For all of us loves tasty food but going out is not the most feasible option always. At times like such, we could just walk into the kitchen and try to do things with FOOD.
“Anyone can cook. But only the fearless can be great.”
– Chef Auguste Gusteau
Well, I am surely not great but then I am fearless. So here are few recipes that anyone can try and surely the simplest of ways to have tasty food on your plate every time you go into the kitchen.
Spaghetti Pasta with Cheese Sauce
- Spaghetti Pasta
- Green Peas
- Fresh Cream
- Olive Oil
- Bring water to boil, add a pinch of salt and 2-3 tablespoons of Olive oil.
- Now add the Spaghetti Pasta to the boiling water and let it cook for 4-6 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and leave the pasta.
- After another 5-7 minutes drain the water and leave the pasta aside.
- Take some Olive oil in a saucepan and add garlic and ginger to it.
- Now you could add a variety of ingredients to go along with your pasta. Here I am using Chicken (Boneless) and some green peas. You can use Broccoli, Baby Corns, Bell peppers. They all go really well with pasta.
- Let the chicken cook a bit and add a couple of pinches of salt.
- Now add milk (say half a liter). And now grate cheese (Cheese is something you just can’t keep a measure on. Just keep adding till you feel content)
- Now add fresh cream (Now cream is not something you’ll find in any recipes ever. This is more like a cheat code for me. I have made endless efforts to use plain flour as suggested by most recipes just to see my pasta fail. So one fine day I tried to do something out of the way and finally got my Cheese Sauce bang on)
- Now add in your pasta and use tongs to mix them well with the sauce.
- Finally, add in the pineapple chunks in. The sweetness of the pineapple compliments the chicken well. A must try combination.
- You could use some black pepper, oregano and chili flakes to add to the flavor.
P.S. This dish is better when served hot.
P.P.S. And if you’ve stuffed it in your refrigerator for later. Just boil some milk and pour over the pasta before serving. The sauce tends to split apart once it starts cooling down.
- Eggs (As per requirement)
- Finely chopped Onions
- Pickled Relish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the eggs in boiling water and leave it for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs rest in the water.
- After 10 minutes leave the pan under running water and allow it to cool down.
- Crack open the eggs and cut it into half lengthwise.
- Remove the yolks.
- In a bowl, mash the yolks and add mayonnaise, pickled relish (My personal favorite is Jalapeno peppers) and onion to the mashed yolks.
- You could also add a teaspoon of brine for the sour kick.
- Using a fork, fill the eggs with the yolk mixture.
- Leave the eggs in the fridge until required.
P.S. The deviled eggs are best served chilled.
P.P.S. There’s always gonna be some yolk mixture left. You could just spread it over a bread and have a sandwich too.
- Button Mushrooms
- Spring Onions
- White/Red wine (Total on your preference and availability)
- Red Chilis
- Add butter to a frying pan and then chip in the chopped garlic, mushrooms, and spring onions.
- Let it cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
- Now add the wine. (And if you wanna show off just bend your frying pan towards the flame and then pour in the wine and the pan catches fire. It’s the easiest way to impress people or a date.)
- Now add in the chopped red chili (4-5 of them if you love the heat)
- Add salt and pepper.
P.S. This is a really simple and full of heat dish. Something you could make quickly on a lazy day.
P.S.S. Scallops go best with this. Scallops are really hard to find in India.
Ada Pradhaman Payasam
This is a traditional dessert served mostly during marriages and festivals. We were celebrating Onam, a harvest festival celebrated in Kerala. One of the most important thing in this festival is food. A variety of dishes is prepared and served on a banana leaf. So this year I thought I will take a hit on the dessert, so as soon as I got back from work I got down to preparing for this dish (under close surveillance of my mom).
