Coconut peanut noodles


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Coconut peanut noodles in a soup or rather soupy peanut noodles to be more precise. But what’s in a name, any noodle in this broth would taste as fabulous, which is the gorgeous alchemy of cooking. It’s really about how different ingredients marry each other to form something so deliciously splendid that you’re left licking the contents of the bowl to the last ceramic whiff.

There are Thai tones to this dish, what with the astringent uplifting bouquet of lemongrass that harmonizes ever so perfectly with the moody mellowness of coconut milk and peanut butter, it is strictly speaking not exactly Thai as globally Asian. It tends to borrow and makes something of its own and that’s really the beauty of home cooking.

DSC_0043 copy

What’s really great about this noodle bowl is that it came into existence simply out of necessity to get rid of forgotten bits of vegetables and shrimps languishing about in the vegetable drawer and freezer. There are mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, spring onions, lemongrass, garlic, coconut milk, peanut butter, shrimps, dried red chillies (also the name of this blog), soy sauce and water. Phew. And really, you could omit or add anything to your liking. If I happened to have some other vegetables this lineup would look a bit different.

 

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also some noodles. Use whatever noodles you fancy. I’m using some sweet potato starch noodles.

 

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We begin rather ceremoniously with a bit of vegetable chopping.

 

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followed by lemongrass smashing, and this step is important because it starts releasing all the flavours that stay compacted in this stem of wonders.

 

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saute sliced green onions (mostly the white part) and garlic in oil.

 

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throw in the chillies

 

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once a wall of fragrance hits your face, throw in chopped mushrooms and keep sauteing

 

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and a bit of salt

 

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in the meanwhile start cooking your noodles in boiling water.

 

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throw in the smashed lemongrass and cook for about a minute

 

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after which we pour in some water. Let it come to a gentle simmer

 

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and add coconut milk.

 

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let the flavours mingle and come to a simmer

 

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add in peanut butter

 

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and soy sauce

 

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stir everything together and we are greeted with this gorgeous fawn coloured broth that smells of heaven. Cover and let it come to a bubble

 

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Like so

 

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Finally, add shrimps

 

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and vegetables. Cover and cook until it comes to a boil.

 

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Finally, turn off the heat and fish out whatever remains of lemongrass. It has done its job. By now your kitchen is exploding into aromatic pops.

 

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Place cooked noodles in a bowl and pour over the peanut coconut soup

 

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garnish with spring onion greens or coriander.

 

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and serve hot!


Ingredients

Noodles of your choice: 1 packet or 1 nest

Chopped vegetables: 60g (1 cup)

Assorted mushrooms: 150g (2 cups)

Shrimps (optional): 70g (1/2 cup)

Coconut milk: 200mls (3/4 cup)

Water: 200mls (3/4 cup)

Peanut butter : 2 heaped tbsps (1/4 cup)

Garlic: 2 cloves

Spring onions: 2-3

Dried red chillies (optional): 2-3

lemon grass: 1 stalk

soy sauce: 4 tbsps

Oil: 1 tbsp



Recipe instructions:

cook noodles and reserve cooked noodles into a bowl.

Chop vegetables, green onions and garlic into bite sized pieces.

Smash the lemongrass stalk to release its oils.

Heat oil in a wok and add white part of green onions and garlic and saute until fragrant. Add dried red chillies and saute for a few more seconds and add in the mushrooms, lemongrass and cook for a minute. Add in salt and water and let it come to a light simmer.

Add coconut milk and let it come to a slight simmer again, after which add in peanut butter and soya sauce. Stir to combine and make sure peanut butter doesn’t settle in a lump. Cover and let it bubble, finally adding in the shrimps and chopped vegetables. Cover  and let bubble again.

Once it’s come to a boil, turn off the gas and fish out lemongrass stalk.

Pour peanut coconut broth over cooked noodles. Garnish with greens of spring onion or coriander and  serve hot.

Venetian carrot cake


 

DSC_1379In case anyone was wondering about my exile and the painfully invisible void I’d left in the world of food blogs, then let me tell you, it was only temporary..and though I might not be back with a bang, I am back with a gluten free (gasp) venetian carrot cake, the credit for which as much as I’d like to take isn’t mine to take at all but Nigella Lawson’s, and it’s her recipe I’ve adapted to make this unbelievable sphere (albeit sort of flat) of damp richness.

This is a carrot cake and it’s unapologetically..umm carroty? and absolutely gluten free, which is to say it does not require any flour, and as hipster as it sounds, we can take some solace in that it’s not vegan..though I promise nothing. On days of rage, I’ve been known to torture myself with vegan food stuff. But that’s another story for another torture chamber, because right now let’s marvel in the blistering warmth of this buff coloured cake, which sings to your soul and pleases your senses with such luxurious notes, that you’re left wondering whether you should eat this cake or marry it.

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So without further ado, we’ve the ingredients. Sugar, olive oil, vanilla extract, beaten eggs, almond meal, shredded carrots, pine nuts, lemon, lemon zest, raisins and rum (not pictured)

Just because a cake’s got almond meal which sometimes you don’t readily get at your grocery store, does not mean you put off baking this amber coloured love disc. You’ve only to blitz almonds to get almond meal you know. It’s rocket science, but you can get around to it.

