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31 March 2008

wild rice

wild rice

We have been eating our share of rice around here lately.

For years -- literally, years -- my wonderful sister-in-law has been quietly suggesting to me, "You really should buy the rice cooker we have." A sleek, sly model, which makes almost no sound, their rice cooker turned out fragrant, steamed rice every time. Having enjoyed a perfect mound of white rice in my brother's home almost every visit, I put the rice cooker on my wish list at Amazon. Someday.

But I never did buy it. You see, I had bought a much less expensive, far less fashionable rice cooker, in a fit of needing to save money. It worked. Sure, the bowl quivered a bit, as the rice bubbled and toiled. And the bottom coil looked more like a rust collection over the months than something that cooked food. Still, I owned it. And then we owned it, when the Chef moved in. We made do.

Then, one night, the damn thing exploded. The Chef plugged it in, and sparks came out of the cord. I shrieked, he leaped, and it jumped away from the wall. We stood there together, panting in fear, waiting for it to come to life and attack us. It sat there, inert. We put it in the recycling bin, eventually.

And then we meant to buy another rice cooker. But the last six months of our life have been a little busy. We waited. We made do with a small copper pot with a lid. After all, what did people do before rice cookers? Surely we didn't need something that newfangled, right?

Then, I started craving rice. For three weeks, all I wanted was a heaping bowl of steamed white rice, with homemade butter, and Maldon salt. It calmed me. I suppose it was bland enough to help with the nausea. It tasted so good. And I dreamed of a machine that could simply make rice for me, something to keep mounds of rice warm and ready for my edible adventures.

So I went online and bought the Sanyo ECJ-F50S Micro-Computerized 5-Cup Rice Cooker and Steamer My sister-in-law was happy when she walked in the door a couple of weeks ago and saw this sitting on the kitchen counter. I am so happy when I see it gleaming near the sink.

Ah, rice.

Whenever someone says to me, "Oh, I'm so sorry you can't eat wheat," I just think, "No problem. I have rice." I swear, as I write this, I am scooping up the last of a fresh-made artichoke risotto, with roasted lamb and briny black olives. Yeah, I'm deprived.

Give me basmati rice, which is grown in India, at the base of the Himalayas. Inherently, it has a slightly nutty taste. Even though it is a white rice, it has a hint of brown-rice taste. Jasmine rice, which originates in Thailand, is generally less expensive than basmati rice. It also smells woodsy, a little nutty, and something — I swear — a little like Playdough. You know that you are eating food closer to the ground than boil-in-a-bag when you eat jasmine rice. Each long-grain rice has its own taste, so I vary the type I use depending on what I am cooking. Curries? Basmati rice. Seared meats with sauces? Jasmine.

And honestly, I'd be happy at breakfast every morning with a steaming bowl of mochi rice — sticky and saturated with starches — sprinkled with gomasio and topped with quivering poached eggs. Heaven.

Still, all that white rice lacks a certain nutrition. So lately, I've been playing with wild rice.

The Chef cooks with it all the time at the restaurant. A few months ago, he was making a roasted quail with wild mushrooms and port sauce. A couple of months later, it was roasted chicken with Seville oranges, wild rice, and bacon. And a few nights ago, he spontaneously created a wild rice with fresh thyme, caramelized onions, and bacon for us. (Again, yes, I am deprived, because I cannot eat gluten.)

As you may know, "wild rice" is a strange moniker, considering that this ingredient is actually an aquatic grass. But the name has stuck, so let's run with it. Its slightly nutty taste and pleasingly springy texture makes it the perfect fodder for any number of other foods.

Heidi just put up a spring wild rice salad recipe on her site, and the photograph alone makes me dizzy to try it.

But I will admit this — I don't know that many variations on cooked wild rice. I'd love to vary my options, since I'm clearly going to be eating plenty of it now.

Do you have any favorite suggestions?


At 12:10 AM, Blogger Kate said...

Shauna - I'm a MN girl - I've got all the wild rice recipes you can handle!
I'll email one to you tonight.

