Matched with creme fraiche and toasted pecans, this is one dessert I will remember for a long time.
The Gutsy cooks have been extremely busy as well. Cynthia and Sam are the hosts for this month in the Gutsy Cook Club and chose a main dish of chicken biryani and a dessert; pear, mascarpone, hazelnut tart. I made the Indian chicken biryani, but I followed Monica's wonderful advice over at Sweet Bites; I am so glad I did because after a little research, this is what I found: Aayi's recipes: Hyderabadi chicken biryani recipe! Authentic Biryani from India. Aayi does not give specific measurements for all her ingredients so each person gets to approach the recipe accordingly. Lets just say, I can't wait till next weekend to make this again!
Aayi's ingredient list is as follows (adapted and changed just a tidbit):
1 cup sliced onion (fried in oil till crisp)
1/2 pound of boneless skinless chicken (I used 1 full pound)
3 T. chopped coriander leaves
2 T. chopped mint leaves (I used dried)
1/2 t. ginger paste (found at Safeway by fresh mushrooms)
1/2 t. garlic paste (found in same place as ginger paste)
3 green chilies (I chopped mine; bigger pieces then diced)
1/2 t. red chili powder
4 cloves powdered (I used 1/2 t. of cloves-next time I will use a little more)
1" cinnamon powdered (I used 1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon)
1/2 t. cumin powder (will add 1 t. next time)
1/2 t. coriander powder
1/2 cup thick yogurt (I used Greek yogurt and more like 3/4 cup)
Add all the marinade ingredients and 1/4 cup fried onion to chicken pieces and leave it aside for about 1 hour in refrigerator.
1 and 1/2 cups Basmati rice (par-boiled, long grain Basmati is the best)
1/4 cup onion
3 cups water
2 cloves (I used 1/4 t. ground cloves)
1" cinnamon (I actually used a cinnamon stick)
2 bay leaves
1/2 t. ginger paste
1/2 t. garlic paste
1/2 t. green chili paste
1/4 t. turmeric (I believe for the yellow coloring of the rice.)
Ghee (clarified butter; amazing stuff!)
Heat ghee and add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves, ginger and garlic paste, green chili paste, turmeric, onion and fry for a few minutes. Now add the rice and fry for 2-3 minutes. Then add salt water and let it cook (I let the rice cook uncovered for 14 minutes).
Putting Everything together:
Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan and add marinated chicken. Fry for about 2 minutes. If chicken leaves some water, that is fine.
Spread half the quantity of rice, followed by 1/2 the quantity of fried onion. You can add 1/4 cup water just to make sure the rice is completely cooked.
Spread remaining rice and then onion.
Cover the pot with lid and cook on a medium low flame (I have an electric stove so went with medium low heat) for about 30 to 45 minutes. (I cooked mine for 40 minutes.)
I served the chicken biryani with baked artichokes and our dinner was perfect, filling, and delicious! Not the prettiest plated dish but taste made up for looks.
I made the raspberry souffles from last week's menu, using the rose water. My raspberries actually tasted like raspberries; surprising for being in the middle of wintertime.
My first time making anything with Rose water. I have seen plenty of recipes but I have always chickened out. To be absolutely honest, after trying the finished, chilled raspberry souffle, I am not a fan of the flavor. The first taste was raspberries then a lingering rose flavor. Maybe the dislike comes from being a new taste for me but I didn't care for it. The little souffles turned out adorable and I will make these again, only with plain water or maybe a raspberry liqueur.
The longest part of the recipe was making the puree and chilling the souffles. Pretty easy and definitely beautiful to present.