Tuesday, April 2

A Forbidden! Solar Black Rice Sirloin Tip Meal

I am now on a par with the Chinese Emperors. Oh, yes; shocking but true! Me. Who knew? It all began with my quarterly refurbishing of grains and rices from Whole Foods. Blithely filling the bags with bulk this-and-that, I saw what I first thought were black beans, only to discover they were tiny grains of rice – by name, Forbidden Rice! Now, this may not be news to all of you, but it was quite the surprise to me, I can assure you. See, in the photo, how tiny they are, after being cooked? They are but a hair larger than their dehydrated size. But, the taste -- Oi-vey! such a delightful, nutty, flavor with just the right amount of al dente texture. It will definitely be a part of my final meal, if I do get a word. I can see why only the Emperors were allowed this fantastic grain.
It's obvious that I'm going to have to work on more appealing photos, but time will take care of that and, meanwhile, you'll be coming up with your own. I used both a metal loaf pan and a round baking pan for the solar dinner, and used aluminum foil for the cover. Rinsed and then pre-soaked the rice for about 20 minutes to begin rehydration and then poured it into the loaf pan, adding water brought to the boil in the microwave. The veggies and sirloin tips were sauté, placed in their own baking pan, and mixed with the sauce.

The solar oven had reached 250°F and I stacked the baking pan over the loaf pan. Days are getting longer and the meal was started at 12:45 p.m. In just under 1.5 hours, this very dark but delicious dinner was ready and we were very happy to tuck in.

Forbidden Black Rice

1 cup Forbidden Black rice
1-7/8 cups water, brought to boil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil

Rinse and pre-soak rice for approximately 20 minutes. Pour into casserole, add water, cover with foil and place in solar oven for approximately 1.5 hours. Let rest for 10 minutes, fluff with fork and combine  with oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Sirloin Tip Mix

1/2 pound sirloin tips, cubed
1 T tallow/oil
1 green bell pepper, sliced vertically then cut in half
1 medium sweet onion, sliced vertically
1 T fresh ginger, cut into pieces, then removed before serving
1 T soy sauce
1 T Chinese orange sauce
1 T grapeseed oil
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp Chinese spice mix

Preheat solar oven to at least 225F. Use separate covered casseroles.  Dry sirloin tips with paper towel and brown in tallow/oil; remove to casserole pan. Saute peppers, onion, and ginger, until soft; add to sirloin tips. Combine rest of ingredients with sirloin tip mixture. Cover with foil, bake in solar oven for approximately 1.5 hours. Stir, then serve.

I kept the rice and stew separate and added a touch of the sauce to the rice so you could see the sesame seed size against the cooked black rice grains. Normally, I would place the stew over the rice but it just didn't look right -- not that this does. I need a red ribbon, or something. But, don't be fooled, there's a powerful amount of taste in every bite.  I hope you'll give Forbidden Rice a try. It's expensive, but don't you deserve it? You bet your sweet bippy you do. Don't forget to share your recipe!


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