Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Triple Ch0c0l@te C00kIes



the rains had added to my yearning for good chocolate cookies. good means good quantity as well as good taste. even i was ready to spend a good amount, was not very happy with the taste of what i was from the various cookie shops. and as it is the downpour has made me much more lazy, so was thinking of giving cookie baking a miss. but since d shops were unable to satisfy my taste buds, so i had to head towards the kitchen. the result was extremly rewarding & mouthwatering. trust me of all the chocolate cookies i have made till now, guess this is the best.

this chocolate cookie is an exception in the sense that it uses three types of chocolate- milk chocolates, dark chocolate & white chocolate. dark chocolate was used in most quantity, was kind of the base for this cookie. white & milk were much lesser in quantity.though the recipe wanted the milk & white chocolate to b chopped well, but i had kept it in chunks only.

 this was quite an easy and fuss free recipe. and i was happy considering a disastrous  result of an expensive experiment i had a few days back. but what i realised is that you can decrease the amount of chocolate chunks in this cookie mixture. here goes the recipe:

INGREDIANTS:

90g milk chocolate
90g white chocolate
300g dark chocolate
90g unsalted butter @ room temp, diced
1tsp vanilla extract
150g light muscovado (brown) sugar
150g self-raising flour
100g macademia nut halves

METHOD:
lumps of butter can be seen, while mixing butter with the melted chocolate

after i had added the nuts & chocolate chunks


i had rolled d mixture into small balls while putting them into the oven

cookies resting on the cooling racks


preheat oven to 180 degree c. line two baking sheets & grease them. chop the milk & white chocolates and put them in a bowl.
chop 200g of the dark chocolate into very large chunks, at least 2cm & set aside.
break up the remaining 100gm dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. stir until melted. remove from pan and stir in the butter chunks, then the vanilla essence & then the sugar. mix well. i have used a rubber spatula for mixing all these.
 add the sifted flour and mix gently. add half of the dark chocolate chunks and the nuts & white chocolate & fold together.
spoon out the cookies according to your desired shape & size. press the remaining dark chocolate chunks into the top of each cookie. bake for about 12 mins until just begining to change colour.
cool and store.

i feel you can bring down the 200gm dark chocolate chunks to 100gm easily. and while melting the chocolate i have added a few spoons of cold milk just to make it d melted chocolate smoother and i luv d satiny texture of the chocolate. i didn't get macademia nuts, so had to substitute it for unsalted peanuts. if you want u can use cashew or walnuts. the dark chocolates i used were cooking chocolate. the white chocolate was Milkybar & the milk chocolate was Dairy milk. i had baked the cookies for 15mins, if u want u can stop @ 12mins also. muscavado sugar was also not present, so i had used normal powdered brown sugar.

PS: i had baked this batch of cookies for distributing among my friends & loved ones. but i am already out of the stock. sorry, but they will have to wait till i make the next batch.
till then u people satisfy your sweet tooth.

Friday, June 17, 2011

CHEESE B@llS


Kolkata is experiencing a torrential downpour.and i am loving it. it is kind of an undeclared holiday. though roads are water-clogged and people are experiencing problems, but i am loving it completly. kind of holiday from shooting and work, and going out. the greenary around has kind of gained a new life, the heat has also come down and the serene cool atmosphere is perfect for  great sleep.

and what else does rain bring along with holiday and romantic memories? great food. the rains makes me nostalgic, brings back all those memories of sharing umbrella in the drizzle, and also brings bake the smell of khichdi. i am sure most of us are in love with with this food, as it is not only nutrisious but also a wholesome meal in itself. and also pakodas with steaming coffee/tea is a must to celebrate the rain. are u people also celebrating in this way?

well, i had made cheese balls with hot coffee, to celebrate this holiday & this wonderful evening.i had this entire Gouda Cheese left at my freeze for a long time. this was the best excuse to use up that and thus create some space inside the super crowded freezer. the remaining things used are a regular at any pantry. here's the recipe:

INGREDIANTS:


  • oil                                                                       5ml
  • gouda cheese                                                      20gm
  • spring onion (chopped)                                        20gm
  • coriander leaves(chopped)                                  1 sprig
  • flour                                                                   10gm
  • chilli powder                                                       2tsp
  • pepper powder & salt                                         to taste
  • bread crumbs                                                     15gm


