Thursday, March 16, 2006

Recipe for Brown Rice with Cashews and Herbs (and Discovering Macadamia Nut Oil)

I have a good friend named Sandy who lives in Reno, Nevada. For quite a few years Sandy and I served together on the Board of Directors of the National Education Association, which meant we went to meetings together in Washington D.C. four times a year. We had a great time exploring our nation's capitol, especially the restaurants! Since then we've kept in touch, and still love to talk. Sandy's daughter recently got married in Hawaii and she sent me a bottle of Hawaii's Gold Macadamia Nut Oil that she picked up while she was there. Macadamia nut oil was not something I was familiar with, but I knew that macadamia nuts are full of "good" fat, so I was interested in using the oil to cook with. Also I'd been wanting to try some recipes using brown rice, so this was a recipe that caught my eye.

This recipe was adapted from one I found in How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman, a book that I've used over and over since I got it. I only made a few minor changes to the recipe, but I substituted my macadamia nut oil for the olive oil, and the rice was delicious. I did increase the amount of cashews in the recipe, so if you're following the South Beach Diet you should not have nuts for a snack on the day you're eating this.

Brown Rice with Cashews and Herbs
(Makes 4 servings, recipe slightly adapted from How to Cook Everything.)

1 1/2 T Macadamia nut oil (or use olive oil)
1 small onion, finely diced
1 cup long grain brown rice (I used Basmati)
1 cup whole cashews (measure before chopping, then chop coarsely with chef's knife to equal 3/4 cup chopped cashews)
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. (or more) dried thyme
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (don't add extra salt if using salted cashews)
2 cups chicken stock

In large heavy pan with tight fitting lid, saute onion in macadamia nut oil until softened. Add rice and saute 2-3 minutes, stirring so it doesn't get too brown.

Add coarsely chopped cashews and saute one minute. Add herbs, salt, pepper, and chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Turn heat to low, cover, and cook for about 45-50 minutes. (Check your rice package to see what the recommended cooking time is.)

After 45 minutes, check rice. It should be slightly chewy with all the liquid absorbed when it's done. Add more liquid if needed to cook longer. When rice seems done, turn off heat and let stand 10 minutes. Serve hot.

P.S. According to Mark Bittman, cookbook writer extraordinaire, who knows about such things, nut oils should be kept in the refrigerator.

South Beach Suggestions:
This rice would be suitable for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. It would be a great side dish served with something like Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime, Chicken with Kalamata Olives, or Chicken and Asparagus with Curry Sauce. Cucumbers Caesar would be a simple salad to serve with it.

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  1. Argh!!!!! Macadamia nut oil, cashews--that sounds like heaven. I've never tried macadamia nut oil, but I'm sure it's devine.

  2. Hey, look! A vegetarian recipe at Kalyn's Kitchen! :D
    Macadamia nut oil is new to me, too. I'm going to investigate.

  3. Wah! Kalyn Macademia oil as an ingredient ,I can imagine the yummilicious taste..:) Is the oil used an Australian brand...?

  4. Sher - I don't know about heaven, but it was pretty darn good.

    CC - It does have chicken stock. But I have been eating a lot more veggies.

    Lera - The brand I have - Oils of Aloha, Hawaii's Gold is made in Waialua, Hawaii.

  5. I truly think cashews make everything taste better!

  6. This looks so appetizing - my mouth is watering and it's not even lunch time yet.

  7. Not sure how I came across your blog but thanks for the recipe. I love cashews - and I also work for Oils of Aloha in Hawaii - we were the first to make edible macadamia oil.

  8. I know you posted this, years ago, but I just found it and I love it and Mark Bittman. He makes everything clear. Thanks.


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