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Posts Tagged ‘Rice’

This is one time you don’t have to look at the expiration date on a food item.  Believe it or not I have a list of 10 items that seem to have the shelf life of a millennium  and I don’t mean a Hostess Twinkie!

When stored properly — in an airtight container, kept in a cool, dry place — there are a number of pantry staples that can last just about forever.

We’re not talking until the end of time forever, although some of these staples just may hold up that long. Rather, when stored properly, these items can last years tucked away in the pantry.

The Twelfth Of Never Is A Long, Long Time!

The Twelfth Of Never Is A Long, Long Time!

The Simplest Reason Why Food Goes Bad
There are a number of reasons why food goes bad, but one of the main causes is bacteria growth. The main culprit for bacteria growth in food is moisture — when moisture is present, it creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

These foods either aren’t very susceptible to moisture and bacteria growth, or actively discourage bacteria (as in the case of alcohol). Others of these depend quite a bit on proper storage.

10 Foods That Can Last Nearly Forever
A common theme in extending the shelf life of these foods is storing them in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.

1. Salt: Salt is a preservative, and when stored in a cool, dry place, it will last a really long time.

2. Rice: While the shelf life of brown rice holds at about twelve months, white rice — including jasmine, basmati, and arborio varieties — will last indefinitely when stored properly.

3. Honey: Because this natural sweetener has a low water content, it can last for years when stored in a sealed container and kept in a cool, dry spot. Even if it crystalizes or the color changes slightly, don’t throw it out — it’s still perfectly safe to eat.

4. Sugar: Sugar is another sweetener with no expiration. This includes all varieties — white, brown, and powdered. Be sure to store it in an airtight container to prevent moisture from dampening the sugar.

5. Vinegar: While all varieties of vinegar won’t last indefinitely, distilled white vinegar will last forever.

6. Pure vanilla extract: Pure vanilla costs a good deal more than its imitation counterpart, and for good reason. Not only is there a huge difference in taste, but pure vanilla also lasts a lot longer.

7. Dried beans: Store dried beans in a dark, dry place and they will last indefinitely. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that older beans may require longer soaking and cooking times.

8. Cornstarch: Cornstarch is a go-to thickener for pudding, sauce, and gravy. Most recipes use only a couple tablespoons, yet cornstarch is usually sold in large packages, but don’t worry — this is totally okay since it doesn’t have an expiration date. Just remember to keep the lid completely sealed and store it in a cool, dark place.

9. Maple syrup: As long as it’s unopened, pure maple syrup will last forever.

10. Alcohol: Even if it’s been opened, distilled liquor — like vodka, rum, gin, whiskey, and tequila — will last forever.

This blog post has been excerpted from The Kitchn (http://www.thekitchn.com/) of http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/

Thanks to my friend, Gail, chief sourcerer for Pbenjay for sending me the link to this article.

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We’re not vegetarians (yet) but it’s possible we are heading in that direction.  Peter always leaned that way for health reasons and I, in recent years, have become deeply disturbed over the exposes regarding the treatment and slaughtering of animals.  Sometimes if I find myself thinking about it, I can’t finish eating whatever meat was on my place.  I know this sounds weird coming from someone who just extolled the virtues of The Shake Shack.  Well, like I said, I may be headed in that direction but it’s long journey down that road.

However, I do love cooking with fresh vegetables and therefore I often make vegetarian meals.  Tonight we had a delicious dinner;  I made a Butternut Squash Risotto,  Roasted Cauliflower and a Mesclun Salad.  That and a freshly baked baguette from Fairway made quite a meal.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO

3 cups fat-free low-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup butternut squash puree

1TBS butter or olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/4 cups shallots, chopped

1 cup Arborio rice – I used Carnaroll rice

2 oz dry white wine

1TBS chopped fresh sage

1/4 cups freshly grated Parmiagiano-Reggiano 

Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

2 cups fresh baby arugula, for garnish

In large sauce pan, heat broth and butternut squash puree over medium-high heat.  When it boils, reduce heat to a simmer and maintain over low heat, taste for salt and adjust as needed.

In large heavy sauce pan over medium heat, heat oil or butter until melted.  Add shallots, garlic and rice; saute till rice is well-coated with oil or butter, about 3 minutes.  Add the wine and sage and stir until it is absorbed.

Add a ladleful of the simmering stock; wait until it is absorbed before adding another ladleful stirring gently and almost constantly.  Stirring loosens the starch molecules from the outside of the rice  grains into the surrounding liquid, creating a smooth creamy-textured liquid.

Continue this process until the rice is creamy, tender to the bite, but slightly firm in the center and all the stock is used, about 25 minutes from the time you started.  When all the liquid is absorbed, stir in the grated cheese and remove from heat.

Serve immediately and top with baby arugula and extra grated-cheese if desired.  Makes 3 2/3 cups.

Recipe courtesy of Skinnytaste.com

English: Cucurbita pepo (butternut squash). Lo...

Photo credit-Wikipedia

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