Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pass the pig slop, please

You need to eat more fiber they said, but we already eat lots of salads, fresh vegetables, and whole grains, so to take the next step I adjusted all my favorite rice recipes and learned to cook with brown rice, which is fine, but then they said you ought to try black rice, which only recently became available in the local grocery stores. It's more nutritious than brown rice, they said, and it has a nice nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture.

Which is all true--but (you knew there had to be a but) it looks like garbage.

More specifically, it looks like what you'd get if you just took the coffee grounds out of a coffee-maker and dumped 'em on a dinner plate. Not particularly appetizing.

For my first attempt at black rice, I made an old favorite one-dish recipe involving onions, peppers, garlic, cilantro, chorizos, and tomato sauce, with gooey cheddar cheese mixed in at the very end. Delicious! The flavors worked well with the black rice, and the rice's slightly chewy texture was perfect with the sausages and cheese. However, as previously noted, the whole thing looked like something you'd want to dump straight into the trash: Pig slop. Compost. Loam.

My next challenge, then, will be finding a way to make black rice dishes more aesthetically pleasing. If everything that gets mixed in with the rice ends up looking like coffee grounds, maybe I need to keep the black rice separate from other ingredients. Alternately, I could go back to brown rice--or even white! What would they have to say about that?

(If I ever figure out who makes up this mysterious they, I'll force-feed 'em a plate of warm coffee grounds.) 

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