Wild Rice with Golden Raisins

honeymoon-rice-pilaf

Have you ever gone to a Thanksgiving pot luck? I don’t mean where you offer to bring something and the hostess says … bring your (ill in the blank)! But a true pot luck where perhaps the host/hostess provides the main dish – turkey or ham – and the guests are asked to provide everything else. Often they are not told what to bring, just bring something that is Thanksgiving-ish! I went to one a few years back and it was a blast!

One of the guests was a vegan so she brought a couple things to ensure she had plenty to eat (since for her, butter and cream was out of the question) but enough for all to have a taste or two. There were some wonderful things that if you didn’t know they were vegan, believe me, you would NEVER have guessed!

This is a great accompaniment to turkey and can be taken to a pot luck or, if you ask to bring a side that is a bit unusual, this will really fit the bill. (If vegans are going to be present, use vegetable stock and butter flavored vegetable shortening – it won’t be quite as good but will do nicely and everyone can share.)

We don’t often think of wild rice for Thanksgiving but its nuttiness and a bit of crunch pairs nicely with all the other traditional sides. And, it can be made all year long. For traveling to the party, just cover and transport in an insulated container. And if you are not going to be eating right away, tell your hostess you’ll need 20 minutes in the microwave to finish it off (and hold off at that point in the recipe to finish just before dinnertime).

Wild Rice with Golden Raisins

  • 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (also called Sultanas)
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 tsp. dry thyme leaves
  • 6 cups regular strength beef or chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1-3/4 cups wild rice
  • 2 Tbsp. dry sherry (optional)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. slivered green onions (scallions)

Melt butter in a 3-4 quart sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add raisins and stir until they puff up. Remove raisins with slotted spoon and set aside.

In same pan, add onion and thyme and stir until onion is light golden brown (about 10 minutes). Watch that it doesn’t burn. Add broth and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, rinse the wild rice in a strainer under running water. Add to broth and return to boil over high heat, cover, and simmer until tender to the bite, about 1-3/4 hours, stirring occasionally. Add sherry (if using) during the last 10 minutes of simmering and pour into a 2 quart casserole. (Can be made ahead to this point. Let cool; cover and chill for up to 24 hours.)

Preheat oven to 350. Bake casserole uncovered if made ahead, for 15 minutes, then uncover and continue baking. If NOT made ahead, bake covered until hot about 1 hour.

Either way, then sprinkle with raisins, garnish with slivered green onions and serve hot.

If traveling: When removed from the oven, loosely cover with plastic wrap and reheat in microwave oven for about 20 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with raisins, reheat in microwave about 2 to 3 minutes, garnish with green onions and serve.

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