Monday, August 6, 2012

CRISPY BAKED ONIONS RINGS




Who doesnt like Fried foods?They are so tasty and comforting any given day but a lot of guilt comes with it. For a person like me who loves fried food but doesnt like to fry its  such a daunting task to stand in front of the hot oil and fry especially in this summer heat. But I had to do something to satisfy my cravings for it. This crispy baked onion rings is just the solution. Its totally GUILT FREE and completely satisfying. Its one of the best onion rings I ever had.
The secret is to coat the bread crumbs with a little bit of oil before coating it onto the rings. This helps it to brown evenly. This was one of the tips given by the chef on foodnetwork. Dont remember his name.


INGREDIENTS

Vidalia onions - 2 nos
Buttermilk - 1 cup
Hot Sauce - 1 tbsp ( I used buffalo wing sauce)
All Purpose flour -  1 cup
Garlic pdr - a few sprinkles
Cayenne pepper - 2 tsp
Black pepper pdr - 1 tsp
Panko Bread crumbs(seasoned)
oil - 1 tsp
Ice cold water

Note:- The measurements here doesnt have to be perfect you can increase and decrease the amount according to your taste.You can also add any other spices and herbs you like.onion pdr, cumin pdr, thyme etc


METHOD

Slice the onions to 1/2" thick rings. Separate them and put them in ice cold water to firm it up.
In a plate mix flour,garlic pdr,cayenne pepper, pepper. Salt is not reqd if you are using seasoned breadcrumbs otherwise add some for taste. In a bowl pour buttermilk and hot sauce.If you like spicy add more hot sauce. In another plater add bread crumbs and a tsp or so just enough to wet the crumbs. This helps the crumbs to brown nicely without drying out. I like to use panko breadcrumbs cause it gives a great crunch.


Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Remove the rings from the cold water one at a time.You dont have to pat it dry, the water will help the flour to stick to the onions. Coat the rings  in the order of flour, buttermilk and bread crumbs. Transfer it to the cooling rack. Baking it on the cooling rack will let the heat to flow nicely and help the rings to brown evenly. Bake for about 20- 25 mins or until brown. Serve warm with coffee or tea!!!

ENJOY!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

FRESH ORANGE CAKE


We buy  big bags of oranges every week. With so many oranges in the house all the time it was hightime I do something with it.Recently I saw Paula deen bake her fresh tangerine cake. Usually i am against paula deen's recipes since she uses tons of butter for no reason. But this one was a simple recipe and I fell in love with it the instant I saw it. I did make some changes , not to the recipe as such. I used fresh oranges instead of tangerine and for topping I used fresh whipped cream instead of her sweet buttery icing. The cake was super moist and delicious and the whipped cream on top made it so complete.


Source - Adapted from Paula Deen

INGREDIENTS

All Purpose Flour - 2 1/2 cups
Sugar - 1 3/4 cups
Baking pdr - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Eggs - 3 nos, beaten
Veg. oil - 1 cup
Sour Cream - 1 (8 Oz) container, i used fat free
Freshly squeezed orange juice - 1 cup, ( u can use store bought too)
Orange zest - 1 tbsp
Some fresh orange wedges - to garnish

Topping:-

Whipping cream - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/4 cup


METHOD

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.Spray a round baking dish with some cooking spray.

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients  flour, sugar,baking pdr, baking soda n salt. Then add the wet ingredients one by one. Mix it all together until well incorporated.Pour it into the baking dish and bake for 1 hr or until the fork when poked in the center comes clean.



For making whipped cream.Take a bowl (its better if the bowl is kept in the refrigerator for half an hr).Pour the cream and using an electric mixer beat on low for a few mins and slowly increse the speed.Ones it starts to thicken slowly add in the sugar. Whip on high speed until it form stiff peaks.

Let the cake cool completely before putting the cream on top.Spread the cream all over the cake on the sides as well.Garnish with some fresh orange wedges n serve.


NOTE:- Paula deen divided the batter equally into 2 pans and baked for 25 mins. I baked it in 1 batch in a bigger baking dish so thats why the baking time is more.

ENJOY!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

PEACH COBBLER


After long, dull winter months we always look forward to an active summer,  great outdoor activities, gardening, and vacations etc. Apart from that I also look forward to the variety of fruits summer has to offer. Peach is one of them. A sweet juicy bite of one of them is good enough to brighten up your mood . For a change I decided to bake it. Peach cobbler was the perfect choice. Its easy and simple to make and tastes absolutely delicious. Cobbler refers to a variety of dishes, consisting of a fruit or savoury filling poured into a large baking dish and covered with a batter, biscuit, or pie crust before being baked. Unlike a pie, cobbler never contains a bottom crust.(source - wikipedia)

I have come across many cobbler recipes, most of it are same and requires a lot of butter so I modified it to my taste by reducing the butter quantity and adding oats for more fiber.


