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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Wild Rice Month and tasty casserole recipe

September is often referred to as wild rice month. Wild rice is a semi aquatic grass that historically has grown in lakes, tidal rivers and bays, in water between 2 and 4 feet dep. There are only 2 commonly eaten grains native to north America wild rice is one and corn is the other. Grown in the U.S. traditionally around the great lakes area. Grown in the wetlands of north-central North America for ages. Here it must be harvested in the Native American manner with those that have skills. Wild rice is also grown in California and is commercialized. It is harvested by draining the bogs and having special combines collect the ripe grains.
Now that you know a bit about Wild Rice why not eat some. This delicious casserole reminds me of an autumn dish and is chocked full of yumminess


1 cup short or long grain brown rice
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup Riesling or Chenin Blanc Wine, divided
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
3/4 cup Sun-Maid California Apricots, slivered
3/4 cup Sun-Maid California Pitted Prunes, quartered
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green onions
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup chopped parsley

COMBINE rice, chicken stock, 1/2 cup wine, 1 tablespoon butter and salt in a 3-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 50 to 60 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork.
COMBINE apricots, prunes and remaining 1/2 cup wine in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir occasionally until liquid is absorbed.
MELT remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet. Add celery, onions, basil and thyme. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
ADD celery mixture, fruits, walnuts and parsley to rice. Stir to combine.
HEAT briefly over low heat and serve immediately. Or, make up to 2 hours ahead; spoon into a buttered baking dish. Cover and heat in 325 F oven for 30 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.
recipe source here

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