Sep 27, 2018

The Wild Side

One of the questions we often get from customers is “Have any good side dish ideas that can be made in advance? No kugels, please.”  How about wild rice? It can be prepared 2-3 days before yom tov and kept in the refrigerator, then easily reheated before serving. It lends itself to man flavors from sweet to savory so go ahead and try some this yom tov season.

Did you know wild rice is not actually rice?  It is an aquatic grain that grows "wild" in isolated lake and river bed areas mostly within North America. This species is found primarily in areas west and north of the Great Lakes. In addition, there are several other species that grow in limited quantities in other isolated locations from New Jersey to Florida. 

 The nutty taste of brown and wild rice is paired with fresh orangse which gives this dish an extra burst of flavor. It is great as a side dish or add shredded cooked chicken and serve as a main dish!

1 package (6 oz.) brown and wild rice mix

2 oranges, peeled, separated into segments, then halved

1/3 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup sliced red onion

1/2 cup each bite sized strips red and green bell peppers

1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

1/4 teaspoon dried sage or parsley

freshly ground pepper to taste

Prepare rice mix according to package directions, cooking in unsalted water.

In a skillet heat a few tablespoons of chicken broth. Sauté onion in broth 3 minutes, add bell peppers and more broth if necessary, stir in orange zest, sage and pepper. Sauté 3 to 4 minutes more or until vegetables are tender.

When rice is done, stir in orange half segments and vegetable mixture, heat through and serve.

for the rice:

1 cup wild rice

3 cups water

 for the vinaigrette:

2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 Tablespoon Dijon or yellow mustard

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

for the vegetables:

 4 firm plum tomatoes, cut in quarters

2 small zucchini, sliced 1/4" thick

2 medium red or yellow peppers, cut in 1" squares

1 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 pound chopped pastrami 

Bring water to a boil and add rice.  Cook 50 minutes at medium heat and turn off the flame. Allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients; set aside.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Line a 15" x 10" jelly-roll pan with parchment paper or a silpat.

In large bowl, combine tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper and olive oil; toss to coat. Spread in single layer in prepared pan.  Roast 15-20 minutes, or until crisp-tender and lightly browned.

In large bowl, toss roasted vegetables with wild rice, pastrami and vinaigrette. 
 This dish can be made erev Yom Tov and reheated, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes

1 1/2 cups wild rice

kosher salt 

1 tablespoon light olive oil

2 cups diced celery, about 5 stalks 

1 large Vidalia onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced 

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried 

1/2 cup shelled salted pistachios, crushed 

8 ounces chestnuts, roasted, roughly chopped (I use bagged)

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley 

Combine the wild rice with 2 teaspoons salt and 3 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, cover tightly, and reduce the heat to low and steam until the rice is tender and curling into a C shape, and all the water is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are limp but still bright, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme, and cook for 5 minutes.

Pour the vegetables over the rice, scraping the pan for the juices, and stir to combine. Add the pistachios, chestnuts and parsley and mix thoroughly. Serve hot.

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