Chippewa Wild Rice

As I continue to cook through a number of wild rice recipes, I came across this recipe in the original From Minnesota with Love cookbook.  However, especially with concerns around drilling for our First Nation peoples and their land, I also want to be sure to share information about the harvest as a part of the Chippewa band of people in Northern Minnesota.  You can read more about their tie to and harvest of wild rice online.  I have no idea whether this recipe is traditional among First Nation peoples, although it looks to me to be something that has been adapted by others who moved in the area.  That being said, I wanted to test it out and eat a wild rice recipe where we could taste the flavors in a different way.  I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed this wild rice recipe.  Partially because I wasn’t sure what to expect — was this a wild rice version of fried rice or something that should be experienced on its own accord?  And, with the eggs in it, could I eat this for breakfast?  And the answer to all of those is Yes.

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Chippewa Wild Rice

1 c wild rice
2 1/2 c water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 slices bacon, fried
6 eggs
2 Tbsp minced chives
2 Tbsp bacon fat or butter

Wash rice.  Bring 1 tsp salt and the rice to a boil in 2 1/2 c water.  Simmer 35 to 40 minutes until rice is tender and water is absorbed.  Beat eggs with 1/2 tsp salt and the pepper.  Melt bacon fat in a skillet and pour egg mixture in.  Cook eggs until firm and light brown.  Remove from pan and cut in thin strips.  Add crumbled bacon, eggs, and chives to rice.  Heat through.

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Spicy Vanilla Chicken

As I mentioned in my last post, we had a little heatwave in the midwest last week that meant breaking out the grill and making sure it still worked.  And, being a sucker for savory recipes that include an unusual flavor, such as vanilla, I had been waiting most of the winter to cook this spicy vanilla chicken.  I found the recipe as I was sorting through an old bunch of recipes I printed off, so unfortunately, I’m unsure where to attribute it.  However, if you are looking for a recipe that has a little bit of a different (but delicious) flavor, you should consider trying this one.

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Spicy Vanilla Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1 c mango or pineapple salsa (such as Newman’s Own pineapple salsa)
1 TBS vanilla extract
1 tsp hot pepper sauce

Preheat grill or broiler. Coat chicken with cooking spray and season with lemon pepper. Coat rack of grill or broiler with spray. Cook chicken 2 to 3 inches from heat source, about 4 minutes per side.

Combine salsa, vanilla and hot sauce while chicken cooks. Place half the mixture on the chicken and grill 2 minutes longer. Serve with remaining salsa mixture.

4 servings

Green Apple Salsa Verde

In an unexpected change of events over the last week, the midwest has experienced a bit of a spring heat wave.  That’s all about to change — some areas are forecasted to get 10-12 inches of snow and some blizzard-like conditions today, but for a few brief days, we enjoyed 60+ degrees, grilling outdoors, and enjoying a cold beer on a patio after a good days work.  So, to go along with some grilled chicken that I’ll post in the next few days, I made this green apple salsa verde from the Smoke: New Firewood Cooking cookbook.  I was looking for something to make with my smoker, but ended up not being home enough to use that.  But, this provided the little taste of summer that was needed in order to glimpse summer before today’s winter returns.

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Green Apple Salsa Verde

1 lb tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and cut into thirds
2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed and seeded
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely diced

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the tomatillos, onion, jalapenos, garlic, and 2 cups water.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft and tender, about 10 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables from the cooking liquid to a bowl, and allow them to cool at room temperature while you reduce the liquid in the pan.

Bring the cooking liquid to a boil over high heat, and continue to boil until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup.  Pour the reduced liquid into the bowl of vegetables and refrigerate, covered, until the vegetables have cooled completely.

When the vegetables and the liquid have cooled, stir in the salt.  Transfer the vegetables to a blender and pulse until the salsa is almost smooth.  Add the cilantro and pulse 2 or 3 times to incorporate the cilantro leaves — you don’t want to bruise or tear them by pulsing too much.  Pour the sauce into a bowl and fold in the diced apple.

If you want to make the salsa ahead of time, it can be refrigerated for up to 2 days in an airtight container.  Add the diced apples just before serving.