Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble Gobble: Tackling the Bird!

So every year just around Thanksgiving time, we get ambitious and decide that we are going to cook the whole Thanksgiving dinner shebang...but then when the actual time comes around, that same ambition is nowhere to be found and we leave it to my aunt and we gobble out there...But this time around, with much gumption, we decided that once the thanksgiving rounds were over, I would cook the entire thanksgiving dinner as a test run. Basically, it was our way of having proper turkey at Thanksgiving and do experiments at a later time...Only because we don't want to look like the woman on the right.

So what is this blog post all about? Well it's for those who are starting to muster gumption to roast the bird for the very first time...Call it a small guide on what to do when cooking turkey, if you will...so instead of going to all the random sites, we at KD decided to bring it all in one go. Yes...ONE PRINTOUT FROM ONE PAGE...

An Ideal Thanksgiving Turkey should look like this...


So with that in mind let's begin...

Without getting too ahead of ourselves....Let's discuss first things first... The tools we need!!

Roasting Pan
Roasting Rack (to place the bird in the pan)
Poultry Lifters
Meat Baster
Meat Thermometer
Carving Knife and Fork
5 gallon bucket for the brining process
White Cotton String (aka kitchen twine)


STEP 1: THAWING THE TURKEY

Thawing a bird in the refrigerator can take days and in all honesty, who is that patient. So after surveying different processes, I found this to be the most convenient..

COLD WATER THAWING

Allow about 30 minutes per pound.

First be sure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and to prevent the turkey from absorbing water, resulting in a watery product.

Submerge the wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed.

Cold Water Thawing Times
  • 4 to 12 pounds …… 2 to 6 hours
  • 12 to 16 pounds …… 6 to 8 hours
  • 16 to 20 pounds …… 8 to 10 hours
  • 20 to 24 pounds …… 10 to 12 hours

A turkey thawed by the cold water method should be cooked immediately. After cooking, meat from the turkey can be refrozen.


STEP 2: BRINING THE TURKEY

The biggest misconception of making turkey juicy and flavorful is by basting the turkey often...In reality, it's when you brine the meat, it adds moisture and flavor and helps to keep it from drying out. So how do we brine a turkey. Well, first the turkey has to be thoroughly thawed and cleaned out, which at this point you should have done based on step 1.

Preparing the Brine (based on a 14-16 lbs turkey)

Ingredients:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon iced water
1/2 gallon of cold apple juice

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water and apple juice, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine, apple juice and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

When you are ready to start cooking your turkey, remove it from the brine and rinse it off thoroughly in the sink with cold water until all traces of salt are off the surface inside and out. Pat the Turkey dry with paper towels. Safely discard the brine and cook your turkey as normal.

Important Tips:

- One way of telling if you have enough salt in your brine is that a raw egg will float in it.
- The turkey should sit in the brine for about 1 hour per pound of turkey. Brining too long is much worse than not brining enough so watch the time.

STEP 3: SEASONING THE TURKEY

Now I'm sure we all have our own recipes and/or we can go on Epicurious.com or Foodnetwork.com and get the perfect recipe to your own liking. The most important thing about this part of the process is that you really need to season the turkey well....ample butter, salt and pepper on the bird. But ample salt and pepper inside the cavity too!!! You might want to stuff the bird with ur favorite stuffing, or rice, different herbs (i.e. rosemary, sage, thyme, and etc.), a lemon or 2, whole garlic, the list is endless but do try to stuff the turkey with something...it acts as an aromatic and gives some flavor to the bird too but of course it is optional..... Once you have stuffed the bird, we then come to the next step of tying the turkey. (p.s. if you stuff the turkey, cook the bird immediately as it may develop harmful bacteria.)

STEP 4: TYING THE TURKEY

Make sure the stuffing is well-secured; put a piece of bread or foil over the neck and body cavity openings and secure the turkey skin over the cavity with skewers, if you have them.

Use kitchen string to tie the turkey's legs together, pressing the legs close to the turkey body. Turn the turkey over and fold its wings back behind it. Tie another piece of string around the turkey's neck skin, leaving two long ends hanging. Pass each string end through a wing. Tie the string ends together, pinning the turkey wings horizontally.

