Friday, March 14, 2014

Smitten Kitchen Wild Rice and Kale Gratin

This is my first attempt at a recipe from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook and because the dish turned out so well, I'm sure it won't be my last. The book is chalk full of gorgeous recipes and moreover, food porn. When cooking, I need gorgeous pictures of dishes to inspire me into recreating them. Deb Perelman has a wonderful eye for food photography as well as a knack for creating delicious recipes.  Because I'm hosting a small dinner party next week and one of my guests is vegan, my mission for the week was to find something fabulous for the vegan that would also work as a side dish for we fish-eaters. As time consuming as it was, it was actually very easy to make. The wild rice takes about an hour to cook and that is the real time sucker but it allows you to prep the other ingredients while it is cooking. It is hearty, healthy and totally divine. I'm excited to serve it to the vegan and carnivores alike next week. I'm cutting the recipe in half as to serve four people, feel free to double the recipe for more guests. Here is the recipe:

  • 1 C wild rice
  • 2 TBS butter divided 
  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 TBSP Kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 C stemmed and ribboned kale leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 C coarsely grated Gruyere or baby Swiss cheese (I will omit this for the vegan)
  • 1/2 C Vegetable broth
  • 1/2 C Panko bread crumbs

Cook the wild rice according to the directions. I bought a wild rice mix at Whole Foods that required two cups of water to the 1 cup of rice and brought to a boil then reduced to simmer for 50 minutes. It was suggested that I add a TBSP of butter which I will omit next week. When a recipe calls for butter and I am cooking for myself, I will always add it! After the 50 minutes simmering allow to cool for ten minutes.

Next preheat oven to 375. Coat your 1 quart cooking dish with either 1 TBSP melted butter or cooking spray, I used TJ's olive oil spray. Then while the rice was cooking I prepared the onions and Kale mixture.  To caramelize the onions, heat the olive oil and 1 TBSP of butter over medium low heat for several minutes. Add the sliced onions and cook for 30 minutes or golden and tender.  Stir occasionally.  Then add the kale ribbons and let them wilt in the onion mixture for about 5 minutes. 

Once the rice is cooked, combine it with the onion and kale mix in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and then stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese. (I will abstain for my vegan friend).  Pour the mixture into your 1 quart dish and then pour 1/2 cup of the broth over it. Toss the 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs over the top and then add the remaining cheese to top. I will save the cheese for we dairy enthusiasts and leave a portion without cheese. Finally, add one TBSP of melted butter on top and pop in that oven for 30-35 minutes or until bubbling and beginning to brown. Serve hot. Enjoy the hearty yummy-ness! 

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