METHOD:
while coating them in the breadcrumb

after i had taken them out from fridge




  • grate the cheese.
  • chop the spring onion, coriander and mix with the grated cheese.
  • add in the spices, salt & pepper and make small balls out of it. i preferred to keep it at a moderate size.
  • now pour them in the freezer for at least 30mins, so that they harden.
  • mix the flour with water to make a thick batter. spread the bread-crumbs on a flat surface.
  • heat the oil in the wok.
  • after 30mins, take out the balls from the freezer, dip them in the flour batter and then coat with the bread-crumbs. and then deep fry them in the hot oil.
  • serve hot, with coffee.


well, this recipe belongs to my younger sister, who is studying nutrition. this is for one person. multiply it with the number of persons. i had made for 4 persons, but i had grated the entire cheese. i was out of spring onions, so had used in chopped red onions and also some chopped green chillies.  you can also add in some zeera powder & garam masala according to your taste buds. you can make it more interesting by putting a pine nut in the centre. what i love the most about these cheese balls is the gooeyness, d melting spicy cheese.and i had used oil for deep frying as i had said earlier.
try it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

M@ango chocolate cupcakes



the most cherished mango season will disappear in some time and what will follow, is a long wait again, for the arrival of the king of fruits. really its worth the tittle. the pulpy, golu-molu body, makes it an object of attraction, affection & satisfaction. i used to gorge on mangoes long back, but due to increasing weight problems, i find it difficult to do that now. that's why i keep on searching for ways to incorporate mango in foods. 





cupcakes as i have said earlier also, is an obsession, a super relaxation for me. and this batch of cupcakes were baked just for the cast & crew of the movie. and to my amazement everyone liked (which i had least expected). this mango babies are super easy to make, takes very less time. one can incorporate any other pulpy fruit also in place of mango. while mango also helps in getting rid of sun-tan, but it is more famous for satisfying our taste-buds. there are people are so obsessed with his majestic yellow fruits, they thy search for reasons to gorge on it. i know of a lady who for an entire season had breakfast-lunch-dinner, all with mango.


and this cupcake also includes another obsession of many. specially me, Chocolates. this cupcake has both white & dark chocolate. while i had grated the white chocolate and incorporated it into the mixture, i did not want to add the chocolate-chips in it,if you want you can.i had rather put it on top.


here's the recipe of this mango  chocolate chip cupcakes cupcakes:

INGREDIANTS:



  • 1/2 cup / 100g butter
  • 1 ¼ cups / 250g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup / 225g mangoes, mashed (I used ripe ones as I  wanted the mangoes to have a very overpowering flavour)
  • ½ cup / 100 ml warm milk
  • 2 cups / 250g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup / 50g Dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup / 50g White chocolate (grated)
after mixing the butter & sugar

after adding the pulpy mango,eggs & vanilla you get this beautiful golden yellow colour.

after all the flour & milk has been added

while putting the batter in the mould


after they are ready, you get this beautiful luking cupcakes... the colour is somewhat like golden raisins



METHOD:
  1. Preheat oven to 175°C / 350°F
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla, mashed mangoes.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add flour and milk in the following order: 1/3rd flour, ½ the milk, 1/3rd flour, rest half of the milk and finally the remaining 1/3rd flour till well combined.
  6. Stir in the grated white chocolate & chocolate chips(if you want) and reserve some for the top.
  7. Bake for 20-25 (when using mini loaf pan or large cupcake mould, else reduce the time and check with wooden skewer) minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
i love to have it warm fresh out of oven. but if u want it can have it with any icing.this cud be a perfect gift for people you like. this babies serve as breakfast, lunch or late night snack. i couldn't snack on it, since i had given away all. but that was pretty much made up by the smile on peoples face after having them. never mind, will make another batch to satisfy my sweet tooth.

u try, nd keep njoying mangoes........



