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Mushroom long grain and wild rice pilaf

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A Palatable Pastime

(Read caption) Mushroom long grain and wild rice pilaf pairs well with fish and chicken.

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This is a very simple and delicious way to make long grain and wild rice if you don’t want to use a boxed mix. The advantages are that you can use fresh ingredients and it's more flavorful.

It does take awhile to cook, because of the wild rice (which really isn’t rice at all, but a type of marsh grass). Box mixes sometimes cook faster because they are partially cooked then dehydrated. Wild rice does combine well with other rice, however, and has a deliciously nutty and chewy character that accents all types of rice.

The cooking takes place in two parts: first the wild rice; then the rice with additional broth/water and salt are added later during the cooking time. Don’t add all the salt at once because the wild rice is absorbent and you don’t want all the salt in just that and none in the rice part.

You could use vegetable broth in this as well if you would like it to be vegetarian (and tossing out the butter in lieu of a little extra olive oil would make this vegan). It also can be made with water in a pinch, but using broth adds extra flavor – I like chicken broth myself. If you decide on beef broth instead (which is a possibility) you might want to switch out the poultry seasoning and opt for just a little bit of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce instead.

The towel trick I learned years ago when learning how to make certain rice dishes from the Middle East. The towel helps to draw out some of the steam at the end of the cooking time, to ensure more fluffy rice. Just make sure your towel is spanking clean, and don’t put the towel on anywhere near a heated burner. I move the pot off the stove to a trivet or hot pad and let it set there out of harm’s way.

This rice pairs well with fish and chicken among other things, and can be adapted for beef and pork.

Mushroom long grain and wild rice pilaf

1/2 cup chopped onion

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1/2 cup chopped celery

6 ounces crimini mushrooms, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dry)

1 tablespoon freeze-dried chives

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup uncooked wild rice

2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth or water)

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup uncooked long grain rice

3/4 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth or water)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  1. In a large saucepan, saute the onion, celery, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, chives, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper in the olive oil until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Stir in the raw wild rice and the 2 cups chicken broth and butter pat; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 40 minutes.
  3. Lift the lid and quickly add the raw long grain rice, the 3/4 cup chicken broth and salt.
  4. Replace lid and simmer on low for another 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and place a large clean dish towel between the top of the pan and the lid, and let sit for 15 minutes or so, then remove and fluff rice with fork.
  6. Stir in chopped parsley and serve.

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