So, I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit to my guilty pleasure over the summer. Anyone who knows about our job situation for the past year or so knows that recently, my dinner companions have been slightly…televised. So I’ve spent the summer eating dinner with Alton, and Iron Chef (on some of those nights when I couldn’t manage to get to dinner before 9), and Next Food Network Star. I know, I know. Reality TV is crap. But it’s about food–does that redeem it at all?
I especially got drawn in this season because for once, I actually really cared about who won. And I said that if my pick won, I would totally watch that show. So it was with happiness and excitement that I settled in today at noon to watch Aarti Sequeira in her new Food Network show! And I already have plans to make one of her recipes on Tuesday. And I’ll make the other one in the near future. I just love her. She’s cute and upbeat (and has the most darling accent), but most of all, her “culinary point of view” was that she wanted to bring Indian flavors to American dishes and to make Indian cooking more accessible. Her show blended in some interesting facts about the ingredients and cuisine in well. I’ll definitely be tuning in again!
So, tonight Chris and I were adventurous and tried one of her dishes from Next Food Network Star, a Braised Lamb with caraway rice. The link has the recipe, as usual. It was interesting–I bought all sorts of things at the grocery store that I never had before. Lamb. Cheesecloth. Stick cinnamon. I made a bouquet garni for the first time. I now have 8 brand new jars of spices sitting on my shelf, and I don’t think there’s a common Indian spice that I haven’t bought now. I think I’m ready for whatever she can throw at me. After making this dish, the kitchen smelled amazing. it was like being transported to our favorite Indian restaurant. Awesome. Sadly, the meat didn’t have as much of that awesome flavor as we would have liked. Next time, while the rice is cooking, we’re going to put some tomato sauce into the pan with the lamb, add the powered version of some of the spices from the recipe, and let it simmer until the rice is done. It’ll add a nice sauce and hopefully ramp up the flavor a bit. I can’t wait to see what she makes next week! 🙂