It was lovely to meet you tonight - I hope your class went well and the ride home was a breeze and safe.

aka Gluten Free Gobsmacked

At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe this doesn't fall under "wild rice", but I love Forbidden Rice Salad:

(Forbidden Rice is a black short rice)

1 cup (1/2 lb.) raw forbidden rice (Whole Foods or other natural foods stores)
5 1/2 cups defatted Chicken Stock or water (I use equal parts)
1 cup shelled pecan halves – coarsely chopped
1 cup yellow raisins
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
grated rind of 1 large orange
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
4 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Put rice in strainer and run under cold water; rinse thoroughly.

Place rice in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Add stock or water and bring to a rapid boil.

Adjust heat to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes, check for doneness; rice should not be too soft. Drain rice well, but do not rinse. Transfer rice to a bowl.

Add remaining ingredients to rice and toss gently. Let stand for 2 hours to allow flavors to develop. (Salad will taste too salty until the flavors have developed, don’t panic)

Serve at room temperature.


At 1:22 AM, Blogger raiuchka said...

Hi Shauna, thanks for your blog. Here's my favorite thing to do with wild and brown rice. It's a simplified version of a Russian interpretation of an Uzbek pilaf (phew!), made in the pressure cooker.

A head of roasted garlic
unrefined sunflower oil (available in Russian or Ukrainian shops; very fragrant)
1 large onion, sliced into thick rings
2 carrots cut into 1/4-in. matchsticks (~2 cups).
1 pound beef chuck, in 1-in. cubes.
1 Tbsp. whole coriander seed
1 Tbsp. whole cumin seed
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 C. wild and brown rice blend
1.5 C. beef broth
flat-leaf parsley

In the pressure cooker, saute the onion and carrot in sunflower oil until softened and the onion starts to turn golden. Remove; brown the beef. Stir in coriander, cumin, and paprika. Add a cup of rice and continue stirring for a minute or so. Stir in a cup and a half of beef broth. Top with the onions and carrots, close the cooker, bring to pressure, and cook for the amount of time specified in your manual (mine takes about 30 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, top with the roasted garlic and chopped flat-leaf parsley.

It's not as good as the slow-cooked kind made from white rice, where you get crispy areas of rice and you can let the onions and carrots caramelize on the very bottom of the pan, but it's a lot easier and more healthful.

At 4:06 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

I just made Heidi's wild rice dish last night for dinner.... That would be my suggestion. Yumeee.

At 4:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have recently added wild rice to my list as well. It really adapts well to many things. For a hot cereal I cook it in juice and add fruit. Orange juice and zest mixed with cranberries really packs a punch with flavor.(Great for oatmeal as well!!)Applejuice with raisins and chinese 5 spice when I want something more nostalgic.Enjoy!

At 4:50 AM, Blogger vegetablej said...

Don't have a recipe for wild rice yet since I've just arrived back from Japan but have to reccommend the Japanese short-grained brown (organic) rice. It's got some of the chewy texture of wild rice and a lot of its own charm, with an earthy taste that is great with gomashio, or as I like it, with a sprinkling of sea salt, sesame seeds - black or white, a hint of toasted sesame oil, AND black pepper.

It's full of B vitamins too and is great with stir fries, Asian food, and stands up to being put into soup. It's great in miso soup.

It may be hard to find in North America, though. Not sure yet but going to try to search it out in a few Asian groceries here in Vancouver.

Love rice and this post with the rice cooker recommendation is timely. I wasn't able to ship my rice cooker, so looking around for a replacement. Thanks!

At 4:58 AM, Blogger David said...

I was talking to someone from the California Rice Board and told them if they really wanted to increase their sales, they should send everyone in America a rice cooker.

How I miss mine!
: (

(btw: Next time you're in a Asian market, try Korean rice. It's not the brown rice you're looking for, but I love it!)

At 5:42 AM, Blogger Kelley Riebel said...

Somewhere in the nineties, I briefly dated a guy from Minnesota. When visiting, I had the opportunity to meet his aunt, a cool lady who served this amazing cream of wild rice soup. Chicken broth, wild rice, butter, salt, pepper, and really great cream. It's been a decade, at least, but man I remember that soup.

At 5:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love wild rice soup. Most often I make a creamy milk-based soup, but last week I made Curried Wild Rice and Squash Soup and I really enjoyed it.

At 6:26 AM, Blogger CatherineMarie said...