DSC_1331before we get started, put the raisins in with the rum and bring to a boil and let simmer gently for 3 minutes, after which turn off your heat and let the raisins plump up and cool.

 

DSC_1333 into a bowl of choice, add olive oil and sugar

 

DSC_1335and beat it for at least a couple of minutes. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable activity, I assure you.

 

DSC_1336beat until you’ve incorporated the sugar with the oil

 

DSC_1341mix in the eggs

 

DSC_1339followed closely by vanilla extract

 

DSC_1347and the zest

 

DSC_1348and lemon juice

 

DSC_1343mix well, until you’ve a summery ripple of golden ooze that speaks radiance in shiny ribbons.

 

DSC_1344tip in the now cooled swollen raisins along with any rum that’s it’s been standing in.

 

DSC_1349finally the almond meal

 

DSC_1350and the grated carrots

 

DSC_1354mix well, until everything’s incorporated and there’re no dry pockets.

 

DSC_1356scrape the mixture into a prepared cake tin. This is a springform pan

DSC_1330prepared simply means you’ve oiled the sides and the bottom and stuck a wax/butter/parchment paper on the base and oiled it as well.

DSC_1357now, with the careless abandon of abundance, strew the top with pine nuts

 

DSC_1358liberally or not..entirely up to you and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean. As long as it’s sticky and not runny, you’re good.

 

DSC_1360once done, let it cool before you devour..always a good practice.

 

DSC_1383and behold! the answer to dreary winter months, the saviour of one too many dinnerless nights..or just a sponge to wipe your tears, while you wallow in the dull ache of loneliness in your bed. A cake of such splendour and sumptuous depths that you’d kick yourself for sharing it. It’ll light you up on the inside, and how can it not?

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Ingredients

 

  • carrots-2 medium  (about 200g)

  • pine nuts -3 tbsp
  • raisins-75g (1/2 cup)

  • rum- 60ml

  • sugar- 150g (3/4cup)

  • olive oil (regular)- 125ml (1/2 cup)

  • eggs-3
  • vanilla extract- 1 tsp

  • almond meal- 250g (2.5 cup)

  • lemon- 1/2 (zest and juice)

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Preparation

In a saucepan bring to a boil the rum and raisins and let simmer gently. Turn off the heat and let them stand and cool.  Grate the carrots and absorb any excess liquid with a kitchen towel.

Into a bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until well mixed. add in the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest and juice and the now cooled rum and raisins, and mix well. Finally fold in the almond meal and grated carrots.

Scrape into a prepared cake tin, and cover the top with pine nuts. Bake 180°C for 40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean. As long as it’s sticky and not runny, you’re good. Let it rest for at lest ten minutes before removing it from its cake pan. Let it cool completely and enjoy

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Chinese pancake sandwich (hangover cure & stoner’s grub)


DSC_1059These are by no means an innovation that ever appeared in gastronomic heaven, but in fact a hearty street food staple very commonly found in China. There are many a variations to it, but I’m sharing the one I find in my locality.

Before I begin let me just tell you how incredibly fantastic these street food pancakes are; sold mostly out of a small shop or mobile stall, and usually eaten after a drink too many or breakfast and even as a not so light snack.. they’re crispy, fried on a hot pan without skimping on the oil and meat. The pancakes are flaky, almost like a puff pastry sheet, slathered with a thin coating of viciously hot sweetness, a layer of egg, meat of choices, bundled up and wrapped in a packet. Every bite is a steamy, meaty, spicy morsel wrapped in flaky pancake heaven. Every bite a revelation! I usually buy these sometime around tea time from a very kind lady near my house. She has a stall decked with small jars of condiments and spices, and an array of meat. The most popular combinations are eggs+bacon+spam with a generous brush of her homemade spicy sauce.

I’ve tried to recreate something similar here which is gratifyingly delicious and stunningly delectable but absolutely no match to what she whips out of her 5 feet x 3 feet stall.

So here it is.

DSC_1015the ingredients are straight and simple. Just frozen Chinese pancakes which are easily available in any supermarket, lettuce leaves, eggs, fried bacon and ham (instead of spam) and sriracha.

I’ve cut ham into thick coins and very slightly charred them on a hot pan to recreate those smoky flavours that emanate from the street stall’s seasoned skillets.

DSC_1017these are what the pancakes look like. They come frozen and neatly wrapped in wax paper on both sides. These pancakes are smaller than the street food stall ones, but work just as well.

DSC_1020I slightly charred the lettuce as well on a very hot pan for that burnt crisp texture. This step is entirely optional.

DSC_1022ok, so in a pan on medium heat add some oil. This is about a teaspoon and let it coat the pan.

DSC_1024once the oil is evenly heated, slap on your pancake and let it be. The trick is knowing that you can not and will not flip it until the underside is done, or else you will break, tear and ruin your pancake.