INGREDIENTS

Peach - 7-8 nos, peeled and diced
Sugar - 1 1/2 tbsp
Flour - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon pdr - 1 tsp

For the crust:-

Flour - 1 cup
Oats - 4 tbsp (I used quaker quick cooking oats)
Baking pdr - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Cold butter - 3 tbsp
Cold milk - 5-6 tbsp


METHOD

Preheat oven to 425 deg F. In a large mixing bowl, mix in the diced peach,sugar,flour and cinnamon pdr until the fruit is all evenly coated. Keep it aside.

In another bowl mix all the dry ingredients required for making the crust. Add the cold butter and slowly crush it into the flour. Make sure not to melt it. Now slowly add the milk 1 tbsp at a time and mix it well until it forms a soft dough.



Grease a baking dish with some cooking spray. Put the fruit mix at the bottom. Place small pieces of the dough on top of the fruit until fully covered. Place it i the oven. Bake for 20-22 mins or until crust is golden brown. Serve warm with some whipped cream or ice cream.

ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

PANEER CASHEW CURRY


Paneer is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with.Every time i make some paneer at home i want to cook something different.This time as the title says i combined paneer and cashews.Here the Paneer/cottage cheese is cooked in a combined onion ,tomato and cashew gravy.This is one of the tastiest dish i have cooked.Simply melts in your mouth.The green bell pepper compliments the paneer well.


INGREDIENTS

Paneer cubes - 20 nos
Onions - 2 medium size , diced
Tomatoes - 2 medium size, diced
Green bell pepper - 1 medium size, diced
Frozen green peas - 1/4 cup
Ginger- Garlic - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Green chillies - 3 nos ,slit
Curry leaves - 1 whole sprig
Broken Cashews - 3 tbsp, divided 2 + 1
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric pdr - 1/2 tsp
Chilli pdr - 1/2 tsp
Coriander pdr - 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Sugar -1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil,Butter
Water as reqd

METHOD

First we need to brown the paneer cubes.For that spread some butter on the bottom of a pan.Put the paneer cubes  on it and brown 2 sides of the cottage cheese/paneer.Remove and keep it aside.

Next step is to prepare the gravy.For that heat some oil in a pan.Add finely chopped ginger garlic, green chillies and curry leaves.Saute for a few secs.Add chopped onions and some salt.Let it caramelize.Then add turmeric pdr,chilli pdr and coriander pdr.Saute for a minute.Now add the diced tomatoes.Let it cook for some time.Check salt.Transfer the contents into a food processor ,add 2 tbsp of cashews and enough water to help grind it smoothly.Keep aside.

In the same pan heat a tsp of butter and oil.Add cumin seeds and 1/2 tsp of oriander pdr .Then add the diced green bell pepper and the remaining broken cashews.Add salt.Saute until the pepper is slightly soft.Add the frozen peas.Saute until the peas get warmed up.Add the onion tomato gravy.Pour enough water to make the consistency thin.Stir in the Paneer cubes.Cover and let it simmer for 5-8 mins.Serve warm with rotis,rice,bread.

ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

PATHRODO UKKARI / STIR FRY



Pathrodo is soooo delicious when it's just out hot of the steaming pot. My mouth's watering just thinking about it. Last summer I planted some taro roots to get some leaves and make pathrodo at least ones. I got more than I expected, made it several times :). I have already planted some this yr. Cant wait for it to grow. I came upon some of these expensive colocasia leaves in our local Indian store. Got 3 pkts( 4 in each). Not much to cook with but something is better than nothing isnt it especially when it's hard to get these here. It was just enough to make 3 mini loaves. We had 2 loaves immediately , kept the last one to make some of this hot stir fry. It's simply amazing what a simple leaf can do.A must try.Goes well with coffee or rice and dal.


INGREDIENTS

Leftover Pathrodo - cut to small pieces
shallots - 7-8 nos , thinly sliced
oil- 1 tbsp
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves - 1 full sprig, torn to small pieces
Red chilli pdr - 1 tsp


METHOD

Heat some oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. One's it starts to pop add cumin seeds, urad dal, fenugreek seeds,and curry leaves. Stir for a minute until the dal is lightly brown. Then add a pinch of asafoetida and chilli pdr.Add the shallots and some salt. Stir until its lightly brown.Now add the pathrodo pieces ,stir until its completely covered with all the seasoning. Lower the flame a bit and stir fry until light brown. Serve warm with a hot cup of coffee or tea.


