Colorful Cutlets

Picnic BBQ is a great way to spend time outdoors with friends. Most park ramadas are equipped with electrical connections. All you need is an electric skillet. These cutlets make a great snack for the afternoon tea. You can shape them ahead of time and cook them when needed. As I was making these at home today I decided to bake them. But the process for stove top cooking is exactly the same.

You will need
1 large potato
3 carrots
1/2 cup frozen peas
paprika, salt and cumin powder to flavor each vegetable
1 tbsp. oil.
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

If you do not have breadcrumbs make your own. Bake day old bread for 5-8 minutes until toasty, or you can toast it in a toaster. Try not to use the store bought sugar laden breads. Allow to cool without covering. Cut up the cooled dry bread in a food processor and you have breadcrumbs.
Boil the potato, cook the carrots and peas separately. Peel and mash the potato. Mash the carrots and peas. Season each vegetable separately and divide into 8 portions. Take the butter out of the refrigerator and cut it into 8 portions. Flatten one portion of potato in the palm of your hand. Spread one portion of carrot on the potato and finally on the peas. Place one portion of butter in the middle.

Bring the sides together trying to ensure the layers remain intact. Flatten it to shape like a cutlet and roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat for all the remaining portions. Arrange on a sheet (oven proof if you want to bake them).

At this stage you can cover the sheet and keep aside until needed. On a hot day keep the sheet refrigerated or on ice. When ready to cook either pop the tray in an oven preheated to 375 F for 25-30 minutes or cook on a skillet with a tbsp of oil.


Stuffed Sourdough Bun

These buns are almost identical to the sourdough buns I had posted earlier. In fact from the outside you may think it was the exact same recipe. But there is a difference.

The difference is they are stuffed with a paneer tomato mixture that makes them perfect food on the go. They taste best hot out of the oven but the savory filling makes them perfect even when cold. I made these to munch on when we drove around for college visits.

These buns were on my wishlist for a very long time. However, the original recipe did not use a vegetable filling and the buns were made with commercial yeast. The slow fermented dough and long proofing makes these sourdough bun very flavorful. It has the classic paper thin crust with the soft crumb. Inside the bun is the hidden savory surprise.

The tomato and paneer filling is flavored by cumin, turmeric, paprika and dried basil. Simple ingredients, complex flavors. Thyme or sage could be good substitutions if you don't have basil.

You will need
For the buns use the sourdough buns recipe

For the filling
14 oz. paneer
2 medium tomatoes
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. paprika (adjust quantity to taste)

Prepare paneer if using homemade and keep aside. Follow the sourdough buns recipe. In the last hour of fermentation prepare the filling. Dice the tomatoes and paneer. Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. When they sizzle add the turmeric powder and 10 seconds later add the paneer and tomatoes.

Let the mixture cook in its juices for about 5 minutes on medium high heat. Add salt and cook until the mixture is fairly dry.

Turn down the heat. Add basil and paprika. Mix well and let it cook for a few more minutes before taking it off the heat. The mixture should be dry. Let it cool down completely.

Divide the dough as per instructions. I cut each portion about 75-80 gm and got 12 buns. Take one portion of dough and flatten it slightly in the palm of your hand without allowing the gases to escape. Spoon in a 12th of the filling.

Close the dough over the top and and shape into a bun as per the bun instructions.

Repeat for all the portions.

Bake as per directions for sourdough buns.


Savory Breakfast Muffins

Savory muffins make a great breakfast as they are filling and healthy. This recipe is no exception. Made with mostly whole wheat flour with roasted red bell pepper, spinach and feta cheese these muffins will be a welcome addition to your breakfast menu.

I used King Arthur white whole wheat flour along with a small amount of all purpose flour. I chose spinach, red bell pepper and feta cheese as we all like that combination.

I roasted the red bell pepper on the gas stove until charred, peeled and diced it. It added a lovely flavor to the muffins.

You will need
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. dried sage or thyme
1 tsp. paprika (adjust according to taste)
1 cup spinach, julienne
1 red bell pepper
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F. Using a few drops of olive oil grease a 12 muffin pan and keep aside.

