Wednesday, February 3, 2010

There's More to Wheat than Bread... Cooking with Wheat Berries

Here are some more ways to use wheat berries. First is the recipe for basic cooked wheat berries.

Crockpot Wheat Berries

4 cups raw whole wheat
10 cups water
1 TBSP salt

Oil a large (4 quart or larger) slow cooker and fill with wheat, water, and salt. Cover and cook on low all night, 8-10 hours.

If you don't have a crockpot, here are 2 more ways to cook Wheat Berries!

Carroll Shelby’s Chili

1 package Carroll Shelby’s Chili Kit (found at walmart)
1 lb cooked hamburger
1 cup cooked wheat berries (red wheat works best, so it will "hide" in your meat)
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 (8 oz) cans water
2 TBSP sugar (optional)
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans

Mix together and simmer with cover on for about 15 minutes. For thicker chili, mix Masa flour (White Packet) with 1/3 cup water, stir in and let simmer for 5 more minutes. Carroll Shelby’s Chili Kit comes with cayenne pepper for some added spice, I don't use any. Serve over white rice topped with Fritos and cheese.

Wheat Berry Pineapple Chicken Salad
by Self Reliance by Jamie

1 can (15-1/4 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup mayonnaise
½ tsp salt
1 can (10 to 12½ oz) chicken, drained
½ cup slivered almonds
1 cup cooked whole wheat berries

Mix together the pineapple, mayonnaise, and salt. Add chicken, almonds and wheat. Stir well. Chill several hours before serving.

Wheat Berry Salad
Barefoot Contessa

1 cup cooked wheat berries
1 cup finely diced red onion (1 onion)
6 TBSP good olive oil, divided
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
3 scallions, minced, white and green parts
½ red bell pepper, small diced
1 carrot, small diced
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Saute the red onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.

In a large bowl, combine the warm wheat berries, sauteed onions, scallions, red bell pepper, carrot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes for the wheat berries to absorb the sauce. Season, to taste, and serve at room temperature.

Wheat Nuts (like Corn Nuts)
by Self Reliance by Jamie or Hillybilly Housewife

Cooked Wheat Berries

Make sure the wheat is well cleaned before you cook it. Drain the cooked wheat in a fine mesh strainer in the sink. Allow the wheat to sit in the strainer for about half an hour, to make sure it is as dry as possible.

Heat your oil up to 375F. Put in no more than 1/4-cup of cooked wheat at a time because the fat will bubble up something fierce. Fry the wheat for about 2 minutes. It won’t pop the way popcorn does, but it will puff up pleasantly. Remove the wheat from the hot oil and place it on a brown paper grocery bag or paper toweling to dry. Repeat until all the wheat is cooked. Salt the Wheat-Nuts and eat like sunflower seeds or peanuts.

If the wheat is chewy instead of crispy, it wasn’t fried long enough. Put it back into the oil (a little at a time) and fry it for another minute or two, until it is crispy. (Jamie always frys her's twice)

Check out Food Network for more great Wheat Berry recipes!

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