Last January, I posted my personal take on the Mahnomin Porridge that the groovy Minneapolis restaurant Hell's Kitchen makes for their funky brunch menu.
That recipe was pretty rich, and it takes a while to make, so it's not exactly easy to produce on chilly midweek mornings.
Thus, I've made a new version that's more quick and flexible. The secret, as with many things, is planning ahead.
If you cook the grains for this porridge in the evening (maybe do it while you're making dinner), it's easy to wake up all zombie-like the next day, scoop it into bowls and microwave for a quick and hearty whole-grain brekkie. No pre-coffee brainpower required.
Use whatever dried fruit and nuts you like. J particularly loves the combination of currants and walnuts, but I think dried cherries and almonds or pecans and cranberries would be pretty ace, too.
If you save the syrup for the end of the process, everyone can choose to sweeten (or not sweeten) to their hearts' content.
Wild Rice Porridge 2.0 (Makes 4 servings)
1/2 cup wild rice
1/2 cup whole oat groats or brown rice
4 cups water
3/4 cup milk or cream
1/4 cup dried berries: cranberries, blueberries, currants and/or cherries
1/4 cup chopped nuts: hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts or pecans
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Maple syrup, to taste (optional)
1. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cooked wild rice with oat groats (or brown rice) and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the water has evaporated and the rice and groats are tender (about 30 to 35 minutes).
2. Stir in the milk/cream, dried berries, nuts and cinnamon.
3. At this point you can transfer the mixture to a container to refrigerate it for reheating later. To finish, scoop portions of roughly a cup into microwave-safe bowls and cook on HIGH for 1 to 2 minutes, or until hot (the timing will depend on your wattage).
4. Season to taste with the maple syrup, and serve hot with milk or cream on the side.
There's a bunch of research now that indicates that nuts, berries and whole grains and even cinnamon are good for you, but that's not why you should eat wild rice porridge for breakfast.
You should eat it because it's chewy, nutty, satisfying sustenance that makes cold, nasty January mornings just a little more agreeable.