Several weeks back I won a cookbook in a giveaway hosted by Cajun Chef Ryan. I was excited to receive the book as it was a brand new one from Emeril Lagasse called Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders that hit the bookstores on September 27, 2011. Chef Ryan was one of 20 bloggers chosen to participate in the One-Pot Blogger Cooking Party to celebrate the release of this cookbook.

This is my first Emeril cookbook and I am really impressed with it. I love one pot meals and this cookbook has over 130 recipes from all over the world. Interestingly, the recipes are grouped by cooking vessels which range from skillets and casseroles to slow cookers. There is even a section on woks with Asian flavors. Many has bold and hearty flavors, perfect for this time of the year.

Before we move on to the recipe, I would like to tell you a little about my first Foodbuzz friend, Chef Ryan. He has over 35 years of cooking experience with 21 in the restaurant industry and is currently developing a line of artisan spice mixes, sauces, and dressings for future marketing and mass production. He also has 9 years of experience in information technology and is a regular contributor to TechRepublic. Be sure to visit his blog, Cajun Chef Ryan, for amazing recipes and cooking tips!

One of the first recipes in the cookbook that caught my eye was Roasted Pork Chops with Jeweled Rice Pilaf. I did not make the pork chops and cooked the pilaf on the stove instead of in the oven. I used up the little homemade ghee I had left and changed some of the spices and ingredients with what I had on hand. This fragrant and tasty rice makes a lovely side dish. It can definitely stand on its own if you are not big on meat. For a simpler version, do check out my Saffron Pistachio Pilaf.

Jeweled Rice Pilaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Jeweled Rice Pilaf


  • 1/8 tsp saffron
  • 2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, diced
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups (400g) basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup (40g) dates, pitted and diced
  • ¼ cup (40g) dried apricots, diced
  • ¼ cup (40g) golden raisins
  • 2½ cups (360ml) chicken stock
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup (30g) sliced almonds, toasted


Soak saffron in 2 tbsp warm water and let sit for 15 minutes.

Heat ghee in a large pot. Sauté onions and carrots until soft, about 2 minutes. Add allspice, cumin seeds, lemon pepper, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add basmati rice, dates, apricots, and golden raisins. Stir to mix well. Pour in saffron mixture and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, season with salt.

Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Turn heat down to the lowest setting and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat and remove pot. Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Dish onto plate and garnish with toasted almonds. Serve immediately.

Disclaimer: Although this cookbook was sent to me for free, I was not obligated to write this post nor did I receive any monetary compensation for this write up. What was written are my personal thoughts and view. For full disclaimer, please click here.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)