Jan 19, 2012

Cabbage with turmeric



Holy cabbage, batman!!! It's 2012. This blog has been revived again! whoohoo!!

I decided to try out the local CSA box and just my luck, they give me a giant head of lettuce. It's HUGE! There's no way I would ever buy this much cabbage. It's enough to feed a small country.

Coincidentally I had a potluck to get to the following day and decided to make this classic indian style cabbage. It is generally paired with rice and something like this or this to make a complete classic Konkani/Indian meal. Pair with some yoghurt and you are set. Another selling point? Brassica/Cruciferous veggie paired with turmeric = anti-cancer all the waaaaaay!!

Serves 2

Ingredients

Cabbage - chopped or sliced - 2 liberal hand-full [2 cups, maybe?]
Onion- yellow (or other)- chopped fine - 2 tbspn
Black mustard seeds - 1 tspn
Asafoetida - 1 pinch [1/4 tspn]
Green Chillies [serrano or thai]- 1/2 [remove seeds depending on spice tolerance]
Canola or other vegetable oil - 1/2 tbspn
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tspn
Split chick pea / bengal gram [ can find in indian store] (optional) - about 15
Salt to taste
water -1-2 Tbspn

Method

1. Heat up oil in a wok [medium-high]. Add the bengal gram. Saute until it seems a little bit swollen and brown. Add mustard seeds and asafoetida. This will pop all over the place. use a lid to contain them.
2. Once the popping subsides, add in the onion. Saute until translucent.
3. Add chillies and cabbage. On top of cabbage add the turmeric and salt. Toss in the wok.
4. Sprinkle the water on this and then lower the heat to medium low and cover. Let cook for about 5 or so minutes. Uncover and let the water cook out.
5. Cook until completely cooked. I like it to have a little bit of a bite to it but also completely cooked. So keep an eye on it.

Enjoy.

Sep 12, 2010

A Most Rightious Rotini n' Cheese

This is the best Mac (well, Rotini) n’ Cheese recipe I’ve ever had in my life, and I have made numerous variations of Mac n’ Cheese in the past, and tasted recipes everywhere I can find them – this tops them ALL.

Seriously, I should be inducted into the Mac n’ Cheese Hall of Fame for this one. And if there isn’t a Hall of Fame for Mac, they should start one just for me.  -- AnglophileLV
Recipe:

1 1/2 C dry rotini – boil according to package directions
1 batch Bechemel sauce
Directions: 2 Tb butter melted, stir with 2 Tb flour until golden, add a pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir continuously until mix has thickened.

1 C. extra sharp cheddar, shredded
1 C. Mozerella
A pinch cayenne pepper
2 dashes Worcestershire
Pepper to taste.
½ onion, chopped fairly fine
2 slices bacon

1/2 Tsp Vadouvan (recipe to follow)*
Directions:

1. Cook the bacon and chopped onions in a pan together (there’s nothing better in the world than bacon and onions in my opinion). Chop up the bacon when it’s crispy, and set the bacon and onions aside.

2. Add to the béchamel sauce the 1 Cup of cheddar and 1 Cup mozzarella, stir until melted and thick. Then add a pinch of cayenne pepper and 2 dashes Worcestershire (or to taste, I like a little more for intense flavor). Add pepper to taste also, but not salt yet because the Vadouvan is quite salty.

3. Add the bacon and onion, stir in. Then add the rotini.

4. Add the Vadouvan carefully – it’s quite strong, so you really have to do it to taste. For me, ½ tsp was about right, otherwise your Mac n’ Cheese may start tasting like Mac n’ Curry (also good, just not what we’re going for).

5. For a topping, I took a handful of unseasoned bread crumbs and ground it together with a little more vadouvan with my mortar and pestle. Then I put it under the broiler (watching it very carefully!) until it was browned.



*Make the Vadouvan well in advance, since it takes over an hour. It lasts a couple months in the fridge, a couple years if frozen, and you can add it to soups and all kinds of things. You’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing you’re probably the only kid on the street that has this unique spice mix (a blend of French and Indian culinary influences). I got the recipe from the now defunct Gourmet and altered it slightly:

Vadouvan

• ½ sweet onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

• 9 garlic cloves, peeled

• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

• 1 tablespoon ground cumin

• 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

• 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

• 3/4 teaspoon turmeric

• 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

• 1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes

• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

• EQUIPMENT:

an electric coffee/spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, food processor (or you can just chop it)

• Preheat oven to 350ºF with rack in middle.

• Pulse onions and garlic in a food processor until very coarsely chopped (there may be a few large pieces remaining), transferring to a bowl.

• Heat oil in a deep 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until it shimmers, then sauté onions and garlic (stir often) until golden and browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes.

