The City Magazine Since 1975

Carolina Rice Middlins with Brown Butter Crumble & Fall Squash

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  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups small dice yellow onion
  • 2 cups Anson Mills rice grits
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 8 cups filtered water, kept hot in stockpot on the stove
  • 7 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
  • Mushrooms (recipe follows)
  • Roasted fall squash (recipe follows)

Brown butter crumble

  • 1/2 lb. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk powder
  • Kosher salt


  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 2 lbs. crimini mushrooms (for a splurge, use Mepkin Abbey oyster or chantrelle mushrooms)
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter

Fall Squash

  • 3 lbs. heirloom fall squash (acorn, sweet dumpling, butternut, delicata, or a combination)
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Brown butter (reserved from crumble recipe)

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil. When hot, add onion and cook slowly for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When onion is soft and translucent, add rice. Continue to cook for five minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add white wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until pan is almost dry. Start adding water four ounces at a time and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until liquid has almost evaporated. Continue this process until rice grits are al dente, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from stove and stir in butter and lemon zest and juice. Season with salt. Keep warm. When ready to serve, lightly fold in the cheese. Stir parsley, tarragon, and mushrooms into the rice at the last minute. Spoon rice into a bowl and garnish with roasted fall squash and brown butter crumble. Brown butter crumble In a medium saucepan over low heat, cook butter and nonfat milk powder very slowly, stirring, until butter solids are brown and nutty, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season mixture with salt and allow to sit at room temperature for as long as possible, at least 30 minutes. Strain the solids using a fine mesh colander. Reserve the liquid to cook the squash and use the solids to garnish the middlins. Mushrooms Scrub mushrooms with a soft toothbrush and cut into bite-size pieces. Place a large cast-iron pan over high heat. When pan is very hot, add canola oil. When oil is smoking, add mushrooms and do not disturb. Allow mushrooms to caramelize for two minutes. Remove from heat and add thyme and butter. Toss to coat. Keep warm. Fall Squash Peel squash and dice into half-inch by half-inch squares. Place squash peel and ends into a small stockpot and cover with water. Add star anise and cinnamon stick and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, discard squash peel, star anise, and cinnamon, and keep liquid hot. Place a large sauté pan over high heat. When pan is very hot, add brown butter and diced squash. Do not stir. Allow squash to caramelize. (If you don’t have a big enough sauté pan to fit all of the squash in one layer, do this step in batches.) When squash is golden brown, add stock—two ounces at a time—until squash is fork tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Keep warm.