Thursday, December 14, 2006

Squashes with Roasted Buckwheat Groats

I bought some roasted buckwheat groats (also known as kasha) some time ago and my wife reminded me that I need to try them. They are often used for porridges, and cooked in a ratio of 1 grain to 2 water for about 20-25 minutes (brought to a boil and then simmered till the water is absorbed). While considering what I might make tonight, I found an interesting recipe on based on a recipe in Eating Well magazine. I modified it and did the following.

I used their innovative idea of taking an "egg" (I use vegan Ener-G Foods' egg replacer) and mixing it with half a cup of groats, putting it in a pan, and cooking it quickly over medium high - "to seal the kasha kernels so they don't get all mushy during the subsequent cooking". Then I put in a cup of water and a bouillon cube (I like Rapunzel brand vegan low-sodium), maybe a quarter teaspoon of paprika and a pinch of salt, and some fresh rosemary needles, cut into pieces. I brought this to a boil, then reduced the heat to a low simmer, uncovered, and cooked for about 20 minutes till the liquid was absorbed. On my wife's advise, I then added a little fresh lime juice and some raw onion chunks.

In the meantime, I sauteed diced onions and mushrooms. In a 350°F oven, I also started squash (carnival and kabocha) and sweet potato cooking for about a half hour; I cut the squashes in half and removed the seeds, then put them face down in plates with shallow water. After a brief saute of maybe 5 minutes, I mixed the onions and mushrooms into the kasha.

I served the kasha combination inside the two squashes. I also found that the interior leaves of ornamental kale in particular taste quite good raw, so served several leaves with tomato.

We enjoyed the meal, and ended up adding some date-tamarind sauce into the kasha. I'd like to experiment more with kasha in the future.

Yesterday a good friend of ours wanted to treat us to dinner, so we ate at the Nicaraguan restaurant Xiloa in downtown Durham. We had plantains as appetizers and each of us had the same main course, their very nice nacatamales, Nicaraguan tamales with corn masa cooked in banana leaves.


At Fri Dec 15, 06:13:00 AM EST, Blogger Plume said...

Kasha was my favorite grain as a child.
I like it simply cooked in water, with a little olive oil and shoyu added in the plate, or with leeks and/or mushrooms.

At Fri Dec 15, 12:57:00 PM EST, Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks for your insight, plume. This was the first or second time for me cooking with kasha recently; years ago, I think I bought a premade kasha mixture of various grains and enjoyed it with vegetables, as I recall. I'll try something like you are suggesting! Thanks and happy 2007! --Dilip


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