Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mushroom and Spinach Quiche

Ok, last evening I walked all the 7 km there was to get to Spar(soooper!market).Little did I know I was working up an appetite too. I strolled around and took one quick scan at the fresh vegetables and the diary section. Thats when it dawned upon me that I love quiche and why haven't I tried making it yet. So there I was scampering around the dairy and veggie sections, thinking on my feet and trying to come up with a recipe for quiche myself..partly myself atleast.So here we go..
For 2 small quiches:
For the pastry (crust)
1 cup flour(maida)
1/2 cup of unsalted butter straight from the freezer cut into small pieces
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 cup cold water
into your flour add the small pieces of cold butter and mix with a forkand not your hands.This is just to make sure the butter doesnt melt.Then slowly start adding the cold water, spoon by spoon.Begin to use your hands nowand start kneading. You need to basically form a dough not too soft, nottoo stiff.Your water quantity could change accordingly.Once the dough is done, use a thin cotton or muslin cloth or cling foilto cover it and keep aside in the fridge for about an hour.After which take it out, roll it with your rolling pin and use any small sized mould suitable forfor a quiche.Or, if you have just one used to bake cakes, that would do as wellPre-heat your oven and place the mould inside with the dough rolled and placedinside. Bake for about 10 mins on med heat. Set aside.

1 tbspn butter
half a big onion finely chopped
10 medium sized mushrooms
2 fists full of spinach (i dont know how else to measure!)
1 egg
1 tblspn fresh cream
1 tblspn maida
1 cup grated cheddar cheese(you can also use the cheese cubes available anywhere)
salt and pepper for seasoning
Heat butter, add onions, saute them till they're transparent. Tip in the mushrooms. Let them cook for 5-7 mins. Add the cream and maida.Some salt and pepper. Keep aside.Blanch the spinach in just one spoon of water, drain any excess water. Keep aside to dry.Later chop into small pieces.In a separate bowl whisk one egg white till frothy. Add the yolk and give it a stir.Add the mushroom and onion mixture. Also add the dry chopped spinach and the cheese.Give it a good mix.Pour this into the baked crust. Pop it back into the oven and let it bake over med heat(or as per your oven's settings for baking) for 15-20 min.Do check after 15 mins by sticking a fork into it.As always, if it comes out cleanyou're done.Serve warm. Perfect for brunch or even late coffee in the evenings.

Bon appetite!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Good Evening...

After an insipid day at work, I spent about an hour at the Crossword bookstore enjoying an eyefull at the 'food and drinks' section, looking for inspiration. After flipping through the dessert sections, I realized I need baking lessons (you are right Pallavi, about the baking proportions). The party drinks seems like a doable and fun challenge and the side dishes are something that I have not explored. There are many ways through which the independent cullinary experts can try making exotic main courses. It would be a pleasure to bring you some suggestions through this blog. So, finally I picked up the book called 'Party' by Love Food, Parragon Books Ltd. priced at Rs 395. Good buy guys. Well, this was followed by a peaceful dinner, that I enjoyed all by myself at Aromas of China. It was just a bowl of steaming 'Clear Chicken Wonton Soup'. Very evidently there are steamed juicy wontons in them happily seated at the bottom of the generous portion of serving. May be I should try to replicate that in a 'purple cinnamon'-ish way. Till next time...feed happy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Good old Sponge cake with Chocolate frosting

Just the other day I was going through my mother's old diary of recipes.1993 mind you. That's when I tumbled upon the Sponge cake recipe. I thought I'd add a little twist to it by making a chocolate frosting to go with it. Common, who'd say no to chocolate. So let's get on with it.
250 gm maida
250 gm sugar
200 gm unsalted butter
6 eggs
1 tspn baking powder
1 tblspn vanilla essence

Separate the egg whites and the yolks. Beat the egg whites to an almost stiff frothy consistency. Beat the yolks separately and fold it into the whites.
In a separate bowl mix the butter (soft) and sugar till it turns a little fluffy. Add the egg mix into it and fold gently. Don't panic (like I did) if it looks like they don't blend well together.
Now sift the maida and baking powder and add it to the wet mixture slowly folding it in little by little. What I did was, use a small sieve and added a heaped spoon of maida at a time and folded it into the wet mix. Then you'll see how after adding the flour the batter slowly takes shape and all the ingredients blend into one harmonious body.
Now add the vanilla essence.

Grease a big square piece of aluminium foil with some butter. Place it in your baking tin.
Pour in half of the batter and pop it into your pre-heated oven for 40 mins when in medium heat. Do check the cake after the first half hour just to be safe. Pierce a tooth pick or just a fork deep into the cake in the center. If it comes out clean, great! you're done then.

