Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rustic Rice with Oven Grilled Vegetables

Today its raining since morning, a cold and wet day feel like cooking something more earthy and rural. I am planning for a brown rice recipe which is considered to be more healthy yet rustic. In much of Asia, brown rice is associated with poverty and wartime shortages, and in the past was rarely eaten except by the sick and the elderly because as it has high fiber content. This traditionally denigrated kind of rice is often now more expensive than common white rice, partly due to its relatively low supply and difficulty of storage and transport. I am making a herb brown rice and layering it with boiled potato tossed in homemade pesto sauce. Serving it with some low fat oven grilled vegetables.

Ingredient:

Brown rice:                 1 cup (soak in water for 1 hr)
Spring onion:               2 medium long stems
Potato:                        1 large
Fresh Basil
Fresh Parsley
Parmesan cheese:        2 table spoon
Pine nuts:                     2 table spoon
Olive Oil
Garlic:                          4 large cloves
Garlic powder:             1/2 tea spoon
Butter:                         1 tea spoon
Lemon Juice
Seasonal Vegetables:    2 cups cut in medium size chunks (I an using beans, broccoli, onion, eggplant, carrot & capsicum)   
Kosher salt to taste
White pepper

Method:
1) Wash and dry all cut seasonal vegetables. Add salt, pepper, 1 table spoon olive oil, 1 tsp butter, garlic powder and 4 table spoon finely chopped parsley and basil leaves. Mix well and grill it for 20-25 minutes turning the vegetable twice in between. Keep it hot.
2) Peel a large potato and slice it. Boil it till fully cooked.
3) For pesto sauce, grind together 1 cup fresh basil,  2 table spoon parmesan, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 garlic cloves and 1 table spoon lightly roasted pine nuts.
4) Toss the boiled potato slices in pesto sauce and season it with salt and pepper. Set aside
5) For herb brown rice, heat some olive oil in a pan and add 1 table spoon minced garlic. Add finely chopped spring onion. Toss it for a minute and add the rice. Pour 4 cups of water and season it with salt. let it cook until the water run dry and rice is well cooked. Turn off the heat and mix 1 cup of finely fresh basil and parsley leafs. Season it with white pepper. Mix well and cover it for 2 minutes.
6) To assemble use a bowl or a mould put some rice at the bottom then layer it with pesto potato in between and again cover it with rice. Take out the mould and top it up with grilled vegetable and sprinkle some lemon juice.

BON APPETIT..


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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sonar Begun ( Golden Eggplant)

The culture of West Bengal is an Indian Culture which has its roots in the Bengali literature, music, fine arts, drama and cinema. West Bengal shares its distinctive culinary tradition with neighbouring Bangladesh, and also borrows from other Indian states. Bengali cuisine is rich and varied with the use of many specialized spices and flavours. I had this dish in my one of the visits to Sonargaon  a fine dining restaurant by Taj, Kolkata. Today I am trying to replicate and share the same taste which is really hard to forget. The rustic yet elegant look, velvety texture and mouth melting bite is enough to describe this recipe. Lets cook and find it for ourselves.

Ingredient:
Eggplant:               1 Medium
Mustard seed:       1 table spoon
Mustard oil:           1 table spoon
Nigella seed:          1/4 tea spoon
Green Chili:            2-3 chili
Turmeric Powder:   2 tea spoon
Red Chili powder:   2 teaspoon
Garlic cloves:          1large
Lime juice:              1 table spoon
Salt to taste
Sugar:                     1/2 tea spoon

Method:
1) Wash eggplant and cut it with the stems on.
2) To make mustard paste, soak it in water for 10 minutes and grind it to a coarse paste.
3) Heat mustard oil to the smoking point. Crackle nigella seed, slit green chili and minced garlic.
4) Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and eggplant. Toss together. Add 40ml of water.
5) Cook on low heat until the eggplants are done.
6) Add mustard paste, sugar and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
7) Add a little more mustard oil, lime juice and stir. Serve hot with some butter phulka or boiled white rice.

BON APPETIT..


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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chocolate cake with twin frosting

Today I will not describe my recipe, as cake is well known and universal. I am trying my hands on few frosting which I have used for this cake. I am using Mascarpone cheese frosting and chocolate ganache with a fancy white chocolate garnish.

