November 09, 2012

Kasha Mushroom Pilaf


Ingredients:
2 cups turkey, vegetable, chicken or beef stock
1 cup kasha (buckwheat groats)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups roughly chopped crimini mushrooms
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Bring the stock and spices to a boil. Meanwhile, saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms until soft in a medium saucepan. Mix the kasha and the egg together in a small bowl. Add the kasha mixture to the onion mixture and saute until the kasha separates, about 5 minutes. Add the stock mixture, cover and cook until the liquid is fully absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir.


My thoughts:
We've mostly had kasha in the form of Jewish classics kasha varnishkes and knishes but after reading Polish cookbook after cookbook and finding many mentions of kasha unrelated to either of those I thought it was time to branch out. As it turns out, kasha makes a wonderful side dish. It is quick to make, naturally gluten-free and a inspired alternative to rice, wild rice or potatoes. It is flavorful and hearty, perfect for an Eastern European-inspired Thanksgiving. Kasha by itself is kind of nutty flavored so adding the mushrooms really deepens the flavor. The egg is a bit of an odd ingredient but I swear, it is the trick to fluffy kasha.

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