Tag Archive | cooking

Shakshuka


Not sure how many of you are fans of savory breakfast, I sure am. I find the waffle, pancake and maple syrup a bit much to stomach in the morning. I am always on the lookout for breakfast recipes other than the usual omelette and eggs benedict. This Mediterranean savory baked eggs recipe seems to just fit the bill – its savory, tangy, spicy and healthy.

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Ingredients:
1. Eggs – 3
2. Onions – 2 (medium sized)
3. Tomatoes – 3 (medium sized)
4. Green bell pepper – 1 (large)
5. Garlic – 4-5 cloves
6. Cayenne – to taste
7. Salt – to taste
8. Cracked black pepper – to taste
9. Jalapeño – 1
10. Cumin seeds – 1 tbl spn
11. Coriander leaves (Cilantro) – 3 tbl spn

Heat some oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and the onions & sauté till the onions are transparent. Next add salt, cayenne, chopped green pepper. Sauté until cayenne is cooked. Next add the tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic and cook until the tomatoes are cooked. Then add finely chopped coriander leaves. Finally add the eggs and put the pan into a preheated oven at 350degs for 10mins. Add some salt and freshly cracked black pepper on the eggs and serve!

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Thai steamed Fish


Healthy, easy and tasty are things that everyone wants their meal to be but lets face it getting all three of them together is rare. Don’t those curly fries or sausages look way better than what the salad bar has to offer? Believe me you’re not alone, I have been guilty of picking sausages, mash & fried chicken over all those healthy looking not-so-tasty things.

Eaten by my guilt decided to look for any dish that was healthy (not a drop of oil) and tasty and most importantly something that would be hot. Thai-style steamed fish is just the thing that meets all of the criteria and the best thing is it is easy and takes about 15 mins only. Which makes it something you could try making on a weekday!

Ingredients:
White fish fillets
Chopped ginger
Chopped garlic
Light soy sauce
Sea salt
Coarsely ground red chilly to sprinkle
Some spinach or bok choy

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In a foil put all of the ingredients and make a package out of it making sure there is some room for the steam to escape. Steam for 15 mins and enjoy this with rice or cous cous if you want to go healthier!

Mediterranean Grilled Chicken


I was tired of having the regular grilled chicken recipes with ginger, garlic and herbs. Was craving a new kind of grilled chicken which wasnt very unhealthy. Came across this recipe (thankfully!). Made use of dates syrup – something I havent ever used before. Was quite hesitant about it at the start but am glad I tried it! The Mediterranean grilled chicken was absolutely delightful and a refreshing change! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Ingredients:

  • 3 Chicken thighs on the bone
  • 1 red pepper
  • 6-7 baby potatoes (I added more because I love roasted baby potatoes)
  • 1 large onion – chopped into big squares with the layers separated
  • 8tbsp date syrup or pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tspn Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 Green chillies – with seeds just slit from the center
  • 1 lemon
  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • Handful of chopped coriander
  • 2tbspn coarsely ground garlic cloves
  • 2tbspn coarsely ground ginger
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 30gms Butter
  • Olive oil

Instructions couldn’t be more straightforward – just throw the ingredients together and marinate for an hour. The only complexity while marinating the chicken comes from the use of lemon. Use the juice of half a lemon and the zest from it for the marinade. While the other half just cut into large pieces and add to the marinating chicken. This would give off a great fragrant freshness from the lemon. Also, dont shun away from adding the molasses even if you arent paricularly fond of sweet grilled chicken because it perfectly balances the heat from the black pepper, cayenne pepper and the green chilles (with the seeds). So you will be just fine! 🙂

Before grilling

An hour later in a preheated oven grill at about 200 degs for roughly 40mins or depending on how big the chicken pieces are. Before putting the marinated chicken to grill add some butter to the chicken pieces for a nice crispy coating. Do ensure that before serving you remove the whole lemon pieces.(Sorry, dont have a picture of what it looked liked once it was done – my energies were directed towards downing it 😉 )

You can have a couple of quick and easy sides to go with this. One can be olives drizzled with dried oregano. Another can be a yoghurt based mint sauce with some finely chopped cucumbers. If you havent really thought of what this would go well with and haven’t got the time to do a full blown bread to go with this, you could do a quick tabouleh which is a healthy salad made from coarsely broken wheat with parsley and a bunch of other veggies thrown in.

French genes for sale?


Being the food lover that I am I have these food addiction phases. One of the recent ones was a french croissant addiction. Every bakery, supermarket, cafe I went to I would unhesitatingly buy them;  a lot of my googling around was for their recipe – in short I spent a great deal of time and effort towards eating/learning about them.
 

One fine weekend I thought I am willing to take on the challenge of investing almost half my weekend (takes 12hours at least) towards baking croissants. Took up the challenge but was to no avail – what came out were bread-ey buns! Ah well, they weren’t bad so downed them as breakfast everyday of the week thinking to myself that the next time I will get this right!

Dying to cleanse myself from the guilt of baking bread-ey buns I set out the next weekend to salvage my soul. Another 12hour long mission this time I backed myself with even more reading, watching videos. After I baked them, I knew I got a little closer but it was a disaster nevertheless! How do you get fluffy, light croissants? Mine were heavy, not crispy on the outside and fluffy on the side. I wonder how they do it. I have come to conclude that French genes are a must to the process – know any place where I can have some french genes injected?

