Doctor Zhivago: Kasha

Introduction

Kasha (shown above as a base for Chicken Pojarski) is, I'm told, an acquired taste. I acquired it, it seems, from countless generations before me who made it in the old country. It is my favorite soul food.

Kasha is a grain, the very unappealing sounding buckwheat groat. It is sort of a cross between rice and cous cous. It comes in different sizes - from fine to course. In the picture above you see the largest size kasha I've ever found - organic kasha sold at Whole Foods. When I make Kasha with bow tie noodles (Kasha Varniskas) I use medium grain. Served as an accompaniment to our chicken, and without adornment, I prefer "coarse" grain.

This is a very simple recipe, because the rest of our meal is very ornate. However, when served as a more significant part of a meal I would add sliced mushrooms to the onion. It is also delicious when, after being cooked, it is tossed with bow tie pasta, in which case it is known as Kasha Varniskas.

Ingredients

  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Cups Beef Broth
  • 1 Cup Medium Kasha
  • 2 T Butter
  • 1 small yellow onion

Directions

Bring the 2 cups of beef broth to a boil and then reduce heat to "warm" it.

 

Peel and chop one small yellow onion.
Beat one egg in mixing bowl.
Pour 1 cup Kasha into the egg mixture and stir to coat with egg.
Heat butter in saucepan. Saute onion until it begins to brown.
Add the kasha to the hot pan and stir with a wooden spatula until the kasha is toasted and not lumpy. Don't burn it, but you will see it change consistency.
Add the hot broth to the pan, stir and cover. If you don't use hot broth the kasha kernels will "explode" and you'll end up with a mushy" texture. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover pot. Let the Kasha cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Fluff the kasha with a fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Kasha is often served with a gravy - in this case from the Chicken Pojarsky.

Reader's Comments:

riddleyw2 says:

'This is just like I remember from my childhood.'

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