Archive for February, 2011

American Sandwich Bread

This is my first (and only) bread post of the month, and that too, barely making it in time! I’m planning to have more time for blogging in March, so hope there are some of you dear friends still with me 🙂

A simple white bread recipe, but I may have let it rise a tiny bit too much. It was good, but I’m still looking for that ‘perfect’ one. I think the reason mine is not as white is because I used unbleached flour and a dark honey. Found this at Annie’s Eats. I subbed half bread flour, and next time I will try it with only all purpose. Someday I will learn to follow a recipe properly, haha.

  • 3 1/2+ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup warm whole milk (about 110°)
  • 1/3 cup warm water (about 110°)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 1 envelope (about 2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast

You can check the link for using a stand mixer with a dough hook. I did it by hand and with the “traditional” method (I guess!) of proofing the yeast.

So proof the yeast for 5 minutes along with the water and 1 tsp honey. Add the warm milk and the rest of the honey to it,  and stir in the flour 1 cup at a time. Once it comes together knead for several minutes, adding more flour as necessary until it is no longer sticky.

Place dough ball in lightly oiled bowl and swirl it around to coat the dough ball. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place to rise for 40-60 minutes or until doubled.

Press dough into a rectangle and roll it tightly pressing the ends in to form a cylinder about the size of your loaf pan. Place in a well greased 9×5 loaf pan and press slightly so that it touches the sides. Cover with plastic and keep in a warm place around 30 minutes or until it peaks above the rim of the pan. Preheat oven to 350.

This is another step I didn’t follow. I will try this next time too:  Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 350°.  Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack.  Bring two cups of water to boil in a small saucepan.  Pour the boiling water into the empty pan on the bottom rack and set the loaf onto the middle rack.

Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim into the center of the loaf reads 195°, 40-50 minutes.  Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Original recipe from Baking Illustrated

BYOB

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Strawberry-Nutella Crepes w/ Honey-Cardamom Yogurt Sauce

I remember when I used to get excited to see a crepe cafe. There’s something that feel special about eating them, especially along with a big cup of good cappuccino! However the cost is too much for something so simple. So, I had to try to make them at home. They came out great and are super simple!

Crepe Batter:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1c milk (I used vanilla soy milk)
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 2/3c flour
  • 2 Tbs melted butter

Yogurt sauce:

  • 1c yogurt
  • 1/4c honey or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom powder

Slice the strawberries and make the yogurt sauce before getting started on the crepes. It will be fast moving from then.

Put all ingredients into blender or mixie and blend till there are no lumps. It will be very thin.

Heat a small nonstick pan over medium heat. Pour a quarter to third cup of batter into one edge of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in a circular motion so the crepe coats the pan in a very thin layer. Cook for a minute or two until just starting to turn light brown. Flip and cook on the other side for 30 seconds. Flip again and transfer to a place. Spread a small amount of nutella, top with slices strawberries and then fold the crepe over in thirds or fourths for triangle shapes. Top with a little yogurt sauce (or some whipped cream).

Sending to Priya and  Pari’s Veggig/fruit a month- Strawberry and Chaya’s Lets do lunch

Jalapeno Popper Dip

You all know my love for fried foods and the mildly spicy, cheesey jalapeno poppers are no exception! Honestly, I don’t deep fry often though, because of health reasons and because my whole house smells like a vat of oil afterwards. Well, leave it to Kevin to bring the taste of poppers into a cheesy gooey dip without frying (not that its probably any less calorific!)! If you haven’t been yet, hop over to Kevin’s blog Closet Cooking. I have followed him for years, way before I had a blog, and in my mind he is “The King Of Dips”. 😀 I’m definitely on board with that.

I do not usually put mayonaise in my dips because I never buy it, and don’t use it for anything else either. Here’s another cheapskate frugal tip – Next time you go to subway or other sandwich places where they give you packets of mayo, don’t throw them away… You can use them in things where you just need a little, like this one. FYI, mayo does not contain cream or milk ingredients but it does usually contain eggs.

