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!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Cheddar & cream cheese crackers


cheesy crackers

Yes these are crackers full of cheese and yes they are fattening, which is why you don’t make too many of these and eat them all at once. I made that mistake, you don’t have to.. but if you don’t then you’ve not lived.

These are crackery, as in crispy and have faint hits of paprika and cheesy.. yes cheesy. The worst part is that they’re all too easy to make and sinfully addictive.

Ingredients

1 cup flour

4 tbsp cold butter

150 gms grated cheddar cheese

75 gms cold cream cheese

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/2 tsp baking powder

3-4 tbsp cold water.

In a processor mix all these ingredients until they’re just about to clump. In case you don’t have a processor just cut the cheeses and the butter into the flour mixture much like you do while making a pastry, you can use a pastry cutter, fork or your finger tips. Once the flour mixture resembles a coarse oat meal mixture, combine using water forming into a rough ball.

Wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for about 25 minutes.

Once its slightly cooler roll it out to about 1/8th of an inch and cut into any shapes you want.

I was lazy, so I just took a knife and scale and made 2cm X 4cm rectangles.

Make a hole in the middle of your crackers before baking.

Bake at 180℃ for 12-15 minutes.

Let cool before popping one in your mouth..

You can eat these just as they are, or with your favorite dips, drinks.. etc etc..

cheddar & cream cheese crackers

Feast ye eyes on another picture..

Enjoy !!!!

Pretzels with beer cheese sauce


IMG_20120930_152543

Not exactly a revelation but a suggestion from my dear friend Aarti who replied to my desperate tweets on a Sunday afternoon, answering my “what should I eat today” question. She sent me this beautiful link from Curvy Carrot adding that If I was up for something elaborate then this is what I should make.

Looking at the blog’s beautiful pictures and totally mesmerized by the words ‘Pretzels’, ‘beer’ & ‘cheese’ in one sentence I knew this is what I would make.

I tweaked the recipe a bit to suit whatever ingredients I had handy that afternoon, but the results were nothing short of ecstatic. Once the pretzels were hot out of the oven and the beer cheese sauce gooey and warm, I nestled myself on the couch in front of the television, refusing to acknowledge this world or any other existence. For 20 minutes until there were but crumbs on my plate did I lift my head up to realize, the television was on, playing something absolutely unnecessary.. but did I care? No!!!.. this sauce is a fuzzy warm beery heaven, a grotto of pleasure worth visiting every time you can make any excuse for a dip.. at least I do..

I adapted my earlier Pretzels recipe already on this blog and instead of making miniatures, made two fat patties and continued with the recipe here

as for the beer cheese sauce…

Ingredients for the beer cheese sauce (adapted from curvy carrot)

6 tbsps butter (I used salted)

1 cup spring onion

1 bay leaf

4 tbsps flour

1.5 cups beer (any beer is fine)

3/4 cup cream (I used single cream)

1 tsp fresh ground pepper (not so fine pieces)

1/4 tsp allspice

nutmeg (a pinch)

1 cup cheddar cheese

1/2 cup cream cheese (room temperature)

Salt to taste

a dash of cayenne

Making this sauce wasn’t difficult at all. In fact I started making it once the pretzels were popped in the oven.. working fast I melted the butter on medium heat in a pan of choice.

Add the onions and salt and cook until translucent. Add in the bay leaf, pepper and mix for a couple of minutes.

Add the flour and mix for a bit, the roux will look all sorts of lumpy and dry but really it’s a good thing.

Slowly start adding in the beer, and keep mixing constantly to remove any lumps and, watch it all thicken.. apart from the beer facial you will get when you keep smelling it constantly. I did this for a couple of minutes .. kept smelling along with mixing.

Now add in the cream and stir as usual. add in the nutmeg, allspice and cayenne. Cook and stir and mix and let it lightly simmer. ensure that this mixture thickens as you’re cooking it on slow heat. Mine took about 15 minutes.

Just as it has thickened add in the cheese, turn off the flame and let it all melt and meld together.. of course keep whisking and stirring and mixing until all cheese has melted in it.

Serve warm ..

This is it.. beer cheese sauce. You can adapt, make changes to suit however you want your dip or a sauce to be. you can use all cheddar or any other cheese you fancy. I used whatever I had on me that time and it turned out fabulous.