I actually made a variation of her salad for lunch for work on Sat. I used the wild rice, added peas, red pepper, and used sunflower seed butter. I also toasted some almonds and scattered those over the top.

Today I played with it by adding green beans with the sunflower seed butter.

Speaking of rice, has anyone ever had any luck with mochi (the rice stuff that is supposed to bake up in nice squares...mine always ends up with squares with phallic-looking ejections!

At 6:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do something really simple with wild rice - simply cook some in your rice cooker, but use some gluten free chicken stock instead of water, and also add half an onion chopped up and a couple of cloves of finely chopped garlic. While its cooking poach some chicken thighs. Chop up the chicken, add to the cooked rice mix and voila! Yummy lunch (or dinner).

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Courtney said...

Hi Shauna!

I like wild rice in soups, a LOT. A red cabbage soup, sweet and sour with brown sugar and rice vinegar, with maybe an anise star thrown in there for good measure, a hint of heat from red chiles and sturdied up with wild rice is satisfying on a wet march day. I think wild rice hits the perfect balance between brown and white - it's not as heavy feeling as brown can be in a soup, and it doesn't feel like a filler the way white rice can.

At 6:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I make a rice parmesan. It is fast and easy and the kids love it, (and I am lazy.) I mix rice, tomato sauce (ragu,) ricotta or cottage cheese, and mozzarella. It is especially easy to make when extra dinner guests are over, and you need more food in a pinch!

I have been wanting to buy a good rice cooker for a long time. It is time for me to venture beyond the world of Uncle Ben's.

At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I see now that my suggestion did not apply to the request for wild rice suggestions! I have a suggestion that may sound off, but I would love to have some kind of wild rice with scrambled eggs and cheddar. I am trying to find a substitute for matzah in the matzah brei.

At 7:08 AM, Blogger Pioneer Mom said...

Not a favorite suggestion but when I was in Manila we ate garlic rice for breakfast every morning. I'm still not sure just how they did it but it was the most perfect rice I have ever had. I'm glad you got the rice cooker...I love mine to pieces.

I have not commented in a while but congrats on your soon coming little one.

Sarah in Missouri

At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love, love, love rice. I didn't grow up eating it much, but now that I cook a lot of Indian/Thai food I eat it at least twice a day. I must easily have ten kinds of rice in my pantry.

I have kind of a crappy rice cooker, but I've been hesitant to get a more expensive one. This is tempting though.

At 7:24 AM, Blogger jennsquared said...

I'm not from MN, but my future Step MIL is! She made this awesome wild rice soup on Thanksgiving couple of years ago and it's been a staple in the house (we put the most used recipe on the fridge and that one along with a real Italian meatball sauce and a grown up mac and cheese had been on it for a long time) I can email you the recipe tonight if you want! :)

At 7:30 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

Chicken and wild rice soup is a wonderful thing. There are creamy recipes perfect for the last cold days and brothy recipes that dream of summer farmers markets. I'll dig mine up for you tonight. And as it seems to be a theme, I am also a Minnesotan.

At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your article on rice! I loved having it during pregnancy (except I had it with warmed milk, butter, and sugar). I was so disappointed when my doctor modified my diet because of gestational diabetes. :-( Luckily, everything went well and my husband and I have a beautiful, 13 month old baby girl. She is the light of our life, and I hope your Little Bean brings you as much illumination.

Here is a favorite soup recipe of mine. I hope you like it. Thanks for a wonderful blog!

Wild Rice Soup with Bacon
1 pound ground beef with browning from a pan
1 onion, chopped lightly
4 cups cooked wild rice
2 cups of milk
2 cups of half and half
3 cups water
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 lb of fried and crumbly bacon
1 tsp of basil
1 tsp of oregano
2 cups fresh beef broth
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Pour the liquids into the soup pot, then carefully place the solid ingredients into the liquid. Delicately sprinkle the herbs and spices over the ingredients, being careful not to mix them until just before serving. Cook on the stove until done.

At 7:52 AM, Blogger sweetpea said...

You have a lot of MN readers, including yours truely! I have that same ricer cooker, starchy steam escaping out of the vent, cakes a crusty bottom on the rice in the cheap inset! I have been looking on line at new ones for two weeks. Your new one looks great! Hailing from the land of wild rice I have too many ideas, many of which have already been mentioned. Of course authentic basmati is a favorite with Indian food. I do favor brown and wild rice for the nutritional value but noting tops a steaming bowl of ordinary white rice with butter and salt. Sometimes a girl just needs some comfort food.