Just in case you are in London and wondering where you would find the best croissants, let me help you and tell you to head straighht to Paul’s.

PS: Not giving up on this French mission. Shall nail it someday and then put up pics of my croissants.

Son-in-law Eggs


Quite a weird name for a lovely Thai dish – I made sure I read it twice over to ensure my eyes weren’t playing tricks with me but the dish is indeed called son-in-law eggs. Have no idea about the origin of the name but I do know its a popular Thai egg dish. To make things even better it is an easy egg dish!

Ingredients:

  1. Eggs
  2. 1 Large Onion – finely chopped
  3. Spring Onion – 1 stalk
  4. Tamarind – a generous pinch
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Sugar – 1tspn
  7. Fresh coriander – finely chopped
  8. 2 whole red chillies

 
To prepare the tamarind sauce :
1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 10mins.
2. Carefully extract the tamarind water into a pan. Ensure you do not allow the seeds and veins of the tamarind into the pan.
3. Add sugar and bring to a boil.
4. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce till the consistency seems right.

Directions for the main dish:
1. Boil the eggs – be careful so that the yolk doesnt harden. Normally boil for about 7mins on low flame
2. In a pan roast the whole red chillies till they are dark brown. Make sure you turn on the exhaust before doing that else you would end up having a coughing fit! Keep the roasted chillies aside.
3. In the same pan add some oil and saute the onions till golden brown.
4. Add salt and freshly cut coriander.
5. Add most of the reduced tamarind sauce to the onions and cook well till the sauce sticks onto the onions. Add the roasted red chillies to this mixture and mix.
6. In a pan take some oil to fry the boiled eggs. After shelling the eggs, to the pan add the egg and ensure that all sides of the egg are fried. This gives a nice texture to the egg – crisp on the outside to the firm albumin on the interior and the inner most gooey yolk. In the original dish – the eggs are deep fried but I used 2 table spoons of oil in a non-stick pan and rotated the egg to ensure all sides are crispy.
7. Time to plate up – Add the spring onions for the crunchiness to the dish and the remaining tamarind sauce on top of the egg.

Pineapple upside down cake


Never really baked before but want to give it a shot? Well, here is the simplest way to get the feel of it before progressing to the deep waters… This is what I first experimented before going and making a irish cream chocolate cake from scratch (The recipe for that can be found in a different post).

My idea of a warm up was to use some ready cake mixes but have my own little twist to it… That’s when I came up with the idea of a upside down pineapple cake. This one is really easy and yum. Can’t exactly call it a recipe because I used a cake mix here but I am sure to try making this one from scratch also.

Used a plain vanilla cake mix followed the instructions at the back. Added a little bit of the pineapple syrup to the cake mix so that it had both the mildness of vanilla and the freshness of pineapple. Before pouring the mixture into a tray, I added fresh pineapple pieces  to the bottom of the tray. The fresh pineapple added moistness to the cake. Once cooked, upturn the cake to get your lovely upside down pineapple cake! 🙂

Just a word of warning, this cake wouldn’t really last very long due to the fresh pineapples and the pineapple syrup so bake just what you know you can consume in a couple of days.

Again forgive me for the quality of the picture… But I dont think I will ever get nice pictures of food unless I cook when I am too full to eat or not enthusiastic enough to try (which never really happens 😉 ).

Irish Cream Chocolate Cake


One of my first experiments with cakes and turned out well. 🙂 I like the taste of Baileys which is an Irish liquer. Coupling that with chocolate was like a match made in heaven for me. Yet again forgive me for the poor photography, I was just to eager to try it (as always) that clicking a nice picture wasn’t really my priority so settled with a phone camera. Not to brag but it looked muchh better than what the photo says…

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
150gm Dark Chocolate
3large eggs or 4small eggs
100 gm butter
100ml milk
225gm caster sugar
225gm self raising flour
2tbsp cocoa powder
4-5tbspn baileys

Steps:

  1. Take the butter and chocolate and melt those on a low heat. Try not using the microwave or the low flame as there is a good possibility of burning the butter. The best way to achieve this would be to melt these over steam (A steam bath or a double boiler would be of help).
  2. Once these are melted add the milk while stirring continuously
  3. Cream the eggs and caster sugar mix until creamy. This is best done with an electric whisk for 8-10mins. If you do not have an electric whisk, I would suggest you prepare the creamy mixture before step 1 and 2 as it would take a great deal of time.
  4. Once the creamy mixture is ready, add the melted butter-chocolate-milk mix prepared in step 1 and 2 while continuously stirring.
  5. Once it is thoroughly mixed, add the cocoa powder, all purpose flour after sieving. Remember not to be harsh while adding these and mixing. Gently fold these in. In the end add the baileys and fold again.
  6. Grease the trays with butter and sprinkle some all purpose flour before pouring the mixture above.
  7. Place the trays to an oven preheated to 180degrees/350F and cook for 20mins. If the mixture was a little less viscous than expected, the mixture would take longer to cook. Do the knife test before taking the cake out.


For the frosting
50gm butter
175gm icing sugar
2tbspn cocoa powder
3tbspn baileys
100gm Cream cheese (Philadelphia cheese)

Mix all the above ingredients thoroughly ensuring there are no lumps and spread over the cake once cooled… Then coming to my favourite part of each recipe…. Cut the slices and bite into the gooyness of chocolate and baileys…. Feel the BLISS! 🙂 (Forget the calories! 😉 )

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