Spicy Rosemary Chicken

You’ll need a cast iron skillet for this dish. Serve with rice or potatoes.

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp rosemary sprigs, crushed
1/4 c lemon juice, divided
1/2 Tbsp olive oil or melter butter
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/4 tsp each paprika, turmeric, and chili powder(or cayenne pepper)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 450 deg F. Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Combine rosemary, 1/8 c lemon juice, oil, gigner-garlic paste, and spices.
Coat chicken pieces with mixture and add chicken to skillet. Cook five minutes or until chicken begins to turn white.
Turn chicken, drizzle with remaining lemon juice and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until chicken. Is cooked through.

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Cooking Pastes: Ginger-Garlic and Chili-Garlic

These are pretty common ingredients in Indian cooking; I know one Indian cook who puts at least one of them in just about every dish that comes out of her kitchen. They’re pretty simple, and store about six months.

Ginger-Garlic Paste
Equal parts peeled, chopped ginger and peeled, chopped or minced garlic
Turmeric: 1 tsp per Tbsp of ginger-garlic mixture
Light cooking oil: 1 tso per Tbsp of ginger-garlic mixture

Blend all ingredients into a paste. Store in a glass jar in the fridge.

Chili-Garlic Paste
5 tsp minced garlic
Small handful of Indian green chili peppers(these can e hard to find, so substitute about 5 large jalepeno peppers if you can’t find green chilies)
1 Tbsp light cooking oil

Blend all ingredients into a thin paste. Cook the mixture down into thick paste over medium heat. Store in a glass jar in the fridge.

Candied Rose Petals

Fresh organic rose petals, white trimmed off, rinsed and dry (but not dried!) I’m partial to red petals, but pink varieties are good too. White and yellow petals tend to turn an unappealing shade of brown. This will also work for other types of edible flower petals.
Vanilla Cinnamon Simple Syrup (recipe follows) or regular simple syrup
Powered sugar for dusting (optional)

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
(for regular syrup, stop here. For vanilla cinnamon syrup, add the following)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon (you can use another kind if you want, but I like Ceylon best for this because it’s sweet by itself and not bitter at all.)

Combine sugar, water, vanilla, and cinnamon in a small pot. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool for a few minutes. It should be cooled slightly so it doesn’t wilt the petals but still warm. While you wait, line a cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper, spray the paper generously with cooking spray and set your oven to the lowest possible setting. My oven has a “warm” setting that’s below 200 degrees F and is perfect for drying.

Once cooled, dip each petal in the syrup and place on the cookie sheet. (Leftover syrup can be stored in the fridge and used in coffee, tea, or in anything else that calls for simple syrup.) Dust with powdered sugar if desired and “bake” petals for 40 minutes on warm. (If your oven doesn’t go below 200, you may need less time.) After 40 minutes, turn the petals over and let them bake another 20 to 30 minutes (more or less). The goal is dried, crisp petals with a shiny glaze.  Because they are dried, the colors will be darker and more muted than the fresh petals.

Remove petals from the oven and allow them to cool completely. Carefully remove them from the wax paper, using a toothpick or thin spatula. Some of them may stick; be gentle, as they are fragile and will tear. Store them in a Tupperware container in the fridge or on the shelf.

They supposedly keep for a week, but they never last that long here! You can eat them as they are, or use them as toppings for ice cream or edible decorations for cakes or other desserts.

Enjoy!
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