Wild Rice with Smoked Turkey, Lingonberries, Wild Onions and Fried Sage

A densely nutritious meal from the Boreal forest, true Northern wild rice is cooked in roasted fowl stock with fresh lingonberries, then tossed with torn pieces of pan-fried smoked turkey, wild onions, fresh sage and rosemary.  Drizzled with hot stock and pan drippings..

Wild Rice with Smoked Turkey, Lingonberries,Wild Onions and Fried Sage

1 wild rice (if the instructions on the package call for less than 1 hour of cooking, it probably isn’t true wild rice)
2-3/4 cups homemade fowl or vegetable stock, boiling
1/2 cup fresh lingonberries, stemmed, rinsed and picked over (substitute cranberries)
1 tablespoon rendered turkey or chicken fat
pinch of sea salt

1 smoked turkey leg, skinned, pulled and torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup wild onions (both green and white sections), trimmed and cut into to 1/8-inch thick slices
12 whole, fresh sage leaves, stemmed
1 heaping tablespoon fresh rosemary needles
2 tablespoons rendered turkey or chicken fat
freshly-cracked black pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon rendered turkey or chicken fat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  Add wild rice and stir to coat.  Continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes until each grain is coated and glossy.

Add 2-1/2 cups boiling stock and berries and stir to separate rice.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until just tender, about 1 hour.  Salt to taste.

Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons rendered turkey or chicken fat in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add turkey and onions and quickly sear.  Add sage and rosemary and cook until herbs are crisp, about 2-3 minutes.

To serve, combine rice and turkey in warm soup bowls.  Stir the reserved stock and pan drippings together and drizzle over the top.  Season with freshly-cracked black pepper.

The species of wild rice most commonly harvested is the annual Zizania palustris.  Native Americans and non-Indians harvest wild rice by canoeing into a stand of plants, and bending the ripe grain heads with wooden sticks called knockers, so as to thresh the seeds into the canoe.

The size of the knockers, as well as other details, are prescribed in state and tribal law.  By Minnesota statute, knockers must be at most 1 inch in diameter, 30 inches long, and one pound in weight.  The plants are not beaten with the knockers but require only a gentle brushing to dislodge the mature grain.  The Ojibwa people call this plant manoomin meaning “good berry”.   Some seeds fall to the muddy bottom and germinate later in the year.

Several Native American cultures, such as the Ojibwa, consider wild rice to be a sacred component in their culture.  The rice is harvested with a canoe: one person vans (or “knocks”) rice into the canoe with two small poles (called “knockers” or “flails”) while the other paddles slowly or uses a push pole.  For these groups, this harvest is an important cultural (and often economic) event. –Wikipedia

Native Vegetable Stew w/Cumin-Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Wild Onions and Fresh Chiles

Inspired by a recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant, this vegetarian dish features cumin-roasted sweet potatoes with assorted fresh chiles, green garlic and wild onions in a light vegetable stock-based sauce with tomatoes, cilantro and a bit of chipotle salsa.

Vitamins A & C and fiber- rich, naturally sweet, smokey and dense, with a moderate heat.  Serve with flat-bread or Anasazi beans..

Native Vegetable Stew /Cumin-Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Wild Onions & Fresh Chiles

The Moosewood Restaurant was founded by Mollie Katzen and others in 1973 in downtown Ithaca, New York, a university town in New York State which is the location of Cornell University and Ithaca College.

Known for its vegetarian cooking, Moosewood was named one of the thirteen most influential restaurants of the 20th Century by Bon Appetit magazine.  It won a James Beard Foundation “American Classic” Award in 2000. –Wikipedia

This post is part of Meatless Monday, a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns,
in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health

Loin of Rabbit with Pancetta, Porcini and Wild Onions

Loin of rabbit with pancetta, porcini, wild onions, garlic and sage..

Sauté pancetta in a teaspoon of clarified butter until most of the fat has been rendered.  Turn the heat up to medium-high, then add thick pieces of porcini mushroom and continue to cook until golden brown.

Season strips of rabbit loin with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper and add to the hot pan with garlic, onions and sage. Let the rabbit brown, but keep it to no more than medium doneness.

De-glaze the pan with an ounce of Armagnac and stir up all the brown bits with the edge of a wooden spoon. Add 1/4 cup of chicken stock and reduce slightly.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add a couple of ounces of fresh cream and a good spoonful of coarse mustard.  Stir until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.  Toss in some coarsely-chopped curly parsley and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

Serve over rye spaetzle or egg noodles.


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This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays

Three Sisters Succotash

Uh'Be'Ka'Yad'Un'Na', Alex Seowtewa

Uh'Be'Ka'Yad'Un'Na'

The Three Sisters (squash, maize, and beans) are the three main agricultural crops of some Native American groups in North America.

The Tewa and other Southwest tribes often included a “fourth sister” known as “Rocky Mountain bee plant”, which attracts bees to help pollinate the beans and squash.

Succotash (from Narragansett msíckquatash, “boiled corn kernels”) is a food dish consisting primarily of corn and Lima beans or other shell beans. Other ingredients may be added, including tomatoes, green and sweet red peppers, and possibly including pieces of cured meat or fish.

Using local ingredients and flavors of the Southwest, my variation attempts to honor the spirit of these important food traditions..

Roast white and yellow corn and carrots in a heavy skillet with some good animal fat such as bison or bear if you can get it, or beef marrow or pork belly if you can’t.  Cook until browned, about 10 minutes.

Add Lima or other beans, wild onions or leeks and summer squash, filtered water or bone broth and a fresh chili if you like, and simmer partially covered until beans are tender, perhaps 20 minutes.

Season with salt and smoked pepper and garnish with fried squash blossoms and toasted pumpkin seeds.

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This post is part of Kelly The Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays


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