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Rachael Narins said...

Word of the day.

Oryzivorous - A rice eater.

Heh heh.

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Autumn Hoverter, MS, RD said...

Hi Shauna- love the blog! The simplest way I know to prepare wild rice is to cook it and then add it to any fresh salad with any dressing. Delish!

At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with vegetablej - I love the short grain organic brown rice. It wasn't hard to find. It was in the "healthy" section of my local supermarket, Kroger.

I pair it with wild rice in my Minnesota wild rice soup, which I now thicken with arrowroot instead of flour. It's made with carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, chicken stock, chicken, milk or cream and your thickener of choice. ometimes I top mine with slivered almonds.

It's cold in Indiana today. Sounds good right now!

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Erin Elizabeth said...

Others have hinted at it, but the absolute BEST wild rice in the world is from Minnesota, specifically Native Harvest:

Cooks up like a dream, and quick, too. If you love wild rice, it's totally worth it. If you think you don't love wild rice, try this, and it will change your mind. I don't live in Minnesota anymore, and so I've only got one little bag of Native Harvest in my cupboard, waiting for the perfect recipe.

Has anyone else had any luck using a slow cooker as a rice steamer? I found a recipe, but it doesn't seem to be working for me-burnt on the edge and mushy in the middle.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger SBrin said...

I always cook my rice in homemade stock, usually veggie stock. It boosts the flavor of plain rice so much. I also like to use leftovers to make a healthy and hearty fried rice. It's a great way to use up cooked rice, and you can put pretty much any type of veggies in there. Sometimes I throw in some cooked, crumbled bacon at the end. I use Mark Bittman's recipe (very loosely) and I really like it.

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always eaten a ton of rice. It has to do with growing up in New Orleans. People eat a lot of rice in New Orleans. We keep about four different varieties of rice in bulk here. Jasmine is my everyday rice. It lends itself perfectly to Louisiana dishes such as Jambalaya.

My favorite way to eat wild rice is in soups. Last week I made a Middle Eastern style split pea soup (think lots of mint and lemon) and served it over a scoop of Black Japonica rice. It was beautiful and tasty. In the summer, I'll serve the same dish with a swirl of cucumber-yogurt on top to cool it off a bit.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger jbeach said...

I have got THE recipe for you! I found it on another food blog (can't recall which one right now) and it is FABULOUS. It has somewhat autumnal flavors (as you can infer from the title), but I'm sure you will adapt as you see fit. As for me, I did serve it at Thanksgiving and stuffed it inside a hollowed out Turban Squash. And I used this Trader Joe's Wild Rice and no plain brown rice.
Oh, lordy!

Here it is:
"Best Thanksgiving Side Dish Ever
It's like forest nymph manna, full of fruity, nutty, herby goodness. It makes you feel like a mighty forager in some wooded area, cooking up the bounty of the earth.
2 cups brown rice
1 cup wild rice
9 cups veg broth
2 tbsp. rich, creamy, delicious, irreplaceable butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 handful chopped celery
1 large cooking apple, skin-on, cored and diced
2 handfuls of dried apricots
1 handful almonds, coarsely chopped
1 glass of white wine
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
2 more tbsp. fresh, scrumptious butter

In a large pot, cook brown rice and wild rice together, substituting veg stock for water, according to directions.

Heat a large pan over medium flame. Melt butter. Saute onion, celery and apple til translucent. Dice each dried apricot into 3 pieces. In a separate dry heated pan, toast the chopped almonds til golden brown. Add wine to onion celery apple pan, and pick up the brown bits with your spatula. Add the apricots and cook a minute or two until they plump up a little. Add almonds, herbs and butter and remove from heat. Fold fruity nutty herby mix into cooked brown and wild rice. Serves a lot."

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Sally Anderson said...

I don't have any good wild rice recipes nor do I have a rice cooker. But I do have a question. Did you or can you make risotto in a rice cooker? Thanks. --Sally

At 10:06 AM, Blogger caroline said...

