Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I got this 2-pounder butternut squash, halved and de-seeded it and roasted in oven for an hour , scooped out the pulp and stashed in the refrigerator for use later..
Checked out some recipes and thought I would try the Butternut squash ravioli albeit with the wonton wrappers..which turned out to be a bad idea and a failed experiment..they dried for too long , or had cracks and some that I boiled turned out to be very egg-y..I was so disgusted they went straight to the bin..
Couple of days later and Im again thinking whats to be done of the leftover puree and thank heavens I didnt use the whole in the ravioli experiment..Google delivered these goodies at my doorsteps - Butternut squash lasagna..how yummy does that sounds!
Butternut squash lasagna 1
Butternut squash lasagna 2
Inspired by the above recipes ,I came up with :
Butternut squash puree, heated with salt , pepper and nutmeg added for taste.
Bechemal sauce with a desi twist:
3 tbsp butterAssorted cheese - Mozarella slices, shredded fried cheese (instead of parmesan which is used usually)
3 tbsp AP flour
3 cups milk
1 whole green chilli , minced
1 inch ginger , minced
1 medium onion , chopped in small squares
Heat butter and saute onion till golden, add chilli + ginger and saute for another min.Add the flour till golden brown, add milk and stir till a thick sauce consistency.Add salt and pepper to taste.
I used those lasagna sheet which do not need to be pre-cooked. Add a bechemal sauce layer to the bottom of a greased pan and lay the pasta sheets. Spread a layer of squash puree topped with breadcrumbs , cheese at hand ( I used mozarella slices ) and sprinkled some grated fried cheese on the top. Layer with the bechemal sauce and lay another set of pasta sheets and repeat the toppings for 3-4 layers or till your ingredients last. The last layer should be just the bechemal sauce and cheese layer over the lasagna sheets. Bake at 350F for about 30 mins covered by aluminium foil and another 20 mins without the cover.
The result was a delicious but not too heavy lasagna , with contrasting flavors of slightly sweet and aromatic squash to the mildly hot bechemal green chilli sauce .. definitely a keeper !
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
2 sweet potatoes, steamed till tender but firmAbout 1 cup AP flourSalt, pepper and nutmeg to tasteEVOO 2 tbsp
Grate the sweet potatoes with a grater, don't mash. Add half the flour and mix in. Add the seasonings and flour until a firm dough forms. See the process for forming the gnocchi in Cathy's post , she has explained it beautifully. Once the gnocchi is cooked, saute it with some EVOO , sage leaves and any handy nuts.
Friday, November 27, 2009
The first ever time I had Cannoli was at Boston's North End, the Italian world within the city...We had inadvertently landed there on a week-long stay and how fortunate ! Those hot cuppa espressos which we would drink just standing , those intimidating Italian restaurant owners , the fresh baked breads and ohh, those small bakeries with amazing array of sweets all inviting us in....Daring Bakers took me back there with this amazing Daring Challenge -
2 cup AP flour2 tbsp sugar1 tsp cinnamon1/2 tsp salt1 tsp white wine vinegar3 tbsp vegetable oil1/2 cup + marsala wineMix all the dry ingredients and add the oil, vinegar and wine till a moist dough is formed. Cover and rest in freezer for couple of hours or more.Roll into small round balls and wrap around the cannelloni shell and dab water where the ends meet. Deep-fry and let dry.
1 can of ricotta cheese strained overniteConfectionars sugar as requiredVanilla as required1/2 tsp cinnamonWhip everything up and fill in a ziploc bag with one end cut off. Squeeze into both sides of cannolo. Top with nuts or chocolates and enjoy....
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Sushi (寿司 or 鮨 or 鮓) is much appreciated for its delicate taste and exquisite appearance. Sushi actually means vinegar-ed rice, which is the essential ingredient in every sushi recipe. Sushi is simple and cheap to make at home, needs no special equipment and is an excellent way to use left overs. Although sushi in various forms has been around for fourteen centuries, the modern version was invented in Japan in the 1800’s where a 'hand-formed' sliced fresh fish and vinegared rice ball was eaten as a snack food. Nowadays, sushi is made with various seafood, meats and vegetables, raw and cooked.
The challenge is in four parts:-
Part 1: Making proper sushi rice – you will wash, rinse, drain, soak, cook, dress, and cool short grain rice until each grain is sticky enough to hold toppings or bind ingredients. Then you will use the cooked rice to form three types of sushi:
Part 2: Dragon /Caterpillar sushi roll – an avocado covered inside-out rice roll with a tasty surprise filling.
