Wild Rice Stuffing with Nuts and Cherries

This needs to be cooled before stuffing the turkey, so prep this at least an hour before the turkey is ready to go in the oven. Or to cook separately, put it in a covered baking dish at 350 for 20 minutes.

Obviously you can cook your rices at the same time, they just cook at different speeds, so different pots (natch).

2 cups of white rice

Cook the rice in 4.5 cups water (or broth for the best taste) for about 25 minutes.

1 cup of wild rice

Cook the rice in 4.5 cups water (or broth for the best taste) for about 45 minutes. Mix with white rice.

While the rice is cooking, dice:

1 cup of onion

1 cup celery

To which you will add:

1 cup of dried cherries

1 teaspoon rubbed sage

1 cup pecan halves

1 cup of pitted prunes, quartered

And you can also add:

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons dried marjoram

In a heated pan: 2 tablespoons of fat (your choice), toss in the vegetables and fruit. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly until the vegetables are wilted.

Mix together, add salt and pepper. Stuff and bake.


Raw Cranberry Relish

The Mister likes to relate a story of his youth when his parents could not get him to eat cranberry jelly. Then along comes the botulism scare in which people were warned not to eat any canned cranberries. Naturally, after the announcement, all he wanted was cranberry jelly.

Well, there is too much sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup hiding in that delicious treat. I make a much more mouth-puckering raw version (because I’m sweet enough).

Here you will complain that the amounts given are too vague. But every year, no matter how precise I am, the mixture needs a little more X. So, I will give you a general outline and you can discover the balance of ingredients that suits your taste. It is helpful to have a taster who is not working with you in the kitchen. Their noses are clear and they haven’t been sneaking eats that pollute their palette.

2 (+/-) cups of whole frozen cranberries

1 (+) can of drained crushed pineapple

1 (+) cup of shelled pecans

Put a mix of each ingredient in a food processor and grind until you have a very coarse relish. If you have half cranberries remaining, you’ll want to keep grinding.

You’ll end up processing several batches and putting the mixture in a bowl. After it’s all processed, stir well and call in your taster. You may need to add pineapple or nuts, but rarely more cranberries.

For those who aren’t fans of incredibly “whangy” (i.e. super tart/slightly bitter) foods, you might want to add a little frozen condensed apple juice. I find additional pineapple works for me.

This is a great addition to any meal with heavy fats or rich, savory spices. And it reaches it’s best flavor when you make it a day or two ahead.