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Wild Rice with Corn & Chiles

Wild Rice with Corn & Chiles 
Christina Leatha, Woodinville
from the KCTS 9 Cooks: Pasta, Rice & Grains cookbook

This is a delicious and fun modern casserole dish. Casseroles are often either overly rich or monotonous in flavor; this casserole is neither. Healthy and beautiful wild rice is combined with fresh, bright Southwest flavors and sharp white cheddar for a delicious complexity. This dish goes very well with any Southwestern-themed dinner, is great for potlucks or game day and reheats beautifully for lunch the next day!

serves 6 to 8

  • 1 cup wild rice, any variety
  • 2 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob, or 11/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 large poblano chile pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, preferably white (Coastal Cheddar is excellent.) 
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste 
  • 1 generous grind black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons New Mexico chile powder (optional, for a spicy dish) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup milk (preferably whole) 
  • lime wedges and chopped cilantro, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray, or rub with olive oil.

To cook rice, rinse first in a fine mesh strainer. Cook rice according to package directions, making sure to add a generous pinch of salt. When rice is finished cooking, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool slightly.

While rice is cooking, in a large bowl combine corn, diced yellow onion, diced poblano, shredded cheese, salt, pepper, and spices, reserving 1/2 cup of the cheese.

Add 3 cups of the cooked rice to the large bowl along with the milk. (Any remaining rice can be set aside for another use.) Mix well to combine all ingredients.

Pour the rice mixture into your casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the top. Bake for 1 hour, until cheese is beginning to turn golden. Cool for 10 minutes before serving, with lime wedges and/or chopped cilantro for garnish, if desired.

KCTS Cook's note: We tried this in an 8-inch square baking dish, using a packaged wild rice blend, and it got a unanimous thumbs up. We plan on adding chopped cooked turkey for a post-Thanksgiving leftovers feast.

Find more recipes from the KCTS kitchen.