Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nutted Wild Rice [Rhonda]

Degree of Difficulty: Easy

Time: 20 minutes to prep, 35 to cook rice, 2 seconds to mix it all

Serves: 6

For an end-of-summer picnic or an early-autumn shindig where clean, fresh flavors would be just right, this is an easy make-ahead side dish. It goes nicely with grilled chicken or pretty much anything that benefits from a quick sear over charcoals.

Hate to go all 1980s on you, but this recipe is from The Silver Palate Cookbook. For you youthful types who weren't even born then, The Silver Palate was a very cool, most delicious gourmet shop on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and was many a NY foodie's introduction to unheard of pleasures like raspberry vinegar, grapevine baskets overflowing with crudites and green peppercorn mustard dip, and all manners of pesto. (I told you it was the early 80s.)

Nutted Wild Rice

1 cup (1/2 lb) raw wild rice
5 1/2 cups defatted chicken stock or water
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup yellow raisins
Grated zest of 1 large orange
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Put rice in a 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 uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes. After 30 minutes, check for doneness--rice should not be too soft. Place a thin towel inside colander and drain rice. Transfer rice to a mixing bowl.

Add remaining ingredients and toss gently. Adjust seasonings to taste. Let mixture stand for 2 hours to develop flavors. Serve at room temp.

Suggested soundtrack: Sade's "Smooth Operator." Got that, Nick?

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