For an alternative, consider Cook's Illustrated's Rice Pilaf recipe.
FOR WILD RICE
- 3/4 cup wild rice
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 ounces cremini or porcini mushrooms
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
FOR REST OF SIDE DISH
- 2 Tbl butter
- 2 Tbl flour
- 1 cup skim milk
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup finely shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbl chopped parsley
- 3 Tbl panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1. Place rice and salt in a 4-quart stockpot and cover with 3 quarts water. Bring to boil and cook 30 minutes until rice pops open. Strain, then cool on a plate. Set aside.
2. While the rice is cooking, shred the cheese; cover with damp paper towel and set aside.
3. Also rinse mushrooms in cold water to remove any dirt. Pat dry with paper towel, Trim stems and quarter mushrooms (or mince them, if you're Liz)
4. Heat sauté pan on high 3 minutes, add oil, mushrooms and salt. Cook 5 to 8 minutes stirring constantly.
5. Add 1/2 cup of water to mushrooms. Deglaze pan and reduce until liquid has evaporated 3 to 4 minutes.
6. Remove from heat; cool mushrooms on a plate and set aside.
7. Heat oven to 400.
8. Melt butter in medium 2-qt saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk briskly for 2 minutes to remove lumps and to thicken slightly.
9. Add milk and salt. Turn heat to high and bring to boil, stirring constantly.
10. Simmer 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
11. Reduce heat to low; Add cheese, stirring 30 seconds.
12. Add cooked mushrooms, cooked wild rice, pepper and parsley. Stir well to combine.
13. Spoon mixture into oven-safe dish (or ramekins). Sprinkle top with panko crumbs and bake, uncovered 15 minutes.