6.3 Methods of Preparation – Cereal Grains

Objectives And Laboratory Problems

  • To prepare cereal grain dishes appropriate for a variety of menu uses.
  • To prepare a variety of pastas.

Prepare cereal grain and pasta dishes according to the following recipes.


Barley Casserole

2 tbsp. butter 1 tsp. beef bouillon granules
¼ cup chopped onions 1 cup hot water
¼ cup mushrooms, sliced 1 tbsp. pimiento
⅓ cup quick pearl barley dash pepper

Sauté onions, mushrooms, and barley in butter until onions are lightly browned.  Place in casserole dish with tight fitting lid.  Dissolve bouillon granules in hot water.  Stir in pimiento, pepper, and bouillon.  Cover and bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.



Polenta with Cheese

⅓ cup yellow cornmeal ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. salt 1 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
⅓ cup cold water 1 cup boiling water

Mix cornmeal, salt, and ⅓ cup cold water in saucepan.  Stir in 1 cup boiling water.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Spread ⅓ of the mixture in greased 1-pint casserole.  Sprinkle ⅓ of the Parmesan and Swiss cheeses over the cornmeal.  Continue to layer the cornmeal and cheeses two more times.  Bake uncovered in 350°F oven until hot and bubbly, 15-20 minutes.



Millet Casserole (Greece)

⅓ cup millet ½ egg
2 cups water 1 – 1½ tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. butter 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. whole wheat flour 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
⅓ cup milk ⅓ cup vegetable stock

Boil millet and water in covered saucepan until water is absorbed, about 35 minutes.

Prepare sauce in separate saucepan.  Melt butter.  Blend flour into melted butter.  Add milk and stock.  Heat to boiling.  Remove from heat.  Beat egg and lemon juice; add a small amount of the sauce to the egg mixture, and return all of the egg mixture to the sauce.  Heat until the egg thickens.  Remove from heat; after the mixture has cooled slightly, blend in half the cheese. Serve cooked millet in 1-pint casserole dish.  Pour sauce over the millet and top with remaining cheese and chopped parsley.



Squash, Corn, and Barley Succotash

1 cup water ½ cup quick barley
½ tsp salt 1 tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped onion 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ – inch cubes
½ cup chicken broth 1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp dried thyme, crushed ¾ cup whole kernel corn
2 tbsp. snipped fresh parsley

In a medium saucepan bring water to boiling. Add barley and ¼ tsp salt. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 40 minutes or until barley is tender, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a very large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the remaining ¼ tsp salt, squash, broth, pepper, and thyme.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until squash is just tender. Stir in corn; cover and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in barley and parsley; heat through.


Rice and Wild Rice:

Polished Rice

⅓ cup uncooked rice ⅛ tsp. salt
¾ cup water

Put rice, water, and salt in heavy saucepan; cover with tight fitting lid.  Bring to a full boil; reduce heat to very low boil and cook until done,[1] approximately 15-25 minutes depending on variety of rice and temperature.  (Add more water if necessary to prevent scorching.)


Fried Rice

¾ cup water ¼ cup cooked ham
⅛ tsp. salt ⅓ cup medium grain rice
1 tbsp. soy sauce 1 green onion, sliced
1 egg, slightly beaten 2 tsp. vegetable oil

Put rice, water, and salt in heavy saucepan; cover with tight fitting lid.  Bring to a full boil; reduce heat to very low boil and cook until done,[2] approximately 15-25 minutes depending on variety of rice and temperature.  (Add more water if necessary to prevent scorching.)

Sauté onions in oil until tender; remove onions from pan.  Add rice to pan and cook until hot (add more oil if necessary), 5-10 min.  Stir in onions, meat, soy sauce, and egg.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until eggs are cooked.  Pack rice into 1 pint baking dish; invert onto plate.


Fruit Pilaf

⅓ cup brown rice ¼ tsp. ground sage
¼ cup chopped onion ¼ tsp. ground thyme
2 tbsp. uncooked wild rice ⅛ tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. chopped celery ½ apple, cored, pared, and diced
1½ tbsp. butter ¼ cup dried chopped apricots
2 cups water 2 tbsp. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules

Sauté brown rice, onion, wild rice, and celery in butter in saucepan over low heat until onion is tender, about 10 minutes.  Add water, bouillon, sage, thyme, and pepper.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat and cover tightly.  Gently boil about 45 minutes, until rices are done.  Add more water if necessary to prevent scorching.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Heat to serving temperature.


