Holiday parties gone wild

Nothing taps into treasured holiday memories like the laughter and cheer at your holiday parties.

You spend a lot of time digging for that worn out recipe you think your guests are expecting you to prepare, yet again.

The folks at the Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council, based in Shoreview, suggest starting off this holiday season making new memories with something “wild” that will keep your guests coming back for more. While your guests will think you’ve been slaving away for days, the wild rice council staff say these appetizers are actually simple to prepare.

Wild Walleye Cakes

For an appetizer that rivals crab cakes for taste and tenderness, be sure to try one of the wild rice council’s favorites - Wild Walleye Cakes. It blends wild rice with red pepper, green onion, Dijon mustard, and fresh, pan-fried walleye for an appetizer that will have people wanting a second helping.

1 pound walleye fillets, pan fried, flaked
1 cup well-cooked wild rice
3/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
4 green onions, white part only, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon butter

In large bowl, gently combine all ingredients except butter. Shape into nine cakes. In large skillet, brown cakes in butter. 9 servings.

Hawaiian Chicken Meatballs

You can add a tropical feel to your holiday spread with Hawaiian Chicken Meatballs. This twist on the same old meatballs, combines ground chicken with wild rice, teriyaki sauce, and pineapple for a Polynesian flair.

1 (16 oz) package ground chicken
2 1/2 cups cooked wild rice
1 large egg, whisked
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
1 Tablespoon soy sauce

Sauce (whisk together):
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbids, with juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine all ingredients, except sauce. Form into 1 1/2 inch balls; place in 2 greased 9-by-13 pans. Pour sauce over meatballs. Cover with foil; bake 30 minutes. Turn meatballs. Cover; bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake 15 minutes. Serve over bed of wild rice for entree. 35-40 appetizers.


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