I also love the taste of buffalo sauce. Basically, hot chili sauce! I wanted to incorporate it into my dip without it taking over.

Here is what I did:

  • 5-7 large fresh jalapenos, seeded and diced very small
  • 3 spring onions sliced thinly
  • salt to taste
  • 6 oz cream cheese at room temperature(soft)
  • 1/4c strained or greek yogurt
  • 1/4c mayonnaise (3 packets hehe)
  • 1/2c +1T cheese, grated – I used kerrygold ivernia which is like a cross between cheddar, gruyere and parmesan- any of those would work and so would blue cheese!
  • 1T grated parmesan
  • Some splashes of hot sauce/chili paste
  • 1 handful of panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350

In a small amount of olive oil, saute the green onions and jalapeno to soften and bring out the flavors. Add a pinch of salt. Let cool a bit while you grate the cheeses and prepare the other ingredients.

Mix the 2 Tablespoons of cheese with panko breadcrumbs and keep aside. Mix the cream cheese, yogurt, and mayo together till incorporated. Stir in the jalapeno mixture. Then stir in the 1/2 grated cheese. Spread in your baking dish and then sprinkle with the chili paste. Use a fork to smooth it over the top layer of the tip. Top with the bread crumb mixture. Spray with an oil spray (optional) to crisp the bread crumbs. Bake for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly!! Serve with tortilla chips. The ones we used are made from blue corn… they are not artificially colored. 🙂

Sending to Hearth and Soul Blog Hop

**I know I’ve been a little inactive lately, but I plan to get back into things soon!! **

Malai Kofta

This rich, creamy dish is one of our favorites, with the fried (of course) koftas. The sauce is usually thickened with ground cashews and finished with a drizzle of heavy cream. Vegetarian koftas are deliciously spiced and made with a mashed mixture of potatoes, peas and raw onion, made into small balls or ovals and deep fried. What’s not to love??? But someone had a smart idea….. instead of deep frying the kofta, she used her paniyaram pan. Brilliant! This is probably the best recipe for malai kofta I have tried.  Please see the recipe at red chillies blog. The main thing I changed was I do not grind the masala with milk, I use water. And then added cream at the end.

I was planning to make this for valentines day, even though I do not celebrate much, especially the commercial aspect of it! But I did want to make some treats (typical foodie isnt it?!). However, due to unforseen circumstances this was made today. The malai, though, had a mind of its own….

Do you see what I see?

A Heart!

The drizzled cream formed a heart shape. It was totally unintentional. Ahhhh. Want to know what is even more romantic? I had help! Doesn’t it feel nice to gather with loved ones in the kitchen and  put together a meal?

The yummy koftas!

 

So even though I’m a party pooper, kill-joy, scrooge mcduck…. I gotta say it (belated)

Happy Valentines Day!

Sending this to Aipi’s Bookmarked Recipes and Hearth and Soul, and Maggie’s DHHD,  with love.

Honey Lavender Oatmeal Squares

I was inspired when I saw this lovely post over at the very well loved Tartlette. I like the idea of using lavender, which I have in my cupboard, but really don’t know where to use it. I followed her recipe, except leaving out the eggs and adding ground flax seeds instead.

  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4c rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/3c chopped almonds
  • 1/4c chopped dried apricots
  • 1 tsp dried lavender buds
  • 1 Tbs ground flax seeds
  • pinch of baking soda
  • 1/4c yogurt
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4c honey (I think it could use a little more honey, so I would up this to maybe 1/3c)

Preheat oven to 350

Mix everything together into a dough. Press the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, into a rectangle or square shape. cut into bar shapes. Bake 10-12 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

I am sending this to Priya’s and Kiran’s Cooking with whole grains- Oats

Happy Bday JF~ Choco Cake w/ Cranberry Cream Filling

I’ve been a little mia lately, but I’m still here! And I’m back with cake!