Excellent videos on making Dragon Rolls
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing -- Eva Young
And thats what kept happening to me , month after month, one good intention after another.. The link goes into my bookmarks, reminders, right panel to glare at me, then out as the date goes by... the 1st of the month bright with intentions , 15th bringing a bit of anxiety about things yet unaccomplished and then full blown panic as the end of the month approach... decision time - what to pick , what to throw .. which challenge to love and which to step over.. Im talking about all the culinary challenges floating around in this amazing culinary-blog-world ! It would be a full-time job to keep track of all those event and participate in..
Ones I've managed to stick to are the Daring Cooks and Sweet and Simple Bakes - and come to think about it, is it because they tell you exactly what to make, with a full recipe and instructions attached ? Hmm... maybe Im just a follow-the-recipe kinda cook.. unlike those natural ones who concoct delicacies out of nothing and gourmet meals out of everyday pantry stuff ..
One of these event which I would very much like to be part of but keep managing not to is IAVW started by Vaishali of Holy Cow .. She is hosting it this month and I saw her announcement on Its a Vegan World - Chinese and decided to take things in hand aka make do something chinese asap .. no procrastination .. no 'Perfect is the enemy of good' .. no scouring for recipes for days and for ingredients some more..I decided to go ahead with the recipe I had and the ingredients at hand..
I cannot believe I have never tried the much-loved and ubiquitous chinese fried rice as yet .. innumerable pulaos , rice variations but somehow never got around to making the fried rice.. though basic and simple , I think its an authentic indo-chinese recipe and if I sneak it in early enough I may claim my dibs on it [grin]
1 cup brown rice cooked yesterday
chopped spring onions
Steamed broccoli nd mushroom - 1 cup
handful of coarsely grated carrot
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp chopped garlic
salt nd pepper to taste
Heat oil and add the spring onions , stir for 2-3 mins and add ginger + garlic .. add the carrots and stir for another couple of mins. Add the steamed veggies and salt and pepper. Add the rice and soy sauce and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
To go with it I made this Sweet and sour Tofu with vegetable with the vegetables that I had in hand - Some steamed radishes (Im really glad on how I used radishes in varied ways this week - one, this stir fry and other was with mung dal - both turned out very well-adjusted and not out-of-the-place additions) , some cubed tofu and some peppers..
There goes my entry to IAVW and if this month chooses to bring some more chinese in my kitchen, so be it!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
The whole trial did made me realize something I've never consciously done before - that cookies are made entirely in butter... as in NO milk , or cream or water .. ENTIRELY BUTTER...
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
What makes Pho so different than any other type of noodle soup is the spices that go into the simmering broth. Warm spices like coriander, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fresh ginger transform an ordinary broth into a very authentic Vietnamese Pho.
Monday, October 5, 2009
2.5 cups green beans cut 1 inch long1 can water chestnuts cubed1 tbsp cooking oil1/2 tsp mustard seeds1/2 tsp cumin seeds1 tsp red chilli powder1 tsp coriander powdersalt to taste
Add some water and steam the cut green beans for about 10 mins in microwave. Heat the oil and add mustard and cumin seeds till they splatter. Add the beans and remaining spices and stir on high heat for 5 mins. Add the water chestnuts and mix well for 5 mins. Turn off the heat. Serve with hot chapati or accompaniment to dal-rice.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Kofta:1 packet gulab jamun mixa pinch of saltwater as requiredFilling:1 potato - boiled,peeled nd mashed1/2 tsp red chilli powder1/2 tsp garam masala/chat masala1 tbsp cashew nuts small piecespinch of turmericsalt as per tasteMix the Gulab Jamun mix with salt and add water to form a firm but pliable dough. Keep aside covered for 5 mins.Mix all the filling ingredients together. Form small balls (gulab jamun size) and add small filling inside each. Cover with the dough so it wont fly out in frying.Fry the balls till golden brown and keep aside.Gravy:1 large onion ,chopped coarsely1 medium tomato ,chopped coarsely5-6 cashew nuts ,chopped coarsely1 bay leaf8 whole black peppercorns3 cloves2 dried red chillies1/2 tsp cumin1/2 tsp cut ginger1/2 potato ,mashed1/2 cup cream or milkHeat some oil and add all the dry spices and stir. Add cashew nuts and stir for another 30 seconds and add onion. Cook till golden , then add ginger and tomatoes. Let cook till the tomatoes soften. Let it cool and grind into a paste. Heat another tbsp of oil and add the mashed potatoes. Stir around for a minute and add the paste and cream/milk. Add salt to taste and bring to boil. While serving , arrange the koftas in the serving bowl and pour the gravy over it.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Sweet and Simple bakes decided to make St Clement's drizzle cake , to enjoy along the lake, the rich and crumbly flakes.. wish I could rhyme more..maybe not :)
1 cup AP flour1 cup Whole wheat pastry flour1 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda4 tbsp milk powder1 cup fine sugarZest of 1 big lemon1 cup milk4 oz/1/2 stick butter meltedMix all the dry ingredients together. Whip up the butter and sugar and add the lemon zest. Add the flour and milk and mix to form cake batter. Pour into a loaf pan and bake @ 375F for 50 mins.juice of 1 lemonsame amount of orange juice ( I didn't have a fresh orange)3 tbsp granulated sugarSimmer both juices till reduced to about 3 tbsp. Let it cool and add sugar. As soon as the cake is out , poke with skewers and pour the 'drizzle' on it.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sometimes I'm confused by what I think is really obvious. But what I think is really obvious obviously isn't obvious...
