Biryani with Pineapple & Bacon Chicken Sausage

Every time my hubby and I go to Trader Joe’s, we pick up something new to try. Our latest product testing session led us to Briyani, which has rice, onions, peas, red pepper, apples, raisins, and spices.biryaniricedish

It is slightly spicy, curry-y and fat free. The delightful little peas retain their bite when the Biryani is cooked on a stovetop. I decided to pair the rice dish with slices of smoked chicken sausage and added an onion, garlic, Sri Racha, and a steamer package of broccoli and cauliflower florets for more flavor and texture.  Some cilantro sprinkled on just before serving adds some extra freshness.  Grab a mint when you’re done, though!

I made this as a quick weeknight meal in one pan. It is so simple to make, I can lay it all out in one paragraph:

In a large pan, place cauliflower and broccoli florets and add 1/4 c water, then cover to steam for a few minutes until fork-tender. Add half of a chopped onion and cook until almost transluscent. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic, 2 tbsp Sri Racha and toss in the sliced sausage, stirring occasionally until heated through. Add the bag of Biryani. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro.  Serves 4.



Spicy Mexican Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are my personal favorite because there is something special about Mexican hot chocolate; it is complex – Sweet but also spicy, much like us Mexican ladies, right amigas?  They are a sinful balance of sweet, spicy, crunchy and soft, almost fudgy.

Spicy Mexican Chocolate Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 grated Chocolate Abuelita or Ibarra tablet, set aside 2 heaping tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
  • 6 bars of grated Carlos V chocolate or 2 cups milk chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.  Add in the grated Abuelita or Ibarra tablet and mix together with a whisk.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, 2 heaping tablespoons of Abuelita or Ibarra tablet and chile powder.  Form 1 inch balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place, about 2 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

Once the cookies are cooled, heat the grated Carlos V or chocolate chips in a baño Maria (double boiler) over medium-low heat until the chocolate is melted and easy to drizzle.  I like to scoop up some chocolate with a metal spoon and shake violently over the cookies so they get a cool, crazy design on top or you can always glob on the chocolate, though, it tastes the same in the end!  These cookies keep for about a week if stored in an airtight container.

mex choc cookies