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Chris Hennes

Wild Rice Recipes

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I grew up in Minnesota, and my mom made a few different wild rice dishes when we were growing up. I was chatting with some friends about it a few minutes ago and was wondering what sorts of things others use wild rice in (besides serving it plain as a side dish). Do you have any family recipes to share, or good sources of ideas?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris,

To me wild rice had a nutty, earthy flavor so with that starting point I think it is great stuffed into fowl(s.) I usually cook 1/3 wild rice & 2/3 brown rice (by volume) seperately and mix together. For 1 cup of brown rice I slowly render 4-6 oz 1/4" cubed, home cured/smoke tasso ham in roasted garlic infused olive oil (2 Tbsp), add 1/3 cup of pine nuts and cook until beginning to lightly brown, add my rice and cook as for a pilaf. After a min over med heat I add 1/3 cups of dried cranberries and add my liq. (follow br. rice directions and add a couple Tbsp extra water for the cranberries.) Bake in a 350F oven for about 75 min.s Fluff w/ a fork, let cool w/ the cover on for about 10 mins, and then blend in the wild rice. I sometimes add minced fresh sage if on hand, really blends well w/ the earthy flavor of the wild rice. Could also use thyme. Also have done it w/ some chopped pecans for special dinners.

Looking forward to seeing some other ideas. Also, hopefully some comments on true wild rice vs. farmed regarding flavor, price, consistency of product, etc.


Tom Gengo

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i do a wild rice salad that folks love. sherry vinaigrette, chopped celery, green apple, red onion and hazelnuts, basically. the sherry vinegar really plays up the nutty flavor of the wild rice. i wish i had some right now...


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My favorites: mushroom and wild rice pancakes (sometimes topped with smoked salmon), turkey/vegetable/wild rice soup, pilaf and a salad that I do with wild rice, celery, dried cranberries, orange segments, toasted almonds and an orange/balsamic dressing.

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When one of my brothers-in-law visits his Ojibwa side of his family in Wisconsin, he is invariably loaded down with the real thing which he graciously shares with us. As a consequence, we haven't bought the stuff sold in supermarkets for years. We have a couple of soups we like to make with the rice, the most interesting of which also has corn and smoked sausage. We also sometimes stuff our Thanksgiving turkey with it.

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One of the coolest things I ever saw done with wild rice, well, it was red rice actually, but I suppose that it could work with wild rice as well, was cooking it using the risotto method and then finishing it with a lychee syrup and then adding diced duck confit with a puree of what was in the confit mix (preserved kumquats, ginger, onion). This is pretty specific, but there is certainly lots of room for variations... I loved the stuff, the result was a toothsome, sweet, salty and savory balance of flavors. In retrospect I'm a little surprised that the rice didn't get totally smashed up in the cooking process, but it didn't, I think that it may have been finished in a steamer in order to not have to stir it quite so much as you would if you were really going to do it risotto style.

Cool thread, wild, whole grain, brown, red, black, etc. rice is so tasty (and healthy), this is a nice chance to expand our repertoires!


Where's the coffee?

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I used to make a brunch casserole featuring wild rice, link sausages, mushrooms and almonds. Since I'm no longer catering, I don't have use for such a large amount anymore.


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Is there a difference, in taste or texture, between the wild rice which is harvested by indians and wild rice grown commercially?

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The wild rice I used to buy in a box was dark brown to almost black and shorter in length compared to the wild harvested rice I now get, which is dark tan to medium brown in color and longer. I think the wild rice has a nuttier flavor. Its downside is that it is easy to overcook and it then becomes very soft and watery.

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Do you have any family recipes to share, or good sources of ideas?

I like to add cooked wild rice to soups. Most common soups are chicken and cream of chicken. I add some sherry to the cream of chicken wild rice soup. I would imagine wild rice would go good with any soup to replace barley or any other grain.

Is there a difference, in taste or texture, between the wild rice which is harvested by indians and wild rice grown commercially?

In short, yes there is a difference. The biggest difference, in my opinion, is the color. Generally, commercially harvested wild rice is very black and shiny. This is due to how the commercial processors process the rice. They are able to keep the majority of the black seed coat on the grain. Also, the "wild" rice from commercial processors can be breed to be uniform size and harvested all at one time, so the sizes are usually more consistent. The grains are also graded by size and sold that way, which is why you can find small grained "wild" rice in rice mixes (so the "wild" rice cooks at the same rate as the white/brown/or other grains in the mix) and why you can buy just plain "wild" rice that is very long.

