Monday, December 23, 2013

Mushrooms and Chicken Teriyaki

Teriyaki Mushrooms and Chicken

Stir fried mushroom and chicken with teriyaki sauce makes a quick and simple meal. This is an easy stove top chicken teriyaki. You can use the sauce to grill or bake the chicken.Grilling enhances the flavor of this savory sweet sauce by giving a caramelized coating to the chicken. The quick stir fry method also tastes delicious. I tried the home made teriyaki sauce from Swathi's blog. She made with tofu,I used chicken and mushrooms instead.

 Chicken- thin strips- 1 lb
Sliced mushrooms- 2 cup
Onion cut into cubes- 1 medium
Garlic- 2-3 cloves
pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
salt to taste

For the sauce
Soy Sauce-1/3 cup
(I used Kikkoman Soy Sauce)
1/4 cup mirin
( Japanese Rice vinegar)
 Palm Sugar-1 tbs
 Black strap molasses- 1 tbs
(or you can use dark brown sugar)
Grated ginger- 1 tbs
Minced garlic- 2 cloves
Sesame oil- 1 tbs
water/ chicken stock-2 tbs
Toasted sesame seeds- 1 tsp

Mix all the ingredients listed under sauce and simmer in low heat till it slightly thickens and set aside.
Dry roast sesame seeds for about a minute and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add minced garlic and then add sliced mushroom. Stir fry in high flame for about two to three minutes till it gets golden brown and all the moisture is absorbed. Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl. In the same pan add one tsp of oil and stir fry chicken in high heat. Add pepper powder fry till the chicken is evenly brown. Now add half of the sauce and simmer for a minute ( if you like you can add little more later). Before the sauce completely thickens add mushrooms and saute till the sauces gets evenly coated. Finally add toasted sesame seeds. Serve with jasmine or basmathi rice.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese Almond Cookies is rich, crisp tender and  buttery cookies. I first came across this recipe in Sherry Yard's Secrets of Baking . It was also part of the baking partners challenge. I could not try it then, but had saved the recipe. Since it is Christmas I decided to bake these cookies. The flavor of this cookie comes from Almond paste and almond extract. Almond paste is available in supermarkets. Amaretto, Italian liquor made of bitter almonds and apricots can also be used instead of almond extract. You can also add ½ cup of sliced toasted almonds to give the cookie more texture.

Recipe Source:The Secrets of Baking-Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts, Sherry Yard

All Purpose Flour- 2 1/2 cups
Baking powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Butter- cold unsalted- 6 oz./ 1 1/2 stick
Sugar- 3/4 cup + 1 tbs for rolling
Almond paste- 1/2 cup
Orange zest- 1 tbs
Almond extract- 1/2 tsp
Egg- 1 large
Egg white-1
Almonds- 1/3 for garnish
Demerara Sugar - Sprinkle on top

Sift together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
Using a standing mixer or a hand mixer, cream the butter until pale yellow, about two minutes. Add ¾ cup sugar, almond paste, orange zest, salt and amaretto. Cream on medium speed until it is smooth and lump free for about one minute. Add egg and beat in low speed for 30 second or until fully incorporated. Remove small handfuls of dough from the mixer and plop them down the middle of a sheet of parchment paper, creating a log about 2 inches wide and twelve inches long. Fold the parchment over creating a sausage. Chill for at least one hour.

Pre heat the oven to 350 degree F. Adjust the rack to the lower third of the oven. Live two baking sheets with parchment paper.
When the dough has chilled, remove it from the parchment, pour the remaining 1/4cup of sugar onto your work surface and roll the log in sugar. Using a knife cut 1/3 inch rounds off the log. Place the cookies two inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Brush each cookie lightly with beaten egg white and press a whole almond into the center of each.

Bake one sheet at a time for 12- 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully slide the parchment directly on to a work surface and allow to cool  to room temperature

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Mughlai Chicken

Mughlai Chicken

Today's dish is a Classic Indian dish and the tradition can be traced back to the Mughal period.This Chicken cooked in a creamy rich and aromatic sauce with exotic spices and nuts.The recipe is inspired from here.  It dish is time consuming,but really worth the effort. Try this you will love it!

To Marinate
Chicken- 2 lb
Ginger garlic paste-  1 1/2 tbs
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Green chilly paste- 1 tsp

For the gravy
Onion- 2 medium
Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
Green chilly paste- 1 tsp
 Chilly powder- 1/3 tsp
White pepper powder- 1/3 tsp
Coriander powder- 3/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder- a pinch
Almonds- 1/3 cup
Cashew nuts- 8-10
Yogurt- 3/4 cup
Heavy cream- 1/3 cup
Garam Masala- 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder- 1/3 tsp

For tempering
Ghee - 2 tbs
Black Cardamon- 2
Cinnamon stick-1 inch  peices-2
Aniseed- 2
Cloves- 3
Slivered Almonds- 2 tsp
Raisins-  2 tsp
Fried Onions and mint to garnish

