A Five Minute Side Dish

I married a meat and potatoes man. Sometimes I wish I didn’t mean it quite so literally, but ’tis true. The man loves meat (and poultry) and potatoes in a variety of forms. I, however, need something more than potatoes from time to time. I put this side dish together on one of those nights when the hubby was having his customary dose of meat and potatoes and if I ate potatoes for one more night, I was, quite likely going to become a potato.

So, without further adieu, I introduce you to one of my “I cannot eat another potato or I will die” side dishes…

Brown and Wild Rice with Dried Cranberries and Pecans

First…pick your rice. The rice you choose will determine your cooking time. I tend to use Uncle Ben’s rices because it’s a brand I know and one that has always given me consistently tasty results. The Uncle Ben’s product line offers several options for brown and brown and wild rice. Because this dish is intended to be quick, I tend to choose Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice (especially when I want leftovers), which takes 90 seconds to heat in the microwave. I also often choose Uncle Ben’s individual rice cups, which take 1 minute to heat, again, in the microwave. If you pick one of these, or a similar brand, this is a five-minute dish. If you pick another brand or a longer cooking rice, just budget more time.

Next, melt some butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.

I usually do about 1/2 – 1 tablespoon per portion of rice. Note: If you make this with 1 cup of rice, you’ll actually have enough for 2 servings because of the other ingredients you add.

Let the butter melt, and if you’re watching closely, you can even let it brown a little bit. Brown butter is divine.

After the butter has melted, add a handful of chopped pecans (or walnuts) and stir to coat with the butter. Give the pecans a minute or two to brown a bit and release their oils. This will flavor your dish.

After the pecans are toasty and your butter has had a chance to brown a bit, add your rice and stir to combine with the melted butter and pecans.

Finally, add a handful of dried cranberries, and again, stir to coat.

Allow the rice, nuts and cranberries to heat together for a few minutes, just until warm.

Serve with whichever meat or poultry your husband is having, and enjoy! I happen to love this dish with a piece of grilled or balsamic glazed chicken.

Happy eating!


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