Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pehli Raat

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

Churned this one out of my own old Shepard's pie recipe & left over thanksgiving protein, in my case : grilled lamb. This was very exciting since I was also inaugurating my new [black friday]dutch oven.

Serves 6

Ingredients :
Lamb Rue: 
2 lbs lamb - grillled , chopped into 3/4" cubes ( best substitute would be beef tips or grilled chicken breast )
1 tblspn butter
3/4 cup meat stock - I used chicken stock, any other stock will do
2 tblspns A1 steak sauce
1 tblspn all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

1.5 Cups chopped red onion 
5 cloves of garlic - sliced
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 Cup diced celery 
3/4 Cup diced carrot
1/2 Cup of spring onions
2 tblspns of olive oil
1/2 tsp each of dried oregano , thyme & rosemary
1 tsp of flavored salt - I used celery salt.
1 heaping tsp of crushed black pepper - adjust to taste
2 tblspns hot sauce

Mash Potato:
5 big potatoes - boiled
1 tblspn butter
1 cup of goat cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup of cheddar
1-3 tblspns of milk

Use a 5.5 Qt heavy bottom pan - preferably a dutch oven for the main dish ( or something that can also be used in the oven) & a cast iron skillet for making the lamb rue. If you dont have a heavy bottom pan that is oven safe, transfer the lamb mixture into a baking dish before putting the mash potato on top.

Heat oil in heavy bottom pan and add garlic & cinnamon sticks. Fry the garlic for minute and then add the onions. Let the onions cook until soft and transparent - stirring occasionally. Now add the spring onions , carrot , celery , herbs , salt & pepper and let cook for 3-4 minutes. 
Meanwhile heat another heavy bottom skillet and add lamb. Leave the lamb on the skillet for a couple minutes until it starts to stick to the bottom. Once that happens, remove the lamb ( without removing the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan ). 
Stir the lamb & hot sauce into the onion mixture stirring occasionally. 
Add the butter & flour to the skillet and scrape all the bits of the bottom of the pan. Let the flour cook for about a minute before adding in the stock , salt & steak sauce. Allow the sauce to thicken for about 5-6 minutes. Add the sauce to the lamb & onion mixture and let cook for about 10 minutes. 
On the side, peel and mash the potatoes with butter. Then add in the cheese , salt and pepper and mash again.  Add 1 tblspn of milk at a time until the mash potato reaches a spreadable consistency.
Spread the mash potato over the lamb in the heavy bottom pan such that it forms a 1" ( or more ) layer over the lamb. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on the top and place the pan in the oven while setting the oven to broil. Leave in there only for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese melts and browns ( dont leave it for more than that or you'll land up with burnt cheese like mine !! ).
Serve with toasted pumpernickel bread.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

And it starts :)

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Thanksgiving & Bakri Eid 2009

The Menu:

Me & Gaurav : Roast legs of lamb & lamb gravy
Me : Spicy cranberry & grape relish
Prachi : Mango Pie
Doshi : Stuffing
Varun : Spicy potato gratin
Ed : Corn & Fudge & Brownie
Deepa : Pesto chicken salad
Rosy : Chicken corn soup
Ajit : Sweet potato casserole & cornbread !

Good times :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Crab Bread

Here is the recipe by demand (@varun)

I like this crab bread becoz it kindda turns out crunchy below and guey inside with bits of sweet Maryland crab. I use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose and oats for that extra texture.

Ingredients :
1 Cup warm water
1 Tsp honey
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 Cup oats
2 Tblspn Dry yeast
3/4 Cup crab dip or lump crab meat broken down into bits
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp paprika
1 Cup EVOO

For the garnish
2 Tsp Chilly flakes
2 Tsp dry parsley
1 Tsp paprika

Start with mixing the yeast, honey and the warm water until the mixture is emulsified. Let the yeast mix sit for 5-7 minutes. In a separate bowl mix the flour and oat mixture. Add 1/2 cup of the mixture into the water at time while trying to fold the flour in until all the flour has been incorporated. Use a stand mixer for ideal results. Fold in the salt & 1/2 cup oil.

In a separate vessel(preferably big and metal) pour in the remaining 1/4 cup of oil and grease the sides all the way to the top. Place the dough in the vessel. Then cover the dough with a double layer of paper towel soaked in warm water. Leave the dough for about 2 hours or until the dough volume has at least doubled.

Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Now fold in the crab and paprika by cutting through the dough. (you dont want to over mix at this point. fold in the crab and paprika using a silicone spatula). Grease a 9" souffle bowl or 2 loaf pans with the remaining oil and cover all the sides. Add in the dough. Garnish with chilly , paprika and parsley on the top of the dough. Bake for around 35-40 mins until golden-brown on the top. Remove and set aside for 30 mins on a cooling rack. Serve with freshly whipped butter.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Eggplant Florentine

I created this everyday recipe from one huge eggplant , left over pesto & organic wheat spaghetti. I start out by grilling the eggplant, then half cooking the pasta and making a nice spinach & garlic sauce to go over it.

