Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pad Thai

This dish can be versatile. Pork, chicken, beef or shrimp can be added or can just use tofu for vegetarian version.


Ingredients

  • Palm sugar ( depends on your sweetness level)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup tamarind juice
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek
  • 1 (12 ounce) package dried rice noodles
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (12 ounce) package firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • Meat ( chicken, pork or beef / shrimp)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups ground peanuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground, dried oriental radish
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchstick

Note :  The sweetness and tangy depends on individual taste buds.  The measurement above is just an eyeball.

Method

  1. To prepare Pad Thai sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, blend sugar, fish sauce and tamarind pulp and sambal oelek.
  2. To make Pad Thai: Soak rice noodles in cold water until soft; drain. In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, warm oil and add garlic and eggs; scramble the eggs. Add tofu and stir until well mixed; add noodles and stir until cooked. 
  3. Stir in Pad Thai sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir in peanuts and ground radish. Remove from heat and add chives and paprika. Serve with lime and bean sprouts on the side, sprinkle the carrot sticks around.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Strawberry Scones


I have  2 pints of strawberries stacked up in my refrigerator and was looking for a quick snack and came across this wonderful scone recipe which I thought was pretty simple since I already have all the things in hand.  The texture is sort of cake like with a hint of lemon zest in every bite. Not too sweet, a drizzle of glaze with a slight sweetness. As you know, scones are best eaten warm.




Source: Annies-eats

Ingredients

1 large egg
¼ cup plain or vanilla yogurt
½ cup milk
1 tsp. orange or lemon zest
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 heaping cup diced fresh strawberries

Drizzle
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp [fresh] orange juice

Method

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, milk and citrus zest until blended; set aside.  In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Pulse briefly to blend.  Add the butter pieces to the bowl with the dry ingredients and pulse several times to cut the butter into the flour, until the largest butter pieces are the size of small peas.  (If you don’t have a food processor, you can just as easily mix up the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two knives or forks.)  Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
Add the strawberries to the flour mixture and toss to coat.  Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and gently fold together with a fork or spatula until a sticky dough has formed.  Knead just a few times to ensure that all the dry ingredients are incorporated and the dough is cohesive.  (Only if absolutely necessary, add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time to hydrate the remaining dry ingredients.)
Transfer the dough to a well floured work surface and pat into a disc about 7-8 inches in diameter.  Sprinkle lightly with additional sugar.  Slice the disc into 8 wedges. I just made mine into rounds.
To bake the scones, preheat the oven to 425˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.  Place the shaped scones on the prepared baking sheet and bake until lightly browned on top, about 15 minutes.  Let cool a few minutes before serving.
To freeze, transfer the baking sheet with the shaped scones to the freezer and let them chill until they are firm, 30-60 minutes.  Wrap the scones individually and store in a freezer-safe bag until ready to bake.  Bake as originally indicated, adding a few minutes to the baking time.

While scones cool, prepare the glaze. Combine powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl. Stir until smooth. When scones are cool enough to touch, drizzle glaze onto scones with a fork.

Pan Pizza


Who can argue with pizza night.  This dough is for pan pizza and you can bake in whatever dish you have or even a cast iron skillet. The amount of pizza you can make with this dough varies on the size of pan using. I just used my regular casserole dish.

Ingredients

1 2/3 cup water
1 pkt yeast ( 2 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cup bread flour or all purpose flour

Method

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Stir yeast ,warm water and sugar. Leave it a warm place to froth.

In a large bowl, put in flour and salt.  Make a well in the center and pour in the fermented yeast and olive oil.

Slowly stir with a wooden spoon till everything is moistened and comes off the sides of the bowl.  Dump on a lightly floured surface and knead.  Add more flour if needed.  Knead for about 10 minutes till smooth and spongy.

Lightly oil a clean bowl and put in the kneaded dough, cover and leave in a warm place to double in size for about 1 1/2 hour. At this point, you can store some dough in a oiled freezer bag to be used later.  Just make sure to take the dough out to room temperature couple of hours before shaping and baking.

Once doubled, punch the dough, turn it out to a lightly floured surface.Knead out the bubbles and the dough is now ready to be made into a pizza.

You can put the empty dish in the oven for 5 minutes just to get head start, take it out and then spread the dough as follow.

