My friend Rawan introduced me to a world of new flavors that really expanded my horizons. She was born in Jordan, grew up in Greece, came to graduate school in the states, got married, lived in the US for 10+ years, and is now back in Jordan for a year or two so her daughter can learn the language and experience her culture. She is pictured here with her daughter Tiyana.
We had many fun evenings at their house. The evening would always start out with Champagne. The boys would drink cocktails and Rawan and I would drink wine.
She is an excellent cook. Her motto was simple food, fresh ingredients with lots of taste. She thinks most American cooking is weak and flavorless. Needless to say, her food always had loads of flavor and tasted delish.
She uses a lot of ingredients and seasonings that I wasn't really familiar with. And she buys a lot of stuff from Trader Joe's as the basis for many of her recipes - including some of their sauces. Now I always have them stocked my pantry. They are perfect for the average weeknight/Monday night meal. And also good enough for company.
- Cuban Mojito Simmer Sauce
- Punjab Simmer Sauce
- Marsala Sauce
- Curry Sauce (Rawan mixes with a can of coconut milk)
- Korma Simmer Sauce
- Cacciatore Sauce
- Piccata Simmer Sauce
I basically do the exact same thing with all of these sauces.
Take 2 or 3 chicken breasts (depending on how big they are) and cut them each into 3 pieces. Season the chicken with garlic salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in a little olive oil in a frying pan. Add the sauce. Cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. The chicken is always moist and delicious. Serve with rice.
Later this week: Rawan's special homemade pasta sauce recipe