Cook's Hideout: July 2008

July 31, 2008

Mac-n-Cheese on Request for A.W.E.D-Italian

I say on request because my sister who was visiting us asked me to make her some macaroni and cheese. I love mac and cheese and have make it several different ways. But I don’t make it very often because my husband is not fond of milk and cheese, so when there is a request I cannot stop myself (ahem.. my poor husband had to settle for leftover khichdi). This recipe is adapted from Vegetarian Times.

Butter – 2 tbsp
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Onion – 1 small, finely chopped
Jalapeno – 1, finely chopped
All-purpose flour – 3 tbsp
2% Milk – 3 cups
Cheddar Cheese – 8 oz. shredded (I used reduced fat mild cheddar)
Paprika – ½ tsp
Cayenne – ½ tsp (or to taste)
Nutmeg – ¼ tsp
Black pepper – ½ tsp (or to taste)
Frozen chopped spinach – 10 oz. box, thawed
Bread crumbs – ½ cup
Parmesan cheese – 3 tbsp

Elbow Macaroni – 8 oz. cooked according to package directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Melt butter along with olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium-high flame. Add onions, jalapeno and sauté till onions wilt, 3-5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour and cook for 5 minutes till it loses the raw smell. Do not let the flour brown.
  • Whisk in milk, paprika, nutmeg, cayenne, pepper. Bring to the boil; then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
  • Add the thawed spinach at this stage; mix thoroughly. Turn off the heat and mix in the cheese. (I turn the heat off just to make sure that the milk does not curdle after adding the cheese; been there.. done that..)
  • Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce. Pour half the pasta into a baking dish; sprinkle 1 tbsp parmesan cheese and ¼ cup bread crumbs. Pour in the rest of the pasta; sprinkle the remaining 2tbsp parmesan cheese and ¼ cup bread crumbs. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is browned and bubbling.
  • Serve hot.
This makes about 6 servings.

This is my entry to this month's edition of A.W.E.D-Italian hosted by talented DK @ Culinary Bazaar.

Bon Appetito!!!

July 24, 2008

Penne Pasta: Taste & Create

This is the first time I’m taking part in Taste and Create event, started by Nicole @ for the love of food.I was paired with Iron Stef @ Chairman Chef. I decided to make her Ellie Krieger’s Penne with roasted tomatoes, garlic and white beans. I did not have any white beans, so subbed them with garbanzo beans.

This is a super easy summer dish that can be whipped up in no time (tomatoes need time to roast, but the actual cooking time is very minimum). Loved the roasted tomatoes with garlic and lemon. Will be making this again. This is how I made it. Original recipe from Iron Stef is here.

Tomatoes – 3 large
Garlic – 6 cloves, unpeeled
Olive oil – 3 tbsp
Garbanzo Beans – 1 15oz. can
Whole wheat penne pasta – ½ pound
Lemon juice - 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed
Basil leaves-cut into ribbons

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Slice each tomato into 8 wedges. Put the tomato wedges and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse the beans; add them to the pasta and return drained pasta and beans to the pasta pot.
  • When the tomatoes are done, pick out the garlic cloves, squeeze the garlic out of the skin into a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add lemon juice, the remaining oil and salt and pepper, stir to combine.
  • Pour the roasted tomatoes into the pasta pot, add the garlic mixture, the basil. Toss to combine.

July 22, 2008

Ashwini’s Nun’s Revenge for Less is More

This drink is perfect hot on a cold winter day or warm on a lazy summer afternoon. I followed the recipe to the T, but as Ashwini suggests I used 1% milk instead of half-and-half because arrowroot thickens the milk considerably. Ingredients include Milk+Arrowroot+Sugar+Chocolate+Orange zest. It is thick, creamy and luscious. This goes to MBP (monthly blog patrol): Less is more event being hosted by lovely Nupur @ one hot stove.

July 15, 2008

General Pav's Seitan for A.W.E.D-Chinese

I usually make Chinese food at least once a week; be it Indo-Chinese, American Chinese or even Pavani Chinese(this is where I get extremely creative and add soy sauce and sesame oil in almost everything to make it Chinese). But I wanted to make something authentic Chinese for A.W.E.D-Chinese event (brain child of DK @ Culinary Buzaar)

So I searched online for General Tso’s Chicken (Seitan) recipe and found them here and here. I adapted both the recipes to make my own General Pav’s Seitan. I have to say it didn’t taste bad at all and it also had the same glazed look that General Tso’s dish does. I’m going to make it again.

