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Friday, July 12, 2013

Chicken Croquettes

Ramadan Kareem to everyone who is fortunate to gain the blessings of the sacred month. There is special focus on ibadah and prayers. With all the spirituality going around, some part of us is also working on what to have for iftar. I would not recommend spending the whole day in the kitchen to prepare a lavish iftar. Ramadan should not be about food. Therefore it is better to prepare some things ahead of time and utilize them at iftar time. This would ensure that you have free time for other more important tasks of Ramadan.

I made some chicken croquettes, which are easy and quick to make and can be prepared ahead and frozen. Since everything used in these croquettes is cooked beforehand, you just have to fry them, without fear that something will remain undercooked, and cause diseases. These are very basic croquettes, when I next try them, I might add some green chillies to enhance the flavor.



Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups cooked chicken, finely chopped or minced
1 tbsp green corriander
1 tbsp onione, finely minced 
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Oil, for deep frying

White sauce
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth

Coating
Flour, as required
Bread crumbs, as required
1 egg, beaten

Method

Put the chicken, corriander, and onion in a bowl. Sprinkle salt and pepper and mix. Set aside

Prepare the white sauce. Heat butter on low heat. When butter is melted , add the flour. Whisk to create a roux. Whisk for about 1 minute. Add milk in small quantities, whisking constantly. The mixture will begin to form a thick paste. When milk is added, added the broth and a pinch of salt. Whisk to remove any lumps. remove from heat.

Pour 1 cup of white sauce on the chicken. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Remove from refrigerator. Take small quantities of mixture and form small patties. 

Put flour and bread crumbs in separate bowls. Coat the patties in flour, dip in egg and coat with bread crumbs. Set aside. Freeze if not using immediately.

Heat oil and fry until golden. These croquettes can be shallow fried or baked too as per choice. Serve with ketchup or white sauce. Happy cooking!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Spicy Pasta Thai Style

Today was a holiday and I played kitchen queen. Being busy with job and business school, I cherish every holiday that is sent my way. It just happened that mom had a plan to visit some relatives in the morning, which meant that the kitchen was all mine. It was one of those rare times when I was left alone to my devices in the kitchen without any interference or advice on how should I be going about my way. Don't you just like the feeling of queening over the kitchen?

I decided on making some desi style chinese food. So I made some vegetable fried rice, chicken soup, and some pasta. Dessert is a must in my household, but after all this effort, I found it tiresome to make some from scratch so I made some instant pudding.

I am kind of bored with the typical stir fried vegetable desi chinese style noodels/ spaghetti/ macarooni/ pasta ,therefore I made some pasta inspired by thai food. The recipe I used is an adaptation of Spicy Thai Noodles.

I would omit the green onions next time I make these, because I don't like the strong after taste of green onions.


Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 packet (400 gm) pasta (any shape) 
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp red chilli flakes
4 - 5 tbsp soya sauce
4 - 5 tbsp honey
Salt, to taste
Red chilli powder, optional
3 - 4 dry red chillies, optional
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1/4 cup carrot, cut into thin strips and boiled for 1 minute
3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
2 tbsp sesame seeds, roasted

Method:

Boil pasts according to directions. Set aside. 

Heat oil and red chilli flakes for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Don't let the red chilli flakes burn. Strain the oil to remove red chilli flakes, and reserve the oil. Add soya sauce and honey in the oil and mix. 

Pour the sauce in a pot, add the boiled pasta, and place it on a medium flame. Add the green onions, shredded carrots, and the cilantro. Toss lightly. Add some salt and mix. Taste. If it is not hot enough you can add some red chilli powder. Or you can break some dried red chillies and add the seeds. ( I did both :D )

Sprinkle the sesame seeds and toss the pasta around. Dish out in a platter. Serve warm. Happy cooking!!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I have bought a new lens for my very basic DSLR, the 50mm/f1.8 lens and being the amateur food photographer that I am for my blog, I have fallen in love with it; which is not unusual as a I have a long list of love affairs with my gadgets (including my smartphone and my laptops). Every gadget I own is very near and dear to my heart. I am not familiar with many big words of digital photography as I am learning my ropes yet, but I love what I see when I use the 50mm/f1.8 lens. It is an inexpensive lens when compared to the the pricier lenses. So I come here with the first recipe I photographed with this lens for my blog, others I had done for Baker's Canvas as a home business.

I have my eyes on this cake for long. The only thing stopping me form achieving the goal was lack of ingredients. If I had lemons, I didn't have poppy seeds. If I had poppy seeds, they weren't clean. If I had poppy seeds, I didn't have lemons, or eggs, or cake flour or some other crucial ingredient. Today, finally I had all the ingredients, so I didn't waste any time and made the lemon poppy seed cake.

I have seen many picture of poppy seed cakes with black poppy seeds. Mine were brown and beige and I was sceptical about the results. On one hand the poppy seeds weren't as visible as their darker counterparts, but I think the taste was there, so was the slight crunch that come with the presence of tiny seeds in the cake. The picture has tiny brown flecks, which you may see on close inspection. These would be prominent if darker poppy seeds are used.



Recipe

Ingredients
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
Zest of one lemon
3 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp poppy seeds

Glaze
1 cup icing sugar
2 - 3 tbsp leon juice

Method

Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C.

Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt). Beat together sugar and oil in a separate bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add flour and milk to egg mixture alternatingly in two additions. Beat well to incorporate. Fold lemon zest, lemon juice and poppy seeds with a rubber spatula. Pour into a greased pan and bake for 30 minutes or until done. The time may vary, mine took 45 minutes. Remove from oven cool.

Put the icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Put the bowl over boiling water and mix to prepare a runny glaze. Pour hot glaze over the cake, and allow it to drip on the sides of the cake. Let the glaze set before serving. Happy baking!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Date Pudding

Hello blog, and hey my blog readers. It has been a long time since I came up with something to post. Now that I am on vacations, I plan to be a bit regular. I tried something new today, a date pudding. Dates are healthy and nutritious and putting them into a dessert makes the dessert nutritious too. We'll decide on the healthy part after the recipe and taste test ;).

It is kind of cold in my city of desi land. The temperature drops to 11 or 12 C, and seems like it is 2 or C (ok, ok, I have a superactive imagination). Comfort food is a craving. You can make this pudding to satisfy this nagging craving. It is great way to mark the end of the dinner, or to satisfy your sweet tooth. Leave the excuses aside, this pudding is a must try at least once, just for the sake of it.

This recipe is adapted from the book "Sticky and Steamed Puddings" by Confident Cooking.


Recipe

Ingredients
3/4 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup boiling water
50g of butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Syrup:
2/3 cup sugar
10 g butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
2/3 cup water

Method

Preheat oven to 180 C/ 350 F. Grease a deep oven proof dish, around 1.5 L capacity. Set the dish aside.

In a bowl sprinkle baking soda over dates and pour boiling water over it. Set aside to cool. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift flour and baking powder together, and then fold in the egg mixture with the dates. Stir until just combined and pour into the prepared dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until done.

While the pudding is cooking, prepare the syrup. Put sugar, butter, vanilla, and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. When pudding is done, take it out of the oven, prick with a fork in a few places and pour the syrup over the pudding. Return to oven for 5 minutes, and allow the syrup to soak in the pudding. Serve with cream or ice cream. Happy baking!!!