Saturday, May 31, 2014

Chicken in Spinach Pesto

Remember last week's quick n easy spinach pesto? This is what I used it for. I needed to make something quick and tasty and all I did was to throw in some chicken breast, salted and peppered in an oiled baking dish, smeared them with presto, top it off with some grated mozzarella cheese and baked at 400° F for about 25 minutes. And yes, don’t forget to cover the baking dish with the aluminum foil for the first 20 minutes. This speeds up cooking of the chicken as well as it prevents the cheese from burning. And the last 5 minutes, take off the foil cover, let the cheese bubble and brown up and then enjoy the hot and oh so tasty chicken on a sandwich or with your choice of pasta!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Quick N Easy Spinach Pesto

I love spinach. I like it cooked as a curry with potatoes, peas, chicken etc. I like it sauteed with onions and pepper in pasta. I like to chew on raw spinach when I feel that hunger pang. It was on my mind to make spinach pesto and use it for something. Finally, I got to make it. Got a boxful of baby spinach and then realized that we wouldn’t be home for about two weeks. I thought uh oh, this beautiful spinach would go bad in two weeks. Then I thought about making pesto and store it in the back of the fridge so that it stays fresher without freezing it. I’ve got to use it in recipes though. And the beauty of this recipe is that it doesn’t require that much of oil unlike it’s counterpart Basil Pesto. So for now, 

Here’s how I made it.

Quick N Easy Spinach Pesto

4 cups baby spinach, washed
1 cup walnut pieces
4-5 cloves of garlic or to taste
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
About ½ cup EVOO
How to:
place first 4 ingredients in a food processor.
Run the food processer on medium speed, drizzle the EVOO from the spout.
It might take about ¼ cup of EVOO.
Place the pesto in the wide mouth glass bottle and pour about a tbsp. of EVOO. This helps keep the pesto to the freshest green.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sesame Brittle

This is mom’s recipe. She always used to make it on Makar Sankranti. It’s a tradition to enjoy Sesame brittle(tal sankali as we call it in Gujarati) on that day in Gujarat, alongwith other foods. It’s so easy to make. Luckily for me, hubby loves it and I love to make it. 
Here how I made it.

Sesame Brittle
1 cup sesame seeds
¾ cup sugar
1 tbsp ghee
How to:
Keep an oiled rolling pin and wax paper ready. You need it as soon as the brittle is done.
Heat a pot on medium high heat.
Add sugar and slowly caramelize it.
Now add sesame seeds and ghee and mix everything so that seeds are coated with sugar.
Immediately dump the hot mixture on the wax paper, butter your palms, make a ball of the mixture and roll it in a thin disc.
Cut into squares or diamonds and serve.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

“Fried” Goat Cheese Medallions with Spring Greens

A few months ago, I had this salad at a restaurant. It was so elegant and so eye pleasing, let alone the taste of deep fried goat cheese medallions.  I knew instantly I had to make it at home. Goat cheese is one of the cheeses I always have in my fridge. I absolutely love to have goat cheese smeared on my toast with little bit of salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Making the medallions was not hard at all. I made sure to make more and popped them in the freezer for later use. Good thing I went away for a vacation right after I made these so they are still safe in the freezer, waiting to be enjoyed.
Here’s how I made it.
“Fried” Goat Cheese Medallions with Spring Greens
1 block of goat cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup cold milk
1 egg, whisked
¼ cup oil
How to:
Slice goat cheese medallions with a sharp knife. I find it very easy with the dental floss.
Coat the medallions with bread crumbs(salted and peppered), then dip in milk, again in bread crumbs, then in egg and finish with coating with more bread crumbs.
Freeze the medallions for about 30 minutes or so.
Heat oil in a shallow skillet.
Lay the medallions flat on hot oil, shallow fry until golden brown on both sides.
Add more oil if required.
Serve atop your favourite salad.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Ravioli in Saffron Sauce

Alla Panna is cream sauce. This is an extended version of it. At the end of sauce making process, I just added a bit of saffron, soaked in cream. Hence, Ravioli in Saffron Sauce! Feel free to add any vegetables of your liking to make a round out one pot meal. or serve with your favorite sides.

Here's how I made it.

Ravioli In Saffron Cream Sauce


1 lb. fresh ravioli
1 medium onion, chopped
Garlic, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
1-2 cups half n half
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 pinches of Saffron, soaked in 1/4 tbsp cream

How to:

In a sauce pot, melt butter, add onion and garlic, cook till onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant, for about 4-5 minutes.
Add flour and cook further till the raw flour smell disappears.
Add salt, pepper, half n half and simmer till the sauce thickens.
Add saffron with cream.
Set aside, keep warm.
In the meantime, cook pasta per package directions.
Transfer the cooked pasta in the sauce pot, toss and serve hot with the baguette(you need it to wipe the plate clean!)