1/4 cup butter
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped green pepper or celery
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
4 cups wild rice (about 1 cup uncooked)
Add onion if desired
To make cheese sauce: Melt butter in skillet. Sauté mushrooms, green pepper or celery for 3 to 4 minutes. sprinkle in flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until well blended. Slowly stir in cream, cooking and stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken. Stir in cheese. Cook, stirring constantly, until cheese melts. Remove from heat. To make casserole: Stir half of cheese sauce into cooked rice. Spread rice mixture in buttered shallow 7 by 11-inch casserole. Make 8 indentations in rice. Spread spoonful of remaining cheese in each indentation. Break 1 egg into each indentation. Bake, uncovered, in 350-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until eggs are cooked as desired. Testing results: Yes, a 7 by 11-inch pan seems small, but the secret to success is adequate depth. The wild rice has to be piled high to accept wells deep enough to contain sauce and eggs. Otherwise, egg white covers the entire top of the pan and baked to an elastic sheet.
Buzz Schultz of the Finish Heritage Homestead in Embarrass, MN, says this is a favorite of overnight B&B guests. Add a little onion, he suggests. After making it as listed above, I agree. Freshly ground pepper and a touch of salt atop the eggs are essential, too. Be sure to butter the baking pan thoroughly. Mine is still soaking in my kitchen; just an overnight bath didn't loosen baked-on cheese and egg. Makes 8 servings.