On the right is the aromatic rice I made with the leaves. You saute some onion, add the jasmine rice plus cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper, and a cinnamon stick. Cook these for a couple of minutes to release the flavors. Add the lime leaves and some chicken broth, cover, and cook until tender. The overall flavor of the rice was a mild lime-cumin flavor, but it was not overwhelming and it was different than if I had used lime juice or zest. It was a different but very good dish.
To the left is caramel-garlic chicken. It is Asian-ish in that it uses turmeric, soy sauce and rice wine to marinate the chicken. Then it is breaded, cooked at a high heat and set aside. Brown sugar, garlic and rice vinegar are combined and heated to make a caramel sauce that is tossed over the chicken. The outside of the chicken was nicely crunch and savory-sweet while the inside was still moist.
Last on the plate, in the back, are roasted root vegetables. Cut up some veggies (I used potato, carrot, onion, and sweet potato...though if you use sweet potato, you have to microwave it for about 10 minutes since it is a little denser) and arrange on a greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-4 hours, mixing every 30 minutes or so. You want them to not only be soft, but slightly caramelized. Once they are done, remove them from the oven and place them in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine about 2-3 parts olive oil with 1 part balsamic vinegar. Then mix and add honey to taste (you want a tangy sweet dressing). I used Tupelo honey from north Florida since I got some on my last vacation. Pour this over the veggies and toss to combine. The is a very delicious dish that could easily become a staple side on many tables.
My dessert of the week is banana eclairs. I did not have the right piping equipment, so they turned out smaller than I wanted, but they were still good. They were fairly labor intensive and I should have made them on a day when I wasn't committed to making so many other dishes too. They still tasted good, though, so in the end it all turned out okay.