Ingredient:
All purpose flour:        1 cup
Sugar:                         1cup
Eggs:                           3 large
Butter:                         1/2 cup
Brown chocolate bar:   125gm
White Chocolate bar:   50gm
Heavy cream:               1/2 cup
Mascarpone cheese:    4table spoon
Vanilla sugar:               1 table spoon
Vanilla essence:           1/2 tea spoon
Baking powder:           1/2table spoon
Whipped cream:          1 cup

Method:

1) Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius.
2) For chocolate ganache cut the brown chocolate in fine pieces add boiling heavy cream to it. Keep it for a minute and then add 1 spoon of butter and start whisking until smooth and glazing frosting is formed ( about 3-4 minute). Refrigerate it.
3) Separate egg white and yolk, using a electric blender whisk the egg white until light and fluffy.
4) In another bowl mix butter and sugar until creamy and light. Add egg yolk and vanilla essence.
5) Add flour & baking powder separately and mix it to the butter and egg mixture. Add 1/2 cup chocolate ganache to it. Fold this mixture with the egg white very gently.
6) Grease the tin and pour the mixture. Bake it for 45-50 minutes until the tester comes out clean. Cool it on a wire rack.
7) For Mascarpone cheese frosting. Mix Mascarpone cheese,  vanilla sugar and whipped cream. Refrigerate it.
8) For white chocolate garnish. Cut the chocolate in small pieces and microwave it in a microwave safe plastic container for 20 secs. Mix well, heat again for 10 second and mix. Repeat the process if required.
Pour the melted chocolate in a plastic cone and take out your favourite design on a silver foil. Refrigerate it for 10 minutes and slowly take it out from the foil once the chocolate tree is frozen.
10) To assemble, cut the cake in half and put the Mascarpone frosting in between. Pour and spread the remaining ganache over the cake and decorate it with white chocolate garnish.

BON APPETIT..



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Monday, September 24, 2012

Baked Malfatti dipped Shorba

"Malfatti" quiet an unusual name but not for a hard core Italian food lover. Malfatti, means badly made or ill-shaped, because these are made of the filling for a ravioli, and therefore not enclosed and defined by the dough. For such an amazingly good dish it has such a pessimistic name.Nonetheless it’s really delicious and delicate in flavor. Serve with a mixture of melted butter and Parmesan cheese, or a very light creamy tomato sauce. Today I am trying a great fusion of this less known Italian "Malfatti" with all time classic Indian "Tomato Shorba". A little bit of changes are made from the basic version to compliment each recipe.

Ingredient:

Spinach:                     1cup ( Blanched and finely chopped)
Parmesan cheese:       1/2 cup
Ricotta cheese:           1/2 cup
Garlic powder:           1/4 tea spoon
Nutmeg powder:        1/4 tea spoon
Salt to taste
Black pepper
Tomato:                     4 Large
Spring onion:              1 stem
Yellow onion:             1 medium
Carrot:                       1 medium
Garlic:                        2 cloves
Dried Rosemary:        1/2 tea spoon
Bay Leaf:                   1 small
Olive oil

Method:
1) Mix well strained spinach, parmesan, ricotta, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper on a clean kitchen top. Make small dumpling from this mixture. Set aside.
2) Heat some oil in a pan and add garlic. Add finely chopped green onion, onion, carrot and tomato. Season it with salt and pepper. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes until all the vegetables are soft and pulpy. 
3) Add 2 cups of water, rosemary, a small pinch of nutmeg and bay-leaf. Mix well and let it simmer covered for another 10 minutes.
4) Strain the soup and discard all the pulp.
5) Carefully place 1 or 2 spinach dumpling in a flat soup bowl and pour the tomato shorba carefully. 
6) Sprinkle some parmesan over the dumpling and let it bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees.
7) Serve this hot and appetizing Malfatti baked Shorba with your favourite bread.

BON APPETIT..
  



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Friday, September 21, 2012

Cool Cabbage salad with roasted coconut dressing

Salad has been always an important part of everyone's life. Today I am trying to make a cabbage and capsicum salad with roasted coconut and tomato dressing. Cabbage is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C and fiber. Cabbage is used in many ways, ranging from eating raw and simple steaming to pickling, stewing, sauteing or braising. It has always been a major part of any diet program. Adding colorful capsicum enriches the salad nutritional value as well makes it more scrumptious. It's a super simple and quick recipe with only four major ingredients.

Ingredients:

Chinese cabbage:              4 big leafs ( Substitute: Normal cabbage)
Red Capsicum:                  1/4 ( fine Julienne) 
Yellow Capsicum:              1/4 ( fine julienne)
Desiccated Coconut:          1 table spoon
Tomato:                             2 large
Salt to taste
Freshly grounded pepper
Olive Oil

Method:

1) Take out the middle vein and cut the cabbage leafs in big square. Keep aside.
2) Cut the tomato in half and take out the seed. Brush a little of oil and roast it in the oven for 15 minutes. 
3) Once cold take out the skin and puree it.
4) Dry roast the desiccated coconut for 30 second on a hot pan.
5) Heat 1/2 table spoon of olive oil in a pan and toss the capsicum for 1 minute on high flame. Add cabbage and toss again. Add roasted tomato puree and  roasted coconut. Season it with salt and pepper.
6) A colorful and healthy salad is ready to go with any meal.

BON APPETIT...


