Today I am going to share with you a recipe that uses wild rice, but before I do that, what do you know about this little grain? Did you know that the wild rice in United States is mainly produced in Minnesota and a little bit in California? Wild Rice, which is Minnesota’s State Grain, is almost as old as history itself. In Minnesota it is cultivated by Native Americans who consider the grain a sacred component of their culture. It was always a staple in the diet of the Chippewa and Sioux Indians, native to this region. Wild rice is highly nutritional, very rich in proteins and fiber and very low in fat. It has a chewy texture and it is awesome cooked first and then tossed in a little bit of butter.
Also, another fact about this highly nutritious grain is that it is not actually rice, but an annual water-grass seed that grows abundantly in cold rivers and lakes of Minnesota and Canada.
As a proud Minnesotan, this recipe is part of my “artillery” when it comes to recipes for Thanksgiving. The wild rice and mushroom stuffing recipe makes an elegant alternative to ordinary bread stuffing. It is also great for vegetarians. It is richly flavored with two kinds of mushrooms that provide some protein and also vegetables. In my book, this stuffing makes it safely to the category “healthier Thanksgiving recipes”.
The recipe will satisfy a crowd and please everyone, vegetarians or not, and I hope you will all enjoy it as much as we did.
- 1 cup(6 ounces) wild rice rinsed
- 3¾ cups water
- 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 3 medium carrots peeled and cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 2 stalks celery cut into ¼inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms stems discarded, caps sliced
- 10 ounces white mushrooms trimmed and sliced
- 2 cups long grain brown rice
- 1 can(14 to 14½ ounces) chicken broth or vegetable broth, or 1¾ cups homemade broth
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- In a 2 quart saucepan, cook wild rice with 2 cups water. Boil over medium low heat, covered until rice is tender, for about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from the stove, drain the water if necessary.
- Add cranberries. transfer rice and cranberries to a baking dish(9x13 inches).
- In a nonstick 5 to 6 quart Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
- Add carrots, celery, and onion and cook until tender and golden, about 12-15 minutes.
- Stir in salt, thyme, pepper and cook for another 1 minute.
- Transfer to the baking dish.
- In same Dutch oven, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
- Add shiitake and white mushrooms and cook until tender, golden and liquid evaporates, about 12 minutes.
- Transfer to the same baking dish.
- In the same Dutch oven, bring the brown rice to a boil together with the remaining 1¾ cups water. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, for about 18-20 minutes.
- Stir the brown rice into the wild rice and vegetables.
- Cover with foil and bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.