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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Harvest Rice

Harvest Rice, Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob, and Mahi Mahi
I have quickly learned to never, NEVER, go to Costco when I am hungry.  OR, go to Costco if I need a snack, and my bank account is running low.  Either way, customers need to be prepared for some scrumptious treats.  For those of you unfamiliar with Costco, it is very similar to Sam's Club.  I prefer Costco though because it feels cleaner, better organized, and a bit more upscale.  To throw back to lower school ERB testing-
Costco : Sam's :: Target : Wal-Mart

In case you don't remember or didn't quite understand the analogy section of lower (elementary) school English, that translates to "Costco is to Sam's Club as Target is to Wal-Mart."  The same concept of a store, but Costco is just a step above in quality- in my humble opinion.

I pre-measured and chopped everything when I had some spare time during the day, then when it was time to cook, all I had to do was plop in the ingredients as the recipe called for them

Grammar Side-Note- I never can resist the temptation to remind people how important correct grammar is.  (*If you don't know the difference in its/it's, they're/their/there, etc, we may not be able to be friends.)  ANYWAY. I was at Costco one day and in need of a snack, so I headed to the back right corner where the food is located.  I had my slice of bean and cheese taquito ("Right here on Aisle 9, ma'am."  No, thanks, I just wanted a free sample.  I don't need 110 taquitos.), piece of lemon garlic tilapia, cracker with brie, and crab cake.  All I needed was dessert.  Since I had already eaten my way through half of the frozen food aisle, I thought I'd try the dried cherries for dessert.  They sounded sweet but healthy- and, most importantly, they were available to sample.  They were perfect! A bit sweet, and a lot tart, dried cherries are now one of my new favorite snacks.

My pre-measured packets of ingredients all folded up and ready when I was

As they do every year, my parents left in January and headed to Colorado for a week and a half for the Ouray Ice Festival.  Read about the last time we housesat and Smashed Potatoes here.  I was cooking dinner for Andy one night while we were house sitting at my parents' house, and I thought I'd find a recipe that involved my new love, dried cherries.  I ended up making Harvest Rice which called for dried cranberries, and I substituted my cherries instead.  Andy wasn't such as fan of the cherries- he thought they were weird in rice (which, I'll give him, that is unusual), plus he isn't a big fan of dried fruit.  I, however, thought the rice was robust with flavor and boasted a very unique taste that was all of nutty, sweet, tarte, and filling.  It would be great for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner side item- I even said it "tastes like Thanksgiving."

Maybe around the holidays I will head to Costco and pick up some of these ingredients in bulk.  Until then, you can find me moseying around the freezer aisle, in hopes of finding another delicious undiscovered snack.

Harvest Rice
All Recipes; altered by Kate Strickland
Servings: 4; Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value: 9

Harvest Rice
  • 1/2 c slivered almonds (or use candied almonds like I use in my candied almond salad- read here how to make candied almonds)
  • 2 c chicken broth
  • 1/2 c uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 c uncooked wild rice
  • 3 tbsp butter (or butter substitute)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 c onion, chopped
  • 1 c dried cherries (or cranberries)
  • 2/3 c sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. If you're using plain almonds, you're going to want to toast them.  If they're already prepped, skip to step 2:
    1. Place almonds on an ungreased baking sheet
    2. Toast at 350 degrees for 5-8 mins
  2. Mix broth, brown rice, and wild rice in medium saucepan.  Bring to boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low.  Cover, simmer for 45 mins until rice is tender and broth is absorbed.
  4. In medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat
  5. Add onions and brown sugar
  6. Saute until butter is absorbed and onions are see-through and soft
  7. Reduce heat and cook onions for another 20 mins until caramelized
  8. Stir cherries and mushrooms into the skillet
  9. Cover, and cook 10 mins
  10. Stir in almonds and orange zest, then fold mixture into the cooked rice
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste

Keep on cookin'!

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