Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley: How I Love Thee

Gentle Readers, it is an amazing thing to be surrounded by people who love food and books in equal proportions. Tonight I learned more about circus peanuts and candy corn than I ever imagined. (For the record, I think circus peanuts taste like chalk mixed with Aspergum, while candy corn has more of a sugared wax feel.) The connecting thread to this meandering food conversation: texture.

Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley

Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley

Today’s product review came as a recommendation from my friend OscartheCoach. Brown Rice Medley from Trader Joe’s blew me away in terms of texture. Generally speaking, I’m terrible at making plain rice, but not bad at risotto or other liquidy rice-pasta numbers. So I, gasp, essentially followed the directions on the package, using Chicken Stock instead of water, and it turned out well. This is a whole grain product, and takes some time to cook, but it’s low-fuss and well worth it. It is to Rice-A-Roni as granita is to Chillie Willie. Worth the extra time.

The Brown Rice Medley was soupy at first, but became creamier as it rested.

The Brown Rice Medley was soupy at first, but became creamier as it rested.

The blend contains “A Delicious Blend of Long Grain Brown Rice, Black Barley & Daikon Radish Seeds.” It’s a textural wonder, with enough chew and variety to stay interesting, and the nuttiness one expects from brown rice. I would eat it for breakfast, it’s that good. And you know how I feel about cereal.

The Daikon Radish Seeds are like the Pop Rocks of the grain world, they explode in your mouth when chewed.

The Daikon Radish Seeds are like the Pop Rocks of the grain world, they explode in your mouth when chewed.

I’ll be heading back into the taste kitchen to test this out with different stocks and timing, to see if I can go closer to risotto. I would recommend using stock (mushroom, veggie, chicken, or turkey: I think beef and pork would overwhelm), and a sprinkle of Parmesan or parsley at the end would be nice too. It is sold as a side dish, but with a nice salad and some fruit, it makes a great meal.

Because I found it hard to stop at one bowl of Brown Rice Medley.

Because I found it hard to stop at one bowl of Brown Rice Medley.

During the great Fried adventure, I craved this dish. It tasted pure and clean and chewed like a meal, satisfying and complete within itself. Thanks OTC for the suggestion!

Are you a grain fan? Post a comment below, or Tweet!

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Tomorrow, another in the theme of reviews, Chocolate Yogurt: A Poor Man’s Banana Split.

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11 Comments

Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, On the Table

11 responses to “Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley: How I Love Thee

  1. Ewww, Aspergum! That brings back horrible memories. As for Circus Peanuts–orange-colored, peanut-shaped, banana-flavored marshmallows–they are gross and irrelevant. I have a friend who loves them so much that he sometimes brings them as his contribution to a potluck, artfully arranged on a plate.

    I also love Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend: Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and quinoa. Super yum and interesting!

    • The Practical Cook

      Thank you for knowing about Aspergum: the horror, the horror. I had no idea Circus Peanuts were supposed to be banana-flavored. I clearly don’t like fauxnana items, but the artful arrangement of them makes me LOL.

      Will check out the Harvest Grains Blend on my next TJ’s run!

  2. Do share your risotto secret – the one time I tried, it had a lovely creamy texture, but the rice was basically uncooked

    • The Practical Cook

      I use the recipe from A New Way to Cook quite frequently, For a foolproof (though still labor-intensive method), try Kitchen Scoop’s Microwave method. Make sure you saute the rice first, and that it’s fresh. And if you need to cook it a bit longer or add more stock, that’s okay too. :)

      It’s risotto season, I’ll blog on it soon!

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  4. Carol

    AHHhhhhhhH! Brown Rice Medley!
    My fave . We eat it all the time. Cooks up well in my rice cooker.
    and yes, I love the *POP* of the radish seeds.

    We just cook it in stock (veg or sometimes chicken). Your pics make it look creamy like a risotto…is that how it turns out on the stovetop? I always use the rice cooker and it doesn’t come out creamy like that!

    • The Practical Cook

      I love the stuff myself! It wasn’t exactly like risotto, it didn’t “melt” in that same way, but I think the results were creamier than you are describing in the rice cooker. I used chicken stock in this photo, and it make it very rich. It was a stand-alone dish really.

  5. Anna

    My mother just made this rice and I had to look it up on the internet. It is by far the best rice I have ever eaten. She uses only 1 cup of broth to one cup of rice. It is not creamy like your photos. It looks like normal rice but the flavor and texture is amazing. She added shrimp to it and it was to die for. It has to be far more healthy than white rice right?

    • The Practical Cook

      It does look creamier than it is in some ways. Still not sure why. Perhaps different rice blend? Brown rice is typically more healthy because it’s not been processed, and it’s certainly nuttier and incredibly tasty. Shrimp would literally make me die (allergic!), but for others, a great suggestion. ;)

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