wild rice and mushroom pilaf

I heart rice madly. Rice is never just a side dish for me … it’s typically the meal. Of course, I don’t eat like a normal person, anyway. I decide to make something, buy any ingredients I don’t already have, and cook it. Once it’s made, it’s pretty much all I eat until it’s gone. Sometimes, if it’s something gigantic (like a lasagne), I’ll freeze some of it for later, but most of the time I just eat what I’ve made for lunch and dinner for several days.

Yeah. Nothing like a balanced meal.

When the kids still lived at home, I did make some half-hearted attempts at balanced meals, but I was really more apt to make a giant pot of something I could stick in the fridge and they could scoop out and microwave every day. Mom of the year, huh? Heh.

They’re still alive.

So, this rice dish is one of my favorites. I love the nutty flavor of the roasted wild rice, and the beautifully carmelized mushrooms. It never quite comes out the same twice, because I use my vegetable stock for the liquid, and my vegetable stock is always made up of whatever pieces of leftover herbs and veggies I’ve gathered into a freezer bag. I try to make the stock just before I use it, but I do sometimes have some frozen to fall back on.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp butter 
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt
  • Coarse black pepper
  • 2 cups white and wild rice blend (you can typically find several of these in the rice aisle)
  • 3 – 4 cups vegetable stock (I toss whatever veggie remains I have hanging out in the freezer and boil them in 5-6 cups of salted water.)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 pound sliced mushrooms (whatever kind/mix you like)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (get the good stuff so you can drink the rest while you’re cooking.)
  • 2 Tbsp snipped fresh chives

Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter in a medium to large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and some salt and cook until soft … about 3-4 minutes. Add the rice blend and stir about 30 seconds, then cook according to the package instructions, replacing any water called for with the veggie stock.

While that is cooking, get started on your shroomage. Heat the oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Add the mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned and slightly carmelized. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat.

When the rice is done, fluff it. Add the mushrooms, the chives, and the remaining 2 Tbsps of butter and stir. Mmmm. Rice.