Weekly Dish: Green Rice

A few of the new recipes I have made recently and that have been on my Weekly Menus have turned out to be duds. Or at least less than blog-worthy. Some will be okay with a little tweaking. But I obviously can’t post until it’s perfect. SO, here’s one from the recipe book archives:

This is a “real food” adaptation of my Nana’s recipe and a family favorite. She’s gone now, but would be proud to have one of her recipes on the Internet! ┬áIt is actually a Rice Pilaf recipe, but when I was little, I am told that I re-named it Green Rice and it stuck.

Green Rice

1 C long-grain brown rice
2 T butter
2 C homemade chicken stock
1 Bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground thyme
2 Tablespoons butter
1 10-oz package chopped spinach
salt & pepper, to taste
Melt butter, add onion and rice and cook until onions are limp. Add chicken stock and heat.
Put in casserole dish and add salt and pepper. Sprinkle thyme on top and drop in bay leaf.
Cover and bake in oven 400 degrees for 30 minutes-1 hour or until liquid is absorbed.
Melt butter, add defrosted spinach and toss in skillet just until heated well.
Remove bay leaf and lightly toss spinach and rice together.
Do not stir as rice will get gummy.

Thanksgiving Menu- Check!

Thanksgiving 2011 is now 12 days away. 11 days for me, as we are having a feast with friends on Wednesday and a feast with family on Thursday. This means I had to get on the ball (Butterball?) and plan a menu. Which, of course, is not foreign to me. And I love it, just a little. But still, it had to be done ASAP or disorganization, stress, and caffeinated last minute-ness would ensue.

I offer a disclaimer right off the bat: There is white bread on my Menu. *gasp!* I am not an experienced Thanksgiving-er. This is technically my first one. So you can see why I would be a little afraid to try whole wheat or an alternative bread when other non-family member people are coming to my house to eat dinner. People who may or may not care about eating white bread. So I had to do it. However, with this one small exception, the menu is packed with REAL food. Maybe no one will know. Maybe no one will care. Except for the neurotic hippie. (That would be me.)

With that being said… let us proceed.

The Menu

Turkey
No stuffing inside the bird. Instead, lemon, orange, carrots, celery, thyme and butter. So I guess it is sort of stuffed… just not with bread.

Caramelized Onion Dressing
A classic stuffing with the addition of caramelized onions and parmesan cheese.

Cheddar Jalapeno Dressing
A dressing made with an Italian loaf, cheddar, jalapenos, and a lager beer for depth of flavor.

Green Bean Casserole
Not your grandma’s recipe. This one is made with fresh mushrooms, cream and homemade chicken stock, and topped with caramelized onions.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas with Honey
For the kids as well as the adults. Takes the marshmallow topping idea to a new and sophisticated level, gracing it instead with candied pecans.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Gotta use the gravy with something! Made with Yukon Golds.

Cranberry Orange Sauce with Maple Syrup
Replacing white sugar with maple syrup is always a good idea. So is combining cranberries with oranges with cinnamon.

Appetizers, Rolls and Dessert
I am passing this off to anyone and everyone who offers to bring something. Like our friend, the Pastry Chef!

I hope to be posting many of these recipes in the near future. I have high hopes; hopefully there is nothing to disappoint on that day. But who can go wrong with caramelized onions, butter and cream?!