Bad Results: Brown Rice Farina

So. You wanted to know why to fuss around with all that  bothersome programming your microwave, and stirring, and watching and… you get the  idea? As we say here, and here and here.

I took this potograph. Mine.

Well, this picture shows you what happens to Brown Rice farina if you use the 2 tablespoons of farina to 2/3 cup of water method. I just nuked it on HIGH for 4 minutes.

It sure looks well cooked, doesn’t it? That pitted surface tells you the story… the water went in and then back out of the rice again, making the grains tough, and not in a pleasant crunchy way, either. Just a whisker more time and they’d start breaking fillings.

Whatever moisture that used to reside inside those grain fragments are now floating around on the outside of the grain, becoming a kind of nasty skin of protein on top, and a thick glue like substance on the outside. The added protein does help, but if you care about your cereal (and your teeth!) This is NOT the way to go.

Some joker in the back just asked, “Hey, what happens if you nuke it on HIGH for 3 minutes?”  Ha.  Believe it or not, I have tried it before, but I don’t have a picture of it.  I did the above when I was feeling lazy and a hurry… just to remind myself why I bother with all that stuff I talked about previously.

Well, you get something that looks more edible than the above, but pretty much the same result.  How can that be?  Because there hasn’t been enough water penetration into the rice by the time the cooking comes to an end, so by 3 minutes it’s under-cooked  That’s also true for 3.5 minutes, and however your inner Zeno tries to break it down, it never quite comes out right.

So how do you fix it?  The closest I can come is a little TLC in the form of additives. You can put water in there, let it sit (so the ambient heat in the dish works on it), then pour some protein powder in, then stir to get some of that creaminess back, but it won’t help the texture of the rice itself.  Overcooked rice is a dead-end texture wise. There is no going back except to start over.

This is why I spent four articles and counting obsessing over hot cereal. Bad results that go on being ignored are why small children everywhere turn up their noses at hot cereal. My grandmother used to cook for strangers for a living (who happened to be vacationing at her home). So she knew how to make even small ordinary things very well. She had oatmeal down to a science.  Ergo, I loved it.

This mess above, even the permissive eater would reject such gritty gluey bit of endurance eating. Should we call it grueling?  Yeah, I know. Everyone hates puns… so why are they so much fun?

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