Wild rice is the only North American Native Grain. The rice was once plentiful in the lakes and rivers of the Great Lakes region and Canada. It was a staple food for the Ojibwe and Menominee tribes. Wild rice is still harvested traditionally and requires a special permit. Moving through the rice bed in canoes or flat bottom boats, the kernels are knocked into the boat with a “flail” (knocking stick usually made of cedar).
Mary T. Newman is the coordinator for the Committee on Native American Ministries for the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church. Mary leads extensive community education and outreach events on Native American history and culture. Her skills include pottery and cooking over a fire. Mary T. shared some of her favorite recipes with us along with some interesting facts about the ingredients and the origin of each dish.
*This recipe is made with Zatarain's, which is a mixture of rice as many folks will not be able to buy wild rice by itself. When you can, it is a treasure!
Zatarain’s Long Grain and Wild Rice 7 oz box
(8 ounces long-grain wild rice if you can buy it)
2 ¼ cup water
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 pound button mushrooms, sliced (or your favorite mushrooms)
½ teaspoon salt, more to taste
Black pepper, to taste
(optional – sprinkle top with sunflower seeds, pine nuts or hominy)
*hominy from cracked corn
- Bring water to a boil. Stir in rice, then reduce heat so liquid is just simmering. Cover and cook until grains just begin to pop, about 25 minutes. Drain excess liquid from rice and set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt 1 stick unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have released their liquid and are golden brown, about 8 minutes. Move mushrooms to bowl.
- Mix mushrooms into prepared rice and season again with salt and pepper.
After moving rice and mushrooms to bowl, options are to sprinkle with the seeds, nuts or hominy.
Learn more about Mary T. Newman and her ministry with the Tennessee Conference.
This video was first posted on November 6, 2020.