DSC_1025this is how you figure out if it’s done. It’ll start turning translucent as it cooks. So the sides are cooked but the middle isn’t. Give it another few minutes

DSC_1026there you go. It’s ready for a flip

DSC_1027see.. so nice and golden and cooked.. now while the other side is cooking

DSC_1042crack en egg

DSC_1043mutilate it with a fork to let it evenly spread

DSC_1044and flip! for maybe half a minute until the egg is cooked

DSC_1045flip it back to let the egg face you

DSC_1029add sriracha or your favourite hot sauce, and paint it all over the egg

DSC_1030now we have to start layering. start with lettuce

DSC_1031followed by bacon

DSC_1050followed by ham

DSC_1033followed by folding over, to form a sort of pancake sandwich, which is also weirdly the name of this blog post.

DSC_1034and just like that you have a hearty meal to satisfy your inner glutton. Perfect for curing hangovers and stoner hunger pangs.

Ingredients

Frozen Chinese pancakes: 2

eggs: 2

bacon: 4-5 strips

ham: 4-5 slices

sriracha: 2 tablespoons

oil: 2-3 teaspoons

(of course there’s no particular recipe, you can make as many for a lot of people or just a couple for solitary indulgence. Change the ingredients to make a Chinese pancake BLT or even a vegetarian version)

Cooking directions: On medium high heat, coat the surface of a pan with some oil. Once hot, lay the pancake gently so as not to tear and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Once its surface is translucent flip over and crack and egg on the cooked side. Break the yolk with a fork to coat the pancake and flip over to the let the egg cook for at least half a minute.

Flip again to spread some hot sauce over the now cooked egg and start layering with lettuce, bacon and ham on one side of the pancake. Fold over the other end to form a sort of half moon.

The sandwich is now ready to be devoured. These are easy to make and quick to eat. You can make plenty for a crowd or just a couple for lunch.

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Enjoy!

 

 

Tuna melts


DSC_0979For days when you are absolutely miserable and voraciously hungry, tuna melts is the answer! This happened to be a particularly divine answer this Sunday, as I was completely out of meal ideas and was dying to eat something decadent and indulgent. It’s quick, not fiddley and the portions are considerably large, which means you can eat the leftovers for dinner and not even complain.

This version is slightly different from most since I didn’t want to include mayonnaise. What can I say? I wasn’t in a very mayonnaise frame of mind. Also because I had bought a different can of tuna that happened to be chili tuna, and I was dying to try it out, but more of that later.

for now..

DSC_093m0not very basic tuna melts fare, but I wanted to mix up things a bit. so cream cheese, garlic powder, cheddar cheese, boiled egg, onion, coriander, tuna and french bread.

DSC_0933begin by chopping the onions and coriander as fine as you can. I know coriander isn’t a very common ingredient in tuna melts, but these are not common tuna melts/ Just believe me ok?

DSC_0934fling into a large bowl. I have a thing for using small-sized bowls and regretting later, but not this time!

DSC_0935this is the tuna in question. This is new for me, if you’re used to this stuff then good. I figured it has chilli, but what I didn’t know was…

DSC_0936that it really had chili. They were not joking about their chili. Can you see these two red chillies. My soul jumped out for a second, but I regained my composure. I will eat tun melts, even if it kills me.

DSC_0938in with the devil red tuna.

DSC_0940chop the boiled eggs as well as you can. I was still reeling from the chillies I saw in the tuna can.

DSC_0941ah! these gorgeous colours. I knew it instantly this would be something of an ecstatic albeit searingly hot sandwich.

DSC_0942a pinch of pepper, because I had decided this to have pepper, so here it is.

DSC_0943garlic powder. yes you need it. Don’t sneer

DSC_0944in with the cream cheese. Trust me!

DSC_0945and some grated cheddar. I know by now you’re doubting my pure intentions, but please don’t. You’ll see in a minute. Mix well.

DSC_0948Time to build up. Lay you bread lovingly in front of you.

DSC_0950anoint it rather generously with the tuna mixture, or rather slather it barbarously.

DSC_0952as if it wasn’t enough already. sprinkle on some more cheddar

DSC_0954put on a tray to bake. as you can see I have two and there was no leftover tuna mixture. I used up by generously heaping them on the bread. and why not? bake at 190℃ for 15 minutes, or until the top melts and starts almost bubbling and the bottoms turns slightly crusty.

DSC_0955feast yer eyes. Look at these babies. I had no words nor expressions. I was spellbound. This is what gluttonous heaven for chili lovers is made of. This is what starving dreams of degenerate souls look like.  This right here is the answer to every question you might have.

DSC_0966this is a slab of everything evil and look how it melts and oozes from the side. It tasted luscious and dreamily melty. It might have been all the cream cheese, but ooh, was it  immoral. It was spicy, yes it was! but addictively so.You want to eat this. Everyday!

