Too many raisins!
December 5, 2012 2:38 PM   Subscribe

What savory, no-oven dishes do you recommend for raisins? I have a lot of raisins, but I do not like them in sweet things (baked in bread, ugh!) and do not have an oven. They do make a great accent flavor in savory dishes. The raisins in question are golden, but I am Prime Minister of Substitution so it's rather academic what the recipe asks for.
posted by whatzit to Food & Drink (41 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I like raisins in any kind of curry - lentils, chicken, lamb, chick pea. They can also be great sauteed with vegetables like brussels sprouts.
posted by ldthomps at 2:42 PM on December 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

I love raisins in Middle Eastern foods like Moroccan style stews or mixed with pine nuts and spices in couscous.
posted by joan_holloway at 2:42 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding joan_holloway. I always put prunes and dried apricots in when I make tagine (fake tagine, not in an actual tagine, still delicious), and I imagine raisins would suit it just fine.
posted by phunniemee at 2:44 PM on December 5, 2012

Couscous and tabbouleh!
posted by raccoon409 at 2:45 PM on December 5, 2012

You can also blend them (or not) and add them to hoummus. Noms!
posted by DarlingBri at 2:46 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Raisin sauce is perfect on ham. I also like it on chicken, but I'm weird like that.
posted by xingcat at 2:46 PM on December 5, 2012

This cabbage salad uses golden raisins and is fantastic:
posted by purple_bird at 2:48 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Adas polo (lentil raisin rice!)
posted by carsonb at 2:48 PM on December 5, 2012

raisins can be reconstituted in balsamic vinegar and then are yummy in all manner of starchy things, lentil stew and rice included.
posted by mce at 2:50 PM on December 5, 2012

I toss some into chicken salad.
posted by jon1270 at 2:50 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Saute the raisins with spinach and a little garlic and onion.
posted by i_wear_boots at 2:51 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

please , please google morrocan recipes with raisins, then try them all! You will not be disappointed!
posted by Wilder at 2:52 PM on December 5, 2012

This just appeared on Serious Eats: Carne Adovada (New Mexico-style Pork with Red Chilies). I can't wait to make it.
posted by supercres at 2:52 PM on December 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Any slaw or salad. The better question, what do raisins NOT go into? That would provide a shorter answer. I prefer golden raisins, as they have a milder flavor and color wise disappear into their setting.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 2:53 PM on December 5, 2012

I mix raisins and ground beef and put them inside of spring roll wrappers and then fry them to make a specific type of lumpia.
posted by PussKillian at 2:55 PM on December 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

I love this recipe for Citrus Collards with Raisins.
posted by radiomayonnaise at 2:56 PM on December 5, 2012

I recently made this recipe: Brussels sprouts with shallots and wild mushrooms and added some golden raisins at the end because I thought it would be good -- and it was! You can be pretty generous with the raisins -- the other flavors are pretty strong in this recipe.
posted by peacheater at 2:57 PM on December 5, 2012

This one's yummy: Moroccan Chicken with Couscous
posted by reptile at 2:57 PM on December 5, 2012

Oh and my grandmother always put raisins in her (Indian) fried rice as in this recipe. Soooo good especially with the fried cashews. You can also add tiny pieces of carrot and peas (boiled) to that recipe.
posted by peacheater at 2:59 PM on December 5, 2012

Ugh, I'm sorry, I missed the part about no oven. The brussels sprouts recipe above calls for the use of the oven, but that's just to cook the brussels sprouts. You can cook them over the stovetop using whatever recipe you normally use and then proceed with the recipe. Getting them nice and browned is key though.
posted by peacheater at 3:01 PM on December 5, 2012

Simmer them in hot vinegar for a bit, then throw them in the blender with oil and make a balsamic-raisin vinaigrette.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:02 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I put them in chili & curry. My mom used to add them to hamburger meat (for tacos).
posted by belladonna at 3:19 PM on December 5, 2012

Lamb biryani.
posted by zoetrope at 3:28 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can make not-sweet instant breakfast that you make in the morning by just pouring hot water on it (an electric kettle is great for this and not too expensive, plus is also nice for tea).

Just get some rolled oats and/or some instant oats, throw in some dried fruit pieces (i.e. raisins -- you could use dried apple pieces if you want), maybe some nuts, maybe a little salt. Put a bunch in a jar, then pour out a little in the morning and put some hot water on it. You've got breakfast; warm breakfast. You can always add a little sugar if you want.

