I am the food I eat. And the days I eat just greens I feel like a mountain goat…light on my feet and ready to run at the sight of an open road, with music plugged to my ears! I’ve done a million combinations of this one basic salad and each one ends up yummy!
The base of a good salad is the quality of the ingredients you use, the combination of crunch, sweet, salty, spicy, nutty and eye candy appeal. Most salads are served cold and that’s what we in India love to eat given the crazy temperatures we live in. Its perfect when paired with a sandwich or a soup. This one has my favourite ingredient: feta.
Whilst surfing for things to do with my water buffalo meat–yeah beef is banned in my part of India–I came across gorgeous looking dish. I didn’t bother to read the recipe or to figure out how complex it would be, or how many hours of back-breaking labour it would involve before I’d set me mind and heart and stomach on it. The plans for a Sunday dinner were fixed, at least in my mind.
A steak definitely calls for sides of mashed potato, so the pots went into the oven, unsalted butter was called for and the stage was set. Wait…my favourite butcher had no meat 🙁 That was surely not going to dampen my spirits..my entire weekend depends on the food I cook! A quick trip to Godrej’s Natures Basket and I managed to lay my hands on Prasuna’s steaks. That would have to do.
How often have you made mashed potatoes and compared them to the ones you dig into at your friendly neighbouring fine dine and realised that they’re not quite the same? Every time? This simple dish is actually quite time-consuming if you do it right way. It’s not as simple as boil-mash-season and serve. It’s more like bake-scoop-mash-butter-mash-cream-mash-season-mash-cream cheese-mash – and some take it a step further and add mustard powder too! Not me…I bake and grill it again 🙂
There’s something about potatoes, that lend them their ‘I must gobble these up’ quality. During the week, we follow a completely almost no carb diet, and this golden brown underground root, is nowhere close to a frying pan. But come weekend, and the pots start to get glazed with delicious sauces, the kitchen is buzzing with rich flavours and the fancy knives are sharpened for the clean-cut!
But coming back to potatoes, have you noticed how they work with almost every protein on earth! And even lend themselves to veggie gravies…
If there is one dish that has managed to light up every single guests eye and plaster a smile on it, it is this one…a simple roll, baked to perfection. A crisp exterior, a sweetened centre and a gooey soft pillowy bite! Wait till your guests take a bite, hear the ‘ooohhhhssss’ and ‘ahhhhssss’ and ‘yyyyyuuuuummmms’ and take a bow.:) You have not just hit the sweet spot, but have become every man’s favourite chef (read person) and every woman’s envy. Enjoy the feeling.
I love a colourful plate of goodies to nibble on along with my meats and what better than a nice crunchy plate of a salad. As you must have guessed peaches are my favourite fruits. This year I’ve used them in smoothies, in a cheesecake and even in a trifle. There’s something about this crunchy, sweet and sour fruit that makes it a perfect combination with a lot of textures, flavours and aromas.
This recipe can be tossed together in less than 5 minutes. What’s more I’ve used a really, and I mean really simple marinade to string the flavours together.
This is a completely inspired dish and all credit goes to MasterChef shows on TV. It’s taken a couple of times to perfect, but even when the roulade wasn’t perfectly rolled, it tasted excellent. The play of colours and textures and the excitement of beating chicken into a thin even perfect layer far exceeds the trauma of cracking the flesh whilst you’re rolling it. I’d say forget the inhibitions and just go for it!
Last week was a test of my culinary skills. I had two friends over for dinner–one a carnivore and the other a pure Jain (read no roots, no mushrooms, of course no onion, garlic and meat) and to add to my trauma, they wanted similar looking plates! Bring it on, girls….
A quick check of what can and cannot be eaten by Jains thanks to Tarla Dalal, may her soul rest in peace, proved i could use raw plantain to create a mash! One element done the rest was easy to fill in, created a beautiful plate using mango salsa and paneer steaks grilled with a freshly made sweet-chillie sauce.
For many years, and I mean many, I couldn’t pronounce this fancy word! I mean why in the world would someone call a puffed stuffed pastry a vol-au-vent? But then it’s French and the language calls for flair. Did you know the name was actually coined by Antonin Careme–an exponent of the style of cooking commonly known as grande cuisine–the most sophisticated and grandiose style of cookery in France. I never liked history, thus the name was 🙁 but I loved gobbling up these delicious crispy puffed stuffed pastries with all kinds of filling. It thus became an integral part of my cooking repertoire.