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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Krepa (Potato and Spinach Stuffed Greek Crepe Topped With Tomato Relish)

This "Crepe" recipe is dedicated to my entire vegetarian friend. Vegan is way to go!!! Crêpes are especially popular throughout France. The common ingredients include flour, eggs, milk, butter, and a pinch of salt. Crepes are usually of two types: sweet crepes and savoury crepes. I am eliminating egg in this recipe to make it 100% vegetarian. Stuffing is made of potato and spinach. And some tomato relish which goes perfectly with this recipe. A quick and healthy dish is ready for your dinner tonight.

Ingredient:

For crepe
All purpose flour:               1cup
Cornflour:                          2 table spoon
Potato flour:                      1 table spoon (optional)
Pinch of Salt
Turmeric powder:              1/4 tea spoon
Cold Milk:                         1/2 cup
Nutmeg powder:                small pinch
Oil

For filling
Potato:                               1 large
Spinach:                             1/2 cup ( Blanched and chopped)
Ricotta cheese:                   2 table spoon
Cream fraiche:                    2 table spoon (substitute- double cream)
Pine Nuts:                          1 table spoon
Salt to taste
Black pepper
Chili Flakes                    

For Relish
Tomato:                              2 large
Onion:                                1 small
Garlic:                                1 clove
Tomato Puree:                    2 spoon
Salt:                                    1/2 tea spoon
Sugar:                                 2 table spoon
Chili Flakes:                        1 tea spoon
Dried Mint leaves:               1 tea spoon

Method:
1) Mix all the Crepe ingredients together in a big bowl. Pass it through a sieve.
2) Heat some oil in a pan and spread the mixture in it. Make a thin pancake spreading it throughout the pan. Cook both sides. Make several crepes and set aside.
3) Cut the potato in small cubes and boil. Heat some oil and add boiled potato, spinach, pine nuts. Stir for 2 minutes. Add ricotta and cream. Season it with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Keep the filling hot.
4) Heat some oil and add minced garlic to it. Add finely chopped onion and tomato step by step. Season it with salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Once the tomatoes are soft and pulpy add puree and some sugar. Mix well and add chili flakes & dried mint leaves. Cook for another minute. Grind them coarsely.
5) To assemble reheat the crepe and put a spoon full of filling in between. Fold it half and drizzle some tomato relish over the crepe. Serve it hot

BON APPETIT...





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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Green Fish (Spinach and mushroom stuffed fish fillet on bulgur base)

I got these long fish fillet from a nearby supermarket. I was thinking to experiment with these fillets in a different way. Opened my fridge and saw some blanched spinach and mushroom.. EUREKA let do it this time with spinach and mushroom. To give it more volume, I am using bulgur to make a base to place my fish roll. This recipe is a feel good for eyes and stomach. It looks yummy and low on fat.

Ingredients:

White Fish Filet:                 2 Long
Spinach:                            1/2 Cup (blanched and cut in small pieces)
Mushroom:                        1/2 Cup ( Cut in small cube)
Dried Oregano:                  Small pinch
Dried Basil:                        Small pinch
Garlic:                                1 clove
Vegetable stock:                1/2 cup
Bulgur:                               1/2 cup
Ricotta cheese:                   2 table spoon
Black pepper
Salt to taste
Olive oil

Method:
1) Heat some oil in a pan. Add oregano and minced garlic. Stir for 10 sec and add blanched spinach and mushroom. Season it salt and pepper. Divide it in two portions.
2) Add dry ricotta cheese to 1 portion and mix well. Place this mixture on the wider end of the fish fillet and roll it.
3) Put the rolls with open end below, in a oven proof dish and sprinkle with dried basil and some butter. Bake it for 10 minutes at 200 degree Celsius. Grill it for 5 more minutes on grill and fan mode at 250 degree Celsius. Keep it warm.
4) Mix the vegetable stock with the second half of spinach and mushroom mixture and let it boil. Add bulgur and cook for 2 minutes. Cover the pan using a kitchen towel for 10 minutes.
5) Spread the bulgur in the serving dish and place the hot stuffed fish over it.

BON APPETIT..



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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lasagna Layered Parmigiana di melanzane

I was introduced to "Parmigiana di melanzane" during a dinner party at friends place. How can eggplant recipe taste so yummy? I am tweaking it by adding lasagna sheets to make a complete meal. Parmigiana (a short form of Parmigiana di melanzane) is a Southern Italian dish made with a shallow-fried sliced filling, layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked. Parmigiana made with a filling of eggplant (also called aubergine) is the earliest version. The dish consists of a sliced filling pan fried in oil, layered with tomato sauce and cheese, and baked in an oven. In some versions, the sliced filling is first dipped in beaten eggs and dredged in flour or breadcrumbs before frying. Some recipes use hard grated cheeses such as Parmesan, while others use softer melting cheeses like Mozzarella, or a combination of these.

