Tag Archives: easy to make

Lemon Goat cheese Ravioli

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Lemon Goat cheese Ravioli

I have been a part of this cook book club and I am loving it. I feel its great because you are getting inspiration from the book and your co-chefs. Its amazing to see everyone’s take on the same dish, be it swapping out ingredients, cooking techniques or even plating.

This month’s author is  Yotam Ottolenghi and we are cooking from various books of his. I must tell you, you will fall in love with his book. I will be sharing many recipes, some just like he makes, some my variations.

Jerusalem is one of my favorite cook books, Yotam takes us down the lanes of Jerusalem. You can smell the breads from the bakery and halva on the streets.

I love the fact that he is so connected to his roots and that his cooking is simple. It speaks to you because the ingredients are honest and so are the techniques. There is a clear sense of sharing the recipes and it touches me. It focuses on various vegetables that we get through out the year and not limited to just carrots and bell peppers

Today I am sharing one of the recipes from his book Plenty. This has been my inspiration to making pasta and also make other things that I will be sharing soon.

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For the pasta

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3 tbsp olive oil
3 medium eggs
330g ’00’ flour, plus more for rolling
½ tsp turmeric
Grated zest of 3 lemons

For the filling

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300g creamy, mild goat’s cheese
½ tsp  sea salt
1 pinch chilli flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg white, beaten

To serve

2 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed
1 tsp roughly chopped tarragon
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Lemon juice (optional)

Method

Mix the oil and eggs. Put the flour, turmeric and zest in a food processor, add the oil and egg mix, and blend to a crumbly dough (it may require extra flour or oil).

Once the dough has come together and is smooth (you may need to work it a little by hand, too), divide it into four thick, rectangular blocks.

Wrap in clingfilm and chill for anything from 30 minutes to two days.

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Dust a work surface with flour. Take a piece of dough and flatten with a rolling pin. Set a pasta machine to its widest setting and pass through. Repeat, narrowing the setting a notch each time, until you reach the lowest setting. Place pasta sheets flat under a moist towel, so they don’t dry out.

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Use a fork to crush all the filling ingredients together, apart from the egg white. Use a pastry cutter (or rim of a glass) to stamp out pasta circles roughly 7cm in diameter. Brush each with egg white and place a heaped teaspoon of filling in its centre. Place another disc on top and, with fingers dipped in flour, squeeze out any air as you bring the edges of the discs together. You should end up with a pillow-shaped centre surrounded by a 1cm edge. Tighten the edges until you can’t see a seam. Repeat with the rest of the dough, place the ravioli on a tray sprinkled with semolina, and leave to dry for 15 minutes. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for a day or two.

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To serve, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta for two to three minutes, until al dente, drain and divide between four plates. Sprinkle with pink peppercorns, tarragon and lemon zest. Drizzle with rapeseed oil, add salt and a squirt of lemon juice, and serve piping hot.

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Cardamom-Pistachio cookie

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Cardamom-Pistachio cookie

I am not much of a baker. I love making desserts but baking is another beast which I hope to tame at some point. I make cakes, simple ones and I am always thrilled when they come out good. 🙂 I love trying new recipes if I get some inspiration. I love going to different ethnic grocery stores and looking for ideas, I am always amazed at the various new things I learn each time.

One of my favorite grocery store near my home is a Persian/middle eastern grocery store. Any time I go there, I come back with something new and that starts my experimentations.

It is holiday season and holiday means cookies and cakes and all those yummy treats. I wanted to make cookies but did not which one to pick, they are all so tempting. Traditional chocolate chip, oatmeal resin, Italian biscotti, indian nankhatai, german spice cookie to name a few. So I thought why not a take help from everyone and took  a poll on my facebook page.

And majority of you said that they wanted to see a recipe that is ‘something different’ or with ‘innovative flavors’. I thought of many ideas but somehow this one seemed perfect for the time.

