Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gobi Manchurian



Gobi Manchurian is an Indo-Chinese dish, very popular in India. Renowned as a starter recipe, gobi Manchurian is spicy, delicious and appears dry or with a little gravy. Chinese style of preparations are a favorite with Indians. The original preparation of these Chinese recipes has been altered to suit the taste of Indians. However the basic ingredient remains constant. For example, usage of cilantro leaves is a part of our Indian alteration. ‘Manchurian' has several variations – mixed vegetables, cauliflower/gobi, chicken or even lamb(minced) can be included. However gobi/cauliflower manchurian stands as the highly rated recipe owing to the distinguished taste and flavor.

I am going to illustrate the preparatory steps of ‘Gobi/Cauliflower Manchurian', a tasty and mouth watering recipe, in a simplified version:
To make 4 grand servings, you will need:
For marinating:
Cauliflower - 1 kg
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Bengal gram powder - 1/2 cup
Salt - As reqd
Corn flour - 2 tbsp
Rice flour(if available) - 1 tsp

For preparing gravy:
Onions(big) - 2- 3 nos
Green capsicum - 1 no
Red capsicum - 1 no
Spring onions - A bunch
Green chillies - 5 - 6 nos(finely sliced)
Garlic pods - 4 -5 nos(finely sliced)
Soya sauce - 4 tbsp
Ajino moto - A pinch
White pepper - As reqd
Salt - As reqd

Cutting options:-
:- Cut the onions and capsicum into big pieces like four halves and separate the onions.
:- Spring onions should be finely chopped.
:- Garlic and green chillies should be finely chopped. To look better, u can cut it in an angle.

Preparation method of gobi Manchurian:
1)Mix together the Bengal gram powder, corn flour, rice flour, chilly powder and salt using either milk or water. 

2)Cut the cauliflower into smaller florets and marinate in the batter for 30 mins.

3)Deep fry in oil making sure that the cauliflower is well covered by the batter.

4)Heat some oil in another pan.

5)Fry the garlic and green chillies, till an aroma comes.

6)Add onions, capsicum and a little bit of spring onions.

7)Stir fry, till cooked.

8)Add some water followed by the soya sauce, ajino moto, salt and white pepper. 

9)Allow it to boil.

10)Cook in low heat till the vegetables are cooked. 

11)After about 15 minutes, in medium flame, add the fried cauliflower to the gravy.

12)To make a thick gravy, add 1 tbsp of corn flour in water, make a paste and pour into the boiling gravy.

13)Simmer for 5 minutes.

14)Garnish with spring onions.

:- Serve with fried rice.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chocolate Fondue - 2 Delicious Recipes



Chocolate Fondue - 2 Delicious Recipes
Chocolate fondues have come in and out of fashion since the 70's and most people have tried it. But it's always nice to try something new and exciting- here we have 2 delicious dessert fondue recipes which your will be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Dark chocolate has become the new fashion with the news confirming it as a "heart healthy" food.
Who can resist the temptation of a fondue of melted chocolate, dipping in strawberries, bananas and any other fruits? But you can be creative, dip in salty foods like potato chips and pretzels. Combining salty and sweet foods is delicious.
With dark chocolate now considered a "healthy option", it is now a good excuse to add chocolate fondue recipes to your recipe book. Try one of these chocolate fondue recipes and invite a few friends- it's sure to be an enjoyable get together.

Dark Chocolate Fondue:
Ingredients:
350 g Dark Chocolate (chopped)
3/4 cup (190 ml) Whipped Cream
2 tsp (10 ml) coffee liqueur -  Kahlua (optional)

Method:
1. Heat cream over a low heat until warm - DO NOT BOIL
2. Add the chopped dark chocolate slowly while stirring simultaneously
3. Stir until the mixture is smooth
4. Stir in liqueur

To Dip:
Strawberries, Sliced Apple, Bananas, Pineapple, Pound Cake, doughnuts,  Angel Cake, Pretzel Sticks, Marshmallows, Potato Chips.

