Wild rice takes longer than other rices to cook and retains a nuttiness that can enhance the flavor of any dish it accompanies. It somehow makes it ‘special’ and is therefore great for parties or for festive occasions.
It is getting close to ‘that’ time of year … the days are darkening and we are instinctively drawn to adding sparkle and light to our evenings by lighting a candle or two and by adding sweetness and surprise to our suppers in seasonal, wintry fashion. I was thinking of rum punch, of chestnuts roasting by an open fire and went completely ‘wild’ on a recipe for wild rice. Bear with me … it’s actually very simple to make but there are quite a few ingredients and steps. Ready?
Put some water on to boil. Rince the wild rice and when the water is boiling, throw it in with a good pinch of salt. Boil the rice until ready (about 50 minutes) and drain. Set aside.
Peel some chestnuts and simmer them in water for about 20 minutes or until cooked. Drain, wait for them to cool down, and then peel. Set aside.
Here are the cooked and peeled chestnuts.
More ingredients that will be required by and by: powdered vanilla, rum, and sultanas or raisins. Put a handful of sultanas in half a small glass of rum and let them steep until they are plump and giddy with the spirit …
Skin and chop the meat of two sausages. Peel and chop one onion and sauté in a pan with some olive oil and a few whole peppers, on a low heat, and when it turns golden add the sausage and carry on cooking until just done (don’t overcook).
W hen it has turned a whiter shade of pale pink, it’s time to …
Add the sultanas and the rum, turning up the heat and mixing everything very well for 2 or 3 minutes before switching off the heat.
Arm yourself with a small frying pan and a good blob of butter … melt the butter on a low heat before adding the chestnuts and a sprinkle of the innards of a vanilla pod (I conveniently found some that came in a glass jar). You could even use vanilla essence at a pinch … why not?
Oh the scent of butter and vanilla … oh oh oh …. and the particles of rum are still in the air too… oh oh oh ….
Now transfer all that goodness into the other frying pan … and switch on the heat again, quite high this time.
STEP 6 – last step
Add the cooked rice to the mix, use a wooden spoon to get all the ingredients to meld and merge, taste and add a little salt and pepper if required … even another dollop of butter, if you like your butter.