- Rice Ada (It’s more or less like a pasta only prepared from rice flour instead of the all-purpose flour)
- Coconut milk (Three sets of coconut milk needs to be extracted)
- Cashew nuts
- Coconut pieces
- Dried Ginger
- Clarified Butter
- Add rice ada to boiling water and let it cook for 5 minutes and turn off the heat and leave it in hot water for another 5 minutes. (It’s exactly how you would cook pasta only here you need not add any oil or salt).
- Now drain out the water and put the rice ada under cold running water. This is to avoid the ada from sticking to each other.
- In 2 liters of water add around 1 kg of jaggery and let the jaggery meltdown.
- After 5 minutes turn off the heat and pass the jaggery water through the sieve to remove all dirt from the jaggery.
- Add a spoonful of clarified butter and pour in the cleared jaggery water and add the rice ada. (Now starts the tough part of preparing this dish ‘Waiting’)
- Cooking this dish will need at least 45 minutes to an hour. After the first 15 minutes add the third extract of thin coconut milk. And say after another 15 minutes the second extract.
- After another 15 – 20 minutes check if the rice ada has been cooked through well and then add the first extract of thick coconut milk. After adding the thick extract turn off the heat immediately.
- In a frying pan, add a teaspoon of clarified butter and add the cashew nuts and raisins and coconut pieces and fry them and add it to the jaggery mixture (Payasam as we call it down South India).
- Now crush the cardamom and dried ginger (you can also use powdered dried ginger) and add it to the Payasam.
- Finally, add milk to the Payasam.
- 4-5 Eggs
- 1-2 Onion
- 1-2 Potato
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Scrape the potatoes and its best use a vegetable slicer so that you get uniform slices, so that when you cook it the potatoes cook evenly.
- Drizzle some olive oil on a pan.
- Add the potatoes first because it takes more time to cook than the onions. So you don’t wanna end up with burnt onions because it really destroys the dish.
- Flip the potato slices occasionally and add some salt in, when the potato looks fairly cooked add the onions and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Beat the eggs and add salt and some pepper and now add the cooked potatoes and onion to the egg and give it a quick whisk.
- Now pour the egg mixture back into the pan and put it on low heat. Make sure to cover the pan, so that the egg cooks evenly.
- Once the eggs have cooked well. Use a plate and cover the pan and flip the pan. Now put the egg back in the pan for 2 minutes. This one is tough to flip because this is gonna be really heavy.
- You could use some dried oregano, dried basil, and chili flakes to add some more flavors. This is totally optional.
Egg in a Boat
Bread and eggs are something we can never get rid of from our breakfast menu. But it’s too mainstream, let’s add a bit of twist to the tale.
- Salt and Pepper
- Put the bread in a frying pan and toast it like for a few minutes only one side.
- Now take the bread off the pan and using a circular cutter, cut the center of the bread slices.
- Put the bread back into the pan, the side that wasn’t toasted.
- Break the egg and put it right into the hole.
- Season the egg with salt and pepper.
- Let the egg cook. And tada its done.
Well, let’s be clear this ain’t a dish in itself but this is gonna something really important for a dish that I will soon be posting about. So stay focused when you try this out. Pomegranate molasses is not tricky in any way, but it is all about patience.
- Pomegranate Juice
- Orange Juice (optional) (I read a lot of recipes where they ask you to add orange juice but I didn’t so yes it’s optional)
- Pour Pomegranate juice into a saucepan.
- Add sugar.
- Now leave it on medium low heat and wait for like 20-30 minutes. Let it reduce to the finest syrup ever. Tada, you’re done
I just happen to fumble upon this sauce. And after a lot of research, I found that this is something that is made in abundance in Italy. It so happens there’s a festival called Melbourne Tomato Festival wherein they make Tomato Passata rather on a very large scale. Tomato passata is a way to preserve tomatoes for their use throughout the year.
So after going through a lot of recipes all of which had different ingredients and techniques involved. I started experimenting the dish in my own way and finally came up with something that’s rather really a simple way to preserve this red voluptuous fruit. But I will be frank I hate tomatoes but then I keeping tomato out of a dish is a criminal offence and so I hard to learn a way to preserve these red monsters even though we Indians never run out of tomatoes what if an asteroid hits the country and at times like such I will have a jar full of tomatoes preserved and locked with their flavors.