Ingredient:

Aubergine:               1 large ( Cut in 1 cm thick round slice)
Onion:                      1 medium ( finely chopped)
Tomato:                   4 large ( Finely chopped)
Tomato paste:          2 table spoon
Lasagna Sheet:         2 medium
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese
Bread crumb:            2 tablespoon
Dried Oregano
Garlic:                      2 cloves
Salt to taste
Black Pepper

Method:
1) Heat some oil in a grill pan and roast the aubergine slices, season it with salt and pepper. Keep aside
2) Boil the lasagna sheet and wash it with cold water.
3) Heat some oil and add dried oregano and minced garlic. Add onion, stir it for a minute and add tomato. Season it with salt and pepper. Cook it covered till the tomato are soft and juicy. Add tomato paste and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
4) Take a oven proof container and layer it with tomato sauce, a thin layer of parmesan cheese, grilled aubergine and lasagna sheet. Repeat the layers and top it up with tomato sauce some breadcrumb parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
5) Bake it in a pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes at 180 degree. Serve it sizzling hot with your choice of fresh bread.

BON APPETIT...




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Monday, September 17, 2012

Tandoori Bites ( Chicken stuffed grilled mushroom)

When chicken can be stuffed with mushroom, why not these cute looking mushrooms can be stuffed with chicken!!! This idea leads to my next recipe. Loads of recipes are available online for stuffed mushroom, but this one is totally different, Tandoori Bites. Indian tandoori spices are used for marinating both mushroom and chicken stuffing. Stuffed perfectly and then grilled to give it a chewy yet juicy effect.  This recipe is a perfect blend of Indian & Italian flavors. So let's start our mushroom hunting..

Ingredient:

White Mushroom:           10 large pieces
Chicken Breast:               1/2 (Cut in small cubes)
Greek Curd:                    2table spoon
Ginger Garlic paste:         2tea spoon
Cumin Powder:                2teaspoon
Coriander Powder:          2tea spoon
Garam Masala:                2tea spoon
Salt to taste
Black Pepper Powder:     2tea spoon
Red Chili powder:            2tea spoon
Fresh mozzarella cheese:  1table spoon
Vegetable Oil

Method:
1) Clean the mushroom and take out the stalk carefully leaving behind the cups. Marinate these mushroom cups using 1table spoon curd, 1tsp ginger-garlic paste, 1tsp cumin, 1tsp coriander, 1tsp, garam masala, 1tsp red chili, 1tsp black pepper and salt to taste. Mix well and keep it aside for 30 minutes.
2) Heat some oil in a pan and put dices chicken, toss it for 4 minutes. Add finely chopped mushroom stalk. Add 1tsp ginger-garlic paste, 1tsp cumin, 1tsp coriander, 1tsp, garam masala, 1tsp red chili, 1tsp black pepper. Season it with salt. Cook it for another 5 minutes and then add 1table spoon curd. Cook until the mixture is dry and chicken pieces are cooked well.
3) Cool the chicken mixture and add roughly tored mozzarella cheese. Mix well. Shred the chicken stuffing using hands in a uniform mixture.
4) Carefully stuff this mixture into the marinated mushroom cups and place it on a greased baking tray.
5) Grill it at 180 degree Celsius for 10 minutes using grill and fan option. Serve it hot with some onion rings and green coriander leaf on the top. Yummy party appetizer is ready to be served

BON APPETIT...




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Friday, September 14, 2012

Herb Platter (Herb Pilaf Stuffed Crusted Fish With Herb Infused Potato)

"When thinking herbs, think fresh" as Richard Olney wrote in his wonderful book Simple French Food. Fresh herbs are alive with essential aromatic oils, vitamins and vivid color. They transform even the simplest fish dishes into fresh and interesting centerpieces, all without adding fat or salt. Fish are the best source of protein with much lesser fat and carbohydrate. Herbs adds to its delicacy. This recipe is all about herbs and its uses in different forms, combined too make a complete meal.

Ingredients:

Fish Fillet:              2 long (any white fish fillet)
Long grain rice:      1/2 cup
Baby Potato:          250 grams
Yellow Onion:        1 small ( cut in julienne)
Garlic clove:           1( minced)
Star Anise:             1
Vegetable stock:     1 1/2 cups
Fresh Basil
Fresh Parsley
Black Pepper
Chili Flakes
Garlic powder
Kosher Salt
Lime Juice
Olive Oil
Butter
Breadcrumb:          1/4 cup
Parmesan cheese