Now that you've tied the turkey it's time to cook!!!

STEP 5: COOKING THE BIRD!!!!

Preheat the oven to 500 F.

Place the turkey breast side down on the rack in the roasting pan. for about 30 mins.

Reduce oven heat to 325 F. It is important to keep the oven door closed as much as possible while the turkey is roasting to maintain a constant temperature within the oven.

Take out turkey and turn breast side up. Insert a meat thermometer at the thickest part of the bird to check the proper doneness of the bird, which is at least 170°F for the breast and 180°F for the thigh. Basting the bird every 1.5 hr will give the bird a crisp golden skin however basting should be kept to a minimum so that the oven door is not opened too often. The more times the oven door is opened, the longer the cooking time will be because of heat loss within the oven.

Turkey Cook Time:

Roasting Times for a Whole Turkey Cooked in a 325°F Conventional Oven
Weight Unstuffed Stuffed
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours 3 to 3½ hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours 3½ to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours 4 to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours 4¼ to 4¾ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4½ to 5 hours 4¾ to 5¼ hours
24 to 30 pounds 5 to 5¼ hours 5¼ to 6¼ hours



It is important that the turkey is not overcooked, because the breast meat may dry out quickly. Roughly it is 20 mins for every pound...

After removing the turkey from the oven, the temperature of the meat will increase by about 5° as the turkey rests. Let the turkey rest for about 20 - 30 mins under tented foil to allow the juices to go back into the meat.


STEP 6: MAKING THE GRAVY

First take the turkey drippings from the roasting pan and separate the fat, stock depending on how much gravy you want, and meat juices as both will be needed in different stages of the gravy making process.

Deglaze the pan with some wine and meat juice. in a separate bowl mix the turkey fat and a little bit of butter and flour. once mixed, whisk into the mixture in pan.

sauce will thicken. cook until desired consistency... pour into gravy boat and serve with turkey and other fixins...look down below for some ideas!




Bon Apetit!






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The pictures on this post were found in the respective sites
1.
http://www.hornblowerholidays.com/images/big/thanksgiving.jpg
2.
http://www.fotosearch.com
3.
www.countryliving.com

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Private Practice's Sinful Chocolate Cake Recipes

Holy Mother of Chocolate Cake

Layers:

3 ounces semisweet chocolate

1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee

3 cups sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3 large eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Frosting:

1 pound semisweet chocolate

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/4 cup unsalted butter

You’ll need:

Two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans

Wax paper

Electric Mixer

A good attitude

For the layers:

Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease those pans. My grandmother lines the pan bottoms with wax paper, too. Finely chop the chocolate. Then, in a bowl, mix the chocolate with the hot coffee. Stir until smooth.

In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl, beat the eggs for about 3 minutes. An electric mixer works best. Then, slowly add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to the eggs, beating until it’s all combined really well. Add the sugar mixture and beat (on medium speed). Finally, divide the batter between your pans and bake them in the middle of your oven for about 65 minutes.

When that’s done and your kitchen is smelling really, really good – Cool the layers completely in their pans. Run a thin knife around the edges of pans and invert the layers. Carefully remove the wax paper and cool the layers completely.

For the frosting:

Finely chop the chocolate. In a saucepan, bring the cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate, whisking it until it’s all melted. Now would be the time to whisk in that butter until smooth. Put the frosting in a bowl and allow to cool, stirring occasionally.

Then, spread the frosting between your cake layers, over the top and around the sides. Now, find a fertility specialist and give her what she wants.

Insanely Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake

For this one, you can opt to use the same frosting from my grandma’s Holy Mother of Chocolate Cake. This cake also works pretty well without any frosting at all. It’s up to you.

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups sour cream

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 (6 ounce) package chocolate chips (I like the mini kind)

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 pan. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, butter, vanilla and eggs. Mix all of that goodness together. You can use a mixer at medium speed for about 3 minutes.

Then, pour half of the batter into your pan. In a separate small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle half of that sugar mixture and ½ cup of your chocolate chips over the batter. Repeat with the remaining batter, sugar mixture, and chocolate chips. Bake it all at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

If you want to add the frosting from my previous recipe, you can do so now. If not, no worries. Baking cakes at people is fun, isn’t it?

