|Posted on September 21, 2009 at 8:38 PM|
I missed Ana's afternoon walk yesterday. I was mailing out the announcements for Sakai's art show and my friends in Echo Park invited me over for dinner, so I had to leave early. Ana gets two walks a day. Sakai gets up no later than 6 am (This sculptor works like a farmer.) walks Ana, eats a hearty breakfast and goes to his studio. With all the pounding that's been going on in the studio, however, by early afternoon, Ana needs a break from the sculptor's garden. That's when she comes to me with a tennis ball in her mouth to remind me it's time to go outside and play. I still have to finish peeling the chestnuts for the rice I am making and answer a few e-mails. Ana waits patiently in the patio. Her ears perk up when I call her name.
These California grown Chestnuts are one of the signs that fall is finally coming. Chestnuts are easier to peel when they are fresh. I slit a cross in the shell and briefly boil them in salt water for about 5 minutes. After they have cooled down a bit, I peel off the hard shell, then the bark like skin and get to the bright yellow meat. It takes me about 20 minutes to peel 15 chestnuts. I am going to make the chestnut rice in a donabe rice cooker but first the walk.
15 Chestnuts in their shell
1 tsp salt for soaking the chestnuts
2 cups Short grain white rice
3 Tbls Sweet rice
2 inch piece Konbu seaweed (optional)
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp light color soy sauce
2 1/4 cups of water
1-2 Tbls roasted sesame seeds
Equipment: Donabe rice cooker or Electric rice cooker.
Soak the chestnuts in warm water for about an hour. Soaking will soften the shell of the chestnut. Cut and cross with a knife on the flat side of the chestnuts. Peel the chestnuts.
Put the peeled chestnuts in a bowl of warm water with the measured salt for about 30 minutes. Drain water. Slice the chestnuts into 1/2-inch pieces. In a medium pot of water, put the chestnuts and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Rinse the short grain and sweet rice together. Put the rice in a bowl with enough water to cover the rice. Soak for about 15 minutes. Drain.
Combine the rice, chestnuts, salt, soy sauce, konbu seaweed and measured water and cook in a donabe rice cooker, electric rice cooker or regular pot as you would cook steamed rice Gently toss the rice and serve in individual rice bowls. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds if you like.
The black square is the konbu seaweed.
Discard the konbu. You can eat this. It's great fiber.
MENU SUGGESTIONS: CHESTNUT RICE, ROASTED EGGPLANT WTIH SCALLIONS AND GINGER, TUNA SASHIMI, VINEGARED OCTOPUS
Off she goes!
Note: Chestnut Rice makes a nice accompaniment to almost any fish or meat dish. I use a konbu based vegetarian broth so this would make a nice dish for vegans. I cooked the Chestnut rice in a donabe rice cooker. I also did a story in the Los Angeles Times on Donabe Rice Cooking, which features the donabe rice cooker.
and goes into more detail about how to use the donabe rice cooker.