Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pizza Braid

A quick and tasty lunch. Packed with all our favourite pizza toppings, loads of cheese and zesty pizza sauce. Rolled up and baked and ready to go. What not to like? This is my kind of food. No table setting or plating required. Just slice and serve. You can eat at the table, or on the couch watching TV or outside either in your backyard or when you are out for a walk! Believe me, I like to grab a munchi when I go out for a walk. Serve this with your fav salad and you could have a nice, light meal. 
Here’s how I made it 
Pizza Braid
For Basic Pizza Dough:
1 pkg. dry yeast
3/4 c. warm water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. oil
1 tsp. sugar
3 c. flour

Mix ingredients together, adding flour last. Cover and let rise 1 hr.
 for braid:
1 cup pizza sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
About 20 pepperonis
¼ cup each julienned peppers, onions
Sliced mushrooms
Milk wash
Garlic powder and Italian seasonings to sprinkle on top 
How to:
heat oven to 425° F.
roll the pizza dough into 12” circle.
Place it on a cookie sheet.
Now spread a thin layer of pizza sauce.
Top with all the toppings, finishing with cheese.
With sharp knife, make slits on both sides of the dough, about an inch width apart.
Now start braiding the roll.
Tuck the top and bottom portions inside the roll.
Brush the entire roll with cold milk.
Sprinkle garlic powder and Italian seasonings on top.
Bake till golden brown, for about 25 minutes.
When warm, slice the roll and serve with marinara sauce.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Taco Bake!

This is money! I am telling you the truth. As soon as I pulled the baked tacos from the oven, I heard the complements like this looks so good and smells so good. And boy, once they had these tacos, more oohs and aahs! Like so simple and yet so filling and satisfying. We should make this once a week dinner and all.  For me, it was the best dish to make as my family don’t make tacos themselves. I have to fix their tacos and thus, I end up eating last!  With this taco bake, that wait has eliminated. I can have my tacos with them and I can still put the fixings on their tacos but I don’t have to wait to make each taco separately.

Give it a try. I am sure your family would love it as well. I used ground chicken. You can use refried beans only with other toppings.

Here's how I made it.

Baked Tacos


10 hard shell tacos
1 lb. ground chicken
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Mexican oregano
2 tsbp chilli powder
1 tbsp cayenne powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
¼ cup water
Shredded cheese about 1 cup or more
Lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, salsa etc toppings as required

How to:

Preheat oven to 375° F.
Heat the skillet and add chicken, all the spices and water and cook till chicken is cooked through and water has evaporated.
Place tacos in 13x9 tray side by side.
Fill up with chicken mixture, top with shredded cheese.
Bake for about 10 minutes until cheese melts.
Serve warm with your favorite toppings.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mixed Veggie Red Curry with Tofu and Chicken

Well, this is what I call everything but the kitchen sink dish! Literally, when you have a little bit of the vegetables, chicken and tofu(sometimes) remaining in the fridge, that you can’t use them to prepare a single dish out of, what a girl to do? Well, a girl, especially me, would throw everything in one pot and make another dish out of it. That’s exactly what happened with me and this dish was born. I am not going to say this is Thai recipe just because I used red Thai curry paste in it. I HAD to use it up as well so I just dumped in the pot. And again, the end product was simply awesome. We all enjoyed it so much with fragrant Jasmine rice.

Here’s how I made it.

Mixed Vegetable Red Curry with Tofu and Chicken
½ cup boneless chicken cubed
½ cup tofu pieces
Vegetables of your choice, I used broccoli, red pepper, green pepper, carrot and celery
2-3 tbsp red Thai curry paste
4-5 small pieces of dry red chilies
¼ cup oil
1 small onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

How to:
Heat the oil in a wok.
Add onion and garlic and saute till fragrant, for about 3 minutes
Now add red curry paste and dry red chilies and saute till oil floats on the top.
Add chicken and cook till almost done. paste should coat the chicken pieces.
Now add all the veggies alongwith tofu and about ½ cup of water and cover.
Let it cook for about 3 minutes or until veggies are crisp tender.
Immediately remove from heat.
Garnish with cashews, cilantro etc.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Teriyaki Glazed Chicken

This was my first attempt to make Teriyaki sauce and glaze from scratch. Until now, I have been using bottled teriyaki sauce and for some reason I never really liked it. I saw this recipe on a TV cooking show and very next day gave it a try. And it really didn’t disappoint. It came out perfect, slightly sweeter for my taste so next time I have to reduce the amount of sugar. That’s abut it. I don’t think I would change anything in this recipe at all. The chicken came out very juicy and moist and we all enjoyed it with Jasmine rice and glazed mixed vegetables.
Here’s how I made it.
Teriyaki Glazed Chicken
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp granulated sugar
About 2 tsp each minced ginger and garlic
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water 
How to:
For sauce:
Mix all the ingredietns in a sauce pot on medium heat and cook until the sugar is dissloved.
At this point, you can use the sauce as a marinade for chicken, beef, tofu or any other protein or as a dipping sauce.
Mix cornstarch with water and add to the boiling sauce. Simmer till thickened.
I used this glaze to marinate my chicken, grilled the chicken and then serve with sprinkles of toasted sesame seeds. Used the same glaze to marinate and roast the vegetables.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Apple Pie Cups

First of all, I forgot to take pictures of the final product! And I am not happy about it. It looked and tasted so wonderful, I missed that final picture. At the same time, because it looked and tasted so wonderful, we just devoured these Apple pie cups!  Well, you get the idea. So let’s move on! 

I love to use wonton wrappers as they are so versatile. You can make savory as well as sweet dishes using these babies. They come in very handy when you are pressed for time or you just want something to grab and go. So when I am in the mood for pie and don’t want to make pie crust or to save on fat and calories content of the pie crust, I go for wonton wrappers. And so far, they haven’t disappointed me a bit. So on to these delicious pie cups, 

Here’s how I made it.

Apple Pie Cups
12 wonton wrappers
2 green apples, cored and cubed
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp cardamom powder
½ tsp nutmeg powder 

How to:
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Heat butter in the skillet
Add brown sugar and slowly caramelize the sugar.
Add cubed apples in lemon juice, all the spices and cook till apples are tender and moisture evaporates.
Brush 12 muffin cup pan with butter.
Brush 12 wonon wrappers with butter and arrange them in the muffin pan.
Divide apple mixture equally into muffin cups.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges of wrappers are brown.
Serve warm with Vanilla Icecream
 Note:  you can top the apple cubes with strips of wonton wrappers or your favourite crumble topping before baking.