Cook's Hideout: May 2006

May 26, 2006

Roasted vegetable and Black bean BARE Burrito..

One thing I couldn’t figure out in the last 5 years is how to eat overstuffed sandwiches or wraps. I become very clumsy and self conscious when eating these big size sandwiches. I see myself constantly looking around to find any occasional giggles or stares. I figured the best thing to do is stay away from them in public places (make them to-go and eat at home or desk).
So you can imagine my ecstasy when I found this bare-burrito on Baja Fresh menu. All the ingredients in a burrito layered in a bowl instead of wrapping in a tortilla. This is my entry to Sweet nicks ARF/ 5-a-day Tuesday event. My first ever entry into any food blog event. :-)

Cooked long grain rice – ½ cup (You can use any kind of rice)
Cheddar or Pepper Jack Cheese– ¼ cup

For Black bean Sauce:
Black beans – 2 cups cooked or 16 oz. can, rinsed and drained
Onion – 1 medium
Jalapenos – 2
Tomato sauce – 2tbsp
Corn – ½ cup
Garlic cloves - 2
Cumin powder – 1tsp
Chili powder – 1tsp
Salt and pepper – to taste

For Guacamole Salsa:
Avocado – 1
Plum ripe tomatoes – 2, seeded and chopped
Garlic clove – 1
Jalapeno – 1
Lemon juice – 2tsp
Red onion – ½ small (or 1 shallot)

Green Peppers – 2
Zucchini – 2
Yellow Squash – 1
Onions – 2
Salt and Pepper

Roasted Vegetables:
· Pre heat oven to 400˚F.
· Cut the vegetables into big chunks and coat them with olive oil, salt and pepper.
· Roast them in the oven for 20-25minutes or until tender, but not mushy.

Black Bean Sauce:
· Heat olive oil in a sauce pan, when warm add garlic and sauté.
· Add chopped onions, jalapeno and sauté till onions turn transparent.
· Add the beans, tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix well. You can add water if the mixture is too thick.
· Let it simmer for about 10minutes. Keep aside.

· Put all the ingredients in a blender and pulse them couple of times. I like it smooth, but you can make it chunky too.

Putting them all together:
· Take a bowl, add a layer of rice then add the black bean sauce, roasted vegetables, guacamole and cheese. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and serve.

· Store bought guacamole and salsa will reduce the prepping time.
· Vegetables can be either grilled or sautéed instead of roasting.

May 24, 2006

Strawberry Bread Pudding

Jihva for ingredients is Indira of Mahanandi's idea of showcasing one natural ingredient every month. For June Baking Fairy is hosting this event and Strawberry is the ingredient of the month.
I like the juicy and wonderful flavor of strawberries. Also who can resist the magnet like aroma of ripe strawberries.
I got this recipe from Vegetarian Times magazine. This recipe will serve 8, but I made with half the measurements for the two of us.

Strawberry Compote:
Strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced - 1 pint
Granulated Sugar - 4tbsp
Juice of 1 lemon
Grand Marnier - 1tbsp

Bread Pudding:
Sourdough or other white bread - 6 slices (about 1-inch thick, crusts removed and bread cubed)
Whole strawberries, hulled and halved - 8oz.
Grated Lemon zest - 2tsp
Skim milk - 2 cups
Large eggs - 4
Granulated sugar - 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract - 1tsp
Ground cinnamon - ¼ tsp


To make Strawberry Compote:
  • Sprinkle berries with sugar, and add lemon juice. Let sit for 1 hour. Add Grand Marnier, if using, and set aside.
To make Bread Pudding:
  • Spray 8 3/4 cup ramekins with cooking spray. Toss bread cubes with halved strawberries in mixing bowl; set aside.
  • Combine lemon zest and milk in saucepan, and bring almost to a boil over medium heat. Beat eggs and sugar in bowl until well blended. Add vanilla, cinnamon and almond extract. Gradually add hot milk, whisking constantly to prevent eggs from setting.
  • Pour egg mixture overstrawberries and bread, and let stand for 15 minutes.Scoop bread mixture into ramekins, filling each almost to rim. Spoon any remaining egg-milk mixture in bowl over tops of each.
  • Bake about 30 minutes, or until set. I had to bake my pudding for about 40 minutes until it was completely set.
  • Serve, and pass with Strawberry Compote.

