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

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)

  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:

And this recipe for the caramel:
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

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

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

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!  :)


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