You can cut the dough into thirds and press on a lightly oiled and sprinkled with cornmeal pan. Any kind of pan can be used, I used a casserole dish. Press 1/3 of the dough till it comes up to the sides of the pan and get the kids to dress up the pizza. I bagged the rest of the dough and refrigerated so I can use them the next day or can be frozen in a freezer bag.

Bake the pizza on a preheated oven for about 15 minutes or till the cheese begins to melt.

There is no limitation on homemade pizza.  Let your imagination run wild...



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sweet and Tangy Chicken Wings


Source: Easy, delicious meals

 Ingredients

1/4 cup apricot preserve
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt
About 25 chicken wings
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice

Method

 In a large bowl combine the preserve, vinegar, ginger, cayenne and 3/4 tsp salt.  Set aside 1/4 cup marinate.  Add the chicken wings to a large bowl and toss with the marinate.

Refrigerate the wings for 2 hours.  Heat the grill or broiler.  Grill the chicken, covered turning occasionally until cooked through, 25-30 minutes, basting with the reserved marinate the last 10 minutes.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mutton/Lamb Curry


A spicy concoction on  a cool weather...

Ingredients

Mutton:500gm
Onion : 2
Tomatoes : 2
Ginger& Garlic Paste : 3 tbsp
Oil : 5 tbsp
Cinnamon stick : 1 inch
Cloves : 3
Bay leaves : 2
Fennel seeds : 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1tsp
Curry leaves : 6 to 8
Red Chili Powder : 1 tbsp ( depending on the spiciness)
Meat Curry powder : 2 tbsp
Coriander powder : 1  tbsp
Black Pepper : 1 tbsp ( according to your spice level)
Coriander leaves : Few ( for garnishing)



Method 
  • Heat 1/2 spoon oil in a pan add onions sautee till it becomes soft and translucent .
  • Add tomatoes and fry them all together for about 5 minutes .
  • Remove them from heat and let it cool for few minutes.
  • Grind ‘em into a smooth paste. Keep it aside.
  • Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a pressure cooker, add the ground paste and fry it in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes.Then  add the ginger & garlic paste .
  • After the raw smell off ginger and garlic goes off, add the mutton and mix it all well. Fry the mutton with the masala for 5 to 8 minutes in medium flame.
  • Now add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder , black pepper , salt and half cup of water into it.
  • Stir it well so that all of the ingredients mix together and close the lid of the pressure cooker.
  • Pressure cook it until the whistle goes off 4 times. After that remove from heat and keep it aside.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a pan add cloves, cinnamon, bayleaves, fennel seedsand curry leaves. After the seeds sputter add the  pressure cooked meat in to it . Boil it for a few minutes or till it comes to complete boil.
  • If the gravy is little watery leave it in a medium heat untill it becomes a bit thick in consistency and remove from heat.
Can serve this with mint chutney and ghee rice.





Sunday, April 24, 2011

Black Bean Salsa




I am not a salsa person and neither is my family but there is something to this that makes it so addicting.  This is a fun summer recipe that can be served on its own or with tortilla chips.  I made this and served with some tandoori chicken and buttered rice.  Its not what people might consider a right combo but hey...thats what food is, Mix and Match.  I love colorful food that feasts my eyes before it does to my tummy.

Source:  Allrecipes.com

Ingredients

1 can sweet kernel corn, drained
1 can black bean, drained
1 small jalapeno, thinly cut
1 small shallot, cubed
1 tomato, cubed
1 roasted red pepper, cubed ( I had it roasted earlier and peeled off the skin)
1 mango, skinned and cut into cubes
2 tbsp lemon juice or more depending on your taste
few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper

Stir all ingredients together and drizzle olive oil.  Season to taste.  Refrigerate.

As easy as that...enjoy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Bread

So what exactly is Easter bread?  It is a braided bread, incorporating eggs within the braids.  Easter bread as a tradition is usually made forming a ring.  Eggs are usually dyed using festive holiday colors.  Similar to Challah bread, Easter bread is fluffy and rich.  As a symbol of the blood of Christ and His rebirth, the eggs are colored red.  In the U.S. eggs are often colored using pastel colors.  The leftovers make great french toast or simply just smoother with jam.


