Farro Bacon Wild Rice Cake

Tossing onions in the Bennett's kitchen.
Most weeks, I share a recipe adapted from what we served the previous week at Bennett's. I love spending time in their kitchen, but I don't often get a chance to talk about how much I also enjoy working with the kitchen staff at the Pasta & Co.'s.

This recipe was served at Bennett's over the weekend, but the dish was all built around the awesome texture and flavor of this outside-the-box wild rice cake we developed for the deli case at Pasta & Co.

It's important to bake them just right, because the crisped outside and soft inside is a great contrast that makes it really versatile. They make a healthy snack on their own, or you can combine them with greens and protein for a well-rounded meal.



Farro Bacon Wild Rice Cake

Makes 7-8
3-1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 package Blue Bird Farms Potlatch Pilaf (1.18 lb. bag)
1 tsp. kosher salt (if necessary)

6 oz. uncured bacon
1/2 red onion

1 egg
1 Tbsp. Maximus/Minimus seasoning blend (available at Pasta & Co.)
1/2 tsp. thyme
1-1/2 tsp. sherry vinegar

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

4 oz Flagship cheese, very coarsely shredded or crumbled
1/3 cup chopped, fresh, flat leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Bring the stock to a boil in a large pot (if unsalted add the kosher salt). Stir in the farro mix, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Most of the liquid should be absorbed and the grains should be al dente. Remove from heat and decant into a bowl. Chill.

While the farro is cooking, using a food processor, process the bacon to a fine dice and then transfer to a medium saucepan. Mince the onion in the food processor.
Over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally to render the fat, about 10 minutes.  The bacon should be brown. Add the red onion and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Remove from the heat and chill.

Combine the cooled farro and bacon mixture.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, Maximus/Minimus Seasoning Blend, thyme, vinegar, pepper, and salt. Add the farro mixture to the bowl and, with your hand, thoroughly mix the farro and egg mixtures. Gently fold in the cheese and parsley.

Using a ring mold (or your hands), form the mixture into uniform cakes approximately 1-inch tall and 3-inches across. Place on an oiled baking sheet.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until nicely browned. Let the cakes sit for a couple of minutes before removing from the pan.

At Bennett's, we served it with grilled King salmon, braised fennel and tomato broth.

Try out the recipe and please comment below on what you served with it!
Let me take a moment to say: I really, REALLY love fennel.
We braised them simply with some salt, lemon juice
and olive oil at 375 for about an hour and they were A-MAZ-ING.
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