Friday, May 16, 2014

Chocolate Walnut Bars

Chocolate Walnut Bars
Baking partners challenge for this month is bar cookies. I always wanted to try them and when Swathi asked me to suggest two recipes  for this months challenge,I readily agreed. Thanks Swathi for this opportunity. Enjoyed this challenge!
This is the second bar recipe for this months challenge. The first one is Lemon Bars.Chocolate Walnut bars is yummy,easy to make and kids will love this. It has a buttery dough, a chocolate raspberry filling and a crumble topping.
Recipe source Faye Levy's Chocolate Sensations,Hp Books,Canada,1986.

Walnut cookie dough
Walnuts- 1 cup (3-3/4 0z.)
Egg yolks-3
Sugar- 1/2 cup
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Vanilla extract-2 tsp
Grated lemon zest- 2 tsp
Chilled Unsalted butter- 1 cup ( 8 oz.)
All purpose flour- 1 3/4 cups

Chocolate Raspberry filling
Raspberry preserve- 1/2 cup
Semi sweet chocolate cut into chunks- 6 oz.

Nutty crumble topping
Sugar- 2 tbs
All purpose flour- 1/4 cup
Walnuts- 1/4 cup

To make the dough
Finely process nuts in a food processor and set aside.Combine egg yolks, sugar,salt,vanilla,lemon zest and butter in the food processor .Start with 10-12 pulses and the continuously pulse for 5 seconds until combined.Add flour and walnuts and process for five seconds .Scrape down and continue processing till the dough begins to form sticky crumbs but does not come together as a ball. Put dough in a plastic bag or a wrap and press together o form a ball. Chill for one hour.

Pre heat oven  to 350F (175C). Cut out 1/4 of the dough and set aside in  the refrigerator.Pat the remaining dough in bottom of an un buttered 13"x9" pan.
Stir preserve,using a rubber spatula,gently spread over the dough.Sprinkle chocolate over the jam.
Cut reserve dough into small pieces. In the food processor process flour, walnuts, sugar and the cut dough till it resembles a crumbly mixture.Spread this evenly over the chocolate.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the crumbs are firm and light brown. Cool in pan over a rack till it is lukewarm. Using a sharp knife slice into bars. Store in air tight containers (up-to three days in room temperature)

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Meyer Lemon Bars

Meyer Lemon Bars

Baking partners challenge for this month is bar cookies. I always wanted to try them and when Swathi asked me to suggest two recipes  for this months challenge,I readily agreed. Thanks Swathi for this opportunity. Enjoyed this challenge!
Lemon bar is a very popular bar cookie and lemons are available all year round. This makes a perfect summery treat. Here I used the Meyer lemons, which are sweeter  and not as tart as the regular lemons.I always loved sweet and tart lemon curd.This recipe has a basic lemon curd technique with the addition of condensed milk and flour. It is smooth and creamy and sets firm in the oven.Allow it to completely cool down and chill before you slice them. Try this recipe,you will surely love it.

Recipe source The Secrets of Baking, Sherry Yard and The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle.

Basic short crust recipe
All Purpose flour- 1 1/4 cup
Confectioner's sugar- 2/3 cup
Pinch of salt
Cold unsalted butter cut into half inch cubes- 10 tbs  (1 1/4 stick)
For the filling
Sugar- 3/4 cup
Lemon zest- 1 tbs
Lemon juice-1 cup
Condensed milk- 1/2 cup
(or milk 1/2 cup. Milk or condensed milk is optional it gives the bars a custard flavor and firmer texture)
All purpose flour- 3 tbs
Salt- 1/8 tsp
Yellow food color- 2-3 drops (optional)
Powdered sugar for dusting

To make the crust
Pre heat oven to 325 degree F and position rack in the center of the oven.Butter 9inch square baking pan and set aside (you can also line pan with aluminum foil)
Using a food processor,mix flour,sugar and salt.Add pieces of butter and pulse 8-10 times till the mixture resembles course meal. Process until the mixture forms large clumps and holds together when pinched between two fingers (around 15-20 seconds). Scrape dough into prepared pan and pat it into an even layer.Using a fork prick the dough at one inch intervals. Bake the crust for 20 minutes till the edges become golden brown. Allow this to cool in the pan on a wire rack.

To make the filling
Pulse sugar and lemon zest in a processor till it is fragrant.Beat eggs and mix the sugar and whisk till it is pale yellow color. Add the condensed milk,lemon juice, flour and salt.Pour over the baked crust.Bake at 325 degree F for18-20 minutes or until just set and firm to touch. Cool in room temperature and the place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour before cutting into bars.To finish dust the top of each bar with powdered sugar and serve.Store lemon bars tightly warped in room temperature for two days or in the freezer for one week.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mangalore Fish Curry

Mangalore Fish Curry

Mangalore fish curry is a delectable coconut based spicy and sour curry.You can use any firm flesh fish to make this curry. This recipe is inspired from  Hari Nayak's- My Indian Kitchen. It is a yummy south Indian style fish curry and goes well with rice.