Source: Allrecipes.com
 
Ingredients
 
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp (1 package) active dry yeast
2/3 cup milk, warm, 110F (low fat is fine)
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tbsp butter, very soft
3 raw eggs, dyed (as above) if desired
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water (for egg wash)

Method

  • In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook or in a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, yeast and milk and mix to combine. Beat in eggs, one at a time, making sure that the first one is well incorporated before you add the second. Add butter, but into small pieces, and beat until completely absorbed. Add remaining flour 1 tbsp at a time, until the dough pulls easily away from the side of the bowl.
  • Knead dough lightly for about 3 minutes on a lightly floured surface until it is very elastic, then place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 2 hours, until doubled in size.
  • Gently deflate dough into a rectangle and divide it, lenthwise, into three equal pieces. Roll out until pieces are about 16-inches long. Braid together, tucking the ends underneath the loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet (I used a silpat) and cover with a clean dishtowel. Let rise for 60 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Place three raw, dyed eggs gently into dough and brush the loaf with the egg wash.
  • Bake for 36-40 minutes, until rich golden brown.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
  • Makes 1 loaf.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pizza Dough

Today I accomplished what I thought was tough, I made PIZZA...I never thought I would be able to make these but gave it a try anyways. The crust was soft and nice.


Source:  Illustrated Quick Cook

Ingredients

500 gm cups bread flour, all purpose flour or "00"  flour*
1 tsp of salt
1 pkt yeast (7g)
360 ml warm water
60 ml olive oil
some cornmeal for sprinkling

*  "00" flour is a superfine Italian flour and is the best flour to use for making pizza, as it produces soft, stretchy dough.

Method

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Baking sheet has to be in the oven to get really hot before cooking the pizza.

Sift flour  into a bowl and add a pinch of salt and a package of dried yeast.  Make a well in the center of the flour, then slowly add 360 ml of warm water.  Mix with a wooden spoon, or with a mixer attached with a dough hook until it comes together, then add 60 ml of olive oil, and continue to mix until it forms a soft dough.

Place the dough on a floured surface, and knead firmly, using the heel of your hand, folding the dough over as you go. Do this for about 10 minutes until becomes soft and spongy.

Put the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel and leave in a warm place to double in size.

Turn the dough out onto the floured surface again and knead with your knuckles for a couple of minutes to knock out the air.  Divide the dough into fourths and roll each piece out as thinly as you can, rolling away from you and turning it as you go.  You may have to pull and stretch the dough a little as it tends to spring back.  You need it to be about 10in in diameter, although it doesn't have to be perfectly round.

Transfer to a hot, lightly oiled baking tray which has been sprinkled with some cornmeal, prick the top slightly to prevent it from rising and top with your favorite toppings. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is crisp and golden..

I made mine with buffalo grilled chicken breast, pineapple and mozarella cheese.


I made this a thin crust


Pineapple Upside Down Cake



This is one of the first cake that I attempted to make couple years ago  since the direction was so easy and I just love pineapples. Came across this recipe in one of the magazine when I was at the doctor's office.  So I copied it down, came home and did it.  If I recall, I made it a dozen times and the recipe never fails.

Ingredients

1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk plus 2 tbsp pineapple juice
4 tbsp butter, softened

2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp brown sugar
6 pineapple rings in a can, drain out the juice
6 marachino cherries

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the melted 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp brown sugar in a 9 in round pan. Even it up nicely. Top it with the pineapple rings and put one cherry on each pineapple. Set aside.

Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Beat butter and sugar till creamy and white.  Add the eggs one at a time. Beat well.  Add the flour and milk alternately. Beat till combined.

Pour on the prepared pan.  Bake for about 40 - 45 minutes.  Test if it is done by inserting a toothpick in the center.  Cool the cake for about 15 minutes and invert on a plate.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Applesauce and Wheat Germ Pancake



I had some wheat germ from my granola making and a big jar of applesauce.  Combined the two and made some delicious and healthy pancakes.


Source:  Allrecipes.com


Ingredients

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp oil
3 yolk
5 whites
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp oil for the pan

Method

Mix all the dry ingredients.
Mix the milk, applesauce, oil and egg yolk.  Stir into the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Beat the egg whites till stiff peaks form and slowly stir into the batter. Do not overmix.
Grease a pancake pan and add about 1/4 cup of batter.  When small bubbles starts to appear, turn the pancake and cook till just slightly browned.

Note :  I just used all purpose flour instead of whole wheat since I did not have any in hand.

1-2-3 Snap Brownie



This is a super fast snack.  Tastes almost like a blondie but a milder version.  I thought it tasted really good with the condensed milk.  

Ingredients

Cooking Spray 


4 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 (14 oz.) cans Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk

3 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla


Method

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter and vanilla in large bowl. Mix until blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars.




Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lasagna Style Baked Ziti



Probably you would be thinking what makes this a lasagna...well most baked ziti only had Parmesan cheese but since this incorporates Ricotta cheese, I guess thats why it named lasagna style baked ziti but whatever it is...the taste is superb.

This recipe is marked as both kid-friendly and freezable. To freeze individual portions, try lining a ramekin with wax paper and scooping in the pasta before baking it. Pop them out of the ramekins once they're frozen and store them in bags. When ready to bake, peel off the paper and insert them back into the original ramekin!


Ingredients

12 ounces ziti (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 pound lean ground beef
kosher salt and black pepper
1 26-ounce jar marinara sauce
1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
1 cup grated mozzarella (4 ounces)

Method

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the beef, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon until it’s no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes.
Toss the pasta with the meat mixture, marinara sauce, spinach, ricotta, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or 4 large ramekins. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan and bake until the cheese melts, 12 to 15 minutes.
TIP: If you prefer, substitute Italian sausage for the ground beef or chopped broccoli for the spinach.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Challah


I always wanted to make this bread and finally it was time.  The bread is super soft eventhough it was made with all purpose flour.  This bread also makes a real good french toast.  To bake it at home is to have your apartment swallowed whole by the an aroma so sweet, it alone could make a religious person out of you. I don’t know if it is the eggs or oils or extra sugar in there, but it puts all bread-baking aromas before it to shame.



Traditional challah recipes use a large number of eggs, fine white flour and sugar. Modern recipes may use fewer eggs (there are also "eggless" versions) and may replace white flour with whole wheat, oat or spelt flour. Sometimes honey or molasses is substituted as a sweetener. The dough is rolled into rope-shaped pieces which are braided and brushed with an egg wash before baking to add a golden sheen. Sometimes raisins are added.



Recipe from Saveur Magazine


Ingredients

2 tsp yeast / 1 pkt
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp milk, warmed
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cup all purpose flour ( you might not need to use all, depending on the humidity, I used about 3 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 yolk, for glaze
Sesame seed

Method
  • Heat milk to 115 degrees in a small saucepan. Pour it into a large bowl and stir in yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes to give the yeast a chance to activate. The surface should be foamy after 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together melted and cooled butter and eggs. Stir into the milk mixture.
  • Stir in flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Set the ball of dough in a large bowl that is greased with cooking spray or butter and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down the dough, recover with plastic wrap, and let rest until the dough is slightly puffy, about 30 minutes.
Braid it like so.. or you can even round it up after braiding it
  • Remove the dough from bowl and divide it into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a 16-inch rope. Lay the dough ropes side-by-side and pinch one end of the ropes together.
  • Braid the pieces of dough in the following manner: Cross the left piece of dough over the middle piece. Cross the right piece of dough over what is now the new middle piece. Try to do this as evenly as possible to avoid large gaps between the dough ropes. Continue this process until you reach the end. Pinch together the ends and tuck the both ends underneath the loaf.
  • Place the loaf on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let the dough rest (proof) for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the mixture all over the surface of the loaf. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Bake until the bread is deep golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the bread cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.


The bread is super fluffy and tender


Chutney-Glazed Meatloaf

This recipe takes the meatloaf to the next milennium.  We are so used to our regular meatloaf that when I came across this recipe, I thought that I had to try  it since all the ingredients are already in the pantry. The spices on the inside of the meatloaf and the chutney on the outside forms a perfect union of flavors. Do give it a try...


Ingredients

2 lbs extra lean ground beef
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumb
2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp Tandoori curry paste/powder

Plum Peach Chutney Glaze

2 tbsp Plum Sauce
2 tbsp Peach Jam ( I used Apricot preserves)
1/4 tsp curry powder


Method

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine all the ingredients for the meatloaf. Do not overmix. Form meat into a long loaf shape.

Combine plum sauce, apricot sauce and curry powder in a bowl. Spread on top of the meatloaf.

Put loaf in hot oven. Set timer to 50 minutes.

When timer rings, check for doneness. Meatloaf is ready when the thermometer reaches 180F.

Serve this with some steamed brocolli or corn and roasted baby potatoes.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Frozen Chocolate Banana

A wonderful afternoon or anytime snack for kids.  Simple yet tasty. The frozen banana tastes almost like vanilla ice cream with a crunch on the outside from the chocolate.