 Soak almonds in warm water and remove the skin. Make a paste of almonds and cashew nuts and keep aside.
Marinate the chicken with the ingredients listed under 'to marinate' and keep aside.It is best to marinate it over night and refrigerate.
Make a paste of onions, ginger garlic and green chilly.
Heat a heavy bottom pan and add 2 tbs of ghee and  oil. Fry the sliced almonds and raisins for a minute,drain and keep aside.
In the same pan add the whole spices listed under "tempering' and saute for a minute. Into this add the onion  ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw flavors disappears ( at this stage if it starts sticking add on tsp of oil). Do not brown them. Add chilly powder, pepper powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and mix well.
Mix almond cashew paste with yogurt. Take spoon full of masala from the pan and mix with the yogurt ( this is to prevent cuddling of the yogurt). Now add this back to the pan and fry in medium for 4-5 minutes till it dries and oil separates. Into this add the marinated chicken and stir fry for two to three minutes. Add about a cup of water and enough salt, and half of garam masala. Cover and cook for 15- 20 minutes or till the chicken is cooked. Finally add cream and the remaining garam masala and simmer for a minute.Garnish with sliced almonds,raisins and fried onions. Serve with pulao or paratha/naan.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bûche de Noël/Yule Log Cake~ Baking Partners Challenge

Bûche de Noël/Yule Log Cake 

Baking partners challenge for this month is Christmas Cake.When  Swathi announced Bûche de Noël/Yule Log Cake I was really excited about the challenge.This month’s recipes are suggested by Tanushree of Ma Niche.There are 5 recipes she found out for us. Four of them are Yule cake, and fifth one is Nicaraguan Christmas cake.
Every celebration is incomplete without a rich food tradition.Yule log as the name suggest is sweet roulade shaped and frosted to resemble a log. In France it is served during Christmas and Yule festival . The Yule festival is mid winter festival celebrated in Germany and the tradition extended even before the origin of Christianity. Later it become part of Christmas and the Yule log or the log cake become symbolic to ancient traditions and observance. This cake is delicious with a soft sponge roll, mocha flavor filling and a dark fudge frosting.

The recipe source is from here
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Dessert, by Abigail Johnson Dodge (Simon & Schuster, 2002).

For the cake:
For the Sponge Cake I used Faye Levy's recipe from the book Chocolate Sensations
All purpose flour- 6 tbs
Corn starch- 1/4 cup
Egg- 4 eggs+ 2 egg yolks
Sugar - 7 tbs
Orange zest-  1 tsp (grated)
Confectioners sugar for dusting

For the syrup:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 to 3 Tbs. dark rum or coffee-flavored liqueur

For the filling
Heavy cream- 2 cup
Cocoa powder-3 tbs
Brewed Coffee- 3 tbs
Sugar- 5 tbs

For the frosting:
 Whipping cream- 1/2 cup
Sugar- 5 tbs
Dark chocolate- 4 oz.
Unsalted butter- 4 oz/ 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence- 1/2 tsp

For garnish
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting, grated chocolate
and Confectioners sugar for garnish

To make the frosting
Combine cream and sugar in a heavy medium sauce pan. Cook over ow heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil and the reduce heat to low medium and simmer for one more minute.
Remove from heat and allow to cool down a bit and add finely chopped dark chocolate and let it sit for two minutes. whisk the chocolate mixture till it is completely smooth . Chill this in the refrigerator until cool. Do not allow it to set. Cream butter till it is smooth and fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture little by little (in three to four addition). Mix in vanilla and refrigerate the mixture till it is ready to be used.

 To make the filling combine heavy whipping cream, cocoa and brewed coffee and beat with a electric mixture till it starts thickening. Add sugar little by little and beat till stiff peaks are formed.  Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate.

To make the syrup heat  In a medium sauce pan bring water and sugar to boil  and allow to cool down and add coffee liqueur.

To make the sponge sheet cake
Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease 15 1/2-by-10 1/2- or 17"x 11" rimmed baking sheet. Line with butter paper and butter it. Shift corn starch and flour and keep aside.Beat egg yolks and 5 tbs sugar till it is thick and pale. Add the flour and fold in gently. In a separate bowl whisk egg white, gradually increase speed and beat to soft peaks. Gradually add two tbs sugar and continue beating till it is triple volume and forms stiff peaks. Fold this egg white in three additions into the cake batter.. Transfer batter into prepared baking sheets and gently and evenly spread so that it reaches all the four sides of the pan.. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cake is just firm and springy to touch.
Meanwhile, lay a clean kitchen towel on the counter and sift confectioners sugar generously onto it, covering it evenly. When the cake is ready, remove it from the oven and immediately run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake. Holding the cake in place, invert the pan onto the prepared towel. Lift off the pan and carefully peel off the paper. Beginning on a long edge, roll up the cake and towel together. Set on a wire rack and let cool.
To assemble the bûche, unroll the cake and brush it lightly with the cooled syrup. Using an icing spatula, spread the filling mixture all over the cake . Gently re-roll the cake,beginning with the long end like a jelly roll, roll carefully and tightly to avoid holes in between the cake roll. Using a serrated knife, trim each end on a sharp angle. You can use these to make the side bark.Frost the top and sides of the roll with the butter cream  frosting, using long, rough strokes. make lines in the frosting with a spatula or a fork to resemble a bark.Transfer the cake to a serving plate and garnish with the chocolate curls, a sifting of confectioners sugar or with meringue mushrooms. Refrigerate for an hour before serving for the frosting to set.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ennai Kathikkai

