11 Jun 2006

Cereals - Wild Rice

Wild rice is the seed of an aquatic grass originally grown by indigenous tribes around the Great Lakes. Today most wild rice is grown in the Midwest and California. It is used as a grain, a vegetable and for ornamental purposes. Wild rice and maize are the only cereals native to North America. Wild rice was known to the Ojibwa as "manoomin" or "good berry".

There are four species of wild rice:
Northern wild rice (Zizania palustris), annual, Minnesota.
Wild rice (Z. aquatica), annual, Saint Lawrence River, Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
Texas wild rice (Z. texana), perennial, San Marcos River Texas.
Manchurian wild rice (Z. latifolia), perennial, China.

The seeds of the two annual species are the ones most commonly harvested as grain. Almost always sold as a dried whole grain, wild rice is high in protein and fiber (twice the protein and fiber of brown rice). It also contains potassium, phosphorus, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, zinc, copper and lysine. It contains less iron and calcium than brown rice. Its high levels of linolenic acid make the fat in wild rice highly nutritious. One cup of wild rice is approximately 165 calories.

Wild rice is an excellent substitute for brown rice and potatoes and is used in casseroles, soups, salads, desserts, breakfast cereal, pancakes and muffins. Store in the refrigerator in a covered jar and wild rice will keep indefinitely.

Be sure to rinse wild rice thoroughly before cooking it to remove any debris. Boil one cup of wild rice to 2 1/2 cups water for approx 40-60 minutes, do not overcook or it becomes starchy.

Crockpot Wild Rice with Cherries, Apricots, and Pecans
Chet Day's Blog

1 cup converted white rice
1 cup wild rice -- rinsed and drained
29 ounces canned vegetable broth
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)
1 medium onion -- chopped
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp garlic pepper
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted if desired
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

In your slow cooker, mix together the white rice, wild rice, broth, water, sherry, onion, garlic powder, and garlic pepper. Cover and cook on the low heat setting about five hours, or until the rices are tender but not mushy. Stir in the apricots, cherries, pecans, and parsley. Serve immediately. Makes about 8 to 10 servings.

Wild Rice Pilaf
WH Foods

If you want a rice pilaf for special occasions this recipe is for you. It is substantial, full of flavor, and is quite easy to prepare. The combination of flavors blends beautifully, and the variety of ingredients makes this a highly nutritious dish.

½ cup wild rice
1 cup long grain brown rice
1 med onion, chopped
¾ cup diced celery, about ¼ inch pieces
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
1 med green apple, diced about ¼ inch pieces
4 med cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped walnuts
6 dried apricots, coarsely chopped
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
3 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
½ tbsp fennel seeds
¾ cup + 1 tbsp chicken broth
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

Bring 3½ cups of lightly salted water to a boil. While water is coming to a boil rinse the wild rice under running water in a strainer. When water is boiling add both wild and brown rice, cover, turn heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes, until tender. Do not overcook. You will most likely have excess water when rice is cooked properly. Put cooked rice in a strainer and drain out excess water. Set aside in a bowl large enough to mix everything together. Heat 1 tbsp chicken broth in a large stainless steel skillet. Healthy Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and celery and continue to sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Mix all the stuffing ingredients together in bowl and season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Place stuffing in an 8 inch square baking dish and bake covered for about 1 hour. Drizzle with olive oil and mix with a fork keeping it fluffy. Serves 6

Cranberry and Wild Rice Salad
Seattle and King County Public Health

1 cup wild rice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnuts
8 ounces cranberries, fresh or thawed frozen
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 green onions, chopped (including green tops)

Combinene wild rice, salt and 1 qt water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is tender to bite and most grains have split open, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain in a colander and let cool. Meanwhile, spread walnuts on a cookie sheet and toast in a 325 degree oven until lightly golden, about 10 minutes, coarsely chop. Sort cranberries, discarding any stems and bruised or decayed fruit; cut each cranberry in half.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir the sugar and 1/2 cup water until the sugar is dissolved and mixture boils. Remove from heat; stir the halved cranberries. Gently stir occasionally until insides of cranberries have turned red but are still firm, 8 to 12 minutes. Pour through a strainer into a bowl, reserving the cranberry-sugar syrup. In a large bowl gently mix wild rice, cranberry halves, oil, and vinegar. Stir in 2 tablespoons cranberry syrup; taste and add up to 1/4 cup more syrup to sweeten and moisten salad as desired. Stir in green onions. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day. Stir in walnuts before serving. 8 servings

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