This year Easter happened to fall on the 3rd anniversary of my mother's death. She died on Holy Thursday in 2012, but this year, Easter Sunday fell on April 5th. I miss Mama most when I'm preparing for a family roundup. Mama loved hosting all her folks with special dinners. She had a list of requisite recipes that, in her opinion, were a must. So this year I made her Punch Bowl Cake and her Sweet Glazed Carrots and her Sunday Rice because these three recipes were hers and always on her Easter table.
Mama's favorite rice dish was our favorite, as well. All of us (her family) named it Sunday Rice because that's when she most often served it. She claimed dibs on its creation and truthfully, I've never seen a similar recipe. I changed it up a bit, not much though. I'll note my changes in the recipe. It's a perfect side dish for chicken or pork, even served as a main dish with a salad if you're in a vegetarian mood. I love it and you'll love it too, I bet.
Mama's Sunday Rice
Note: Mama's recipe with my alterations in italics
1 package Uncle Ben's Wild Rice
(I used 1 heaping cup of a rice blend - wild rice, brown and red)
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup long grain white rice
(I used 2/3 cup)
1-1/2 cups water
Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup celery
1 small bell pepper
1 bunch green onions
1 small can of mushrooms
(I used fresh mushrooms, preferably baby bellas)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
(I'm making homemade Béchamel the next time)
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
(I used dried rubbed sage)
In separate pots, heat the chicken stock and the water to a boil. Add the rice blend to the chicken stock and the rinsed white rice to the water. Stir both and cook the rice blend until tender, but cook the white rice to the al dente stage. Not quite all the way done. When both rices are just perfect, put them into a large mixing bowl and lightly mix.
Into a saute pan add a generous splash of extra virgin olive oil and a nub of butter. If using fresh mushrooms as I did, add those first to the sizzling oil and butter. Saute until the mushrooms begin to cook nicely, then add the diced celery and diced bell pepper. Cook until softened. Season with a bit of salt and black pepper, not much though, you can adjust before baking. Pour into the mixing bowl along with the rices.
Add the green onions that have been sliced (both green and white part) to the mixing bowl. Add the can of mushrooms if you're not using fresh, as well as the mushroom soup and the sage/poultry seasoning. Mix gently by tossing with two large spoons until well combined. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly...salt, pepper, sage etc.
Pour into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 325 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes. Everything is cooked in advance, therefore you just want it golden brown. Drift over the top a finely grated veil of Asiago cheese or a similar type such as Parmesan or Romano. It's best to use a Microplane for the best results in grating. Serve immediately, piping hot and delicious.
|Rice Blend of Brown, Red and Wild Rice ~ Long Grain White Rice|
|My mixing bowl ~ Mammy's old milk bowl|
|Par-cooked White Rice|
|Adding the Rice Blend|
|Stir gently to combine rices|
|Fresh mushrooms, celery and bell pepper bathing in extra virgin olive oil and butter|
|What a happy bowl!|
|Adding the last ingredients before mixing together|
|Sprinkling on the finely grated Asiago|
|Ready to serve ~ So good, y'all|