Molly's wild rice hotdish with ras el hanout and dates

By Molly Yeh
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Classical musician turned food blogger Molly Yeh shares one of her recipes from her new cookbook, Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from an Unlikely Life on a Farm.

SERVES
4
 TO
6
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large carrots, cut into 1 centimeter pieces
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 4 teaspoon ras el hanout (see recipe below)
  • 455 grams ground beef (85% lean)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/3 cups beef or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup packed, pitted dates cut into 1 centimeter pieces
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the ras el hanout:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
  2. In medium saucepan, combine wild rice, water, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Drain and set rice aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat four tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, a few turns of black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring, until soft, about ten minutes.
  4. Add the ras el hanout (recipe below) and cook for two more minutes and then add the beef and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until it is no longer pink.
  5. Add the flour and stir to combine.
  6. Add the coconut milk and cook, stirring, until thickened, and then add the broth and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add the dates. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for ten minutes.
  7. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired. Stir in the wild rice, and mix to combine. Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish.
  8. Place the saltines in a large zip-top bag, crush them up, then toss them with the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil. Spread the crackers over top of the dish.
  9. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes. Top with fresh parsley and lemon juice. Let cool slightly before serving.

For the ras el hanout:

  1. Combine all ingredients in bowl. Mix well.

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