March 30, 2011
I got to show Stacey Baca, anchor and reporter with the ABC news affiliate here in Chicago not only how easy it is to make lamb biryani in the slow cooker, but also how incredibly easy I've made it to throw your spices in with my Spice Tiffin. While I prepped and mixed, I let her measure and spice. The key to my biryani is mint leaves, cilantro, garam masala, turmeric and a few other key spices. Remember, if you don't care for lamb, it's incredibly easy to swap that out for chicken breast, turkey, paneer or even tofu. When I use paneer or tofu, however, I like to saute the onions with some chopped tomatoes before putting into the slow cooker for added taste and moisture.
Stacey I know from early morning reporting. We used to be a handful of reporters out on the first story of the day - and I wondered if she'd remember me, as we never officially met. It was a competitive shift and we didn't always sit and chat with one another even though our live trucks were all lined up together and usually on the same top story of the day. When she walked on set the first thing she said was, "I know you!"
I just remember watching her in action working a story at 4:30 a.m. I learned a lot from her, Kim Vatis (NBC) and Marcella Raymond (WGN). I was the new kid on the block working for a scrappy station with limited resources in the newsroom and out in the field. My background was business/international news and when I was thrust onto the local news scene I had to scramble to learn what questions to ask, who to go to for the best information, and which reporters would be helpful and which ones would just treat you like chewed gum on the bottom of their shoe.
It wasn't an easy shift - but it was so much fun because you always had to be on and you never wanted to get scooped. I'm just glad I get to cook now instead of scramble for the best soundbite, the newest tidbit, and the latest video.
The lamb biryani is on page 120 of my book, The Indian Slow Cooker. If you've tried it and loved it, post some feedback!