The point is, when you have beer, cream and cheese all together you can’t really go wrong with it.

Enjoy !!!

 

 

 

Cheesy stuffed potato jackets


 

The pictures aren’t really great this time. I decided to make these one evening, when I was both hungry, bored and craved something EVIL. These fat beauties are so luscious and filling and cheesy that the guilt doesn’t stay too long.

The stuffing is actually entirely up to you and what you happen to have on you at that moment . I had some mozzarella leftover from a few days, and well that’s how I decided to use it. So here goes.

I had a few medium-sized potatoes, which I baked for 45 minutes at 220℃. Yes I inserted a very thin knife to check for doneness. You can see the surgery mark in the second potato.

 

oil the baking tray and the set these cut up potatoes, skin side down.

Scoop out their innards as much as you can without really tearing up their skins. You don’t have to be overly careful or scoop within an inch of their lives. The green tinge is from a tinted window, I know these aren’t the most fab pics. I have made peace with it.

here’s the filling. It has the scooped out potatoes, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, crushed garlic, mayonnaise, a dash of salt and a bit of crushed red chillies.  These have to get a mixing and smoothed together until its come to a consistency where it somewhat resembles a thick paste of gloriousness.

 

The hollow potatoes are now stuffed. It took about a tablespoonful in each, and then topped off with more grated mozzarella. I also drizzled some olive oil on top to make them a bit more brown, burnt and oozy.

Bake them at 200℃ for 30 minutes, or until you can see the cheese swell up, and tan.

This came out smelling hot and so gorgeous. It was practically oozing all over the tray. A bit of mustard and you’re done. You might not fit into your pants the next day, but it’s totally worth it.

Ingredients

– 3-4 medium-sized potatoes

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp crushed red chillies

2-3 cloves garlic (crushed.)

2 tbsp olive oil (any regular oil will do)

You know the rest.. right.

 

Paneer making 101


Paneer: the immaculate white cubes of milk, while largely known as Indian cheese is in fact not much like cheese at all.. It’s milk that has been curdled, separated from the whey and compacted. The whole process doesn’t last anything more than 15 minutes. Beautifully adapted into any dish of choice and eaten just as it is with salad- Paneer is unanimously loved by each and every Indian in every form, shape and dish. vegetarians thrive on it because it can be prettied up and made into the  richest of dishes, and in fact be made into a bajillion dishes if you ever were to count.

It’s easy quick and mouth watering.. here’s how:

You need only 2 ingredients to actually make this.

Milk & vinegar. Now the amount of paneer you want depends upon the milk. If you need a lot of paneer you will need a whole lot of milk. From 500 mls of milk you’d yield around 100gms of paneer or lesser.. but fret not.

I didnt need a lot so I used around 300 mls of milk, but you can increase the amount of milk to as much or as little as you need. As long as you understand how it’s made, it’s a breeze…

Pour milk into a saucepan (try and use full fat milk) and let it come to a boil.. don’t grow impatient and dont keep playing with the gas knobs like me.

Once it’s come to a boil and make sure it has, add in the white vinegar 1 tsp.. increase the amounts only slightly whence you increase the milk.. we don’t want out paneer vinegary.

Please don’t stare at my kitchen walls.. take a moment and watch paneer making in process. This is the curd separating from the whey which btw is extremely rich in proteins.

Well, this is what it should all look like.. we have yet to separate the whey.

take a really fine cloth, cheesecloth or in my case a stolen kerchief from a stack of my husband’s white and soft kerchief piles.

Placing it in a bowl tumble over all the curd, thus separating the whey.. be careful this is extremely hot and let it be for some time before you finally lift it up.

You can see the whey is separated. Discard it and put the cloth back in try squeezing it out once it has cooled down a bit, this is very very hot right now. You can even hang it and let all the whey slowly drip out, if you have the time. I’m impatient and I always burn my palms.. but such is life.

This is after burning my palms and squeezing out all the whey.. let it rest awhile.. if you want: put something heavy on top of it and let it be for some time, until it has finally cooled down and is ready for the unraveling..

Behold !!! the conversion of milk into this beautiful, springy, soft and almost crumbly paneer. You can cut it into cubes or mash it or just eat it with a salad, or sprinkle some salt n pepper or your favourite dressing and have it with your drinks..

Enjoy !!!