Strawberry bread pudding was delicious with the sweetness from strawberries and slight tartness from the lemon juice.

May 22, 2006

Stir fry Vegetables with Tofu

Sometimes when I go shopping, I get excited and buy too much stuff (like soy meat, tofu)for one week. But as the week goes by I am either too tired to cook or sometimes I completely forget about them. But the good thing about these packaged soy products is that they usually have a long shelf life, which is good for me.

Anyway this weekend, as I was cleaning the fridge, I found a box of extra-firm tofu that I bought, hmmmm, may be 2 months ago (expiration date: September 2006, yippee). I also had half a bag of frozen broccoli stir fry vegetables. So I made stir fry vegetables with tofu and white rice.

Ingredients:Extra firm Tofu - 12 oz. box
Carrots - 2 medium
Sn0w peas - about 12
Frozen Broccoli stir fry - thawed
Water Chestnuts - 1/4 cup
Onion - 1 small
Green onions - 5-6
Red chili flakes - ¼ tsp
Ginger - 1” piece minced
Garlic - 2 cloves
Sauce Ingredients:Low-sodium Soy Sauce - 3tsp
Sherry or Chinese rice wine - 1tbsp
Vegetable stock - ¼ cup (you can substitute with water)
Sugar - 1tsp
Salt - pinch
Corn flour - 2tsp mixed in 1 tbsp of water

  • Remove tofu from the package, rinse with water. Place it on several layers of paper towel and blot out the water. Cut it into 1 inch cubes.

  • Thinly slice all the veggies. Make sure they are all almost the same size.

  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large wok or skillet. Add tofu and fry the cubes till they are golden brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon onto paper towel.

  • In the remaining oil, add red chili flakes, ginger and garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add all the veggies and fry for about 3-5 minutes until they are crisp tender.

  • Add the sauce to the veggies and bring it to a boil. Keep stirring constantly until the sauce thickens and becomes clear.

  • Add tofu, salt and pepper and fry for 1 minute.

  • Remove and serve hot with rice or noodles.

May 21, 2006

Ada, Mixed Lentil Dosa

I wanted to make something different for our saturday night dinner and my mom gave me this recipe for Ada. I am not sure if this is an Andhra recipe, may be one of the readers can let me know.
Ada-Mixed Lentil Dosa

Ingredients:Kandi pappu (Toor dal) - 1/2 cup
Senaga pappu (Channa dal) - 1/2 cup
Pesara pappu (Moong dal) - 1/2 cup
Menapappu (Urad dal) - 1/2 cup
Rice - 1/2 cup
Red Chilies - 6

Seasoning/ Popu Ingredients:
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2tsp
Asafoetida - pinch
Curry leaves - 6
Oil - 2tsp
  • Soak the first 5 ingredients in enough cold water for atleast 4hours.
  • Grind them with red chilies and salt into a smooth batter similar to that of dosa.
  • Heat oil in a small pan, when hot add all the seasoning/popu ingredients.
  • Add the seasoning ingredients to the batter and mix well.
  • Heat a griddle on medium heat and pour about 2 ladleful of batter. Spread the batter around with the ladle.
  • Add 1/2 tsp of oil around the dosa and let it cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Flip the dosa and cook for another 2 minutes.

  • You can make them either thick (like utappams) or waffer thin (like dosas).
  • Serve hot with any chutney (coconut/ peanut etc) you like.
  • These "Ada" are like kicked-up dosa and are really quick and delicious.
Ada-Mixed Lentil Dosa
Pics Updated: June 2013

May 17, 2006

Split Pea and Barley Soup

I had this Split pea and Barley soup in a restaurant when I visited California few months ago. It was really creamy and delicious. I looked for the recipe online finally found the one that I thought is going to work. It was raining and chilly here yesterday and hot soup with crispy pita bread at the end of the day was perfect.
I find soups to be very hearty and filling. We are so used to eating rice everyday that eating soup is like eating nothing. But after looking at the amount of empty carbs rice is filling us with, I prefer making these nutrition filled recipes once in a while.


