There are no quotes floating around the Internet about cardamom, other than trade quotes for its price in the commodity markets. I hesitated before plunking down over twelve dollars for an ounce of green cardamom pods because I have ground cardamom in my cupboard. After making this rice pilaf, I decided that the expense was worth it, even if the specialty food store took quite a premium on my purchase. That’s the laws of supply and demand for you… limited supply, higher prices! I might be able to recoup my initial investment as soon as I find a good chai recipe.
(I will remove my Finance person hat before you start missing my writer’s block from last week.)
The fragrant Thai jasmine rice was a great foil to the cardamom seeds and pods.
Although I have cooked with cardamom before, it was limited to baked goods (usually paired with guava). This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe was a cardamom scented rice pilaf. Rice dishes with soft, melt in your mouth onion pieces are an easy sell for me. I find few things simpler than sauteing onions on the stovetop in the insert of my rice cooker, tossing and toasting rice, adding stock or broth, and returning the pot to the rice cooker. It is just a matter of twenty minutes and voilá, the side dish is ready without much hassle. The most important aspect of cooking with a rice cooker is to figure out the correct proportion of rice to liquid. I almost never end up using all the amount of water recipes call for. For short grain rice, I usually follow 1:1; the jasmine rice required 1.25 cups of water for every cup of rice. I chose to make the pilaf with vegetable stock, but forgot all about the lemon zest. Can’t wait to read everyone’s take to see how much (or little) I missed out from that omission.
I served the pilaf with grilled ribeye steaks – dug out of the freezer two from the Bistrot Paul’s Costco run – and a simple salad of shaved asparagus tossed with a bit of black truffle oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I borrowed some ideas from fellow Doristas: Candy did her salad last week with shaved asparagus and Liz served steaks to celebrate her son’s birthday topped with a luscious garlic/herb/cognac butter. We opened a Chilean Cabernet/Carmenere blend and had a great meal to wrap up my thirty-third birthday weekend.