Thursday, June 9, 2011

K@D@I ChickeN



yesterday was a super tough day. it was the final fittings of the lead actress and i was running about from one place to another, just to get the skirt fittings right. but guess all is well, that ends well.

life has kind of taken a turn. finding myself amidst a helm of activities.and i am kinda enjoying most of it. and what i am hating is the going about in the sun. leave aside tan, i have also got rashes on my face. but all this has paid up. we were ultimately successful in sourcing what we wanted. i was super tired also.but cooking as always helps me to relax, de-stress.

this recipe is kind a staple with the Dhabas, one finds on the highways & are common with the truckers.i came across this recipe in an old Bengali women's magazine.along with a horde of other mags, i found this old tattered one, which was a treasure house of this kinds recipes made by the Dhabas. this dish in particular, is a bit on the heavier side. and is definitely not for regular consumption. i am giving the original recipe here, and then i will discuss about the modifications.

INGREDI@NTS:


  • 1kg chicken
  • 150gm ghee (clarified butter)
  • 4tbsp garlic paste
  • 4tsp red chilli paste
  • 3tbsp garlic paste
  • 250gm onion paste
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 50gm cashew nut paste
  • 4tbsp poppy seed paste
  • 2 big capsicums (diced)
  • 1tbsp toasted dry coriander seeds
  • 50gm yoghurt
  • 4-5 dry red chillies
  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • 2tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2tbsp white vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • 4 green chilli (pound to paste)
  • 15gm garam masala


METHOD


  • heat ghee n a kadai and put in onion paste, cashew paste, ginger-garlic paste,cashew paste & poppy seed paste. cook till oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.
  • now add in the chicken & yoghurt. mix well.
  • cook uncovered on a medium flame till the oil leaves the sides. now you can keep it aside.
  • in another pan, heat mustard oil. after it is piping hot add in the dry red chilli, then then as they start changing colour, add the chopped onions & capsicum. fry well.
  • add  all the other masala , adjust seasoning, and cook till the oils leave the sides of the pan.
  • now transfer in the chicken into this mixture along with the previously made gravy.
  • mix well.
  • add in some stock if u want a gravy, or cover and cook for 10 mins, till the chicken is perfectly cooled.
  • serve it hot with Roti /butter nun. don't forget to put some chopped onion & green chilli on the serving plate to enjoy the dhaba feel.


now comes the modifications, which are so much a part of me. my mom was paranoid with the idea of cooking in ghee because of the hot summer, so in place of ghee, i had used mustard oi, with a hint of ghee in it, so as to get the flavour. i was out of tomatoes, so cud not use that. instead i had used red & green bellpapers, to give the dish  body & to add some colour. i had also put in a bit of kasuri-methi, that's a staple in all the Punjabi dhabas.
now the most interestng and the good part is that i had used peanut butter instead of cashew paste. while i had already strtd cooking, i discovered the absence of cashew paste, so peanut butter is a saviour. in that way, this dish became kind of crossover from Punjabi to Chinese orTthai origin. and since i had powdered green chilli, i had used that only. and for the gravy i had sum hot water mixed with stock cubes.and the cheese greedy me was also excited. so i had put in one grated cheese cube. well, that's completly optional.
try t!!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fish & Pineapple wonder



had to take a day off from shooting. i didn't want to, but had no other option also. the hectic schedule i was having for the last two weeks resulted in fever & immense tiredness. the sleepless nights resulted in stomach upset. moreover this Kolkata heat is killing. but it is also the time of one of my favorite fruit, Pineapple. it relives from heat.

so this forced holiday turned out to be a nice one. was not informed that i am going to have a lonely day. and i loved it from every angle. the past few weeks have been full of work, stress, travel, walking & full of sounds. i relished the entire wordless feel of the day, except the few messages & calls.
though my mom had cooked lunch before leaving, but the cooking bug in me, kind of forced me to get into the kitchen. but was in no mood to cook something spicy or time consuming. there were some fish fillets  in the refrigerator for a long time. decided to use up those only. moreover, pineapple was lying at home for sometime. now is the time to use it up.
had come across this recipe in a Bengali magazine months back. now it was time to use up this reading.here's the recipe.