1 cup rice1/3 cup urad dal1 tsp fenugreek seedsSoak 5-6 hours and grind with little water. Let ferment overnight. Add some more water and salt to make batter consistency when ready to make dosa.Filling :5-6 potatoes1 medium onion1 tsp chat masala1 tsp oilBoil the potatoes, peel and mash them. Heat the oil, saute onions and mix potatoes and chat masala in it.Heat the pan/tawa and spray some oil and some drops of water and wipe it off the hot pan. Spread the batter into a pancake. Take the filling and spread it layered over the dosa. Once the cooked side is crispy fold the dosa like a wrap and cut into pieces Serve with chutney and/or sambar.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
4 peaches, square cut1/2 cup sugar1 tbsp cornstarchPrep : Let the peach and sugar stew for about 30-35 mins..Dissolve the cornstarch in little water and mix it in the thickened jam. Let cool and store in fridge.
275g (10 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
3 tsp baking powder (I made it 2 tsp of baking powder + 1/2 tsp baking soda)
100g (4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
2 eggs ( I substituted 3/4 cup of applesauce )
200ml (7 fl oz) milk
75g (3 oz) unsalted (sweet) butter, melted and cooled ( I was running out , so used ghee - clarified butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract (Forgot :( )
12 tsp strawberry or raspberry jam
For The Toping
100g (4 oz) unsalted (sweet) butter
150g (5 oz) granulated sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
You will need 12 hole muffin tin lined with paper cases.Method
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl, and stir through the sugar. In large jug, lightly beat the eggs then add the milk, cooled butter and vanilla extract and beat together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients stir gently until just combined. (Do not over mix, its fine to have a few lumps in the mixture.) Spoon half the muffin mixture into the base of each paper case. Top each muffin with a teaspoon of jam. Now equally between each paper case, top with the remaining muffin mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes until well risen, golden and firm to the touch.
For The Topping: melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Spread the granulated sugar in a wide, shallow bowl with the cinnamon if using. When the muffins are baked, leave in the tin for 5 minutes. Dip the tops of the muffins in the melted butter and then roll in the sugar. You can serve these muffins warm or cold; however, I do prefer to eat them whilst warm.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.
Sponge cake layers
- 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups (162g) confectioner's (icing) sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (112g) sifted cake flour (SUBSTITUTE 95g plain flour + 17g cornflour (cornstarch) sifted together)
- pinch of salt
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) caster (ultrafine or superfine white) sugar
- 4oz (110g) bakers chocolate or your favourite dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature.
- 1 cup (200g) caster (superfine or ultrafine white) sugar
- 12 tablespoons (180 ml) water
- 8 teaspoons (40 ml) lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed, rice bran, sunflower)
- a 7” cardboard round
- 12 whole hazelnuts, peeled and toasted
- ½ cup (50g) peeled and finely chopped hazelnuts
Directions for the sponge layers:
NB. The sponge layers can be prepared in advance and stored interleaved with parchment and well-wrapped in the fridge overnight.
1.Position the racks in the top and centre thirds of the oven and heat to 400F (200C).
2.Cut six pieces of parchment paper to fit the baking sheets. Using the bottom of a 9" (23cm) springform tin as a template and a dark pencil or a pen, trace a circle on each of the papers, and turn them over (the circle should be visible from the other side, so that the graphite or ink doesn't touch the cake batter.)
3.Beat the egg yolks, 2/3 cup (81g) of the confectioner's (icing) sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted a few inches above the batter, about 3 minutes. (You can do this step with a balloon whisk if you don't have a mixer.)
The first thing I had to look at was the Vegatarian-ising the sponge cake from , I tried this recipe - it has too much soda though, so increased flour by 1 cup...still more than a hint of bitterness in the sponge and that sort of spoiled the cake for me :(
I did go ahead with it just for the sake of trying it out fully..some more notes..