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Wild Rice Casserole

This is a recipe that my mother got in the 1950s from a family friend who was a gourmet cook. It’s become a standard at all of our family holiday dinners. Just in case those of you who don’t live in the US or the midwestern part of the US have never seen wild rice, I’ll explain a little about it. It’s a grain that the settlers learned to use from the Native Americans when they moved into the upper Midwest. Originally it grew around the edges of lakes and other marshy areas. Technically it’s not a rice at all but does look like a very long grain rice. It is closely related to rice as both are grasses. It’s now cultivated. You can even buy organic wild rice at whole food stores. It’s very expensive compared to regular rice; but the more you cook it the more it swells, and a little goes a long way. There are no exact amounts in the recipe as it been handed down by word of mouth. The seasoning is totally by preference. The Joy of Cooking has good instructions for cooking wild rice.

Wild Rice Casserole

Cooked wild rice
Extra sharp cheddar cheese
Half n half or light cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion, celery, and mushrooms in the butter. Combine with the cooked wild rice and turn into a casserole. Top with the grated cheddar cheese and pour the cream over the top of the casserole. Bake in an oven at 325 degrees until the cheese is browned and the casserole is heated through and the cream is bubbly.

This goes equally well with turkey, ham, or beef. It’s also wonderful with any cranberry dish.

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