King fish- 1 1/2 lb
Onion- 1 medium
Tomato- 2 medium
Green chilly-2
Curry leaves- a few
Coconut milk- 1 cup
Tamarind paste- pulp of a small ball tamarind
oil - 3 tbs
Salt  to taste

To make paste
Dry red chilly- 7-8
( according to spice tolerance)
Coriander seeds- 1 tbs
Cumin seeds- 1/8 tsp
Black peppercorns-1/2 tsp
Cinnamon stick- 1 inch thick piece
Fenugreek seeds-a few
Garlic- 5 cloves
Ginger- 1 inch thick piece
Coconut-1 cup
Ground turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Oil- 2 tbs

Heat oil in a pan. Add chilly,coriander seeds,fenugreek seeds, cumin, cinnamon,pepper corns, whole garlic and chopped ginger. Roast this in low medium flame for about 5- 6 minutes. Allow this to cool. Add coconut and pulp of tamarind  to the roasted spices and turmeric and make a fine paste.

Heat oil  in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, green chilly and curry leaves and saute till golden brown. Add tomato puree and cook for two to three minutes. Now add the ground coconut paste, salt and coconut milk.  Adjust consistency by adding little water. Bring this sauce to a boil. Gently slide in the fish pieces and cook covered for 10-12 minutes or till the fish is cooked. Serve with rice.

Hope you will all enjoy!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cauliflower Prawns rice

Cauliflower Prawns rice

 This recipe is inspired from vegetable biryani, I once tried at a restaurant. It had fried cauliflower in it as garnish and tasted delicious. I made this prawns rice and added  crispy cauliflower fitters. It is a delicious and filling rice.Serve this is papad and pickle.

Basmathi rice-  1 1/2 cups
Prawns- 15
Celery chopped- 1/3 cup
Green peas- 1/3 cup (or vegetable of your choice)
Finely minced cauliflower- 1/2 cup
Onion- 1 medium
Green chilly - 3-4
Ginger garlic paste- 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp

Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Ghee- 1 tbs
Bay leaf-1
Salt to taste

For the fitters
Cauliflower florets- 1 cup
Chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
Fennel powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Corn starch- 2 tbs
Flour- 2 tbs
Oil for frying
Salt to taste

Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan. Add bay leaf and ginger garlic paste and saute till raw flavor disappears.Add onion, green chilly,chopped celery and saute for two to three minutes. Next add green peas, chopped cauliflower,turmeric powder, garam masala salt and the cleaned prawns. Saute for two to three minutes till the prawns changes color. Add the rice and mix along with 3 1/3 cups of water. Cover and cook till the rice is cooked and all the water is absorbed. Make the rice fluffy using a fork and set aside.
To make the fitters,mix all the ingredients (except cauliflower and oil) to make a medium thick batter. Dip each cauliflower floret into the batter and drop into hot oil. Fry till it is nice and crispy.Mix this with rice along with lemon juice and serve with papad and pickle.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Pineapple Payasam

Pineapple Payasam
Desserts/payasam are part of every celebration and festive occasion in Kerala. There are different verities of payasams, but let me talk about some fruit payasams that are my absolute favorites. I must confess that a perfect fruit payasams we need patience, but the result is an exotic and extremely appetizing dessert.Chakka/Jack fruit, pazham/ plantain and mambazhayam/mango payasam/pradhaman are among the best of fruit payasams.

 Pineapple pradhaman /payasam was new to me. I tried this for the first time at my cousins wedding. It was yellow in color and I am sure was made with sugar.It was a payasam to die for, extremely flavorful and sweet. I wanted to try a home made version of pineapple payasam and opted jaggery instead of sugar. This was part of our Vishu Sadhya ( Malayali New Year) and it was yummy. I read once that pineapple takes longer time to cook and for curries its flavor is best when it is cooked and mushy. So make sure you cook this down really well, this will also enhance the natural sweetness and gives it a caramelized flavor and taste.Try this jaggery version,you will surely love it.

Pineapple- 3 cups- pureed
Pineapple finely chopped- 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 kg
Ghee- 3 tbs
Sugar- 3 tbs
Thick coconut milk- 1 cup
Thin coconut milk- 3 cups
Cashew nuts and raisins- a few
Dry ginger powder- 1/2 tsp
Cardamon powder- 1/2 tsp

Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan and roast cashew nuts and raisin,drain and set aside.
In the same pan add finely chopped pineapples and fry for 4-5minutes and then the pineapple puree. Return it back to the pan and simmer.Stir in between and allow to cook and thickens till it  resembles jelly or halwa. The mixture will start leaving the edges of the pan. Add thin coconut milk and sugar and simmer.
In a pan melt jaggery using one cup of water. Allow it to boil till the jaggery melts. Strain and add to the pineapple mixture and cook for 12-15 minutes till it thicken and reaches the desired consistency. Mix in thick coconut milk, cardamom powder and ginger powder.
 After one minute switch off the flame. Finally garnish with fried cashew nuts and raisins. You can also add ghee fried coconut pieces.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Strawberry Pistachio Milkshake

Strawberry Pistachio Milkshake

Delicious drink for hot a summer day!

Strawberries- 8-10 sliced
Pistachios- 1/4 cup
Vanilla Ice cream - 1/2 cup
Milk- 1 1/2 cup
Sugar- 3-4 tbs
Vanilla essence-1/2 tsp

Slice strawberries, mix with sugar and put in freezer for one hour.
Remove pistachio shells and soak in hot water for ten minutes. Blend to make a fine paste. Into this add
milk and the frozen strawberries and make into a fine puree. Finally add ice cream and vanilla essence and blend. Pour into glasses and serve with sliced strawberries and chopped pistachios.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

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