Give Them What They Want Double Fudge Cake

Again, you don’t have to use frosting on this cake if you don’t want to. If you do, use the frosting from my first recipe.

6 ounces semisweet chocolate

3/4 cup butter

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 cup cocoa powder (not drink mix)

1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare an 8 inch round pan by greasing its bottom and sides. Cut a circle of waxed paper and fit it around the bottom of the pan. Grease that, too.

Coarsely chop your chocolate. Then, melt the chocolate and the butter over simmering water. Stir the sugar into the chocolate. Beat the eggs (fast and hard), one at a time, into the chocolate. Next, add your cocoa, pepper, salt, and stir. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake about 40 minutes.

Cool about 10 or 15 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge to loosen, and invert on a plate.



Thursday, August 28, 2008

The General Motors Weight Loss Program

The following diet and health program was developed for employees and dependents of General Motors, Inc. and is intended for their exclusive use. This program was developed in conjunction with a grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. It was field tested at the Johns Hopkins Research Center and was approved for distribution by the Board of Directors, General Motors Corp. at a general meeting on August 15, 1985. General Motors Corp. wholly endorses this program and is making it available to all employees and families. This program will be available at all General Motors Food Service Facilities. It is management's intention to facilitate a wellness and fitness program for everyone.

This program is designed for a target weight loss of 10-17 lbs per week. It will also improve your attitudes and emotions because of its cleansing systematic effects.

The effectiveness of this seven day plan is that the food eaten burn more calories than they give to the body in caloric value.

This plan can be used as often as you like without any fear of complications. It is designed to flush your system of impurities and give you a feeling of well being. After seven days you will begin to feel lighter because you will be lighter by at least 10 lbs. You will have an abundance of energy and an improved disposition.

During the first seven days you must abstain from all alcohol. You must drink 10 glasses of water each day

Day One All fruits except bananas. Your first day will consist of all the fruits you want. It is strongly suggested that you consume lots of melons the first day. Especially watermelon and a loupe. If you limit your fruit consumption to melons, your chances of losing three lbs. on first day are very good.


Day Two All vegetables. You are encouraged to eat until you are stuffed with all the raw or cooked vegetables of your choice. There is no limit on the amount or type. For your complex carbohydrate, you will start day two with a large baked potato for breakfast. You may top the potato with one pat of butter.

Day Three A mixture of fruits and vegetables of your choice. Any amount, any quantity. No bananas yet. No potatoes today.

Day Four Bananas and milk. Today you will eat as many as eight bananas and drink three glasses of milk. This will be combined with the special soup which may be eaten in limited quantities.

Day Five Today is feast day. You will eat beef and tomatoes. Eat two 10 oz. portions of lean beef. Hamburger is OK. Combine this with six whole tomatoes. On day five you must increase your water intake by one quart. This is to cleanse your system of the uric acid you will be producing.

Day Six Beef and vegetables. Today you may eat an unlimited amount of beef and vegetables. Eat to your hearts content.

Day Seven Today your food intake will consist of brown rice, fruit juices and all the vegetables you care to consume.


Tomorrow morning you will be 10-17 lbs. lighter than one week ago. If you desire further weight loss, repeat the program again. You may repeat this program as often as you like, however, it is suggested that you are allowed two glasses of white wine in addition to the instructions on the program. You may substitute champagne for white wine. Under no circumstances are you to drink any other alcoholic beverages with the exception of beer which is allowed. Any liquor (bourbon,vodka, rum) is forbidden. Cream drinks are especially forbidden. You may have an occasional cordial such as creme de menthe or schnapps, but you must always limit yourself to two drinks. If you wine, drink only wine that day. If you have beer, drink only beer that day, etc. Alcohol adds empty calories to your diet. However, after the first week it will help your digestion and settle your stomach.

G.M.'S Wonder Soup

The following soup is intended as a supplement to your diet. It can be eaten any time of the day in virtually unlimited quantities. You are encouraged to consume large quantities of this soup.