- Tomatoes (1 kg of tomatoes give you like a jar full of passata)
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Cut the ripe tomatoes into halves and put them straight into a pan and leave it on medium heat.
- Let them cook for like 20-30 minutes till water starts to come out of the tomatoes and starts to simmer.
- Then add in the cherry tomatoes and leave them for another 10 – 15 minutes on medium heat.
- Lastly, add a 2-3 chopped basil leaves into the pan. (This is not something that is traditionally done. But I loved the hint of basil flavor in the passata so you may as well give this a try).
- Let them cook for another 5 minutes and now pass the whole thing through a strainer. You can use the water that’s left out for any other dish that plans to cook.
- Now using a food mill or a strainer and a food crusher. Crush out all the tomatoes.
- And tadaaaa.a…you have your passata ready.
- Store it in a sterilized jar and leave a whole basil leaf in it.
Pomegranate & Chicken Stew
There are three chefs and a cook I look up to when it comes to cooking. Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay (He’s like my Food God) and finally the culinary artist Jamie Oliver (His knife skills simply blows my mind apart) and finally my mom she’s a brilliant cook herself. I grew up sitting around in the kitchen watching her cook and at that point, I never realized how much I loved food. If I did I would have been someone else altogether but then I ain’t gonna complain about it because I find myself at a very good spot at this point as well. Maybe working in the food industry would have been a dream come true but yeah whatever I can still cook and experiment and bring smiles to those close to me. After all, that’s the whole point about cooking, bringing smiles to all those faces sitting with you on your dining table.
Anyway, this recipe is that of Mr. Jamie Oliver, which I followed to the point except for a few additions. We Indian’s love our food to be spicy and when I first cooked this dish and put it in front of my family they gave me a strange look. Okay, they seriously don’t like to have a sweet stew served for dinner but they liked what was served. So when I did this dish for they second time after much resistance from my mom. I added a bit of twist to the tale and bang they tasted something sweet and seconds later the heat started coming in and boom they got SERVED.
Here’s my edition of the recipe, actually there’s not much of a difference with original Jamie’s recipe. I just added more chilly and some pepper into the dish to heat things up.
- Pomegranate Juice
- Pomegranate Molasses (I told you this recipe is for something huge)
- Tomato Passata (Again I told you so)
- Olive Oil
- Pomegranate seeds
- Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
- Red Chilli
- Add some olive oil into a casserole on medium heat.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper and put them into the pan and let it brown in the oil for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the pieces and set it aside.
- In the same pan add some oil and throw in the onions. Cook slowly for 10 minutes till the onions become soft.
- Now add the garlic and red chilies and let it cook down for another 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato passata (roughly 300 ml), 4 tbsp. of pomegranate molasses and 300 ml of pomegranate juice.
- Season it with salt and pepper (here’s where I twist it a bit and add some extra pepper for the heat say around 3-4 tbsp. of pepper)
- Bring it to the boil and return the chicken pieces back into the pan and make sure to add any juice that came out of the chicken.
- Let the stew simmer for good 30 minutes so that the chicken cooks well and pulls in all the flavors and let the sauce thicken up a bit.
- Add the chopped coriander and the pomegranate seeds after taking the stew off the heat.
- The stew is best served with boiled or steamed rice.
Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese
Life has been very tiring for the last couple of weeks and this is only gonna get worse in the coming days. But then I see a lot of booze flowing down into my fridge and shaking things up a bit from early next week.
Like I said in my last post I have been doing a lot of experiment on stuffing things up and here’s one such dish and the combination of ingredients are such that nothing can possibly go wrong with it at all.
- Chicken Breast
- Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper
- Bring water to boil in a deep pan and put in the spinach. Add salt to it.
- Leave it for 4-5 minutes and then straight away rest the spinach leaves into an ice bath.
- Chop the spinach leaves and set it aside.
