Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Asparagus Pasta...five to ten, give me more!

Asparagus Pastaor Spring Pasta...a quick weeknight meal recipe when Amazon Prime or rather my new love Viking Ragnar Lothbrok awaitsquick, easy, pasta, bacon, greens, cheese – what’s not to love? The pasta, not Ragnar J that one I feel a little guilty of falling in love with but the character combined with Travis Fimmel’s smile gets me every single timeI cook the asparagus tips with pasta if using Fine Slender spears...and in the pan to slightly char/brown/caramelise if using the Regular/Giant/Jubilee spearsthe recipe is adapted from Gimme Some Oven’s 5ingredient Bacon Asparagus Pasta and Serious Eat’s  Lemony pasta withAsparagus and Bacongo with either the 5 ingredients or the 10 ingredient list or 6 or 7 or  8 or 9you will end all singing:
“This will never end 'cause I want more
More, give me more
Give me more”


P.S.: the last bit is Fever Ray’s theme for Vikingsjust in case you thought I’ve totally lost it



Bacon Asparagus Lemon Spring Pasta mmskitchenbites





Asparagus Pasta with Crispy Bacon and Lemon


Ingredients:

  • Pasta, 250gms (Tagliatelle, Linguine, Spaghetti – any noodle shaped pasta would work)
  • Bacon or Pancetta, sliced into strips, 250gms
  • Asparagus, 250gms (refer to notes)
  • Wine, ½ cup (or chicken stock or just use pasta water)
  • Fresh Red Chilli, seeds and membrane removed, finely chopped, 1 (optional)
  • Spring Onions/ Scallions, whites and green separated and finely chopped, 2-3 (optional)
  • Lemon juice, 1 tsp and Lemon zest, ½ tsp (optional)
  • Butter, 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Parmesan Cheese, finely grated, ¼ cup /25gms
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste



Instructions:


Snap and discard the woody bottoms of the asparagus stalks

Cut off about 2 to 3 inches of the asparagus tops and keep aside. Chop the rest of the spears into about ¼ inch pieces.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling generously salted water al dente according to package instructions. Add the asparagus tips for the last two minutes of the cooking time. (2 minutes for thick/regular asparagus, 1 minute for fine asparagus) Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water.

 Meanwhile, add bacon to a large saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add chopped asparagus bits to the same pan and cook in the bacon fat, tossing and stirring frequently for about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add spring onion whites and half of the chopped chillies, cook, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Remove everything with a slotted spoon and set aside with the bacon.

Lower the heat and add the white wine (or pasta water) to the pan to deglaze and scrape off the browned bits. Continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by half. Take the pan off the heat.

**your pasta would be cooked and ready to be drained about now**

Add the pasta with asparagus tips, previously cooked bacon and asparagus stalks, lemon juice, lemon zest, remaining chopped red chilli, spring onions greens, pepper and butter to the pan.  Toss together until butter melts.
Stir in most of the grated cheese and extra pasta water, stirring until desired consistency is reached.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Sprinkle pasta with remaining cheese and serve immediately.

Notes:


  • I normally cook the asparagus tips with pasta if using Fine Slender spears...and in the pan to slightly char/brown/caramelise if using the Regular/Giant/Jubilee spears – toss the tips in the pan along with the chopped spears.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Potato Salad with Avocado dressing (and Wild Garlic)...go wild!

Potato Salad with Avocado dressing (and Wild Garlic)have you ever gone foraging for food? I have always wanted to but never know where to go and whom to go within our first year here in London I had even convinced myself that the bush in the garden with pretty white flowers was an Elderflower bush and was all set to make cordial out of it, but thanks to a friend stopped short or else this blog would be run by a ghostwriter by now!! J Thanks to the farmers’ markets and veg box deliveries I have now been able to enjoy a couple of the so called foraged foods that I had heard so much aboutWild Garlic or Ramps or Ramsons being one of themthis salad now usually gets made after we have had our fill of the mandatory Wild Garlic Pesto and Prawns with Wild Garlicand then gets made throughout the year even without the wild garlic...