I don't know, a rice cooker just seems like unncessary kitchen equipment to me. It's pretty damn easy to make rice in a saucepan. I know people who own tons of kitchen gadgets, but to my knowledge none of them own a rice cooker.

So what makes it worth all the valuable kitchen space it takes up?

At 10:14 AM, Blogger babysteps said...

2 ideas:
1- wild rice with sage, add butter and sauteed mushrooms when done.

Works as a side dish or as a stuffing or dressing (my mother always did wild rice dressing at Thanksgiving - she did 1/2 wild rice, 1/2 brown rice, cooked in chicken broth, with mushrooms, and lots of "poultry seasoning" (whose main flavor is sage), served with butter

2-with eggs - can either mix a little egg in leftover wild rice and saute (kind of like rice pancakes or fritters), or make a veggie scramble and put some rice in plenty of eggs. Tasty either way!

At 10:16 AM, Blogger babysteps said...

oh, and I forgot to mention - Lundberg sells an organic *brown* basmati - Whole Foods carries it - so you can be 'whole grain' and basmati all at once :)

At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get the rice cooker thing. It's so easy to make rice without one. What is the advantage? Yes, I have tried several, though not the classy model.

Anyway, I recommend trying making rice in a pressure cooker. It's especially great for speeding up the prep of longer cooking brown rices and is great for risotto. For easy serving and cleanup you can cook the rice in a small casserole inside the pressure cooker. And the great thing is that it can be used for all sorts of other foods as well.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Haf Dozen Reasons....... said...

For breakfast or any meal we have Rice'n Raisins.
Just add raisins to your rice when you cook it. We eat a bowl of it topped with brown sugar,cinnamon, and milk. Yummm!
Super simple and super good! Any leftovers of the Rice'n Raisins can be used to make a rice pudding.

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best thing I ever did was get a rice cooker! Otherwise, I was always getting distracted and burning the rice (or having it overflow).

I make a comination brown rice and wild rice pilaf with orange juice and zest, scallions, nuts, dried cranberries, olive oil, mint and cook the rices separately in stock before combining with the other ingredients. Sometimes I use the Trader Joe rice with Daikon radish seeds, etc, which is so delicious and textured.

Other times, I cook rice (especially basmati or brown basmati) in light coconut milk, and add scallions. This is yummy, too!

Now I want your recipe for the Artichoke Risotto! (After reading about artichokes over on Orangette today, I am craving artichokes and lemons!)

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Gluten Free...licious! said...

Here's one of my favorites. My friend who invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner made this knowing that I would enjoy it because it was gluten-free! I love it anytime, not just at Thanksgiving!

Corn & Wild Rice Pudding
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 cup whipping cream
2/3 cup milk
4 ears sweet corn, blanched & kernels removed from cobs, about 3 cups corn (frozen will also work)
1 cup cooked wild rice
3 scallions, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I add a little more)
1/8 tsp. grated fresh nutmeg
1/2 tsp. butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl combine eggs, egg yolk, whipping cream & milk, whisk well to combine. Add all remaining ingredients except butter & mix well. Grease a 7x11 or 8x12 casserole with the butter. Pour ingredients into prepared casserole & bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until custard is set & golden brown on top. Serve warm.

Hope you enjoy it!

Lisa :)

At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my all-time favorite for wild rice and squash. Great company dish. I use toasted pecans instead of hazelnuts.

At 12:05 PM, Blogger jenA said...

Honey, if you could find a way to make wild rice mochi, with maple syrup or honey, that would be awesome.

My all-time favorite rice moment was discovering mochi in Honolulu's Chinatown on vacation last year. I was so excited to find something sweet AND gluten-free that I smiled all the way back to the hotel.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger k said...

Man you guys are making me crave rice again! We don't each much if it in my house as the partner dislikes it for some strange reason (I shouldn't complain as there's not much else he doesn't like), but you are giving me good ideas for the nights he is away! Sorry I don't have much to contribute on my end as I've adapted most of my rice recipes to now use other ingredients.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Jodie Cope, Licensed Acupuncturist and Health Coach said...

