart and an empty stomach, I say unto you in the words of my uncle…
Forbidden Sweet Potatoes with Black Rice
- 3/4 cup black rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used coconut oil because I'm a total evangelical convert, I'm addicted, it's crack, I use it in everything)
- 3/4 cup scallions (and by the way, see these scallions here? They are the last thing standing in my garden. No lie. Pulled 'em right out of the frozen ground)
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced (which I skip entirely in favor of a heaping tablespoon of my jarred, pressed ginger, and you should too)
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
Bring rice, water and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil in a saucepan, then reduce heat to low and cook rice, covered until tender and most of the water is absorbed (about 30 minutes)
While rice is cooking, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute scallions, ginger and sweet potato, stirring until coated, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sweet potato cubes are fork-tender.
Add rice and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro and ignore your husband, who hates parsley and cilantro sprinkled on his food. It won't kill him.
Serve to the Chairman. I'm sure he doesn't mind a little parsley sprinkled on his food...