Hi everyone! My name is Farrah, and like Taylor Swift, I was also born in 1989. Coincidentally, we both also happen to enjoy writing, cooking, and soft, furry pets.
Anyway! Taylor recently gave an in-depth interview to Elle magazine where she talked about the 30 lessons she learned before turning 30 this year. Lesson 10 happened to list her three favorite dinner party recipes. So, of course, I decided I HAD to try and cook all three.
The first recipe I decided to try was Jamie Oliver's fajitas — which was actually inspired by Señor Dick’s restaurant recipe. I've made fajitas before, but not molé, so this seemed like a safe place to start!
The most intriguing part of this recipe for me was the dark chocolate that the molé sauce required. I honestly had NO idea how it would taste. Tomatoes and cumin and dark chocolate all in one sauce?! But I was 🎶 READY FOR IT. 🎶
The most time-consuming part of this recipe was chopping up all the vegetables. Onions and I have some bad blood, some might say. I can't seem to chop one up without my eyes burning, watering, and becoming irritated. I wonder if Taylor can relate???
When I first started cooking the molé sauce I thought, "Oh man, this doesn't look right!" But once you leave everything to cook together and simmer, it smoothes out — and then smoothes out even further once you add in the dark chocolate! All in all, pretty easy.
The final part: THE TASTE TEST. It ended up being delicious. The molé sauce added such a nice pop of flavor to the spiced chicken and veggies. I had two heapin' servings of it. Never in my 🎶 WILDEST DREAMS 🎶 would I have thought it'd be this easy to make. I can see why it's one of Taylor's go-to party recipes.
This seemed like a lot of ingredients for a simple spaghetti and meatballs dish, but it would be my first time cooking spaghetti sauce that wasn't from a jar. As someone *also* turning 30 this year, I felt like now was time to learn how to make sauce from scratch!
The first step was to throw all the meatball ingredients into a bowl and 🎶 DELICATE 🎶 -LY mix it all up. But for real. Ina's like, "please do this part gently." I was able to make 14 large meatballs from one pound of turkey!
I was pretty nervous about this next step. You're supposed to heat a blend of olive oil and vegetable oil in a pan, then let the meatballs cook. I was convinced mine would fall apart and I'd ruin the entire meal. But that didn't happen!!!! In fact, they cooked PERFECTLY.
Making the sauce from scratch wasn't too hard either. Once all the ingredients are combined, the meatballs go BACK into the sauce to cook for another 25-30 minutes. And if the sauce starts splatterin' you know what to do... SHAKE IT OFF (but also cover the top).
After the sauce and meatballs cook, you dump the whole thing on top of your delicious pasta! I added some more parsley as a garnish, but Ina suggests using basil. Either way, the dish was 🎶 GORGEOUS 🎶.
How did it taste? AMAZING!!!! Damn, Taylor is really good at picking out party recipes. The meatballs were so moist and flavorful, and the sauce was tangy, tomato-y, and delicious! I am 100% going to make this dish again.
Since I wasn't throwing a dinner party, I brought the entire bowl into work for my co-workers to eat — and they approved!
I saved the hardest recipe for last — Nigella Lawson's Mughlai Chicken. I didn't know for a FACT it was hard, but because there were so many ingredients and spices, I was hoping I didn't mess anything up.
Here are all the ingredients that go into making Mughlai Chicken, minus the cardamom pods I KNOW FOR A FACT I bought but somehow — despite all my best efforts looking everywhere — did not turn up. I also could not find whole cinnamon sticks, so ground cinnamon would have to do.
I think I was the most nervous about attempting this recipe in particular because I didn't want to mess any of the steps up. Since I don't own a food processor, I used my Magic Bullet to blend the first part of the ingredients together while the chicken thighs cooked. Luckily it worked just fine!
The second part was making the curry sauce. I used one large onion instead of two onions as the recipe called for and I was kinda worried it was TOO MUCH ONION. There weren't any 🎶 TEARDROPS ON MY GUITAR 🎶 — but they were all over my face from choppin' this dang onion!!!!
Once the chicken thighs were deboned and all the necessary parts of the curry sauce were ready, I combined the two and added in both the golden raisins (which sounded kinda odd but I wasn't going to immediately judge) and the toasted almonds. LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFUL IT IS!!!!
I sautéed some fresh green beans with garlic and more toasted almonds as a side. After two and a half hours of cooking this meal, I was absolutely ready to dive in.
YOU GUYS. IT WAS SO DELICIOUS. All the spices in the curry sauce blended together so tastefully, and the golden raisins brought a touch of sweetness that is 1000% necessary. Once again, I ate two whole servings of this and promptly fell into a blissful food coma.
It was REALLY difficult to rank these incredible meals, but I think my absolute favorite was the classic spaghetti and meatballs. It's one thousand steps above throwing everything together from a box/jar. Nigella and Jamie's recipes were also super flavorful and delicious. Basically, I can see why these are Taylor's dinner party staples for life!