Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bacon, Leeks and Peas Risotto

You need a strong hand for this recipe-a lot of stirring involved. This was the first time I made risotto and no one better than dear Martha Stewart to learn from. This recipe is from her Everyday Basics magazine. I had bookmarked a few recipes I wanted to try and so had stocked up on all the ingredients i needed. I modified the original recipe by changing a few proportions and not adding any white wine. I also ended up using a lot more stock than she suggested. The key to a creamy risotto is stirring it well as it cooks. I hope you try this it was perfect comfort food and a lovely one dish meal with lots of flavors.

Ingredients (serves 4)
Bacon- four strips cut across into this strips
2 Leeks-white and light green parts, washed and thinly sliced
Arborio rice -1.5 cups
Chicken stock-8 cups (add water if you run out)
Frozen peas-1 cup
Parmesan cheese-1/2 cup
Lemon juice-1 tblsp
salt and pepper to tase

Add stock to a pot, bring to a slow simmer. On medium heat, add bacon to heavy bottomed pan and cook till lightly browned but not crispy. Add sliced leeks and cook till keeks turn soft. Add rice and cook for about a minute till edges of rice look transluscent. Martha said this pre cooking the rice helps the rice cook evenly. Then add 1 cup simmering stock and cook on medium low stirring till liquid is abosrbed. Keep repeating stirring all the while until risotto turns creamy and rice is cooked. After addition of the last broth batch stir in peas. Stir till all liquid is absorbed. Total time from first broth addition to last took me about 30 minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese, remove from heat and cover and keep aside for two minutes. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Guest post: Stuffed Pomfret Fry

Tomorrow is my 7th wedding anniversary. I really wanted a swatch watch for my anniversary but the only swatch store in Seattle closed and didn't want to drive to Portland for that one thing. So then Nits ordered one online and it turned up looking nothing like its picture-umph aargh! So taking matters into my own hands I walked into the mall and bought myself a 300 dollar watch and a few clothes. This as you can imagine  lead to a LOT of guilt. To avoid thinking about my carefree spending I decided to work on this post which has been sitting for a while. You might have guessed by now that this blog is barely surviving. Between home, work, Sahana and summer activities I have no energy left in me to keep up with posting all the recipes (except the energy I find for shopping occasionally). I was cribbing about my dying blog to my friend Sonia (who btw has featured often here). She I guess felt sorry for this failing endeavour of mine and sent me this awesome recipe. Sonia's MIL made this and apparently its finger licking good. I haven't gotten around to trying it as yet but will post pics of my own as well when I do. Thanks Sonia and Dorathy aunty for this awesome recipe.

  1. Wash the pomfrets with cold water and trim the fins and tails.
  2. Make a slit along the upper periphery of each fish.  Remove the inner organs carefully.
  3. Make a slit in the upper lip of each fish.  Remove the gills.  Wash the fish thoroughly under copious amounts of cold running water.
  4. Make 3-4 shallow gashes on both sides of each fish.  Then apply 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of turmeric within and all over the fish.  Keep aside.
  5. Make a fine paste of all the ingredients indicated for grinding with minimal amount of water.
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a kadai or wok till smoking.  Add the ground paste and fry on medium heat till the oil leaves the sides of the pan.  While frying, add salt to taste and lemon juice.  Cool the fried paste.
  7. Now fill the fish pockets with the paste.  When done stuffing, apply the remaining paste all over the outside of the fish.
  8. Secure the stuffed fish with twine to prevent leakage of the masala during frying.
  9. Heat 3 tblsp of oil in a shallow pan.  Fry the stuffed fish on medium heat.  Once crispy on one side, flip it carefully and crisp the other side as well.
  10. Take it off the pan, cut it into 2-3 pieces and serve hot with lemon wedges and sprinkled with chopped cilantro/thyme leaves.  A great accompaniment with dal and rice.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Totally fell off the bandwagon this past year. Sahana is 14 months old now and life is coming to back to a much more normal pace. I get time to actually do stuff for myself-ha ha. I can't promise anything but will slowly get this blog back up and running. Made these cupcakes for a 4th of July party. Just regular chocolate cupcakes, frosted with plain vanilla icing and decorated with strawberries and blueberries for the -red-white & blue!
Wish everyone a happy and safe 4th!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Baked Brie

This is my new favorite appetizer. We made this for New Year's eve and it was a big hit. I love it for two reasons. First it takes like 5 minutes to make and second it is soooooper delicious. All you need are a couple of store bought ingredients and you're all set. Thanks to Bethany and her mom for this one. Believe me this is worth a try.

