Roquefort Wild Rice Oriental Salad

1 oz dried black shiitake mushrooms
1 cup quality wild rice
2 chicken breasts, boned and skinned
3 oz snow peas, about 18
2-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 green and 1 orange bell pepper
2 tbs minced white onions
1 tbs finely minced fresh ginger
1 tsp grated orange peel
4-6 oz crumbled Roquefort cheese

Soak the mushrooms in lukewarm water for about 30 minutes. When they soften, remove the stems. Retain the soaking water and use it for cooking the wild rice. Wash the rice thoroughly. Add enough lightly salted water to cover the rice by 3 inches. Cook the rice over moderate heat, uncovered, for 30 minutes. The rice should be tender and tripled in bulk. Drain well. Slice the orange and green bell peppers into silvers or other interesting shapes.

Snap off the stem ends and string the snow peas. Mince the white onions. Cut the chicken breasts into 1/4-inch cubes. Slice the shiitake mushrooms in thin slices. Add the crumbled Roquefort cheese to the cooked rice.

Quickly stir-fry the mushrooms, chicken, snow peas, carrots and onions until tender. Add the fresh ginger and grated orange peel. In a large bowl toss together the chicken and the wild rice.

Serves 4 to 6

1 cup safflower oil
3 tbs wine vinegar
3 tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp paprika
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp sugar
Dash of hot pepper sauce

Blend all of the ingredients in an electric blender until smooth. Serve over the salad.

Makes 1-1/2 cups.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana