For something a little different, I have invited Gemma Juliana to visit with me this week. Yup, she’ll be here today, Wednesday, and then again on Friday showcasing three of her novels – one on each day. So please come back so you don’t miss out!
Today, Gemma is going to share a recipe with us in keeping with her series.
One of the reasons I started my self-publishing journey with the Sheikhs of the Golden Triangle series – an ever expanding line of sheikh novellas — is because I’ve always been drawn to the richness of life on the pages of the many sheikh romances I’ve read over the years.
I’m not talking about wealth, although there is no shortage of that in their lives either. It’s all about the rich plush tapestries, colorful Persian carpets and vibrant prayer rugs, gleaming metals, and the endless assortment of delectable dishes.
Sexy, mysterious men. Power games and danger. Women who aren’t intimidated, and harbor secrets of their own. Suspense, intrigue, sensuality, and… some exotic feasting.
If you’ve read The Sheikh’s Spy, you may remember that when Sheikh Adnan and Olympia go to the Desert Rose Oasis, the living room resembles a vast Bedouin tent, complete with brass and copper ornaments, vivid silk wall hangings and rich carpets.
There will be many sultry, exotic scenes in The Sheikh’s Crowning when it is available in June, 2013.
Many years ago when I lived in Europe, a delightful Persian friend often invited my family to dinner. I still recall the amazing blend of textures, tastes and spices in her melt-in-your-mouth dishes. She fearlessly combined meat with fruits and spices, and the quality of her special rice recipe could win an award.
In The Sheikh’s Spy, when Olympia and Adnan host a state dinner at the palace in Zahiria, I envision the buffet laden with such exotic delights as Morgh Polou, otherwise known as Persian Chicken & Rice, Tabouli Salad, Baba Ganoush, which is an eggplant dish, and Warak Dawali, a stuffed grape leaf dish. Just to name a few!
Why not create a Middle Eastern evening of your own? Here’s a recipe to experiment with and enjoy! Bon appetit!
Morgh Polou or Polow, Persian Chicken& Rice
- Cut a fryer chicken that weighs 3-4 lbs into pieces, rub salt and pepper into the skin, and leave the skin on. Brown the chicken pieces in 1/8th of a stick of butter, melted in a non-stick pan. Remove chicken from pan and add another 1/8th of a butter stick. Fry 1 clove garlic, 1 chopped onion, ½ cup of chopped apricots, ½ cup of chopped prunes and ½ cup of golden sultanas. This takes less than 10 minutes.
- Stir ¾ teaspoon cinnamon powder into this mixture and let it cook a few minutes. Add ½ teaspoon of nutmeg and ½ teaspoon of turmeric and the same measure of cumin. Add 1/3 to ½ cup of water to the mixture and stir it to concoct a dark thin liquid from the bottom of the pan.
- Arrange 3 cups of pre-cooked rice in a casserole dish and place the chicken pieces on top. Pour the fruit mixture over the chicken, top with another 3 cups of pre-cooked rice and cover tightly.
This dish will cook for 40-50 minutes in your oven at 350 degrees. Keep it tightly covered. Just before it is ready, mix 3 tablespoons of boiling water with ½ teaspoon of saffron threads. Let it steep a few minutes.
Pour it over the finished dish, toss everything well, and serve. Savor the subtle, exotic flavors!
To have some fun and make a feast of it, play some Middle Eastern music, burn sandalwood incense, and wear sensual belly dancing clothes, or a colorful long tunic with lots of bangles and jewelry. Apply some aromatic perfume with rose and jasmine accents. Who knows what the night will bring you!
ABOUT GEMMA JULIANA: Gemma lives in north Texas, USA with her handsome hero husband (HHH) and a very peculiar dog who tries hard to talk like a human. Having pursued many careers, writing is definitely the most fun she has ever had. Coffee and chocolate are her preferred vices. Gemma is currently at work on another novella in the Sheikhs of the Golden Triangle series, The Sheikh’s Crowning. She loves hearing from readers!
Don’t forget to check back on Wednesday, when Gemma is going to introduce us to another great book.