Wild Rice with Caramelized Onions and Cranberries

18 Nov

wild rice pilaf with caramelized onionsLast Sunday’s Detroit Free Press had a holiday food section called Feast, consisting of recipes from readers — including yours truly!

The Freep ran a contest of sorts, inviting readers to submit recipes via their Facebook page in various categories. I sent this one, and they printed my recipe in the Side Dishes category.

My prize was an invitation to the Freep’s Taste Fest at the Great Lakes Culinary Center, an interesting spot I’d read much about but never seen.

We enjoyed lots of yummy treats, including a bunch of tasty organic grain- and legume-based salads from a company called Gabby’s Garden. (Locals: they’re carried at Hiller’s, Westborn, Randazzo’s, Market Fresh, Papa Joe’s, Holiday and other local fancy grocery stores.) There was also a nice upgraded green bean casserole, with haricots verts, wild mushroom gravy and crispy shallots.

My winning recipe is one I got from the Ocean Spray Cranberries people, but they note that they got it from Vegetarian Times, November 1998.  I’ve adapted it slightly. It’s excellent as a side-dish for Thanksgiving or any other fall festive occasion.

Except for caramelizing the onions, it’s extremely easy. Caramelizing the onions isn’t difficult, I just find it takes a really long time – sometimes nearly an hour – to do it properly so that the onions are soft and completely golden brown. The recipes that tell you it takes 10 or 15 minutes are lying! It’s worth being patient because you will get soft, super-sweet onions! If you have more than you need you can save the extra to use on salads, burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.(you may even want to consider making extra just to have leftovers!)

Before I get to the recipe, I want to let you know that the blog is taking a vacation for a couple of weeks, as I spend some time with my daughter following the birth this week of her daughter!

Ingredients:

2 cups vegetable broth
½ cup brown rice, uncooked
½ cup wild rice, uncooked
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
3 medium onions, sliced into thin wedges
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 cup dried cranberries
½ tsp. finely grated orange zest

Directions:

Combine broth and brown and wild rice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes. (Or cook the rice and broth mixture in the microwave as you would cook brown rice; I do it at high for 6 minutes and then at medium for 40 minutes.)

While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and brown sugar. When the onions start to soften, turn heat to low and cover the pan for about 5 minutes. Then uncover the pan and continue to cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until all the liquid is absorbed and the onions turn a caramel cover; this will take at least 20 minutes, maybe as much as an hour.

Stir in the cranberries. Cover and cook over low heat until the cranberries swell, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the rice to a large serving bowl. Gently fold in the cranberry mixture and the orange zest.

Serves 6

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2 Responses to “Wild Rice with Caramelized Onions and Cranberries”

  1. adifranza November 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    Hi Bobbie!

    I work for Twin Pines Landscaping, and we are putting together a bunch of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes featuring veggies to share on our social media accounts! With your permission, we’d love to share your picture and link to the recipe here on your blog! Let us know what you think!

    Thanks, and Happy Almost Thanksgiving!
    Ashley DiFranza and The Twin Pines Landscaping Team

    • adifranza December 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

      Good afternoon! We at Twin Pines just wanted to thank you again for contributing to our Twin Pines Thanksgiving Recipe Book (see the final album here http://on.fb.me/1Fk8MLa!) We also wanted to let you know that we’ve posted an article on our blog that ties all these recipes we collected in with landscaping! Check out the final article here http://bit.ly/1FUyBn5 and the ones that link to it! We promise it’s worth a read!

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