We eat tons of Wild Rice. I do live in Northern MN and my little girl can't eat gluten but she sure loves WR. We love it in soups and it lends itself especially well to asian flavors. I grew up right next to 2 different Reservations and my dad often bartered with the Native American families for business. We had those giant rubber maid garbage cans full of wild rice all the time!

I love to cook up wild rice sautee some mushrooms and onions with a little shaosing wine (or sherry) and mix it all together. Add soy sauce or salt to taste (gluten free of course)
Then top it off with broiled tofu made with soy sauce, shaosing wine, toasted sesame oil and olive oil.
We are vegetarians but most of my extended family thinks the only way to eat wild rice is with a lovely roasted duck on the side. It sounds so gourmet unless you live up here and have a freezer full of ducks and garbage cans full of wild rice!

Thanks for your blog, I love it.
I have loads of wild rice recipes if you want more.

At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my favorite recipes is wild rice and butternut squash. Here's the recipe:

I substitute toasted pecans for the hazelnuts. This is a great dish for company.

At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom has that same rice cooker and I literally *covet* it. It's an amazing appliance.

My favorite use of wild rice is mixing it about half&half with long grained white and then serving homemade beef stroganoff over it. The wild rice adds a little nuttiness and a little chewiness . . . pure heaven.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

Isn't regular (non-wild) rice also an aquatic grass? :)

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Apostle to Suburbia said...

I am envious. My rice cooker (ancient, like 30+ years old, belonged to my husband's grandmother) finally expired last year. I've been cooking rice in my smaller enameled cast iron pot ever since. Works pretty fine, although the bottom rice scorches about half the time. We always make our rice sticky, not fluffy.

But why I am envious is this: you put your rice cooker in the recycling bin? Is Seattle so far advanced now as to have recycling for household appliances? I knew they had food waste compost, but appliances too.... I am still trying to figure out how to reuse my old cooker. Maybe if I line it with plastic I can use it for a small container garden? I wonder what the rust inside would do to plants?

At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love to cook wild rice in homemade stock, then toss in crumbled applewood smoked bacon, toasted pine nuts, and all the leftover fresh herbs I've got in the fridge. It's even better if you cook the bacon first and leave the drippings in the pan for the rice. Mmm...

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my new fave is risotto (I had it in NYC at Risottoria) with real butter and fresh, blanched asparagus! Simple, but wonderful!

At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shauna, in MN we eat tons of wild rice, especially in hot dishes (which would be casseroles in non-MN speak). We have a Lakota friend, Paul, who harvests the rice- and the difference between REAL wild rice and that crap they sell at the grocery store is amazing! We like to eat it for breakfast topped with maple syrup (grade B, for that good rich flavor), blueberries, and sunflower seeds. Apparently this is a pretty typical Lakota breakfast, according to Paul. It's delicious, and so easy to throw together!

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

My sister & I made a yummy dish with wild rice lately. We cooked lentils, & we cooked wild rice separately. We sauteed mushrooms in a pan...then combined everything...along with rosemary, I think, & maybe some grated cheese?. Lots of pepper. Anyway, it was really good...

At 4:43 PM, Blogger katygirl said...

I can't tell you how many times I've found comfort in a bowl of Texmati with butter and a dash of salt.

Wild rice, cooked and cooled, tossed with corn cut fresh off the cob, sun-dried tomatoes, torn basil leaves, and a dash of balsamic vinegar is the best picnic food.

At 6:21 PM, Blogger The Peanut Butter Boy said...

Yes, wild rice salad would be my first inkling. I suppose the next best option would be a nice veggie burger based on wild rice and beets, although I do not have a recipe....I would like one though!

- The Peanut Butter Boy

At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Mom gave me this recipe for baking wild rice, I use it mostly for brown rice. So easy!
1 cup brown rice
2 cups boiling water
Preheat oven 500 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Place rice in a casserole dish. Pour boiling water over rice. Cover tightly with foil and put into oven. Turn off oven. Leave in oven for 50 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

Also Lundberg Farms sells Black Japonica Rice that is a blend of black rice and mahogany rice. I grind it in my coffee grinder to make hot cereal. 1/4 ground rice with 2 cups of water, simmer 25 min. Yum!

At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite thing about wild rice is that it takes exactly the same length of time to cook as brown rice, barley and lentils, so I can throw a handful of any combination of them in a pot of boiling water and have them cooked to perfection in 45 minutes. I love to make grainy salads out of them; run under cool water and toss with legumes, nuts, feta, whatever tickles you.