P.S.  If based in West London, check out the Putney Food Assembly for Wild garlic and other produce from Local producersFood Assembly is also coming to Hammersmith Area at the end of this monthI am soooo excited! (for a Food Assembly near you in London or UK or France, Italy, Belgium and other countries – check out this link)   



Potato Salad with Wild Garlic Avocado dressing mmskitchenbites




Potato Salad with Avocado dressing (and Wild Garlic)


Ingredients:

  • Potatoes, cubed,  500gms
  • Olive Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Wild Garlic, a large handful or finely chopped spring onions/scallions or finely chopped chives



Dressing

  • Avocado, 1 medium size
  • Rice Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar or Lime or Lemon juice, 2 tsp (listed in order of preference, go with what you like or is available)
  • Whole grain Mustard or Dijon Mustard or English Mustard, ½ tsp (listed in order of preference, go with what you like or is available)
  • Garlic, 1 clove or Wild garlic leaves, chopped, around 2 tbsp
  • Green chilli, finely chopped, 1 (optional, remove seeds if you want)
  • Olive Oil, 1tbsp – 2 tbsp *refer to notes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Water, about 2 tbsp *refer to notes




Instructions:


You can boil the potatoes in salted water until tender or roast them. We prefer roasting them.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss potatoes in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast in oven for 20 minutes, then toss and roast for another 15 minutes or until crispy and golden. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining the peeled, de-stoned and chopped avocado, vinegar, mustard, garlic (or wild garlic), green chilli, salt and pepper in the bowl of a mini food processor.

Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times.  

Check consistency and adjust by adding water and giving it another wizz in the food processor – I like to keep the consistency of this dressing thick and creamy like mayonnaise and normally with 1 tbsp oil, about 2 tbsp water works well.

Toss cooled potatoes in the avocado dressing. Stir in or top with chopped wild garlic, spring onion greens or chives.

Dig in!


Potato Salad with Wild Garlic Avocado dressing mmskitchenbites


Notes:  

  • You can of course go totally oil free in the dressing and just use water (or even yogurt) but adding at least 1 tbsp oil makes it taste a little more like mayo! J
  • A picture of the pretty wild garlic leaves
Wild garlic Ramps Ramsons mmskitchenbites










Friday, 31 March 2017

Super Moist Carrot Cake....shhhh, secret orange fibre!

Carrot Cakethere, I removed the word “moist” for those allergic to it!! Personally, I have no major issues with the word  I find the use of “lush” and “scrumptious” more annoying J So tell me, are you one of those who likes Carrot Cake because of the icing or because you think it's healthier? Me, I hate icing, frosting or glaze of any sort on homemade cakes (which reminds me, “naked cake” or “nude cake” are again words I find extremely annoying and noooo I am not a prudeat least I think I am not!)as for healthier, well, all that sugar certainly isn’t good for you, but if a cake is what you crave for, all that fibre certainly is good for you and the no icing bit sure does help! I have been using this cake recipe for quite a while nowa Rachel Allen recipe so of course it has to be perfectbut seriously it was the least complicated and fuss free recipe I found and I stick to those like my life depends on itas for the facebook post on the secret ingredient...the secret ingredient got added in last year when I was short on carrots and all prep was done before I realizedthe solution was simple, I could either not make it (my first instinct always leads me away from doing anything!) or use something similar to make up for the bulkand bingo! there it was right in front of my eyes…Sweet Potatoes!!...and ever since, the Super Moist Carrot Cake has been converted into Super Moist Carrot and Sweet Potato Cakethe only thing you have to remember, is to use the fine grater attachment to ensure that the carrots (and sweet potatoes, if using) blend in and it is easier to cut the cake cleanly laterI didn’t this time, to ensure the grated sweet potato shows up in the pictureand before I forget, adding raisins and walnuts is totally up to youI don’t add either as it makes the cake taste like Christmas cake and to me personally, the clutter free cake (just like my life now) tastes much better J

Carrot and Sweet Potato cake mmskitchenbites




Carrot Cake (Carrot and Sweet Potato Cake)


Ingredients:

