Thursday, May 31, 2012

Brown & Wild Rice

When you’re looking for an elegant side dish that doesn’t include potatoes, sour cream, and/or cheese - there aren’t many options out there.  This is deliciously different and surprisingly good.  The colorful blend adds a good contrast to any meal - especially chicken.  It can bake alongside any main dish.

Two years ago we were working on another Stake Women’s Conference - which included a hot meal for 450 women.  As most of the food is donated by women who attend, it required using a recipe that would yield a standard result - even with SEVERAL cooks making it.  We had just enough budget to cater the chicken from a local Italian restaurant, and the rest of the meal was brought in by volunteers.

This rice dish was perfect.  Everyone’s turned out identical (or at least similar), and when combined in large chafing dishes and stirred, it was beautiful.  

It used packaged brown & wild rice, as well as Minute Rice - and the diced celery, onion, grated carrot, and parsley made it really colorful.  It held well in the warmers (thanks to the brown & wild rices) - but the instant rice suffered a bit from the wait.  

Last weekend I was looking for an alternative to potatoes for Sunday dinner - as many of my family were here for Memorial Day weekend.  I remembered this rice dish, but didn’t have a package of quick brown & wild rice OR Minute Rice.  I happened to have a bag of (non-instant) brown & wild rice blend - so I adapted with what I had.

Although not as fast as the original recipe, it just involved pre-cooking the wild rice blend first before adding the long grain white rice and vegetables.  A mere 45 minutes - during which time I was able to dice the vegetables and throw the rest of dinner together to bake at the same time as the rice.  

My family loved this.  I had to quickly document what I did so I can use it again.  I’ve included the original recipe at the end (using a boxed wild rice mix and instant rice) - but trust me - it’s not nearly as good as this one.

For both recipes (this one, and the quickie-fast one) go to:

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