Friday, May 24, 2013

Nutella Filled Ebelskiver

Ebelskiver is a Danish pancake(North American pancake mixed with pop over). It literally means apple slices. It is pancake ball stuffed with apples. I kind of am over for now with apples and cinnamon! Serious but true.  I brought this appam pan from India and was dying to use it. My sister is using it like crazy and my mom had made kandawada(onion fritters) in the pan. I took a different route and made Ebelskiver. They turned out just great. The tiny babies were cooking so quickly even on the medium low heat, it was surprising how fast I was done and just from 1 cup, I got 33 of these cuties! My pan has a bit smaller indentations and only 2 tbsps of batter was required to fill up each cup. And boy, I rushed to fill them up with Nutella as they were just ready to be flipped even before I would finish filling up the 6th cup!

Here how I made them.

Nutella Filled Ebelskiver
1 cup flour
1 egg
¾ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking powder
2 tbsp melted butter + 1 tbsp melted butter to brush the indents
2-4 tbsp Nutella or as much as you would like

How to:
Heat the pan on medium low heat.
When the water droplets dance in the pan, your pan is ready to cook the ebelskivers!
In the meantime, mix everything but Nutella in a bowl.
Brush the indentations of the pan with melted butter.
Pour 1 tbsp batter into each indentation.
Quickly add about a tsp of Nutella in each cup.
Cover it with some more batter.
It is ready to flip when you see bubbles form on the top, just like regular pancake.
Flip it and cook the other side until it is nice and brown for about 90 seconds.
Serve warm with the dusting of icing sugar.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Let The Summer Grilling Begins!

Veggies are ready to take the heat!

On the grill

Looks like Summer has arrived a bit too early! We were in Spring weather, wearing light jackets and boom, we are into shorts and sleeveless clothing! Especially last 2 weekends were a huge surprise. And to take full advantage of the warm weather, almost all in the neighbourhood has lit up their BBQs! Once again, that smoky aroma has filled the air, reminding us to not take this season for granted and to make the most of it.

Me as well, as a big fan of bbqing, didn’t stay back. Cleaned up my BBQ once again and fired it up to grill all the Spring veggies I can lay my hands on. I love the taste of smoke on my veggies. Simply, I love the barbecued food. So this time around, my first 2013 barbecue was no different than other years. Lots of veggies, chicken and lamb. Yes, those who know me well can tell that I have barbecued enough for the entire week’s worth of lunch! Now that’s the way to enjoy warm weather and stay cool inside of the house and of course, enjoy the good time with family.

I grilled vegetables with just enough oil, salt and pepper. Then grilled the flat breads with those veggies on top and lots of goat cheese. We had it cut up like pizza for dinner but for the lunch, I had them all rolled up as a wrap. Then I simply marinated chicken breasts and lamb in bbq sauce and grilled them. Potatoes were same, microwaved until tender and then tossed into oil, salt and pepper and Italian seasoning blends and grilled. Dip was a plain mix of sour cream, mayonnaise, salt and Cayenne pepper. And in a jiffy, we had a fabulous, low fat dinner plus the lunch. I am definitely looking forward to grilling more in this summer. Hope you all have a fantastic and safe summer. I will see you all when I see you!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bite-size Apple Pie & Pops

Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom, sister and all my friends who are mothers and aunts out there! Found a great prayer for all the mothers that I would like to share:

A blessing and prayer tribute to all mothers

Blessed be all mothers
Who have come into our lives
Whose kindness, care and loving
Remain with us to guide.

Your inspiration in us
Made us strive in every way
Especially to remember
Helping others makes our day.

Mom, this little tribute
Flows directly from my heart
You are so loved and cherished
Invaluable, one and all, you are.

I actually made these over last Christmas. Was going through my pictures and found these two pictures. Thought well, let’s post it! So here it is.

This was one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made. To make my life convenient, I used store-bought pastry sheets. You can by all means make your own and use it! I seriously have no time or intention to do so. I can use the premade sheets but when it comes to make one on my own, it scares me to death, the use of loads of butter! Pre made sheets, you don’t see it, you don’t think about it!

So back to my Apple Pie which were perfectly bite sized for the 3 of us,and then I just inserted the lolly pop sticks just for the fun. It was more fun to eat on the stick than to eat them with the fork for sure. And we didn’t even care about Apple Pie à la Mode, that is with Vanilla ice cream.

Here is how I did it.

Bite Sized Apple Pie & Pops
1 pastry sheet, thawed
2-3 medium apples, cored, cubed
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup regular sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder
¼ cup butter, room temperature
¼ cup milk

How to:
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Melt butter on medium heat in a skillet.
Add all the ingredients except milk, and cook till apple cubes are softened.
Roll the pie sheet on a parchment paper to about 13x9 inch wide rectangle.
Cut with cookie cutters or any shape you desire into 24 pieces.
Fill 12 pieces with about 1 tbsp each of the apple filling.
Brush the edges of all 24 pieces with milk.
Cover the filled pieces with remaining 12 pieces.
Arrange them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Brush the tops with milk again.
Bake in the hot oven till the tops are nice golden brown.
Serve warm Pie bites or insert the lolly sticks and present to your loved ones.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Aloo Gobi(Cauliflower Potato Masala)

This is not your everyday Aloo-gobi! Why, you would ask. My answer is: it’s my mom’s recipe when she makes vegetable biryani. So obviously it takes more efforts, more spices, and yes more oil to make this dish than our regular, every day aloo gobi dish.  It is complex yet simple stir fry of potatoes, cauliflower and all the add-ins with aromatic spices that we normally don’t use in our daily cooking. It is complex because the flavour combination is complex. I know every Indian household has its own Aloo gobi recipe that uses anywhere from 2-3 spice mix to 8-10 spice mix! I always encourage my co-workers who by large love Indian food to go to the Indian grocery stores and pick up a pack of garam masala powder, a pack of kasoori methi and a pack of amchur powder. Again Why? Because I believe they add the much needed ‘oomph’ to any Indian dish they are added to.

Now that Spring is already here, the food on our table has changed as well.  There is still some nip in the air here and there but mainly it is nice and sunny. No more dark, gloomy, cloudy days. On one such cold day this past week, when the air was so chilly, I made this dish. The aroma of whole spices roasting in oil and ghee filled the air in my kitchen. The warmth of those spices warmed up our souls! While the pot of these veggies was simmering on the stove, you only need to wait until it is done and you can put it on your roti, roll it up and gobble it up. This is kind of foods from our roots that we’ve gotta have it if we have gone for Italian, Mexican or any other cuisine!

Cauliflower Potato Masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 large onions, sliced
1-2 whole cinnamon sticks
3-4 cloves
1 tbsp whole black peppers
2 bay leaves
1-2 black, large cardamom
3-4 green cardamom
2-3 whole red chilies
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
2 large tomatoes, cubed
¼ cup ginger-garlic paste
2-3 green chillies, chopped
Red chili powder, turmeric powder as per taste
Salt per taste
¼ cup oil
1 cup cauliflower, separated into florets
½ cup potatoes, cubed
¼ cup peas(I used frozen)
½ cup eggplants, cubed

How to:
Heat oil in a large pot.
Add cumin seeds, whole spices and onions.
Cook till onion is golden brown.
Now add tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, green chilies, powdered spices and saute till oil floats on the top.
Now add all the vegetables and salt.
At this point, add little bit of water if the spices are sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer till veggies are cooked and the spices have coated the veggies.
Enjoy with hot naan or rotis.