Wild Rice (of course) because MN

For the third and final assignment, I chose Wild Rice because we had plenty of it in the pantry and I’m a fan, although I’ve never actually cooked any myself.  I made three cups per the instructions on the package, added water, brought it to a boil, and then let it simmer for an hour.  Then I put it in a tupperware container and put it in the fridge, while I waited for inspiration.

First up were Wild Rice Pancakes on Mothers Day.  This was a simple, straightforward, from Ree Drummond, the “Pioneer Woman” of food network fame:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/wild-rice-pancakes/

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Wild Rice
  • 3 cups All-purpose OR (if You Have It) Cake Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 3-1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
  • Butter, For Serving
  • Maple Or Pancake Syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook wild rice according to package instructions (do not add salt or cook in broth. Just cook in plain water.) Set aside.

Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl.

Mix together milk, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring very gently until just combined. Add more milk if batter seems too thick. It should definitely be thick but easily pourable.

Add melted butter to the batter, stirring gently to combine.

Gently stir in cooked wild rice. (Add half at first and see how you like the looks of the batter. Then slowly add in as much as you want.)

Cook on a buttered skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown. Serve with an obscene amount of butter and warm syrup.

These were such a hit that I did not get any pictures of the finished product.

Next up was a Quinoa and Wild Rice Salad from the NY Times Cooking page.  I also had a left over bell pepper stuffed with brown rice, extra lean turkey breast, Parmesan cheese, and some dried spices that are my wife’s favorites (and I’m not sure exactly what they are).  I chopped this up and added half of it to this dish and half to the third dish I made for this assignment, Wild Rice with Mushrooms, also from the NY Times.

 

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE GRAINS AND VEGETABLES

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in 2-inch strips
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 cup edamame
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons chopped or thinly sliced spring onions or scallions

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (more to taste)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • cup canola oil
  • Leaf lettuce or radicchio for serving optional
  • Toss together all of the salad ingredients.
  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss with the salad ingredients, and serve — if desired, over a bed of lettuce or radicchio leaves.
Tip
  • Advance preparation: You can make this dish a few hours ahead and refrigerate. Cooked grains will keep for several months in the freezer and for three or four days in the refrigerator.

There wasn’t much to this one, just add all of the ingredients to make the dressing and whisk together, then toss all of the salad ingredients and combine.  I had all of the ingredients except edamame (substituted peas), cilantro (omitted), cucumber (omitted) and scallions (omitted).  Even without those, this turned out really well, due in large part to the very flavorful dressing.  I also added chopped matchstick carrots and some sliced avocado on top. I will experiment with this one and put it in the rotation, as it will lead to very tasty leftovers for an easy bring to work lunch, since it can be eaten cold.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014277-quinoa-and-wild-rice-salad-with-ginger-sesame-dressing?action=click&module=RecipeBox&pgType=recipebox-page&region=all&rank=2

 

Finally, I saved the easiest recipe for last, the Wild Rice and Mushroom recipe I mentioned earlier.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016894-wild-rice-with-mushrooms?action=click&module=RecipeBox&pgType=recipebox-page&region=all&rank=3

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces long-grain Wisconsin wild rice
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1 pound cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • cup dry sherry, such as Dry Sack (do not use cream sherry)
    PREPARATION
  1. Bring 5 cups water to a boil. Stir in rice, then reduce heat so liquid is just simmering. Cover and cook until grains just begin to pop, about 40 minutes. Drain excess liquid from rice and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have released their liquid and are golden brown, about 8 minutes; remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining butter and mushrooms.
  3. Return all the mushrooms to the skillet and season with the salt and pepper, to taste. Very carefully add sherry to deglaze the pan, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated but mushrooms are still moist.
  4. Mix mushrooms into prepared rice and season again with salt and pepper.