  • Self Raising flour, 180gms (you can substitute with 170gms Regular All Purpose Flour + 10gms of Baking Powder)
  • Salt, ¼ tsp (Self raising flour in the UK unlike the US doesn’t have salt added to it. Skip the salt here, if you are using US self raising flour)
  • Baking Soda/Soda Bicarbonate, ½ tsp
  • Vanilla Extract, 1 tsp (RA doesn’t, I do)
  • Ground Cinnamon, 1 tsp (or if allergic to cinnamon smell or taste or the idea of using spices in a cake, skip both cinnamon and nutmeg and just increase vanilla extract to 1 tbsb)
  • Grated Nutmeg, ½ tsp (I have stopped using this one)
  • Eggs, 2 large
  • Flavourless Vegetable Oil, 150ml
  • Soft Brown Sugar, 200gms (or dark brown sugar or demerara sugar or regular old white sugar….I almost always use Demerara sugar as that is our normal sugar in the house for tea, coffee etc and I hate buying specific ingredients for a single recipe unless I absolutely have to. Back home in India I used to make this with plain white sugar most of the time and the cake is absolutely fine using it)
  • Carrots, peeled and grated and then weighed, 300gms (when using sweet potatoes – I use 150-200gms of carrots and make up the balance with grated sweet potatoes, ensure both are freshly grated)
  • Orange zest from 1 orange (optional)
  • Walnuts or Pecans, roughly chopped/crushed, 75gms (optional)
  • Raisins, 100gms (optional)



Instructions:


Preheat the oven to 150ºC. Oil and line the 5X9 inch loaf tin or an 8 inch round tin with grease proof paper. (Rachel Allen’s recipe specifies using a loaf tin, but I use a round tin as it makes it look more like a cake and not bread)

In a bowl, sift and whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract.

Stir grated carrots, sweet potatoes and orange zest into the wet ingredients until evenly coated. If you are using nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well.

Fold in the dry ingredients into wet just until no floury bits remain.

Pour the batter into prepared pan, smooth the surface and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out batter-free.

Let cool in the pan for 20 to 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.

The cake keeps at room temperature for a few days, and longer in the fridge. It’s even “moister” on the second day.


Rachel Allen Carrot Cake mmskitchenbites

Monday, 27 March 2017

Crispy Salt and Pepper Lotus Stems (Chinese style or Indian style)...no running!

Crispy Salt and Pepper Lotus Stems (Chinese style or Indian styledo you ever run out of words? I do, all the timebut, I never ever run out of food, do you? J


Crispy Chinese or  Indian Lotus Stems mmskitchenbites









Crispy Salt and Pepper Lotus Stems (Chinese style or Indian style)


Ingredients:

  • Lotus Stems, washed & peeled, cut into 1/8 inch thin slices, 300 gms
  • Cornflour/ Corn Starch or Rice Flour, to dust, 1-2 tbsp
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Oil, for deep frying


For the sauce:

(specifying measurements to give an idea of proportion, adjust to taste and/or qty needed accordingly)

Option A - Chinese Style

  • Garlic, 2-3 cloves, finely chopped,
  • Fresh Green Chillies, finely chopped,1-2 (remove seeds if you want)
  • Spring Onions/Scallions, white and green portion separated and finely chopped, 2-3
  • Dark Soy Sauce, ½ tsp
  • Vinegar, 1 tsp
  • Chinese 5 Spice powder, ¼  tsp
  • Oil, 1 tbsp


Option B- Indian Style

  • Mustard Seeds, ½ tsp
  • Curry leaves, 7-8
  • Garlic, 2-3 cloves, finely chopped,
  • Shallots, finely chopped, 1-2
  • Fresh Green Chillies, finely chopped,1-2 (remove seeds if you want)
  • Vinegar, 1 tsp
  • Oil, 1 tbsp



Instructions:

Heat sufficient oil in a kadhai/wok/pan to deep fry.

Dust the lotus stem slices with cornflour, salt and pepper.

Deep-fry in hot oil in batches till golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.


Option A- Chinese Style

Heat 1 tbsp oil in the wok/pan over a high heat.

Add garlic, green chillies and finely chopped white portion of the spring onions to the wok and fry for a couple of minutes till garlic starts to go crisp golden.

Lower the heat and add soy sauce, vinegar, Chinese 5 spice powder and finely chopped green portion of the spring onions. Stir together for about 15 seconds.

Add the fried lotus stems and toss everything together gently.

Switch off the heat and done!



Option A- Indian Style

Heat 1 tbsp oil in the wok/pan over a high heat.

