Wayne and I traveled to Las Vegas for a couple days last week to attend his cousin's wedding. The trip was a decadent bookend to a champagne and sugar-dusted holiday season for me. So, here we are in the new year and I'm happy to be getting back to basics (and possibly even the treadmill). Today I'm going to share an unassuming little rice bowl recipe, something I throw together often for lunch. It's simply a reasonable serving of chard-flecked whole grain rice topped with a poached egg. Again, like we talked about last week it is one of those meals that fills you up without making you feel overly full, and I always feel great about an hour after I eat this.
For the rice bowl you see up above, I used a black Japonica rice. Other times I'l make it with Massa Organic's fantastic California-grown whole grain brown rice. I like the whole grain rices because they have their nutrients intact, unlike white rices. Whole grain rices tend to be more rustic, hearty, satisfying, and in my opinion more interesting to the eye than their refined counterparts.
I do similar bowls with wild rice (technically a grass), Bhutanese red rice, and the uber-petite and aromatic Kalijira brown rice. Each rice has its own shape, texture, flavor and personality, and it's fun to explore all the different varietals. For those of you who are particularly pinched for time, the pre-cooked organic brown rice sold in the freezer section at Whole Foods Markets allows you to throw this together in a flash.
I thought about finishing the rice bowl with a few drops of toasted sesame oil and a quick drizzle of shoyu, but decided it really didn't need it. Maybe next time.
Thanks for all your feedback last week on the lentil soup recipe. I'm so pleased that such a large number of you were interested and gave it a shot, and in large part liked it as much as I did. I've held off on sharing some of my more "everyday" type meals (and recipes), in part because there is often not much to them, and because sometimes they are a bit......er, random. I'll make an effort to put down the fork, pick up the camera, and share more on that front in particular. But expect a few misses along with the hits ;)...
Poached Eggs Over Rice
You can use any type of wholegrain rice you like - just think non-white. There are many wonderful whole grain rice varietals out there to try - brown rice, red rice, wild rice - I used a black Japonica rice in the version pictured here. If I were sharing this with a friend or guests I might make the dressing a bit more elaborate (for example using the dressing from Otsu salad in Super Natural Cooking). As far as poaching the eggs is concerned, I've tried varying techniques over the years to achieve nicely poached eggs - recently abandoning the vinegar-water (as well as the whirlpool/ vortex technique) and instead opting for an approach more in line with the one highlighted in Michael Ruhlman's new book - utilizing a strainer to minimize flyaway whites.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 pinches of salt
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 cup organic extra-firm tofu (optional), 1/4 inch dice
1 small clove garlic, chopped
2 - 3 cups dark leafy green, deveined and finely chopped
2 - 3 cups pre-cooked whole grain rice (brown is fine)
4 good quality eggs
Fill a wide-mouthed saucepan with 3-4 inches of water and bring to a simmer.
Separately, warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, salt, and crusher red pepper flakes. Let the onions soften up a bit - a couple minutes. Stir in the tofu if you are using it - let that heat up and brown a tad. Now stir in the garlic and greens. Cook the greens for a couple minutes, until they collapse and soften up. Stir in the pre-cooked rice and saute until hot. Remove from heat, and set aside. Taste for seasoning as well.
Now back to the simmering water. You are going to use this to poach the eggs one at a time. Gently crack egg into a ramekin, carefully slip it into a mesh strainer over your sink - some of the whites will run through and strain off (if the mesh is too fine, you won't get the desired effect). This minimizes the fly-away whites you normally get. Now, carefully slide the egg back into the ramekin. Lower the ramekin down into the simmering water and let the egg slip out. Let it simmer there for a few minutes, past the point when the whites have become opaque. If you like a loose yolk, cook for less time. Remove the egg with a strainer or slotted spoon and either serve it atop some rice or set aside while you repeat the process with the remaining eggs.
Divide the rice between four bowls and serve each topped with one of the poached eggs.
Makes four servings.