Monthly Archives: May 2009

In which Mo whips up some Tapas

I begged for luck, a lot of people came. It was great fun and may be attributed to the sangria. Frankly,  I dont know how authentic it is, but I called it spanish. The trick is that even if the dish is not exotic, one must have an exotic name for it. So there, g, does that answer your koschen?.
Oh, and not all the ingredients will be available everywhere, so you can experiment.

1. Mango Salsa minus the corn (because I forgot to buy it). Served with tortilla chips. No jalapenos, I used old fashioned green chillies. You need the chillies for the flavour, not the spice.

Preparation time: 20 mins.
Audience reception
: Alright.
Chef’s difficulty rating
: 1.5
Cheat code
: Eat bits of the mango. An inspired cook works better.

2. Parma ham + Melon taken off the super market shelves, wrapped around melon with party toothpick in. Of course mine didn’t look as attractive as the one below, because it’s hard (read: nearly impossible) to cut it into equal sized pieces.

love love

love love

Wrap pieces of Parma Ham around Melon/Rock Melon. I love this. Though it’s exhausting, I love eating it, so I love making it. One should always make food they enjoy.

Preparation time: 30 mins.
Audience reception
: Brilliant
Chef’s difficulty rating: 5.  There is no cooking involved, but wrapping ham around the melon can get tiring.
Cheat code: There is no need to cut the melon evenly. Oh, and put a few drops of lemon on the melon, here and there, because I like the sound of it.

3. Moroccan Kababs

One needs to figure out a way to skewer them. If you have a way, it will be brilliant. Alternately cook them in a pan and put toothpicks.

Meat: Chicken Breast. Use chicken breast because it’s easy to cook.

Marinade: Chopped garlic + Lemon + Paprika + Oregano + Salt. Leave it overnight in the fridge.

Garnish: Parsley

Preparation time: 40 mins. Involves chopping chicken and putting meat through the skewers.
Audience reception: fingerlicking good.
Chef’s difficulty rating: 4.5. Effort is in threading meat into the skewers. Borrrrrrring.
Cheat code: Soak the skewers in water first, else they burn.

4. Prawns with lemon drizzle.

Prawns are fun to cook because they get done fast.

Meat: Prawns. Get frozen tiger prawns. Something which still has the tails. DO NOT struggle with the de-veining. It’s not worth it.

In a pan, put oil, bits of chopped garlic. And then the prawn.

Add lemon rind. Then squeeze the juice of a lemon. Put parsley on top.


Preparation time: 20 mins. 
Audience reception: A bit of the alright
Chef’s difficulty rating: 2/5
Effort: is in threading meat into the skewers. Borrrrrrring.
Cheat code: Microwave the prawns?

5. Patatas Bravas

Ah, the world famous spanish aloo chat.

Image source: BBC good food

Image source: BBC good food

Meat: Fry chopped potatoes. Add salt to them. Oh, the best part, you don’t have to peel the potatoes. 🙂

Brava Sauce: In a pan, or as they say in cook-ese, heavy bottom skillet,  put Chopped garlic + Coriander and cumin powder. Then add the tomato paste (from a can). Add a bit of sugar, and salt. and paprika. If you can lay your hand on some cooking sherry/ red wine, pour some of it in. All of this makes the whole sauce a little sour, so I added a bit of sugar to correct.

Preparation time: 30 mins. 
Audience reception: Tending to good. I made lots, and I still have leftovers.
Chef’s difficulty rating: 2.5 /5
Effort: is in chopping the potatoes. Since you dont have to peel them, works better. 🙂
Cheat code: Reheat sauce before serving.


6. Roast bell pepper/Cherry tomatoes with Tuna stuffing

Preparation time: Forever 
Audience reception: Not many people ate it.
Chef’s difficulty rating: 15 on a scale of 1-5
Effort: DONT TRY THIS AT HOME. The most disasterous thing I have ever made.

You still want this recipe?

Ah, yes, anyone wants my sangria recipe – let me know.

