Wild Rice Casserole

4 cups water
1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
8 strips bacon, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large onion, diced
1 medium sweet red pepper, diced
1 celery rib, sliced thinly
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can beef broth
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 tbsp. cornstarch

In a large saucepan, bring water, wild rice, butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Lower heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Stir in brown rice. Cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes longer or until rice is tender. Using a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Move bacon to paper towels; drain skillet reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. In the drippings, saute mushrooms, onion, peppers and celery until tender. Mix in broth and remaining salt. Bring to a boil. Combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir into the mushroom mixture. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly; stir in almonds and bacon. Drain rice; add mushroom mixture. Transfer to a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Cover and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Uncover, bake 5-10 more minutes or until heated through.


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