Tag Archives: rice

Wild Morel Mushroom Risotto


Every spring I look forward to our trips up to the Cascade Mountains of Southern Oregon to hunt mushrooms.  Usually during the month of May, for only a few short weeks, you can find wild morel mushrooms.   Morel mushrooms are one of my favorite fungi to prepare and what’s so cool about them is that we can find them close to our home in the mountains that surround the Rogue Valley.

Early one Sunday afternoon, Bruce and I hopped in the truck to visit some friends who live up on the Greensprings about 15 miles east of Ashland.  The Greensprings is right in the heart of morel mushroom country here in Southern Oregon.  That afternoon, Bruce and I were invited to a potluck barbecue with family and friends.  Before the barbecue dinner, the entire group of us planned on hunting for morel mushrooms deep in the forests of Southern Oregon.


A view on the way up to the summit of the Cascades.  Every time we drive up the mountains, I can’t help but look for the elk herds in the meadows above the road.  Spring and fall seem to be the best time of year to see them.  During the summer months they are found at higher elevations deep in the forests and during the winter, they prefer lower, warmer elevations.  Unfortunately, we did not see any elk today.


A view below the summit on Highway 66.  We are just a few miles away from the Pacific Crest Trail in the Southern Oregon Cascades and about 5 miles from some of the best mushroom picking spots that I know.


We finally reached our destination.  These mountain forests contain an abundance of wild mushrooms.  Today we focused only on Morels…  Morel mushrooms are an amazing delicacy that most people see only in fine restaurants or specialty markets.  When picking wild mushrooms, be so very careful to properly identify them before taking them home.  If you are not 100% positively sure of what you are looking at, DON”T PICK IT.  EVER… Some species of mushrooms look so very much alike and are difficult to identify.  I don’t want to frighten you but picking mushrooms is serious business.  It’s potentially dangerous if you pick the wrong one.  You pick the wrong one and you may run the risk of getting terribly sick, or losing your liver or worse, losing your life.


I found one!  Morels have a distinctive shape and color.  They look like little brown pine cones on the forest floor.  When hunting for morel mushrooms, be mindful of where you walk, you just might step on one!


A bowl of fresh picked morels…  I just now need to trim up the stems and briefly soak them in salt water to eliminate little bugs or debris.  I will dry or freeze what we will not use within the next few days.


With some of our fresh picked morels I made a lovely Wild Morel Mushroom Risotto. My Morel Mushroom Risotto is a deliciously creamy blend of arborio rice, morel mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme, chicken stock, white wine and fresh shaved Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 to 5 cups chicken stock (hot)
  • 1 cup morel mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 – 3 cups morels (sliced)
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Begin by heating the olive oil in a thick bottomed pot on medium heat.  Saute the onion in the olive oil until cooked through or transparent.  Add arborio rice and cook for a few minutes.  Add white wine and stir constantly until wine has been absorbed by the rice.  Add 1 cup of the hot chicken stock stirring until the liquid has been absorbed.  Cook for at least 20 minutes adding remaining chicken stock one cup at a time.  Add chopped morel mushrooms after about 15 minutes of cooking. Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.  The goal is for the arborio rice to make a thick and creamy sauce.

In a separate pan, quickly saute the 2 – 3 cups of sliced morel mushrooms in 1 1/2 tsp olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for a few short minutes.  Remove from heat and ladle the sauteed morel mushrooms over the risotto mixture. Makes 4 servings.

Chamorro Red Rice

Chamorro Red Rice

My dear friend Janie first introduced me to Guamanian cuisine several years ago and I have been a fan ever since.   One of my favorite Guamanian recipes is Guamanian Chicken and last night I decided to make up some Chamorro Red Rice as a side dish.  Chamorro Red Rice is a traditional Guamanian rice dish made with achiote seed powder (annato), onion, garlic and salt.  It has a beautiful reddish orange color and pairs very well with spicy dishes.  It’s surprisingly mild in flavor and tastes absolutely delicious!