Ingredients

2 large banana, cut into bite size
1/4 cup chocolate chip, melted
1/4 cup peanut butter, melted (optional )
Unsweetened coconut flakes

Method

Set out a large plate with wax paper and set aside.
Cut the banana's into bite size pieces and freeze it for about 30 minutes.  Melt the chocolate and peanut butter and stir them till smooth,
Coat the banana with the chocolate mixture and sprinkle some coconut on top.
Place them on wax paper and freeze.  Once frozen, place them in container and freeze to be eaten anytime.

Rice Krispies Treat

I usually buy this snack a lot for the kids and so I finally thought it would be nice to just make it since all the ingredients needed are readily available at home. I was just amazed how few ingredients can turn something so delicious and kid friendly. No more store bought!

Ingredients


6 cups Rice Krispies
1 bag (10.5-oz) miniature marshmallows
¼ cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter ( I used only 4 tbsp)
1 cup milk chocolate chips or couple of tablespoon of Nutella, melted


1. Butter a 9×13-inch pan and set aside. Make sure you grease everything...
2. Measure the cereal into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Melt the marshmallows and butter together in a medium saucepan over medium heat (or in the microwave for about 3 minutes, but keep watch so the marshmallows don’t puff over the sides of the bowl!). Pour the melted marshmallow mixture over the cereal and mix well so the cereal is coated. Pour into the prepared pan and use a buttered piece of wax  paper or the back of a plastic spoon to press evenly into pan.
3. In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips. Using a spoon, drizzle or spread the melted chocolate across the top. Place the pan in the refrigerator to set before cutting and serving. Store in an airtight container.

My lil darling sinking his teeth into the yummy treat...




Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fruit and Nut Bread


This bread is filled with raisins, blueberry, apricot and pecan.  Infused with orange zest. Toast or eaten as it is with some butter is delicious and scrumptious.

Source: The Australian Woman's Weekly

Ingredients

1 pkt yeast / 2 tsp
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp warm water
2/3 cup warm milk
1 cup flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp grated orange rind
2 cups plain flour, extra
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
100g butter, softened
1/4 cup sultanas
1/4 cup raisin
1/4 cup dried blueberries/apricots
1/4 cup pecan/walnut
1 egg yol
1 tbsp sugar, for sprinkling
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, for sprinkling

Method

Grease a 9 x 5 in loaf pan. Combine yeast with warm water and milk. Add 2 tsp of sugar, whisk until yeast dissolve, add in the 1 cup flour and warm milk. Cover and set aside to ferment for about 30 minutes or until frothy.

Stir in egg and rind then sifted extra flour, salt, cinnamon, and remaining sugar. Stir in butter, fruit and nut.
Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth. Place dough into greased bowl, cover and stand in warm place about 1 1/2 hour or until doubled in size.

Turn dough onto floured surface, knead until smooth, place into prepared pan.  Cover loosely and stand in warm place until risen slightly. Remove cover and brush dough with egg yolk and sprinkle extra sugar and cinnamon.  bake in moderately hot oven for about 35 - 40 minutes.  Check for doneness by tapping the underneath of the bread and it should hollow.

Turn to wire rack to cool completely.







Friday, April 15, 2011

Couscous with Apricot and Mint

Ingredients


1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water
1 1/2 cups couscous
1 small shallot
1 clove garlic, minced
10 dried apricots, chopped
3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 green onions, green parts only, chopped
1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 handfuls fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon zest, finely grated
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt

Method

In a small pot, drizzle olive oil and saute onion and garlic. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Place couscous in a heat-proof medium bowl; pour boiling broth over it and stir with a fork to combine. Cover and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork. In a large bowl, mix apricots, almonds, lemon juice, green onions, mint, cilantro, garlic and lemon zest. Add couscous, olive oil and salt to taste. Toss gently to combine.

Chicken Marsala

The usage of Marsala wine in this dish is so authentic.  Its gives sweetness and depth to the chicken.  With only few ingredients this dish is a winner.  Pan frying with little flour also helps to thicken the sauce. I ran out of chicken breast so I made do with thighs and drumstick.  The flavor was not compromised infact I think it is wonderful with dark meat. Accompanied this dish with apricot couscous and corn.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour for coating
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded 1/4 inch thick or chicken thighs
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/4 cup cooking sherry, optional
  • 1 cup of chicken broth

Method

  • In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown. Turn over chicken pieces, and add mushrooms and onion. Pour in wine and sherry. Cover skillet; simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink and juices run clear.  If the you want the sauce to be thin, add little more broth.