Serves 5

3/4 lb whole wheat spaghetti
3/4 lb ( 1 Bunch of fresh spinach )
4 chicken sausages ( I used garlic n cheese sausages )
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
1 Cup 2% milk
4 cubes of light cream cheese ( alternatively you could use 3 tblspns of feta & 1 cube of cheese )
1/2 Cup pesto ( recipe @ )
1 1/4 lb eggplant ( sliced into 1/4" slices, cut bigger slices into half )
1 tblspn all purpose flour
1 tblspn butter
3 tblspns EVOO for grilling the eggplant
1 tblspn EVOO for the spinach sauce
1 tblspn EVOO for pasta
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Start by grilling the slices of eggplant ( alternatively you use a cast iron skillet or any heavy pan ) over med-hi heat. Arrange the slices of eggplant over the pan and drizzle lightly with oil. Turn the slices over after 2-3 minutes until they start turning brown. Repeat above step for all slices of eggplant. Once they are done, set aside and season with salt.

For the pasta, bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt to season. Add pasta and cook for 3 minutes ( use half the al-dente time listed on your pasta box. ). Use a 9x13" baking tray, drain pasta and set aside in the tray. Drizzle the oil over the pasta and toss until evenly coated with oil.

Do not throw away the pasta water. I used this to half cook my sausages (frozen) by putting them into the water for 5 minutes. Slice the sausages into 1/3" thick slices then place over the spaghetti. Drizzle the pesto over the sausages. Break up 3 cubes of light cream cheese and place over the spaghetti. Now cover the sausages and cheese with slices of eggplant.

For the sauce, start by taking a metal drainer and placing the leaves of spinach (cut through the bunch throwing away the stems ) in it. Place the entire drainer into boiling pasta water and leave to cook for 2 minutes ( spinach should look dark green).Alternatively set aside 1 1/2 cups of pasta water and boil the spinach in the remainder of the water which can be discarded once the spinach is done. Drain the spinach and chop roughly, set aside. Microwave the milk for 1 minute and set aside. Place a non-stick skillet over med heat and add butter. When the butter starts melting add in the olive oil and flour. Use a whisk to stir constantly insuring that the flour does not form lumps for 2-3 minutes or until the flour changes color to a light brown. Add in 3/4 cup of pasta water while continuously stirring the sauce. The sauce should thicken to a sludge at this point. Add in the milk and 1 cube of cheese. Continue until the sauce thickens again for about 3-4 minutes while making sure that the flour mixture does not form lumps. Turn down the heat to warm - very low and season the sauce with salt & pepper. Add in the spinach and garlic and continue stirring for another 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the eggplant slices. Cover the spinach sauce with breadcrumbs. ( If that sounds too complicated use store brought Alfredo sauce and adjust salt in this recipe as store brought Alfredo sauces usually contain a amount of salt. )

Bake for 25 minutes on 375F keeping the tray on the middle rack. Then turn the oven to broil and keep for 2-3 minutes ( until the breadcrumbs turn brown ). Serving suggestion : with warm fresh bread.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Prachi's lamger's

Spiced burgers with a fresh green pesto to go along with :)

Serves 5

1.5 Lb course ground lamb
3/4 cup onion finely chopped
1 egg
1 tblspn flour
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp paprika | red chilly powder
1 tblspn ginger garlic paste
1 tsp oil ( + 1 tsp to grease hand )

2 Beefsteak tomatoes 

2 bunches of fresh coriander 
1/2 bunch fresh mint
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup water

Preparations time : 15 minutes 
Leave the lamb outside for 20 minutes prior to start of preparation inorder to bring it to room temperature. Start by breaking up the lamb in a large bowl. Add onion , flour , sugar , salt , pepper , red chilly powder & ginger - garlic. Mix the ingredients into the lamb by folding the meat inside for 3-4 minutes. Add egg and oil (1 tsp ) and mix for another 2 minutes.  Make portions of the lamb by first leveling the lamb and then making 5 parts. Grease your palm with 1tsp oil. Take each part of lamb and make a round ball. Flatten the ball applying gentle pressure evenly until the thickness of the burger is 1/4"- 1/3". The size of the burger should be 4-5" in diameter. 

Preparations time : 30-40 minutes
These burgers can can be seared over a pan or on a grill. Make sure the pan(preferably cast iron or any other thick pan ) is pretty hot. Then place the burgers on the grill without any oil. For medium-well done burgers let them cook for 2.5 minutes on each side. The burgers should start caramelizing ( light - medium brown ). Let the burgers sit for 2-3 minutes before serving. 