Method

1) Cut baby potato into half and boil it for 15 minutes. Strain and keep dry. Add Salt, pepper, chili flakes, 1tsp olive oil, 1 tsp butter, garlic powder, 4table spoon finely chopped parsley and mix well. Put it in a baking tray on grill and fan combination to get a hard brown crust for 15 minute at 200 degree Celsius.
2) Marinate the fish fillet with garlic, pepper, salt and chili for 10 minutes. Heat some oil in a pan and cook the marinated fish both side for 1 minute each. Keep aside.
3) Heat some butter and olive oil in sauce pan. Add minced garlic, onion and star anise. Add rice after two minutes and fry until coated with oil and butter. Add boiling veg stock and let it cook until rice is soft and water runs dry. Turn off the heat and add finely chopped 1/2 cup fresh parsley and basil. Add 4table spoon lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well and cover the rice for 5 minute.
4) Add breadcrumb, 1 spoon butter, 4 spoon chopped parsley and basil and 2 spoon of shredded parmesan in a bowl.
5) To assemble the patter together, put the fish fillet at bottom of a baking dish. Spoon the herb pilaf over the fillet and top it up spreading the breadcrumb mixture evenly over it. Grill it at 250 degree Celsius for 6-7 minutes in a preheated oven.
6) Serve hot with some baked potato at the side and enjoy the herbal magic.

BON APPETIT...



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Revani ( Greek Semolina Yogurt Cake with Lime Syrup)

Lime and sugar soaked semolina cake is moist & mouth melting dessert. This recipe for Revani (also spelled Ravani) is sure to please your sweet carving soul. Its an easy recipe to make and a delightful end of any meal. This cake has multiple identities scattered throughout the Middle East, Turkey and Greece. Coconut, pistachio, almonds are some popular addition. The syrup may also optionally contain orange flower water or rose water.

Ingredient:

Semolina:                       3/4 cup
All purpose flour:           1/4 cup
Sugar:                            1/2 cup
Oil:                                1/2 Cup
Yogurt:                          1/2 Cup
Egg:                               2eggs
Baking powder:             1-2table spoon
Salt:                               1/2 tea spoon
Vanilla essence:              1tea spoon
Lime juice:                     1/4 cup
Lemon Zest:                   1tea spoon

Method:
1) Boil 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water for 5 minutes. Add lime juice and heat for another 3 minutes at low flame. Keep aside and let it cool.
2) Preheat your oven to 180 deg C.
3) Mix egg and remaining sugar together until creamy with the help of whisk. Add oil and yogurt. Mix well.
4) Add together all the dry ingredients like flour, semolina, salt, baking powder and lemon zest in a different container. Mix well.
5) Gradually add this flour mixture to the batter mixing continuously.
6) Finally add vanilla essence and pour the batter into a well greased baking dish.
7) Bake it for 45-50 minutes or until the surface is golden and knife poked in the centre comes out clean.
8) Pour the cold lime-sugar syrup all over the cake slowly when the cake is warm. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then cut it in your favourite shape
9) Top it up with cream, powdered sugar, pistachio or almond and get ready to indulge yourself.

BON APPETIT...



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Khatta Meetha Prawn with Tamarind dip

I absolutely adore these fancy looking prawns, they make your food more delicate and classy. When looking for a tasty seafood dish, you can never go wrong with prawns. Simple ingredient, few minutes of marination, quick grilling and your dish is ready. While purchasing prawns, you can have a choice to buy them fresh or frozen. Both will work just as well in cooking, but frozen prawn will take time to defrost and are not as flavorful as fresh prawn once cooked. They also tend to be tougher after cooking. So when possible, fresh prawns are the way to go...

Ingredient:
King Prawns:           15-20 Pieces ( peeled and de-veined)
Cumin powder:        1/2 tea spoon
Coriander powder:   1tea spoon  
Garlic powder:         1/2 tea spoon
White pepper:           1/2 tea spoon
Chili flakes:               1/2 tea spoon
Tamarind dip:           2 table spoon
Vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Skewer

For Tamarind Dip:
Tamarind pulp or puree:         4table spoon
Water:                                   1 cup
Sugar:                                    4table spoon
White Salt:                             1/2tea spoon
Black salt:                              1/2tea spoon
Roasted Cumin powder:         1/2 tea spoon
Chili powder:                          1/2 tea spoon


Method:
1) For Dip:   Mix all the ingredients and put it on high flame. When starts boiling, lower the flame and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain the sauce and keep it aside.
2) Marinate prawns with cumin, coriander, garlic, pepper, chili, tamarind sauce and some salt. Cover it with cling foil and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3) Skew the prawns delicately. 4-5 pieces per skewer.
4) Heat some oil in a flat pan and grill the prawn for 1 minutes each side. You can also use an oven grill to cook it.
5) Serve hot & juicy prawns with sweet & spicy tamarind dip.

BON APPETIT...




Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Black and White ( Spinach & Feta fingers over caramelized onion cream sauce)

This recipe is an inspiration from my favorite chef Sanjeev kapoor's signature recipe Shaam Savera. One day I was surfing through the net and got to find this fascinating recipe. I tried making original version also which was a super tasty dish. Today I am experimenting with the same recipe but different ingredient to give it a similar look and feel. Taste is off-course different. Hope you enjoy both the versions. I am using Italian herbs for seasoning. Its contrasting color, flavor and taste is appealing to all the senses.

Ingredient:

Spinach:                      100gm
Feta Cheese:               5x4x1 cm slice
Corn flour:                   3 table spoon    
Yellow Onion:              1 medium
Tomato:                       1/2 small
Tomato Sauce:             1table spoon
Garlic:                          3 cloves
Creme Fraiche:            2 spoon  (substitute: Sour Cream)
Dried oregano
Dried basil
White pepper
Salt to taste
Olive oil


Method:
1) Blanch spinach and strain all the water. Grind to make a rough paste. Heat 1tea spoon oil in a skillet. Add minced garlic and spinach. Stir well for 4-5 minute. Season it with salt, pepper and dried basil. Let all the water run dry in spinach.
2) Add corn flour and mix well. Spread it over Feta brick both up and down. Heat a spoon of olive oil in a non stick grill pan and grill it both side until it dark green and crust is formed. Cut it in two piece longitudinally. Keep it aside.
3) Heat some oil and add onion julienne. Stir continuously at medium heat until onions are caramelized. keep it aside.
4) Heat some more oil in the skillet. Add minced garlic & a pinch of dried oregano. Add finely chopped tomato, season it with salt and pepper. Simmer it at medium low heat for 5 minute. Add caramelized onion to it and cook for another couple of minutes.
5) Grind the onion tomato sauce to make a fine paste once cold. Put it back on flame to heat, add tomato sauce and mix well. Finish it up with Cream Fraiche.
6) Pour this hot sauce on the base of the serving dish  and place the Spinach & Feta fingers over it. Serve hot with your favourite Bread.

BON APPETIT...



Monday, September 10, 2012

Caramelised Halwa

Any occasion is incomplete without sweets in India. I was also confusion on what to prepare for my son, as he turned 2 today. Today I am sharing with you a semolina  Halwa with a difference. This recipe is made with caramelized sugar giving it a golden brown color and chewy texture. Halwa, produced and served in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Pakistan and surrounding countries (different versions of it are also found in Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Montenegro, Macedonia and Turkey), is usually made with wheat semolina, sugar or honey, and butter or vegetable oil. Raisins, dates, other dried fruits, or nuts such as almonds or walnuts, are often added to it. This recipe is really fast but you need to be supper quick while working on it. Advice you to try it in small portions as it needs loads of practice before getting it perfect. I use to hate basic semolina halwa but this recipe help me fall in love for it. While writing the the blog same halwa is kept in front of me I cannot resist myself from having a bite every 5 minutes. My son is also loving it...  :)

Ingredients:

Semolina:             1 cup
Milk:                    1cup ( approx)
Clarified butter:     3/4 cup
Sugar:                   3/4 cup
Almond & walnut:1/2 cup (finely chopped)

Method:

1) Heat the milk to make it warm and mix it with semolina. The milk and semolina should make thick solution like a cake batter in which spoon can easily move.
2) Add finely chopped dry fruits( almond and walnut). You can use any dry fruit according to your choice.Keep it aside for 1-2 hours.
3) Heat clarified butter in the deep pan (Kadhai).Add sugar and stir regularly. Let the sugar melt and caramelize. It will take approximately 2 minutes.
4) As soon the sugar caramelizes and turn golden brown put in the semolina mixture to it. Don't over caramelize the sugar as it may make the halwa bitter.
5) Once you put in the semolina mixture to the halwa start mixing it vigorously pressing it against the kadhai wall  so that no lumps are formed. Mix really well on the medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
6) Grease a cake tin or a big mold with clarified butter. Transfer all the halwa in it and pat to get a perfect surface. Cut in small cubes and decorate it with few almonds. You are ready with a authentic Indian halwa with a twist.

BON APPETIT ...







Friday, September 7, 2012

Iskender Kebab

Another famous Turkish delicacy in the menu today. İskender kebab is one of the most famous meat foods of northwestern Turkey and takes its name from its inventor, İskender Efendi who lived in Bursa in the late 19th century. It is prepared from thinly cut grilled lamb basted with hot tomato sauce over pieces of pita bread and generously slathered with melted sheep butter and yogurt. Tomato sauce and boiling butter are sometimes poured over the dish, at the table. İskender meaning 'Alexander' some stories tells that it was  a favorite food of Alexander the great. I am making this recipe with chicken which is a more softer meat then lamb. A new kind of kebab with totally different marinate.

