For many years, I never gave much of a thought to how rice was grown. When I did think about it, I imagined it growing white – the color of the rice usually found on my dinner plate. Oops. Wrong! Rice comes in a lot of colors, but white is surely not one of them.
My children are currently in love with the purple sticky rice we get from Clyde Valley Farm in Morganton, NC. The rice is milled when we order it and it is unpolished so it retains all the natural vitamins and minerals. Tonight I made a rather delicious Mexican Shepherd’s Pie (I will have to blog about that recipe later!) and I cooked up some purple sticky rice to accompany it.
I was initially hesitant to buy a rice cooker because I like to have complete control over my rice. Some people have issues with cooking rice. I do not. Ever. Why mess with a good thing? With much hesitation, I gave in and let Santa Mimi buy me a rice cooker this past year. After consulting my fabulous foodie friends on Facebook, I knew I had to get a Zojirushi rice cooker. I researched and researched and finally settled on the 5 1/2 cup stainless steel rice cooker and I haven’t been disappointed.
After I realized that I could combine my old school style of rice cooking – sauteeing the onions, garlic, etc. and toasting the rice grains in the oil before I add the water or broth – I could continue the preliminary steps and just add the rice to the rice cooker at the moment when I would normally add the water to the saucepan.
For this recipe, I sauteed up one large purple shallot and 4 cloves of garlic. I added about 1 cup (1 rice cooker cup!) of purple sticky rice and tossed it lightly in the oil. I removed the rice to the rice cooker and added enough broth to reach the 1 cup brown rice line on the rice cooker (about twice as much water as rice). I prepared the rice before the children got home from school and let it sit in the rice cooker until about an hour or so before dinner and then I selected the brown rice setting.
The result is absolutely delicious! Purple sticky rice!