Monday, November 5, 2007

Jane's Wild Rice

From Jane

Jane and Clarke were here a few weeks ago to check out NYU. Clarke is a junior in high school now, about to turn 17 (gulp), and it turns out that NYU is his school of choice. I mean it's where he wants to go. For sure. Hard as it is to believe, he's that old (and I'm this old), but it will be great to have him here, so I have all ten of my fingers crossed.

I was in Atlanta when Clarke was born, staying with Carolyn and John and finishing my own degree, and still there five months later on the day he was christened, which also happened to be my birthday as well as Jane's birthday AND father's day. Since Jane was in charge of activities, they were many, varied, and started early in the morning, ending late at night. There was a brunch for company, the christening itself, a father's day lunch for John and Lamar (his first father's day), and then a family birthday dinner for Jane and me. Every meal was great, but the food I remember most was dinner, and it included the following wild rice.

This wild rice is really good. Last summer Dan Tuczinski stopped at the farm for dinner on the way home from his office in Albany. I served this with a rotisseried chicken, a tart green salad, and some of Larry Eckhardt's corn that I got at my wonderful local farm stand on Route 22 in Stephentown, which was leftover from lunch and which I creamed for dinner. For some reason the combination of creamed corn with this wild rice took each to a new level of deliciousness. It was scrumptious. I know I will make them together again.

This wild rice heats heats well in the microwave. It sort of gets a little crunchy or something. But if you are going to be tempted to use leftovers cold as a salad, use olive oil instead of butter. But as it really tastes different, try it both ways to see how you like it. I admit I'm partial to the butter.

This isn't a real recipe; it's more of an explanation of what I think Jane did, and the way I make it now.

Get some wild rice - it doesn't have to be really wild, the cultivated stuff will do. Cook as many servings as you want according to package instructions but use chicken broth instead of water. The grains will get swollen and split. This is okay.

The amounts of the rest of the ingredients, of course, depend on how much wild rice you have made.

Toast a handful (or more) of slivered almonds or pecans cut in half lengthwise. Set aside a handful of golden raisins. (You can really improvise, adding whatever dried fruit appeals to you and what goes with what else you are serving.) Slice three to four scallions on the diagonal.

Melt a lump of butter (best if you are going to serve the rice hot) or a glug of oil (if you want to use leftovers to make a salad) in a frying pan or saucier (which I use). The amount of fat, of course, depends on how much rice you have made).

Sauté a small to medium coarsely chopped onion until it becomes translucent. Add the almonds or pecans, wild rice, and dried fruit. Cook until heated through, sprinkle on the sliced scallions, and serve.

Print recipe.

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