Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mango Shake

Now this isnt really a recipe but more of a homage to my favorite fruit and how my family can never have enough of it. Come May and alphonso mangoes come to live with us. Happily ripening in their dry straw and wooden plank homes, they are checked daily for ripeness. There are mango shakes for breakfast, mango slices for dessert and mango lassis for evening snacks. Aamras (mango puree) and various mango delicacies - aam papad, aamrakhand, mango burfee, mango ice cream the list goes on...
I like my shake thick and not too sweet, hence the extra pulp and no additional sugar. I use chilled ingredients and avoid ice as it dilutes the shake. 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup mango pulp or 3/4 cubed mango
3/4 cup milk

Blend for a minute and its ready to sip!

Also sending it to Serve it - Chilled an event by Denny

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Scalloped Tomatoes

My father-in-laws garden had an over abundant crop of tomatoes. To finish up the tomatoes I started to look at my bookmarked recipes and this one jumped out. Its an Ina Garten recipe and its perfect (though I made some alterations). It easy to make and the simplicity of the dish makes every ingredient stand out. The plump juicy tangy tomatoes, sweet basil, creamy cheese and pungent garlic are a burst of flavor in your mouth. Even my masala loving and moms-food-is-best husband couldn't stop raving. We had it for dinner and leftovers for breakfast and are waiting for the next batch of tomatoes :-) The original recipe calls for Parmesan but I had some lovely Swiss Gruyere and I used that for the dish.

Ingredients:

3/4 french loaf (6-8 inches long)
8 medium tomatoes - I used vine ripened
6-8 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
6-8 basil leaves, chiffonaded
3/4 cup grated Parmesan / Gruyere
Salt

Cube the bread into 1 inch pieces. Heat the oil in a deep wok / frying pan and heat the oil. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add the cubes into the oil and toss well to coat. Brown the bread while constantly stirring / tossing the cubes. 
Wash the tomatoes, hull them and chop into quarters. In a bowl, add the tomatoes, sugar, pepper, basil and salt. Mix well. Add to the browned bread cubes and toss well to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add half the cheese in the bread tomato mix and transfer to a baking dish about 8x8 size. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for about 30-40 minutes till the cheese is melted and tomatoes are cooked. 

Serve hot or warm with a mushroom or spinach quiche / frittata / omelette. Non-vegetarians can pair this with grilled chicken or fish.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sunrise Surprise (Apple Orange Spritzer)

A hot summer afternoon needs a refreshing drink. One sip of this spritzer and you will be raring to go out again. Its a simple combination of fruity flavors - orange, apple and to add some fizz a little lemon-lime soda. Try it and let me know how you like it. The measures are approximate, depending on the size of the glass you are making it in. The one drawback is, it has to be made in individual glasses. All the ingredients should be chilled, ice is optional.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon orange crush / concentrate
3/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup Sprite / Limca
Pieces of apple for garnish
Ice cubes (Optional)

Take a tall glass and put the crush at the bottom. Then slowly pour the apple juice from the side of the glass while tilting it, to not disturb the crush at the bottom. Add Sprite on the top and garnish with apple pieces. Add ice cubes and serve immediately.

I am sending this to Nayana's Coolers and Mocktails Event, originally started by Pari and to Saffron Streaks Summer Coolers Event
Also sending it to Serve it - Chilled an event by Denny

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Paan Ice cream (Betelnut leaf Ice cream)


Paan is a must after a big Indian dinner. Paan is not only a flavor burst in the mouth but the leaf aids digestion. The gulkand - rose leaf preserve is a coolant, and the saunf - fennel seeds act as a breath freshener. However with summer here, it is a hard choice between some icecream and paan. I thought why not merge the two. This icecream uses two readymade ingredients so no churning or waiting. You can either buy the paan ingredients separately or ask your neighbourhood paan wala to give four paans with masala separate. These are the ingredients of a mitha paan.

Ingredients:

1.5 pints (750 ml) Vanilla icecream
4 paan leaves
1/2 cup paan stuffing (tutti fruti, grated coconut, fennel seeds)
2 tablespoons gulkand
Make vertical cuts in the paan leaves and roll them to chop finely. Mix the paan ingredients well with the gulkand. Soften the icecream by placing it on the kitchen counter for 5-10 minutes. Fold the paan mixture into the icecream till it is well dispersed in the icecream. Put it in the freezer for about an hour to harden.

Scoop, serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Drunken Beans and Spanish Rice

I made this dish almost a year ago and since I missed posting it last Cinco de Mayo, I want to be in time for this year. Spanish Rice is an all occasion favorite, a departure from my usual rice recipes - Indian and Chinese. The drunken beans are an acquired taste if you are not a fan of dark beer. But you can substitute it with a pale ale of your choice or plain vegetable stock but your beans wont be drunk then :-)

Ingredients:


Drunken Beans

1/2 pound raw pinto beans
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 can (16 oz) tomatoes, diced or crushed
2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeno
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon oregano
1 bottle dark beer
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups water
Black pepper
Salt

Wash the beans thoroughly, and soak overnight with 2 inches of water above the beans. Drain and keep aside.
Heat oil in a crockpot and add the onions and garlic. Sauté for a minute and add the tomatoes, jalapeno, bay leaves, oregano, salt, black pepper, water and beer. Finally add the soaked beans and cook for about 45 minutes till tender. Mash a handful of beans to thicken the liquid. Adjust for salt. Serve hot with some Spanish Rice.

Spanish Rice

2 cups Rice
2 cups Water
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small green pepper, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cups Salsa
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon  black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped coriander (Not in pic above)
Salt

Heat oil in the rice cooker vessel on stove top and add the cumin seeds, onion and green peppers. Saute till onions are translucent. Then add the salsa, chili powder and black pepper. Add the rice and sauté for a minute. Add salt and water and return the vessel to the cooker base to cook till done. Fluff with a fork and sprinkle coriander to garnish. 

Have a good Cinco de Mayo! 
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