For this I used the King Arthur moist chocolate cake recipe. Its very light and tender with a deep chocolate flavor. The icing has no pink food coloring, its all natural.

  • 2c K.A. cake flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4c sugar
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/3c oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c milk or buttermilk (I used half kefir and half milk)
  • 1/2c cooled coffee or water
  • 4 eggs

In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and sugar. Add the butter and oil and mix in until it looks like sand.

Combine the milk, vanilla, and coffee (or water) together and add it to the flour mixture. Mix for a minute, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Add eggs, one at a time beating well. Pour the batter into pans lined with parchment paper and buttered.

Bake in a preheated oven ( 350 degrees or 325 for convection ovens)  in one 9x 13 pan (34 minutes) or two round 9 inch(28 minutes)… for a thin cake like I did, use a 12x 17 sheet pan, even it out as much as you can and bake for around 10-12 minutes.

Let cool for a few minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

For the filling:

  • 4 TBs cream cheese softened
  • 4 Tbs butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2c or more of powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs cranberry jam (I used homemade one, but you can use any flavor such as raspberry, strawberry, etc) warmed up

Beat together the butter and cream cheese. Add in the vanilla and then the powdered sugar until it becomes thick but spreadable. Stir in the warmed jam. We really loved the filling the best!

Cut rounds of the cooled cake out  (I used 3 inch biscuit cutters). Top half of them with the cranberry filling. Top with another round, placing bottom side up. Place on a wire rack over a baking pan. Then pour over the chocolate ganache. Keep in fridge or freezer for a few minutes until it sets.

Chocolate Ganache topping:

  • 1/2c heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2c 60% chocolate (I used ghirardelli)

Heat the cream just until hot, not boiling. Take off the heat and add in the chocolate. Stir it well until it melts and thickens.

I then put some icing into a ziploc bag and snipped off the tip so I can squeeze out little decorations. Add sparkling pomegranate gems.

Sending this to  Priya’s Now Serving -Best Western Desserts

Tomato Lentil Veggie Rice w/ Scallion Raita

I got inspired to make this when I saw this recipe over at Cranberry Jam blog and I noticed I had a can of tomato paste in the pantry. I don’t usually use tomato paste so who knows how long that has been there! Anyway, this was a perfect one pot and healthy balanced dish. I made a few changes and also cooked it all together in the pressure cooker.

Here is what I did:

  • 1/4c whole lentils/dal (I used a combination of masoor and tiny French lentils)
  • 1 1/4c brown basmati (white basmati will cook faster and get mushier, so if you use that, you may want to cook the lentils separately and then boil it altogether (instead of pressure cook) so it doesnt overcook the rice)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 red onion sliced thinly
  • 2 big cloves of garlic, grated or chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • salt
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2c mixed vegetables – frozen or use diced carrots, green beans, peas, etc
  • 3c water
  • cilantro

Soak the lentils until they have absorbed water and plumped up. Then add washed brown basmati to soak before you start cutting the vegetables… you can soak them together.

In the pressure cooker or pot, heat oil. Add cumin seeds, then red chilies, then onions. Cook the onions until starting to turn golden. Then add the garlic and ginger, bay leaf and stir. Next add the spices and then the tomato paste. Then add the vegetables and rice/lentils… stir them to coat with the tomato mixture. Add in three cups of water and after mixing well, taste the water. It will be a good indication of how your rice will taste, so if you need more spices or salt add them now. Pressure cook for 3 whistles or Cover and simmer until rice has cooked through and absorbed all the water.

Garnish with chopped cilantro/coriander leaves and serve with raita.

I made a scallion raita which goes with this nicely. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture but its dead easy. Just finely slice 3-4 scallions/green onions, chop a handful of cilantro and mince 1-2 green chillies. Add to beaten yogurt (half cup or so) and add a little water to thin if needed. Add salt to taste. You can add a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and urad dal, but I didn’t bother.

Sending to Aipi’s and Priya’s Bookmarked Recipes

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