Ingredients ( this isn’t something you can measure, it’s more of a go with the flow and really up to your liking, but I’ll give somewhat accurate amounts as I figured)

tuna can: 1

Bread: half loaf of french bread split into two (you can even use sandwich bread)

onion: medium-sized or half of a large one (chopped fine)

coriander: 2 tablespoon (chopped fine)

egg: 1 large hard-boiled (roughly chopped)

cream cheese: 180g ( a bit less than 1/2 cup)

cheddar cheese: 4-5 tablespoons + more for sprinkling on top (optional)

garlic powder: 1 teaspoon

pepper: 1/4 teaspoon

Preparation instructions:  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Spread generously on bread. Top with some more cheese, and bake at 190℃ for 15 minutes until the cheese had melted and the bottom is slightly crusty.

Alternately you can also sandwich this filling to make a grilled cheese sandwich. It works beautifully both ways.

There really isn’t much to it, but the addition of coriander just ups the flavour ever so well and the cream cheese makes it wickedly melty.

 

DSC_0970Enjoy!!

 

 

Love letters.


DSC_0923How could you ever go wrong eating something so melodiously lyrical and so dramatically picturesque? These bountiful babies are rather romantically called love letters, and why not! Gracefully golden and poetically charged as they are, these fattened cigars are also tastefully sublime.

These happen to be a very popular Keralan tea time snack, of which rather embarrassingly though, I got to know of very recently through a dear friend I met on twitter called Febin Mathew, who also happens to be a fantastic writer and runs a wonderfully whimsical blog called (epicfaildotcom.wordpress.com) or you can check out his writings here

Love letters, as gorgeous as they sound are really just thin crepes that are filled in with coconuts and sugar.

DSC_0879m copythe ingredients are simple enough. Sugar, desiccated coconut. flour, egg and cardamom pods.

DSC_0881this recipe requires cardamom powder and its a good practice to make some from scratch rather than buying the dried up bottled stuff. All you really need is a mortar and pestle.

DSC_0882to make a somewhat fine powder.

DSC_0883into a bowl, dump in your flour

DSC_0884crack in the egg and get mixing.

DSC_0885somewhere here I realized I should have used a bigger bowl, but a bit of mess never hurt anyone. we need a thin batter and an egg alone won’t thin it.

DSC_0886add in water, a little at a time to make a thin consistency. I ended up adding about 100mls of water, that is about 6-7 tablespoons

DSC_0889this is the consistency we are looking for. It should be thin and pourable, with no visible lumps.

DSC_0894add in about 3/4ths of the cardamom powder. Mix well and keep aside.

DSC_0895now this step is entirely optional and not a part of the authentic recipe, but I like to do it. Take a good heaping tablepsoon of vanilla sugar.

DSC_0896and half the sugar of this recipe and put it in a pot over slow flame.

DSC_0899until it very lightly caramelizes and just starts turning golden.

DSC_0900at which point we add in the remaining cardamom powder.

DSC_0901and all the desiccated coconut

DSC_0902turn off the flame and stir it all in. Put this mixture in a grinder and grind it for a couple of seconds.

DSC_0905and you’ll get this. It’ll have faint whiffs of caramel, vanilla and cardamom.

DSC_0906mix in the remaining sugar and reserve for stuffing.

DSC_0907put your pan on a low medium flame and add a dollop of butter/ghee. I’ve added ghee as per the recipe.

DSC_0908tilt it well to coat evenly.

DSC_0909take a ladle full of your batter.

DSC_0910gently on to the pan

DSC_0911spread as thinly as possible.

DSC_0912it will start cooking the moment it touches the surface

DSC_0913flip to cook the other side.

DSC_0916filling these crepes is fairly simple.

DSC_0917put a good heaping mound in the middle

DSC_0918fold over from the top and from the sides, like so

DSC_0919and like so.

DSC_0920and finally fold over to make neat little packages.

DSC_0922arrange on platter of choice.

DSC_0924sprinkle on some castor sugar and sigh a little, because this might be your only chance at receiving any love letters, and devour them with milk, coffee, tea or just plain.

DSC_0929this is what the insides look like.

Ingredients

all purpose flour : 100g or 3/4 cup

cardamom powder: 2 teaspoons

sugar: 80g or 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

desiccated coconut: 100g

water: 100mls about 1/2 cup

butter/ghee: 1 tablespoon

Preparation instructions:  make a thin batter from flour, egg and milk. Add in 3/4ths the cardamom powder and reserve.

In a saucepan, lightly caramelize the vanilla sugar and half of the sugar from the recipe. Just as it starts melting and turns light golden, turn off the flame and in remaining cardamom powder, and the desiccated coconut and mix. Grind this mixture and reserve.

In a non stick pan, melt the butter/ghee over a low medium flame and pour a ladle full of the prepared batter. Spread evenly to form a thin crepe and flip to cook the other side.

For filling, lay out the crepe and put a heaping mound in the middle. Fold over 1/4 of the top, then fold from both sides to pack and finally fold over from the top again to make a roll.

Sprinkle with castor sugar and serve warm.

DSC_0923enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Chocolate chip cookie bars


DSC_0878So here it is, the most luscious enemy you’d want to feast on. Chocolate chip cookie turned into bars; so now not only do you get to eat a cookie, you get to eat it in a crispy thick slab of voluptuous bar. It’s rich, moist and crunchy, loaded with chocolate.. in all it’s an orgy of scrumptious exquisiteness. You might die eating it, but oh! what a happy death will it be. I do not recommend making a lot of these, because sweet and rich as they are, they’re also too easy to eat, and while your mouth might say no, your soul will want it all. I promise!

