December 10, 2009

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – Part Two

So you’ve perfected the turkey roulade. Now its time to get cracking on those scrumptious side dishes:

saffron rice with dill and tart cherries


butter braised sprouts and easter radishes

I apologize for the rather sepia toned pictures of the meal. With low light in the kitchen and some tan colored plates, it is rather difficult to get appetizing and colorful pictures of the food. So my delicate wordsmithing will have to do the trick for now. More professional photography to come soon. Promesso.

On to the rice.


  • 1 cup white rice (short or long grain)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or water or combo of both
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill


1. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons of stock/water with saffron and let it sit.

2. In a medium pan, heat the olive oil or ghee and add the onions when hot. Cook until translucent but do not brown.

3. Add the cherries, cinnamon stick, and cardamom and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add the rice and sauté until it is coated with the oil or fat, but do not brown.

5. Add the remaining stock/water and saffron mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat. After it comes to a boil, reduce to lowest flame and cook for 20 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated. Warning – do not let it sit on the heat for too long or else it will get gummy.

6. Add the bright green dill and fluff with a fork right before serving.

And for a quick and healthy splash of color, I present to you braised sprouts and radishes.


  • 1/2 lb of brussels sprouts (about 3-4 good handfuls)
  • 2 bunches easter or red radishes
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon minced shallot
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup of chicken stock


1. Trim root ends of brussels, wash, and cut in half.

2. Blanch the sprouts in boiling water (4 min) and chill in an ice bath immediately afterwards. Transfer to a bowl and throw into fridge to cool.

3. Trim stems and root from radishes, wash, and cut into circles.

4. Melt the butter in a saucepan big enough to hold single layer of radishes.

5. When butter is hot and spitting, put in radishes and sauté for 10 min, browning both sides.

6. Add shallots and cook until clear and softened.

7. Add sugar, vinegar, and stock. Bring to a simmer and cover pan for 10 minutes until liquid cooks off and radishes are tender.

8. Cook uncovered another 4 minutes.

9. Add the brussels and a little extra chicken stock if needed.

10. Toss in extra vinegar to taste and serve.

Chow on.

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