Add mustard seeds to the wok.

Once the mustard seeds start spluttering, add in the curry leaves, garlic, green chillies, and finely chopped shallots to the wok.

Fry for a couple of minutes till garlic starts to go crisp golden and shallots take on some colour.

Add vinegar and fried lotus stems and toss everything together gently.

Switch off the heat and done!


Notes:

  • ALWAYSand I can’t insist enoughALWAYS fry double the quantity of what you think you would need for the final dish. These things are magical (and super addictive)they magically start disappearing right after deep frying!

  • If knife skills are an issue- slice them a little thicker- closer to ¼ inch thick and blanch in hot water for a 3-4 minutes, strain, pat dry and then dust with cornflour before deep frying.

  • Lotus stems discolour after chopping very quickly. Chop as close to frying time as possible. You can also chop them and soak them in cold water and vinegar solution to avoid the discolouration. Pat dry thoroughly before dusting with cornflour.

Crispy Stir Fried Renkon recipe mmskitchenbites


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Easy Sausage and Bean Casserole...Spring is here!!

Easy Sausage and Bean Casserole...it is officially Spring...the Sun has started showing up at least once a weekBlossom trees and Magnolias are everywhere (seen my Instagram?)the days are warming upbut the nights are still chilly enough around my neck of the woods and perfect for this no fuss hearty mealactually, to be honest except for probably thirty days in a year Casseroles always seem like a good idea here! J
 



Easy Sausage Casserole mmskitchenbites





Easy Sausage and Bean Casserole


Ingredients:

  • Good Quality Pork Sausages, any kind you like, 6-8
  • Rindless Streaky Bacon, 4-6 rashers
  • Onion, finely sliced, 1 large
  • Garlic, finely chopped, 2-3 cloves
  • Potato, peeled and quartered, 1 large
  • Carrots, peeled and each carrot cut into 4-5 even pieces, 2
  • Chopped Tomatoes, 1 X 400 gm can
  • Chicken Stock, 400 ml
  • Butter beans, 1 X 400 gm can (*refer to notes)
  • Kidney beans in Chilli Sauce, 1 x 400 gm can (*refer to notes)
  • Fresh Rosemary or Fresh Thyme, 2-3 sprigs
  • Smoked Paprika, 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder or Chilli Flakes, ½ tsp (optional)
  • Bayleaves, 1-2
  • Worcestershire Sauce, 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Brown Sugar, 1 tsp (you can skip if you want but it helps to cut down on acidity from the tomatoes)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp



Instructions:


Prick the sausages all over with a fork so that they don’t split open as they cook.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed casserole and fry the sausages for about 10 minutes, turning often, until nicely browned all over. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside.

Add the chopped bacon pieces to the casserole and fry till they begin to brown and crisp. Remove and add to the sausages.

Add the chopped onion to the casserole (there should be enough oil in the casserole from the sausages and bacon) and cook over a low heat for 5-10 minutes, until the onions soften.

Add the garlic and fresh rosemary/thyme sprigs and cook for a couple of more minutes until the onions start turning golden brown at the edges.

Add the smoked paprika, chilli powder, chopped potatoes and carrots and stir everything well so that the vegetables are well coated with the oil.

Stir in the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and the bay leaves and bring to a simmer.

Return the sausages and bacon to the casserole.

Cover the casserole and continue to cook on low heat on the stove till the potatoes are cooked through or move to a preheated 180C oven for around 40 minutes or so till the potatoes are cooked through. ( I find the oven easier – I don’t need to check or stir)

Drain the butter beans and rinse them in a sieve under cold running water.

Stir the drained butter beans and kidney beans in chilli sauce into the casserole, and cook uncovered for another 15 minutes or so until the sauce thickens and beans are warmed through.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with rice or crusty bread or just some greens.


Notes:


  • Use any beans of your choice.

