The lure of comfort food is a force to be reckoned with. Certain dishes evoke nostalgia for not just the food itself but perhaps for a specific person or a special time in our childhood. Like many of you, recipes our mothers made when we were children hold very strong nostalgia for us. The difficulty we face now in continuing to make many of these wonderful dishes, is that we are more conscious than we were before about the quality and value of the ingredients we use. We are starting to find ways to honor the original concept of our favorite dishes but link them to the present with fresher and better quality ingredients.
This recipe came from a Minnesota family cook book written in the 80’s. Of course, it called for a can of cream of mushroom soup – that infamous can that ended up in 1/2 the dishes we ate as children. We now know that canned soup is full of sodium, sugar and preservatives that we would rather not include in our cooking. The swap for this dish was simple. We used fresh mushrooms instead of canned and used evaporated milk instead of cream of mushroom soup. With such a simple fix, we were able to pay homage to this family recipe and update it to fit the healthy style our families embraces now.
|Prep Time: 20 minutes|
|Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes|
|Notes: Freezes well|
1 cup wild rice
1 pound bacon, sliced into thin strips
1 cup celery, chopped
1 pound of fresh mushrooms (your choice), sliced in bite size pieces
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 12 oz can of evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed)
4 cups of milk
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- Wash and rinse the wild rice for any impurities. In a medium pot, cover the rice with water and boil for 15 minutes; drain and set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, fry the bacon until crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon pieces to a dish lined with a paper towel; reserving the bacon grease in the pot.
- In the same pot, over medium heat, sauté the onion and celery until the onion is translucent; about 5-7 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and sauté for 6 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Add evaporated milk and fresh milk.
- Add bacon, wild rice, salt and pepper.
- Cook on low heat for 1 hour; do not boil. Salt to taste.
STORAGE: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.