Thursday, March 15, 2012
be green and prosper
OK, uncle. Nobody wants to hear about my nice chickpeas. Fine. Just as well, even, because I have my knickers in a knot over something entirely unrelated to chick peas and I am hauling myself and my lathery mouth up onto my splintery-from-overuse soapbox to vent about it.
I waited 84 minutes to get my oil changed today, which is not what I am going to vent about because as annoying as it was ("Should be just a few more minutes" turns out to have so many shades of meaning), even in my peevish state I am able to recognize that it is entirely unimportant. In days of yore I might not even have objected to the delay, seeing how the waiting area was well-stocked with issues of People magazine, but as it happens I am now sufficiently old and out of touch enough to not know who 87% of the People are, so it's less of a thrill. I just flip through the pages, appalled, and muttering in my rocker about why an ad featuring a model--someone's daughter, need I point out--in hot pants, licking some boy's ear, is supposed to make me want to buy perfume, or sunglasses, or whatever it is the young folk today are on about.
Buried inside one of the issues (I was able to commit several of them to memory, so call me if you need to know who got a speeding ticket in Hollywood five weeks ago) there was a review of the recent animated movie version of The Lorax. It wouldn't take much prodding to send me off on a tangential rant about good books that have been pillaged by their movie versions, so try not to get me started on that (RIP, Mr. Popper's Penguins, to pick but one recent example). And trust me, this will all come back around to something edible in a moment.
OK, so, the reviewer praises the pretty visuals of the film, but warns parents:
"[A]s this is one of the Doc's more political stories (it could even be called anti-capitalist), you may want to talk to kids about the issues it raises. After all, the Lorax speaks for the trees, but he may not necessarily speak for you."
Yeah, do be sure to inoculate your tender young ones against the consciousness that we could be doing a hair more to bring our rampant greed into enough control that we might salvage what's left of the natural world, and definitely against any suspicion that you might be in favor of that. We wouldn't want the little tykes growing up (shudder) ANTI-CAPITALIST, would we? Oh, how the neighbors would talk. I hate a preachy, thinky message, don't you? Communists. The whole lot of em. Capitalism pays your taxes, hippie, and don't you forget it. So don't try to bring the environment into it.
All done now. Swabbing the flecks of spittle off the monitor. Going to talk about rice.
Now that Operation Chickpea has whittled our numbers down and only 8 of you are reading this, I can tell you about green rice and it will be our little secret.
This is what we ate with the Thai chicken, but I made it with white rice and it was, frankly, a disaster. I made it again with short-grain brown rice, and it was to my way of thinking a phenom.
I confess that I do not measure the rice and the water when I cook brown rice. If you have some other tried and true method for cooking rice, like a rice cooker, ignore my mumbling and just jump in with your cooked rice at that stage.
2.5 c short grain brown rice
1/2 c coconut milk
1/4 c water
inner tender part of one lemongrass bulb, coarsely chopped (or use a few fresh lime leaves, torn)
a large handful of cilantro
about a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
sriracha or other chile paste, to taste
1T fish sauce
Put the rice in a medium pot and cover with water by about an inch. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook until the rice is al dente, about 25 minutes. Drain almost all the excess water from the pot, cover the pot, and leave on the lowest flame for about another 5 minutes, until the grains are tender and there is no obvious water. Fluff the rice.
Meanwhile, purée the remaining ingredients in a blender When the rice is cooked, pour the sauce over the rice and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.