True wild rice usually is less black and more whiteish/gray. I believe this is due to the processing. When I go wild ricing, I send the rice to a local family that uses homemade machines to process the wild rice in small batches. Since the rice from each lake and stream can be different, I think it is hard for the small processors to make all of the rice consistent and inadvertently remove a lot more of the black seed coat than commercial processors do. Since I do not eat a lot of commercially grown "wild" rice, I cannot comment on the taste differences between wild rice harvested in the wild and commercially grown "wild" rice. I will quickly post a couple pictures of wild rice from last year (2009) and from other years to show the difference in color. Also, the color difference may be due to the location of harvest on the water (river rice vs. lake/paddy rice) and the location of the lake/river in Wisconsin.

Hope this helps!

David

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I was just harrassing a former boss to make our old Grilled Chicken Wild Rice and Lentil salad...It has

Wild rice

French lentils

sauteed diced onions

grilled chicken breast diced

and roasted sweet potato diced

the dressing has

apple cider vin

sugar

S&P

and vegetable oil

I like it best on the second/third day..the lentils really soak up the dressing

It is also great without the chicken

tracey


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Here are the pictures.

This is the 2009 harvest, next to a beer can to show the size. There is about five pounds in the bag. This picture also represents the color of the wild rice the best:

2009WildRiceLarge.jpg

Close up of 2009 wild rice:

2009Wildrice.jpg

2007 wild rice:

2007WildRice.jpg

2004 wild rice (I have no idea why I still have this from 2004, but oh well, it should still be good):

2004WildRice.jpg

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Sorry it has taken so long to post a wild rice recipe. But here is one for Mahnomin Porridge from Hell's Kitchen in Minneapolis, MN. I have not made the recipe yet, but I have heard very good things about the actual dish served at the restaurant. The link to the recipe: Mahnomin Porridge

Does anyone else have good wild rice recipes? The wild rice harvesting season will be starting in about 2-4 weeks. I will probably need more recipes to utilize the new harvest.

Thanks!

- David

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At one restaurant we used to make a wild rice timbale as a side dish. The rice was cooked in chicken stock pilaf-style with lots of diced carrots, celery and onion then, when cooled mixed into a rich savory custard batter (lots of cream and yolks, a little cheese), spooned into ramekins and baked in a water bath just until set. Unmolded on the plate for service. It was very popular.


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I made wild rice waffles with the shrimp part of shrimp and grits on top that was a hit in our house.

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My friend gave me a wonderful recipe for a wild rice salad. It is very forgiving. Essentially, you cook a box of wild rice according to the package directions (if you are using wild, wild rice then start with about a cup and a half of uncooked rice). While the rice is cooking, cook up about five pieces of bacon to crispy. Toast about a cup of chopped pecans. Chop up three or four scallions, or more if you like. Make a dressing of cider vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and molasses. Pour dressing over slightly warm rice. Allow to cool further then add in the pecans, bacon, scallions, plus a cup of dried cranberries (dried cherries are also nice here). Toss well and add in corn oil to taste (you can also make a regular viniagrette but the recipe uses this technique; you will probably use about 1/2 cup of oil to 1/4 c vinegar). Toss well. Good at room temp or chilled.

David, thanks for the interesting information and photos.

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I just received about 500g from a friend - I'm tempted to mix it in to regular jasmine rice as about 1/4 of the mix and cook it in a rice cooker. Will it come out too mushy this way? Based on the colour, I suspect it's been commercially processed, if that matters.

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Commercially grown wild rice tends to take much longer to cook than 'real' rice.

I would NOT try cooking it together with jasmine rice, either in terms of flavor compatibility or cooking times.

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I do have a favorite cold wild rice salad.

Cook wild rice and make a dressing of olive oil, garlic, dijon, shallots, celery seed, white pepper, salt and parmesan. Pour over warm rice, chill. Add grape tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, sweet red pepper, scallions and peas (the peas at the last minute).

I am originally from Minnesota so I do have many WR recipes, but this is the one I make the most.

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I just received about 500g from a friend - I'm tempted to mix it in to regular jasmine rice as about 1/4 of the mix and cook it in a rice cooker. Will it come out too mushy this way? Based on the colour, I suspect it's been commercially processed, if that matters.

I would not cook "regular" rice and wild rice together. However, the two grains may cook in a similar amount of time if the wild rice is the same size or smaller than the regular rice (wild rice mixes from the store use small wild rice grains that can cook in the same amount of time as the other rice/grains). So, if your wild rice is the same size/smaller than your regular rice, then it might be OK for cooking times. Flavor combination is another matter.

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I do have a favorite cold wild rice salad.

Cook wild rice and make a dressing of olive oil, garlic, dijon, shallots, celery seed, white pepper, salt and parmesan. Pour over warm rice, chill. Add grape tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, sweet red pepper, scallions and peas (the peas at the last minute).

I am originally from Minnesota so I do have many WR recipes, but this is the one I make the most.

Thanks runwestierun for the recipe! It sounds really good. I had a wild rice cold salad for the first time this spring and it was very good, but your recipe sounds better.

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