Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cardamom Rice Pilaf

Sometimes the fun in a recipe is gathering special ingredients and combining them to create new and surprising results. 

Simple recipes that deliver results which belie their efforts are always appreciated as well. 

But this week there appeared to be a combo that simply didn't seem to hold much hope for sublime simplicity.  Boy, were we pleasantly surprised.  Almost shocked, in fact ~

Per Nana:
My intentions were NOT to make this week's recipe
of  Cardamom Rice Pilaf. Unfortunately for me,
 Tricia insisted on sharing some of the ingredients with me. 
 I could not refuse such an offer and with the
 recipe being so simple, I had to try it :)
It was well worth it.

I'm not certain whether adding the rice to the cooked
onions and seeds made the rice more tender, or if
it was using a different brand that usual...but the dish turned
out very tasty and not starchy. 

 Hubby and I had a lovely baked halibut with sauteed
 mushrooms on top to accompany this delicious dish.
I took a few photos which at this time cannot be seen,
due to the fact that I inserted my memory card into the
 space on my computer for a disc.  Duh !!!!   I have an appointment
 at the Apple store Friday morning to retrieve my card.

Not every day can be a good day, but it could be worse....

Per Tricia:

I wanted to make this recipe since I had missed last week's
and knew Nana was "so-so" about it. 
 So I "took one for the team" , but I wasn't holding out
much hope for exciting results. 
Cardamom and I had gotten off to a rocky start with 
 the Ginger Carrot recipe,  but I was anxious to cook
with this ingredient again.  
 Since I was leaving early Sunday for a week away for work,
 I ended up cooking this dish by itself late on Saturday night.  
 Instead of enjoying this via a full meal like the
rest of the FF's members,my family found me
walking from room to room late Saturday
 night with a big bowl of rice, asking them
 to do "taste tests". 

"What is that ???"
 "It's Dorie food- just try some...."
"Hmmmmm, not too bad.  Hey, this is really good in fact. "
"What is it - rice ???" 
" Wow... You can make this again - should be good with chicken."

 I was very surprised myself, since I had expected something
 quite bland (yes, even with the cardamom added :) 
The rice was truly lovely. 
 So much so that my 15 year old was back in the kitchen
 within minutes of the taste test ...looking to fix a big bowl full. 
 For me, that is the ultimate compliment. 
Plus I am happy that I got to use that expensive jar of
 cardamom AND my new mortar and pestle :) 

Deadline met, I enjoyed my work week in DC and even
managed to make it over to a lovely independent
 gourmet shop in the Capital Hill area -  
"Hill's Kitchen".  Great fun.


  1. I love your writing in tandem. It's so enjoyable to read!

  2. I can't help but create a mental image of you running around the house shoving a spoon of rice in everyone's face saying "try it, you'll like".
    At least you found a highlight in your trip! (I am getting ready for a week longer and have yet to find my highlight... UGH)

  3. So glad you both liked this and it sounds like the rest of the family did as well. You know when they go back for seconds they really do like it! My daughter polished off the bowl of rice. :) I did like that the rice was so fluffy and not starchy at all.

  4. Oh Nana, you poor thing, I hope the Apple Store people will rescue your card with everything intact. You simply have to post up your pictures next week so we can see how lovely your meal was!

    Tricia, your post made me chuckle! I do that do when I want food tasters...walk around the house offering people, sometimes reluctant people, food from Dorie's recipes. It's a hit and miss situation, but mostly it's been a hit!

  5. I love the phrase, "It's Dorie food!" ha! It's funny how easily her name rolls off the tongue, as if we know her. My husband is always asking, "Is this a Dorie recipe?" Funny how the tone of a cookbook can make you feel connected to the author--I would never announce, "It's a Mark Bittman recipe!" lol

  6. I'm glad you both were pleasantly surprised with this dish. It looks like your results were tasty!

  7. I love that you were prepared to take one for the team! That cracked me up! My kids were the same! My son picked at it while I was serving up dinner, I heard him telling the others how good it was as he returned again and again for more!
    Nana's dinner sounds great! And the photos looks so good!

  8. Oh Nana! It could be worse. I'm sure you'll be able to rescue your pictures soon. The name of the DC food store is super funny. I'd pick Hill's Kitchen over Hell's Kitchen any day!

  9. So glad you both loved this one - it will definitely be a repeat for me! :)

  10. Sorry about your memory card, hopefully it's an easy fix. We liked this one at my house too - I thought the cardamom might be overpowering for the kids, but they liked it.

  11. Nana: I'm sorry but you really made me laugh...I don't like admitting to laughing at your trial, however, I do these kinds of things so it is reassuring I'm not the only one.

    Trisha: Love the way you have everyone taste your cooking...I do that to...everyone around here is getting used to me...even the grandkids who want to know if everything my kitchen produces is for FFwD...they all just spell out the letters. Pretty fun, and yes we all enjoyed this rice.

  12. I loved this dish for both its simplicty of preparation and the complexity of its taste. I will be using this method again for variations on this!

  13. Tricia and Nana - We enjoyed this rice, especially with citrus, which complemented the Braised Chicken very well. I could eat a bowl on it's own, too, as we get lazy with dinner every once in a awhile and a bowl of rice is very satisfying ;-)

  14. The rice looks fantastic and I am happy to hear that everyone in the family enjoyed it :). Good luck sorting out your computer, Nana!

  15. Thanks, Tricia! One of the things I love about this journey is how surprising some of the recipes turn out to be. My husband always says good food doesn't have to be complicated - and that is certainly the case with this rice! I'll bet it was wonderful with Halibut & Chicken. And, yes, the tarts are incredible! Enjoy your weekend!

  16. I'm glad you enjoyed it - we did, too! Surprisingly! :) Hubby pushed the cardamom seeds to the side, but he still liked the rice.

  17. A comforting flavorful bowl of rice sounds wonderful to me. I like a simple and good recipe for rice because we eat rice at least once a week. So I will be making this recipe again. I'm glad you both enjoyed it and were pleasantly surprised by the deliciousness of Dorie's recipe, she doesn't disappoint;-)

  18. You both crack me up. Nana, I hope the Apple geniouses can retrieve your card. I've done something like that myself... Tricia, the image of you walking around the house giving out taste tests of your rice made me smile. Glad it was a success. I'm going to DC for a week at the end of June, so I've noted down that name of that gourmet shop. Hopefully I'll be able to check it out.

  19. I really enjoyed your post! I am in agreement with so many things you wrote...lovely simplicity, indeed :). We made a double batch and my teenager did eat a bowl of leftovers for a snack the next day. This seems to have been a big hit with kids all over FFWDland.

  20. It seems like many of us had trepidations about this dish and I am glad you were two of those who ended up, appreciating it.

  21. LOL - glad you were both pleasantly surprised by this dish. A great accompaniemnt to anything, including chicken and fish.

  22. Isn't it wonderful when a simple recipe turns out to be so tasty? I was glad to use my cardamom again, too~

  23. I hope the card can be retrieved. The rice looks wonderful. I love the flavor of cardamom, so know it would be a big favorite here. I stop by your blog regularly but don't often comment. Conscience forces me to say hello every so often :-). I really like your blog and enjoy the time I spend here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  24. This is one of the best quotes I've ever read thanks to Nana: "Not every day can be a good day, but it could be worse" LOVE that! Thanks for the added perspective and for sharing the completed pilafs. They both look great. Glad to hear that they were enjoyed in your homes too :)