Mint Chocolate Fondue:
Ingredients:
1/2 cup (125 ml) Heavy Cream
2 tsp (10 ml) Peppermint Liqueur
225 g Semisweet Chocolate

Method:
1. Put the heavy cream over medium low heat until warm
2. Add the Peppermint liqueur
3. Grate or break the chocolate into small pieces and add to mixture slowly while stirring simultaneously
4. Keep stirring until the chocolate is melted

To Dip:
Fresh fruit, glazed Fruit, peach pieces, pears, Pound Cake, Angel Food Cake.


Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup

loaded vegetable soup 300x225 Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup
Oh yeah, it's totally soup season by me. The snow is coming down hard outside my window right now, but at least I have a hearty bowl of soup waiting for me in my fridge! Over the weekend, my friend decided he was in the mood for a hearty bowl of soup. I didn't have much in my kitchen at the time, but sometimes good soup recipes are born out of necessity. Normally, I try to avoid canned goods in my cooking. However, it seemed to make sense with this vegetable soup as it added to the recipe's "hankering down for winter" aura


Serves: 6

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
  • 4-5 cups water, broth or stock (I like thick soups, but you can always add more water to thin out the soup)
  • 3 potatoes, cubed with the skins on
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 3 onions, diced
  • 1/2 pound dark leafy greens, chopped finely (I used turnip greens but kale or any other dark leafy green would work well here)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cans condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 20 dill pickle slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • Spices of your choice (I used rosemary, thyme, cumin, paprika, red chili flakes and black pepper)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, start boiling your water. Once the water starts boiling, turn down the stove top temperature until the water is simmering and add the brown rice, lentils and potatoes.
  2. After about 10 to 15 minutes, add the greens and carrots and stir.
  3. Once the greens and carrots have been in for about 5 to 10 minutes, add the condensed soup, artichoke hearts and pickle slices and stir to combine.
  4. Once the brown rice, lentils and potatoes are almost done, add the garlic and the spices of your choice.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
So I admit that this is a far cry for most conventional vegetable soup recipes. Frankly, I'm okay with that. I find it very satisfying when I can use all sorts of different things that I have lying around to make something delicious. However, I do feel a need to explain some of my ingredient choices. Recently, I was gifted with a number of canned food items. While I generally avoid canned foods, I'm a sucker for free food. For future vegetable soup recipes, I think I will go with crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce over the condensed soup. I kept the artichoke heart pieces pretty big, which made them the main meat alternative of the soup in terms of texture.
But I think the main ingredient question you might be asking is why I added pickles. I know it's a bit of a left field ingredient choice, but it added great flavor and texture to the final soup. The vinegar from the pickles gave the soup recipe a nice tartness, which I think helped embolden the other flavors. I didn't add any salt to this dish because the pickle slices contributed enough for 
my tastes.