Why pay extra for paper packets and too much sugar? :)
posted by amtho at 3:30 PM on December 5, 2012

Cauliflower with almonds, capers and raisins

(Capers and raisins -- often with pine nuts or almonds -- is a pretty classic combination. Google around and you'll find lots of other recipes.)
posted by neroli at 3:34 PM on December 5, 2012

Try an Indian-spiced tomato chutney -- tomatoes, garlic, ginger, raisins, vinegar, spices.
posted by ostro at 3:34 PM on December 5, 2012

I wish I had your problem! I love raisins. I frequently add them to oatmeal or Cream of Wheat. I microwave the cereal, but you could just add boiling water. Add them to chili, or to a lettuce salad. With apple and raisins and a few walnuts you have Waldorf salad.
posted by Cranberry at 3:47 PM on December 5, 2012

I like chicken salad with chopped green apples, celery, raisins or craisins and curry sour cream dressing. (Bloom the curry in some oil before adding.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:51 PM on December 5, 2012

A place near me does a super delicious Taj Mahal Pizza. Their menu describes it as "Warm combination of fresh garlic, onions, chick peas, green peppers,
jalapeños and mozzarella, showered with raisin-curry olive oil. " The raisins give the pizza just the sweet touch it needs to balance out the spicy jalapenos and other delicious spices.
posted by itsamermaid at 3:59 PM on December 5, 2012

Best chili I've ever had -- double the raisins if you like and it will still be good. They absorb the sauce and are transformed into robust, juicy, completely un-raisin-like balls of flavor.

If you let this chili sit in its own juices in the fridge overnight and then reheat before serving it will be even better -- better than amazingly good, if you can imagine. Standard canned good sizes are smaller now than 12 years ago when I first got this recipe from an old college roommate, so I just buy the next closest fit. And this recipe survives substitutions/alterations remarkably well -- different beans, different vinegar, different tomato configurations, different veggies and different spices will all still work, as long as you keep onions, cashews and raisins.

Astounding Vegetarian Chili w/ Cashews

Prep time: 20 min.
Cook time: 45 min.
Yield: 8-12, depending on how hungry you are. Maybe more.

2 tbs olive oil
4 medium onions, chopped
2 large green bell peppers, seeded & chopped
2 stalks celery, minced
4 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper
15 oz can tomato sauce
16 oz can stewed tomatoes (or whole peeled)
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 cup cashew pieces
1/3 cup raisins--yup, raisins
3 cups cooked dark red kidney beans (2 15 oz cans)

1) In large pot, heat olive oil. Add onions, bell peppers, and celery and cook over medium heat 10 min. (onions translucent).
2) Stir in garlic, basil, oregano, chili powder, cumin, black pepper.
3) Add tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes (w/ juice), vinegar, bay leaf. Reduce heat to low. Cook 2 or 3 more min.
4) Stir in cashews, raisins, and cook over low heat for another 16-17 min.
5) Add beans and cook for another 25 min., stirring frequently.

Chili is done when all ingredients are blended and soft, sauce thick and bubbly.

Serve over rice or eat plain, sprinkle cheese on top if you want, or dip cornbread in it. Have a salad. Chili gets thicker if you let it sit overnight, and gets better for several consecutive days.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 4:12 PM on December 5, 2012 [8 favorites]

Classic carrot-raisin salad. It's a good basic recipe to have in your arsenal, and you can play around with a lot of variations.
posted by drlith at 4:36 PM on December 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Chicken, oj, raisins.
posted by dpx.mfx at 4:58 PM on December 5, 2012

Chorizo and Eggs is incredibly tasty. I put in at least twice as many raisins as the recipe calls for.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:00 PM on December 5, 2012

Revoltillos! I've totally made it with golden raisins.
posted by BrashTech at 5:00 PM on December 5, 2012

Pastel de Choclo
posted by jockc at 5:39 PM on December 5, 2012

Rice pilafs and pilaus with raisins, golden raisins, in particular, are delicious. In general, I like raisins with lamb dishes.
posted by jadepearl at 5:56 PM on December 5, 2012

In Spinach Catalan style, you sautée the raisins with spinach and pinenuts. Many of the google-findable recipes for Espinacas a la catalana say to use garlic too, but in my experience Spinach take either raisins-and-pinenuts or garlic, never both. YMMV.
posted by kandinski at 6:01 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Raisins go nicely with kale, either uncooked (added to a massaged kale salad) or cooked. One ultra-simple recipe: remove kale from the stems and tear into bite-sized pieces. Wash, then drain but not too well. (You want a generous amount of water still clinging to the leaves.) In a deep skillet or other pan, cook some (plenty!) minced garlic in olive oil on medium-low until it starts to color and become fragrant. Add the kale, a pinch of salt, and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes and stir well. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until the kale is almost tender enough, then throw in a handful of raisins and continue cooking until done. Nice with a drizzle of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and a generous amount of black pepper.

And I haven't tried this yet, but raisins go so well with peanut butter and celery I'm thinking they'd be good added to some kind of vegetables-with-peanut-sauce dish.
posted by Lexica at 6:41 PM on December 5, 2012

My Cuban grandmother makes picadillo with raisins.

She also makes a chicken pie with raisins.

Both of those recipes are close to what she makes. The most accurate ones are in the book "Memories of a Cuban Kitchen"

You can't do the pie part if you don't have an oven, but you can put either filling over rice. My grandmother would also tell you to put a fried egg on top of the whole thing.
posted by artychoke at 8:29 PM on December 5, 2012

Thanks for all of your answers! I'm still reading if you come up with more, but I best-answered the ones I'm most likely to try soon, especially if they were specific suggestions.

Artychoke, "Memories of a Cuban Kitchen" is the best Cuban cookbook I have ever used.
posted by whatzit at 11:54 PM on December 5, 2012

I fry up raisins with my onions and ground beef for burrito filling.
posted by amapolaroja at 12:08 AM on December 6, 2012

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