After spending three weeks eating like a single girl, I've been ready to cook up a storm since Bryan returned from his work trip to Beijing.
But this single girl did not do a good job about keeping the pantry stocked, which I discovered when I grabbed the empty jar of polenta that I normally pair so elegantly with our standby Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar Pan Sauce.
Then I remembered the delicious Amaranth "Risotto" With Mushrooms that sustained me numerous times during my elimination diet, and decided I was ready to go with another grain.
I should note here that during that time, I experimented with quite a few grains, including amaranth, teff, millet and buckwheat. Perhaps it has to do with familiarity, but I found I was unable to eat any of them plain like I can with rice and quinoa. They all just needed a little something more. Which was why the Amaranth Risotto recipe ended up on my plate so many times – without a little burst of porcini, the amaranth just didn't grab my attention the way my beloved grains were able to.
I took tonight's experiment one step further on accident when I looked in the pot halfway through cooking and thought it looked pretty dark for amaranth ... then realized it was because I had used teff instead. At first I was worried because the one time I made teff was less than impressive. But since there's nothing like porcinis to add flavor to a dish, I decided there might be hope for it after all.
In the end, it paired even better than polenta with our beloved chicken dish, but was also delicious enough to eat on its own.
3-1/2 cups boiling water
1 oz. dried porcini
1 porcini bouillon cube
1 cup teff
Pour boiling water over dried porcini, cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
Remove mushrooms from the water and chop.
Slowly pour 3 cups of the porcini water into a medium pan, being careful to strain out any sediment from the bottom. Add the bouillon cube and bring the water back to a boil. Slowly stir in the teff, then lower heat and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes so the teff doesn't stick on the bottom.
When mixture is as thick as polenta, stir in the chopped porcini mushrooms and serve.