  • If using regular canned beans instead of canned beans in Chilli Sauce you would need to additionally add 1 tbsp tomato puree, ½ tsp cumin powder, ¼ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp chilli powder, ½ tsp mixed dried herbs, 100 ml water or stock per can to the casserole (add all this along with canned tomatoes, stock etc)

  • Depending on what you are in the mood for and availability, feel free to play around with any permutations and combinations:

  1. Skip the bacon.
  2. Skip potatoes and carrots and instead serve with mash and greens.
  3. Add chunks of coloured peppers after frying the onions.
  4. Add thinly sliced wedges of fennel bulb.
  5. Sub potatoes with sweet potatoes.
  6. Use only 1 can of beans or completely skip the beans.
  7. Stir in chopped fresh spinach or frozen spinach along with the beans.
  8. Add about 100 ml wine (red or white) after frying the veggies and reduce the stock amount to 300 ml.
  9. Skip Worcestershire Sauce and add a tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar.
  10. Top with herb spiked fresh breadcrumbs and grill for a couple of minutes till breadcrumbs are golden crisp before serving.

Easy Sausage and Veggies Casserole mmskitchenbites


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Honey Chilli Lotus Stems...housekeeping 2017!

Honey Chilli Lotus Stemshousekeeping since this is an old post that needed a better picture and a separate post of its ownthere is absolutely no other reason for me to put that dreaded H word right up there where it can just sit and stare at me and then guilt me into doing some actual work around the house instead of doing what I do bestrelax and breathe!!

Crispy Honey Chilli Lotus Stems mmskitchenbites







Honey Chilli Lotus Stems



Ingredients:

  • Lotus Stems, washed & peeled, cut into 1/8 inch thin slices, 300 gms
  • Cornflour/ Corn Starch, to dust, 1-2 tbsp
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Oil, for deep frying
  • Spring Onions and/or Roasted Sesame seeds, to garnish


For the sauce: 

(specifying measurements to give an idea of proportion, adjust to taste and/or qty needed accordingly)
  • Garlic, 3 cloves, finely chopped,
  • Honey,1 tbsp
  • Tomato Ketchup, 3 tbsp
  • Dark Soy Sauce, 1 tsp
  • Vinegar. 1 tsp
  • Dried Red Chillies, roughly chopped into 3-4 pieces each, 2-3 (remove seeds if you want)
  • Oil, 1 tbsp


Instructions:


Heat sufficient oil in a kadhai/wok/pan to deep fry. 

Dust the lotus stem slices with cornflour, salt and pepper. 

Deep-fry in hot oil in batches till golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.


Heat 1 tbsp oil in the wok/pan over a high heat. 

Add the red chillies and chopped garlic. 

Once the garlic is fragrant, lower the heat. Add honey, ketchup and soy and let the sauces cook for few seconds. 

Add the fried lotus stem to the sauce and toss to coat. 

Sprinkle vinegar, mix and switch off the heat. 

Garnish with spring onions and/or roasted sesame seeds. Serve piping hot!



Notes:


  • ALWAYS…and I can’t insist enough…ALWAYS fry double the quantity of what you think you would need for the final dish. These things are magical (and super addictive)…they magically start disappearing right after deep frying!

  • If knife skills are an issue- slice them a little thicker- closer to ¼ inch thick and blanch in hot water for a 3-4 minutes, strain, pat dry and then dust with cornflour  before deep frying.

  • They discolour after chopping very quickly. Chop as close to frying time as possible. You can also chop them and soak them in cold water and vinegar solution to avoid the discolouration. Pat dry thoroughly before dusting with cornflour.

Asian style Lotus Stems mmskitchenbites


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Malai Paneer...Punjabi Dairy!!

Malai Paneerbrings back such fond memorieswhile growing up all those tantrums to avoid veggies almost always led to something or the other being made with either doodh or malai or both and the Punjabi genes in me were kept loved, happy, smilingand fat! J


P. S. The chillies in the picture are just to add some colour; this is not a spicy/hot dish (unless you want it to be!)

P.P.S The Paneer index is now up.



Punjabi Malai Paneer mmskitchenbites




Malai Paneer


Ingredients:

  • Paneer,/ Indian Cottage Cheese, 250 gms
  • Milk, ½ cup
  • Onion, cubed, 1 medium
  • Green Bell pepper, cubed,  ½  large
  • Cumin seeds, ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder, ¼ tsp
  • Kasoori Methi/Dried Fenugreek leaves, ½ tsp
  • Crushed Black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Malai or  Clotted cream or Devonshire Cream or Double cream, ¼ - ½ cup  (written down in order of preference, use whichever is available to you)
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Fresh Chillies , finely sliced,1-2 (optional)



Instructions:


Warm the milk slightly in a small pan and switch off the heat. 
Cut the paneer into small cubes and let it soak in the warm milk for about 15 minutes

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and add cumin seeds. When the seeds start cracking add the fresh chillies, onions and green bell peppers

Sauté till onions start going soft. Add turmeric, kasoori methi, salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 seconds to cook the spices.

