Recipe: Japanese-inspired brown rice and millet casserole

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 6D

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Serves 6

This vegan recipe from "Grain Mains: 101 Surprising and Satisfying Whole Grain Recipes for Every Meal of the Day" (Rodale, $24.99, pages) is inspired by a traditional dish served in the fall by many Japanese cooks to celebrate the arrival of the new rice harvest.

Authors Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough recommend cooking this dish in a flameproof 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole or Dutch oven; reposition the oven racks as necessary so when the covered casserole is placed in the oven there will be a couple of inches of air space overhead. Mirin is a sweetened Japanese rice wine available at Asian groceries and some supermarkets.

The recipe can be embellished following the variations below for nonvegans or carnivores.

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced

1 shallot, chopped

One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup medium-grain brown rice

1/2 cup millet

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup mirin

3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

1 sweet potato, peeled, diced into 1-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups shelled edamame

1 1/2 cups jarred peeled chestnuts

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat; swirl in the sesame oil. Add mushrooms and shallot. Cook, stirring, until just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 30 seconds.

Dump in the brown rice and millet. Stir to coat the grains in the fat and liquid. Pour in the soy sauce and mirin. As the liquid comes to a full bubble, scrape up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Stir in the broth, sweet potato, edamame and chestnuts. Raise heat; heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally to keep the millet from sticking.

Cover; slide into the oven. Bake until the liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender, about 1 hour. Turn the oven off; leave covered pot in the oven to steam, 15 minutes.

Variations:

Substitute 3 tablespoons butter for the sesame oil.

Sauté 1/2 pound diced boneless chicken thighs in the butter at the start of cooking. Add the mushrooms and shallots and continue with recipe. Three cups low-sodium chicken broth can be used instead of vegetable broth.

Per serving: 443 calories, 11 g fat, 1 g sat. fat, 0 mg chol., 74 g carb., 13 g protein, 996 mg sodium, 7 g fiber

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