ENJOY!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

STRAWBERRY CUP CAKE


I always wanted to bake a strawberry cake but never got a chance since the strawberry as it is will be finished up in no time. Its a family favourite. But now that its in season , we get 3-4 boxes of strawberries every week. With that much quantity, there is 0 complains anymore. After my lil one and hubby are done eating there is still plenty left for me to bake. This is a very simple recipe that results in a super moist and soft cake. Its sweet as it is so i didnt use any frosting.But you can always use your favorite frosting.



INGREDIENTS

All purpose Flour - 2 cups
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Baking pdr - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 2 tbsp,softenened
Oil - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 1/4 cups
Eggs - 2 nos
Vanilla Extract- 1 tsp
Buttermilk - 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
Strawberry - 1 cup, chopped , mixed with a tbsp of sugar.


METHOD

Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Sift the dry ingredients Flour,baking soda,baking pdr and salt. Keep aside.

Now in another bowl, Beat butter,oil and sugar together until fully incorporated. Add eggs one by one. Then flavor it with some vanilla extract. Now Alternately add dry and wet mixture until fully incorporated, begining and ending with dry ingredients. Add the dry mixture in 3 batches. Fold in the last batch of the dry mixture. Finally add the chopped strawberries and slowly fold it in the mixture.


 Line the muffin tin with paper cups.Grease it using a cooking spray. Use a ice-cream scoop to put the batter in the paper cups. Bake for 20-25 mins. Serve at room temperature with a cup of coffee.

ENJOY!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA - Slow Cooked


Slowly cooked dishes are really worth waiting for. Chicken tikka masala which is one of our favourites tastes heavenly when slowly cooked. They are so juicy, tender and all the flavours have blended in. The meat is melt in your mouth delicious. One of the best things i ever cooked.You have just got to try it.

INGREDIENTS

Slow Cooker

For the Marinade:-
Boneless Chicken Breasts - 2 large , diced to bite size pieces
Plain Yogurt - 1 cup, whey removed
Coriander pdr - 2 tbsp
Cumin pdr - 1 tbsp
Kashmiri chilli pdr - 2 tbsp
Pepper Pdr - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

For the Gravy:-

Onion  - 1 medium size, finely chopped
Ginger - 1 tbsp,finely chopped
Garlic - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Tomato sauce - 1 small can
Cashews, broken - 2 tbsp, roasted
Coriander pdr - 1 1/2 tbsp
Cumin pdr - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric pdr - 1 tsp
Kashmiri Chilli pdr - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon stick  - 1 no
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Whole Cardamam pods - 4-5 , crushed
Green chillies - 3-4 nos, slit
Cream - 1 cup (you can also use milk)
Corn starch - 1 tbsp
Vegetable stock - 1 1/2 cups (you can also use water)
Dried kasuri methi - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - a bunch , to garnish
Butter - 1 tbsp for sauteeing
Salt to taste

METHOD

In a bowl, mix well all the ingredients required for the marinade except chicken. Check salt now. If correct add chicken pieces.Mix well.Let it marinate for atleast 1 hr.

In the meantime prepare the gravy, In a pan, heat some butter, add ginger and garlic.Sautee for a minute then add the onions and some salt. Sautee until golden brown. Now add the spices coriander pdr,turmeric pdr,cumin pdr and kashmiri chilli pdr. Stir for a minute. Transfer this into a food processor along with roasted cashews. With help of some vegetable stock grind to a fine paste. Leave aside.



Before transfering everything into the slow cooker sear the chicken .That adds more flavor.For that heat some oil or butter in a cast iron pan.Turn the heat to high. Add the chicken pieces. Brown it on both sides.Takes only a few seconds. Dont have to cook it fully.

Now transfer the chicken into the slow cooker. Pour the onion cashew paste over it. Add the tomato sauce. Stir well. Slowly add the vegetable stock or water until you get the right consistency,not too thick nor thin. Now add the sugar, cinnamon stick ,green chillies and the cardamam pods.Stir well. Cover it and switch the cooker on. Let it cook for 4-5 hrs. Mix the cream and the corn starch. Pour this into the mix 10- 15 mins before switching it off . Check for salt. Rub the kasuri methi on top. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve warm with some basmati rice, naan, roti etc.

ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

BRUSCHETTA TOPPED WITH WHITE BEANS


Bruschetta is an Italian appetizer or antipasto. Its basically a roasted piece of bread with various toppings. The bread usually used to make a bruschetta is a baguette.The bread is sliced and roasted and then rubbed with garlic ,served with any toppings and some olive oil. I used some simple cannellini beans sauteed with some garlic,onions and tomatoes. A sprinkle of thyme and a splash of white wine gives a boost of  flavor. A quick, simple and easy appetizer to make. For toppings use anything  of your choice even a simple tomato and onion salad or just cheese. Choices are endless.

INGREDIENTS

For Bruschetta:-

Baguette - 1, sliced
Garlic cloves -  1-2
Olive oil to brush on top

For the topping:-

Cannellini beans - 1 can, fully drained
Onion - 1 medium size, finely chopped
Tomato - 1 medium size, diced
Garlic cloves - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp
Dry thyme - 1/2 tsp
Olive oil - 1 1/2 tsp
Dry White Wine - a small splash
Salt and pepper
Parsley - a bunch , to garnish

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 400 deg F. Brush the bread with oil on both sides and bake it for 10-15 mins or until golden brown. While they are still hot rub it with some garlic on top. Set it aside.


In a pan heat some oil.Add chopped garlic,chilli flakes and onions.Saute until the onions are golden brown. Sprinkle some dry thyme.Stir for a minute and then add the diced tomatoes. Let it cook fo a couple of minutes.When they become soft mash them using a wooden spoon. Now add the beans, salt and pepper and a splash of wine. Cover and let it simmer for 5 mins. Mash some of the beans using the wooden spoon .This helps to bring the whole thing together. Garnish with some chopped parsley. Let it cool.


Top it just before serving.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CHICKEN STIR FRY


Chicken is an ingredient  that i love to cook with. Most of the time i try to make something new with it. I have prepared many variations of chicken stir fry over the yrs,  peppery chicken ,a herb chicken fry among the popular ones in the family.This one is the simplest of them all with salt ,pepper and a dash of chilli pdr being the only spices added.I also coated the chicken with some all purpose flour for some crispiness and a change of texture. They are quick to prepare and tastes absolutely delicious. Great as appetizers.


INGREDIENTS

Chicken tenders - 4 strips, cut to bite size pieces
Salt and pepper
Chilli pdr - 1/2 tsp
All purpose flour -enough to coat the chicken
Onions - a medium size,sliced
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp


METHOD

Marinate the chicken with salt,pepper and chilli pdr.Coat it well with some flour.Leave it aside.Heat oil in a wide cast iron skillet.Slowly add the coated chicken.Shallow fry the chicken pieces  until brown on both sides.Transfer it to  plate.In the same skillet add the sliced onions and curry leaves.Add salt and pepper.When it becomes slightly brown add the chicken pieces.Stir fry for a minute or two.Serve warm as appetizers.

ENJOY!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

FISH PICKLE




My quest to make Fish Pickle goes back to my college days where I had the oppurtunity to eat the best fish pickle i ever had. Unfortunately that was the only time.I have lived in kerala my whole life and Fish Pickle being one of the most popular items there, its surprising to me that i havent had it even ones.

Also in this cold weather when you are looking for things to keep yourself warm pickles definitely helps.The fish pickle i made is quite different from the one i had.Its equally good nevertheless.Its fairly simple and quick to make.It took me just about less than 30 mins to make it from start to finish.I made a small batch.Now that i am done i wish i had made more.Its finger licking,lip smacking delicious.Its that good.Very very addictive.


INGREDIENTS

Fish fillet - 1, any white fish, I used tilapia,Sliced
Shallots - 5-6 nos, sliced thin
Ginger - 1 1/2 tbsp , julienned
Garlic - 4-5 cloves, slliced thin
Kashmiri red chilli pdr - 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 2-3 sprigs
Asafoetida - a big pinch
Salt  and pepper to taste
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp + 1 tbsp


METHOD

First Marinate the sliced fish with 2 tbsp of chilli pdr,sat and pepper.Keep aside for 15-20 mins.
Heat some oil in a wide pan.Shallow fry the fish pieces. Sprinkle some asafoetida on top and transfer it to a bowl.In the same pan pour the rest of the oil and when its hot add mustard seeds.When it starts to pop add curry leaves,ginger,garlic and shallots.Add salt.When it starts to become light brown add the rest of the chilli pdr.Dont add any water..Lower the flame and stir for a minute until fully incorporated.Add the fried fish to this and mix well.Serve immediately ,warm or cold with some rice.


ENJOY!!!