Wild rice cakes are common in Native American cuisine (a more customary preparation can be found on page 80), but these use wheat flour, which isn’t traditional at all. I love how the crispy breading holds the still-crunchy vegetables and wild rice inside; it also lends a little more structure to the cakes, which tend to fall apart if you substitute cornmeal. The best part about these rice cakes is that they’re scrumptious warm or cold, by themselves or as a side dish, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I especially like to serve them warm, as an appetizer.
- For the Steamed Manoomin Rice with Thyme: In a medium pot, add the rice, stock, onion, celery, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the rice is very soft. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf, and serve immediately. Wild rice should be consumed within four to six days or frozen for up to six months.
- Make the rice cakes: In a food processor, add the rice and pulse a few times to roughly chop it. Do not overprocess, as the rice should be coarse, not fine. Remove the rice and transfer to a large bowl. Add the shallot, bell peppers, zucchini, parsley, eggs, oil, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine. Scoop 3 tablespoons (40 g) of the rice mixture at a time and, using your fingers, form into cakes (about 4 per serving).
- Make the chipotle aioli: In a food processor, add the chilies with a little of the adobo sauce. Puree to a paste. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon or lime juice, and salt and pepper. Add a little of the pureed chilies to the bowl and whisk until combined. Taste, and if necessary add more of the pureed chilies until the aioli reaches your desired spice level. Transfer the aioli to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use, for up to a week.
Reprinted from New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian by Chef Freddie Bitsoie & James O. Fraioli. Photos by Quentin Bacon. Published by ABRAMS.