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Published November 28th, 2018
Two savory and sweet dishes just in time for the holidays
Winter Wild Rice Photos Susie Iventosch

We didn't have enough room to include these two wonderful recipes from Celine Sherwood in our last issue, but they are really delicious and would make great side dishes for the holidays. I made the savory and sweet version of the Smashed Carrots, and absolutely loved them. But, in my husband's culinary world, there appears to be a law against mixing sweet and savory, so I also made a third version eliminating all of the sugar, spice and orange zest and adding caramelized shallots and tablespoon of soy sauce. I kept the dill weed in the savory-savory version, and added a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. In all of the versions, créme fraiche adds a lovely creamy character to the dish.
Winter Wile Rice Photo Celine Sherwood

(Full recipe serves 12 as a side dish. Half recipe serves 6)

Celine's Notes:
The key to making this dish is to keep stirring each new ingredient you add to the pot, until it is time to move on to the next step. Also it's important to toast the rice by sautéing it before adding the liquid.

Susie's Notes:
Celine told me that her mom thinks there are not enough vegetables in this dish. It actually calls for a lot of veggies, but I accidentally cut the recipe in half for the rice and broth, but kept the same amount of veggies and it was fantastic, so maybe her mom is on to something! Also, I used dried apricots as the fruit, pecans and blanched almonds, and a blend of fresh spinach and arugula for the greens.

1 large shallot (thinly sliced)
1 large carrot (diced)
2 celery sticks (diced)
4 tablespoon grape seed oil or butter
3 cups wild rice medley
8 oz. mushrooms, any variety is fine (sliced)
3 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoon Osem chicken style consomme soup and seasoning mix, or poultry seasoning
1 cup golden raisins, or dried fruit of choice (dried currants, blueberries, and/or apricots work well)
5 oz. bag spinach leaves
*Optional vegetables can be added in, like broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, peas, asparagus, etc. Just be sure veggies are chopped to the same size as the carrots and celery to allow for even cooking. Slivered almonds, pecan halves, chopped walnuts, or hazelnuts, can be added in during step 9. I recommend 1 cup of nuts.

1. In a heavy lidded pot, warm grape seed oil over high heat until hot (or butter until melted)
2. Add in shallots, carrots, celery, and any optional vegetables, cook until shallots are translucent.
3. Add in rice, and toss to coat in oil. Keep tossing and toasting the rice until it releases its aroma (about 1-2 minutes).
4. Add in mushrooms. Stir until the mushrooms start to release their water.
5. Add in chicken broth, and seasoning, and stir until seasoning is well dissolved.
6. Bring to boil and continually stir for 5 minutes.
7. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and let cook for 30 minutes.
8. Uncover pot and stir contents.
9. Turn heat up to medium, and stir in raisins or dried fruit of choice, and nuts (if
you are using them) cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
10. Lower heat to simmer, and cook until done (about 20 minutes)
11. Turn off heat, stir in spinach until wilted, and serve!
Smashed Carrots Photo Susie Iventosch

Celine's Notes:
A savory and sweet version of this dish can be made. Ingredient substitutions for the sweet version are noted in the ingredient list. This dish can be made ahead of time, and reheated in either a microwave or in an oven. This is a dish I happened upon by accident. Back when my husband Shon and I first had kids, I made my own baby food, and one day made way too much carrot purée. I didn't have any stock on hand, so making a soup was out of the question. I did have brown sugar and raisins however. This recipe has evolved over time, and because I don't like to break out the blender, it is reserved for special birthday requests or major holidays. When it does come out, it's gone in minutes!

Susie's Notes:
I used a small food processor to purée the carrots in batches, since we don't have an immersion blender and it worked just fine.

2 lb. bag of baby carrots
4 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon all-spice
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dried orange peel, or zest of 1 orange
4 tablespoons maple syrup (for sweet version, substitute
3T brown sugar, and 1T orange marmalade)
2 tablespoons creme fraiche for savory version only
(I don't recommend substituting sour cream, or anything else as it gives the dish a
very heavy/paste-like mouth feel)
1 tablespoon brown sugar for savory version
1 tablespoon honey for sweet version
1/3 cup dried currants (I don't recommend substituting the currants for a different dried fruit as it'll make the dish too chunky.
1 teaspoon fresh dill (for savory version only).

1. In a heavy bottomed stainless steel pot (you're going to be using an immersion blender, so use a pot capable of withstanding heavy duty use), bring water to boil.
2. Add in carrots and cinnamon stick.
3. Boil for 15 minutes/until fork is easily inserted into a carrot.
4. Remove cinnamon stick and discard.
5. Drain pot of water into a cup (you'll need it for later), leaving carrots in pot.
6. Put pot over low heat.
7. Add in butter, ginger, all-spice, ground cinnamon, orange peel or zest, maple syrup (or brown sugar and orange marmalade) to pot. Mix until butter is melted.
8. Take pot off of heat, and blend carrots using an immersion blender, adding in small amounts of reserved water if the mixture becomes too dry.
9. Blend until smooth.
10. For savory version - add in creme fraiche, and fold into the mashed carrots.
11. Scoop into serving bowl.
12. For savory version - sprinkle top with brown sugar. For sweet version - drizzle with honey.
13. For savory version - top with dried currants and dill. For sweet version - top with dried currants.

Susie can be reached at suziventosch@gmail.com. This recipe can be found on our website: www.lamorindaweekly.com. If you would like to share your favorite recipe with Susie please contact her by email or call our office at (925) 377-0977.

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