Friday, December 11, 2009

Vermouthed chicken with Orzo

What can I say, I love the Barefoot Contessa.  Ina's recipes are usually very much on the dot. However yesterday I strayed away. I wanted to make Coq au Vin but my pantry was a bit empty. So I made do with the ingredients I had. And for dinner we had:

Vermouthed chicken with Orzo:

Italian sausage, cut into pieces
Chicken, cut into small pieces,
Salt, black pepper
1 onion, sliced
3 - 4 roasted garlic pods
1/4 cup vermouth
1 cup vegetable stock
a couple of thyme sprigs
Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup roasted peppers (marinated in vinegar)
1/2 cup diced canned tomatoes
Olive oil

Heat the oil in a pan. Fry the sausage over medium heat, remove to a plate.
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken pieces in the same oil. Remove.
Add the onions to the pan and stir until they turn translucent. Add the mushrooms and stir till they are slightly browned. Add the vermouth, and then the sausage, chicken. Add the garlic, chicken stock, roasted peppers tomatoes and thyme and cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat.
Meanwhile cook orzo until al dente as directed on the package. Add extra virgin olive oil.
Serve the chicken with the vegetables and orzo, hot. Yum.
I used boneless chicken breast, but the next time on, I will probably go with bone in chicken. And also, capers may be a good idea.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tofu jiaozi for Tuesday

Tuesdays are vegetarian days for me, my small shot at self discipline. So when Vaishali announced her vegan Chinese challenge, I though it would be a wonderful thing to try for Tuesday dinner. It would be a wonderful way to curb that Chinese craving I have been having ever since I read about the challenge.

During her trip to my place last month, Xiaoying had taught me to make pork dumplings (jiaozi)the way she used to, in Shanghai. It was just a simple matter of a proper protein substitute to veganize it. I must admit that it turned out really really well.
This dish goes to Its a vegan world: Chinese at Vaishali’s site.

Tofu dumplings

Wrapper: I used store bought wrappers, but I have made jiaozi wrappers with flour, and water, mixed to make a stiff dough, and rolled out into thin, 3.5" circles.

Filling (for about 10-12 dumplings):
1/2 cup Soft tofu
1/2 cup Cabbage (Napa is the best, but even the usual cabbage will work) chopped real fine.
1/2 inch ginger piece, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 serrano/thai pepper (optional and depends on how hot you want the dumpling to be)
1 tsp soy sauce
salt to taste

Mix the filling ingredients.

Take a wrapper, and place about a tablespoon filling to one side of the circle. Moisten the edge of the circle. Fold the other side of the circle and seal. You can either pinch the edges to make it nice and frilly or use a fork to press the edge.

Meanwhile bring water to a boil in a pot. Add a few dumplings to the water. Wait till the dumplings rise to the surface. Add cold water, bring it back to a boil. By this time, the dumplings should be ready to be taken out.

Serve hot with a mix of soy sauce and sriracha hot sauce.

If there are leftovers, you can refrigerate it, and then just pan fry before you serve again. Dont microwave.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Potato Carrot Corn Soup

It has been snowing incessantly since yesterday. Its surprising since its not even November and it looks like winter has made its announcement. Early announcement. I have never seen such an early snowstorm. But then again this is a different year. A lot of things have happened, a new turn in my life, a move.

About 7000 ft above sea level here and its cold, cold, cold..

So I think its time for some soup and hot bread. I have lots of potatoes in my fridge, so what better than a warm comforting bowl of potato soup?

1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 yellow onion
3-4 garlic pods
3 russet potatoes
1 cup white corn
2 tbsp olive oil
vegetable stock (optional)
handful of parsley

I like to make my soups in a dutch oven, very conducive to slow cooking for a long time. Fry the onions in the oil, when the onions turn golden, add the carrots and garlic. Add a little salt and freshly ground pepper. When the carrots soften, add water, then potatoes.
When the potatoes are cooked, I used a hand blender in the pot to blend the ingredients. Then add some more water/vegetable stock, add the parsley and the corn and salt to taste.
Add cream if you like before you serve. I added lots of cracked pepper.

Hmm, tastes great with warm bread.

A wonderful treatment for the cold blues.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Saba's page

A friend of mine, Saba Gaziyani is probably the only food stylist in India at present. I have followed her career from the time she went through culinary school in Mumbai and am more than happy to see her reach her creative potential and surpass everyone's expectations. She's started her blog, Gourmet Funk  recently and I must say, that her food portrayals are really the foodscapes that dreams are made of.

Food Photographics

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Asian style chicken 'popcorn'

I concocted this a while ago on a day when I really craved to sink my teeth into some flavorful chicken appetizer. And this worked really well! Monu, I am sure you would enjoy making this (sorry, though since its me, i just use andaaz se spices)!