28 oz, Water, 6 Large Onions, 2 Green Peppers, Whole Tomatoes (fresh or canned), 1 Head Cabbage, 1 Bunch Celery, 4 Envelopes Lipton Onion Soup Mix, Herbs and Flavouring as desired.

Additional Comments

Vegetables as may be taken in the form of a salad if desired. No dressing except malt, white or wine vinegar, squeezed lemon, garlic, herbs. No more than one tea spoon of oil.

You have been given a recipe for the WONDER SOUP which can be eaten in unlimited quantities. This soup is a supplement while you are on the program and it should be a pleasure to eat. Not everyone likes cabbage, green peppers, celery etc. This recipe is not inflexible. You may substitute vegetables according to your taste. You may add any vegetables you like: asparagus, peas, corn, turnips, green beans, cauliflower, etc. Try to stay away from beans (lima, pinto, kidney, etc.), however, because they tend to be high in calories even though they are very good for you.

Beverages you may consume while on the program :

  1. Water (flavoured with lemon/lime if desired).
  2. Club Soda is OK.
  3. Black Coffee. No cream or cream substitute. No sugar or sweetness.
  4. Black Tea = Herb or Leaf.
  5. Absolutely nothing else except the fruit juices which are part of day seven. No fruit juices before day seven.

How and Why It Works

Day One you are preparing your system for the upcoming programme. Your only source of nutrition is fresh or canned fruits. Fruits are nature's perfect food. They provide everything you could possibly want to sustain life except total balance and variety.

Day Two starts with a fix of complex carbo-hydrates coupled with an oil dose. This is taken in the morning for energy and balance. The rest of day two consists of vegetables which are virtually calorie free and provide essential nutrients and fibre.

Day Three eliminates the potato because you get your carbohydrates from the fruits. You system is now prepared to start burning excess pounds. You will still have cravings which should start to diminish by day four.

Day Four, bananas, milk and soup sound the strangest and least desirable. You're in for a surprise. You probably will not eat all the bananas allowed. But they are there for the potassium you have lost and the sodium you may have missed the past three days. You will notice a definite loss of desire for sweets. You will be surprised how easy this day will go.

Day Five, Beef and tomatoes. The beef is for iron and proteins, the tomatoes are for digestion and fibre. Lots and lots of water purifies your system. You should notice colourless urine today. Your allowance calls for the equivalent of five "quarter ponders". Do not feel you have to eat all this beef. You must eat the six tomatoes.

Day Six is similar to day five, Iron and proteins from beef, Vitamins and fibre from vegetables. By now your system is in a total weight loss inclination. There should be a noticeable difference in the way you look today, compared to day one.

Day Seven finished off the program like a good cigar used to finish off Victorian meals, except much healthier. You have your system under control and it should thank you for the flushing and cleaning you just gave it.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The D-Word!

Recipes. Recipes. Recipes....Did anyone ever stop to think that if we eat all this food whether if it's going to smack into our cute tooshies or in other unwanted areas!?! Well, we certainly did and even though we all love food...we love ourselves more, hence, some of us have taken the initiative to go on a DIET! Yes, I did say the D-word! Of course Exercise has always been in the routine but more so now!

So have you guys tried any diets that worked for you or didn't work for you? Let us know and let's talk about it...Maybe we can create a fabulous diet scheme that works? Who knows...doesn't hurt eyy?

Diets that have worked in the past are the South Beach Diet and Atkins which are similar....the high protein and zero to low-carb diet, which in reality makes sense. Because if you look at the food chain, all the slimmer animals aka lions, tigers, cheetahs, snakes are carnivores vs the vegetarians aka Elephants, Cows etc...

Anyways, in the next few posts or so will post some diets that work or didn't work and will start a dialogue on the Diet Topic...any of you who want to share your successes and woes are welcome to do so!!! And highly encouraged.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Borhani for your Biryani

Borhani is a light refreshing minty and spicy yogurt drink that is usually sipped while enjoying a scrumptious plate of Biryani, a layered meat rice dish. This drink is highly popular during weddings as it is the perfect match with Biryani, which is normally served at Bengali Wedding. Though it can be enjoyed on a hot summer day!