Here I present my first Xmas Cookie ( there are man

Cardamom- Pistachio shortbread with orange blossom glaze

Pistachio-orangeblossom

It stole my heart and the whole house smelt like heaven ( and  a lot like Haleh Bakery).

It is so easy yet looks very fancy and eclectic, you can make the dough ahead of time, keep it wrapped in the fridge. When you want, 15 minutes and you will have fresh batch of cookies.

Ingredients:

Cookie:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup natural unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted, chopped
  • 1 large egg yolk ( you can use chilled milk instead)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom

Glaze:

  • 1  cups powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white ( you can use 1 tbsp milk instead)
  • 3/4 tsp Orange blossom

Method:

  • In a food processor pulse the pistachios, cardamom and flour till the nuts are a little chopped
  • Add powdered sugar and pulse more
  • Add the butter and pulse till you get breadcrumb texture
  • Add the egg yolk/cold milk
  • Keep pulsing till the dough comes together

 

  • Take the dough and roll it into a log
  • Keep it in the fridge for a couple of hours for the dough to harden
  • Slice the log into about 1/4 inch thick pieces
  • Bake for 15-17 mins in a 325F
  • Let it cool completely

Glaze:

Mix all the ingredients to make the glaze.

Assembly

Take the cooled cookies, top with a small amount of glaze, decorate cookies with sliced pistachios, dried rose petals, saffron strands.

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Soya Pyaaz Ki Seekh kabob

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I love summers. Abundant produce, long days and backyard barbecues. I love anything and everything that comes off the grill. The smoky aroma it imparts to the food is so appetizing. We have grilled all the way till October, even when it is raining with an umbrella in the hand, umbrella not for us but for the grill 😉

Today it was a gorgeous evening, the first moon was in the sky. It marks the beginning of Ramdan.  It was not too hot, prefect temperature to have a meal on the patio.


I love summer produce and can almost go vegetarian in summer but then the kabobs call my name, and I melt.

This recipe today sort of helps me be vegetarian on Monday. It is perfect for the #meatlessmondays and the grill.

I love watching all food shows but there are some favorites and master chef is one of them. I loved the indian version more because there was Vikas Khanna and there was Ranveer Brar ;). Recently I got a chance to meet with Vikas Khanna( thanks to a dear friend)


A local organization Women’s now is hosting a cooking competition  and Ranveer will be the judge, so now I can not wait to meet Ranveer.

Today’s recipe is based on his recipe. I made a few tweaks, it is a keeper


Ingredients

1.5 cup soya chunks or 1 cup granules

1 large potato

1/2 onion finely chopped

1-2 green chilies chopped

1 tsp Shahi Jeera

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp crushed coriander seeds

1/2 tsp red chili powder

1 pinch cardamom powder

1-2 drops of liquid smoke

A few mint leaves chopped

Cilantro chopped

Salt to taste

Method

  • Boil the potato, peel and mash well.
  • Soak the soya chunks in hot water for 15-20 mins. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
  • Pulse in the food processor to get a minced meat like consistency.
  • In a pan heat the oil, add jeera when the oil is hot. Sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add the chopped onions and chilies and sauté on medium heat till brown.
  • Add these onions to the soya mixture along with potatoes and rest of the ingredients.
  • Make patties and shallow fry in a pan or make long rolls and shape lo a kabob on a skewer. Cook till crispy outside.
  • Remember everything else is cooked so make sure you don’t let the kabob dry out.

I served it with a Rose-strawberry coconut smoothie with chia seeds, it seemed to somehow compliment the colors of the sky.

Leek, Potato & Goat cheese Galette with Pistachio Crust

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Last few days have been very challenging, I consider myself a very strong person but it is amazing how vulnerable one gets when they are emotionally invested. I know it will be alright eventually but right now it hurts.  I really needed to do something that takes my attention away. So I have started lifting weights and  decided to try at least one new  recipe every week.

I love love brunches. You can try different things than your usual lunch and you are not rushed to have everything ready. Perfect for lazy mornings and occasions like Mother’s day. On the occasion of Mother’s day, I am sharing this recipe that can be a perfect addition to your brunch table. You can make the prep ahead of time and then comes together in less than 15 mins.

