Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Chocolate Bark!

If you like chocolate, you will love chocolate bark🍫 that is basically tempered ( melted ) chocolate!
The fun is you can choose whether, you want the base to be milk, white or dark chocolate. My preference is bitter sweet chocolate. Also you get to add toppings, like sweet or salty nuts, of your choice and create your own style of chocolate.

I like the toppings to be in  many colours, texture and sweet and salty. You can have fun making it your way and surprising your guests for a little chocolate treat after dinner or just indulge in some yourself:) after all its a chocolate, and who doesn't like some!!
Do try out this very simple but special treat.

Ingredients are very basic

8 ounces chocolate, bitter sweet chocolate
2 ounces of white chocolate
Toppings your choice 
1/4 cup salted peanuts, or your choice of nuts
1/4 cup M&Ms
1/4 tsp or less butter ( optional but I used some just for making sure the chocolate doesn't stick to bowl while tempering)




Ingredients
                                                                     
Melt chocolate 


                                                                             
Melting chocolate


Pour chocolate  on the template 

Add toppings 

Sprinkle white chocolate 



Chocolate Bar




 Doesn't it look yum! so do try out the simple steps and make some.


Method:
1. Cut the slab of chocolate, into pieces, put into a microwaveable bowl and microwave at intervals of 20 seconds. .In the first batch, chop approximately 5 ounces of chocolate and temper (melt) in microwave. As it melts, don't over melt.
Add remaining 3 ounces, continue and melt.
2. With the help of a pencil and ruler, mark out a rectangular shape on the parchment paper. Turn the paper and pour the melted chocolate on the side that has no pencil marks.Using a spatula, spread out the melted chocolate in a way that it stays within the marked rectangular shape.
3.Start adding toppings of your choice, while the chocolate is still in melted stage. Lightly press with hands, making sure the toppings get embedded. Now refrigerate fo 2 to 3 hours.
4. Temper some white chocolate, in a bowl in microwave and sprinkle on top of ready cooled chocolate bark.
Cut out shapes using a knife or just by your hand. Enjoy with friends and family, or at parties.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Roasted Vegetables


A warm summer afternoon lunch, and no body wanted to have a heavy curry dish, so I thought why not  have roasted vegetables instead.
They are so juicy and try to use vegetables that are in season,  fresh produce always tastes more flavorful.
The key to having well roasted vegetables, is begin with first baking them in oven, and later turn the option from bake to grill, for last few minutes.
My favorites, to bake  are colorful bell peppers, onions, egg plant , asparagus. But you can definitely use other vegetables of your choice, just be sure to spread them out well on the baking tray, as if they are too close they wont bake well.

Ingredients:

4 to 5 small bell peppers
2 to 3 egg plant
1 medium red onion
1 bundle asparagus
salt  to taste
black pepper
olive oil to drizzle on top of cut vegetables.
3 to 4 pieces peeled fresh garlic 
1 to 2 Fresh sprigs of herbs


Cut out vegetables and lay them on a baking tray

Drizzle olive oil, add salt, black pepper to asparagus 

Roast vegetables in the oven

Take out and then grill the vegetables back in oven

Roasted Vegetables 

Tandoori salmon

Roasted vegetables and tandoori salmon


Method:
1.Using a knife cut out vegetables, with 1 inch lengthwise or into cubes. Asparagus ends tend to be tough so you can trim them or peel them.
2. Lay them onto a baking tray, sprinkle salt and black pepper over them. Drizzle olive oil to coat the vegetables and garlic. Using a spoon stir vegetables slightly. Top with fresh herbs, like thyme, rosemary or one of your choice.( if you like herbs, or omit that step)
3. Bake initially, for about 20 minutes, till  vegetables and garlic  seemed cooked and little soft. Then grill for another few minutes. Serve hot with toasted bread sprinkled with olive oil. I served this dish with grilled tandoori salmon.

This is healthy way to eat vegetables and very easy to prepare too.

The recipe for preparing salmon is in my blog, please refer to that to prepare it.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Blueberry muffins

Blueberry muffins a great start to morning breakfast, so satisfying and scrumptious with the taste of fresh blueberries bursting as you eat into these freshly baked muffins.
Follow this simple recipe and enjoy blueberry muffins at home, and make friends and family happy, by sharing your muffin delights!!
I  came across this recipe on TV and couldn't resist making them, at home. Modified  slightly to suit my taste.