Ingredients:

4 cups yogurt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 green chillies
1 teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoons mint leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

If wish, you can use little bit Bit Laban/Kala Laban (aka gray salt) - 1/8 tsp

Directions:

1. Beat yogurt with a beater. Strain through a cheese cloth.

2. Grind chillies and mint leaves finely.

3. Roast cumin seeds and coriander very lightly over a low heat, grind them.

4. Combine spices and blend with the yogurt.

5. Season to taste with more spices and a little sugar and salt.

6.Keep in the refrigerator.

Serve cold at lunch or dinner.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chotpoti by Susmita Ghosh

This is probably the most popular snack among the urban people of Bangladesh. Usually this is available in fast food store. This is also known as Futchka when it is served on top individual fuchkas. (Fuchka is nothing but puffed and crispy medium size puri. A hole is created on top of futchka and chotpoti is served within it. Fuchka acts as a kind of serving plate).
Ingredients:

2 cups White pea, soaked overnight
2 Onions, medium sized and thinly sliced
1 Tomato, thinly sliced
2 Potatoes, large, boiled and thinly sliced
2 Egg, boiled & thinly sliced
1 Cucumber, thinly sliced
½ bunch Coriander leaves, finely chopped
3 Green chillies, chopped
1 tsp Rock salt, to taste
2 tbsp Vinegar/Lemon Juice
Regular salt, to taste
2 tbsp Sugar
100 grams Tamarind

Dry masala(whole):
1 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Coriander
4 Red Chillies
5 or 6 Cloves, whole
6 Black pepper
1 tsp Five spice
½ tsp Aniseed
Roast all the dry masala in a hot pan very lightly, cool and grind altogether.

Directions:


1. Cook the soaked white peas with little salt & turmeric in a pressure cooker till they become soft. The peas should not be totally meshed and they should be left with little water (don’t make it dry).

2. Boil the tamarind in a cup of water. Add little red chilly (one pinch), sugar and pinch of dry roasted cumin powder. Boil for ten minutes. Cool and strain and keep the watery portion only. Cool and then add lemon juice and rock salt.

3. Take a big bowl. Mix the cooked white peas, tamarind juice as cooked in the
last step and other ingredients. Mix them thoroughly.

4. Place it small individual serving plates. Garnish with coriander leaves, onion
sprinkles, crushed fuchkas/nimkies.

5. Depending on your taste you can vary the amount of roasted masala and tamarind
juice.

This recipe was found on http://sutapa.com/contributed5.html#chotpoti

Tidbit: White pea is aka kabuli chana or if neither is available you may
use canned Garbanzo Beans aka Chick Peas


Ina Garten's Beef Bourguignon

Now I love food recipes by Ina Garten. She makes french cooking look simple and so the other day my mom and I were watching an episode where she made beef bourguignon (aka boeuf bourguignon-the infamous French beef stew in laymen's terms if you will) and ofcourse it looked just delish... so of course apart from dvr-ing the episode, I decided to look it up online too...and well here is the recipe...it's not as easy as it may seem as food network calls it intermediate.. but definitely recipe worth a try... what's the worst that could happen...you've burned the beef? is that anything new? lol...Enjoy



Ingredients:

Serves 6


1 tablespoon good olive oil
8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced (OPTIONAL)
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 cup Cognac
1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
1 can (2 cups) beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound frozen whole onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced

For serving:
Country bread or Sour dough, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic clove
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.

Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.

Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.

Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

To serve, toast the bread in the toaster or oven. Rub each slice on 1 side with a cut clove of garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley.


This recipe was found on www.foodnetwork.com

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kulfi


Ingredients:
Serves 20- 25

Sweetened Condensed Milk - 14 oz
Evaporated Milk - 12 oz
Heavy Whipping Cream - 16 oz
Cool Whip Whipped Topping - 16 oz
Saffron (Kesar) - 1 big pinch
Sugar - 1 tsp
Cashews, Pistachios, Almonds - 1/2 cup, coarsely ground

Directions:

1. With a mortar and pestal, grind together Sugar and Saffron.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine Sweetened Condensed Milk, Evaporated Milk, Heavy Whipping Cream and Cool Whip.