- In a bowl combine together spinach, garlic, shredded cheese and mayonnaise
- Make a cavity in the middle of the chicken along with the length.
- Now fill in the spinach and cheese mixture into the chicken breast. Using toothpicks to close the cavity to try and avoid the filling from coming out.
- Drizzle some oil onto a pan and once the oil is well heated put in the chicken breast. Continue cooking from all sides till you have a nice brownish color on all sides.
- Take it off the pan and onto a plate and now put it into the microwave for another 10 mins.
PS. I first pan fried it and then moved it to the microwave because I ended up having some cracks in my chicken breast. Usually, it is best to start the process by putting the chicken into the oven first for 20-30 mins and then finishing it off in the pan for that crispiness.
Bloody Mary Linguine
Oh yes!! I am back to my creative self!! I would like to justify my absence but then I did most of my weeping in my previous post and I really don’t wish to carry on with the whining in every post. Like always this recipe is again a Gordon Ramsay inspired and a must try for anyone who loves Italian food. And if you’re a pasta lover and you’re tired of the usual cheese sauce this is definitely gonna bring in something new to your plate.
- Spaghetti Pasta
- Bread Crumbs
- Olive Oil
- Tabasco sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- Salt & Pepper
- In a pan, add some olive oil and then throw in the chopped onions. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the onions are slightly cooked, add the finely chopped garlic.
- Add the tabasco sauce, now you have to remember that tabasco sauce is what is gonna add the kick to this dish and well I love my food extra spicy so I was generous while using the sauce.
- Now add in a couple of tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce (well in the video I am still very unclear if Gordon Ramsay said Worcestershire sauce, either way, I just decided to go ahead with it and well I didn’t end up getting anything that tasted funny.
- Let it cook for a couple of minutes and add vodka. Gordon does say very precisely to use a couple of spoons of vodka but then I couldn’t find my spoon or what I just poured in 250ml of vodka in.
(When you add any alcohol there’s a good chance that this could happen, do not panic just blow at it and it instantly goes away. You don’t need to use a fire extinguisher and well definitely you don’t need to call the fire brigade)
- Finally, add in chopped tomatoes and some water and let it simmer on a low heat for 7-8 minutes.
- For the crunchy topping, in a pan add little olive oil and breadcrumbs. Make sure you don’t use an excess of olive oil because you want your breadcrumbs to be crunchy, not soggy. Add some chopped parsley and keep them on medium-high heat for 3-4 mins stirring continuously to avoid them from getting burned.
- For the pasta, bring water to the boil and add some salt and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and then add in your linguine. Once the linguine is soft at the bottom, gently turn them around. Always wait for the linguine to get soft in that way you won’t break them. Allow it cook for 8-10 mins and then drain it in a colander and shake off any excess water.
- Now add the linguine into the sauce and mix it all well and finally serve it with the bread crumbs on the top
Chili Garlic Lobster
Lobster is one of that brilliant seafood which is scarce in the Indian market. Well though I did find a supplier who would get me on demand. Though he promised big sized lobsters, he ended up getting small one’s but nevertheless, they were fresh and that’s what matters the most. After spending hours browsing the internet for recipes, like always Gordon Ramsay saved the day with this brilliant recipe.
- Well, to start off you need to cook the Lobsters (This was the first time I had lobsters at my home, so basically no one at my place has the idea on how to cook a lobster). You can follow this video to learn how to cook a lobster.
- Mix together chopped chili, parsley, and minced garlic. And put it all into a blender and give it a quick mix. You don’t want it to be a fine paste so make sure you don’t put it in for a long time.
- Now mix the paste with butter and please do not be a miser, use a lot of it.
- Cut the lobster from the center and lengthwise and crack open the claws and apply the paste on them and leave the lobster in the refrigerator for 30-45 mins.
- Now put the lobsters onto a hot grill (I didn’t have a grill so I stuck with my frying pan). Cook the lobsters on both sides for 5 minutes each.