I adore your blog.

At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who has made risotto for years and years, rice is definitely something to applaud in all its' guises. Wild rice is an amazing stuffing ingredient. When you do the piece on your asparagus risotto-

Forget the rice cooker, and call it, "To Stir With Love."

It ain't risotto if you aren't stirring! -xo

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Debbie said...

Hello, just reading this makes me crave wild rice. I will have to check out my local health food store the next time I am there.

BTW, for those of you who crave for a rice cooker and can't come up with the $$ for a pricey one like Shauna's (it looks great and works great), Pampered Chef ( has a less expensive alternative. It works in the microwave and now I can cook brown rice in less than half the time it does on the the stovetop. I don't know what I would do without it. Rarely does a day go by that I don't eat rice in some form.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Katie said...

Shauna, I love your blog and photos-lovely. Check out my blog. It is an ongoing illustrated setch book I am doing for a graduate project. I was diagnosed with Celiac in August 2007. Your book is wonderful.
enjoy, Katie

At 9:02 AM, Blogger young said...

Brown rice recipe I love:

Can be modified; I like to add chicken and/or chickpeas to mix things up and make it a tad more hearty.

At 9:40 AM, Blogger liannallama said...

oh, I love rice--even with my funky, wobbly cooker. Does the sleek, modern one cook better or does it just look cooler?

My favorite rice is the calrose brown rice--yummy! I cook it and sometimes I throw in some grated sharp cheddar while it is still hot and stir it in. I'm such a lazy cook, but it is tasty and I do love my cheese!

At 9:42 AM, Blogger heather said...

Great post! I'm with Caroline, though ~ why use a rice cooker at all? I've always made rice in a sauce pan and have never had a problem. Am I missing something wonderful? ;)

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Rita Webb said...

i love to read your site. your love affair with food makes my mouth water and reminds me once again of the spiritual nature of food and the importance of savoring every bite.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

In one of the Greens cookbooks ("Fields of Greens" I think) there's a recipe for wild rice ricotta pancakes. It's very very good.

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this talk about rice cooker vs stovetop makes me think of stovetop vs microwave debate. I always assumed it was moot, but then I just read an interesting article on good ways to use a microwave in the NYT :

I'd be curious to see what you think of it.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Amelia said...

Heidi has a terrific recipe for wild rice pancakes in her cookbook. When I tried them they were terrific, although I made the flour myself and didn't blend quite long enough which left some crunchy bits that added a nice texture. My favorite rice is the black rice which I prepare as the box suggests tossing with butter and garlic and parsley after cooking. I could easily eat a whole box in one sitting that way. As far as wild rice recipes, I never much cared for wild rice because my mother had a tendency to over cook and under season it (true of most things she cooked for a long time). But for my birthday party I made a wild/brown rice salad that still receives raves. It had the normal celery, carrot, golden raisin, almond ingredients but I made the dressing from organic apple nectar, walnut oil, half a clove of garlic, salt, tiny bit of mustard, and some cayenne. It was perfect - slightly sweet with just a hint of heat. Yum!

At 9:25 PM, Blogger Shauna said...

I'm amazed and hungry with all these suggestions! To tell you the truth, I was wondering if wild rice was going to seem a little too exotic. Not for you people. And go Minnesotans! I'm trying a bunch of these ideas, soon.

As far as buying a rice cooker goes. Of course, it's not necessary. You can make good rice in a saucepan. And the cheaper model we had before seemed about the same as the saucepan. But let me tell you, this one's different (and there are plenty of good Japanese models, from what I understand). The rice comes out perfect, every time: steamy, fluffy, or wonderfully sticky, depending on the rice. The Chef and I aren't too thrilled with most kitchen appliances. We don't own that many. But it seems like the ones we use over and over again? They're worth it. And frankly, now that I'm pregnant, and craving rice lately, this purchase (actually from a gift card someone gave us) was more than worth it.

There is a recipe for making risotto in the handbook. But I'm with Nina. Make it by hand. And it really doesn't take as long as people fear.

To the person who asked about recycling? We took it to a center, not just in our recycling container by the curb. But there was a spot for it. Seattle is pretty amazing...

