Friday, March 23, 2012

creamy mushroom and sausage cups

Lunch Menu
Mushroom and sausage cups
Garden salad
Sliced Avocados
Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Chablis

Creamy Mushroom and sausage cups
I created this recipe to use some of the left over puff pastry I had. Most of the ingredients used here are usually in the house. You can substitute the sausages for cooked chicken or ham, mushrooms for peas or peppers. You can even substitute the puff pastry for phyllo pastry. Just layer a few greased sheets together and bake for less time. Make sure you have the puff pastry defrosted but chilled if you are using the frozen variety. 
They make a great lunch served alongside fresh crisp salad and avocado slices. These little cups are very handy for appetizers as well. Have the filling ready ahead of time and bake just before serving. 

Great for lunch with some sliced Avocados and salad

Ingredients: makes 16

200 gms kolbasa sausage chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb mushrooms chopped
1 tbsp flour
1/4 cup stock
1/3 cup milk
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp thyme
fresh coriander chopped
1/2 pkg puff pastry defrosted but chilled
Muffin pan for small muffins

Great for hor dourves 

  • Roll out the puff pastry into a large rectangle on a floured surface. Cut 3X3 inch squares and refrigerate these till you are ready to bake.
  • In a large pan heat 1 tsp olive oil and sauté the chopped sausage on high for 1-2 minutes to crisp and brown them.
  • Remove sausage from the pan and keep aside.
  • Add the remaining oil in the same pan, and add mushrooms. Cook these till they brown on all sides about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add flour, parsley and thyme to the pan and mix well. Reduce the heat to medium. Flour will cook while absorbing the liquid in the pan. 
  • Slowly add stock and milk to the pan while stirring to avoid any lumps. Cook on medium heat while stirring until the sauce thickens and is bubbly. Take away from heat, season with salt and pepper and add the browned sausage to the sauce. Mix well.
  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Grease the muffin pan and layer each mould with the puff pastry square while pushing the dough to the bottom to create a cup. Spoon the mushroom and sausage mixture in to these.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes till pastry is browned and fully cooked. 
  • Take out of the oven and garnish with fresh coriander.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chicken pot pie

Tonight's Menu
Chicken pot pie
Salad greens

Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Chablis

Chicken Pot pie

Creamy and flavourful, chicken pot pie with its bubbling goodness beneath the perfect brown and crisp puff pastry. The contrasting textures of the crisp pastry and creamy chicken filling literally hugs you from the inside out. The perfect comfort food loaded with carrots, celery, mushroom, and peas.
A perfect way to join in the St. Patrick's day celebration. Just serve it with tons of beer.
Comforting and oh! so awesome.

Chicken Pot pie

Ingredients: (serves 6)
3 cups chicken stock
3 chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
4 tbsp butter
1 small red onion finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic grated
2 red potatoes cubed with skin on
2 carrots sliced
2 stalks celery chopped
1 cup white mushrooms sliced
1 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup flour
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp each dry parsley and thyme
1/2 package frozen puff pastry defrosted
  1. Bring chicken stock to boil and add the chicken breast. Simmer for 15 Min till chicken is fully cooked. Remove chicken from the stock and keep them both aside. 
  2. Place the defrosted puff pastry on a floured surface and roll into a 1/4 inch thick circle. Take your pie dish and measure the puff pastry to be 1 inch bigger all around. You can decide to make 1 large pie or individual ramekins for single serve. 
  3. Put the puff pastry back into the refrigerator to chill. 
  4. In a large pan heat butter till it melts. Sauté onion and garlic for a minute and add potatoes, carrots, and celery to the pan. 
  5. Sauté for a minute and then simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes till potatoes are done. 
  6. Bring back the heat up to high and add mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  7. Now add flour and mix well, cook for a minute. Add 2 cups of chicken stock (leftover from boiling chicken) and 1 cup milk. mix thoroughly and bring to boil. 
  8. Add peas, seasoning and dry herbs. Cook until bubbly and thick. Stir in the chicken pieces, remove from heat and keep aside for 5 minutes to cool. 
  9. Preheat the oven to 450 F. 
  10. Grease the pie dish and spoon the chicken mixture in there. Cover the dish with the puff pastry you rolled out earlier and pinch the edges to secure. Make a few slits in the center to allow steam to escape while cooking. 
  11. For a shiny dough, brush the pastry with egg wash (1 egg whisked). 
  12. Place the pie dish on a lined baking sheet to catch any overflows, and bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes. 
  13. Serve hot alongside salad greens.

