Friday, November 12, 2010

Radishes (and not the dried wafer salad version either!)

I am pretty sure that most, and I mean all, of us have mainly been exposed to radishes in only one form; sliced rounds on a salad. Occasionally they will be fresh, peppery, and crunchy, but the usual state of despair is dessicated, rubbery, and devoid of any flavor that you actually want to have in your mouth. I like the concept of the radish, but once I start consuming I get dubious as to why I was all excited. Don't get me wrong, I like the taste, but it seems like they should just be better.

*The lights dim, a single spot light hits the corner of the stage, and in enters the hero of our story, the Pan Braised Radish*

It never occurred to me to actually apply some heat to these little guys until I came across a recipe that did precisely just that. These are good! Wife Zube ate her first one and sorta did a double-take at the unexpected deliciousness. And another cool aspect of this is that start to finish is about 15 minutes with little attention needed. This is helpful for all you ADHD suffering cooks out there.

We had these hot as a side dish for our main meal, but I am thinking cooled down these buggers could make a cool amuse/canape/something fun to snack on.

After rinsing and trimming the root/green ends the basic goal is to make them all about the same size. Same size means equal cooking time and Grandpa doesn't get stuck with a rock hard radish in his dentures. The general dimensions vary but I would suggest taking your smallest one and halving it unless your smallest one is big then quarter it. If it is huge the 1/6th it... I'm not being that helpful here, eh? Just make them all somewhat similar. Okay...moving on.

For two eaters you most likely have 8-10 radishes cut into appropriate sized bits and now you'll need a shallot finely minced. Into a hot saute pan with a bit of oil/butter go the shallots and sweat them for a minute or so. Medium to med-high heat we don't want to scorch of shallots here. The radishes should mostly lay in a single layer and not have to compete for prime real estate in the pan. Add in the radishes (as a side note I keep starting to type turnip instead of radish) and a tablespoon of butter, or more if you are feeling naughty. Next into the mix add either chicken stock or water. Add stock/water until the radishes are half submerged (or half not submerged for you optimists out there) and simmer gently until the liquid is mostly evaporated. At this point you get to eat one to check for doneness. I recommend adding too little liquid at first and then putting more in if needed. Once the radishes are glazed in the stock/water/butter glaze shake a dash or two of red wine vinegar and chuck a small pinch of sugar in. Swirl your raddies around and let the pungent, nose-hair burning vinegar smell die down a bit. Taste to make sure you likey and serve!

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