Food & Drink

Bluffton woman a finalist in national wild rice recipe contest

Chicken Wild Rice Enchiladas
Chicken Wild Rice Enchiladas Submitted Photo

Angie Smith has always enjoyed cooking. She fondly recalls sitting on the kitchen counter as a young girl, watching her grandmother prepare meals.

Now the Bluffton woman is a grandmother herself. At the urging of her 13-year-old grandson, she entered a recipe contest over the summer, and two of her recipes were chosen as finalists.

Smith's recipes for Zesty Wild Rice Salad and Chicken and Wild Rice Enchiladas are two of the 10 finalists in the third annual Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council's "Get Wild with Wild Rice" Recipe Contest.

Every year contestants submit their wild rice recipes, and the council's culinary specialists prepare and judge the recipes. The top 10 recipes are put online for voting. The grand prize winner will receive $500. Voting runs through Sunday.

The council's assistant marketing director Jace Nelson said there were 70 submissions from all across the U.S. He said only one other person had two recipes that made it to the finals.

"I love rice, but I had never cooked with wild rice before," Smith said.

She said she enjoys making chicken rice enchiladas so she substituted white rice with wild rice for the contest. For the salad, she used wild rice instead of the potatoes or macaroni she normally uses.

Smith said she found the competition online after her grandson suggested she enter a recipe contest. For placing in the top 10, Smith said she won two T-shirts and two caps, as well as 6 pounds of wild rice.

If she wins the grand prize, Smith said she will buy her grandson a handheld game system since it was his idea to enter the contest. She's not sure how she will spend the rest of her winnings.

"I love wild rice," she said. "I like the nutty flavor in it, and I like that it's so versatile."

Chicken & Wild Rice Enchiladas

Makes: 8-12 servings

1/2 cup diced onion

1/4 cup diced green pepper

1/4 cup red pepper

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup black beans, drained, rinsed

1 package (9 ounces) frozen corn prepared as directed on package, drained

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

1/2 cup salsa

1 package original or lemon pepper flavor rotisserie chicken, shredded

3 cups cooked wild rice

1/2 cup fine cut shredded Monterey Jack cheese

16 flour tortillas, fajita size

1 cup fine cut shredded mild cheddar cheese

Garnish: sliced green onion, sliced black olives, diced tomatoes

Cheese Sauce (whisk until smooth), divided:

2 cups salsa

1/2 cup milk

2 cans (10 ounces each) fiesta nacho cheese soup

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large skillet, sautè onion and peppers in butter.

In large bowl, combine onion mixture, beans and corn. Add salt, pepper, taco seasoning, and salsa; mix well. Stir in chicken, wild rice and Monterey Jack cheese; set aside.

Coat bottom of two 9x13 pans with 1/2 cup cheese sauce each. Place 1/2 cup enchilada mixture on each tortilla; roll, place seam down in pans. Repeat with all tortillas; pour remaining cheese sauce over tortillas.

Bake 25 minutes; remove from oven, top with cheddar cheese. Bake 5 minutes; garnish.

Zesty Wild Rice Salad

Makes: 6 servings

4 cups cooked wild rice

1 cup black beans, drained, rinsed

1 package (9 ounces) frozen corn, prepared as directed on package, drained

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1 cup chopped green pepper

1 cup orange pepper

3 green onions, sliced including partial green top

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 cup fine cut shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup chopped parsley, garnish

Dressing (whisk together):

1/2 cup zesty Italian dressing

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

In large bowl, combine ingredients. Add dressing; toss.


The Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council's "Get Wild with Wild Rice" Recipe Contest

The Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council's Facebook page