Preparations time : 3-4 minutes
For the pesto, 
Add the coriander and mint to a blender and set on puree. Add the water, ground pepper & salt and start to puree the mixture. Open the top lid of the blender and pour in the olive oil until a bright green smooth blend is achieved (2-3 minutes).

Serve the burgers with slices of beefsteak tomatoes and pesto over your favorite kaiser rolls. 

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Oatmeal Choco-Coco Cookies


1 3/4 Cup All purpose flour
1 Cup Brown Sugar
10 tbsp butter (=~ 3/4 cup melted )
1 Egg + 1 Egg yolk
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 Cup Chocolate chips
1/2 Cup Cocoa powder ( use your fav. cocoa powder @ home )
1/2 Cup Pecans
1/2 small cut Oats

Makes about 10 cookies
Serving size 1 cookie

Melt the butter and let sit for a while until cool. Mix the butter with the sugar , eggs and vanilla extract. Sift together the dry ingredients flour,baking powder,cocoa powder and oats. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter,sugar batter and mix well until a dough forms. Add in the chocolate chips & pecans. Freeze the dough for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 350 F. For baking use a silicone baking sheet or a baking tray with parchment paper. Scoop out the dough 2 tbsp at a time place on the tray leaving enough room for the cookies to expand ( they will expand horizontally ). Bake for 25-30 minutes. Once they are done take out carefully and cool on a wire rack for 20-20 minutes or until cool.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lamb sliders w/ spicy lemon butter & potato gratin

This recipe of lamb sliders ( mini 4oz burgers ) was made up watching the countless lamb recipes watched on FoodTv.

For the burgers :
1 Lb fresh ground lamb
1 egg
1 sprig rosemary
1 tblspn garlic powder
1 tblspn ground ginger ( look for in chinese grocery stores )
1 tspn pepper
1 tblspn dark brown sugar
1 tspn paprika
1 tspn salt
1 tspn dried parsley
7-8 chopped mint leaves

For the gratin :
1 large potato sliced (1.5 cups of sliced potato incase of smaller potatoes)
1 Cup shredded cheddar
1 sprig rosemary
2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
3 tblspns oil
1 cup milk
1 tblspn soft butter

For the butter :
10-14 mint leaves
4 green chillies
1/2 cup pecans
2 tblspn flax seed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tblspn butter

For the grilled veggies
1 Onion
1 green bell pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine

For the bread :
Pillsbury-Grands buttermilk bisuits

1 Tomato sliced ,for serving with the burgers.

Start with slicing the potatoes and then soak them in cold water for 20-30 minutes. Then start loosening the ground lamb by working it gently with your hands. Add the rest of the ingredients ( for the burgers ) and mix well. Let this sit for around 10 minutes. Cut the onions and green peppers in long pieces for the grilled veggies and keep aside. The gratin can be made in small ramekins or as one big pie and needs the oven to be set to 350F. For the gratin, start with lining the vessel of choice with butter. Layer the sliced potatoes and shredded cheddar cheese. Add the rosemary , salt & pepper between layers with a sprinkling of some paprika. Once all the potato and cheese has been layered , add the milk from the side. Add the oil from the top. Add the potato gratin into oven along with the grand buttermilk biscuits (Follow instructions on box). The biscuits typically take between 10-12 minutes. The potato gratin should start bubbling after 20-25 minutes. After this turn the oven to broil and leave the gratin in their for another 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile start forming burgers by taking meat that is enough to hold in your hand ( the size of a golf ball ). Pat them until they become about 3/4 of an inch thick and are around 2 inches across. You should be able to form around 6 burgers. Heat a skillet and wipe it with a oily tissue paper. Once the skillet start smoking , place the burgers on the skillet. Depending on how you like your burger you should flip the over accordingly. 3.5 minutes for med-rare , 4.5 minutes for med-well done. The meat should release its own oil , drain after each set of burgers and set aside. After the burgers have finished grilling , add the previously cut onions and veggies and add 1 tblspn of stored meat fat and the salt and pepper. Grill the veggies until they start browning. Once they have started browning , add the wine and deglaze the pan. Allow the wine to evaporate and remove from heat. For the spicy butter , start by pureeing all the ingredients but the butter. Once all the ingredients have been pureed , add the butter and puree again.