Ingredients:

Chicken breast:               2 pieces ( cut in thin long strips)
Onion:                             1 medium
Garlic:                             2 cloves
Yogurt:                            4table spoon
Tomato puree:                 2table spoon
Pita bread:                       2 large ( substitute- Indian naan bread)
Olive oil
Black pepper
Paprika powder
Salt to taste
Butter


Method:
1) Process the onion in a food blender and take out the juice. Discard the pulp.
2) Marinate the chicken strips with onion juice, 2 spoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate it for 4-5 hours.
3) Cook the chicken with all  its marinate until all the juices run dry and chicken is cooked well.
4) Add crushed garlic and salt to the yogurt and keep aside.
5) Mix tomato puree with 2 spoon olive oil, pepper and paprika. Heat it in a small sauce pan. season it with salt.
6) Warm the pita bread from both side. Cut it in a bite size pieces.  Spread the yogurt sauce on pita bread. Stack the hot kebab over it. Drizzle it with tomato sauce and hot melted butter.
7) Serve hot and enjoy it as "Alexander the Great".


BON APPETIT...



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chicken Drums with Mushroom Ragout

I was very confused to name this recipe. Loved the way it has come up finally. Wanted a name to go with its fascinating and attractive look. This recipe is a combination of egg and chicken with mushroom ragout which is a basic stew to go with this roll. Rolling boiled egg in chicken breast is an innovative idea. But you need to very careful while boiling the egg as it again cooks with the roll and can become hard. Mushroom ragout in my all time favourite and quick to make. Here goes the recipe.." The French Style"

Ingredients:
Egg:                      2medium
Chicken breast:     2medium
White Pepper:
Garlic powder
Garlic cloves:        1 clove
Dried Oregano
Bread crumb:         4 table spoon
Corn flour:             1table spoon
Olive oil
Butter:                    1table spoon
Mushroom:             6-7 pieces ( Cut in four parts)
Red Bell pepper:     1/2 ( Cut into medium dices)
Sour cream:             3table spoon
Feta cheese:            1table spoon


Method:
1) Boil 2 eggs for 10 minute. It will we not be 100% hard so carefully take the shell off. Keep aside
2) Place the chicken breast in between a plastic sheet and pound using hammer or rolling pin. Make a big enough sheet to cover your eggs.
3) Sprinkle some salt, pepper, garlic and oregano on the chicken sheet and keep it aside for 10 minutes.
4) Place an egg over the chicken breast sheet and roll folding sides. Mix 2 spoon full of water in the cornflour  and dip the roll in the liquid. Spread the bread crumb and roll it over. All the crumb will stick to the chicken roll.
5) Heat some oil and cook the roll from all sides till golden brown.
6) Heat some butter in another pan. Add crushed garlic and cut vegetables. Toss it well and season it with salt and pepper.
7) Reduce the flame, add sour cream and feta cheese. Mix well cook for another minute.
8) Pour the stew at the bottom of the serving dish. Cut the egg-chicken roll from middle. Serve hot and enjoy the goodness of chicken and egg together.

BON APPETIT..






Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rolling Cabbage with Yogurt Cream Dip (Bulgur stuffed Cabbage leafs)

Yet another try of making a fusion mediterranean recipe. It is a mezze and served cold with a fascinating yogurt cream sauce. It is called "Sarma" in middle eastern region. Sarma means 'a wrapped thing' in Turkish language, from the verb sarmak 'to wrap' or 'to roll'. Besides the savory dish of leaf-wrapped filling, sarma in Greek can also refer to sweet pastries similar to baklava. Ideally meat and rice is stuffed in such kind of roll but I wanted to make it simpler and vegetarian, I am using bulgur in stuffing. In my earlier recipes I have mentioned about the bulgur, its recipes and use. Its one of the quick to make food and can be used in several ways. Bulgur is cooked with tomato/chili sauce, rolled in a fresh cabbage leaf and poached to in water and natural vinegar.

Ingredients:
Cabbage:            1 large
Bulgar:                1 cup
Boiling water:      1 cup
Tomato puree:    2 table spoon
Hot Chili Sauce:  1table spoon
Green onion:       2 pieces ( finely chopped)
Spinach:              1/4cup (finely chopped and blanched)
Salt to taste
White pepper
Olive oil:              2 table spoon
Cumin Powder:    1/4tea spoon
Fresh Parsley:      1/4 cup ( finely chopped)
Lemon juice:        2table spoon
Natural white vinegar:   2table spoon

For yogurt cream sauce:
Cucumber:           1/2 Cup ( small cubes)
Sour Cream:         2table spoon
Greek Curd:         3table spoon
Olive oil:               1table spoon
Lemon Juice:         1/2table spoon
Fresh Parsley:       2table spoon ( Finely chopped)
Salt to taste
White pepper