What’s more, it’s tinted ever so lightly with salted peanuts, and this sinful pairing of sweet and salt will definitely bring all the boys to the yard. So let’s get cracking!

DSC_0828nbasic chocolate chip cookie ingredients: butter, flour, vanilla, chocolate chips, salted peanuts, egg, salt ,baking soda,light brown sugar, regular white sugar.

DSC_0830no heavy machinery needed. A friendly steel bowl and wooden spoon will do the trick.

DSC_0831cream the butter for about a minute. it’d help a lot if your butter is at room temperature.

DSC_0832in with the sugars..the white

DSC_0833and the brown.

DSC_0834beat it again till it takes on a fluffy appearance or looks something likes this. You needn’t worry about going wrong. it’s a forgiving recipe.

DSC_0835pour in the vanilla.

DSC_0836crack in the egg

DSC_0837and beat again.

DSC_0838dump in the dry ingredients. This is flour, salt and baking soda.

DSC_0839mix it all in till it just comes together.

DSC_0840finally the salted peanuts

DSC_0841….and the chocolate chunks.

DSC_0842mix until well combined and keep aside for a minute.

DSC_0844prepare your cake tin. I lined it with aluminium foil and buttered it generously.

DSC_0846pour it in, or rather gloop it in and level the top using back of a spoon and bake at 180°C for 35 minutes, or until the top is crisp and burnished and cracking brown.

DSC_0851like so! beautifully brown and crunchy looking. Let it rest and cool completely.

DSC_0859cut into bars and apply to face.

Ingredients:

flour: 130 g (1 cup)

salt: 1/2 teaspoon

baking soda: 3/4 teaspoon

butter: 110 g

white granulated sugar: 100 g (1/2 cup)

light brown sugar: 70 g (1/3 cup)

vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon

egg: 1 large

bittersweet chocolate: 60 g

dark chocolate : 60 g (or use any combination you want)

salted peanuts: 20 g (3 tablespoons)

Preparation instructions: cream room temperature butter until light and airy. add in the sugars and beat again until fluffy. add the vanilla extract and egg and beat again for about a minute.

Add in the dry ingredients except chocolates and peanuts and mix well together. Finally ad in the peanuts and chocolates and mix until just combined.

Prepare a cake tin of choice preferably square and line with a buttered aluminium foil. scoop in the cookie dough and even out the top to make it flat. Bake at  180°C for 35 minutes or until the top looks crisp and the batter has risen a bit.

Let cool completely before slicing into bars.

This recipe is not only easy to put together but also all too easy to devour as I already mentioned. So instead of making some mere cookies, glitz it a bit and turn into bars.

DSC_0865enjoy!!

Breakfast quesadilla


feat picThese beautiful mounded beauties that you feast your eyes on, are my put together in a jiffy breakfast quesadillas. There’s a certain delicious hum to the word ‘Quesadilla’, like uttering an exotic mantra for a cheesy sandwich. Well, that’s what it really is..it’s cheese in a tortilla and while I confess these are not completely authentic or remotely Mexican, I assure you that these are delightfully tasty to eat and offensively easy to put together. This is the kind of dish that requires minimum efforts with maximum rewards.

This dish belongs to the ‘lazy day special archives’. It happened simply becauseI was in no mood for chopping, cutting, baking, cooking or even lingering around the stove. I just wanted to settle with a bag of chips when I saw some leftovers, cheese, and ham in the fridge and it was nothing short of a divine revelation when I decided to myself that this is SPARTAAA!! no not really though! I just decided that I’d make meself some quesadilla. This is how it began..

DSC_0678pwholewheat tortilla, pepper, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, ham, leftover sauteed mushrooms and some leftover chopped onions and dijon mustard.

Before I begin, let me tell you that you can substitute these ingredients with whatever you fancy, or whatever leftovers you have in the fridge. Fried eggs, baked potatoes, leftover chicken, crispy bacon are all good. Anything that suits your mood or your appetite can be turned into this quesadilla. Just raid your fridge and go nuts.

DSC_0679a good heap of dijon mustard, for what would be life without this goodness?

DSC_0680spread it liberally. I might have gone overboard but you know how you like it.

DSC_0681Mozarella

DSC_0682leftover sauteed mushrooms and onions and a sprinkling of pepper.

DSC_0683cover with some more cheese, in this case parmesan.

DSC_0686fold over the plain side on the fillings to form a half moon.

DSC_0687on a hot dry pan (you don’t need any oil) let it cook for a couple of minutes and flip once it’s browned a bit.

DSC_0689In the meantime lets build another quesadilla..Again with some cheese

DSC_0691hap hazard placement of ham

DSC_0692leftovers of leftovers

DSC_0693finally some cheese, form into half moon and on a hot pan.

DSC_0694let brown on both sides and this is pretty much done.

DSC_0703I like to slice them into three wedges

DSC_0704like so

DSC_0696to form something like this

DSC_0698oooh this melting hot cheese. This is sandwich heaven right here.

