|2/28/2013 11:50:00 AM|
Wild rice: nature's goodness
From the waterways of the Upper Midwest, “The Land of Lakes,” comes one of America’s greatest grains -- wild rice. Not a true rice, it is actually an aquatic grass. It is low in fat, high in protein, potassium and vitamin B. In its sealed package it will keep almost indefinitely. Cooked and well drained, it can be kept in the fridge up to a week, and frozen for 3-4 months.
When recipes call for three cups of cooked rice, use one cup of uncooked rice. When I cook wild rice, I always cook at least half of the bag, freeze it in two and three cup portions in freezer bags and it’s ready to use when a recipe calls for cooked rice. A huge time-saver as it takes 40-45 minutes to prepare. Of course, it’s recipes using wild rice.
CHICKEN AND WILD RICE HOT DISH
3 c. cooked wild rice (1 c. uncooked)
4 c. boiling water
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 c.)
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 t. salt 1/4 t. pepper
3 c. cooked, diced chicken
1-2 oz. jar chopped pimento, drained
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. heavy cream (whipping cream)
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
3/4 c. slivered almonds
Rinse rice in water; drain. Using a Dutch oven or a large kettle, add rice to boiling water. Cook, gently boiling, for 40-45 minutes, or until almost tender; drain. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute mushrooms and onion for five minutes. Add rice and rest of ingredients except cheese and almonds. Turn into a 9x13’ baking dish. Top with cheese and almonds. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Makes 8-10 servings. Note: You can freeze any leftovers. Reheat, thawed, in micro on medium heat.
BEEF AND WILD RICE CASSEROLE
1 lb. ground beef
3 T. butter or margarine
1-4 oz. jar mushrooms, drained
1/4 c. each, diced celery and sweet red pepper
1/2 c. diced onions 1 c. sour cream
2 T. soy sauce (regular or light)
3/4 t. garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/4 t. each, salt and pepper
3 c. cooked wild rice (1 cup uncooked)
3/4 c. sliced almonds, divided
In a large skillet, brown beef; drain and set aside. In same skillet, melt butter; saute next four ingredients. In a small bowl, combine next five ingredients; mix well. Stir into mushroom mixture. Gently stir in rice and 1/2 c. almonds. Turn into greased two quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Stir 2-3 times during baking. Garnish with almonds. Makes 4-6 servings.
CHEESY WILD RICE POTATO SOUP
1/2 c. uncooked wild rice (1 1/2 c. cooked)
6 slices of bacon
2 T. butter or margarine
3/4 c. diced onion
2 cans cream of potato soup
2 c. milk (not skim milk)
1-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 T. snipped fresh parsley - optional
Prepare rice according to package directions. In a medium saucepan, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. Dispose of drippings. Crumble bacon when it has cooled. In same saucepan, melt butter. Add onion and saute two minutes. In a medium bowl, combine soup and milk; add to onions. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Don’t cook on high heat as it can scorch and curdle. Reduce heat to low and fold in cheese and rice. Heat only until cheese is melted. Top with crumbled bacon. Sprinkle parsley over the top if you wish. Makes 4-6 servings. I think we need something to tickle our sweet tooth.
CHOCOLATE- DRIZZLED COCONUT PECAN BARS
1 stick (1/2 c.) butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1-1/4 c. flour, divided
1/2 t. baking powder
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1-1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecan
1-1/2 c. flaked coconut
1 square (1 oz.) semi-sweet baking chocolate, cut into small pieces
1/2 t. canola oil Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar; beat until fluffy. Gradually stir in 1 c. of the flour to make a crumbly dough. (Don’t beat for too long.) Press firmly over bottom of a grease 9x13’ baking pan. Bake 10 minutes, remove from oven. Lower temperature to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 c. flour and baking powder, mixing well. In mixing bowl, combine eggs and brown sugar; beat until well mixed. Stir in vanilla. Gradually beat flour mixture until well combined. Stir in pecans and coconut. Spread mixture over crust in pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until browned and firm in center. Don’t over bake! Remove to rack to cool. In a small heavy pan over low heat, melt chocolate with oil, stirring. Drizzle chocolate over bars. Cut into bars after chocolate has set. Makes three dozen bars. Note: You can melt the chocolate in the microwave on high about one minute. Stir after 30 seconds. When melted, stir in oil.
Thought for the Day: Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up. (Got that?)