3. Using an electric hand blender (or by hand), gently mix all ingredients together.

4. Add in Saffron and Sugar mixture and Nuts. Mix well.

5. Pour mixture into small dixie style plastic cups. Cover cups with foil and insert a wooden popsicle stick into the center.

6. Freeze Kulfi for at least 4 - 6 hours, preferably overnight.


Tidbits: Kulfi can also be molded in a popsicle maker or fancy shaped ice cube trays. Kulfi has a very long shelf life so keep some on hand for an instant dessert option when guests are over. You may use this recipe as a base and add any fruit pulp of your choice to give it a different flavor.

Masaledar Chai

Ingredients:

4 tsp loose tea, usually black
1 piece of dry ginger
3 cardamom pods, crushed
3 whole cloves
1 piece of cinnamon stick
Milk and sugar to taste


Directions:

1. In a mortar, crush the cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon.

2. Transfer the crushed spices to a small saucepan, add the water, ginger and bring to a boil.

3. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let steep for 5 minutes.

4. Add the milk and sugar to the pan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the tea.

5. Cover and let steep for 3 minutes. Stir the chai, strain it into a warmed teapot or directly into teacups.


Photo Credit and courtesy of
www.cookingandme.com

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Flan

Ingredients

4 eggs
5 egg yolks
1 cup white sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 orange peel
1/2 fluid ounce orange liqueur

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and yolks. Beat in sugar until smooth. Set aside.


3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, half-and-half, the vanilla bean and its scrapings, and the peel of one orange. Heat until bubbles form at edges of liquid, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.

4. Beat hot cream into egg mixture, a little at a time, until all is incorporated.

5. Stir in orange liqueur. Pour into 6 individual ramekins or custard cups.


6. Line a roasting pan with a damp kitchen towel.

7. Place ramekins on towel, inside roasting pan, and place roasting pan on oven rack.

8. Fill roasting pan with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.


9. Bake in preheated oven 45 to 60 minutes, until set. Let cool completely before serving.

Easy Peasy Tiramisu

Ingredients: (Serves 10)

5 egg yolks
1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups and 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
40 ladyfingers
2-1/2 cups brewed coffee
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, beat yolks with sugar and vanilla until smooth and light yellow. Fold mascarpone into yolk mixture. Set aside.

2. Dip ladyfingers briefly in coffee and arrange 12 of them in the bottom of an 8x8 inch dish.

3. Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Repeat with remaining cookies and mascarpone.

4. Cover and chill 1 hour. Sprinkle with cocoa just before serving.

Pad Thai

Ingredients:

1 (12 ounce) package rice noodles
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/8 tablespoon crushed red pepper
2 cups bean sprouts
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
3 green onions, chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Directions:

1. Soak rice noodles in cold water 30 to 50 minutes, or until soft. Drain, and set aside.

2. Heat butter in a wok or large heavy skillet. Saute chicken until browned. Remove, and set aside.

3. Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat. Crack eggs into hot oil, and cook until firm.

4. Stir in chicken, and cook for 5 minutes.

5. Add softened noodles, and vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and red pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste. Mix while cooking, until noodles are tender.

6. Add bean sprouts, and mix for 3 minutes.

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Ingredients:
Serves 4


1 cup water
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
4 egg whites
2/3 cup mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon canned sweetened condensed milk
1 cup vegetable oil for frying


Directions:

1. Stir together the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add the walnuts. Boil for 2 minutes, then drain and place walnuts on a cookie sheet to dry.

2. Whip egg whites in a medium bowl until foamy. Stir in the mochiko until it has a pasty consistency.

3. Heat the oil in a heavy deep skillet over medium-high heat. Dip shrimp into the mochiko batter, and then fry in the hot oil until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

4. In a medium serving bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, honey and sweetened condensed milk. Add shrimp and toss to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle the candied walnuts on top and serve.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chicken Lollipop


Ingredients:
10 pieces chicken wings
3/8 ounce garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 ounce ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3/8 ounce fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
3/8 ounce green chillies, finely chopped
4 7/8 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons cornflour
Salt, to taste
1 egg
panko bread crumbs to coat
oil, to deep fry

Preparation:

1. Break each chicken wing into two parts at the joint.

2. Take each part and pull back the meat from one end of the bone to the other carefully, making sure that you do not pull the meat completely out.

