Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Adventures with kasha

This was either going to be a post about a kasha disaster or a kasha miracle and instead it's going to be something of an in between. Last night at Whole Foods, I was browsing the grains isle, looking for polenta/corn meal, when a box of kasha jumped off the shelf straight into my hands. By kasha, I of course am talking about whole grain buckwheat. Kasha makes me think of two things: a Seinfeld episode and growing up with Mama T forcing it down my throat as a cereal with milk or as an impromptu side dish, Russian classics both, yuck, i.e. there's no way I would have willingly picked up that box of kasha of my own accord. So all of a sudden I am standing at the Whole Foods with a box of kasha in my hands. I flip the box over and find a recipe that actually MAKES ME BUY said box of kasha, and then today actually MAKES ME PREPARE THAT RECIPE FOR DINNER. Beware readers, there's a good chance that I'm losing my grip on reality.

Here's the recipe, it's called Kasha Pilaf:

2 cups broth, bouillon, consomme or water
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 to 1/2 tablespoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup kasha
1 egg or egg white
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (or other chopped vegetables)

Heat liquid, 2 tablespoons butter and seasoning to boiling. I was using water so I put in tons of salt and pepper, didn't use measuring spoons, and was very liberal with the seasoning. Maybe broth would work better.

Lightly beat egg in bowl with fork. Add kasha. Stir to coat kernels.

In separate medium-sized skillet or saucepan, add egg-coated kasha. Cook over high heat 2 to 3 min., stirring constantly until egg has dried on kasha and kernels are separate. Reduce heat to low.

Saute onions and mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter.
I used mushrooms but the picture on the box looks like it also has celery and carrots and peppers. I definitely used more than 1/2 a cup of mushrooms -- I am a mushroom fiend. Also, don't tell roommate Mike what happened to half of his onion. SORRY.

Quickly stir in boiling liquid and vegetables into kasha. Cover tightly; simmer 8 to 11 minutes until kasha kernels are tender and liquid is absorbed. Makes about 4 cups. [Then figure out what to do with a skillet-full of kasha!]

So that's my kasha story. It wasn't a complete disaster as it was edible and the bites with the extra mushroom and onions were especially tasty. But it wasn't a great success as I couldn't finish an entire bowl. Juuuust a little too much buckwheat for my tastes.

Oh, and now the entire apartment smells like kasha.

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