Joel P, that's an interesting piece on microwaves. But we don't own one! I guess that's why we have the counter space for the rice cooker...

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a late Christmas gift, my wonderful hubby got me THE rice cooker. A Zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cooker. My 6 year old calls it "fuzzy" and whenever I cook rice, it is a celebration! She loves to press the start button and listen to the cute music and when it's done, we listen for the cute music again. I love to open the lid right away and breathe in the warm moist air of freshly cooked rice.

My other rice cooker which I had for years burned the rice on the bottom, and I couldn't eat the rice right away, but had to wait at least 15-30 more minutes to allow all the rice to finish steaming and I couldn't cook anything but plain white rice.

Someone was asking why by a rice cooker. If you eat a lot of rice, then it makes sense. It can do so much more then just cook rice. Fuzzy can steam veggies, bake cakes, cook other things with rice (I especially like putting dried wild mushrooms in the rice as it is cooking), fuzzy also cooks all kinds of oatmeals and porridges.

And my favorite option on fuzzy is the time setting. I love to be able to wake up to fresh made rice or porridge along with my freshly brewed coffee, both of which I programed the night before.

At 6:31 AM, Blogger heather said...

Shauna & Kim, that's great feedback about rice cookers ~ thanks! And Shauna, since you don't have a microwave in your kitchen, maybe you should write a post about popcorn! My mom used to make it on the stove (and I remember it tasting really good...when it wasn't burnt, ha), but I've never tried to make it without a microwave.

At 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Girl, your rice looks so good! What a beautiful picture!

I used to have a really good recipe someone shared with me from church, and I wish I could remember.


At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Heather...
I have a popcorn popper, which is one of the few kitchen gadgets I rely on, almost on a daily basis! (I don't have a rice cooker and have never had problems with rice on the stove). The idea is that there's a little metal bar that "stirs" the kernels for you so that they can't burn. I don't have a big enough pot to make the amount of popcorn I want.

Either way, both popcorn on the stove or in the "popper" are WAY better than microwave. And, bonus, you know what's in it.

Sorry, go back to the wild rice now! (I just throw in peas, lemon juice, and basil and put the rice on top of lettuce for a "salad")

At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the exact model that I ultimately sprung for. What was I waiting for? It also makes wonderful oatmeal out of steel cut oats (the only ones worth eating, in my opinion) and very good polenta. Try making risotto in it. Love that Porridge function! I also love that I can tell it to have breakfast waiting for me when I get up in the morning, or the rice ready to go when I get home from work. A wonderful machine. Just wonderful.

At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leftover black rice and leftover grilled salmon.

Those are two ingredients that when you mix them with a minced shallot, chopped pickle chips, and mayo that has been whisked with a half teaspoon of Chipotle chili powder, half a teaspoon of dry mustard and salt to taste...

You get the best darn rice and salmon salad you've ever had. Eat it on lettuce or with GF bread.

(Leftover wild rice would work, too.)

Leftover rice is a sure thing.

At 5:07 AM, Blogger Ellen said...

Since I lived in Japan as a child (where for the last thirty years it's been pretty much a given that households have rice cookers), I grew up with one. They're wonderful. The best places to get them in the U.S. are the China or Japantowns of big cities...(I got one a couple of years ago in Boston's Chinatown--my last one, which I gave away, was from Chinatown in Chicago...) One thing I love about my current rice cooker (and these things do last a long time--my parents have had the same one forever) is its timer feature. You can set it when you leave the house in the morning to have rice ready at a certain time. Especially with brown rice, which takes a long time to cook, this is pretty great.

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Shannon B. said...

How is the rice cooker working out so far? I really want to buy one myself but I'm not quite sure where to start! How'd you come to choose that one?

Shannon B.

At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I posted a cherry wild rice salad recipe to share with you--it can be made with turkey or tofu. It was one of my first allergen-free, intolerance-free creations!

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Celine said...

Ok, I just came back from Minnesota and was blown away by the hand-harvested wild rice. I had no idea. Two things: I had walleye-wild rice-scallion cakes. Like a crab cake but more insanely delicious. And I had wild rice porridge with hazelnuts, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, cream and maple syrup. To die for.


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