DSC_0697this cheese!! can you see all the melting richness?

DSC_0695these are so unbelievably gorgeous. It’s the breakfast to end all breakfasts. The quesadillas of oomph!! This took me about 10 minutes to make. Couched with a flask of hot tea, this breakfast made in moments was also one of the most satisfying ever.

Ingredients: this doesn’t have any set of ingredients or measures, since it’s something you just put together according to your own tastes and what you have available in the fridge..however,

Tortilla : 2 wholewheat (or use any you have handy)

pepper: 1 teaspoon

Mozarella: 50 g (3-4 tablespoons)

parmesan: 30g(2 tablespoon)

ham: 2 slices

sauteed mushrooms: 50 g (3-4 tablespoons)

chopped onions: 2 tablespoons

dijon mustard: 1 tablespoon

How to: Lay out the tortilla and spread some mustard. On one side layer the cheese, the vegetables, sprinkle some pepper and add some more cheese. Fold to form half moon and transfer on a hot pan to brown and melt the cheese. Cut into 3 wedges and serve.

Repeat the same steps and add ham either cut into thinner strips or just as whole slices. If you wish you can add the remaining vegetables and transfer on a hot pan to let cheese melt and tortillas brown and crisp.

This is just an interesting idea to prepare a feast like breakfast without any effort. Of course by all means, eat it any time of the day and it’d still taste as delicious.

DSC_0705Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange torte (gluten free)


DSC_0660I was dying to make something citrusy, something with a bright yellow colour, something that would remind me of sunshine and fill the house with summer smells of freshness.

I love desserts that have a citrus note to them and this torte was no exception. This sunny disc of luscious flavours is a gluten-free torte which I adapted from Stephanie Jaworski of joyofbaking.com . she has such a wonderful collection of fabulous recipes and it’s all explained in such perfect details that it’d be impossible to go wrong, and this torte was no exception. I came across her clemetine torte and knew that I had to make it.

I just want to emphasize on the luxuriousness of this cake and that it’s one of the best things to come out of my kitchen. It’s pure tasteporn..I mean it.

DSC_0622cSince this is an orange torte you need oranges, almond flour, salt, baking powder, vanilla extract (I used a vanilla bean), sugar and eggs.

Before I start, I’d like to mention that these oranges need a good boiling because you want these golden beauties soft, soft, soft. I boiled these oranges a day in advance, and boiled them for about 1 hour until they were soft. Let them cool and store in fridge to use next day.

Also a word on almond flour/meal- please don’t get put off or think ‘meh this needs almond meal, who’s got that’? well I didn’t. I simply made it at home by blitzing almonds in a grinder until it resembled flour. It took me about 2 minutes. You can do it and you should, because this cake is extraordinarily delicious and moist and dense and orangey and you’d probably go to hell if you didn’t try this recipe.

ok moving on..

DSC_0623take a clean blender or food processor

DSC_0624throw in your oranges

DSC_0625crack in the eggs in the most clumsy fashion

DSC_0626add in the vanilla (I’m using a vanilla bean, but please use good vanilla extract if you want, I just happen to have a truckloads of these beans)

DSC_0627Once it’s all in

DSC_0628blitz to mix. It will turn into a golden pond of citrus love in a matter of seconds.

DSC_0629admire your handiwork and realize it resembles a milkshake and that you’re lactose intolerant..shed a few tears and get back to work.

DSC_0630in a separate large clean bowl.

DSC_0631dump in your almond flour/meal (whatever you call it)

DSC_0632add the sugar

DSC_0634in with the baking powder

DSC_0635don’t forget the salt

DSC_0638it’s all heaped in. good!

DSC_0639mix using a wire whisk. It’s just easier

DSC_0640mix well like so. I put a spoonful in my mouth and it tasted great already.

DSC_0641Now tip in your orange+egg+vanilla mixture

DSC_0643mix until it all comes together. Don’t be too vigorous.

DSC_0644let that rest a bit and prep the pan. Take a springfoam pan and using its base as guide, cut out a round piece of parchment paper. It’s not geometry, you needn’t be precise. (Again, don’t be put off by this step. It takes a mere minute and it’s important for the cake)

DSC_0645take a bit of melted butter and spread on the base of the tin.

DSC_0646like so.

DSC_0647this enables the parchment to stick better. Flatten it out well so that there are no air bubbles.

DSC_0649Brush the sides as well. I took an extra precaution and lined the base with aluminum foil to prevent any leakages. I have trust issues with this pan, and in return it doesn’t love me back.

DSC_0650Tip in your batter. Tap it a bit and bake @ 190℃

DSC_0652take it out after and hour. Check with toothpick in case it comes out clean and LET IT COOL COMPLETELY! I’m sorry for yelling but this how I yelled at the man who kept trying to eat it.

DSC_0660once completely cooled, very carefully and gently remove the base pan and peel off the parchment paper. Just be a little cautious. It’s a wonderfully moist cake so don’t be too heavy-handed with it.

DSC_0674cut yourself a piece and fall in love.

Note: this cake tastes best after a couple of days of making, and for best results you have to let it be undisturbed overnight.