Ingredients
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence 
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups fresh blueberries


Blueberries Muffin Ingredients

Cream butter and sugar 

Add one egg at a time 

Sieve dry ingredients 

Add blueberries 

Muffins batter  in the cupcake liners

Can't wait for them to bake :))

Just baked 


                                                         
Blueberries muffins





Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare muffin tins, by greasing with butter or use a cupcake liner in each and grease with spray oil.
1. In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter, add in sugar and using a hand mixer or wooden spoon mix till creamy.
2.Add in one egg at a time, next add vanilla essence. 
3.For the dry ingredients, sieve together flour, salt and baking powder. Start adding the flour to the batter, alternating with milk, till both flour and milk are added.
Next, fold in blueberries and do not over stir. 
4.Add spoonful of muffin mixture to prepared muffin cups. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool, before eating.




Monday, May 15, 2017

Creamy Butter chicken

Butter chicken or fondly known as Chicken Tikka masala, is a royal Indian dish, prepared by cooking chicken and cooking it in a creamy tomato based curry sauce, that is medium spicy and full of aromatic flavors that an Indian spices offer. It is a favorite and served in almost all Indian restaurants  in India and abroad.

My version is to prepare a  not too heavy curry, for that I want to stay away from using heavy cream  and onions. It won't compromise on flavor,  its lighter so you can enjoy more of the curry guilt free :))
For bringing out the flavors, try using fresh ingredients and spices that will enhance the taste of the dish.
This recipe was looooooooong due, so happy I could modify and come out with a more healthier  option, of enjoying this dish.



Ingredients 

2 pounds boneless , skinless chicken cut into approx 1 inch cubes

2 Roma tomatoes, pureed

1 tbsp canned tomato

1 inch ginger freshly grated

3 to 4 cloves garlic freshly grated

1/4 cup cashews ( soak in water, 10 mins and grind to make a smooth paste)

salt to taste

2 tsp garam masala

Spices 
2 big cardamoms

1 inch cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

2 to 3 cloves

3 to 4 black peppercorns

2 to 3 small cardamons

2 to 3 dried red chilies

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp honey


Marinade  for chicken
Ingredients
1 tbsp sour cream or can use 1 tsbp plain yogurt
1 tsp each ginger, garlic paste
salt to taste
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil




Chicken marinade



Cook marinated chicken in a skillet 



Prepare the  sauce 






Cook chicken in the prepared sauce on low to medium heat covered




Butter chicken








Method:
In a bowl, add ginger , garlic paste 1 tsp each. Add salt to taste, 1 tsp red chilies powder, 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tsp coriander powder.  Add chicken and marinate it for about 20 to 30 mins.


Method for preparing the sauce for butter chicken.
1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet, and cook the marinated chicken, on medium heat for about 15 minutes, till the chicken appears cooked. The real test to know if chicken is cooked from inside, is to make sure its white and not pinkish  in color on the inside.
Once the chicken is done, cover and keep aside.

Method for preparing the curry sauce 
1.In the mean while, heat another skillet, add  2 tbsp butter , add in freshly grated ginger, garlic. Allow that to sizzle, few mins. next add in all the whole spices, all of them. Stir few minutes.
Next, add red chilly powder, and cashew paste, continue cooking about  5 minutes or as the cashew paste comes together. Add in tomato puree, stir another 8 to 10 minutes, adding salt and garam masala.
Taste the curry and add more salt if required. add 1 tsp honey for that sweet tangy taste, and then add the  cooked chicken, into the prepared curry. Add 1/2 cup water and continue cooking, another 10 to 12 minutes till the chicken and curry appear thickened and done.
Add freshly chopped coriander leaves, or thinly sliced colorful peppers as garnish,





Monday, April 24, 2017

Spicy Black Pepper Chicken

Black pepper also known as Milagu, in southern states of India.This chicken dish is popular and made in the households of south India. Pepper and other spices are famous in this part of the country, there are many interesting plantations of them.
Peppercorns is considered a king spice in that part of India.
I came across this dish, when I saw it being prepared at a TV show. I liked how simple it was to make and that it can be served, as an appetizer or main dish.



