Category: Weekend

Grilled Mutton Chops with Brown Gravvy

Grilled chops with potatoes, boiled veggies and a salad
Grilled chops with potatoes, boiled veggies and a salad

There’s nothing like eating slow cooked food, especially if its meat and has been marinated over at least 24 hours. The flavours get nice and warm and the mutton simply melts away of falls of the bone like it should. This one is a speciality from my mom’s house. Some of her recipes are very “English” and I must say, this is one of them.

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Crispy Potato Bake with Cheese

Glazed Steak Roll Ups

Glazed Steak Roll Ups: You could use chicken instead of the red meat
Glazed Steak Roll Ups: You could use chicken instead of the red meat

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.

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Mashed Potatoes

Grilled to perfection: mashed potatoes
Grilled to perfection: mashed potatoes

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 :)

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Fish Baked in Salt

Straight out of the oven, salt baked pomfret
Straight out of the oven, salt baked pomfret

This dish has been specially made for a friend…he wanted a youtube video, but i’m just about getting the hang of a blog! May be next year Wendell:) But my step-by-step post should be good enough to make this really simple, but brilliant tasting dish.

Baking in salt is a really old technique and everyone from the French, Spanish, Italians, Portuguese to the Africans have laid claim on it. But the truth is, a similar recipe was traced down to the 4th Century BC, when a Greek living in Sicily cooked herbed fish by encasing it in two pounds of salt moistened with water and egg whites. The fish was served by drizzling it with first press olive oil.

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Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Cake

The most delicious, soft and flavourful cake that can be made in a jiffy!
The most delicious, soft and flavourful cake that can be made in a jiffy!

This cake was inspired in Koh Samui, from a pancake a tiny lady made at the crossroads of an Irish pub and a kennel. Every evening we would find our way here from our resort some 10 kms away, on a bike that blew the wind out of my lungs. Within 2 days she knew exactly how I loved my pancake done. It would be slapped with layers on peanut butter, sliced bananas and nutella and rolled up to be drizzled with coconut milk and chocolate sauce! Drool!!! The flavours lingered on for many years and when I was looking for inspiration to make a cake for a friend’s daughter who loved banana, chocolate and peanut butter, this awesome pancake filled my mind space at 1am.

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Bacon, Feta and Date Rolls

date rollsIf 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.

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Peach, Arugula and Feta Salad

Simple crunchy peach, onion, arugula and feta salad. A perfect accompaniment to grilled meats and cheesy dishes
Simple crunchy peach, onion, arugula and feta salad. A perfect accompaniment to grilled meats and cheesy dishes

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.

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Peach and Cherry Cheese Cake

Peach and Cherry Cheese Cake
Peach and Cherry Cheese Cake

When it comes to a cheesecake, fresh fruit toppings have always been a favourite with the family. What’s more its really really simple to make a sugar-free cheese cake and that takes precedence over any other kind of dessert that comes out of my kitchen. Last week, I threw a party for a couple of friends and strangely when the menu was put together, i figured it had only baked items, from the slow cooked chicken to beer bread! It was time to add some bright colour to the menu. As peaches and cherries were in season, it seemed like the perfect topping to my cheese cake!

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Chicken Roulade with Pomegranate and Wine Jus

Chicken roulade stuffed with pepperoni, cheese, smoked dried tomatoes and spinach...bliss
Chicken roulade stuffed with pepperoni, cheese, smoked dried tomatoes and spinach…bliss

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!

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