One package Brie cheese
One freezer tube of Pilsbury crescent rolls
Hot pepper Apricot Jelly (or any other kind)

Cover the cheese with the crescent roll dough to form a large ball. Bake in the oven at 350 till outside is golden brown. Cover the entire dough with hot pepper jelly. To serve cut the ball into wedges and let people enjoy it over crackers. The gooey brie combined with the hot pepper jelly in buttery pastry--yummy yum yum.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sahana's 8 month Rudolf cupcake

Sahana is 8 months old today--oh how time flies! She is crawling now and can stand on her own by holding onto support. She is a super sweet firecracker! Well let me not start on about her or i'll never stop. I have made a cake for her for every month. Today, after work I was really tired and didn't have the energy or the time to do anything ellaborate (Sahana was crawling up my leg as I was making this). Plus I really didn't want to eat cake or for that matter anything that would hinder my efforts at losing these last few baby pounds. So i ended up
using a box yellow cake mix and since I didn't want to make or eat a dozen cupcakes, I took only 1/3 of the mix and adjusted all other pacakge ingredients accordingly. I added in some mashed bananas and chopped walnuts and baked them in my super awesome silcone cupcake tray for 20 minutes. I was planning on making the number 8, but slowly i just got caught up in the festive spirit and ended up making rudolf! After cooling the cupcakes I spread some nutella on top of the cupcakes, joined two of them together and then added the cherry nose and M&M eyes and buttons. I needed pretzels for the antlers but since i didn't have any, I stuck in some egg noodles. Isn't this cute? Happy holidays everyone. I head out to my sister's place on Christmas and will see you back here in the new year.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chicken Mole

Every girl needs that one great friend who she can talk to anytime about anything and everything- one person to share the good and the bad with. That friend for me is Sonia. We went to grad school together and were house mates. Oh! What a ball we had in those days. Over time we saw each other get married, get our PhDs, have kids etc and we have remained great friends. Since i've moved to Seattle I miss Sonia the most. We often talk on the phone and through emails and it feels like i still live next door. Can't wait to meet her next year and especially have her meet my daughter for the first time. Well, she is a GREAT cook. Parties (and there were many) at her place entail lots and lots of great food. Today she sent me a recipe. She said she mixed a number of diffrent recipes to make her own chciken mole. The fact that she sent me this recipe means, it has to be really good. She is scared that if my readers don't like it she will be blamed for it. Knowing Sonia, if this recipe doesn't taste good to you, chances are you messed up!  Simply put Mole sauce as i knew it was a mexican sauce with chocolate in it but wikipedia enlightened me a little bit more here. I still haven't made this but definitely plan to this weekend. I'll add my pics soon in here as well. I just wanted to post this right away. Thanks a ton my sweet Sonia. I had hit a dry spell here on my blog, you got me rolling again. Enjoy everybody!

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

2 boneless chicken breasts
one small onion-chopped fine
one bunch green onions-chopped
11/2 diced tomatoes
1cup tomato puree
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 tblsp peanut butter
1tsp cumin powder
½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp nutmeg powder
½ tsp pepper powder
2tsp red chilli powder or paprika
3-4 cloves
4-5 sliced green chillies
1 ½ squares of semi-sweet baker`s chocolate - crushed
4tblsp oil
½ cup chicken broth
1tsp lemon juice
salt to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Clean and cut chicken breasts into small pieces.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper
2. Heat 2 tblsp oil in a pan. Braise chicken pieces on high heat till just done.  Keep aside.
3. In the same pan, heat the rest of the oil.  Add chopped onion and green onion.  Fry for sometime.  Add chopped garlic and fry for a minute.
4. Add chopped tomato and all the dry spices and cook till tomatoes have dissolved.  Add peanut butter and chicken broth to obtain a gravy consistency.
5. Now add the crushed chocolate pieces and blend in well. Stir gently but continuously to prevent chocolate from sticking to the pan.
6. Add tomato puree and salt. Let mole cook for 5 minutes (with continuous stirring). Check taste and sprinkle lemon juice if necessary.
7. Add chicken pieces, mix well and transfer all the contents to a baking dish.
8. Cover and bake for 40 minutes at 350°F.
9. Garnish with chopped cilantro.  Serve spooned atop white rice.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stuffed Cauliflower

O.K I know my picture sucks! But trust me this is a really nice recipe. I got it from my Tarla Dalal cookbook. Its so easy and really tastes good. This has been sitting in my inbox for days. When I first saw the recipe I wasn't sure about it. But I was so bored of the usual fare that i went ahead and made it. Its a nice side dish and i'm sure next time I make it i can make it look much better than this. The picture in the book was really pretty. You essentially cook a whole caulifower, stuff it with a corriander coconut chutney, bake it and pour a slightly sweet tomato sauce over it before serving. Next time I might use some cheese too.

One whole head of a culiflower

One bunch of cilantro
2 green chillies
4 tblsp grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste

For Sauce
1 tblsp all purpose flour
1 tbslp butter
1 cup tomato ketchup
1/4 tsp chilly powder
salt and sugar to taste

Grind all the marinade ingredients together in a blender to a smooth paste.
Boil salted water. Remove leaves of whole cauliflower and add the whole cauliflower to boiling water. Cook till almost done but not too mushy that it will break on touch. Let it cool. Apply the corriander marinade all over and in between florets. Place it in the oven on warm for atleast 20 minutes. Prepare a roux-melt butter and add flour. Cook till bubbly and brown. Add the tomato ketchup and seasonings. Just before serving pour the sauce over the cauliflower, garnish with cooked peas or put some grated cheese on top and bake till melted. Makes a great side dish.