Add the cubed paneer and toss around a couple of times so that the spices coat the paneer well.

Lower the heat and add the milk in which paneer was kept soaking.

Let it all cook together till the milk is reduced to almost less than half.

If using Malai or Clotted cream or Devonshire cream – lightly whip with a fork before using.

Add malai and stir to mix well on low heat for only a couple of minutes just to warm it up. 

Switch off the heat and done!


Goes best on its own with plain paranthas but is also good served as a side dish with any Indian meal.

Malai Paneer mmskitchenbites

Monday, 6 March 2017

Punjabi Besan Aloo...never say never!!

Punjabi Besan Aloo (Gram flour coated potatoes)from someone who hated almost every kind of aloo with a few exceptions – I could never stand the look, the taste, the smellto someone who has now added a separate Potato Index in the blog, Boy oh Boy, I sure have come a long long way! They do say never say neverwell, now I know! Hmm...who knows maybe one day, I will actually also end up eating the aloo in the samosa as well  J ...the recipe below is one of the few exceptions that I have always loved and I promise you, if you try, so will you!




Punjabi Besan Aloo mmskitchenbites





Punjabi Besan Aloo (Gram flour coated potatoes)


Ingredients:

  • Potatoes, 500 gms
  • Besan/ Chickpea Flour/Gram Flour, 4 heaped tablespoons
  • Amchur/Dried mango powder, ¾ tsp
  • Heeng/Asafoetida, ¼ tsp
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds, ½ tsp
  • Kalonji/ Nigella/ Onion seeds ½ tsp
  • Methre/Methi seeds/ Fenugreek seeds, ¼ tsp
  • Coriander powder, 3 tsp
  • Saunf/Fennel seeds powder, ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder, ½ tsp
  • Kashmiri Red chilli powder 1 tsp (for colour)
  • Red chilli powder ½ tsp (for heat)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 2-3 tbsp (Typically made in Mustard oil, but you can use any oil of your choice)
  • Fresh chillies, 2-3 
  • Fresh Coriander leaves, to garnish



Instructions:


Boil potatoes, cool and peel.  Cut the potatoes into big cubes and if using baby potatoes just halve them.

Heat a flat heavy bottom pan on low heat and dry roast the besan till it changes colour to fairly light golden brown. Do constantly keep on stirring – it goes from the perfect colour to burnt in seconds.

Remove the besan from the pan into a bowl. Mix amchur into the besan and keep aside.

In the same pan, now heat the oil on low heat. Add the asafoetida, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and onion seeds.

Once the cumin seeds start spluttering, add the all dry spice powders – coriander powder, fennel powder, turmeric powder, both the chilli powders and salt. Sauté for 10 to 15 seconds on low heat.

Add the roasted besan (mixed with amchur, kept aside earlier) and mix well with the spices.

Add the cubed boiled potatoes. 

Mix and stir well to ensure all the spice powders and besan coats the potatoes well. (don't skimp on the oil, you need that 2-3 tbsp oil to get the coating right)

Sauté on medium heat for about 10 minutes till the potatoes start crisping up on the sides and besan is complexly cooked.

Add the fresh chillies; increase the heat to high and further sauté for a couple of minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature with paranthas or dal and rice.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Spanish Chicken in Almond Sauce (Pollo En Salsa De Almendras)…or Chicken Fricassee in Almond Sauce (Pollo En Pepitoria)??

