Wild Rice Cakes
Wild rice varies in quality. Most of what is sold as wild rice is actually cultivated and then mechanically harvested and processed. It is worth the extra cost to buy more flavorful hand-harvested lake- or river-grown wild rice. This recipe goes well served with Perfect Roast Chicken or Duck Roasted in Salt.
- 8 thin slices white bread
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium carrot, (about 1/3 cup), peeled, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 small celery stalk, (about 1/3 cup), peeled, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/2 medium yellow pepper, (about 1/3 cup), seeded, deveined, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 250 degrees.Using a serrated knife, remove crusts from bread. Place trimmed bread on a baking sheet. Transfer to oven, and cook until dry, about 15 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool. In a food processor, chop bread very finely (you need about 1 1/4 cups), and set aside.
Rinse rice under cold running water until water runs clear. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat. Stir in wild rice, and lower heat to medium low. Cook rice, stirring often, until water has evaporated and rice has popped, about 55 minutes. Drain rice through a colander. Set aside to cool.
Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a medium nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic, and stir until fragrant. Add carrot, celery, and yellow pepper, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine cooked wild rice, vegetables, and eggs. Gently fold in breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and refrigerate until the breadcrumbs have absorbed the liquids, about 1 hour.
Using a 2-ounce ice-cream scoop, firmly pack rice mixture into scoop. Place ball of rice mixture on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat (French nonstick baking mat or parchment paper). Gently press down with your damp palm to flatten rice into a cake. Repeat with remaining rice mixture to form eight cakes.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil in a medium nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Using a wide spatula, carefully transfer four rice cakes into pan. Saute until lightly browned and set on the edges, about 5 minutes. Gently turn rice cakes, and saute for 5 more minutes. Repeat with remaining rice cakes. Serve immediately.