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Big Flavors from your Small Appliances

Wild Rice Stuffing with Pears and Mushrooms
Appliance: Rice Cooker - 10 cup capacity and larger
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This Gluten Free, Meat Free recipe is perfect for Holiday dinners
   4 ounces dried mushrooms (such as morel or mixed)
   Water (for re-hydrating mushrooms)
   6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter or cooking oil
   2 small onions (about 16 ounces), diced
   16 ounces fresh crimini mushrooms, sliced
   4 tablespoons fresh thyme (divided)
   7 cups lower sodium chicken or vegetable broth
   4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage (divided)
   1 1/3 cup wild rice
   1 1/3 cup long-grain white or basmati rice
   2 cup dried pears, chopped
   3/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
   Salt and pepper, to taste

Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl, cover them with room temperature water by about two inches, weighing them down with a shallow bowl or saucer. Allow them to soak until softened throughout, 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on thickness and variety. Check mushrooms periodically while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Drain the wild mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Rinse the mushrooms and coarsely chop them. Strain the reserved soaking liquid through a coffee filter or paper towels to remove any grit. This mushroom broth can be kept, refrigerated, for up to a week, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Add the butter to the inner bowl of the rice cooker and push the Cook button. When butter has melted, add the onion and both the fresh mushrooms and re-hydrated mushrooms. Cover and cook, stirring every two to three minutes, for 10 minutes, then add a pinch of salt. Continue to cook until the mushrooms and onions have browned, about 40 to 60 minutes, pushing Cook button each time the machine switches to Keep Warm during the process, if necessary. Transfer to a bowl, stir in a little pepper, and cover.

Place broth in your rice cooker's inner bowl and stir in half of the thyme, half of the sage and the wild rice. Cover and push the Cook button. Use brown rice or wild rice setting, if available. Cook for 40 minutes, then stir in the white rice. Cover and continue to cook until the white rice is almost tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. The rice cooker will not switch off, as not all of the cooking liquid will be absorbed by the rice.

Stir in onions and mushrooms, the pears, and the remaining thyme and sage. Cover and continue cooking, stirring often, until the rice is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Switch machine to Keep Warm and stir in the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If using as a stuffing, turn off or unplug the rice cooker. Spoon hot stuffing carefully beneath the neck skin and into the cavity of a prepared turkey before roasting, or fill prepared squash with hot stuffing before serving.

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