Wild rice pilaf with Uncle Ben’s Original medley and speck (strictly my own), is just one of those dishes that you never think to make unless it’s a special occasion or holiday. Well, going on that assumption, I think you’ll agree. At any rate, this is one that I made for Thanksgiving this year and thought to recreate it tonight for dinner. And yes! it was every bit as delicious as it was the first time. I think I’ll be making this dish a bit more often. Sauteed mushrooms were added to the Thanksgiving version instead of speck, but equally as delicious. It’s a keeper!
1 cup white rice (uncle Ben’s par boiled or other)
1/2 cup wild black rice (Japonica)
1 Knorr’s chicken bouillon cube
kosher salt to taste (1/2 tsp to start)
fresh cracked black pepper
1 small onion diced
1 celery stalk diced
1 small carrot diced
2 cloves garlic (optional)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 boiled water
First start by cutting up your vegetables and dicing as shown in the photo. This step will make the process of prepping quick, if you have all of your mis en place ready. In a medium cast iron pot or cocotte, add a couple of tbs of olive oil and 1 tbs of butter. Allow to melt and heat up without burning: about 1 minute. Add your mis: cut vegetables along with the herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sautee for a few minutes till translucent and slight color (caramelized) on the onions and carrots. Add the bouillon cube by breaking up over the mis with your fingers. Add the rice (black and white). Mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sautee for a few minutes till the rice is covered and nutty. Add the boiled water till the water is just over the rice, about 3/4 of an inch. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Add fresh cracked pepper, and check for salt. Mix the rice gently! Allow the water to reduce on medium high heat till the water is almost evaporated but not entirely. Mix one more time and mound or pile the rice into the center of the pot to form a mound. Now cover and lower the heat and allow to cook covered for 12 minutes before checking. Uncover and mix once after 12-14 minutes and recover and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes. If after 10 minutes the rice is uncooked, add an additional 3 or 4 tbs of water and recover and cook for an additional 10 minutes. The wild rice takes longer to cook than does the white rice. There will be a slight aldente bite to the rice once cooked, from the wild rice. Done! Serve with your favorite meat. Enjoy!