Chicken breast
soy sauce
lemon juice
black pepper powder
hot sauce
bread crumbs
Chopped green onions for garnish.

cut chicken breast into 1/2 inch cubes. In a ziploc bag, add soy sauce, pepper powder, thinly sliced ginger and garlic, a couple drops of lemon juice. Add the chicken cubes, seal the ziploc bag, squeeze out as much air as possible. Leave the marinating chicken in the fridge overnight.

In a bowl, beat eggs, add salt, a few drops of hot sauce and pepper.
In another bowl, add breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and chilli powder.
Heat oil in a pan
Dip the chicken cubes first in the egg batter, then in the bread crumbs and then shallow fry in medium hot oil till they are brown and crispy on the outside.

Garnish with chopped green onions.

Serve hot with ketchup or hot sauce.

Anjana's chicken curry

Anjana's kitchen had a lot of feasts to offer, one of the most memorable was Kozhi-curry. Nostalgic moments from god's own country, mmm-yum! So here it is, recorded for posterity. All proportions are andaaz se, with due respect to Anju's kai-punyam.

Chicken curry Kerala style (From Anjana's recipe box)

Marinade: Roast coriander seeds (about 2.5 tablespoons for 1 chicken) and dried red chillies. Grind along with chopped onions, ginger and garlic. To this, add sliced onions, slit green chilly, poppy seeds (khus khus) and curry leaves.

Marinate chicken in the above marinade for about 15-30 min.

Curry: Fry bay leaf, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, fennel seeds (double of cumin seeds), cloves, cinnamon, finely chopped ginger and garlic. When garlic turns golden, add chicken, cook on high heat till chicken is slightly brown. Mix well, turn heat to medium, and let it simmer for about 20 min or so. Add a little bit of whole milk and salt. Add curry leaves. When chicken is done, add coconut milk. Let it simmer for a bit and turn off the heat. Ready!

Great with aapams or parboiled rice.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spicy aubergine curry

I didnt want my blog to be a recipe blog but I figure I can pay public tribute to my friends or acquaintances /their parents whenever I cook their recipes.

And then came my good pal Vaishali's blog about eggplant. hmmmyum!

..then came a trip to H-mart and my drooling over these little brinjals in the vegetable corner.

..then an attack of memories as I opened my recipe box. This was several years ago when I went to Austin with my ex-husband. The only thing I remember about the trip were the all day cards sessions that everyone (but me) played while I played hide and seek with my head. And Nagesh's mom's fantastic brinjal curry. That curry was a remedy to lonely blues.

So here's to a variation on Nagesh's moms recipe! Again, there's no quantity specified, apologies.

Cumin seeds
Roasted peanuts
Red chilly powder
Turmeric powder
Tamarind pulp
Onions, finely chopped
Ginger paste or finely chopped
Garlic past or finely chopped
Garam masala powder (optional)
Tomato paste (little bit)
Cilantro leaves chopped

Heat oil and add cumin seeds. Add onions. When the onions are golden, add ginger paste, garlic paste, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Fry a little, then add tamarind pulp, a little tomato paste. Add roasted peanuts. Grind the masala. Keep aside.

Cut brinjals into quarters, if you get the small ones like I did. Else you can chop the brinjals into 1/2 inch thick slabs. Salt the brinjal pieces, add a little red chilli powder and shallow fry the pieces. Drain the fried brinjal pieces on paper.

Add the ground masala to a pan and reheat. Salt to taste. Add the fried brinjals, add garam masala powder if desired and then chopped cilantro.

No pictures, but this is a yummy dish with rotis or parathas.

Chocolate truffles with rummy cherried hearts

Several of my close friends are incurable chocoholics. So when I came across the barefoot contessa's wonderful truffle recipe, I knew that Ina had her finger on the sweet beats of my chocolate loving friends' hearts. I made it a couple of times, each time leaving behind a trail of happy smiles. And then I thought of a twist for it, so here goes:

1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate
1/2 lb semi sweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur
1 tablespoon prepared coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cocoa powder
Cherries soaked in rum

Chop the chocolates finely. Place them in a mixing bowl.
Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just boils. Turn off the heat and allow the cream to sit for a few seconds. Pour the cream into the bowl with chocolate. Slowly stir the cream and chocolates together until the chocolate is completely melted. (If all the chocolate does not melt, heat the bowl over a water bath and stir till the chocolate melts) Whisk in the orange flavored liqueur, coffee, and vanilla. Set aside - you can pop the mixture in the fridge for a little while till they are stiff enough to be molded.

Spoon round balls of the chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper after adding a half a rum soaked pitted cherry in each. Roll each ball of chocolate in your hands to roughly make it round. Roll in a mix of sugar and cocoa powder. Refrigerate.
Rum soaked cherries: Soak fresh red cherries in rum, add a bit of sugar and store them in a Mason jar in the fridge. They will be ready to use after about a month or so. Remove the cherry pits before stuffing the truffles. (They are darned yummy on their own as well!)
PHOTO: Fort Collins, 2008