Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What a thought........

1. Start each day with a grateful heart.
2. Focus on the positive aspect of every person you encounter.
3. End each day with a grateful heart.
- Lucy MacDonald

I wish we could all follow this......I try my best though.

Almost Panko........

It was only last year I got to know about Panko. Its another name for Japanese bread crumbs. And what makes Panko different from our normal bread crumbs? Well to begin with they are absolutely white in colour and a lot more flakier, so the final product is much more crisp and has a lovely golden hue. And it also does not clump up like the regular bread crumbs.

So I used the store bought one for quite sometime until I made my own out of laziness ....literally. I usually make my own regular bread crumbs - you know the drill I guess. Slightly toasting the leftover bread in a low oven and then grinding it all up. Now the other day, I had sliced baguette and another loaf, without the crust which I had kept in the refrigerator and both were rock hard. As usual, I was feeling lazy to get the food processor out. And since the bread was already hard I decided to skip the oven too. Instead I used the mandolin (vegetable grater/ slicer) with the widest slit/ holes to grate the bread. And I got my panko ....just like that. Of course it helps to use a large plate or bowl for the flaky crumbs as they have a tendency of flying in all directions no matter how careful you are.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Roast Chicken ..............as promised........

Yes, when I make a promise i try my best to keep it. So here is the recipe for my roast chicken as promised. Please note this is my version so obviously it will not be the it is supposed to be. This roast is easy and hassle-free. And to top it, you do not have to stand next to the oven, worried about either burning the chicken or under-cooking it. Because I do not use the oven at all. Yes this is what I mean by my version of roast chicken.....Ohh also I do not use the whole chicken , just the thigh pieces so the result is juicy and the dinner is ready within 20-25 minutes.

Pan -roasted chicken ( recipe):


6 pcs chicken thighs with the skin
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp Italian mixed herbs(dry)
1 tsp ginger paste
1tsp garlic paste
1 tsp  coarsely crushed black pepper
salt to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

Method :
1. Wash and pat dry the chicken. Beat the thighs slightly with a meat tenderizer or the base of a heavy pan.
2. Mix all the ingredients and 1 tbsp olive oil with the chicken and marinate for minimum 30 minutes. The longer, the better though.
3. Heat a frying pan or a grill pan and place the chicken thighs skin side down. Let it sizzle for 3-5 minutes on high heat, then lower the heat to medium for 5-7 minutes.
4. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on the un-cooked side of the thighs a 3-5 minutes. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat,  let the chicken pieces rest for at-least 5 minutes before serving.


Diwali Treat........

I like Indian festival, almost all of them. And the sole reason being the sweet treats. Even if I do not celebrate them, nothing stops me from preparing at-least one treat exclusive for that particular festival. Like during Ganesh Cathurti I tried my hands at something similar to modak, it turned out well so what the shape was very...very different. Well now that Diwali is close, I chose to prepare something simple and quick.
I started with a recipe for nankatai, tweaked it here and there and came out with my version of coconut macroons. Sounds strange right ? read on and see how a nankatai got turned into a macaroon.

Diwali coconut macaroons ( recipe)


2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup fine semolina
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup raisins
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup  unsalted butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cardamon powder

( I think you have already noticed the tweak ...almond, raisin, dessicated coconut etc..wait there is one more twist)

1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree.
2. Mix all the above ingredients to form a dough.
3. Make small lime sized balls and slightly flatten them.
4. Time for the twist- leave the baking tray alone, grab the muffin tray or (even better) a mini cup cake tray, place the flattened dough balls and bake for 12- 15 minutes. I did not grease the tray as mine is non-stick.
5. Let the macaroons cool completely before de-moulding them (a fancy way of saying- remove them fron the muffin tray).
6. Store them in an air-tight container.

The macaroons will be perfectly shaped, at-least their bottoms........hehe..........enjoy !!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Light and easy mashed potato

Well what can I say .......... I prepared this mashed potato by chance. Hubby dear was in a mood for some roast chicken and mashed potato.So like an obedient wife I started the preparations. The recipe for roast chicken will be featured in another post -I Promise. Lets deal with the mashed potato first...

I began by boiling 3 medium sized potatoes in a pressure cooker( I love the pressure cooker, it saves time and energy). Then realized there is no cream in the house, so looked for alternatives...it happens all the time with me. Anyway, I came up with a plan 'B'. I had unbelievable success, so here is the recipe...

Light and easy mashed potato (recipe)
2 servings, 3 if you really stretch it

3 medium sized potatoes
1/2 cup low fat high calcium milk
2 tsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder

1. Boil the potatoes, drain and peel while the are still hot. Use a fork, to hold the hot potato.
2. Roughly chop the potatoes and put them in a food processor- chopper attachment ( I do not own a potato ricer, never needed one!).
3. Add in all the ingredients and half the milk, pulse the mixture until smooth.
4. Add some more milk if the mixture is too dry. Pulse again.
5. Adjust the salt and pepper before serving.
The potatoes must be hot / warm at all time.

Multipurpose Green Chutney

I love this green chutney of mine. I usually make it in large quantities, freeze it and use it  as an when i like. This chutney is a chameleon in some ways, use it an a condiment or add it to curries to enhance the flavors. Marinate the fish or chicken in it or mix it with yogurt for a refreshing dip. Thus I call it a multipurpose chutney. So here is the recipe ......

Multipurpose Green Chutney (Recipe):


1 large bunch fresh coriander, stems included
2 large bunches fresh mint, only leaves
1 cup curry leaves (optional)
1 cup celery leaves
5-6 fresh green chillies ( more if you like it spicy)
2 inch piece ginger
4-6 garlic cloves
6-8 shallots
1 tbsp roasted cumin seeds
1 tsp  black pepper corns
1/2 tsp roasted carom seeds( optional)
1/2 tsp rock salt (optional)
salt to taste
juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
pinch of sugar

1. Wash all the fresh ingredients, drain and roughly chop them.
2. Blend all the above dry and wet items together, until smooth.
3. Using the lemon juice and olive oil, as a lubricant for blending.
4. If the mixture is still too dry add little water .
5. Store in freezer proof containers and freeze until required.
6. Thaw and use as and when required.