Serve by cutting the biscuits into half to form a sandwich. Spread some of the butter on the biscuits , add the sliced tomatoes with the grilled veggies. Finally add the burger. Serve with the potato gratin. Serves 3.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Parsi Dhansak

@Gaurav : Hope you like the version I've already given you :). With the masala Ive given you , this should turn out even better ! lemme know how it goes and have fun cooking ... bon appetite

For the Dal:
1 Cup Oily Toor dal ( Or mix with 1/2 Cup Masoor dal & 1/2 cup oily toor )
1/2 Cup Green Toor ( Green split peas )
1/2 Cup Split pink masoor
1/2 Cup Pumpkin roughly chopped
10-15 mint leaves
Coriander & Lime to garnish
3-4 tbspn oil
1/4 tsp tumeric

For the spice blend: ( in case your not as fortunate as I to have the original parsi dhansak masala )
1 star anise
1 mace
5-6 dry red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 piece cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg

For the meat and stock:
1 1/2 lb Lamb with bone
8 Cups water
1 large onion roughly chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2-3 bay leaves
2-3 Cloves
7-8 Peppercorns
3-4 tbsp oil

For the masala :
Dry roast all the masala for 3-4 minutes. Then grind to fine paste and keep aside.

Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the peppercorns , bay leaves & cloves and fry for a couple minutes. Add the onion and allow to cook until translucent. Add the lamb and the water and pressure cook for 15-20 minutes ( you may need to adjust the time to pressure cook the lamb in accordance with your taste ). Allow the pressure cooker to cool and strain the stock. Preserve both the meat and the stock.

Mix the dals in a separate bowl and wash. Now add the washed dals to the lamb stock. Add the pumpkin & mint leaves into the dal mixture and pressure cook for about 12-13 minutes. Allow the dal to cool. At this point you can either blend the mixture with a hand blender for a smoother soupy consistency or hand mash the mixture to a more coarser texture. Add the strained lamb mixture. In a separate sauce pan heat the oil and add 3 table spoons of the ground spice mix and the turmeric powder. Allow the mix to fry for 2-3 minutes and add then add it to the dal and lamb mixture. Add salt to taste and allow your dhansak to simmer ( on a low flame ) for 15 minutes. Garnish with coriander and lime.

Traditional parsi dhansak is had with brown rice ( brown from caramelized sugar ). To your normal rice (1 Cup ) prep do the following :

In a small sauce pan take 1 Tblspn of sugar & 1 tblspn of water and heat over a medium high flame. Once the sugar melts turn the flame down to low until the sugar turns light brown stirring constantly. Once it is light brown transfer it to your rice cooking vessel and add rice ( with water ) to it. In another sauce pan heat 2-3 tblspns oil and fry 3-4 peppercorns , 2 bay leaves , 1 piece cinnamon & 2-3 cloves. Add it to the rice mixture and cook the rice as you would normally ( Should turn out brown !).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Shrimp Risotto

From my food blog

From my food blog

Serves 4


1 Cup Arborio Rice
1 Cup White wine of choice ( I used a Pinot Grigio )
1 Lb Shelled Shrimp
1 Green pepper minced
1 Cup Mushrooms sliced
1 Cup Zuchini squared
1 Bunch asparagus
1 Big white onion minced
1 Tbsp black pepper corns
1+1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tsp red chilly flakes
1/4 Cup parmessan cheese
1/4 Cup Heavy cream

For the Shrimp:
Wash shrimp throughly. Start boiling 4-5 cups of water in a sauce pan. Add a little salt to the water. Add the shrimp to the water ( should turn pink ). Keep in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain the shrimp and store the stock. Wash the shrimp with cold water. Start de-shelling the shrimp by tearing the shell from the underbelly and tear out.

For the Vegetables:
In a pan add 1 tbsp butter and add the zuchini , mushrooms & green peppers. Cook for 6-7 minutes. Remove the vegetables and keep aside. Snap the asparagus at its breaking point. Cut all the asparagus to the same length. In the same pan sautee the asparagus for 2-3 minutes.

For the Rice:
Heat a big skillet ( turn to med-Hi ) add 2 tbsp oil and butter, wait until the butter melets. Add the peppercorns and the onions. Sautee till the onions turn translucent (3-4 minutes). Add the rice and allow to sizzle for 2-3 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Add the wine and allow the liquid to evaporate. Now add 1 cup of shrimp stock ( or until all the rice is covered ). Allow the rice to cook until the stock evaporates and repeat the process ( 3-4 times ). When doing the last round allow a little liquid to remain. Add the vegetables and the shrimp. Add the cream and stir. After getting the rice off the heat, add the parmessan cheese and stir lightly.

Serve by drizzling about a Tsp of olive oil on the risotto and serve the asparagus on the side (as shown).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just Dinner

Daal made Dhansak style,Guvar Rajasthani,Coconut & Allspice bread,Alu pitas and lastly Idli pancakes!

Saturday, January 17, 2009