I didn’t have any sherry, cooking or otherwise, so I substituted red wine.  Looking back I should have used a dry white wine, but I didn’t have any open.  The red wine still added good flavor, but it turned the mushrooms purple, which wasn’t all that appealing.  Again, I added half of the stuffed pepper to this one, which wasn’t necessary but gave it some additional flavors and textures.  I think without it I would use this dish as a side, rather than a main dish.

 


I plan to repeat this experiment using other whole grains from the list that I haven’t cooked with before.  My go-to side dishes are usually potatoes and a green vegetable, so this has been very helpful to have additional (and healthier) options.

 

Adventures with Kohlrabi

For this assignment, I grabbed some Kohlrabi from Hy-Vee because I had never used it and knew nothing about it.  I searched for recipes, and decided to make Kohlrabi “fries”, a Kohlrabi slaw to go on top of grilled chicken sausages, and a kohlrabi honey crisp apple salad.  I was pleasantly surprised with how all of them turned out, particularly the salad.  I will definitely keep that one in the rotation.

My internet research indicated that kohlrabi had similar texture and taste to a broccoli stem or a combination of a turnip and radish, which proved true, although I think it was sweeter than broccoli and more versatile.  Peeling it was the most difficult part.  I ended up using a paring knife, which worked well, but did not a lot of the vegetable to work with.  Looking back, I should have doubled the amount I bought.

Kohlrabi 1

The first recipe was the fries, which was very simple.  Peel, slice into matchsticks, coat with flour, then fry in canola oil.  The last step was sprinkling the fries with paprika.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12350-kohlrabi-home-fries

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds kohlrabi
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour, chickpea flour or semolina (more as needed)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons canola oil or grapeseed oil, as needed
  • Chili powder, ground cumin, curry powder or paprika to taste

PREPARATION

  1. Peel the kohlrabi and cut into thick sticks, about 1/3 to 1/2 inch wide and about 2 inches long.
  2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet (cast iron is good). Meanwhile, place the flour in a large bowl, season with salt if desired and quickly toss the kohlrabi sticks in the flour so that they are lightly coated.
  3. When the oil is rippling, carefully add the kohlrabi to the pan in batches so that the pan isn’t crowded. Cook on one side until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, using tongs, turn the pieces over to brown on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. The procedure should take only about 5 minutes if there is enough oil in the pan. Drain on paper towels, then sprinkle right away with the seasoning of your choice. Serve hot.

Next up was the slaw.  I used a cheese grater to shred the kohlrabi, which worked just ok.  I think larger holes in the shredder would have made it less watery and mushy, although it still complemented the sausages nicely.  I can’t seem to find the recipe I used, but it was very simple, just olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Kohlrabi slaw

The salad was another online find.  I didn’t have fresh tarragon so I used dried, and I didn’t have sunflower seeds so I skipped those.  It was my favorite preparation of the three.  Next time I might add carrots to give it some additional color and variety.

Kohlrabi salad 2

http://cookieandkate.com/2015/crispy-apple-kohlrabi-salad-recipe/

Crispy Apple and Kohlrabi Salad

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Salad

4.5 from 8 reviews

This super simple kohlrabi salad features honeycrisp apple, lemon, tarragon and olive oil! It’s a delicious and unique fall side salad. You’ll love it! Recipe yields 4 side servings or 2 large.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 small kohlrabi (about 1 pound, I used the green variety but purple would be prettier), cut into matchsticks about ¼″ wide
  • 1 large Honeycrisp apple (about ½ pound), cored and cut into matchsticks about ¼″ wide
  • ⅓ cup grated gouda cheese (optional, not shown)
  • ¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds*
  • Lemon zest, to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
  • Flaky sea salt (like Maldon) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large serving bowl, combine the kohlrabi and apple matchsticks. Add the cheese, if using, and the tarragon leaves and sunflower seeds. Shave lemon zest liberally over the bowl (I probably used about half of a small lemon’s worth or more).
  2. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, then sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper. Use your hands to gently toss the salad, then add another drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice if the salad seems dry. Finish with another light sprinkle of salt and pepper and serve immediately.