I love nuts, and especially pistachios. I am in love with combination of  green, pink colors you see in these raw nuts. I recently made a nice torte with pistachio crust and it was a major hit at my work.  Todays recipe uses the nuts in the crust, giving it a unique toasty flavor and crunch.


I had seen this recipe on Bon Appetit and have been wanting to make it. I have grown fond of goat cheese recently and loved the contrast of the tangy, creamy goat cheese against the caramelized leeks and sweetness of honey.

Goat Cheese & Leek Galette with pistachio crustPistachio Galette

 

Ingredients

For the dough

  • ½ cup shelled pistachios
  • 2½ cups unbleached flour
  •  1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

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Toppings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large leek, halved lengthwise, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup  heavy cream
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  •  2/3 Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped dill, plus more for serving
  • 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced
  •  1 large egg, beaten to blend Honey (for drizzling)
  • Crushed szechuan peppercorns
  • Flaky sea salt (optional; for serving)_MG_3039

Method

 Dough

  • Pulse pistachios in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add flour, kosher salt, and sugar and pulse until combined.
  • Add butter and pulse until a coarse meal forms.
  • With motor running, slowly add ½ cup ice water and process until dough comes together.
  • Transfer dough to a work surface, form into a ball, and flatten to a disc.
  • Wrap dough in parchment and chill 30 minutes.

Topping

  • Preheat oven to 400º. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low; cook leek, stirring occasionally and being careful not to brown, until just softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix cream, goat cheese, and garlic in a medium bowl until smooth. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  • Transfer dough to a work surface and divide into 4 pieces.
  • Working with one piece at a time, roll out to an 8″ round.

Layer it up

  • Using an offset spatula, spread one-quarter of the goat cheese mixture on dough, leaving a 1″ border.
  • Top with 1 Tbsp. dill and a thin layer of potato slices. Drizzle with oil and season with kosher salt.
  • Top with one-quarter of the leeks. Fold edges over, overlapping slightly.
  • Carefully transfer galette to prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  • Brush crusts with egg wash. Bake galettes until crusts are golden brown and potatoes are soft, 30–40 minutes. If you want to make a vegetarian version, you can skip the egg and instead use some water mixed milk to brush the edges.

Cut slice

Original Recipe:

Goat Cheese, Leek, and Potato Galettes with Pistachio Crust

Coffee-Almond biscotti

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This year is supposed to be a El Niño year, which means a lot of rain is expected. We have been hoping that it rains a lot and gives a relief from the drought situation in California. It has rained but not too much, so when this weekend it poured, everyone was super happy.

Rain always makes us think of Pakodas( fried lentil fritters), a cup of ginger tea. Rain makes everything look so pretty. Spring is in the air, flowers everywhere. The wisteria in our garden is looking gorgeous, vibrant with purple chandeliers.

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It was a very relaxing weekend, we had an amazing lunch at our favorite ethiopian place. They make such incredible food, especially their chicken is cooked so well. We ended that meal with a ethiopian coffee, which is always accompanied with a fragrant herb, ‘rue’. You let the herb seep in it’s flavors in the coffee before you drink it.

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Talking about coffee, recently my family has been obsessed with coffee. My son has been taking very scientific approach to coffee making. Weighing the coffee beans, freshly ground with handheld steel coffee grinder, water temperature measured by thermometer, even the pour has to be perfect. He looks like Alton Brown every time he makes coffee. He made me a macchiato with a little heart a few weekends ago, so perfectly made.

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On my recent trip to Guatemala, I visited this coffee shop which not only serves amazing coffee but also sells beans from the neighbouring areas. I picked a few pounds from there and we also replicated the same set up at home. It made such an amazing cup of coffee.

IMG_4349I love coffee in many forms whether it is coffee ice cream or Tiramisu or even Tiramisu french toast for breakfast, I love it all. So when we were talking about some cookie to go with the coffee, I decided to make this Biscotti. I love making biscotti for many reasons, you can make it ahead of time, you can make so many variations and they are not fragile so they transport well.

