November 29, 2009

Butternut Squash and Brown Rice Porridge (congee-style)

Before diving into making Christmas sweets I needed some detox food to recover from my Thanksgiving indulgences. My mother made a wonderfully simple squash and rice soup for our Black Friday brunch and I couldn't resist playing with the idea when I got home. I used up one of my smaller butternut squash with short grain brown rice. After they cooked together to make a creamy porridge I topped it with green onions, fresh ginger, soy sauce and fried locally-grown shiitake mushrooms. It was savory and comforting and was the perfect stomach healing food I craved. I also tried out a variation with brown sugar and Earth Balance margarine for my son. Alas, he objected to the squash, which is usually a favorite vegetable of him. I thought it was pretty tasty myself but not as appealing as the savory version. Here is what I did:

Butternut Squash and Brown Rice Porridge
Based on this recipe for Yum Yum Brown Rice Congee
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup short brown rice
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup peeled and diced (1/2 inch dice) butternut squash, other squash or pumpkin
toppings (suggestions listed at the end)

-Add the brown rice, salt and water to a small soup pot. Bring to a boil, stir and then reduce the heat to a strong simmer. Cook covered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
-Add in the squash and bring back to a strong simmer. Cook covered for another 30-45 minutes until the squash is tender.
-Top with your desired toppings and serve warm.

Optional toppings:
-sliced green onion, fried shiitake mushrooms, freshly grated ginger, soy sauce, chili oil
-brown sugar and butter (or EB)
-if I had some I would have tried some kim chee and a poached egg or maybe

Another variation with brown sugar and Earth Balance margarine
(real butter or a splash of cream would be even better if you can have them)
This week's 9 Bean Rows share: (clockwise from top)
bok choi, parsley and rosemary, rye bread (my favorite), apples, potatoes, salad greens and kale
*note the cat tail and rear, they were eager to be fed
It's been ages since I posted a shot of Abbie.
She likes to annoy me by sitting on the counter, where she isn't supposed to be, and chewing on the squash stems.