Since I'll be attempting the national dish of Brazil later in the week, I need chicken meat. So dinner is Julia Child's poulet rôti, a recipe I shared a while back. But rather than leave everyone hanging...what else did the Kinaymans eat this weekend?...I'm sharing two sides: one is an old favorite of mine, the other is a new attempt. (You do worry about things like global warming, the economy and what my family eats on a regular basis, right?)
The old favorite is braised radishes. I ate a lot of radishes growing up, fresh from my neighbor's garden, sliced and in a green salad. I never particularly cared for their spicy flavor because that's all they had going for them: heat. I had no idea that you can actually cook with them until I saw Rachael Ray braising some on an episode of 30 Minute Meals. Suddenly, one-dimensional radishes took a turn.
The other recipe looked simple and consisted of everything I had on hand. Paprika oven fries are seasoned potatoes slow roasted in the oven.
2 bunches radishes, about 1 pound, trimmed of tops and roots
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp butter, cut into bits
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1. Place radishes in a skillet with stock, butter bits, shallots, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cover the pan and reduce heat to medium. Cook radishes 10 to 12 minutes and if the stock has not cooked away, remove radishes and cook down to 1/2 cup, about 2 minutes.
Paprika Oven Fries
3 large potatoes
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut potatoes into 1-inch-wide wedges. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes with oil, paprika, salt and pepper.
2. Bake potatoes in a single layer, cut side down, until they loosen easily from the sheet, about 25 minutes. Turn the potatoes, continue to bake them until fork-tender and crisp, 25-30 minutes more.
The Verdict: A different response to each vegetable.
Let's start with the radishes. I love these radishes. When cooked, radishes take on a cruciferous vegetable taste, very much like brussel sprouts. To many, that statement right there is a deal-breaker. But if you like those vegetables, you'll like this dish. (Oh, and by the way, I just looked it up: radishes are, indeed, a cruciferous vegetable themselves. Who knew? Not me. Learned something new today.)
The braising making the radishes lose a lot of their horseradish-like punch. Interestingly, braising them also makes them lose almost all of their red coloring. The liquid has a hint of sweet and was a great accompaniment to the roasted chicken, working well in lieu of a gravy.
I don't think my husband and son agree. My husband ate two and my son felt duped after gleefully shouting, "I want grapes, Daddy!" Nothing like a grape, honey.
The potatoes on the other hand turned the tables. Both husband and son ate those happily, while I munched on them dutifully. Honestly, I had to divide up the cooking time to allow for a family walk then the cooking of the chicken. They came out more like kettle chips which I don't think was supposed to happen. Maybe the difference of opinion was because I was expecting a steak fry while they didn't know what to expect.
The flavor was good; I would just caution that they can dry out. I don't think my wedges were quite 1-inch thick, so be warned that more meager cuts might lead to crispier potatoes.