Yellow Rice

½ tbsp. butter 1 tbsp. raisins
¼ cup polished long grain rice ½-inch to 1-inch cinnamon stick
⅛ tsp. turmeric ⅛ bay leaf
⅛ tsp. salt ⅔ cup water

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat; add the rice, and stir to mix.

Add remaining ingredients to pan; cover with tight fitting lid.  Bring to a full boil; reduce heat to very low boil and cook until done,[3] approximately 15-25 minutes depending on variety of rice and temperature.  (Add more water if necessary to prevent scorching.)


Rice with Vegetables

½ cup polished long grain rice 2 tbsp. fresh red pepper, chopped fine
1 cup water ¼  tsp. salt
2 tbsp. celery, chopped fine 1 tbsp. onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. broccoli, chopped 1 tbsp.  butter
2 whole mushrooms, chopped ½ tomato, blanched, peeled, and chopped
dash cayenne pepper

Boil rice, water, and ⅛ tsp. salt until rice is soft and water is absorbed.  In a small frying pan, sauté the onion in butter.  Add the tomatoes, red pepper, celery, and broccoli.  Sauté for 4-6 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.  Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.  Season with the remaining salt and the cayenne.

Add the rice to the vegetables and stir the mixture to combine.  Cook, stirring gently, until the mixture is thoroughly heated through.


Rice Pilaf (Armenia)

½ oz. vermicelli pasta, broken into 1-inch pieces 1 cup water
1 tbsp. butter ⅓ cup converted rice
1 beef bouillon cube OR 1 tsp. beef bouillon granules Worcestershire sauce (optional)

In small skillet, melt fat.  Add vermicelli and brown over low heat.  Stir frequently.  Add bouillon and water, and bring to a boil.  Stir in rice.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until done, approximately 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Worcestershire sauce may be added.


Wild Rice Supreme

2 tbsp. wild rice 2 tsp. butter
2 cups water ¼ cup condensed cream of mushroom soup
¼ cup converted rice 1 tbsp. diced onion
¼ cup half-and-half 1 tbsp. chopped green pepper
dash fines herbs dash curry

Rinse wild rice.  In covered pan, boil wild rice and water 25 minutes.  Add converted rice and cook until rice is soft, 25-30 minutes.  Add more water if necessary to avoid scorching.  Sauté onion and green pepper in butter.  Blend in soup, half-and-half, fines herbs, and curry.  Add rice and serve.


Fried Rice (India)

2 tbsp. slivered almonds 1 tsp. instant chicken bouillon granules
½ cup long grain polished rice ½ medium onion, chopped
½ tsp. curry powder 2 tbsp. butter
1⅛ cups boiling water ¼ cup raisins (optional)

Spread almonds on baking sheet.  Bake at 300oF until lightly browned.  Sauté rice and onion in butter until rice is yellow and onion is tender.  Stir in raisins, bouillon granules, and curry powder.  Pour into ungreased 1-pint casserole; add water.  Cover with tight fitting lid and bake in 350oF oven until liquid is absorbed, 25-30 minutes.  Stir in almonds.



Parmesan Gnocchi (Italy)

⅔ cup milk 6 tbsp. farina (Cream of Wheat)
2 tbsp. butter 1 egg, slightly beaten
¼ tsp. salt ⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz. tomato, pizza or spaghetti sauce

Heat milk, butter, salt and farina, stirring slowly but constantly.  Cook until mixture is very thick.  Cool slightly and stir in egg and half of cheese.  Chill until firm.  Form into balls with teaspoon and roll in remaining cheese.  Bake on greased baking sheet at 425oF until hot and light brown, about 10-15 minutes; turn once with spatula.  Heat sauce; serve separately.


Tabbouleh (Middle East)

½ cup bulgur ½ cup green onions, chopped fine
boiling water ¼ cup peeled, chopped tomato
1-2 tbsp.[4] fresh mint leaves, chopped fine 3 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine 2-3 tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Place bulgur in mixing bowl and add enough boiling water to barely cover.  Cover and let stand 30 minutes or until water is absorbed.  Cool bulgur and drain if necessary.  Stir in remaining ingredients.