Wash the red bell pepper and stick a fork in the center. Roast it over the stove top flame until charred on all sides. Meanwhile julienne the spinach and crumble the feta cheese. Once charred wrap the pepper in foil and keep aside for 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs. Combine the milk and oil. Add the sugar and combine. Sift in the flours, baking powder, thyme or sage, paprika and salt.

You should have a fairly thick batter, more like a dough than batter. Add the spinach and feta cheese. Unwrap the bell pepper, peel the skin and dice. Add it to the batter.

Mix all the ingredients until the vegetables and cheese is well distributed.

Scoop the batter into the greased muffin pan. Fill the muffin to the very top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Use a blunt knife to loosen the sides and transfer to a cooling rack. Let them cool completely before storing. Use in within a day or two.

Caramelized Peach Fruit Parfait Breakfast

Today I am posting a recipe for fruit parfait made with caramelized fresh peaches and homemade yogurt topped with granola.

Whether it is fresh fruit with cereal, pancakes or eaten on its own fruit is a great addition to any breakfast. But caramelized stone fruit served with yogurt and granola take breakfast to a new level. Parfait does not really have a recipe. Mix the following ingredients in proportions that you like

Homemade yogurt
Caramelized peaches

For the caramelized peaches
2 fresh ripe peaches
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. butter

Cut the peaches into bite sized pieces. Melt the butter in a pan and add the peaches. Sprinkle the sugar over the top.

Let the peaches cook in the butter and sugar until caramelized. Turn over and cook the other side. When the liquid has thickens turn off the heat and let them cool completely.

Once cooled use them to layer the fruit parfait.

Sicilian Splash

A long time ago, close to 20 years, Olive Garden used to serve a mocktail called Sicilian Splash that my husband and I liked a lot. When it was pulled off the menu we looked for a copycat recipe. Back then it was hard to find the Torani brand syrups in our town. The syrup was the primary ingredient of this mocktail. We found it after a massive search and were able to recreate the drink in the house. It has never failed me till date whether it was served for a girls night out or a dinner party.

Now my daughter loves it and every summer insists we buy the syrup and make this mocktail. In fact it is part of our 4th of July tradition.

I don't really follow a recipe but go by proportions depending upon the size of the glass.

You will need
Ice cubes
Torani orange syrup
White grape juice
Sparkling water

Add ice cubes to the glass a little over half way. Add the ingredients in this order. First the orange syrup, then white grape juice and finally sparkling water in equal proportions. Pour the liquid along the side of the glass to prevent the layers from mixing together. Serve immediately.


Color Swirl Paratha

A fun color swirl paratha to start your summer. The wheat dough is dyed orange, pink and green making the distinct swirl pattern.

Carrots, beetroot and spinach is cooked and pureed separately to make the dye. Three balls of dough are made one for each color. You can use any vegetable of your choice to make the dye. You could use more than three or less. This recipe is very flexible.

You will need for 12 parathas
1 carrot
a large handful of baby spinach
1/2 beetroot
4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, divided

Rinse and peel the carrot. Wash the spinach. Wash and cut the beetroot into 3-4 pieces. Pressure cook the vegetables in separate containers with about a quarter cup of water. Peel the beetroot after it is cooked, it will slide right off. Puree the vegetables separately using the cooking liquid.

Add 1 1/2 cups of flour each to three mixing bowls. Add the spinach puree to the first, beetroot to the next and carrot to the third. Knead each one into a soft ball of dough. Divide each of the balls into four portions.

On a working surface roll out one of the portions of the spinach dough using a rolling pin. Use flour to prevent sticking. When the disc is about 6 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick keep it aside. Repeat for one portion of the beetroot and carrot. Now place all three discs one on top of the other. You want to place the beetroot in the middle to prevent it from coloring the paratha pink.

Starting at one end and using all three layers make a tight roll. Using a sharp knife cut the roll into three portions. Repeat with the rest of the portions. You should have 12 rolls.

Heat a griddle pan. Meanwhile, work with one roll at a time. Holding the roll vertically gently press down until you have a flattened disc such that the swirl is clearly visible.

Using a rolling pin roll out this disc to a paratha about 7 inch in diameter and 1/8 inches thick.

Place the paratha on the hot tawa. Drizzle a couple drops of oil on the top. Flip the paratha over and let the underside cook. Drizzle a couple drops of oil and flip it over again. When both sides are cooked take it off the heat.

