Cool crisp autumn air, it’s such a vibrant time of the year. The bounty of the harvest is layed in the cupboards for the cold days ahead. Gatherings in the pumpkin patch bring giggles and grins. Last but not least the smells of fresh baked apple pies and dumplings waft through the air. All these memories remind me of why fall is my favorite time of the year. Chili suppers, soup beans and cornbread, leaf piles, ‘real’ apple cider, hay bales and camp outs. I had better stop before I pack my tent and head to the nearest campground! I DO wish this season could last for three months instead of a mere two.
Today one of the concerns for cooks is knowing exactly what’s going in a dish.
Just this past week an announcement was made by a major food corporation regarding labeling. They no longer desire to carry products where the manufacturer doesn’t disclose EVERY ingredient on the label. This week’s recipe is my first stab at revising some of my old dishes calling for pre-made canned products.
The Wild Rice Dish first appeared in my cookbook, ‘Simply Yours’. Since that writing times have changed and I’m taking a closer look at the labeling. Originally the recipe called for two cans of commercial canned soups. My attempt was to recreate this dish and make it fresher and better.
Should you wonder what main entrée to serve with the rice dish let me just throw a few ideas your direction: Pork chops, pork loin, grilled chicken, turkey, even a rib eye steak. A dish of baked squash, wild rice, pork chops, apple chutney and apple strudel. Oh my goodness I’m thinking I’m going to have to start cooking because this is sounding awfully good.
Plenty of options have been given in the recipe for changing the ingredients around in the dish. Celery, water chestnuts, nutmeats, dried fruit even meat would be great alternatives.
It may be tempting to switch the brown rice out for white in this recipe, but I wouldn’t. The health benefits will be outstanding with the brown providing more fiber and better protein. Remember to rinse the rice before cooking to remove any extra starches.
Since I’ve now worked myself into the need to cook I’d best close the column and head for the kitchen. Have a glorious week. Simply yours, The Covered Dish.
Wild Rice Dish
1/2 cup wild rice
1/2 cup brown rice
Water for rinsing rice
2 tablespoons butter
(1) Cup diced red pepper
1 small onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms, diced lightly
4 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons low sodium beef base
(Or use 2 tablespoons of No sodium, Herb Ox and add 1 teaspoon of salt.)
3 cups boiling water
6 tablespoons butter
Rinse the rice until the water runs clear removing extra starch. Set to the side to drain. In a saucepan melt the 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the red peppers and onion. Add the mushrooms and cook until ingredients are mostly done. Add the dry sherry and allow a quick reduction. Add the beef base to the water and whisk to blend. In the microwave bring the beef mixture to a boil. In a Dutch oven place the vegetables, boiling beef water, rice and remaining 6 tablespoons of butter. Place in an oven set at 375 degrees. Cook for 30 minutes, at this time you should stir the rice. Replace the lid and cook for another 30 minutes.
In an hour your rice should be done, if it is not continue cooking at 5-10 minute intervals until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
This recipe first appeared in my cookbook, ‘Simply Yours’, where the dish called for commercial soup. Since that time I have attempted to re-write recipes using canned soups, due to the sodium content and unknown additives.
There is plenty of room to play with the ingredients. I would consider adding celery, green onion, walnuts, water chestnuts and dried fruits.