Couscous (Moroccan Wheat)

1 tbsp. butter 2/3 cup chicken broth
½ cup couscous 1/3 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup fresh pea pods

Brown almonds in a bit of oil, be careful not to burn them. Set aside. Sauté pea pods until crisp tender, cool quickly under cold water, drain, pat dry and slice thin crossways. In top of double boiler, heat broth.  Add butter and let melt, add couscous, stir and continue to cook in double boiler.  Cover and stir several times, cooking 10-15 minutes until tender.  Add almonds and peas, heat through, adding more butter if desired. Fluff before serving.


Couscous (North Africa)

⅔ cup couscous ½ cup boiling water
⅓ cup raisins 1 tbsp. butter
¼ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. ground turmeric

Mix couscous, raisins and salt in 1-quart bowl; stir in boiling water.  Let stand until all water is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes.  Heat butter in skillet until melted; stir in couscous and ground turmeric.  Cook and stir until heated to serving temperature, about 4 minutes.



1 cup Quinoa 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 cup Water 2 tbsp. Olive oil
1 Zucchini, small, chopped 1 tsp sugar
½ red bell pepper, chopped Salt
1 Tbsp. Olive oil Pepper
2 tbsp. Lemon juice

Rinse quinoa by running water over grains in a saucepan.  Drain and add two cups of water and a dash of salt to the saucepan.

Bring the water to boil.  Simmer until water is absorbed (10-15 minutes).  When cooked, quinoa will be translucent.

In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add chopped bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes on medium heat.  Add chopped zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 more minutes.  Mix with quinoa.

Combine 2 tbsp. olive oil, lemon juice, parsley and sugar.  Mix well and add to quinoa.  Season with salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust the lemon juice and seasoning.


Quinoa Salad

1 cup dry quinoa 2 oz chopped dry apricots
1 cup vegetable broth 3 oz feta cheese, herb seasoned
½ medium cucumber, chopped 2 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup chopped red pepper 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
¼ cup chopped green pepper ½ tsp garlic powder
1 chopped green onions 1 cup chopped fresh spinach

Simmer quinoa in vegetable broth for 15 minutes or until tender and broth is absorbed.  Chill cooked quinoa 20 minutes.  Add cucumber, red and green peppers, green onions, apricots, and cheese.  Combine oil, vinegar and garlic powder and pour over quinoa and vegetables.  Fold in chopped spinach.


Asparagus Risotto

½ pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch lengths ¾ cup arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
2 ½ cups canned chicken broth ¼ cup water
1 Tbsp olive oil 3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup chopped onion ¼ cup + 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Blanch asparagus pieces in large pot of boiling, salted water 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse asparagus under cold water. Bring chicken broth to simmer in small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and keep broth hot. Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir 3 minutes. Add water and cook until liquid evaporates. Continue cooking until rice is tender but still slightly firm in center and mixture is creamy, add chicken broth ½ cup at a time, stirring almost constantly, about 20 minutes. Add blanched asparagus pieces and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter and stir until incorporated. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese. Season risotto to taste with salt and pepper.



Recipe Grain Type Is the Grain a Whole Grain? Appearance/Texture/Flavor
Barley Casserole
Polenta with Cheese
Millet Casserole
Squash, Corn, and Barley Succotash
Polished Rice
Fried Rice
Fruit Pilaf
Yellow Rice
Rice with Vegetables
Rice Pilaf
Wild Rice Supreme
Fried Rice
Parmesan Gnocchi
Couscous (Moroccan Wheat)
Quinoa Salad
Asparagus Risotto

  1. Rice is done when a kernel pressed between the fingers feels completely soft. Keep hot by putting rice in strainer over a pan containing boiling water.
  2. Rice is done when a kernel pressed between the fingers feels completely soft.
  3. Rice is done when a kernel pressed between the fingers feels completely soft.  Discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick.
  4. ½ tsp. dried mint may be substituted if fresh mint is not available, but the quality will not be as good.


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Basic Scientific Food Preparation Lab Manual Copyright © 2023 by Iowa State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.