New Food Friday – Kasha, Groats, Buckwheat

18 Apr

I had never tried Kasha until an Internet friend said that she loved it and would eat it for breakfast everyday. So, I bought a box of Wolff’s Kasha at my local Meijer.

Box of Kasha

Box of Kasha

Kasha is buckwheat and it comes in several granulations. I chose medium. This particular box had a small cellophane window so you could see the product inside (which I ignored), and put the box in my cart. When I got home, I placed the box in my pantry. When it was time for me to try the Kasha, I opened the box and began pouring the Kasha into a bowl. Out poured contents that contained Kasha, caraway seeds, and some other type of seeds. I recognized caraway seeds when I saw them and I didn’t think they were supposed to be in this box!

After doing some research, I realized that seeds were not supposed to be part of Kasha! I contacted the company and told them about it. I received a nice letter of thanks for letting them know from the vice president of Birkett Mills. He said they use the most efficient and sophisticated cleaning machinery known in the dry grain processing industry and that rarely even the most advanced technology can be fooled. (Well, we all know how I feel about technology as per my last post, now don’t we!)

In a show of their appreciation, they sent me two more boxes of Kasha (without seeds) and a whole bunch of information about Kasha. I kept one box and gave the other to my son, the other health enthusiast in the family.

Rather than let the box with the seeds go to waste, I used the caraway seeds from the “bad” box of Kasha for my Russian Rye Bread recipe! As you know, the loaves turned out great! To be honest though, I’m not crazy about Kasha for breakfast even though I know how good it is for you and how popular it is in Russia and throughout the Balkan region of Europe.

Map of Europe (sxc.hu - vygnyo)

Map of Europe (sxc.hu – vygnyo)

However, a recipe I found among all the recipes they sent, sounded good and good for your health too, so that I had to chose it for this New Food Friday.

The following information was provided to me from Birkett Mills, established in 1797. (Yes, that date is correct, 1797.) Read the eye-opening information that I have written by clicking this link.

If, after you have clicked the link and read the material you are now convinced that you need buckwheat in your diet, Birkett Mills offers a cookbook with over 50 recipes, many with full color illustrations, for $2.50. Write to: Pocono Buckwheat Cookbook, P.O. Box 440 PC, Penn Yan, NY 14527

Here is one of their recipes that caught my eye.

Grilled Portobello Caps with Kasha Pilaf
1/3 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia)
2 cups water
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Kasha
salt to taste
6 large Portobello mushroom caps
Olive oil
1 1/4 cup grated hearty cheese (such as aged Gruyere or aged Gouda)

Aged Gouda

Aged Gouda

Prepare the Kasha Mixture First
In a 2-qt saucepan on medium-high heat, combine celery, onion, water and 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning. Cook until liquid is very hot, but not quite boiling. (Or, you can microwave it.)

Old Bay and Kasha Granules

Old Bay and Kasha Granules

While the liquid mixture is heating, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the extra virgin olive oil add remaining 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning and the Kasha. Stir Kasha until it is hot and slightly toasted.

Browning Kasha in a Pan

Browning Kasha in a Pan

Reduce heat to low. Carefully add hot liquid mixture and cover pan tightly. Simmer about 10 minutes until kernels are tender and liquid is absorbed.

Remove from heat and “fluff” with a fork. Season to taste with salt. This may be used immediately to stuff mushrooms or refrigerated for up to two days (or frozen for up to 1 month.) Makes nearly 4 cups.

Prepare medium-hot grill fire. Discard mushroom stems, clean gills with soft brush, and wipe caps with damp paper towel. Brush top of caps with olive oil.

Mushrooms (sxc.hu - mzacha)

Mushrooms (sxc.hu – mzacha)

Grill mushrooms gill-side down for a couple minutes. (I didn’t grill mine, I used my skillet.) Use tongs to flip caps top-side up and move them away from the heat while you fill the caps with the Kasha mixture.

Stuffed Portobello Muchroom Caps with Kasha Mixture

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps with Kasha Mixture

Return caps to the heat and continue grilling, with grill lid down for 3-4 minutes. Top each cap with a scant 1/4 cup grated cheese. Lower grill lid and heat until cheese melts.

My mushrooms were not very large so I had left-over Kasha. I used it in another meal and added diced chicken and peas.

This mushroom recipe is good for when you crank up the barbecue. It would go well with my recipe for hot dogs with Chipotle in Adobo Sauce. Add a salad,  corn on the cob, 

Sangria (sxc.hu - matthijs_v)

Sangria (sxc.hu – matthijs_v)

a pitcher of Sangria, and you could invite the neighbors!

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12 Responses to “New Food Friday – Kasha, Groats, Buckwheat”

  1. ParsiCuisine.com July 13, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    Sangria looks very colorful. I have a party to host – Do you have the recipe for sangria?

    • Marcella Rousseau July 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

      Yes, I do have a recipe. Most people have heard about red sangria. This however is a recipe for white sangria and it is just as delicious and refreshing. It makes 12 eight-ounce servings and is 157 calories each.

      ½ gallon dry white wine
      ½ cup peach-flavored brandy
      The peel from 2 large oranges, removed with a vegetable peeler
      ice cubes
      1 quart chilled club soda
      3 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and quartered
      Mix wine and brandy in a large pitcher. Add orange peel, peaches; cover and chill. When ready to serve, add ice and soda and stir. Pour into chilled 10-ounce glasses, adding some orange peel to each glass or a peach quarter.

      There are many variations of Sangria. Most include fresh fruits like peaches and apples. I’ve seen one recipe include bananas! Sangria is addictive because it is so delicious and refreshing! Enjoy your party!

  2. NovEllaandBanannabelle May 3, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Thanks for sharing! I never knew that buckwheat is considered a fruit…I’m going to have to try some.

    • Marcella Rousseau May 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      It was news to me too! Let me know if you come across a recipe that you like for it.

  3. Three Well Beings April 22, 2014 at 12:13 am #

    Good for you for contacting the company directly with your concerns! And I love the recipe you’ve included. That sounds delicious. I’ve baked bread with buckwheat flour, but that’s about it. Now I’m really interested!

    • Marcella Rousseau April 22, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      Thank you! I’ve never thought of baking bread with buckwheat flour. That sounds interesting! How did it turn out? Did you like it? I wonder if I could bake bread with kasha? Cooked kasha?

  4. tamara April 18, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    I love kasha, we prepare it with mushrooms or in salad with some wegetables and pumpkin seed oil .and I like it also just cooked in milk with some honey. But it is getting hard to get real bio kasha…..
    Happy Easter!
    Tamara

    • Marcella Rousseau April 19, 2014 at 10:57 am #

      I wish I could develop a taste for kasha for breakfast. But I’m glad to know that some people enjoy it! I’m more of a couscous fan but it doesn’t have near the benefits of kasha. Still, I hate for anything to go to waste so I will be preparing something with the kasha I still have. Buona Pasqua! Marcella

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