Friday, July 27, 2012

Caprese salad with Mustard Salmon


Caprese salad with grilled mustard salmon
This beautiful Italian salad has slices of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves, drizzled with a simple dressing of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Its arranged to resemble the Italian flag colors. This fresh simple salad deserves the use of the best ingredients you can find. Buy the juiciest of tomatoes, soft crumbly (not rubbery) mozzarella cheese and extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. The salad tasted absolutely delish with just salt, pepper, and olive oil. However, I love a little drizzle of sweet balsamic vinegar reduction. Use mini bocconcini and grape tomatoes to serve this on a stick. Makes for a colorful platter as a starter.

(Tomato Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Reduction) Caprese salad

Caprese Bites, salad on a stick
Caprese salad
The recipe below does not have any precise measurements as everything is as per your taste. As a variation, I sometimes like to add sliced red onions and cucumber as well. Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature.   

Fresh Mozzarella cheese
Tomatoes, sliced
1/2 red onion (optional), sliced
Fresh basil leaves
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (optional)
1 cup Balsamic vinegar
  1. For the balsamic reduction - Heat a cup of balsamic vinegar till it starts to boil, simmer for 10 minutes till it reduces to about 1/3 cup. It should still be of pourable consistency. Remove from heat and cool completely. You can also purchase ready-made balsamic reduction from your local grocery store. 
  2. Arrange the salad on a serving platter. 
  3. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil, balsamic reduction and sprinkle salt and pepper.

Grilled mustard salmon
Ingredients: serves 4

4 salmon fillets
1 tbsp old fashioned grainy mustard
1 tsp mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Season the fillets with salt and pepper on both sides. 
  2. Mix mustard and mayonnaise and spread over the fillets. 
  3. Grill them for 3-5 minutes per side till no longer pink in the middle. 
  4. Serve over salad. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Skinned black gram and green onion stir fry

Ivory White Lentils are split and skinned Black Lentils. These creamy white tiny seeds have a mild, earthy flavor. They are low in fat and high in protein and fiber. There is no need to soak them as they cook quite quickly. Use them in soups, stews, stir-fry, spreads and dips.
Combined with green onions this stir fry has a mild oniony nutty flavor and taste wonderful in wraps.

Skinned black gram and green onion stir fry (धुली उरद और हरा प्याज़)
4 stalks green onion, finely chopped
1 cup skinned black gram (urad dal)
11/2 cups water
1 tsp oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch fresh ginger, julienne
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander to serve
2 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
Pinch hing (asefoetida)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2 dry whole red chilies
  1. Wash and drain the dal (pulse). Keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add garlic, ginger and tomato paste. Mix to combine, taking care not to burn it. Add the urad dal. Saute for a few seconds. 
  3. Add 11/2 cups of water and all the spices. Mix to combine and bring to a boil. Simmer and cover for 7-8 minutes. Stir a couple of times in between to ensure that it is cooking evenly. You will see the water reducing and the dish getting dry. 
  4. Check after 8 minutes for doneness. The grain of dal should be about 3/4 cooked. At this stage add the green onion and stir to combine. Cover again and keep the heat to simmer. Cook for another 5 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat and temper.
  6. Heat the ghee in a separate pan till it melts, add cumin seeds, hing and whole red chilies. Roast till cumin seeds are brown and toasted. Pour this mixture over the cooked dal. 
  7. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with roti.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Rosemary Lamb Chops

Tonight's Menu
Rosemary lamb chops
Pineapple salad
Garlic smashed potatoes
Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz 

BBQ rosemary lamb chops
Here's another one of the simple yet flavorful lamb chops recipes. It is incredible how a bunch herbs and garlic can enhance the taste of lamb. try to marinate overnight as the acid helps tenderize the meat. The refreshing pineapple salsa and the crisp smashed potatoes make a perfect accompaniment for the rosemary lamb. Medium bodied red wines that are soft and earthy pair very well with this meal.
Enjoy this incredible summer. Happy grilling you guys.

Rosemary lamb chops
Ingredients: serves 4-5

10-12 loin lamb chops
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
4 cloves garlic, minced fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl. 
  2. Place chops in a large glass container and pour the marinade over them. Turn the chops repeatedly to coat well. 
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours, preferably overnight. 
  4. Remove chops from fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat grill for medium-high heat. 
  5. Remove chops from marinade and place on a lightly oiled grill rack. Cook for 8 minutes on each side for a medium well-cooked level. 
  6. Remove from heat, allow to rest for 3-5 minutes, and serve with smashed potatoes and pineapple salsa. 
Pineapple salad
Pineapple Salad
Ingredients: (serves 4)
Pineapple in bite-sized chunks
Red pepper chunks
Yellow pepper chunks
Red onion chopped
Handful fresh coriander chopped
Handful fresh mint chopped
Jalapeno peppers chopped
salt to taste
lime juice
Combine all the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to blend in the flavors.

Garlic smashed potatoes

8 medium sized red potatoes
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
paprika to taste
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
fresh parsley for garnish
  1. Boil the potatoes along with the skin for 15-20 minutes until tender. 
  2. Drain and place them on a baking sheet. Using a potato masher or the palm of your hand press the potatoes flat. Brush them with 1 tbsp butter. 
  3. Combine all the other ingredients and sprinkle half the mixture over the potatoes. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. 
  4. Turn the potatoes over, brush with the remaining butter and sprinkle the rest of the cheese mixture over them. bake for another 15 minutes. 
  5. garnish with parsley. serve hot and crisp. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Grilled tandoori mint lamb chops

Tonight's Menu
Mint lamb chops
Salad greens
Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz
Grilled mint lamb chops

Of all the red meats, lamb is the most popular and widely consumed meat in India. The fragrant spices of the Indian cuisine blend harmoniously with the rich flavour of lamb. Grilling, in India is done in the clay oven called 'Tandoor'. Meat, poultry and fish is marinated in yogurt based marinades usually spiced with aromatic spices and herbs for a few hours. The intense heat of the tandoor cooks the food quickly, leaving it charred from the outside and moist from the inside.

All of the spices mentioned in the recipe are easily available in the grocery stores. Make sure you prep and marinate the lamb night before. This way it gets infused with a variety of spices while the acidity of the yogurt tenderizes the meat.

Marinate the lamb chops overnight for best results
Mint Lamb Chops
Ingredients: serves 4-6

16 lamb chops, about 1 inch thick,
1 1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup Green marinade(recipe follows)
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and cracked
1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and cracked
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon salt
  1. The night before, to start marinating the chops arrange them in a single layer in a glass container. 
  2. In a bowl, blend together yogurt, green marinade (see below), Garam Masala, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and salt. 
  3. Pour the mixture over the chops and turn them to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 
  4. Preheat an outdoor or indoor grill. 
  5. Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Grill until done to your liking, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare and 8-10 minutes per side for well. 
  6. Transfer the chops to a serving platter or individual plates and serve along side the Mint Chutney and Garlic naan.

For green marinade (Makes about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup mint
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Put the garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in a food processor and pulse the machine on and off until the ingredients are finely minced. 
  2. With the machine running, drizzle the oil through the feed tube. Turn off the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. 
  3. Add the scallions and process until well blended.Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. Use within 2 to 3 days

Mint lamb chops, 7-8 minutes per side for medium well

Recipe adapted from 'Grilled Lamb chops' by Wolfgang Puck'