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Jan 2, 2014

Recipe: Stuffed Zucchini Mini Boats with Fresh Mozarella Cheese

Posted by Poornima Seetharaman at 12:30 PM 0 comments
Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables. I like using it as much as possible. I made this as one of the starters for new year's eve dinner party at my sister-in-law's place.

Stuffed Zucchini Mini Boats with Fresh Mozarella Cheese


Serves 4-6

Ingredients
2 zucchinis
4 medium sized potatoes
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1 green chilli
200g fresh mozarella (you can use the easily available mozarella cheese cubes too)
Olive oil
Any dried herbs (I used oregano, thyme and rosemary)
Salt
Pepper

Method
  1. Cut the zucchini into medium sized rings and then cut it into halves to create the mini boats. Scoop out a little bit of the inside to make place for the stuffing.
  2. Brush the zucchini boats with some olive oil, salt and pepper and microwave for 1 minute.
  3.  For the stuffing: Boil potatoes; remove skin and mash them with thyme, oregano and salt. (You can use any dried herbs here)
  4. Pan fry some thinly diced onions, green chilies and garlic with olive oil. 
  5. Turn off heat and add the potatoes to the pan to infuse with the mixture. 
  6. Add stuffing on top of the zucchini boats
  7. Add some mozzarella cheese on the top (grate the cheese or add it as small chunks)
  8. Microwave for abt 2-3 minutes (till the cheese starts melting).
  9. Take it out, sprinkle some rosemary (or any other dried herb) and serve.
  10. For those who need some punch to cut the cheesy flavour, top it with some Tabasco sauce or Tomato sauce. Alternatively, you could add some tomatoes to the stuffing itself.
Enjoy! :)


Recipe: Caramel Custard (Microwave)

Posted by Poornima Seetharaman at 12:12 PM 0 comments
Caramel Custard. Yet another superb dessert! My first attempt was for Christmas 2013, to fulfill hubby's request :)

My first attempt: Caramel Custard 

I followed the recipe from here:
http://www.niruskitchen.com/recipes/details.asp?recipe_id=16&category_id=9

And this recipe for the caramel:
http://www.yummytummyaarthi.com/2012/02/caramel-custard-caramel-pudding-baked.html
The picture by picture representation in the above blog helped me assure that my caramel was right.

Copy pasting the mixture of the above two recipes with my comments below:


Serves 2 large portions or 4 small portions


Ingredients
¾ cup (180 g) sugar (I used caster sugar)
2 tbsp water
4 eggs (I used only 3 and feel that should be enough)
2 tsp Cornflour (After my finished product, I feel it could be 3 tsp)
2 cups (450 ml) milk (I used tetra pack milk; not slim or skimmed versions)
1 tsp vanilla essence 



Method (caramel from the second website, the rest from the first)
  1. In a nonstick pan add ¼ cup (60g) sugar and water and swirl the pan to help it to melt down.
  2. Let the caramel come to a boil allow it to bubble up till it turns golden brown. Don't stir the pan which results in a sticky caramel. (Refer the images in the second website listed above)
  3. Pour this caramel into the microwave dish and spread it evenly.
  4. Ideally ramekins or similar should be used. I used a medium sized glass bowl because that's all I had. I would suggest using something with a depth just slightly larger to the contents inside. 
  5. Beat eggs, cornflour, vanilla and the remaining sugar together. Add the milk in a stream, beating all the time.
  6. Pour mixture into the dish and cook covered, at 30% for 10-12 minutes.  (I used 450W in microwave mode in my Samsung Microwave and cooked it for 14 minutes)
  7. Cool, (put in the fridge or chill tray), unmould and serve. You might have to adjust the time after trying once or twice.

Enjoy! :)

Recipe: Vanilla Panna Cotta

Posted by Poornima Seetharaman at 11:43 AM 0 comments
The first time I tried a Panna Cotta was as part of the Restaurant Week India. It was a mango Panna Cotta. As soon as I took a mouthful, I fell in love with this dessert. The lack of availability in the nearby restaurants in Navi Mumbai drove me to creating this delicacy at home.

