Saturday, April 26, 2008

We're in Saveur!

Check out the new May issue of Saveur magazine for a GREAT article on our farm and our brown rice! The cover of the magazine says we grow "the best brown rice," while the editor's letter describes our rice as "great, damn great." We couldn't be more pleased with it, and extend our very sincere thanks to writer Peggy Knickerbocker and Editor in Chief James Oseland.

One note on the recipes that accompany the article is that some of them call for other types of rice than what we grow. I can assure you that our rice would work very well in all of those recipes, and that we have cooked the rice in all of those different ways. In fact, one of our favorites is to cook it in coconut milk as described on page 76 of the magazine.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cranberry Pecan Rice Salad

Here's a recipe for a great salad that has gotten lots of comments whenever we serve it as a sample at the Chico Farmers Market. This recipe is courtesy of our friend Karen Avis of Fresh Approach Catering. Enjoy!

Massa Organics Cranberry Pecan Rice Salad

2 cups Massa Brown Rice
1 bunch Parsley
1 cup dried cranberries
¾ cup Pecans
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 Orange
Olive Oil
salt & pepper to taste
Sliced red onions to taste (optional)

Cook rice according to directions. Let cool for at least ½ hour. Gently stir in: Chopped parsley, cranberries, coarsely chopped pecans, onions and zest. In a bowl: Whisk olive oil, orange juice and salt and pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour to blend flavors.

Monday, April 14, 2008

MO Brown rice tomato soup

Here is the recipe for the soup served as a sample at the Chico Farmers Market on April 12. Recipe courtesy of Roots Catering (contact info below).

Massa Organics Brown Rice Tomato Soup

2Tbsp. Olive Oil
28 oz. good quality canned diced tomato w/juice
1 ½ C. diced onion
1Tbsp. chopped garlic
½ C. chopped celery
½ C. chopped peeled carrots
¼ C. dry basil
1 qt. vegetable or chicken broth
1 C. cream
2 C. cooked Massa Organics Brown Rice

Cook rice according to package direction and cool.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom 3 qt. pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots and cook for five minutes. Do not let the vegetables brown.
Add broth, tomatoes and basil. Cook until vegetables are very tender.
Warm cream.
Puree soup and add cream.
Season with salt and pepper. Adjust consistency with more broth.
Warm soup, add rice and serve.

(530) 891-4500

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ducks, ducks, ducks!

Ideas for new posts go through my head all the time, but few of them actually make it to the blog it seems. But today I have to tell you about the ducks. Every day for the last two weeks, we have had almost 1000 ducks in the fields surrouding the house--mostly mallards, but also lots of wood ducks, American widgeon, and two species of geese. It's fun to have so many birds around to welcome you home.

So, here's the reason the ducks are here. This is planting season in the Sacramento Valley, so all the rice fields are dry and being plowed to prepare the seedbed. I know it sounds odd, since rice grows in flooded soil, but rice grows much better if you dry out the soil thoroughly before you re-flood and plant. It has also been a very dry spring, so the natural wetlands have pretty much dried up and there is very little duck habitat out there. Here's where we come in: we actually did our seedbed preparation very early and quickly, and then flooded the fields. We're not planning to plant for at least a month, but I wanted to fool the weeds into thinking it was time to grow. My plan is to dry up the field again, and then lightly till the weeds to kill them. So, just when other farmers' fields look like duck deserts, ours look very inviting, full of water and nicely sprouting weeds for food. The ducks are a real asset this time of year. They eat and trample the weeds, and spread plenty of nice organic fertilizer around the field. The mallards are ground nesting birds--many of them will probably end up nesting in our adjacent wheat field because it has good cover and protection from predators for them. I expect to see lots of baby mallard back in our rice fields in a couple months!

Organic rice farmers have to play games like this, because weeds our our biggest production problem, and can literally wipe out a crop. Last year, we had 20 acres that we couldn't harvest because the weeds took over and destroyed the rice. So this year, we are switching methods of weed control and hoping to do a better job of it. I'll let you know how it goes.

Speaking of ducks, here's a shot of our new pet ducklings. The kids are having a great time with them. Our two year olds wake up in the morning asking about them!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Rice and Sesame Pancakes

A recipe sent to us by a farmers market customer...

Rice and Sesame Pancakes, adapted from The Pancake Handbook, by the cooks at Bette's Oceanview Diner

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbl baking powder
1.5 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract (optional)
1.5 - 2 cups cooked rice (my adaptation is to more than double the amount of rice called for. Their recipe only uses 1/2 cup.)
2 tbl toasted sesame seeds

Combine dry ingredients, minus rice and sesame seeds. Combine wet ingredients and stir into flour mixture. Add rice and sesame seeds. Cook in the normal way.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Summer Fiesta Salad

We got a jump on summer with the sample dish we served at the Chico farmers market this week. I've had a few requests for the recipe, so I'll post it here. It's a bit out of season for some of the ingredients still, so let me extend an apology to all the locavores out there. Unless you canned some fresh corn last summer, you may have to wait a while to make this dish.

Summer Fiesta Salad

2 cups Massa Organics brown rice (uncooked)
2 cups fresh corn (off the cob)
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
½ red onion, chopped

Dressing: Combine together:
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp, crushed garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice according to directions. If using fresh corn, boil for 3 minutes and cool. Combine ingredients in bowl and mix with dressing. Chill for at least 2 hours for flavors to set.

Recipe by Karen Avis, Fresh Approach Catering

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Recipe from the Ferry Plaza

Today's sample recipe from Boulettes Larder, served at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco, is fairly simple, but very delicious:

Massa Organics rice
Carrot tops sauteed in butter
Piment d’ Espelette, crushed

I had to do a bit of research on the Espelette pepper, as I hadn't seen it before. Apparently it is a "cultural and culinary icon" of the Basque region of Southwestern France. The taste was described to me as sweet and mildly spiced. Enjoy!