If you have any favorite Guamanian recipes that you would like to share, please feel free to contact me via the comments. I would love to try them!  Thanks!  Tessa


  • 1 cup white rice (washed and drained)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp achiote (annato) powder
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Grab a medium sized pan with a tight fitting lid.  Add canola oil and onion and saute until onion is opaque.  Add all remaining ingredients, stir, cover and turn stove on simmer or the lowest setting.  Cook until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender (about 15 minutes). Fluff rice with a fork.  Remove from heat, cover and let the rice sit for about 3 – 5  minutes before dishing up.  Makes about 4 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Chicken and Rice Soup













Chicken and Rice Soup

I just gotta tell you…  I own a 47 year old rice cooker.  Yep, it is 47 years old and what’s crazy about it is that it still makes perfect rice every time!  My rice cooker was purchased in 1964, about the time my family immigrated to the United States. My Oma was the first owner and she used it for years.  Then for some reason, she passed it along to my Mother who in turn passed it to me when I was about 18 years old and ready to move out of the house.  What an unbelievable treasure!  And when you hear people say they don’t make things  like they used to, they aren’t kidding…













Here’s a picture of my rice cooker.  It is a bit scuffed from the years of use but is still my favorite appliance in the kitchen.  I did the math and I am thinking that we have made hundreds of pots of rice using this cooker!

Today I made my homemade Chicken and Rice Soup for Bruce and I for dinner.  I was feeling a tad bit under the weather and this was the only dish that appealed to me.  My Chicken and Rice Soup is home cooked comfort food at its finest.  It is made with tender chicken simmered in a simple savory broth with leeks, carrots, celery, coriander and warm soul soothing white rice.  And of course, the rice was made using my vintage rice cooker.  Makes about 8 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 leek
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 tsp butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 2 Tbls cornstarch
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups cooked rice (add more if you want)

Begin by cooking the chicken thighs in 2 cups of water and 2 bouillon cubes in a medium sized dutch oven or pot on the stove.  Cook covered for about 12 minutes on medium high heat or until done.  Remove chicken from pot, set aside and let cool.  Meanwhile chop your leek (don’t use the dark green part, it’s way too tough), carrots and celery into about a 1/4 inch dice.  Make sure that you have about 2 cups worth of vegetables.

Grab a saute pan, heat to medium high heat and add butter.  Toss in your vegetables, add big pinch of salt and saute until onion is opaque.  Add vegetables to the soup pot.  Add chicken stock, white pepper, and coriander.

Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, chop into 1/4 – 1/2 inch dice.  Add chicken to the pot.  Whisk together one cup cold water and 2 tablespoons cornstarch and add to soup.  Cover and cook for about 45 minutes on medium low.  Add the cooked rice, heat through for a few more minutes.  Taste your soup, correct your seasonings if necessary and then serve.



Chocolate Black Rice Pudding

In all the years that my family or myself have prepared Indonesian food, we never once had black sticky rice pudding for breakfast or dessert.  I don’t remember my grandmother or my mother making it or even talking about it.  I don’t know if it was because they did not have access to the black sticky rice where we lived in the United States at the time or they simply just weren’t dessert people.  Well, I gotta tell you… our family missed out.  Missed out big time.  Once I discovered that black sticky rice existed I am now lead to believe that I grew up a deprived child…

It all started with my love for chocolate and a five pound bag of Thai black glutinous rice that I found at a local Asian market.  My Chocolate Black Rice Pudding is a twist on the traditional dish, black sticky rice in sweet coconut milk,  a common dessert found in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.  I began making it with the basic ingredients and then decided to shake it up with the addition of Dutch cocoa and a splash of orange liquor (Grand Marnier).  Of course, I had to finish it with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, a sprinkling of Dutch cocoa and an orange peel spiral for garnish.

Black Sticky Rice + Dutch Cocoa+ Orange Liquor = Absolutely Delightful

Be sure to try my non traditional black sticky rice pudding.  It’s fairly easy to make and it tastes fabulous!  Enjoy! – Tessa


  • 1 cup Thai black glutinous rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbls. Dutch cocoa
  • 2 Tbls orange liquor (Grand Marnier)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • garnish with whip cream, a sprinkle of cocoa and orange peel

Let’s begin.  Grab a sauce pan with a tight fitting lid.  Add your rice and water.  Bring to a boil, turn heat down to a simmer, cover and cook for about an hour.  Stir occasionally.   When rice has absorbed the liquid, add the remaining ingredients and cook for about a half an hour.  Stir the rice  to make sure that it does not burn.  Remove from burner and let cool.  Serve chilled with whipped cream or a splash of coconut milk.  Garnish with orange peel if desired.  Serves about 6.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Note:  I tried this by soaking the rice first and I was not happy with the outcome.  The pudding was too mushy and did not have the flavor that I was looking for.  Also, if you want traditional rice pudding, just omit the cocoa and the orange liquor and drizzle with coconut milk.