Ingredients

Oranges : 450g (boiled until soft, best to do a day in advance)

Eggs: 6

vanilla extract : 1 teaspoon or vanilla bean.

Almond flour/meal : 250 g (if you can’t buy it, then grind the same wight of almonds until it resembles flour)

Sugar: 230 g

baking powder: 1 teaspoon

salt: a small pinch

How to: In a blender or food processor, blend in the oranges, eggs and vanilla.

In a separate large bowl mix in the almond flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Pour in the batter and mix well.

Line your springfoam tin with parchment paper after greasing the base and sides. To prevent leakages line the outside base with aluminium foil.

Pour in the batter and bake at 190℃ for 45-60 minutes. Check with toothpick to see if it’s baked. Mine took one whole hour.

Note: Around the 40 minute mark I covered the top with aluminum foil as it was getting a little brown.

DSC_0672Here’s another delicious picture. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Stoners grub: Sausage, mushroom & cheese sandwich


DSC_0935When thoughts are dull, days are cold and pleasures scarce, it’s always the food we turn to for comfort. There are days when even the idea of having something virtuous like smoothies, salads and fruits makes you want to launch a crusade against health food, you turn to sustenance. Hearty, innocent, full-bodied food that’d make you tuck in like a tapeworm, food that’d make you cry with joyous tears.

This sandwich is the stuff that voluptuous dreams are made of. It’s the kind of food you’d want to have after a night of crazy drinking or a joint too many. For days when you want to carelessly binge, for moments when you want to feel fueled and for times when you have the munchies for planet portions of feel good food, this sandwich is a life saver.. and it’s easy enough to throw in a matter of moments.

DSC_08922This is a pretty versatile affair. You can stuff it with whatever you want, but I did mine like so… butter, cheese (emmental & cheddar), cured sausage, onion, mushrooms & bread.

Now before I start this, I’d like to mention that  this is just my version. You can make this anyhow you want, using whatever cheese, whatever meat, whatever mushrooms, in fact whatever whatever. Just make sure its got plenty of meat and cheese and butter.

DSC_0893I started with the sausages and sliced them like so.

DSC_0894into a hot pan for a few seconds just to let them warm through. These are cured so they don’t really need any cooking. That makes this recipe so much easier.

DSC_0895Now very carefully because this step call for being an incompetent chopper, chop your mushrooms. Be very casual about it, because it’s not a gourmet sandwich meant for a Michelin table.

DSC_0897In a pan or skillet, heat a tablespoon of butter along with some oil.

DSC_0898add  in the mushrooms because we want to cook them and turn them brown and get rid of their water. We don’t want a soggy sammy!

DSC_0899while that’s cooking away, in a similar incompetent fashion chop the onion. Make sure there’s nothing pretty about it.

DSC_0900check your mushrooms. add some crushed black pepper (entirely optional) but oh so good!

DSC_0902

DSC_0907while the mushrooms are cooking up, grate your cheeses. In hindsight I realized I should have used a box grater because it took me forever to grate this but it doesn’t matter, the important thing is grated cheese.

DSC_0903checking the mushrooms they looked good and almost done.

DSC_0905add in the onion and just stir it in the mushrooms. We don’t really want to cook the onions just slightly soften them. This step is done.

DSC_0909This step is essentially building up your sandwich. I have here some hearty brown bread ( I don’t know why though), but use any bread you prefer.

DSC_0910Layer on the cheese

DSC_0911Pat it down so that it doesn’t bulge up and form a hump. then layer with your mushroom onion mixture.

DSC_0912like so.. and sort of flatten it a bit to prevent a dome formation.

DSC_0915layer your sausages and while layering I realized that the sausages were a lot more than the rest of the ingredients but you shouldn’t let trivial things like these matter, so build away. Finally top it with the remaining cheese.

DSC_0916Gently place the other half of your bread on top if this structure. Press down a bit, but honestly if you stuff your sandwich to this point some meat or cheese is bound to ooze out in the most gratifying way.

DSC_0917If you have softened room temperature butter then please violently slather it on your bread, I however had very cold butter which I simply dotted all over the top.

DSC_0919Melt a generous amount of butter in a pan

DSC_0920place your bread on it and move it around a bit to let it absorb all the butter. Once you feel it’s done from the bottom, carefully flip it and cook the top side. There might be some spillage in the process but i don’t think it matters.

DSC_0938There you have it, a meal fit for the gods of carnal pleasure. Get your munchies on, get rid of your hangover, binge eat and give up yourself to some sin. This is seriously good. Eat these with some delightful baked potato fries

Ingredients

  • cured sausage or meat of your choice diced into small pieces (crisped bacon, yesterdays chicken, can of tuna, anything you love) – 100-150g (mine was 1/2 cup)
  • sandwich bread slices
  • Emmental and cheddar cheese (or any cheese you love and have readily available) – 1/2 cup
  • mushrooms – 5-6 medium size
  • onion -1/2 of a big one or 1 small
  • butter – 4 tablespoons or more
  • salt & pepper to taste

Recipe: dice the sausages into pieces and let them warm through on a hot skillet. Keep aside.

