Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Piri Piri and Basil Pasta


For Day 3 in the last week of BM #46,under the theme Pizzas and Pastas I had planned to post Pizza from the scratch..but when I checked the pics I realized that the final pic was not clicked. This was very unlike me , but I guess I missed out as the little kids were around and could not wait.

This pasta comes from my son's collection .I had some boiled spaghetti and he transformed it into a very very delicious meal.With him , I can never get a perfect recipe, he likes to use whatever is handy and at the same time he needs all the exotic ingredients. The worst is he wants the kitchen to himself with just the staff boy who is his helper. Anyway once he finished cooking this I immediately asked him the details and jotted down.


Piri Piri and Basil Spaghetti
1 cup boiled spaghetti / pasta
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp piri piri, finely chopped
1 tbsp jalapenos in brine
Oregano
Basil oil
Salt to taste
Black pepper

Heat oil.
Add chopped garlic, let it turn golden.

Add the piri piri and chopped jalapenos. let cook a few minutes.
Add the spaggeti.
Add salt , pepper,oregano and toss.
Remove from fire.
Serve with basil oil.




Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#46
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pizza Tikka


For the second day under Pizzas and Pastas, I had some dough from the pizzas that I made. (I shall be posting The pizzas from scratch soon).I decided to make cal zones but some how I wanted to create something new,I did not know what...but something different.

Next day while cooking my evening meal, I gazed at the open refrigerator and saw capsicum and cottage cheese. I knew what I had to cook. I quickly marinated the paneer , capsicums and onion for Tikka. After marinating these for about 30 minutes I stringed these into the skewers. I rolled the left over pizza dough, applied some purée to it and wrapped this over the tikkas, and put them to bake.


A new dish evolved.
Here is how I made these..
1/2 recipe pizza dough (coming soon )
4 tbsp pizza purée
4 large pieces paneer rectangles
Few capsicum and onion cubes


For the marinade
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp mix of garam maslala and chaat masala
2 tbsp thick yogurt.
Place paneer, capsicum and onion in a flat tray.
Sprinkle the spices , ginger garlic paste and yogurt.
Mix and keep aside for 30 minutes.

Preheat a oven at 180 for 10 minutes.
Taking a metal skewer, thread the paneer, capsicum and onion alternately.
Roll the pizza dough lengthwise .
Cut a long strip from it and apply purée to it.
Rotate the dough strip over the threaded paneer skewer.
Brush it with some olive oil.
Bake till done.



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Monday, November 24, 2014

Tomato Basil Pizza

BM # 46 Week 4 Day 1


For the last week of this month I have chosen to serve some Home Made Pizzaz.Yes this is my theme for this week.I have been wanting to share this particular pizza since a long time.Now what is special about this one. Well, it is special as this is made by my son. The recipe for the purée is different from what I generally make. He uses store bought thin crusts for his pizzas, those too from one particular outlet.

For the purée that he makes he uses only canned tomatoes, he does not want to compromise on this. He gets a special tomato paste and says it gives a nice texture to the purée. He uses fresh basil and will not substitute with dry one. In short he wants his ingredients to be perfect.

He cooks the purée and after it cools down , and is blended he cooks it again with some more garlic and his favorite piri piri chillies. I must admit he is quite lavish with oil.

The toppings are individual choice. Normally he makes half and half pizzas, where he uses different toppings for two people. You see he likes to serve the pizzas real hot. So normally two people would share the first pizza and so on.

The basil after getting cooked and made into a paste lends the purée a very special flavor which makes these pizzas very aromatic plus the taste is awesome. There aren't any other herbs used, the spices are just salt and pepper.

He makes the pizzas more interesting by making a chilly oil.I had served this chilly oil with Pesto pizza wontons.


Basil tomato pizza
Purée
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 piri piri
Handful fresh basil leaves
2 cans tomatoes
4 tbsp tomato paste
Salt to taste
Pepper

Heat oil.
Add garlic and piri piri.
Sauté for a few minutes .
Add the canned tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.
Cook till the moisture from the tomatoes is gone.
Add the tomato paste.
Cool.
Grind to a fine paste.

Heat oil.
Add some more garlic and piri piri.
Add the ground paste.
Add salt and pepper.
Cook till oil leaves sides
The purée is ready to use.

Assembling the pizza
Apply purée on a pizza crust.
( I used ready made thin crust)
Place fresh mozzarella cheese, capsicum slices, fresh basil leaves and bake.


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies

BM # 46 Week 3 Day 3

For Day 3 under festival recipes I have some chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate is a favorite flavor in our house and the majority prefers anything and everything with this sinful chocolate,though we have conscious eaters and all eat a very small portion of any sweet or chocolate. These cookies were made by my little niece. They came as a surprise as she made them while we were taking our afternoon nap. I woke up with the aroma of these bakes, wondering who was playing with my oven. The cookies came out perfect, very crunchy , very chocolaty and very addictive. Here is the recipe that she followed...


Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup APF
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tbsp soft butter
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp or more  dark chocolate chips 
1/4 tsp vanilla essence

Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl and mix well.
Keep aside.
Combine the sugar and butter in a bowl and whisk well till no lumps remain.
Add vanilla essence, milk and chocolate chips and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients and mix well to form a dough.
Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and shape each portion into a round ball and flatten the balls lightly.
Sprinkle some more chocolate chips on top.
Place the cookies on a greased baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 c (360 f) for 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack and store in air-tight containers.



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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chocolate Mango Pie

BM # 46 Week 2 Day 2

After the hustle and bustle of Diwali and all the traditional festive desserts of Diwali, we look forward to the English desserts which are a part of Christmas celebrations.Even though we do not celebrate Christmas like it is done on the other side of the globe, I love this festival and it's feel. I make it a point to make some special desserts, and here is one which never ever fails. I know I have made a mango rose which is not a winter produce, but you could pick fruits like apple or pear, just about anything. It is just the dressing , the basic pie remains the same and as delicious.This pie is my Day 2 post under the theme Festival Recipes for Blogging Marathon  # 46.

Chocolate Mango Pie
Crust
1 cup crushed digestive biscuits
5 tbsp melted butter

Filling
2 cups dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup milk
2 cups beaten whipped cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

For The Garnish
Chocolate Vermicelli
Mango

Crust
Combine the biscuit and melted butter in a bowl and mix well.
Press the mixture into the base of a (6") loose-bottomed pie dish.
Place in the refrigerator till firm . It should take about 30 minutes.

For the filling
Combine the chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 to 40 seconds.
Mix gently till no lumps remain.
Keep aside.
Combine the beaten whipped cream, powdered sugar and vanilla essence in another bowl and fold gently.
Add the prepared chocolate-milk mixture and fold gently.
Pour on the prepared crust.
Refrigerate till firm.
Garnish with chocolate vermicelli.
De mould the pie.

I garnished this pie with fresh mango and made a rose with it.



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Monday, November 17, 2014

Mendiants

BM # 46 Week 3 Day 1

For the last week of BM # 46 , I have picked Festival recipes. Christmas being round the corner, I thought of making Mendiants. Mendiants are French confection, which are discs or pieces studded with nuts and dried fruits.These represent the four mendicants of the Dominicans, Augustinians, Franciscans and Carmelites.these chocolates are usually found during Christmas. The traditional chocolate has taken new combinations of nuts and fruit peels. These might be very simple ones but taste amazing. The apricots and nuts give a wonderful flavor after being chewed with chocolate. In fact Fruit and Nut has always been my favorite amongst chocolate bars.
The recipe is simple and nothing much has to be done, but here is how I made these.


What you need
Cooking chocolate
Almonds
Cashews
Pistachios
Apricots
Blue berries

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
Stir well with a spatula and make sure you have a smooth consistency.
Pour the melted chocolate into a tray or using a spoon drop as discs.
Let it set for a while and while it is still moist place the nuts and raisins, or what ever dried fruits you wish to top it with.
If using a tray make indents, so it is easy to break the slab into pieces.
Enjoy.



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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Badaam Halwa / Almond Halwa - Rajasthan Special for ICC


Indian Cooking Challenge is something that I always look forward to. Cooking special and traditional dishes from a particular state is very interesting. This month we have Badaam or Almond Halwa. This is a speciality of Rajasthan.

Halwas are sweet and dense loaded with ghee or butter. We have a variety of Halwas, They could be flour based, fruit or lentil based or even nut based, just like this Almond Halwa.

This halwa reminds me of my friend, who was a Rajasthani. Once while was making this halwa  her mixy conked off. Being neighbors she asked if I could make a paste of the almonds. I agreed and made the paste of nearly a kilo of these almonds. After about an hour I received a bowl of the ready halwa and that is the first time I tasted this. I immediately fell in love with it. Memories of my friend and Badaam Halwa came back. Unfortunately I lost my friend many years ago, but whenever I make this halwa I immediately think of her. God Bless her soul.




Badaam Halwa
1/4 cup almonds
4 tbsp ghee
4 tbsp sugar or to taste
Pinch cardamom powder
Water

Soak the almonds overnight.
Wash and peel, wash again.
Make a fine paste of these, using bare minimum water or milk.
Heat ghee preferably in a non stick pan.
Add the almond paste.
Roast the paste till it turns to a nice pink color.
The almond paste has the tendency to stick so make sure you keep scraping it from the pan, if using a non stick pan it will be a easy job.
Make sure the flame is very slow through out roasting.
This should take about 10 minutes.
Since i did not use a non stick pan, I switched off the gas twice to scrape off the sticky almond.
Once the almonds are a nice pink and lend a aroma, add water gradually bringing it to the correct halwa consistency. 
Add sugar and cardamom powder .
Mix well and simmer till the ghee floats up.


I made the halwa with just 1/4 cups of almond , after eating all those Diwali treats, I knew a small portion would be fine and everyone would have it like a prasad. In fact everyone thought that it was prasad and ate a spoonful without any fuss. It was later I told them that it was Rajasthani Prasad made at Ribbons to Pastas.
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