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Mo begs for luck

20 people come for late afternoon snacks to my place, and I have never hosted such a big event. Because I was lazy enough not to get a caterer, the plan is to make the following snacks/tapas which won’t be too much of a trouble to make. I have never hosted more than 6-7 people at a time, and this seems big. The menu for now:

  1. Patatas bravas.
  2. Shrimp something which i have no clue about, I will probably call it lemon drizzle or something
  3. Bite sized Teriyaki chicken, which can be done really fast, I think, because the marinade is from a bottle
  4. Bell pepper rolls with tuna stuffing which I saw the pic of and looks very attractive.
  5. Prosciutto with Rock Melon, because I would like to eat it myself.
  6. Chips + Mango Salsa (Pi’s recipe)

What else do you recommend? Tips?

And make it quick.

Cynic’s cabbage in cutlets clothing*

Lets face it – cabbage is a blah vegetable.

 It has no character, no will power, no taste no nothing. It’s rather like those folks in a Governmental office. Pale, potbellied and billious green who will be damned if they do any work for you.

Which is why finding any good cabbage recipe is a momentous occasion worthy of many ballads and poems. Since I cannot write ballads ( ask Mo, sigh) and can manage only bad poems, I shall instead just share the recipe.**

Cabbage ( half a head) ~ 1/2 kilo – grated

Two large onions – grated

Approx 1 tsp of the following

Chilli Powder

Roasted Coriander powder

Garam masala

Pinch of Turmeric

Pinch of Amchur powder

2 tbsp of Besan ( Chickpea flour)

~ 75-100 gms of Rice flour ( you need enough for it to get bound properly)

Salt to taste

Mix the whole thing together, pat it into a cutlet, and shallow fry it on a tawa on low fire.

You can change the individual masalas depending on taste.

This can be served as an accompaniment, or sneaked into bread slices for unsuspecting kids or cabbage-hating-spouses .

* Note to self: STOP ALLITERATING

** I have actually made this today, so if I am inspired enough, I might actually take the effort of taking a photograph and posting it.***

*** Remember, this site’s USP are its lazy cooks. You cant expect lazy cooks to take photos and put them up now, can you?

Pi pirouettes to the Twist and Salsa.

Pi, who dances like magic,  teaches some easy steps to  us, the ones with two left feet in the kitchen.

1. Baby Carrots/Corns with a Roasted Twist:
——————————

A quick and healthy snack.

Ingredients:
Baby carrots or baby corns: as many as you want or
Coriander Powder
Roasted Cumin Powder (bhuna jeera, the one used in Raitas usually)
Red chilli powder or Paprika (if you want it spicy)
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Lime
Honey

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the baby carrots on a tray.
Brush olive oil.
Season with salt, pepper and paprika (or red chilli powder)
Roast it in the oven for 15-20 mins or till they look roasted
Once roasted pour lime juice for the tangy taste (you can skip this if you do not want the sour tinge), some honey (you can skip this if you don’t want the sweet tinge)
Sprinkle Coriander powder and Cumin Powder
Serve

2. Mango Salsa:
————–
Ingredients:
Mango cubed (could be the sweet or sour mangoes) – 1
Jalapeno peppers (chopped) – 2-3 depending on how spicy you want it
Avocado (diced) – 1
Corn (steamed frozen corn) – 1/2 cup
Lemon juice – 1 lemon
Salt
Cilantro – chopped coarsely
Roasted Cumin Powder – 3/4 tsp

Instructions:
Mix everything
Chill
Serve with tortilla chips.

PS: Now, do the jig.
PPS: I always wanted to try making Mango Salsa, but nobody ever gets tired of Tomato Salsa.

Mo

g’s chicken katti roll

And this one is a guest post by the lovely G at 42. Who has demystified something as complex sounding as a katti roll – what more could you ask for?

