Holiday Sausage and Wild Rice

Sausage and Wild Rice | Pinky's Pantry
This recipe makes a great side dish to serve during the holidays or any time of year really. I got the original recipe from Rosemary, one of the nurses at my office who’s retired now. I’ve changed it up just a smidge to make it more appealing to my family, but the basic recipe is the same. If you want to serve it during other times of the year, you can omit the cranberries and still have a great side dish to go with a roast or some chicken. If you ask me, though, I think this dish is really perfect for Thanksgiving and is wonderful on a plate next to some turkey smothered with gravy and a pile of green beans. Yum! I can’t wait to serve this at our Thanksgiving dinner this year!

HOLIDAY SAUSAGE AND WILD RICE

  • 1 cup brown rice (2 cups when cooked)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 boxes (4.3 oz. each) long grain and wild rice blend (like Rice-a-Roni)
  • ½ cup pine nuts (can substitute slivered almonds)
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 8 ozs. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 bag (9.6 ozs.) turkey sausage crumbles (can use pork sausage)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
  1. Cook brown rice in rice cooker or stove top. To the cooking water, add the bay leaf, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt.
  2. In another pot, prepare wild rice blend according to package directions.
  3. Place pine nuts on a baking sheet and roast in a 375ºF oven, stirring occasionally, for about 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Melt butter or margarine in a large stock pot.
  5. Sauté onions and mushrooms in melted butter until onions become translucent.
  6. Add sausage crumbles to pot and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Stir in cooked brown rice, cooked wild rice, toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries, and frozen peas.
  8. Continue cooking until peas are heated through.
  9. Transfer to a casserole dish.
  10. Serve warm garnished with chopped parsley, if desired.

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Cranberry Orange Sauce | Pinky's Pantry
This is a super easy cranberry sauce made with fresh squeezed orange juice. The citrus juice gives it a nice bright flavor. You can cut the recipe in half if you don’t want to make so much sauce. I have a big family so two bags of cranberries suits us just fine. Cranberries have a natural pectin that is released when they burst and which thickens the sauce naturally. If the sauce becomes too thick as it cools, just stir in a little more orange juice or water till it reaches the consistency you like.

CRANBERRY ORANGE SAUCE

  • 2 bags (12 ozs. each) fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar (you can add more or less sugar to your taste)
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • juice from 2 oranges (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  1. Combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and cranberries have burst, about 15 minutes.
  3. Pour the cranberry sauce into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap against the sauce. This will prevent a skin from forming on top.
  4. Let cool to room temperature; then refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

NOTE:  If you prefer a sauce with a smoother texture, transfer the cranberry mixture to a food processor or blender after cooking, and pulse until sauce is to desired texture.