Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Here’s a main dish vegetable casserole even my daughter will eat. Probably because the potato chip topping minimizes the mental distress from the healthy components underneath.
The brown rice was cooked in my Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker. Years ago I bought the 5 ½ cup version. I’m still not exactly sure what fuzzy logic technology is, but it puts my old rice cooker to shame. At the time it was a painful purchase, but this rice cooker makes brown rice so fluffy and perfect that I rarely bother making white rice anymore.
Prices have decreased significantly for fuzzy logic rice cookers over the years, so if you can swing it, I highly recommend one. Especially if you’d like to eat more brown rice.
Garlic Brown Rice
Rice can be made ahead of time or even the day before.
1 ½ cups brown rice (or 2 rice cooker cups)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1. Place the rice in a rice cooker bowl and cover with water and stir. Pour off most of the water into the sink leaving the rice in the bowl. Repeat two more times. This cleans the rice.
2. Fill bowl with water to the two cup brown rice mark. Add the butter, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Place the bowl in the slow cooker and select brown rice if you have the option. Set aside for the casserole.
Notes: Cut the salt in half if not using in a casserole.
Parmesan Spinach Casserole with Garlic Brown Rice
1 recipe cooked Garlic Brown Rice, above
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup very thinly sliced carrot rounds
1 large yellow or white onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons unbleached flour
3 cups milk
1 (16 ounce) package frozen organic chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
2/3 cup shredded Parmesan Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
Sprinkle of garlic powder
1 cup crushed Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Potato Chips
1. Thaw the spinach in a colander over a bowl or in the microwave if you're in a hurry. Press out as much liquid as possible with the back of a spoon.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9x13 inch baking dish and add the cooked rice.
3. In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat and add the carrots, onions and salt. Cook until carrots are tender and onions start to caramelize. Add the flour and cook for a minute, then slowly pour in the milk stirring as you pour. Stir constantly until the sauce looks like it’s starting to thicken, but not completely thick yet, like a medium gravy. Add the spinach, cheese, a good dash of freshly cracked pepper and heat just until warmed through. Spread mixture over rice and sprinkle very lightly with garlic powder. Top with crushed potato chips.
4. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe & picture by Laura Flowers.