Tips to Make a Perfect Salad


Maybe there is a certain art to making the perfect salad, but I find that with just the right amount of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salads can rock. And that's without getting creative. The first rule to making the perfect salad is that there aren't any rules - you can put all kinds of sh*t in there. Of course, as in all delicious dishes, there are a fewguidelines one should consider in order to maximize the flavor factor.
Get Creative with Your Lettuce: I'm usually an iceberg or romaine kind of girl myself, so I like to start off with those as a base. Most salads are high in calcium, iron and contains both vitamins A and C. Also, greens that are darker tend to have more of the good stuff – vitamins and  nutrients. On occasion I like to spice things up and throw in some arugula or baby spinach. Arugula, also known as rocket, is slightly bitter, but is packed with a lot of ‘peppery' flavor.  If I'm feeling exceptionally inspired I'll go with some Radicchio or Curly endives – which are more on the bitter side. Adding in these types of greens gives your salad an extra punch... and also makes it look pretty, which is always important.
Add Some Fruit: The best part of making a killer salad is adding a unique ingredient to the mix. Depending on the base, adding fruits like mango, raspberries, oranges, pomegranate, or even kiwi often offsets bitterness with a simple sweet addition.  In even better news, the natural juices from these fruits often compliment your already awesome seasoning. Simple olive oil and lemon juice will play off nicely with the fruits. Another tip:  I'd avoid using Dijon in the mix if you're going the fruit route.
Add Some Substance: If you're thinking of having salad as a meal instead of a side, you might want to bulk up. Whether you want to add in some brown rice, croutons, or something hardier, one thing is certain, after a decked out salad like the masterpiece you're creating, you'll be good for the day. One tip I suggest is using left over meats from last night's dinner – chicken breast, grilled pork, beef, or shellfish. It's a great way to get rid of leftovers and meats like these taste great in salad. Win win. If you don't have any leftovers or just want to indulge in a little salty flavor, you can always throw in some fried bacon bits or prosciutto.  On the flip side, if your vegan, try some tofu, fried polenta, or chickpeas – it's actually quite tasty.
Make your Dressing: While I do dig mustard-based concoctions, they don't work with every ingredient. It's for that reason that I suggest sticking to vinegar based dressings. Not only do they almost always work, but you can have the most fun with them. Usually two parts oil to one part acid works best, but be extra careful not to over-indulge on the oil. Too much oil can make your salad into a sloppy mess. It's important to mention that if you like your salads equal in the olive to acid ratios, than one part olive oil, one part vinegar or lemon juice is the way to go.  If you're using vinegars you can always opt for flavored ones like raspberry, plum or fig.
When creating your own dressing, choose vinegars like red wine or aged balsamic as a base. You can flavor your vinaigrettes with garlic, chives, basil, cilantro and even nuts. A nice pesto dressing is amazing! If you're using meats like chicken or turkey you can even go the creamy route by whisking in some buttermilk, sour cream, mayo and yes, even some Dijon.

Italian Dessert Recipe


Dessert is usually some fresh fruit with a demitasse of espresso. On festive occasions there may be puddings, pastries or a cake. Wine is an integral part of Italian food. Relax with your favorite beer or wine and enjoy as the aromas of traditional Italian food.
In the kitchen, you may need a pasta pot, a colander, wooden spoons, and a mezzaluna. The mezzaluna is a crescent-shaped knife with a handle on either end that makes meat-mincing a whole lot easier.
Try this simple but exotic Italian Dessert Recipe - Hazelnut cake:
Ingredients
Toasted hazelnuts -10 ounces (250 g)
Oro Saiwa Cookies -4 ounces (100 g)
Unsalted butter -4 ounces (100 g)
Sugar -6 ounces (150 g, 3/4 cup)
Eggs, separated -3
Baking chocolate (crumbled) -6 ounces (150 g)
Method
  1. Grind together the nuts and cookies in a blender until it becomes a fine powder.
  2. Combine it with the crumbled chocolate.
  3. Cream the egg yolks sugar and butter until the mixture is pale yellow.
  4. Whip the egg whites until it forms firm peaks.
  5. Combine the nut and cookie mixture with the butter mixture, and then fold in the whites.
  6. Pour into a cake pan of size sufficient for it to be about an inch deep, and bake it a preheated oven (360 F (180 C)) for 30 minutes.

This Authentic Ground Beef Stroganoff Recipe Will Get Your Taste Buds Off


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Beef Stroganoff - Serves 8
2 pounds beef chuck roast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces low fat butter
4 green onions, sliced (white parts only)
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed beef broth
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 (6 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/3 cup low fat sour cream
1/3 cup white wine
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 (24 ounce) package of egg noodles, cooked
Directions
Remove any fat and gristle from the roast and cut into strips 1/2 inch thick by 2 inches long.
Season with 1/2 teaspoon of both salt and pepper.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and brown the beef strips quickly, then push the beef strips off to one side.
Add the onions and cook slowly for 3 to 5 minutes, then push to the side with the beef strips.
Stir the flour into the juices on the empty side of the pan.
Pour in beef broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Lower the heat and stir in mustard. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
Five minutes before serving, stir in the mushrooms, sour cream, and white wine.
Heat briefly then salt and pepper to taste. Serve over hot egg noodles.
Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 214 | Total Fat: 16.9g | Cholesterol: 56mg
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Perfect BBQ Italian Meatloaf



Here is a recipe I learned while traveling through Italy. I made the switch from tomato sauce to a BBQ sauce. It works perfectly and the meat is moist and delicious. The recipe calls for bread crumbs and the secret to a good meatloaf is the bread. Try to use fresh bread that you cut up or blend into crumbs. This will give your meatloaf so much more texture and flavor.