Green Split Peas - 1 1/2 cups
Barley - 1/2 cup
Celery Stalks- 2
Carrots - 2
Onion - 1 small
Garlic - 3 cloves minced
Bay leaf - 2
Dried basil - 1/2 tsp
Dried thyme - 1/2 tsp
Cayenne pepper - 2 tsp (or per taste)
Olive oil - 2tsp
Low-sodium Vegetable stock - 2 16oz. cans
Water - 2 cups
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

• Sort and rinse the peas. Add 3-4 cups of cold water and soak them overnight.
• In a big soup pot, heat oil on medium. Add diced onion, carrots, celery and garlic.
• Let the vegetables sweat out for 5-6 minutes.
• Add bay leaf, vegetable stock, water and the soaked split peas to the veggies. Also add dried basil, thyme, cayenne pepper and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer till peas are tender to touch.
• Meanwhile sort and rinse barley. In a medium pot, add 3 cups of water and barley and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 25-30minutes or until barley is tender. Drain barley and keep aside.
• If you like your soup chunky, you can add barley to the cooked peas at this stage and simmer for another 10 minutes.
• I like my soup smooth and also I wanted to get the same texture of the soup I had before. So I used an immersion blender to make a smooth soup. You can blend it in batches in regular blender.
• Add cooked barley to the peas and simmer for 10 more minutes. Add lemon juice and mix well.
• Adjust salt and pepper to your taste. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

We had our creamy split pea soup with crispy pita bread. This soup freezes and reheats well.


• Pre soaking split peas reduces the cooking time to more than half. You can use split peas without soaking too; you will have to simmer longer.
• Dried peas contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is believed to reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels; and insoluble fiber helps to speed up the passage of food through the intestinal system and improves regularity. Like other legumes, they're also an excellent source of folate (folic acid) and thiamin, another B vitamin. Dried peas also supply some manganese, potassium, and iron.
• Barley on the other hand is high in carbohydrates, fiber and antioxidants; is a source of protein, calcium and phosphorus and B vitamins; and is low-fat and cholesterol-free.

May 15, 2006

Coconut Sweet, First Blog

I wanted to start my blog with something sweet. I had a coconut left from the Vratam we performed last week and so I made this Kobbari sweet (laskora or lauju). This is how my mom makes it. This method is very easy to make, since there is no need of making sugar syrup(I am not good at making sugar syrups) and there are few chances of making a mistake.

Fresh grated Coconut - 1 cup
Jaggery or sugar - 3/4 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Cardamom (Elaichi) powder - 1/2 tsp
Ghee (Clarified Butter) - 1 tbsp

  • In a heavy bottom pan, take coconut, milk and jaggery (sugar) and keep it on medium-low heat.
  • Jaggery will slowly start melting making the coconut sticky.
  • Keep stirring constantly. Bottom can get easily burnt at this stage.
  • After about 25-30 minutes of stirring, the mixture will come together and slides easily from the pan.
  • Before removing from the pan, add cardomom powder and ghee to the coconut mixture.
  • Remove the cooked coconut onto a greased plate.

  • Score the coconut into squares (or diamonds or any shape you want) when it is still a little warm.
  • You can store the separated squares for upto a week in a airtight container.

May 12, 2006

About Cook's Hideout

I am really fascinated by the number of Indian cooks in the blogging world and was truly inspired by Indira of Mahanandi and Nupur of One Hot Stove. I have been blog hopping for a long time now.
Finally this month, I made up my mind to start the blog. Then came the question of naming it. We (my husband, my sister and me) brainstormed on it for quite sometime. "Hideout" is my husband's favorite restaurant in Davangere and finally we came with the name "Cook's hideout". We are both food enthusiasts and like to try different cuisines. This blog is a way of sharing my cooking experiences with my sister and all the food enthusiasts like me.


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