Saturday, November 15, 2008

Eggbattered Chicken with White Truffle Cream Sauce, Roasted Blue Bonnet Potatoes, and Grilled Eggplant

Lightly battered pounded chicken breasts, pan fried in butter and olive oil.
Chopped garlic, sauteed in olive oil, butter, and Samos Island wine, finished with heavy cream and White Truffle Oil.
Garlic, Olive Oil, Rosemary, and butter tossed with halved Blue Bonnet Potatoes and roasted in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, tossing from time to time. Then increase heat to 400 degree for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Halved and sliced Eggplant, grilled with Olive Oil, and salt and pepper.

I can't remember the last time I had Blue Bonnet Potatoes, if I have, and I absolutely loved their nutty flavor. They were delicious with the robust flavors of the Rosemary and Garlic.
The Truffle Oil brought the simple cream sauce to another level and dressed upon the crisp chicken was just a delight.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Diwali Celebrations

A few weeks ago I had an afternoon soirée to honor the celebration of Diwali. Diwali is a holiday celebrated throughout parts of India for a period of five days.
Some of the details in the celebrations are the lighting of candles and oil lamps throughout the house, and of course, food. Glorious sweet and savory treats are to be shared and enjoyed together and throughout the days of celebration.

Here is the menu, and of course all made from scratch.

=Baingan Bharta (eggplant)
=Chapatis (flatbread)
=Palak Paneer (spinach and cheese)
=Cucumber Raita (yogurt with chopped cucumber and lime juice)
=Butter Chicken
=Dahl Makhani (black lentils with kidney beans)
=Goat Biryiani (goat meat with spiced rice)=Carrot Halwa (sweet milk and carrot pudding)
=Badam Phirni (sweet almond pudding)

Everything turned out absolutely delicious.
In addition to my significant other's immense contributions and his family's recipes, I have to give credit to Sanjay Thumma. His website really helped out with all of the preparations for this feast. Not only does his website have great recipes, but it also has wonderful videos demonstrating techniques. In addition to his website he has a separate blog. (He also seems very nice and in one of the videos I watched, his food actually brought tears to his eyes. Beautiful!)

We started the meal with a tea tasting of Three Chrysanthemum Blossoming Tea from the Red Blossom Tea Company in San Francisco.

I acquired the tea my last trip to the city, and was delighted to indulge in a tea tasting at their store in China Town.
The tea was a perfect start to our sumptuous feast and celebration. The buds opened up completely unleashing their sweet honeysuckle flavor.

We had the Samosas next, and I have to say for the first attempt at making these bundles of spicy potatoes and peas - they were crisp, and magnificent.

With the main courses, we sipped on Mango Lassis (yogurt and mango puree with a hint of sweetness, and just a bit of water to thin out the consistency) with shot glasses filled with chilled vodka and Lemons for a squeeze. The Lassi by itself was a delightful complement to the savory dishes, but with the vodka it gave that extra little citrus boost.

We spent all afternoon and evening reveling in the fabulous dishes we created as we discussed the significance and relevance of the celebrations we were acknowledging. There is nothing like enjoying food and friendship surrounded by candlelight and amazing aromas.