Thursday, May 02, 2013
A Potluck Dish I Love
In just a little over a week I'll be off to my Mom's on the East Coast to help celebrate a significant birthday of hers. It's very exciting because all of my siblings will be there as well as some of the spouses and kids and grandkids. I'm really looking forward to seeing them all, and to seeing Mom's sisters and their extended families. I think the last time we had so many of us together was ten years ago for another birthday. Since we are scattered all over the country, it might be years before we gather again.
One of the things planned is a potluck picnic by the Potomac river on Sunday. I'll be making a wild rice/brown rice and baby carrots casserole with herbs to bring. I made it many years ago for one of the Derby Day pot lucks and tried it out for dinner last week. It went really quickly at the Derby Day potluck and Charlie gave it his stamp of approval, too, last week. It’s easy to fix, delicious, and vegan if made with vegetable broth, but mostly I’m making it because I like to eat it.
I'm starting with a rice mixture sold in a box because it is designed to have the different rices cooked together. I'll skip the seasoning packet (with usually has way too much sodium) and instead add some onion and celery, Italian parsley and thyme, a touch of orange juice, plus a bit of salt and lots of pepper. I looked at some recipes online, but didn't find anything where the rice and carrots cook at the same time. I know when I made it years ago I cooked the wild rice separately and then mixed it in once the other rice was cooked, but the packaged mixture didn't need that. It's pretty simple actually: Onions sautéed in a little olive oil, rice mixture stirred in, carrots cut into chunks stirred in, herbs and orange juice stirred in, S&P over all, then the broth. I brought it all to a boil, reduced the heat to simmer, then covered it and let it cook until the rice was cooked. By that time the carrots were perfectly cooked, too with just a bit of bite still to them. I like it warm, but it would probably taste fine cold. It was even delicious a day later, maybe even better. Dishes with cooked onions often taste better then next day.
May is usually filled with lots of occasions for gathering together of family and friends, so you may want to bookmark this for a quick dish to bring or serve at your party.
1/2 medium to large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil or grapeseed oil
1 package wild and brown rice mix (discard the seasoning packet)
1 1/2 cups baby carrots or larger carrots cut into approximately 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
the juice of 1/2 a medium orange
salt and pepper to taste
1 can broth, either chicken or vegetable
In a wide, flat skillet or pan with a lid, sauté the onion and celery in the olive oil until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the wild and brown rice, the carrots, the parsley, the thyme and the orange juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the mixture the broth.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, then cover and let cook until rice is cooked and most of liquid is evaporated, about 25 - 30 minutes. If desired you can remove the lid, increase the heat, and let more of the liquid evaporate for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the rice mixture from scorching.
Serve warm or at room temperature. If made with chicken broth, keep chilled once mixture has cooled.
Serves 6-8 as a side dish.