Taro is one of my favorite root vegetables. In Lebanon, there are many regional variations to cook it, for instance there is a recipe for taro and chickpeas stew that was a staple in my dad’s side of the family, but my mom’s side of the family knew nothing about. They lived about an hour apart and belong geographically to the same region!
Tag Archives: Potatoes
In my previous post, I promised our readers a recipe from the book I reviewed (50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker by Lynn Alley). I chose to make the Potato, Broccoli and Cheese Soup since I had the ingredients on hand.
Ever had braces? Then you will certainly know what I mean: after that ortho visit where your mouth feels like it has been assaulted with a ton of metal. Oh wait! It has! All the tightening, separators, rubber bands, springs and who knows what else can kick your mouth into hit by a truck mode.
After almost a week of trying to find the right window of opportunity, I finally found the time to make the Breyani on Wednesday morning. Immediately after getting off work (at about 8am), I was off to the store to gather my ingredients. It was actually nice shopping so early in the morning since most people were either just heading to work, or were not awake yet. I’m not a fan of the holiday crowds. I always feel like I am dodging cars in the middle of a busy freeway when walking the stores this time of year.
This recipe required numerous spices of which I only had about half of. In addition, some of the spices are not used that often in every day cooking here in the US. To my relief, I found all of them but the saffron at the first store I hit. I decided to go with beef instead of lamb in this dish since buying this much lamb would surely empty my entire Christmas savings account. I also had to settle for dry spices instead of fresh ones in some cases as I did not want to drive another 30 miles to an Indian store for solely this reason. I could not believe how much saffron was at the second store. They wanted about $15 for not even a pinch of the stuff. There was even a choice between 3 brands, all about the same price! I reluctantly chose one to ensure I got the fully authentic experience.
I did my shopping along the week to get all the ingredients/spices for the Breyani. I meant to prepare it on Sunday (October 6). I even asked the maid at the office where I can find a place that sells masala and similar spices. She is Sri-Lankan and I figured that they use something similar in their cuisine. She pointed a close by place, but after some asking and a lot of running around, I declared myself forfeited. I don’t know if it is the maid’s broken Arabic, the people who did not know the place but pointed different spice stores or it was me who did not get the directions: result was no masala. I tried the supermarket but the masala I found had most of the spices I got. I even found a Breyani mix, but again it had the same spices I already had.
I made this recipe for my kids and I last weekend. They are not that fond of paprika, and I am not that fond of mushrooms, so I made a few adjustments to suit our tastes.
I started by cooking some finely minced garlic (about 3 cloves) and shallots (2) in a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. I try not to use too much butter if I can help it and of course I have something of a love affair for garlic! After the garlic became somewhat translucent, I added 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts to the pan. I cooked the chicken for about 7 minutes on each side, then I added one sliced green bell pepper to the pan. I like to add vegetables like this later on in the recipe so that they maintain some of their original crispiness.
I have made this recipe before, so I felt comfortable to make it again, and be more adventurous with the amount of seasoning.
I did not use chicken breasts, but rather leg pieces, as my family do not eat breasts unless in a pasta. I also did not skin the legs, and as unhealthy as this is, I enjoy the taste the skin gives to the food. I seasoned the chicken pieces in a bowl with salt and pepper, but did not use the prescribed amount of paprika. Instead, I sprinkled the paprika until it covered all the chicken. I also used ground garlic because I did not have garlic powder. I used about a teaspoon and a half for luck. I love garlic, so I do tend to use more.