Melt one tablespoon of butter with some oil and add in the chopped mushrooms till they are cooked and their water has evaporated. Add in the chopped onions and pepper and salt and cook for another minute. You don’t have to cook the onions completely.

For the assembly, start with layering the cheese, followed by the mushroom onion mixture and then the sausages. Press down a bit after every layer to prevent the formation of any bulges.

Heat some butter in a skillet and place your sandwich on it and move around to help it absorb all the butter. Also butter the top part of your sandwich and once the bottom is nicely browned flip it over carefully.

If there is any spillage, you can always push them back into your sandwich.

Make this!!!

DSC_0937Enjoy.

 

 

Baked potato fries


DSC_0929

Potatoes!! Is there anything as comforting, as loving, as selfless, as versatile, as sexy, as sensuous as potatoes?? No, the answer is no!! Potatoes love you back they understand your feelings, they believe in giving and they care.

Sadly with modern times now, these beautiful spuds of love have been maligned as fattening food.. gasp! people are told to steer clear of them if they want to lose weight.. I say, what rot?? It’s not true. Potatoes aren’t bad for you, you’re bad for potatoes. Who thought of loading them with MSG and packing them into airy bags? you did! who thought of over salting them to the point of oblivion?? you did!! So please do not blame these humble vegetables for making you fat. Blame yourselves. Fried food WILL fatten you, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that, but when you bake these beauteous vegetables with the right amount of love, they love you back.

Case in point are these baked fries. They require no effort but give you all the love you need these winter months. Not only do they satisfy your spud cravings but they also don’t make you feel bad about it.

So for those moments of anguish when only a potato will do, bake these fries and get caught in the rapturous greed of smug satisfaction.

DSC_08521Just potatoes, garlic, olive oil (any oil really), mixed italian seasoning, paprika and sea salt.

DSC_0854before you start, line your baking sheet with foil.

DSC_0855wash and peel your potatoes. Remove any eyes and anything weird you don’t like seeing on your fries. You can keep the skin on the potatoes if you wish, just wash and scrub them really well.

DSC_0858Since my potatoes were not exactly equal in size, I cut mine to make three roughly equal sized potatoes. You don’t have to do this if your vegetables are symmetrically proportional.

DSC_0861I cut each potato segment into three, because I don’t exactly like very skinny fries, but if you do, please go ahead and make them as thin as you like.

DSC_0862So many potatoes.

DSC_0866I cut each segment in three’s.

DSC_0869I had almost equal sized fries, those which were a bit thick I cut them to size. Nobody messes with the size okay!

DSC_0870Into a pot of cold water to rinse away the starch. Let these be for a while now.

DSC_0871Now about their massage oil. Peel your cloves of garlic and mince them fairly well or chop, whatever you prefer.

DSC_0872add the seasoning mix. I’m using dry simply because It’s too cold and I have no fresh herbs left, but if you wish you could as easily use them fresh. Dried is just easier. These mixed Italian seasonings are pretty nifty.

DSC_0875in with the paprika. As little or as much as you like.

DSC_0876a glug of oil. This is about a tablespoon, but you could use more, you could use less.

DSC_0879stir with a spoon of choice until all is well combined.

DSC_0880Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or cloth of your choice.

DSC_0882give them a good pat. You want them completely dry.

DSC_0883tumble onto your lined baking sheet

DSC_0885make sure there isn’t a single wet spot. (snigger)

DSC_0887pour over the massage oil and this gets a little messy because you need to use your hands to evenly coat them

DSC_0888like so. Make sure the oil is distributed evenly and that every piece is well bathed.

DSC_0889sprinkle on the salt and into the oven at 200℃ for 35-40 minutes.

DSC_0906this is what they looked after 30 minutes of baking and the kitchen was smelling so divine. Garlic infused herbal incense. I was mesmerized and hungry.

DSC_0914

like this at 38 minutes of baking, and I turned on the broiler for about 2 minutes because I was getting impatient and I love it when they turn golden and crisp on the top.

DSC_0924like so!!

How were they? what can I say? see for yourself. They were beautiful, they were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I gave them a final sprinkling of salt before I served them.

DSC_0929A flask of masala tea and potato fries.. what more can I ask this winter?

Ingredients

Potatoes (as many as you want)

Garlic- 2 to 3 cloves

Italian seasoning – 1 teaspoon

Paprika – 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste ( I used 1 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt)

Olive oil/any vegetable oil – 1 to 2 tablespoon

RECIPE: Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Wash and peel your potatoes and cut each into 3 segments and each segment into two or three fries, depending on how thick or thin you want them. Soak them into a bowl of cold water to remove excess starch.

Into a separate bowl, mince your garlic, add in the Italian seasoning, paprika and oil and mix well.

Drain the potatoes and dry thoroughly.

Tip them on your aluminium lined baking tray and pour over the prepared oil mixture and coat every fry with the mixture, making sure they’re all evenly coated.

bake at 200℃ for 35-40 minutes until deeply golden. Depending on your oven the baking time will vary. In some ovens it might take longer in some lesser, so keep an eye.

Enjoy!!