Here is the Recipe:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red pepper, seeded, small diced 
1 onion, diced 
2 teaspoons (about 3 cloves) chopped garlic 
1 pound ground beef 
2 eggs 
3/4 cup bread crumbs 
1 cup grated Parmesan 
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves 
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

1 cup BBQ sauce
Preheat oven to 350F.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat and add the peppers, onions and garlic. Saute until just soft, remove to a plate and cool.
When the peppers and onions are cool, combine all of the remaining ingredients together except for the BBQ sauce.
Place your formed loaf into an oiled loaf pan, if you do not have a loaf pan. Top with the BBQ sauce making sure to spread evenly over the top.
Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160F in the middle of the meatloaf. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.
Note: It is important to let your meatloaf rest before slicing. This will allow all of the juices of the meat to settle back into the loaf. After resting your meat will be moist and juicy. You may also wish to add more BBQ sauce onto each slice.

Delicious Broccoli Beef Recipe



Ingredients

  • 2 cups of instant white rice, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 pound of beef
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup of hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup of french dressing
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger (minced)


Instructions


  1. Begin by cooking the rice according to the directions on the package.
  2. In a large skillet, heat up the oil on medium-high heat.
  3. Take the beef and slice it into bite-sized strips.
  4. Add the beef strips and cook for 3 minutes or until evenly browned (make sure to stir frequently).
  5. Now add the broccoli, hoisin sauce, ginger and french dressing. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes.
  7. Pour the mixture over the rice and enjoy.
Cooking time (duration): 25 Minutes
Number of servings (yield): 4 People

Stir Frying Tips

Things that will make your cooking experience more enjoyable.

Since this is a dish that uses high heat there is less room for errors.
As such consider the following tips:

- You want to make sure everything you need is ready before you begin cooking.
- Everything should be mixed and chopped.
- Equal sized pieces will ensure equal cooking time.
- Whatever takes the longest to cook should be the first thing in the pan and so on.
- Make sure to stir continuously to avoid burning in the wok or hot skillet.
- Use only approved utensils to avoid melting them.

Where did Beef & Broccoli Popularity Come From?

This dish seems to have evolved into an American Chinese food. It is not even an item you would find on a Chinese menu. This dish typically utilizes western broccoli instead of Chinese broccoli in order to accommodate the western palate. Many Americans love their broccoli and they also their beef. By incorporating these two popular items and adding many variations of sauces this dish will remain popular for decades to come.


Homemade Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe



  • 8 slices of bacon (diced)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 pound of spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine (optional)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. To begin with this carbonara recipe, boil the spaghetti in a pot of water until it is done. Drain the pasta well and then toss it with one tablespoon of olive oil. Set it aside.
  2. Cook the chopped bacon in a skillet until it is slightly crisp and then remove it and drain on a paper towel. Set aside two tablespoons of the bacon fat, add one tablespoon of olive oil and heat it in the skillet. Add the chopped onion and allow it to cook on medium until the onion becomes translucent. Add the minced garlic, cooking for an extra minute. I prefer to add some wine at this point to enhance the taste and allow it to cook for an additional minute.
  3. Place the cooked bacon in the pan along with the spaghetti. Toss it so that it coats and heats through. When I find it becoming dry or beginning to stick together, I normally add some more olive oil.
  4. Add the beaten eggs and allow it to cook while continuing to toss with tongs until the eggs are just hardly set. You may then add a 1/2 cup of cheese. I don't normally add salt because the bacon and Parmesan add plenty to this dish, although I do use a dash of pepper.
  5. Sprinkle the dish with chopped parsley and serve it while it's still hot with the remaining Parmesan cheese on top.
Cooking time (duration): 40 Minutes
Number of servings (yield): 8 Servings