Ingredients:

RRLV*:

Pre-cooked frozen boneless chicken breast strips
[Your favorite brand] Tandoori chicken Masala
Coriander/ Mint / Green chilli*** chutney / Pesto from the store
Frozen Malaysian Parathas
A little oyl
1 small onion
lemon / vinegar
salt to smell

LLLV**:

Boneless chicken breasts
Ginger & Garlic paste
Pinch of turmeric
Coriander powder tt****
[Your favorite brand] Tandoori Chicken Masala
Homemade Coriander / Mint Chutney
Frozen Malaysian Parathas
Some oyl (yes, that’s more than a little oyl)
1 small onion
lemon / vinegar
salt to smell*****

Oh, alright homemade coriander/mint chutney:

1 mother / friend / friend’s mother
1 telephone

How:

(Hard-workers deserve to know first):

1. (Thaw and) Cut chicken breast into bite sized pieces. Remember the pieces become bigger when cooked, so cut them slightly smaller than you’d like them.
2. Lightly rinse in warm water. Add ginger-garlic paste, all spices & salt, squeeze a little lemon and mix properly (with fingers :P). Let it marinate for  bit.
3. Put some oil in a wok; when it’s sufficiently heated, add the chicken. Sauté, and keep at it every few minutes.
(If you coincidentally happen to be humming Ada, aay hay Ada at the time, sautéing at every Adaaaaaaa would be a good pace)
4. Sprinkle some more Tandoori Masala if you want to kill time or need a distraction. But don’t blame me later if it’s too much 😛

6. On the side, make the Paratha as per the packet instructions.

7. I’m assuming you’ve already made the coriander chutney 1-2 days ago. I never really make coriander chutney for this roll, but I invariable make the kathi role if I’ve already made the chutney.

8. Halve and slice onions reasonably thin. Drizzle lemon juice or vinegar. Add salt.

9. Smear Chutney on Paratha, add the chicken, add onions, roll (the Paratha :P) eat.

(Wokay, now you lazy bums):

1. Microwave breast strips  for 30 sec to a min (till they’re softish).
2. Start making Parathas simultaneously
3. Add a little oyl, Tandoori Masala to the chicken, lemon, salt. Mix thoroughly, nuke again.
4. If Paratha is burnt by now, take another one. Maybe you should just wait till the chicken is done 😛
5. Do 8 & 9 above.
* Really Really Lazy Version
** Lie-Lie Lazy Version
*** Only if you enjoy the after-dance
**** to taste
***** Alright, even salt to taste – (don’t tell me you actually smelled it :P)
****** You’re right Cyn, this is fun! 😉

Thanks for humoring me, you three! Was fun posting 🙂

Cyn’s footnotes

We want more! We want more! We want more! Recipes I mean.

Also could you fedex the rolls to my address? Thanking you verr muchly

Cynic’s Environmentally-Friendly* Maharaja Samosas

How to recycle leftover food and give it a totally new look
Ingredients
Left over potato sabzi (dry) or mince (for you carnivores)
Papad (Not roasted)
Oil for frying
 
Preparation
Cut Papad into half
Moisten the papad
Put a little bit of the sabzi/mince
Wrap the moist papad around it
Deep fry
 
Voila.

For all you non-lazy folks who want to do the stuffing from scratch (bah) – here are a couple of stuffing recipes **
 
Vegetarian
Boiled and mashed potatoes
Add the following masalas – Chilli (Or chilli powder), Cumin (Jeera) powder, Dry Mango ( amchur) powder, Garam Masala, Roasted Coriander powder, Coriander, salt to taste
Optional add-ons – finely chopped onion, finely chopped garlic, boiled green peas
  
Non-vegetarian
Saute onions in oil
Add ginger-garlic paste
Add tomato puree
Add the minced meat
Garam masala + Salt + Chilli Powder + Turmeric + Coriander powder + Bay leaf + Cinnamon + Salt to taste 
Optional add-ons – boiled green peas

* How does this save the environment?
Well, when the cook needs to expend minimum energy AND recycle left over stuff, that’s going to result in one happy cook. Happy cook definitely is better for the environment than an unhappy one isn’t it?

**The interesting thing about these stuffing’s is they can also be converted into cutlets. Just add crumbled bread slice (without the crust) – so that it absorbs the extra moisture and provides binding and shallow fry it on a tawa.

Also please note that the recipe maker has managed to sneak in four recipes into one post. Energy conservation again!