Guest Author - Jason Hodge
I was at my local health food store and I came across a 'new' rice. Shaped like long grain brown rice and black like wild rice, its name... Forbidden Rice. As I've always said, you've got to explore what's out there so you can keep your offerings new with your clientele. Here's my review.
Forbidden rice, unlike the wild rice we're accustomed to when thinking of black rice, has a smokey, non-grassy aroma with a full-bodied flavor to match. It pairs well with everything from your lighter fare, like cucumbers, fruit and salads to your more dense, complex and rich flavors in dishes like meatloaf, bisque, seafood scampi and your international dishes from African, Asian, Latin and everything in between. It's absolutely a great staple choice for your clientele.
At $3.69 for a 15 oz. package, it is higher than your conventional non specialty brands, but I do have to say that I wouldn't think twice about repurchasing this rice and at these prices. It looks and smells great and is unlike any other rice.
Ideas & Variations
You can cook it just like the package suggests or you can bend those rules. Of course I always bend the rules. I like these variations:
*Cook it in a nicely seasoned broth with caramelized onions.
*Cook it risotto style.
*Cook it in coconut milk.
*Steam it in a bamboo steamer on a bed of banana leaves.
*Wrap it in grape leaves.
*Do a harlequin dish and make half your rice order with forbidden rice and the other with white basmati.
*Get it going on the stove and then transfer it to a covered grill, to which you've added wood chips [hickory, apple, mesquite, etc.] to play to that beautiful smoke flavor naturally present in the rice.
*Bake it in a thin marinara sauce and serve it as a side with your protein.
*Fry it with onions, veggies, seasonings, sauce and a nice protein to round it off.
*Make a festive Forbidden Rice Salad.
*Make a Forbidden Rice Stuffing for your clients' holiday seasons.
*Use it in sushi rolls.
*Use it in wraps.
The list is literally endless. It's only limited by your imagination.
All in all, I wholeheartedly give my thumbs up to Lotus Foods brand forbidden rice and think you should add it to your repertoire of staple items you offer to your clientele. You and they will be all the richer for it.
As always, it's been my pleasure sharing with you information to help you expand your business. Until next time...