Sunday, August 29, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I've got to know some lovely bloggers through this event, none of which I would have discovered on my own. Like my partner this month - Glenda over at Busy at Home. This grandmother of three blogs about a lot more interesting things than just recipes. And her recipes are all a delight. At first glance, I shortlisted her chocolate cobbler and cheesecake stuffed strawberries.
But then I found another gem that you see up there : Oreo Balls. First you crush some oreos. You can do this in a food processor, but I found it equally easy (and more delightful) to bash them up with a rolling pin between two sheets of paper. You add cream cheese to these cookie crumbs to bind everything up. Roll them into balls, freeze for 15-20 minutes to set. Melt some chocolate, dip the balls and that's it!
This has to be the easiest dessert in the world. It might even look elegant if you can do the chocolate dipping neatly like Glenda. It's something I didn't manage even halfway, but they were delicious all the same.
Friday, August 20, 2010
One of the very few naturally blue foods, blueberries are a little tart, a little sweet. I enjoy my dalliance with strawberries and an occasional date with raspberries, but these little nuggets remain my biggest love, my all-time favorite fruit. The first week, I cringed at the high prices in Hypercity. But it's been a whole year of no blueberries so this second week, I finally succumbed and brought a pack home. And let me confess I've been back to the store a few more times.
Do you think I'd be my baker self and post a blueberry tart or at least a muffin. No way folks; I don't mess with perfection. Instead, I'd just go grab another handful.
And will you all Bombayiites stop by Hypercity and make a dent in stocks. I'm in serious risk of a run on my bank accounts if the blueberries aren't gone soon!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
When I think of vineyard tours, I think of Peter Mayle. I also think of idle rambles through acres upon acres of land planted with grapes and olives, a seat by the countryside fireplace with a wineglass in hand. In that sense, last weekend's trip to Sula Vineyards in Nasik, some 5 hours drive from Mumbai, was a disappointment.
But for the camaraderie, the company of friends, the green ghats and impromptu waterfalls that spring up all over Maharashtra in monsoons, and also for a novel, enjoyable experience, it was worth a visit. It is, as I said, a good 5 hours drive. We were sensible enough to leave early in morning, reaching Sula around noon. The place to start with is a wine tour - a short spiel on how many acres they have spread all over (but very few where we were standing) and then a succint tour of the plant where they process the grapes and ferment the wine. This followed by a wine tasting - of six recent vintage, barely passable wines - took around an hour.
But Sula understands you traveled all the way and are not ready to leave yet. So they provide three options to linger and savor the view. Eat at Soma, the Indian restaurant. Or lunch at Little Italy, which is what we did. Rustic surroundings, excellent thin crust pizza, lovely tiramisu - in your wine induced haze, you could be excused for thinking you are in Italy.
And then you go linger some more at the balcony next to the wine tasting lounge. You glimpse the vineyard and the shimmering lake beyond as you reach for yet another glass of wine or a cappuccino. And then, too lazy to explore anything else Nasik has to offer, you get back in the car for your return journey.
Not the French Riviera this one but as I said, a lovely experience and with the right company, a day very well spent.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
No new post at Bombay Foodie, but I'm visiting Nachiketa's blog today to join the run-up to her 200th post. Hop over to crazy over desserts to know how I met this cute blogger from Delhi. And there's a recipe too, of course! I baked something that reminds me of her - Lime and Poppy Seed Muffins.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Indigo menu says:
Herbed Goat Cheese : It's not goat cheese, it's my homemade Neufchatel. I scooped out little balls of cheese with a melon baller. Finely minced fresh thyme and rosemary, added a pinch of salt and a bit of olive oil, then rolled the cheese balls in the herb mixture.
Spinach : Not happening. You don't get baby spinach here, and there's no way I was putting cooked full-sized spinach in my salad. So you get oak leaf lettuce instead.
Grilled Green Apples : Granny Smith apple, sliced then put on a grill until browned. As simple as that
Creamy Walnut Vinaigrette : This is the lightly creamy version from smitten kitchen. Only I didn’t have walnut oil so it’s made with the more humble olive oil. I sprinkled some toasted walnuts on my salad to make up for it though.
The verdict : A very interesting combination of flavors, all complementing each other. The easiest Indigo dish so far.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
From Mexico to Israel to Galapago Islands, Rita goes the way least traveled, always preferring to stay as a boarder with natives. And sometimes, going to places not even locals will go, places so secluded yet beautiful that Rita's description takes your breath away, urges you to become a nomad yourself.
Yet even nomads sometimes find their roots. Rita found hers in Bali where she spent eight years. Starting as a boarder with a prince, she eventually became a part of the family. I instantly knew I wanted to cook something Indonesian. I picked Nasi Goreng, the Indonesian fried rice.
There are as many recipes for Nasi Goreng as there are cooks. Some use tomatoes, others tamarind. Almost all use shrimp paste and kecap manis, the sweet soy sauce from Indonesia. I had neither so I decided to go with the adapted recipe from BBC. I adapted it a bit further to go with what I had in my fridge. And to make nasi goreng, you should first have cooked rice in your fridge. The recipe is traditionally made with cold rice, so I cooked mine the night before for today's lunch.
First thing today, I made a spice paste by blending together 2 cloves of garlic, 2 peeled shallots, a tbsp of sunflower seeds, a tbsp of sesame seeds, 1 tsp salt, 2 bird's eye chillies that I deseeded, 2 tbsp soy sauce, a tbsp of brown sugar and a tbsp of vegetable oil.
Then, I finely chopped a handful of beans and 2-3 babycorns. Added a couple of tbsp of water and microwaved them for a minute. Separately, i chopped a spring onion.
In a pan, I heated a tbsp of vegetable oil. Added 2 tbsp of spice paste and the cooked rice, then stirred for a couple of minutes to mix well. The I added the steamed vegetables and stirred it all for 2-3 minutes. Finally stirred in the spring onions, mixed well and took the rice off the heat.
At the same time, I put the frying pan on to make my fried egg to serve with my nasi goreng. Topped the fried egg with a drizzle of spice paste and some chopped coriander.
Next month, This Book Makes Me Cook travels to the Channel Islands. We are reading one of my all time favorites - the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. If you would like to read with us, please leave a comment here and I will get back to you with details.