brown rice with mushrooms
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Brown rice with brown mushrooms is not going to win me any photographic awards, that’s for sure. There’s no denying the fact that it’s brown - completely and utterly.
It’s brown like Gordon Brown, the brownest ever PM. It’s brown like the weather in November: rain through odds and bits of (brown) colour of the leaves still clinging to branches; which is actually worse than the all-grey of January. Brown like the brown mouse in the corner of a really filthy kitchen. Brown like the coat of an unpleasant old lady at the next table who minds your kid jumping up and down before his cheesecake. Brown as brown hair; not auburn or chestnut - plain brown, mousey brown. Brown noise. Brown bread. Brown – just say no.
You don’t see many red carpet outfits in that colour, and I can’t see it becoming the new grey in interior design. Brown isn’t a colour of the rainbow, or of a unicorn. Girls don’t hanker after getting brown hair colour; and I’ve never seen a brown car.
And yet: brown bears, brown sugar, brown butter are all undeniably good and interesting, more than their white counterparts – at least in the case of sugar. Brown trout or rainbow trout? Both equally delicious. Browning the meat before braising? Oh yes. And everything is pretty much well baked when it’s golden brown.
So we’ve got a winning hand here with brown rice, it’s so much tastier. Mushrooms, too, chestnut are better than the boring white caps. I’ll vouch for brown – remember: food in vivid colours can be treacherous like poisonous mushrooms or yew berries.
- 200g brown rice
- a small bunch of continental salad onions (those fat round spring onions) or shallots
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp black onion seeds
- 200g small cup or chestnut mushrooms, quartered
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 500ml vegetable stock
Rinse the rice three times in cold water until it runs clear. Cover with fresh water in a bowl and soak for 30 minutes.
Trim the onions, cut the white parts in quarters and roughly chop the green stems; peel and quarter the shallots if using. Heat up the oil and 1 tbsp. of butter in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid. When the butter is foaming, add the mustard and black onion seeds followed by the onions. Cook them over medium heat for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until a little coloured, for another 5 minutes.
Drain the rice and add it to the pan with the coriander seeds. Cook it stirring for a couple of minutes until it’s coated with fat and starts becoming a little translucent. Pour in the stock, stir, bring to the boil and immediately turn the heat down to minimum. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 30 minutes without lifting the lid. Turn off the heat and leave the pan covered for another 10 minutes.
Lift the lid and stir the other tablespoon of butter in vigorously. Serve immediately.