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43 blessed years! Huevos Rancheros, my favorite cookie and Indian roasted chicken!

May 9, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing moms! What a day! Yesterday was my 43rd birthday and my family made me feel like a king. I woke up to the most incredible breakfast in bed made by my amazing daughter Isabella. Huevos Rancheros. The eggs were perfectly cooked; the tomato and black beans were seasoned just right and of course as every parent knows the secret ingredient is that my daughter made it for me! My wife broke out my favorite cookies – Palmiers from La Boulange in San Francisco. With a perfect short shot of espresso I was in heaven and it wasn’t even 8:30am yet! There is nothing like the syrupy, rich, bitter and sweet deep roasted flavor of a perfect espresso. It coats your teeth and leaves a thin blanket of flavor on your tongue that fades slowly. The sweet layers of crispy, chewy pastry that make up the Palmier cookie melts in your mouth with the heat of the espresso. Incredible. My son and I built an awesome ramp for him to jump his bike in the alley. It was the best present I could have to watch his face go from scared to determined to joyful as he conquered his fears and sailed through the air on his bike. He inspires me and fills me with joy every moment.

Lunchtime! Even though it is my birthday cooking is what I love to do so I was ready to dive into the kitchen. I rubbed a beautiful chicken that I got at McCall’s in Los Feliz, Los Angeles (Incredible butcher/fish monger that has the most pure, fresh product). I forgot how truly flavorful a good chicken can be. I rubbed the chicken inside and out with 2 TB my Indian spice blend and 1/3 C. of yogurt. The acidity of the yogurt accelerates the marinating of the chicken. The skin and meat turn golden-yellow. After a couple of hours I wiped off the excess yogurt and sautéed the bird briefly (make sure the oil is hot so the moisture of the yogurt doesn’t allow the skin to stick to the pan). I then added a handful of cubed potatoes to the pan with olive oil and brown mustard seeds. I roasted the bird at 350 until tender and juicy with a golden brown/yellow crust that became “Tandori” like. We were too hungry to get a picture of the cooked chicken. Sorry! The skin was crispy with a touch of chew that extracted the earthy, mild mustard-like flavor of the turmeric, the pungent medicinal quality of the cumin and the bright, cleansing note of the coriander seed. I mixed some red chile sauce, pureed mango and yogurt for the sauce. It was the sweet foil to all the richness and added a touch of heat as well. I steeped some black tea with the core of some mangoes for our beverage.

Dessert was a quick sauté of mango, red bananas, cardamom, brown sugar and butter. My son poured the orange liqueur and we all cheered as the flames erupted.

My wife took me to Mozza for a divine dinner. I felt like I was on the first date as I starred into her bright green eyes and drank the most luscious glass of dry rose. Dry rose is the perfect food wine. It has enough acidity to balance out the acid of salad dressings yet it has enough tannin, deep fruit and body to work with lighter meat dishes and pizza. (Mozza’s pizza dough is by far the best I have ever had. It is chewy like bread but thin and crispy. A brilliant accomplishment). I am going to stop now as I am getting too worked up and may go on forever! Thanks for reading. Have a great rest of the weekend and may your next birthday be everything you want it to be!! Enjoy.

Eat well, Enjoy life, Be happy

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Chase Lane permalink
    May 9, 2010 4:06 pm

    Wow, I pleased my wife with a chicken that looked very similar to yours, after rub. I did not have access to your exact mixture, but after seeing your spice store, I just corrected that with an order. Blessings on this endeavor, and I hope you add all sorts of varieties of spices and cooking items unique to your style.
    For years I have been trying to find the right spice to make Bowling Alley Pizza. Not sure if it’s the same where you are, but the top is loaded with cheese and dark spices, unlike a typical Dominoe’s. I found an herb mixture that about nailed it, but the store quit handling it. It only listed a few spices and then simply said “spices”. I about died when I used a little cumin on top of mine. Different. Similar. Close. What next? Garam Marsala? You bet! Not similar. Much better. Oh, and I fudge a lot, using a hot pepper real swiss (not processed), along with provolone and fresh mozz.
    Anyway, back to your store. I am totally intrigued by your Indian Blend. I picked up some Tumeric and a few other things lately, but it’s hard to dive into a new single herb. A good mixture is the way to go.
    Double Happiness in China.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      May 11, 2010 10:28 pm

      Hello Chase, just saw this one, sorry. Awesome. Love your energy! “bowling alley pizza” can’t wait to try that one day! Best, J

  2. Robin Boyd permalink
    May 10, 2010 4:50 am

    Happy Birthday, Jeff! We’re enjoying your Chinese and Mexican blends!! Lots of creativity coming out of my son these days! Best wishes and have a great trip! – Robin

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      May 11, 2010 10:26 pm

      Awesome Robin! Thank you and cheers to your son! Best, Jeffrey 🙂

  3. Chase Lane permalink
    May 10, 2010 3:12 pm

    Question about your online spices. Jeffrey, will you be handling things like (I believe it’s called) Grains of Paradise Pepper? I really think your shop, as well as your teaching, are going to be a boon here.
    Also, you may be aware, that you can sell through Amazon. However, you lose a bite of the apple.
    New food channel coming at the end of the month.
    I missed your Mex BBQ spices. Only four showed up when I went shopping. Will pick up the BBQ on next splurge day.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      May 11, 2010 10:26 pm

      Hello Chase, always good to hear from you! I am not familiar with Grains of Paradise Pepper but will be soon…
      Thanks for the tips. Thanks for the support! Let me know what you think. Best, Jeffrey 🙂

  4. Patti permalink
    May 13, 2010 9:30 am

    Happy Belated Birthday Jeffrey.

    I’ll throw in Welcome home in case you’re reading this when you return!


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