Rice: How to Add Taste to the Nutrients
black bean, proud yet humble.
with it a quiet dignity, a sense of pride and purpose. The black bean
delivers protein and folic acid, and does so in delicious manner.
How do we
pay homage to such a noble food? We convey it to its final purpose in a
bed made of a warm flour tortilla with a stuffing of brown rice. And
because a lonely food is a less productive food, we send it along with
its sister, corn.
naturally with the beans. There are three ways to prepare beans. One is
to take dried beans, soak them and cook them until soft. The second is
to boil them for a few minutes, soak for an hour and then cook until
soft. The third is to buy a can of them, already prepared. Here, make
your decision and take whatever path best suits your level of
is a difficult taskmaster. Unlike the parched white rice of Uncle Ben’s
fame, it has its own way. It declines invitations to be cooked in a
minute, and instead insists on a bath lasting 45 minutes.
rice cooks, you will have some time. Sit down and read a book. Call
your mother. Do something, because these are 45 minutes you will never
get back. The rice works according to its own schedule, and will not
suffer cajoling or threats. When it’s finished, however, it is finished.
Its patience will run out quickly. Get too distracted, and you’ll wind
up with rice that is dry and crunchy rather than soft and warm.
rice is cooked, set it aside. It will need a break from the heat. At
this time, you will want to devote all of your attention to the
manufacture of flavor.
rice, individually or combined, provide a great deal of nutrition but
very little in the departments of flavor or zest. Here, we will want to
bring together three standards – half an onion, a clove of garlic and a
chopped jalapeño pepper. The onion and garlic are kitchen workhorses,
basics to unlocking the most simple secrets of flavor. The jalapeño will
remind the beans of their humble beginnings, and will spur them to
all together in olive oil, until the heat binds them together. When
nearly finished, add corn so that it will heat in oil flavored by the
softened pepper, onion and garlic. Just a moment or two before you’re
apt to shut off the heat, add some chopped parsley (here, a man might
think to substitute some fresh cilantro – dare to dream! – but be
forewarned, cilantro craves attention, so tread lightly).
return to our friend, the bean. It will need to be mixed with the rice.
When both are cozy with one another, stir in the mixture meant to add
flavor … but, be warned, the work of flavor is not yet finished. Salt
and ground black pepper are here needed. If you neglect this step, you
will bite into your finished meal and wonder whether something might not
be missing. It will be … the salt and pepper necessary to tie everything
together will be missing.
is together, warm your flour tortillas over a medium heat. Watch them
carefully, because there is a thin line between a warmed, soft tortilla
and a hardened, crusty one.
point, you might be tempted to make additions or substitutions. We have
already covered the great cilantro versus parsley controversy, but it
must be again repeated – be careful in cilantro territory. Tread too
heavily and it will come back and haunt you.
suggest adding chopped tomato. This will add moisture, and certainly
will not be an unwelcome addition by the other ingredients.
might wonder about whether some kind of meat, or maybe even shredded
cheese, is warranted. The idea of cheese defiling this pains the mind.
Meat, on the other hand, is in the eye of the beholder.
tortilla may be easily filled with the filling and rolled up. Take a
bite. If it is delicious, you are finished. If it is not delicious, you
have probably forgotten the salt and pepper.
you for ignoring directions.
© 2006 North Star Writers
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