This was a fun assignment and one that I will do on my own in order to get out of the rut of making the same 3-4 things over and over again!

Chicken Veggie Rice Stirfry

For my second recipe, I made a turkey/rice/veggie stir-fry using 99% lean ground turkey and every vegetable I could find in my fridge.  I found the recipe online.

Overall, I think it turned out well and I would make this again.  It is a very versatile dish that would be easy to substitute ingredients and use whatever you have on hand.  This would be a good go to dish anytime you’re looking to clean out your fridge.  For my vegetables, I used red peppers, carrots, mushrooms, celery, broccoli, and shallots.

I added some red pepper flakes to the ground turkey, as the recipe seemed like it was going to be a little bland, particularly because I was using such lean ground turkey.  I also added soy sauce and sriracha to give more of a fried rice flavor.  Because I used 90 second microwave brown rice, I’m not sure that the last step of adding the chicken broth and simmering was necessary.

The other mistake I made was not incorporating the fennel seeds while browning the ground turkey.  I forgot to add them and ended up adding them close to the end.  This made the fennel taste a little too pronounced.  I would probably reduce the amount of fennel seeds the next time around.

http://www.food.com/recipeprint.do?rid=137067

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 lb ground turkey
    • 1 teaspoon fennel seed (optional)
    • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
    • 1 cup regular long grain rice
    • 1 stalk celery, diced
    • 1 green pepper, diced
    • 2 small carrots, diced
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1 (13 3/4 ounce) cans chicken broth
    • vegetable oil cooking spray

DIRECTIONS

  1. Sprinkle the seasoned salt and (if using) fennel seed over the ground turkey. Mix well.
  2. Spray large skillet with vegetable spray and place turkey mixture in pan. Over medium-high heat cook and stir Turkey until browned; drain well. While the Turkey is draining add the vegetables to the hot pan and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the Turkey back into the pan and mix. Sprinkle rice over mixture and pour in Chicken broth. When broth comes to a boil reduce heat, cover and simmer for approx 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until liquid is absorbed. When the rice is cooked if there is still too much liquid in the pan remove cover, increase the heat and continue cooking until all liquid is absorbed.

Quick Chicken Mole

For my first assignment, I gave this a try on Sunday night.  We had lots of leftover rice and beans from ordering takeout on Saturday, so I just needed a protein and we had some boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the fridge.  I had some 99% dark chocolate that I used instead of the chocolate chips called for by the recipe, and added a little brown sugar.

Mole Ingredients

The recipe was fairly simple and easy to prepare.  I used a stainless steel skillet and canola oil, which worked well and the chicken did not stick to the pan.  Once the chicken was mostly cooked, you set is aside and make the sauce.

Mole 1

Then add the chicken back in to finish.

Mole 2

Turned out great, would definitely make again.  The only adjustments I would make next time is to add a little heat, either by adding chopped peppers or additional dry spices.

Here is the recipe:

Recipe Image

Chicken with Quick Mole Sauce

  • Cook
    35 m
  • Ready In
    35 m
Recipe By: EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Rich, dark and delicious, mole is a signature sauce in Mexican cooking. There are many variations, but the basic ingredients include plenty of chiles and nuts along with a touch of chocolate to tame the heat of the chiles. Traditional recipes can take several hours to prepare—this quick version takes a few shortcuts by using chili powder, nut butter and chocolate chips. Serve with rice and a medley of sautéed zucchini, pepper and onion. ”

Ingredients

    • 1¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
    • ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
    • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
    • ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
    • ¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1 tablespoon almond butter or natural peanut butter
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (see Note)

Directions

  • 1Season chicken with ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  • 2Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, chile powder, cumin, cinnamon and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt to the pan. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce, broth, chocolate chips and almond (or peanut) butter; stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, return the chicken (and any accumulated juice) to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.