My very first attempt: Panna Cotta with fresh strawberry sauce

I followed the recipe from this website:
I'm pasting the same here with my comments:

Serves 3-4

Ingredients
Panna Cotta:
1 cup heavy cream  (I used 200 ml Amul Cream)
3/4 cup milk (I used 250ml tetra pack milk; not slim or skimmed versions)
1/2 cup white sugar (I used 125 g caster sugar)
2 tsp vanilla essence
3 tsp powdered gelatin (Hardcore vegetarians! Please note that gelatin is a non-vegetarian product. Somewhere in the near future, I will attempt the recipe with agar-agar for vegetarians. Will update this with the same then. I'm a eggaterian myself. But gelatin was not a deal breaker for me)
3 tbsp cold water

Strawberry sauce:
200gm fresh strawberries, quartered
1tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water

Method
Panna Cotta:
  1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Combine milk, cream and sugar in a saucepan and bring almost to boil. Turn off heat and add vanilla essence.Stir well.
  3. Melt gelatin over double boiler or microwave for 15 seconds. Stir in gelatin until it has dissolved. (I microwaved it.)
  4. Add the melted gelatin into the milk-cream mixture and stir well.
  5. Pour the Panna Cotta mixture into ramekins. (I used glass bowls)
  6. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until set.
Strawberry sauce:
  1. Combine the strawberries, vanilla essence, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. While the mixture cooks, crush the strawberries with a potato masher.
  3. Simmer the sauce until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened, for about 10 minutes
  4. Let it cool
To serve
  1. Dip the outside of the mold quickly in a bowl of hot water to loosen and invert onto serving plates. (Poke the edges gently with a flat object to ease the process)
  2. Pour the sauce over it.
Panna Cotta with fresh orange sauce and ready-made strawberrry sauce
The orange sauce was made using the same method as that of the strawberry sauce mentioned here.

Enjoy!  :)




Apr 12, 2013

Shubh Aarambh

Posted by Poornima Seetharaman at 3:18 PM 0 comments
I don't know the reason behind yet another blog! But why not! This blog is all about my foodie-ness!

I try and attend Restaurant Week India, as much as possible. It is an amazing event to indulge in culinary bliss! Happens twice a year; in April and Sept. 

In Sept 2011, we headed to Ziya, The Oberoi in Mumbai for lunch and Olive Bar & Kitchen, Mahalakshmi Race Course, Mumbai for dinner. The food was amazing. Ziya served perfect portions. The cuisine was Indian; run by Michellin-starred Vineet Bhatia.

I had the pan-grilled yoghurt kebabs with South Indian curd rice for appetizer. The kebabs were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The slightly chilled curd rice was a perfect combo with the kebabs.

For main course, I opted for lifafa paneer. I would call it a sophisticated paneer puff. But that didn't make it any less tastier. It was served with a side of mushroom khichdi. The khichdi was so tasty that I couldn't get enough of it!

Interesting fact: I had curd rice for appetizer and puff for main course! ;)

For dessert, I had the mango panna cotta. That's the first time I tried panna cotta in my life and I fell in love with it! And the litchi ice cream on the side was so refreshing!


Portions at Olive Bar & Kitchen were too much for us; maybe because of the heavy lunch or the awesome cheese-y-ness! The cuisine was mostly Italian. But had a bit of Moroccan and Turkish dishes.

I had the cherry tomato & goat cheese tart tatin for appetizer. It was so fresh and absolutely gorgeous. By the time I finished it, I felt like I was done with my main course! But the glutton in me craved for more goat cheese and I ended up ordering the spinach and goat cheese pizza for my main course. Well, as expected, couldn't finish it and I had to leave some space for dessert! I ordered the frozen peanut butter ice cream sandwich. It was just alright. Had to borrow some cheese cake and chocolate mousse off my friends' plates to end the day on a tastier note.


In Apr 2012, we headed to Koh by Ian Kittichai, InterContinental Marine Drive, Mumbai for Lunch. Unfortunately we forgot to take pics! But if I remember one thing off their menu, it is the appetizer: Golden Corn and Coconut 'White' Tom Kha Expresso! It was so delicious that I would have gladly had it for all three courses!


In Apr 2013, i.e. last week, we headed to Caperberry, Bangalore for Lunch. The cuisine was Italian. The ambiance and the food was equally lovely.

I ordered the potato bravas for appetizer. Perfectly done potatoes served with an incredible sauce. I didn't even leave a drop of the sauce behind! For main course I tried the stuffed conchiglioni. When it was served, the portion appeared small. But hell no! It was perfect. The creamy herb sauce was true to its name. The consistency was spot-on! For dessert, it was an obvious choice for me: panna cotta. It was good, but not great. The mango mousse on the other hand was absolutely delicious!

I'm definitely going back to Caperberry for more yumminess!


Life is short. Indulge in the delicacies when you have the chance! :)


 

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