Chicken Pot pie

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Holi special

Holi Special Menu
जीरा आलू , चुकंदर पूरी और भाँग की चटनी 
Jeera Aloo
Beetroot Poori
Bhaang Chutney
Cucumber Raita

May this festivity of Holi
Bring into your life
vibrant colors of happiness....
Happy Holi.

Jeera Aloo (Stir fried potatoes)
Jeera Aloo (जीरा आलू)
Ingredients: (serves 4)
8 baking potatoes, peeled and sliced 
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp red chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
  • Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
  • Let them splatter for 30 seconds, then add potatoes. Coat then evenly with oil and cumin.
  • Add coriander, turmeric, salt, cracked black pepper and red chili powder to taste. Mix well.
  • Cover the pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring 2-3 times to allow even cooking. Cook till tender crisp. Different types of potatoes might take different amount of time to cook. Garnish with fresh coriander.

Beetroot Poori
Beetroot Poori (चुकंदर पूरी)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 medium sized beetroots
1-2 tbs ghee(clarified butter) or oil
1 tsp salt (optional)
oil for deep frying
  • Boil Beetroot in a little water. Cool and puree it fine using as little water as possible.
  • In a deep mixing bowl or a food processor take the flour and add salt and ghee. Work the fat in well so that the flour resembles breadcrumbs. Too much fat here will give problem while frying.
  • Add the beetroot puree and knead the flour into a hard dough. In most cases the liquid in the spinach puree will be enough. If not then add some water. Make sure the dough doesn't become too soft.
  • Take oil in a deep pan and heat. To test for correct temperature put a tiny piece of dough in it. If the dough rises instantly then oil is ready for frying.
  • Divide the dough into small lime sized balls. Roll the dough into a circle of aprox. 3 inch diameter. Gently immerse it into the hot oil. The poori will puff up, then turn it over to cook on the other side till done (40 seconds).
  • Serve hot.

Bhaang Chutney

Bhaang Chutney ( भाँग की चटनी )
1/2 cup bhaang seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
4-5 green chilies
large handful fresh coriander
salt to taste
lemon juice to taste
  • Dry roast bhaang seeds and cumin seeds in a hot skillet for  3-4 minutes till lightly brown and starts to impart a toasted aroma. Cool and dry grind to a fine powder.
  • In a blender grind together everything including powdered bhaang and a little water to form a smooth chutney consistency. Enjoy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

shrimp curry in coconut milk

Tonight's Menu
Shrimp Curry
Steamed rice
Salad greens
Wine Pairing: Pinot Gris (Medium bodied fruity white)

Shrimp in coconut milk

If you have never cooked with coconut milk then this will be an experience for you. The creamy smooth texture and flavour of coconut milk makes this dish oh so yum. I have tried to marry the Indian curry flavours with sour and spicy Thai flavours. Use shrimp or fish such as tilapia in this curry and serve alongside plain steamed rice. This is what you will need.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 tsp oil
1/2 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic grated
2 inch ginger grated
2 tomatoes crushed
1-2 green chilli (optional)
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 can light coconut milk
Salt to taste
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
1 lb raw jumbo shrimp
fresh chopped coriander

Shrimp in coconut milk
  • Peel and de-vein the shrimp and keep aside.
  • In a pan heat 1 tsp oil and add chopped onion and garlic. Cook stirring occasionally till they turn dark brown.
  • Add tomato and ginger, green chillies and lime juice.  Cook till you see oil in the sides of the pan. Make sure you stir often to avoid burning.
  • Add coconut milk and seasoning. Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Add shrimp and simmer for 5-6 minutes till shrimp are done (turn pink). Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.