Cranberry Rice Pilaf

Wild Rice
Maja Smend

American pilaf’s originated in the South.  Rice pilaf is different from ordinary steamed or boiled rice in that the pilaf’s rice is cooked in butter or oil first, which makes the grains begin to swell.  The liquid added is not plain water, but a flavorful liquid such as vegetable or chicken stock, which along with seasonings, adds richness to the rice. 

Rice pilaf is a great dish with lots of flavor when you want more than just regular rice and the addition of dried cranberries makes it a winner.  It would work just as well with dried cherries, raisins or apricots.

This recipe takes rice to a new level and is a wonderful side dish for your holiday table.  It will go with any meat or seafood and is a great alternative to potatoes; you will love the aroma of it! 

Cranberry Rice Pilaf


2 cps. vegetable or chicken stock
1 T. butter
½ T. olive oil
1 or 2 large shallots, minced
1 c. wild rice 
 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1/3 c. dried cranberries
1/8 t. dried thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, minced
1/4 c. pecans, coarsely chopped and toasted (or pine nuts) *


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small pan, bring the stock to a simmer.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the oil.
Add shallots and sauté 2-3 minutes until translucent.
Add rice and stir until well coated, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the heated stock, mushrooms, dried cranberries, salt and pepper and thyme, bring to a simmer, stirring well.
Transfer to a 1 ½ quart casserole dish.
Place in 375 degree over and bake for about 40-45 minutes, until rice has absorbed the liquid.
Remove from oven.
Add parsley and toasted pecans.  Fluff with a fork.
Serve hot or warm.

* To toast pecans or pine nuts, spread on small baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes.  Stir frequently.  Watch that they don’t burn.

Serves 4-6


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