Since I love the coffee flavor, I decided to add it to the biscotti as well.

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Ingredients

2 3/4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 stick of unsalted butter softened

1 cup of sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3 eggs at room temperature

1 pinch of salt

3 tsp instant granulated coffee

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup of almonds roughly chopped

Chocolate dip

5 oz of dark chocolate chips

crushed almonds or sliced almonds

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt together.

Cream the softened butter with sugar.

Add coffee granules and vanilla mix a little more.

Add one egg at a time while the mixer is running.

Scrape down the liquid ingredients.

Add the flour mixture a little at a time. The dough will be sticky at this point. Keep the dough in the fridge so it will firm up and will be easier to handle.

Take the dough out and divide in two parts.

Form two logs of about 2 inch by 8 inch. Remember this will spread as they bake so dont make them wider than 2 inches.

Place the logs on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Bake for 25-30 mins.

Take it out of the oven and cool for 30 mins.

Biscotti means baked twice. So as the name suggests, we will be baking these twice.

Using a sharp serrated knife, cut in 1 inch slices.

Arrange these slices cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake again for 15-20 mins. Remember that these will harden as they cool so be careful to not overcook these.

After baking it the second time, let them cook on a rack.

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Chocolate sauce

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, heating in the 30 sec intervals, stirring in between.

Dip one end of the cooled biscotti in the melted chocolate and sprinkle with crushed almonds. Layer them back on the parchment paper till the chocolate is solid again.

These store very well in a airtight container.

Serve with your favorite cup of coffee.

 

Variation:

You can skip the coffee granules in the batter, and add 1/4 cup of cocoa instead.

You can also make these with no chocolate or cocoa or almonds in the batter, and add 1 tsp of Anise seeds, 1/2 cup of cranberries & 1/2 cup of pistachio instead.

 

 

 

 

 

Indian Pickled chicken in lettuce cups

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My first take on Saransh Goila’s recipe, ‘Achari Tikka Bread cones’  turned out yummy, everyone loved it. I made it for dinner and paired it with a soup and it was a hit. That night I had my friend over for dinner and he is sort of doing a Paleo diet, so I decided to make a variation for him that was not as carb heavy.

This has all the flavor of the original minus the bread. I kept the croutons on the side so he could add a few if he wanted.  I loved how pretty it looked.  I also made a vegetarian version with ‘Paneer’ for a vegetarian friend and that turned out yummy as well.

Achari Chicken lettuce cup with garlic crouton

Achari Chicken lettuce cup with garlic crouton


Ingredients:
3/4  lb  Boneless Chicken
2 ½ tablespoons Achari Masala ( I used ready made Indian pickle masala)
100 grams Hung Curd
1 tablespoon refined flour
2 tablespoons Mustard Oil
2 Thick bread slices, cubed
2 tbsp butter melted
1 clove of garlic crushed

Chopped carrots, cilantro, green bell pepper

Bean sprouts
Endive leaves separated

Method:

Chicken:

Heat Mustard Oil to a smoking point & then add Achari Masala to it. Cook the spice mix nicely. Take it off heat, let it cool down for 10 minutes.

Add this spice mix into hung curd. Mix nicely.

Cut cubes of chicken & marinade it with the pickled curd marinade for minimum 60 mins.

Now cook the chicken on medium flame, add refined flour and cook for 8-10 mins. Once cooked evenly, keep it aside.

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Croutons

Preheat the oven at 325 F


Toast the bread cubes in the oven till they are crisp.
Take them out and pour the garlic butter and toss them well. Bake them again for 5-6 mins to get them golden brown.

Mix with chicken with the croutons, chopped carrot, sprouts, and cilantro.

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Now, take the endive leaves and fill them up with the mixture. And serve.

Achari Chicken lettuce cup with garlic crouton

Achari Chicken lettuce cup with garlic crouton