Repeat for the remaining rolls.

Enjoy your color swirl paratha with a side and/or pickle.

Root Beer Float

Nothing says summer like corn on the cob and root beer float. It is tradition in our house to start summer vacation with a root beer float. Chilled root beer with vanilla ice cream! Homemade vanilla ice cream makes it even better.

You will need
1 bottle root beer, chilled
1 scoop vanilla ice cream

For the vanilla ice cream
2 cups milk (any fat %)
1 cup fat free condensed milk
3 tbsp. milk powder
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. sugar (if needed)

For the non cook ice cream
Mix all the ingredients together and whisk for a couple minutes. Pour into an airtight container and freeze until set.

For the root beer float
Add a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream to a glass. Pour root beer slowly over the ice cream. Let the foam rise and subside before pouring more root beer over the top. Continue till the glass is full.

Pain de Campagne (French Country Bread)

This bread is made of soft white flour with a hint of whole wheat. It is leavened entirely with my homemade wild yeast. The high hydration and long fermentation ensures very good flavor. It goes well with brie and holds up when eaten with soups.

This country loaf was the most popular bread before the baguette took over. It is making a comeback with the resurgence in artisan bread.

Bakers percentage for this bread
All purpose flour 90%
Whole wheat flour 10%
Water 78%
Leaven 20%

I mixed the dough in the afternoon. After about 5 hours of bulk fermentation I shaped it and put it in the refrigerator to proof overnight.

In the morning I baked it in the dutch oven at 475 F, covered for 25 minutes and uncovered for 15. I got great oven spring and a fairly open crumb. The bread was very soft and had great flavor. It was good enough to munch on its own or with some Brie.

Apple Confit

Apple Confit is a delicious dessert that is made by baking layers of apple, butter and sugar at a very low temperature for a very long time.

You will need
2 Fuji apple
4 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. orange zest
2 pinches cinnamon powder

For the topping
3 tbsp. heave whipping cream
1/2 tsp. sugar
a couple drops vanilla extract
a pinch cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 F. Grease two oven proof bowls. Rinse the apples and peel. Cut the apple through the stem and core. Now using a sharp knife cut the apple into slices as thin as possible. Now add a single layer the apples in the greased bowl. Sprinkle some sugar over it and place a little blob of butter. Repeat the layers until you use up all the ingredients.

Sprinkle some orange zest and cinnamon powder over the top. Cover with a parchment paper cut to shape. Over the parchment paper place foil and seal the bowl. Put the bowl in a baking sheet with sides and place a weighted bowl over the top.

Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Refrigerator for 2 hours. When you are ready to eat warm the bowls in the oven at 300 F for two minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife and invert it on to the serving dish.

For the topping whisk all the ingredients until you get stiff peaks. Alternately run all the ingredients through a blender until thickened. Place a blob over the top of the inverted confit.


I submitted this as my entry for week 23 to the 2014 52 week cooking challenge for the theme Confit.

The Best Roasted Corn on the cob

Corn! Summer brings heaps and heaps of corn. Great big bins of corn greet you at the entry way to the supermarket. Sometimes they are placed outside the store. Always with a supporting bin to collect the discarded corn husks. Corn reminds us all of summer, picnics, hiking, camping and backyard barbecue.

One of the most popular way corn is eaten is right off of the cob. This could be roasted on the grill or on the stove top. But if you like it really moist and creamy then do what I did. Let the oven do the job while you read a book.

You will need
1 corn on the cob with the husk

Preheat oven to 350 F. While the oven heats rinse the corn with the husk and drain but do not dry it out. Put the wet corn with the husk on the middle rack of the oven. Let it cook for 30 minutes. You can place as many cobs as your oven rack will allow.

Take the corn out of the oven. Remove the husk and silk. The corn kernels will be soft and creamy. Slather with butter and enjoy!

You could enhance the taste by flavoring the butter. Add paprika, cumin powder, dried oregano and salt. Or you could add minced dried basil. Or instead of the butter add lemon juice flavored with salt and cayenne pepper. You cannot go wrong.

This is my entry for week one, day one of BM #41 for the theme one ingredient - corn. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#41.

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