in the Kitchen with Red Lake Nation Foods & Larisa Cooks
Photography by Jillian Gandsey
Larisa Cooks has teamed up with Red Lake Nation Foods Inc. for the winter issue of inMagazine to offer hearty recipes made with different types of their wild rice, bread, mixes, jams and syrups.
Red Lake Nation Foods operates with seven to 10 employees, depending on the time of year. The holiday season, from October to January, happens to be their busiest.
Owned by the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, they began writing their business plan in 2003 and eventually launched their website (redlakenationfoods.com) in 2005. There you can find all of their products including wild rice from their most recent harvest.
Red Lake Nation Foods harvests their rice on leased land located north of Gonvick. The harvest season varies, but typically spans from the beginning of September through the first week of October.
Cooking with Wild Rice
“Wild rice has a distinct unique taste. It will enhance the flavor of any meal, from the simple to the gourmet specialty. It can be used as a side dish and as a bedding for fish, fowl or meat. Add cooked wild rice to quiche, pancakes, eggs and omelets. Try it on your favorite soup and stew recipes. Create your own special delights by using it in and on all types of salads. So, the next time you cook, try wild rice! It’s a delicious complement to any meal.” – Red Lake Nation Foods
Larisa cooked up a variety of recipes with everything from a traditional wild rice dish to blueberry pancakes from their mix that could be topped with the Red Lake Nation Foods’ maple or blueberry syrup.
On the savory side, Larisa put together wild rice burgers using the premium long grain wild rice from Red Lake Nation Foods and put the patties on onion buns. She also made a traditional creamy chicken wild rice soup with the “Soup Bits,” which is broken bits from cultivated wild rice.
We’ve also put together wild rice meatballs with beef, pork sausage and the “Quick Cook Wild Rice,” which takes about 25 minutes to cook. The meatballs go in the oven at 350 for an hour and can be enjoyed with or without your favorite BBQ sauce.
On the sweet side, Larisa used the “Wild Bits & Basmati Rice Blend” to whip up a Wild Rice Pudding and used the Red Lake Nation Foods maple syrup. She also added raisins and cranberries.
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the rice according to package instructions and let cool to room temperature. In a medium bowl, add beaten egg, garlic, shredded cheddar, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Add the cooked, cooled rice and bread crumbs and mix again. The mixture should stick together and not be wet. If too wet add a little more bread crumbs. If mixture is too dry, add another beaten egg.
- Form rice dough into four patties and cook on a pancake griddle at 300 degrees for 6-8 minutes per side. After the 12-18 minutes are up, you can top with a slice of cheese and serve on hamburger buns and your favorite burger toppings.
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 lb bulk pork sausage
1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/4 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 3/4 cups Quick Cooked Wild Rice, cooked
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 medium onion, diced
Make rice according to package directions. Mix all the ingredients together including the cooked rice. Shape into 1-inch balls and place in a baking pan in a single layer. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Top with your favorite BBQ Sauce.
I used a medium to large ice cream scoop to form the meatball to ensure all were the same size for even cooking.
1 baguette loaf
1 package cream cheese
1 package brie cheese
2 jars jelly, flavors of your choice
Slice baguette into half inch thick slices. Place on baking sheet and brush with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees until toasted. While hot, spread with either cream cheese or brie cheese and top with your favorite jelly.
I had 12 slices of the baguette and topped six with cream cheese and the other six with the brie cheese. On the cream cheese slices, I spread Choke Cherry Jelly and the brie cheese slices with Plum Jelly. They can be served warm or at room temperature.
Traditional Wild Rice
1 cup Quick Cook Wild Rice
4 cups low sodium chicken or beef broth
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
Wash wild rice in three changes for hot tap water. In a saucepan heat wild rice, broth and salt to boiling. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer until wild rice has absorbed the broth, about 20-25 minutes. Wild rice should be tender but not rolled back.
I used low sodium chicken broth and added lemon zest to the top before serving for color.
The traditional wild rice recipe came from Floyd Buck Jourdain in A Taste of Red Lake Cookbook on page 12.
2 cups Wild Bits & Basmati Rice Blend
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
2 cups half and half
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup raisins and cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare rice according to package directions.
- In a medium size bowl mix rice and all the other ingredients. Pour into a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake for one hour or until warm and set.
- Serve warm or chilled and drizzle with additional maple syrup and sprinkle a little extra raisins and cranberries on top.
1 cup Brown & Wild Rice, uncooked
1/2 large onion, diced
1/4 cup butter
2 celery stalks, diced
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1/2 cup slivered almonds, browned (optional)
2 4-ounce cans mushrooms and juice
1 small bag frozen peas
1 can consummé or chicken stock
- Make rice according to package instructions.
- In a large skillet sauté the onions and celery. Add rice, mushroom, seasonings and consommé or chicken stock.
- Cook to boil and reduce heat to low and simmer, until all liquid is absorbed but not dry. Stir in frozen peas and allow to heat through and then stir in the slivered almonds.
1 cup Soup Bits
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup onions, chopped
3/4 cup celery, chopped
3/4 cup carrots, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 tablespoons salt-free poultry seasoning
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil (or substitute more butter)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the rice from the “Soup Bits” package under running water. Place the uncooked rice, chicken breast, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, chicken broth, water, and poultry seasoning in a slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8. In the last half hour of cooking, remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Allow to cool slightly before shredding using two forks.
- When the rice is done cooking, add the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker. Melt the butter and oil in a saucepan. Add the flour and let the mixture cook for 1 minute. Whisk the mixture slowly while adding in the milk. Continue to whisk until all lumps have dissolved. Allow the mixture to thicken and become creamy.
- Add this creamy mixture to the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Add additional water or milk to your preference if the consistency is too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
1 bag of Red Lake Nation Foods Traditional Bannock Quick Bread Mix
1 to 1 1/4 cup water
- Add 1 cup of water to contents of bag (1#). Stir with fork, adding more water (if needed) to make a soft sticky dough. Knead on a floured surface 8 to 10 times. Press down into 1″ thickness on to a round, greased 10″ baking pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes
1 1/2 cups mix
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
1 1/2 to 2 cups milk
1 tablespoon oil or melted butter
Mix all of the ingredients (but don’t over beat). Fry on a hot pan turning when bubbles break (golden brown).
For more information on products from Red Lake Nation Foods, visit their website at www.redlakenationfoods.com.
This article was featured in the Winter 2016 issue of inMagazine.