3. Put all the chicken lollipops in a bowl.

4. Add ginger and garlic to the chicken. Mix well.

5. Add green chillies and coriander leaves to the same. Mix well.

6. Add half a cup of all purpose flour and quarter cup of cornflour to the same. Mix well.

7. Break one egg into the bowl.

8. Add salt to taste.

9. Mix well and keep aside for 1 hour to marinate.

10. After an hour is up, heat oil in a wok.

11. Coat the chicken lollipops with panko bread crumbs

12. Deep fry the chicken lollipops in the hot oil by holding the tip of the bone and placing the meaty section of the lollipop in the oil.

11. Drain on clean kitchen paper napkins. Serve hot.

Tidbit: Mix Chili Sauce, Ketchup and Mayonnaise and serve as a dipping sauce.

To get a better idea on how to make the chicken wings look like lollipops watch this video. Please also note the that chef in the video is using a variation of the recipe.



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bobby Flay's Sixteen Spiced Chicken with Black Pepper Vinegar Sauce

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:
3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
3 tablespoons pasilla chile powder
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons ground coriander
3 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon chile de arbol
3 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Boneless chicken breasts (8-ounces each, skin on)
Canola oil
Applewood wood chips, soaked

For the Dressing:
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Salt
Pure olive oil

Preparation:

For Chicken:
1. Combine spices in a bowl.
2. Rub chicken breasts on skin side with rub.
3. Smoke in hot smoker on top of the wood chips until just cooked through.

For the Vinaigrette:
1.Blend in a blender until emulsified.

Serve Chicken on plate pouring vinaigrette on top and around dish. Garnish with cilantro leaves

Tidbit: You can serve this dish with some cilantro pesto folded into mashed potatoes and garnish with a mango salsa.

We had this dish at his flagship restaurant Mesa Grill, ny and what can I say, still have the taste in my mouth...IT WAS JUST DELISH!!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lamb Chaap


Ingredients:


Boneless Lamb meat
Kabab spice
Minced onion
Black pepper
Grated green chili
Grated green papaya
Minced ginger/garlic
Mustard Oil
Gram Flour (Besan)
Salt
Cooking Oil

Preparation:

1. Mix all the ingredients (except gram flour and oil) with the meat and marinate for a minimum of an hour or so.

2. Then add gram flour on both side of the chaap and fry till meat is tender.




Monday, July 21, 2008

Fish Kaliya


Ingredients:

2 large Rui Fish
3 teaspoons turmeric powder
3 teaspoons
salt
2 teaspoon panch phoran
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon plain plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
oil for deep frying
3 medium sized potatoes
1 large onion, finely chopped
2" ginger root , peeled and grated
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
2 dried red chili

Directions:
1. Cut each fish into 4 quarters as evenly as possible. Wash and drain the fish and place in a bowl; rub the pieces with 2 teaspoons turmeric powder and one teaspoon of salt and let sit about 15-20 minutes.

2. Heat the oil for deep frying in a small deep vessel . Deep fry the fish a few pieces at a time - 5 mins. each side and then set them aside.

3. Peel the potatoes and cut each one into 4 long wedges. Wash the potatoes drain and set aside.

4. Heat 6-8 tablespoons of the oil add red chili peppers into it and add the panchphoran. When the panchporan begins to sputter, reduce the heat to "low" and add the ginger and garlic and stir fry for 30 sec to a minute.

5. Next add the onions and stir fry them on "medium" heat until they are soft and golden brown.

6. Now reduce the heat to the lowest setting and add the remaining turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder stir fry for 2-3 mins.

7. Raise the heat to "medium-high" and now add the potatoes. Stir fry for 5-6 minutes making sure they are evenly covered in all the spices.

8. Add the yogurt and stir fry for another minute or two and then add water and bring it to boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to "low" and let it cook for 15 mins.

9. Now add the fish and stir once. Cover and cook some more until the vegetables are done.

10. Sprinkle the garam masala and take off from the heat. Serve hot with rice.