• Grind fenugreek seeds in grinder or with mortar and pestle. Add to onion mixture along with remaining ingredients, 1 Tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper and stir until combined.

• Transfer to a parchment-paper-lined large 4-sided sheet pan and spread as thinly and evenly as possible. Bake, stirring occasionally with a skewer to separate onions, until well browned and barely moist, check every 20-30 minutes.

Jul 19, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini




My lovely friend Justina gave me a Zucchini the length and width of my forearm (and I have a rather large forearm). I usually just roast any and all veggies since it's quick and involves just the roasting pan and an oven. After 2 months of this though, no matter how much you love vegetables (like me), it can get boring. It's summer and school is out, so I decided to do something different with this Godzilla of a zucchini. And it's so good to be back blogging and trying out some new things. hurray for summer!!!


Ingredients
Serves 2-4
1 Large Zucchini - Cut lengthwise; scrape out the soft-seeds portion so you have a hollow area in the center
1/2 Yellow onion finely chopped
1 Roma Tomato finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 Cremini Mushrooms (or button would work as well)
.5lb Minced Meat, I used chicken.
Pinch of Paprika, Cayenne, Turmeric, Coriander powder, Cumin Powder
Salt to taste
1 Tbspn of tomato paste
1.5 slices of untoasted bread- make crumbs as best possible.
Olive oil and some butter

Method
1. In a pan heat up some olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and saute for about 3 mins.
2. Next add tomato and spice powders and salt and saute for another 2 minutes.
3. Add the mushrooms, chicken, and tomato paste and saute for about 3 mins.
4. Meanwhile line up the Zucchini (I had to cut mine into half so I had 4 "shells") shells in a baking pan. coat with olive oil. Also melt the butter and pour over the bread crumbs. Use oil if you dont want to use butter or do half and half so you don't lose the buttery flavor.
5. Spoon the filling into the zucchini shells and top it off with bread crumbs.
6. Cook in a preheated oven at 350F for 35-45 mins.


Taste Review:
I totally would make this again. But I would skip the bread topping mostly since I used whole wheat bread...if you have white bread, do try it out because it gives you a nice crunchy top. The wheat bread gave it a "sweet" taste which can be a hit or a miss. I also would top it off with some parmesean cheese next time. But the filling is to die for. I would add some Tabasco sauce next time.

May 16, 2010

Pongal



Another quintessential breakfast item of Tamil Nadu. Go to any restaurant for breakfast, and you find this. I am ecstatic that I was able to make this. Delicioso.


Ingredients

Mung/Moong dal - 1 cup
Rice (You can do this with basmasti. I used a variety called "sona masuri') - 1 cup
Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
Cumin seeds - 1 tspn
Curry leaves - 8
Asafoetida (optional)- a pinch
Dried Red Chilli - 1-2
Fresh Green Chilli (Thai) -1-2 slit lengthwise
Cashew nuts - 1/4 cup
Ginger : Sliced about 2-3 thin slices
Water - 2.5-3 cups (to cook the rice and moong dal)
Oil - 1tbspn
Butter - 1/2 tbspn (optional)

Method:

1. Wash the moong dal and rice with water. then drain all of the water and let it dry as much as possible (15-20 min air dry).
2. In a saucepan, put the oil. Let it heat up. To this add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, dried red chilli, and pepper corns. Let this pop and crackle and then add the curry leaves, ginger, green chilli, and cashews.
3. After about 1 min, add the dried rice and moong dal. Fry it for about 3-4 minutes (you basically want the raw taste to be roasted out).
4. Add water to cover this and to cook it. Add a dash of butter and salt and let it cook (I use my nifty rice cooker at this step).
5. Eat hot with butter melting at the top. Can pair plantains boiled in salt water alongside this or just regular ripe bananas.

May 9, 2010

Asian Crunchy Salad



Dressing:
Hot and Sweet chilli garlic sauce (1 tbspn )
Sriracha sauce (just a smidgen)
Vinegar (3 tspns or more)
Sugar (2-4 tspns or more!)

* those are vague measurements, so adjust according to taste. the key are white vinegar and sugar.

Salad:
Carrots (grated or julienne)
Lettuce (I used red romaine from my CSA box)
Sugar Snap peas (I substituted snow peas)
Red Cabbage if you have some (i didn't)
Spring onions
tomatoes
Red Onion
Crunchy Noodles (you can get these now at Panda Express)
Grilled Chicken (optional), could also substitute fried/grilled tofu.

Method
In a salad bowl prepare salad dressing according to taste (this will be bright red in color). Layer the veggies on top of this and finish off with the crunchy egg/chinese noodles. Toss just before serving.

SO SO good.