Ennai Kathikkai is a delicious South Indian/Tamilian dish made with baby eggplants/ aubergines. It is a tangy and spicy gravy that can be served wit rice. Earlier I have tried the dry stuffed version. The gravy is somewhat similar to the Kerala eggplant theeyal with onions,coconut and tamarind . The baby egg plants are first fried before adding to the sauce

Recipe source- Vahchef inYoutube
Baby eggplants- 8-10
Onion -1 large
Tomatoes- 3 medium
Ginger garlic paste-  2 tsp
Grated coconut- 3/4 cup
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Chilly powder-1 1/3 tsp
Fenugreek powder- a pinch
Coriander Powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Tamarind- 1 small ball (gooseberry size)
Jaggery powdered- 1 tsp
Urad dal- 1 tsp
Dry red chilly- 2
Gingerly oil- 1 tbs
Oil for frying egg plants

To make the masala- Heat 2 tbs of oil (any regular oil) and add roughly chopped onions and saute till it changes color. Next add ginger garlic paste and saute till  the raw flavor disappears. Add coconut and saute till the coconut changes to golden brown. Add chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and finally the tomatoes. Saute till tomatoes becomes soft. Allow to cool and grind to a fine paste.

Soak tamarind in half cup of water and keep aside.

Wash and dry the baby eggplants. Make 2 slits all the way to the top of the eggplant, but make sure it remains intact and fry in oil for about 4-5 minutes in medium heat. Drain and keep aside.

In a heavy bottom pan heat gingerly oil and add mustard seeds and urad dal. When the mustard seeds crackle add dry red chilly. Pour the gravy onion tomato paste and cook for 3 minute in medium flame or till oil separates. Add thick tamarind pulp, pinch of fenugreek powder, jaggery and salt and simmer for one more minute ( add more water to adjust consistency). Finally add fried eggplants and simmer for two more minutes. Serve with rice.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Pomegranate Lemonade

Pomegranate lemonade is refreshing and healthy drink. The sweet and tart sweet pomegranate goes well with tangy  lemon .I used the Meyer lemons which is sweeter than regular lemons. Adjust sugar as per your taste.

Pomegranate juice- 3/4 cup
Lemon juice- 3/4 cup
Water- 4 cup
Ice as  needed

For the simple syrup
Sugar- 3/4 cup
Water - 3/4 cup
Pinch of salt

To make the simple syrup add sugar and water  into a sauce pan and bring it to rolling boil. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Add a pinch of salt and allow to cool completely.
Squeeze lemon juice and extract juice from the pomegranates (you  can also use store brought pomegranate juice). Mix this with water and the simple syrup. Use half of the simple syrup first and check. Adjust sweetness according to taste. Serve with ice cubes and mint leaves.

Try this
Hope you all enjoy!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Strawberry Upside-down Cake

Strawberry Upside Down Cake

Strawberry upside down cake is fruity,rich and delicious dessert. I already posted a pineapple upside down cake and pear upside down cake which is more traditional. I love upside down cakes because they are simple and easy to make, yet tastes and looks exotic. Unlike pineapple upside down cake the strawberries does not retain much of its shape and become soft. But it makes the cake soft and tender and the cake absorbs the flavorful caramelized  strawberry syrup.

Strawberries- 1 1/2 cup (cut into half)
Light Brown Sugar- 1/2 cup
Cake flour- 2 cups
Unsalted butter- 6 tbs
Vegetable oil- 3 tbs
Baking powder 1 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda- 1 tsp
Salt-1/3 tsp
Granulated sugar 3/4 cup
Vanilla essence - 2 tsp

First step is to prepare the cake pan. Heat 1/2 of the butter ( reserve the rest for the cake). Take an eight inch cake pan and pour butter into it and spread the brown sugar evenly. Arrange strawberries cut into half all around the pan and keep aside.
Pre heat oven to 350 degree F. Shift  the dry ingredients, flour,baking powder, soda and salt and keep aside.
Cream together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat till light and fluffy. Now add dry ingredients and 2-3 tbs of milk and oil and  mix in a low speed. Spoon in the batter and spread over the strawberry slices and spread evenly. Bake  for thirty minutes ( middle rack) or till toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan itself for about 2-3 minutes .Run a knife around the edges of the cake pan and gently invert  the cake into a  plate. Allow it to cool down a bit and serve.

Try this..
Enjoy !

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