Seitan – 1 cup, homemade or store-bought (I used home-made Seitan)
Peppers – 2, I used one green, one red pepper
Carrots – 2 medium, thinly sliced
Chinese Broccoli – 1 bunch, chopped
Green Onions – 1 bunch, chopped
Ginger – ½” piece
Garlic – 2 cloves, crushed
All-purpose flour – 2tbsp
Cayenne Pepper – ½ tsp (or to taste)
Garlic powder – ½ tsp (or to taste)
Red Pepper flakes – ½ tsp
Salt & Pepper – to taste

For the Sauce:
Sherry (or Rice Wine) – 2 tbsp
Rice Wine vinegar – 1½ tbsp
Honey (or sugar) – 1½ tbsp
Corn Starch – 2 tbsp
Soy Sauce – 3tbsp

  • Whisk AP flour, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and salt in a bowl. Drop seitan and toss around to coat with the flour.
  • Heat 1 tbsp peanut oil in a pan and sauté seitan on medium-high heat till lightly browned on all sides. Remove and keep aside.
  • Rinse and wipe the same pan clean; add 1 tbsp peanut oil, sauté on medium-high heat green onions, carrots and peppers along with ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes till tender and browned around the edges, about 8-10 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
  • Now add Chinese broccoli, cover and let the leaves wilt.
  • In the mean time mix all the ingredients for the sauce to make smooth slurry. Add some water to help mixing.
  • Slowly stir in the sauce and sautéed seitan into the veggies and cook on medium flame until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve over brown rice or noodles.

July 11, 2008

Masala Egg Curry

This is another one of my MIL’s recipes. This masala gravy can also used to make mushroom or potato curries.

Eggs – 5, boiled
Red Chili powder – ½ tsp
Lemon - 1

For the Masala:
Onions – 1 large, roughly chopped
Garlic – 6-7 cloves
Green chilies – 6-7
Peppercorn - 1tsp
Cinnamon stick – 1” piece
Almonds - 2 tbsp
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves – ½ cup
Mint leaves – ½ cup

  • Grind masala with little water to a smooth paste.
  • Heat 2tbsp oil in a pan, add the masala and fry till it turns lightly brown and does not smell raw anymore, about 12-15 minutes.
  • Add about 1cup water and salt to the gravy and let it come to a slow simmer (add more or less water depending on the consistency of the curry). Slide in the eggs along with salt and red chili powder. Simmer on low flame for another 7-8 minutes. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon and serve with rice.
I'm sending this to Mansi's Healthy Cooking event at Fun and Food. Thanks Mansi for hosting this healthy event.

July 09, 2008

Golden Bowl

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times magazine. I usually keep at least two varieties of frozen mixed vegetables in my freezer. Very handy when there is no time to clean, peel and chop the veggies. Simply thaw and use them in pulao or mixed vegetable curry or upma or anything for that matter.

(Recipe adapted from Vegetarian times)
Extra firm Tofu – 1 15 oz. package
Onion –1 cup, finely chopped
Frozen mixed vegetables - 2 cups (I used Italian style blend that has broccoli, beans, squash etc)
Mushrooms – 1 cup, sliced
Cabbage - 1/2 cup, shredded
Carrots - 1/2 cup grated
Low-Sodium Soy sauce – 2 tsp plus more to taste
Nutritional Yeast – 2 tbsp, or more to taste
Salt and Pepper – to taste
Brown Rice – 2 cups, cooked

  • Heat 1tbsp vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add tofu and saute 10 and 15 minutes, until light brown all over. Sprinkle with soy sauce, and saute 2-3 minutes more to further brown tofu. Transfer tofu to paper-towel-lined plate.
  • Drain and rinse skillet, and wipe dry.
  • Heat 1tbsp oil over high heat. Add tofu and all vegetables. Saute 5-7 minutes, or until tofu is browned and vegetables are tender, tossing constantly with spatula. Sprinkle with soy sauce to taste. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast over tofu to coat. Saute a few seconds more. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Serve over brown rice.

This is my second entry to Protein Rich monthly event hosted by Sangeeth @ letusallcook.

Adzuki Beans – Kale Curry

This is a hearty and delicious curry that is very good for health too. Adzuki beans (red chori in Hindi) are small red colored beans that are high in protein (about 17grams in one cup of cooked beans) and are very good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and B vitamins. Kale is considered to be highly nutritious vegetable with powerful anti-oxidant properties and is anti-inflammatory.

Adzuki Beans – 1 cup, sorted, rinsed and soaked overnight or at least 8 hours
Kale – 1 bunch, roughly chopped
Onion – 1 medium, chopped
Tomato – 2 medium, chopped
Chole Masala – 2tsp
Red chili powder – ½ tsp
Amchoor – ½ tsp
Turmeric – pinch
Garlic – 2 cloves, crushed
Salt – to taste

  • Pressure cook the soaked beans for 3-4 whistles (or add 3¼ cups water to 1cup soaked beans; cover and simmer for 45 minutes).
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan; add onions and sauté till light brown. Stir in turmeric and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes; cover and cook till they turn mushy. Now add the masala, red chili powder and salt. Mix well and cook for 1 minute.
  • Next add chopped kale; cover and let it wilt. Add the beans with ½ cup water; cover and cook again till the curry reaches the desired consistency. Serve with rice or roti.
This is my entry to Protein Rich monthly event hosted by Sangeeth @ letusallcook.


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