Spanish Chicken in Almond Sauce (Pollo En Salsa De Almendras )or Chicken Fricassee in Almond Sauce (Pollo En Pepitoria), as known in Botin restaurant in Madrid (founded in 1725, claim to be the "earliest" restaurant in the world) where we had first eaten thismy colour as you can see comes out much too much brighter than the original, so I am not sure whether I am still allowed to call it Fricasseenow it could be because I have no control on the saffron or because I am tired of seeing beiges and browns all around me...the husband thinks it’s the latterproof – I have just gone ahead and bought a Neon green Jacket and an Orange handbag – colours that in my previous avatar I wouldn’t even have been caught standing next to Jold age and lack of sunshine do make people lose their mind and you will often see/hear/read them rant about everything under the Sun or the missing Sun as the case maybe instead of getting to the pointand the point waserrr


Spanish Almond Chicken mmskitchenbites




Spanish Chicken in Almond Sauce (Pollo En Salsa De Almendras)/ Chicken Fricassee in Almond Sauce (Pollo En Pepitoria)


Ingredients:

  • Chicken, preferably legs and thighs, bone in and skinless with all excess fat removed, around 500 gms (you can leave skin on if you prefer, or use boneless thigh fillets chunks, adjust cooking time accordingly, weight to be around 750 gms to 800 gms)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Crushed Black Pepper, to taste


For the sauce:

  • Brown/Yellow Onions, finely sliced, 1 medium
  • Wine, ¼ cup (or use chicken stock or water)
  • Chicken Stock, ½ to ¾
  • Bayleaf, 1
  • Saffron threads, ¼ tsp to ½ tsp
  • Egg, 1
  • Garlic, peeled and kept whole, 3-4 cloves
  • Blanched Whole Almonds, a handful or Ground Almonds, about ¼ cup
  • Bread, slightly stale, 1 slice
  • Salt, to taste
  • Crushed Black Pepper, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp




Instructions:


Get the chicken to room temperature and pat dry with paper towels.

Salt and pepper all sides of the chicken pieces.

Heat about 1 tbsp of oil in a large heavy bottom pan/skillet or Dutch oven. Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken over medium high heat in batches until pale golden on both sides. Transfer to a plate and keep aside. If using skin on chicken – place the chicken in the pan skin side down first. The skin will also release some extra oil while frying that you may need to remove before proceeding.

Add in the onions to the same pan and fry till the onions just start to turn slightly golden at the edges.

Pour in the wine and scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Let it bubble and simmer until the wine is reduced by half.

Return the chicken to the pan (skin side up if using skin on chicken pieces), along with any juices that have accumulated on the plate.

Add in the bayleaf and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked half way through – about 20 minutes.

In the meanwhile, hard boil the egg, peel and separate the yolk and the white. Finely grate or chop the egg white.The yolk will be used in the sauce and the white will be used as garnish.


Heat a small frying pan on low heat and lightly roast the saffron threads for about 15 to 20 seconds. Remove and keep aside.

To make the almond sauce, heat about 1 tbsp of oil in the small frying pan and lightly sauté the whole garlic cloves for a couple of minutes, transfer to paper towels. Add the almonds and sauté for a couple of minutes, transfer to paper towels. Don’t let either the garlic or almonds to brown too much – just nice pale golden spots. Now fry the sliced bread in the same oil till nice golden brown and remove. If using ground almonds sauté it lightly after frying the bread.

Blend the egg yolk, garlic, almonds/ground almonds, garlic and bread in a food processor and a little chicken stock (from the simmering chicken pot) until you have a thick paste.

Stir this almond paste into the chicken pot with the saffron threads.

Chicken Fricassee in Almond Sauce mmskitchenbites


Let the chicken continue to simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through and falling off the bone – about 20-25 minutes.


Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. 

Remove the chicken to the serving dish and top with the grated egg white. Serve with rice and/or potatoes


Spanish Chicken in Almond Sauce mmskitchenbites


Notes:


  • This is typically made with bone in and skin on chicken pieces. I have personally never liked the look or the taste of skin on chicken in a slow cooked “curry” and hence always use skinless chicken pieces. Bone in or boneless depends on what I have available at home but as always I never use boneless chicken breast for anything which even remotely looks like a “curry”



  • A good quality chicken stock is  must for this recipe.


  • To make a low calorie version:

  1. Use skinless chicken
  2. Dry roast the garlic and almonds, toast the bread – skip the additional 1 tbsp oil
  3. Skip bread completely or use wholemeal bread slice

Meal Botin restaurant Madrid mmskitchenbites