 Method:
1) Take out the whole cabbage leaf carefully and put in the boiling water with some salt. Strain it once the leafs are soft. Place the whole leaf on a clean chopping board and take the hard vein in between using a knife and split the big leaf in two parts. Keep it aside
2) Melt tomato sauce and chili sauce in 1 cup of boiling water. Add bulgur and salt. Cover it with kitchen towel for 10 minutes.
3) After 10 minutes add parsley, green onion, spinach, cumin, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well.
4) Spread the cabbage sheet and put a spoon full of stuffing at the softer end. Roll it folding the side of the leafs so that the stuffing doesn't come out.
5) Carefully place all the rolls in a pan and pour water till half level. Bring it to boil at high flame. Add some salt and vinegar to water and cove it making the flame slow.
6) Cook it for 10-15 minutes at low flames. Take it out carefully in a serving dish and let it cool in the refrigerator.

For Dip:
1) Add all the ingredient of the dip together in a bowl and mix well. Serve this cold dip with the cold rolling cabbage as an appetizer any time of the day.

BON APPETIT...



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Soybean Dolma ( Ottoman style stuffed bell pepper)

I was amazed to see the stuffed vegetable options in all the middle eastern cuisine.Common vegetables to stuff include tomato, pepper, onion, zucchini, and eggplant.The stuffing may or may not include meat. Meat dolmas are generally served warm and meatless ones are generally served cold. The filling generally consists of rice, minced meat or grains. This was the information regarding the original version. Inspired by these amazing creation, I am trying to make a vegetarian version of the Dolma with a twist. I am using Soybean nuggets with some green onion and tomato paste to stuff these colorful vegetable and cooking it in a tomato basil sauce to give it a mediterranean feel.

Ingredients:

Bell Pepper:          3 ( Red, Green or Yellow any color you like)
Soya chunks:         100grams
Tomato Puree:       4table spoon
Chili sauce:            1 table spoon
Green Onion:         2 ( Finally chopped)
Garlic:                   2 large cloves
Proceed cheese:    3 table spoon
Fresh basil:            5-7 basil leaves
Black pepper:        1/2 tea spoon
Cumin powder:      1/2 tea spoon
Dried oregano:       1/2tea spoon
Salt to taste
Olive oil

Method:

1) Cut the bell pepper from the side giving it a opening like a window. Keep it aside
2) Soak the soybean nuggets in boiling water for 5 minutes. Squeeze the water out and grind it roughly.
3) Heat some oil add oregano and crushed garlic. Stir and add green onion, and ground soybean. Mix well add  2 tsp of tomato puree. Season it will salt, pepper, and cumin. 
4) Fill in the bell pepper with soybean mixture tightly till the top.
5) Heat some oil in a pan and put the stuffed bell pepper. Cook it for 2-3 minute. Add remaining tomato puree, chili sauce and roughly chopped basil leafs. cover the pan and simmer it for 10 mins at low. Add some water if required.
6) Put it in a oven safe dish and sprinkle it with some cheese on the bell pepper. Grill it at 200 degree Celsius  for 10 minutes and serve hot with flat bread. 

BON APPETIT...

  



Monday, September 3, 2012

Sweetheart Shrimp (Grilled prawn)

Got these fancy looking king prawns from the grocery store this morning. I was thinking to make a grilled prawn kebab kind of recipe but end up making this gastronomically delightful Sweetheart shrimp. Shrimp have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and low levels of mercury.As with other seafood, shrimp is high in calcium, iodine and protein but low in food energy. The high cholesterol content in shrimp actually improves the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol and lowers triglycerides. So we can say its appealing to the appetite and health both.

Ingredients:

King prawn:                          16pieces (peeled and deveined)
Red bell pepper:                   1/2 (Cut in small cubes)
Green bell pepper:                1/2 (Cut in small cubes)
Yellow bell pepper:              1/2 (Cut in small cubes)
Feta cheese (crumbled)
White pepper:                      1/2tsp
Dried Oregano:                    1/4tsp
Olive oil
Chili flakes:                          1/4tsp
Garlic Powder:                    1/4tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice:                        1tsp
Lemon wedges:                   4(Thinly sliced)
Skewer:                               Dipped in the water for 1hr


 Method:
1) Marinate the prawn with salt, pepper, oregano, Garlic powder, chili flakes, lemon juice, lemon wedges and 1/2tsp olive oil. Mix delicately and refrigerate for 1hour.
2) Skew the marinated prawn slowly from tail to head and next prawn from head to tail making a heart shape . 1 skewer can fit 4 prawns making 2 heart shape.
3) Heat some oil in a grill pan and put all the diced bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Toss for 2 minutes and put it on the serving plate.
4) Again heat some oil in a grill pan and satay the prawns from both side. It will take 2 minute each side or else can grill in the oven at 250 degree Celsius for 10 minutes.
5) Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and serve hot as an appetizer or a side dish.

BON APPETIT..