June 24, 2009

Wild Rice Casserole Recipe Adventure Thing

Now I know what you're thinking--aren't casseroles usually filled with tuna or, heaven forbid, green beans? Don't only old people and housewives on Mad Men (marry me, Donald Draper) make casseroles? That was my take on casseroles until recently, when my boyfriend's Food Goddess of a mother cooked us her Wild Rice Casserole and made a believer out of me.

Naturally, I was too busy stuffing my face with the Wild Rice Casserole to actually write down the recipe. So in Kitt's Kitchen spirit, I decided I'd tackle it on my own and reproduce it from memory, something I've seen this brussel sprout-lovin' chick do but have never really tried myself. This casserole is simple and delicious, and it also happens to be extremely healthy (even if I did sprinkle a little cheese on top). The best part? It's a perfect dish to cook in bulk.

Wild Rice Casserole
  • One cup of wild rice (which is packed with fiber and really good for you)
  • One cup of brown rice (I prefer short grain)
  • One can of crushed tomatoes
  • One can of olives (not kalamata...the salad bar kind)
  • Two cans of artichoke hearts in water
  • One large onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Two cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Sesame Oil (about three drops...it's really strong)
  • Sriracha
  • Celery Salt, Cumin, Curry Powder, Black Pepper

1. A good rule of thumb for rice (I've learned, after many too-dry or too-liquidy attempts) is to go two parts water, one part rice. In this case, 2-2.5 cups of water should do well. In separate pots, cook the wild and the brown rice, with a few drops of sesame oil in each.

1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté onions, garlic, and olive oil until onions start to become see-through.

2. Promptly drop the very heavy lid to your dutch oven on your toe. Run around the
house screaming obscenities. Whimper a little.

3. Cut artichoke hearts and olives into small pieces, and stir into the onions. Next, stir in the tomatoes, and reduce heat to low-medium, stirring occasionally. The vegetables will have reached a perfect consistency when they start making that gloppy noise (you know the one).

4. Preheat the oven to 375, then stir in your spices, to taste. I added Sriracha (which was definitely not in the original recipe), but I may have added too much. As in I'm still sweating. This is a good time to acknowledge that I'm a Northerner, and, therefore, a spice wuss. But I'm getting better!

5. When the rice is ready (30-40 minutes), layer your ingredients into a large casserole dish. I started with a layer of veggies, then spread on the rice, then more veggies. Save that murky wild rice juice--it added a ton of flavor. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes.

It's really tough to take a picture of the finished product that looks appetizing, because the casserole kind of glops onto the plate. But I can promise you that it's delicious. Just remember not to drop anything on your toes.

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