Wait, it gets better..

Butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder.
Blend in these ingredients to a thick consistency. Let the cake completely cool down and only then slather it with the chocolate frosting you just made.

Enjoy! :)

Fish with Lemoney Mushroom

At the department store today, I was looking for cartilage free fish fillet. Finally found fillets of 'Bass' sea fish. I picked up 250 gms. So, there I was in my kitchen, waiting to experiment!
250 gms of fish fillet, neatly diced into desired shapes
250 gms mushrooms
5-7 strands of spring onions
2 large onions
5-7 pods of garlic
1 of each green and red chilli
4 tbl spoons of soya sauce

In very low flame, slightly boil the fish for about 2 mins and then keep aside. Now add a dollop of butter and olive oil into a hot pan. Add the finely chopped onions and garlic to it. After they have browned, add the freshly chopped spring onions (seep in the aroma here!). Now throw in the sliced mushrooms and cover them for about 5 mins. Now we can pour in a little red wine and a dash of vinegar for the tinge, cover and simmer for a while.

In the meanwhile, we shall make a small portion of cornflour batter with water, small bits of red and green chilli, salt, vinegar and sprinkle of thin coriander. Now smear thin layer of the batter and lightly fry all sides of the boiled fish. We can keep adding the batter as we keep frying the fish!

Serving suggestions:
Use a plain coloured dish, place the fried tangy fish and squeeze some lime juice over the fizzing hot fish. Add the mushrooms beside it and sprinkle some parsley over it. Also, you could cut neat geometrical shapes of fresh bread and slice half a full boiled egg!
Have a jar of chilled lemon ice tea to go with it...voila...sunday brunch!

Almost Sushi!

I am a huge Sushi fan. After some culinary experiments, I came up with a healthy and short cut recipe for some sushi. Well I am very rightly calling it 'Almost Sushi'.
You're gonna need cooked white rice, three medium sized potatoes (mashed) and boiled crab meat, 1/3 cup of soya sauce and a dash of vinegar.

Boil the rice to an extent that it is slightly sticky, so that it can eventually withstand itself being formed into a ball! Now take small portions of mashed potato and rice and form bite size balls in your palm, you could add a little salt to taste to it if you suiting your taste. Now force in about three bits boiled crab meat into the ball.
Taadaaaa! and you are done :)

Serving Suggestions:
To make the traditional dipping sauce, just add a dash of vinegar and sugar to the 1/3 cup of soya.
On every little ball you could place a small chunk of your chosen meat. If you do not wish to have the rice exposed, you could slightly boil spinach strips and roll them around the rice balls. There you go, you have some 'Almost Sushi'.

PS: If you wish you could pick up ready made Wasabi from any departmental store. The Blue Star Wasabi is priced at Rs 175. Also, 'Gadre Just-like crab' is selling strips of processed crab meat, which tastes brilliant and is a great substitute for fresh meat.
Bon Appetit!

Grilled Chicken With Mushroom Sauce

To begin with, all you need is boneless chicken (thigh/breast cut fillet like), mushrooms (2 packets), a cup of vegetable stock, 2 tbl spoons of cornflour, 1/2 a cup of red wine, 2 tbl spoons of ground pepper, dash of vinegar and soya sauce, 5-6 pods of garlic, olive oil and butter.

Chicken prep:
Marinate the chicken in salt and vinegar for 20 mins.

In a medium non-stick sauce pan, heat some olive oil. Place the chicken fillet gently one at a time and sear it on each side till it browns. That should take approximately 4 mins per side, or till whenever you are convinced it is done. Take it off the pan and keep it separately.

Mushroom sauce:
In a slightly wider pan, heat a generous dollop of butter (take in the aroma :),
add a spoon of oil to avoid the butter from burning. Add the mashed pods of garlic, sauté it for a min, add all the sliced mushrooms, give it a good steer and shut the lid to let it cook for about 10 mins on medium heat...( take a look every now and then!) Now splash in some red wine and soya sauce. Let it cook again for another 5 mins. Now add the corn flour and vegetable stock. Let it further cook till it thickens to a brown sauce. Oh yeah..add salt and pepper!

Serving Suggestions:
Place the chicken on your favourite dish and pour the mushroom sauce over it. You could serve it against mashed potatoes, garlic bread, steamed veggies (our fav) or even a bed of rice! Goes perfectly with Red Wine or Virgin Mojito! (keep checking this space for a quick recipe of the later)