Sure, you’ve had quinoa, rice and bulgur, but not like this.
Sure, you’ve had quinoa, rice and bulgur, but not like this. Chefs are giving these culinary favourites all sorts of innovative twists, reinventing comfort food with bold flavours, interesting combos, and fresh, exciting textures.
"BULGUR WITH SAUSAGE, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, AND MUSHROOMS"
Grains are rich in vitamins, minerals, and ﬁbre to keep you full.
From Allen Dabagh, executive chef and owner of Boutros in Brooklyn, New York
START TO FINISH: 30 MINUTES , PLUS SOAKING
> 1 tsp snipped chives
1. In a large bowl, cover the bulgur with 4 cups water. Let stand for 1 hour. Drain well.
2. In a small bowl, mix the soya sauces and pomegranate molasses. Reserve.
3. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Add the scallions, garlic, ginger, and brussels sprouts and cook until lightly browned. Push everything to one side of the pan. Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the other side and add the eggs. Scramble vigorously until cooked. Add the bulgur and combine everything.
4. Add the reserved sauce and cook, stirring, until the mixture is dry. Divide among serving bowls and top with the mushrooms, sesame seeds, and chives.
Throw a fried egg on it, and this dish is perfect for breakfast.
From Joanne Chang and Karen Akunowicz, chefs at Myers + Chang in Boston
START TO FINISH: 30 MINUTES , PLUS MARINATING
> 1 cup shelled roasted, salted pistachios
1. In a shallow dish, mix the sambal oelek, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, garlic, and ½ cup soya sauce. Add the steak; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate steak at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
2. In a large pot, bring 3.8 litres of water to a boil. Add the quinoa and stir until it starts to ﬂoat and the water returns to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, then drain throug a ﬁne sieve. Let cool.
3. In a wok or a large skillet, warm ¼ cup oil over high heat until it shimmers. Drain the steak (discard marinade) and add it to the hot oil. Stir for 3 minutes. Transfer steak to a plate. Wipe out the wok. Add the remaining ¼ cup oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the green beans and stir for 1 minute. Add the cooked quinoa and stir for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and edamame and toss for 2 minutes. Add the steak, kimchi, and remaining 2 tablespoons soya sauce and stir for 5 minutes. Divide among six bowls and top with the pistachios and kimchi.
PRO TIP: Some markets sell shaved or very thinly sliced steak. If you can ﬁnd it, buy it – it will save you the step of cutting the meat.
SQUASH AND RICE GRITS WITH ROMANESCO
From Edouardo Jordan, chef and owner of JuneBaby and Salare in Seattle Jordan
Makes his rice grits year-round, using whatever vegetables with are in season. This is his favourite combo for fall. If he finds porcini mushrooms, he adds them by shaving them thin over the top of the dish.
START TO FINISH: 40 MINUTES
> Lemon wedges, for serving
NOTE: You can make your own rice grits by pulsing long-grain white rice in a spice grinder or a blender until coarsely ground into bits that are one-third the original size.
1. In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, sliced onion, and a pinch of salt. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the squash, saffron, and 1⅓ cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Continue cooking until all water is removed. Puree in a blender until smooth.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and season with salt. Add the Romanesco and cook until bright and crisptender, about 2 minutes. Drain and reserve.
3. In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir until coated and lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it evaporates. Add 3½ cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes.
4. Fold in the squash puree and continue cooking rice 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in the Parmesan. Season with salt to taste. Divide among serving dishes and top with the Romanesco, tomatoes, and tarragon. Squeeze lemon all over the vegetables, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve.