This past summer I wrote a recipe for a side dish of lemon pilaf. With just a little bit of innovation it has now become a ‘winter’ wild rice pilaf. Any time we sauté rice the word ‘pilaf’ can be incorporated in the name. This one is just delicious and it accompanies meat dishes from beef to turkey. I made it this past week in a batch 5 times the size of the usual recipe. What I thought I would do is share what I learned making all this rice for a party of 35 guests.
Mainly if you’re preparing this much rice pilaf you must start at least 2 hours before the event. I started about 2 ½ hours before the dinner making five batches. With the wild rice there is a good chance the white rice will get done and the wild will remain chewy. True to word when I finished each recipe the wild rice was still a bit crunchy. Turn an oven or warming drawer to about 180 degrees. Make sure the containers of rice are sealed tightly with foil. Sitting them inside the low temperature oven helps the wild rice finish softening due to the steam process. We held ours for about an hour and fifteen minutes before serving. This also gives the hostess time to prepare before the guests arrive!
I sat down this past week and ate a small portion of the dinner I was presenting with the pilaf. Wild rice soup, crab stuffed mushroom caps, steak, bacon wrapped green beans, cranberry relish, horseradish sauce, rice pilaf, hot rolls and cheesecake for dessert. One of my employees said it was their favorite dinner.
It presents nicely and has a good balance. You are going to be able to accompany the rice with not only beef but also pork, turkey and chicken. If leftovers are a problem you could also add a meat to the pilaf and call it a main entrée.
I have to chuckle as I sit back and look at the past week. One morning I put my dress pants on inside out. The following morning I put my coat on inside out and proceeded to walk around in this fashion. It wasn’t until two very nice ladies tapped me on the shoulder and told me that I even figured it out. Last night I came home and asked where all the milk went? We had just purchased a new gallon the night before. About two hours later Ervin, my husband, opened up the cabinet to get a glass and there sat the gallon of milk! Our son, Phillip, was tired and had Oreos and milk just before bed. He was really tired! Then there was Ervin, who misplaced two sets of keys, which were both found in unusual places. (Santa is giving Ervin a key finder for Christmas!)
Therefore this week just has to be better all the way around the horn! We host a big event at our home this week and the entire family is looking forward to the festivities.
Should I also state that 80% of the holiday shopping is done, just not wrapped!
It’s just a beautiful season. And…I have a vacation day this week, which means I get to attend a family Christmas event on Sunday. It’s all good, so good. Enjoy the week and pray for snow!
Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Wild Rice Pilaf
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup wild rice
2 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons salted butter
5-6 green onions, chopped fine
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot or red pepper
3 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped fine
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried craisins
1 1/3 cups white long grain rice, rinsed
2 3/4 cups beef stock
1 large orange, juiced and zested
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon savory spice leaves
In large sauce pan sauté wild rice over medium heat in 2 tablespoons of butter. Add 2 cups of beef stock and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and add onion, carrot and pecans.
Toast until nutmeats are lightly browned.
While cooking begin rinsing white rice. Drain the rice and add to saucepan. Cook rice until it begins to turn translucent, now add garlic and sauté without over cooking. Add chicken stock, craisins, juice from (1) large orange (2-3 tablespoons), salt, pepper and savory spice. Stir the mixture to a boil stage until there’s no stock left in the pan, when the pan is tilted. Zest the orange and ‘fluff’ into the rice. Serves 4-6 persons.
Serve with beef, pork or chicken. You may consider adding the meat to the dish!
– Debbie Dance Uhrig