Porridge when it's pouring

>> Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I remember the tropical thunderstorms of my youth. Torrential downpours, thunder that resonated in your chest, sweeping winds and driving rain that blew in from both sides at once. Nature is quite glorious isn't it?

If you're anywhere around California, than chances are you've gotten a few drops of rain this week. But the storms over Los Angeles are finicky, lavishing attention for only a few minutes at a time (and boy what attention!). I want some rain damn you! Oh mighty Zeus, kick some butt up there and flood my backyard! (Not really though, please don't flood me out!)

The cold and the rain mean 1 thing and 1 thing only: space heater. Wait, no! I mean: soup. Yeah, soup. So sad for me that I discovered 2 past-their-prime lemons too late for my raw kale salad last night, but good news for my eats tonight. However, thin soups are so not my style and I knew I didn't want noodles so what to do what to do...

I remember when I was young my mom would make jook for me, a thick rice porridge with shredded chicken and flavored with green onion and anise. Somehow I've outgrown the anise flavors of my youth (too much Chinese food), and I don't eat chicken anymore, but my love for thick rice porridge has never lessened. Taking into account the leftovers in my fridge, I came up with a recipe that's hearty, citrusy, warm, thick, gooey, and down home, with some added protein. You'll need a large pot and a medium skillet for this one.

Lemony Porridge with Brown Butter Leeks
1 cup rice (I used 1/2 brown 1/2 calrose white)
3 cups vegetarian broth
2 leeks slices to 1/4 inch rounds, white and light green parts only
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 block firm silken tofu in 1/4" cubes, or crumbled
Pepper (white or fresh ground black)
2 tbsp Earth Balance
2 lemons juiced
Optional: 2 tbsp chia seeds

1. Don't wash your rice! Unless you see foreign material, keep it nice and dirrrrrty (you know that's not really dirt right?). Just dump it in the pot with the broth and cover, bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Add garlic to rice pot, continue to cook, stirring occasionally to beat down the foam or unstick some bits from the bottom of the pot.
3. Heat up the Earth Balance in the pan and cook till foamy, swirling it around.
4. Add in the leeks and toss to coat, stirring constantly till the leeks begin to soften and take on some color.
5. Uncover the rice and test for doneness, when rice is tender add the silken tofu cubes and 1/2 of the lemon juice.
6. Stir rice porridge carefully, heating through the additions, and salt/pepper to taste. Also taste for lemony-ness, and add more lemon juice if you want. (I used all of it.)
7. Stir in chia seeds and kill the heat on both burners while you grab some bowls.

Serve by spooning porridge into bowls and top with leeks. Makes 2 adult main dish portions or 1 dinner/1 lunch for 1 lucky person (all fingers point to me). It's supa fast, supa easy, and supa yummy, though maybe not the most haute cuisine.

Ok, now it's time for space heater! Yay! (Lordy, is it really only tues...?)


Anonymous,  January 21, 2010 at 10:16 AM  

that recipe sounds interesting. will keep that in mind next time i am cooking!

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