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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Linguine with spinach-garlic sausage and pesto

1. Boil water with a pinch of salt. Add the pasta until al dente. Cool under running water. (or as instructed in package) Linguine might take longer to cook than spaghetti, but faster than fettuccine-considering the surface area.

I used this pack of sausage. Best not to eat too much processed meat.

2. Heat the sausage and cut diagonally into bite sized chunks. (I find they retain shapes this way more than cutting first and then cooking- if you cover and cook that is.) Optional: Add minced garlic, shallots and bell peppers to it when in a spray of olive oil. Some sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan shavings would be good addition too.

3. Add Alfredo sauce of your choice, 1-2 tsp of pesto (Best if home made). Let the sauce cook for a while, add the pasta, then the sausage. Stir and serve with garlic bread or jalapeno focaccia.
The pasta was so good, the sausages felt redundant.

Clean your palate with a scoop of Tiramisu gelato.

P.S. Found some gorgeous-looking, heavenly-smelling mangoes in an Indian grocery store. Have to make sticky rice with mango some day. Having one with Greek yogurt (with 5 live cultures- usually the more, the better)

For more pasta ideas click on the label 'pasta'

Oven-broiled T-bone steak

1.Oven-broiled T-bone steak
You can pair it with an easy New Orleans Bordelaise sauce( olive oil, chopped shallots, parsley and garlic.)

Usually, soy sauce, minced garlic and sprigs of rosemary is enough for a good cut of meat. This time I used a trio of garlic salt with parsley, Montreal steak mix and soy sauce. (Careful about the salt content- make it garlic powder: soy sauce or garlic salt: low-sodium soy sauce to be on the safe side) Using a meat mallet,tenderize it as soon as you get it from the butcher shop. Add the spices and seal it in an airtight/Ziploc bag. I am trying to eat low carbs (zero potatoes) nowadays, so I ate it with grilled veggies of my choice. You can have steamed green beans, buttered baby carrots or creamed corn as sides too.

I like my steak medium-rare. It is not a good idea to eat well-done red meat too often. Apparently, it can be linked to aggressive prostrate cancer.

I grilled mine in an open oven for 15 mins (Best done on an outdoor grill, 5-7 mins on each side. Some swear that pan frying in hot oil is the best way to cook a steak). If the steak has fat in it, don't use high heat to cook it. Depending on the size and cut of meat, you will figure the optimum cooking time. It is important not to overcook a steak- the meat gets rubbery. It is best to wrap foil around the steak and let it sit for a few minutes after cooking and before you savor it. This way the juices are retained and the meat stays tender longer.

See also 2. Grilled Rib-eye Steaks with Miso Butter

3. Rib-eye with Stilton sauce and grilled veggies

4. Steak in chive butter (and marinated with soy sauce, brown sugar, pickled ginger, minced garlic and cracked peppercorn)

But this is my absolute favorite so far (9/13/2013) 
5. A well marbled  rib eye pan-seared with red bell peppers and mushrooms

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chili salmon in coconut milk

Version 1: I used fillet of Salmon for this recipe. You can use steaks too. Cut the fillet into cubes while still frozen, for ease.
I discovered a new South Indian spice I use for Chili fish- you can make your own mix using chili powder, ginger powder, mustard powder, turmeric and salt.  Dust it over the fish pieces and keep it aside. (Microwave if you need to thaw the fish , for about 3 mins or in cold water. Never thaw fish in warm water- the temperature diff will cause delicate fish to break)

Dry roasting spices is a good idea for some dishes- I took a pinch of fennel seeds, coriander, cumin, black pepper corn and fenugreek (common ingredient in most packaged Indian spice for fish)  - dry roasted them and ground them in a coffee grinder.

I used olive oil for cooking this one. Fry the fish pieces lightly on each side separately first , keep aside. (something Bangals call 'satlano'. Sounds like a young Italian chap, doesn't it? ) Fry finely sliced onions, tomatoes, green chilies and grated ginger. Add the fish and the spice mix you prepared. Cook till oil separates.

 Now, you can add coconut milk and your favorite herb. I discovered kasuri methi goes well with this prep.

Version 2: Bake all the ingredients together in a covered baking pan for 20 mins until done.

To make less hot, you can skip the peppercorns and reduce the amount of red chili powder from the recipe. Vegetarians can substitute fish with tofu/paneer. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Broccoli and cheddar with bacon

This is as easy as ABC. First, fry the bacon in a wok. You need no extra oil for the dish. Skip this step and use olive oil spray if you don't eat/like bacon.
Cut the broccoli into bite size florets, wash well and steam in a microwave for 5 mins-until al dente. Sprinkle a little salt.
Saute or bake the bacon and broccoli. Add cheddar just before you turn the heat off.  You can blend it and make a thick soup out of it too. Casein-conscious eaters might want to go easy on the cheese.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chicken cutlets in mushroom sauce

Use chicken breast fillets, dust pepper and salt on them, dip in egg wash, Italian breadcrumbs, Parmesan shavings and grill at an outdoor grill or conventional oven.
For sauce: You can use sliced mushrooms in wine sauce or campbell's cream of mushroom in chicken broth/milk.
Chicken cutlets with mushroom sauce

Chicken cutlets with grilled veggies

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kung Pao Chicken

What should I make for dinner tonight? I'm thinking this:

Kung Pao Chicken

Or chicken stir-fry with mushrooms and baby bok choy?

For Shreya

Dry-roast Szechuan peppers and coriander seeds. Keep aside.

 Use freshly chopped ingredients. Onions and green chilis are optional.

Saute well, adding the baby bok choy stalks before the leaves to give them extra time to cook . Add grated ginger, garlic, dry red chilis, the dry roasted Szechuan peppers and coriander seeds, and soy sauce. Check for salt and hotness. Add ground pepper and green chili sauce if you want it extra hot.

Serve with steamed rice or on noodles.