One of the fun parts of blogging has been taking on the
occasional recipe challenge. I love these. For someone who rarely, if ever,
cooks, these challenges are a great opportunity to learn something new and
stretch a bit creatively. Shawn also loves
when I do them because he can watch me do the cooking – although he still gets
called in to assist fairly often.
Usually, I try to do a wine pairing for whatever I make.
That’s gone well for the most part, but when I received the recipes for U.S.A.Rice
I realized that might be problematic. You see, while I do eat some meat, I
won’t cook with raw meat. Yes, I know that’s weird, but we all have our things,
right? Shawn is rolling his eyes right now if he’s reading this.
So I could have made this and paired it with a Riesling:
this and paired it with an unoaked Chardonnay:
Or this… well, I actually bought the stuff
to make these, but they looked kind of hard to make and then I thought they
might be too sweet to pair with an Icewine (the dessert should be less sweet
than the wine). Super sweet desserts are not easy to pair.
Instead, I decided to make Brown Rice Power Bars.
looked like something I’d like to eat and they seemed reasonably easy to make.
I also thought it was kind of cool to make something so different with rice.
It’s definitely not my go to ingredient when I decide to cook up some squares! This left
me with a challenge, though, as to what wine I could pair with this. It’s kind
of a breakfast-y type dish, so I was thinking about a sparkling wine or maybe a
Moscato. But then I was reading about Halloween wine pairings on The Daily Sip on Bottlenotes
and they mentioned that a big California Cabernet would go well
with peanut butter treats – and these are super peanut buttery, so I think that
would be my choice if there was ever a chance I’d want to pair these with wine.
To be honest, I think they pair best with a big glass of milk.
I chose an organic brown rice from California and Bob’s
brown rice flour from Oregon – we’re big fans of Bob’s products, so that was an
easy choice. I usually cook rice in the microwave (hello, Uncle Ben’s), but I
decided to challenge myself and make this on the stove top. I was a little
freaked out to discover it takes an hour to make on the stove, but I was in
this to learn, right? And once Shawn talked me through the whole math part of
figuring out the ratio of water to rice I was good to go. And the rice turned
out really, really well. I made more than I needed and it was great with
These bars have a lot of stuff in them, including brown
sugar, which is not something we would normally eat. I’d actually like to try
and make them without that as I found them a bit too sweet for my tastes. I
also thought maybe it would be better if the instructions suggested chopping
big pieces of the trail mix – mine had whole dried apricots and Brazil nuts and
that threw things off. Yes, I could have just done it anyway but remember when
I said I don’t cook? Chopping is high on the list of reasons why.
Anyway, I mixed all the ingredients – including two cups of
cooked rice – and then baked them for 30 minutes. They smelled fantastic. And
they tasted really great too. They were super moist, which I actually think is
because of the rice – not something I was expecting at all. And, as long as you
choose a glutton-free baking powder, this recipe is glutton free.
|The rice is ready - and super delicious even on its own.|
|Mixing it all up - who knew you could make squares with rice?|
|Ready to bake.|
|Hot from the oven|
|Ready to eat - and super tasty.|
So another fun recipe challenge under my belt. It may not be
the best item to pair with wine, but it was a lot of fun to make and I bet
these would be a great breakfast treat for guests on a wine tasting weekend.
Rose Reisman has a video on the U.S.A. Rice Federation site
that will give you some tips on cooking rice and you can also find lots more
great recipes there: http://riceinfo.com/
The fine print: U.S.A. Rice
provided me with the recipes and a gift card with which to purchase the needed
ingredients to make this recipe. All opinions are 100% my own.