INGREDIANTS:
  • 4 nos. fish fillet
  • 2 slices of pineapple
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • chopped garlic 1 tsp
  • lemon juice 1 tsp
  • extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp
  • parmesan cheese 2tbsp
  • white sauce 2tbsp
  • tomato sauce 2tbsp
  • chopped parsley

  • for white sauce:
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 2tbsp flour
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • i cup milk

METHOD:
  • marinate the the fish fillets & pineapple slices with salt & pepper, olive oil, lemon juice & garlic & keep aside for 20mins atleast.
  • after 20mins grill the fish & the pineapple separetly  
  • now in an oven-proof dish place the pine apple & fish fillets side by side. and top it with the white sauce & parmesan cheese.
  • bake it for 10mins @ 160 degree C.
  • for the sauce: heat a thick bottom pan and melt the butter
  • after the butter has melted properly put in the flour. mix it well.
  • now slowly keep on adding the milk. mix it well. you will get a thick consistency sauce.

as always i had made some changes. since i didnt have parseley at home, had to manage with ciliantro/ coriander leaves.iits better to use fresh pineapple, but i had used canned ones, which were in my home for quite sumtym. . and as i had said previously, that i love using Gouda cheese, this time also i had replaced with gouda. and i have completly given the tomato sauce a miss.

the white sauce is easy to use. but the greedy me wanted some cheese in it.i had to add some grated cheese in it. if u want ur sauce to be of a less thick consistency, then add only 1 tbsp flour instead of two.

thats all!!!!!!! now is the time to sit back & taste the dish.


try it.... chowwwww.....................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

c0Ckt@il sh@Pes


i was kinda bored of eating those sweet cookies (that doesn't mean my chocolate cookies obsession has vanished), so guess this time savoury cookies can be an option. and that's why thse cookies. also bcoz i had a get-together @ home with a couple of very close buddies, so this was a gud option for them to munch on. generally all most all my cookies are pretty big in size. bt this is small, thats y d name cocktail. this tiny savoury crackers are always a welcum treat & make lovely party nibbles. try making a range of shapes & flavouring them with different cheese & spices.

i had as usual made certain changes to suit my taste buds, availability. since college has ended and my joining about a month later, so i m kinda broke. need to think many times before spending, so this was kind of easy becoz i was able to gather everything from kitchen itself.


another important thing is the GOUDA cheese of amul brand. i had first seen a contestant of masterchef India using it, and hd bougt it then. but it was lying in my freeze for quite some time now. so i decided to use it up this time. it can be easily used for making cheese fritters or cheese balls. its firm and i like the spicy & nutty flavour & taste it has. so, here goes the recipe. this preparation  makes around 80:

INGREDI@NTS:


  • 350gm  all purpose plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 175gm sweet butter chopped
  • 115gm cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1tsp chopped nuts
  • 2tsp dill seeds
  • 2tsp curry paste
  • 2tsp chilli sauce


METHOD:















  • line several large baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment & set aside.
  • sift the flour into a large mixing bowl & add salt pepper & whole-gram mustard. mix well.
  • add the butter & rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. grate the cheese then, with fork, stir it into the butter & flour mixture until thoroughly incorporated.
  • add the beaten egg & mix together to form a soft dough.
  • turn out the dough on to a floured surface, knead lightly until smooth, then divide it into four equal pieces.
  • knead the chopped nuts into one piece, dill seeds into another, and curry paste & chilli sauce into the remaining pieces. wrap each piece in a clear film & chilli for at least 1 hour.
  • preheat the oven to 200degree C. roll out each piece of dough in turn. use floured cutter(of your desired shape) for each flavour dough. arrange the shapes well apart from the curry flavoured dough, arrange the shapes well spaced apart on the baking sheets & bake for 6-8mins, until slightly puffed & pale gold. cool on wire racks.
  • repeat the same process with the remaining dough using your desired cutters..


thats all. i know it seems to be pretty easy. and it is actually easy. well i had replaced the chilli paste with dried green chilli powder, the curry paste with cumin powder. most of these babies are tiny shaped, but some are like big ones, done just for experimenting. and though the recipe doesn't mention sugar at all, but i have put in around 2tbsp of sugar, just as to bring the flavours together. if you are making for any diabetic patient, then you cn very well, ommit the sugar part.

try out people!!!!! wll b bk soon