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In the Kitchen with a Watermelon Radish

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A watermelon radish that I bought last weekend turned slightly squishy after four days in my refrigerator. Still, determine to use the softball-sized orb, I peeled it to find perfectly crunchy red flesh. Perhaps because of my bad storage, the radish was much too spicy to eat raw, so I decided to cook it without really knowing how to make it delicious. First, I cut the radish into wedges—about the size you’d slice an apple for snacking. Then I stir-fried finely sliced Chinese chives (scallions would be great, too) with minced garlic and ginger until fragrant and added one part soy sauce cut with three parts water. I let the radishes braise until tender, which took about 20 minutes. Not knowing whether to fragrant soy-soaked radish would actually be tasty, I took a tentative bite. Fantastic! Cooking the radish completely mellowed its bite, and with the texture of a poached pear, the radish merely became a vehicle for the super savory flavors in the sauce. Plus, with their deep red glossy flesh, they looked almost like slices of medium-rare duck breast when I arranged them in a fan on my plate, which I’ll keep in mind next time I’m serving dinner to a vegetarian friend.   

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

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