Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Cooking Buckwheat Groats
I started eating buckwheat again. It happened as a result of looking for a healthier alternative to white rice, pasta and potatoes. I grew up eating buckwheat groats for breakfast with milk or for dinner as a side dish. Ever since moving to the U.S. I have not been eating much of it. The main reason is that it is simply not popular here and not many stores carry it. The only time I ever hear word buckwheat is in the same sentence as pancakes. Though I have eaten buckwheat soba noodles too.
Few times when I tried cooking buckwheat groats bought in bulk from PCC I ended up with a pot of clumpy buckwheat kasha that resembled oatmeal and was not what I am used to. Finally my mom got buckwheat groats from a Russian store that did not fall apart during the cooking. As I understand there are different types of buckwheat groats - ones that fall apart and those that don't. Who would have thought?!
Buckwheat is actually not a grain but a fruit seed and is closely related to sorrel and rhubarb. It has many health benefits - lowers bad cholesterol and blood pressure and I like its texture.
Last Friday I made buckwheat with chanterelles, carrots and shallot and served it with a salad one night and with short ribs the next. Here is my recipe.
2 cups of water
1 cup of buckwheat groats
1/2 lb of carrots, sliced into desired pieces
1 shallot, chopped
3/4 lb of chanterelle mushrooms, washed, cleaned and chopped
Olive Oil for cooking
Parsley for serving
1. To cook buckwheat groats use ratio of buckwheat to water 1 to 2. Combine 1 cup of buckwheat with 2 cups of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, turn heat low or medium low (depending on your stove) and let it cook for 15 minutes.
2. In a meantime pour a little bit of olive oil (2 tablespoons) in a pot (I use dutch oven) and on medium heat saute shallot until they start getting translucent, add mushrooms and carrots and continue cooking until all ingredients start getting a nice brown color. Cover pan with a lid, turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes until mushrooms are cooked and carrots are soft. Check to see that mushrooms are not burning and add a little bit of water if needed. This time I used carrots from my garden. They were small but mine!
3. Once chanterelles and carrots are cooked add buckwheat groats to it and mix. Salt to taste. Add chopped parsley. Buckwheat is ready to be served. My husband likes to add a little bit of olive oil to buckwheat since he finds it to be on a dry side. I have to agree that it can be dry but I usually have buckwheat with something that has juice (like fresh tomatoes) or sauce (braised short ribs) so no extra oil is needed.