  Ingredients:
2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken cut into 2 inch cubes.
Salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric
1tsp corainder powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp black pepper ( Milagu powder)
1 tsp each ginger ,garlic paste
3 to 4 green chilies chopped
3 tsp rice flour
2 tsp lemon juice
Oil to deep fry
1 tsp mustard seeds
6 to 7 curry leaves
2 to 3 dried red chilies
Fresh coconut slices (optional)












Method:
Marinate chicken in a bowl, with salt, red chili powder, coriander , pepper , turmeric. Add an egg, and ginger, garlic paste.
Add finely chopped curry leaves, and lemon juice. Heat oil to deep fry the chicken pieces, to a golden brown, frying them for 4 to 5 minutes. Strain on to a paper towel.
Next heat a medium pan, with 2 tbsp oil for tempering. Add mustard seeds, allow them to splatter.Next add in coconut slices , brown the coconut slices, add green chilies and sliced onions.Add curry leaves 2 to 3.
Then add in 1/2 cup water, and cover few minutes,  add in the fried chicken. Saute for another 4 to 5 minutes, serve hot . Enjoy preparing and eating this spicy chicken dish, with family and friends :)


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

kabargah Kashmiri Lamb chops

When I saw this recipe , it tempted me to try it out. Glad I went ahead and made it, came out so flavorful. Both  me and my husband just loved the dish.

Its basically lamb chops, cooked in milk and spices. And later coated with a yogurt marinade  and shallow fried in  clarified butter ( ghee)
 This  kashmiri recipe called Kabargah, made by Pundit style cooking. This method  of cooking uses more of yogurt,turmeric, and less or no onions, that's what makes this dish more unique! Also spices like cloves, cardamon, , ginger and 
fennel are most commonly used.
Traditionally, they cook these lamb chops in ghee ( clarified butter) though now a days if you are more health conscious you can cook them in olive oil too.
 They are easy to prepare, follow some simple steps and adding  milk, makes them so soft and juicy!!



Add Lamb chops to a pan, along with cloves, cinnamon stick, saffron,star anise and black cardamom

Cook on medium heat with milk till chops appear done and milk evaporated


Dip each chop to coat with yogurt marinade prepared 


Add ghee and shallow fry each coated lamb chops

Kabargah


Ingredients
6 to 8 medium size lamb chops approx 2 pounds
1/2 cup milk
Salt to taste
Few strands saffron
2 star anise
1 small cinnamon stick
2 big black cardamon

 For Marinate 
2 tbsp plain  yogurt
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp fennel powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp ghee ( clarified butter)

Method:
Heat a pan, add lamb chops, milk, saffron, salt, cinnamon,cardamon,star anise and cook, over medium heat  till the chops appear soft ,and milk has evaporated. Keep aside.
In a bowl, add yogurt,salt, asafoetida, turmeric, red chili powder, fennel powder,garam masala.
Dip each cooked lamb chop in this marinate and coat with yogurt, Heat ghee in a pan and shallow fry these lamb chops till they appear brown and crispy.
Enjoy Kashmiri style lamb chops!





Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pasta pesto chicken



Wheat pasta is a healthy option of eating pasta! Also the chicken , adds a balance of protein that makes this dish a great meal.
This is one of the favorite ways of having pasta, rich creamy sauce and the combination of chicken with wheat pasta is liked by my family.



Ingredients
1 pound boneless skinless chicken cut into 1 inch cubes
salt to taste
1/2 tsp Thyme ( fresh or dried)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp fresh finely chopped rosemary herb
2 tbsp butter
1 small onion chopped finely
2  garlic cloves  finely chopped
1 small roma tomato chopped finely 
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 shredded Parmesan cheese 
1 tsp crushed red chili 
1 tsp black pepper
1 box wheat pasta shells
1 small jar store bought pesto 




Cook chicken 

Saute onions, garlic and latter add chopped tomatoes

Add cooked chicken to creamy sauce 


Add cooked pasta 

Pasta Pesto Chicken 

Method:

1. Fill up a medium cooking pot with water to cook the penne pasta (see recipe on pasta box)
Strain the cooked pasta and keep aside.
2. Clean chicken cubes,Coat with salt,thyme, seasoning, garlic powder and rosemary. In a pan, melt two tablespoon of butter, add chicken to cook on both sides, for about 5 to 6 minutes per side.
3. Once cooked, set aside, do not wipe or clean the skillet, as it has all the  flavors.
In the same pan, melt another two tablespoons of butter, saute onions, garlic and tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste.
Add 3 to 4 tablespoon of pesto(more or less depends upon how much you like pesto)
Pour heavy cream, stir to make a creamy sauce. Add in Parmesan cheese.
Add chicken. Allow everything to simmer together for 5 to 10 minutes. Add red crushed chili and salt to taste.
Pour in cooked pasta and cook with sauce for another 5 minutes.
Serve warm pasta with Italian  bread and enjoy ;)





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