Monday, 13 February 2012

Light as a feather cupcakes with rose cream

For days I have been thinking I should draft a post but as usual again I am writing the post in the last minute.
Tomorrow early morning, I will be leaving to US to visit my sister for a month. And I am every excited, each time we skype both of us have been planning what to do while I am there etc.....
This is how sometimes one of our conversation goes,
Sis : You know when you come here my youngest son want you to make all the food from your blog...
Me : Oh I just want you to make all the traditional food which I don't make and you make so good...
Sis youngest son replies : Aunty can eat all the traditional food Mom makes for lunch and we all can eat aunties cooking for Dinner.

Hearing this conversation, Hans remark, I will get a double sized Finla when she comes back from a month :-)
Now I can go on writting aobut the each conversation we have but then I think I will be writting here for long as we skype almost every day :-)

Good that I don't have anything to do anymore for my travel, my luggae is packed , the travel documents are kept in my bag and did what ever I have to do at home.
I was planning to do the Kitchen floor today and hearing what I was planning to do Hans said , he will lock up nthe kitchen if I dare to so something like that he said,just sit in the sofa, take a book and relax etc......

I am sure lots of ppl celebrate Valentine, and ofcourse it is their choice, but I do think it is so fake, as for me this day is just comercial, come on you don't need a certain day for celebrating love do you.
So here we don't celebrate oh that makes me sounds so old, but the fact is what I mean is we don't buy each other cards, flowers, presents etc....I might make something special for the evening, but then that is it, no poo ha about the day.
So starting the travel on Valentines day doesn't matter to us :-)

The recipe is from the Book Cupcakes by Janet Smith

This recipe make lots of cup cakes but, they don't keep very well, so freeze half for another day.
The rose cream recipe is enough to ice half of the cakes.
We thought the cakes were so soft and Hans and Shyama loved the butter cream, but I am not a huge fan of rose flavour.
And I agree that the cakes don't last long, as they get soggy, so when you make them make sure you have lots of ppl comming over or make smaller batches if you are making just for you and family.

50 gm self raising flour
50 gm corn starch
40 gm butter
3 large eggs
100 gm fine sugar

For the butter cream/
2 egg yolks
175 gm butter
75 gm fine sugar
rose syrup to taste
pink food coloring

Preheat the over to 400°f and put 24 regular paper cases into the tins.

Sift together the flour and the cornstarch 3 times.
Put the butter in a pan and heat gentley intil melted.
Allow to cool.

Put the eggs and sugar in a large, preferbly glass, heatproof bowl.
Stand the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk with an elevtriw hand whisk untill doubled in volume and pale. You should be able to write your intials with the trail from the whisk.

Sfit half of the glour mixture into the agg mixture and fold in lightly using a large metal spoo, ot large plastic scraper.
Slowly drizzle half of the coole butter into the mixture and fold in the remaining flour and butter.
Divide the mixture among the paper cases and bake for 6 to 10 minutes untill the cakes are risen and spring back when pressed with your finger tip.
Remove the cakes from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

To make the Rose butter cream, put the egg yolks ina bowl and whisk briefly. Put butter in a another bowl and beat with a wooden spoon untill soft.

Put the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small heavy based non stick pan and heat gently untill the sugar has completley dissolved. Bring to boil and boil rapidly untill the temperature reaches 225°F on a sugar thermometer.

Pour the sugar syrup onto the egg yolks, whisking all the time and keep whisking untill the mixture is thick and cold. Add the very soft butter, rose syrup and food color and mix throughly untill blended.

Spread the rose cream onto the cup cakes.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Lentils With Coconut Milk

Back home we always had some kind of dal . But here I make them once in a while, but have to admit Rice and Dal is my favourite comfort food.
Just serve them with me a little bit of pickel and I am a happy girl.

Dal (also spelled Dahl or Daal, or Dhal) is a preparation of pulses (dried lentils, peas or beans) which have been stripped of their outer hulls and split. It also refers to the thick stew prepared from these, an important part of Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and Bangladesi cuisine.

It is regularly eaten with rice and vegetables in southern India, and with both rice and roti (wheat-based flat bread) throughout northern India and Pakistan.

Dal is a ready source of proteins for a balanced diet containing little or no meat. Sri Lankan cooking of dal resembles that of southern Indian dishes.

In South India, dal is often used to make sambar, a spicy soup of red lentils and vegetables cooked with tamarind, asafoetida and some vegetables. It is eaten with rice and rice dishes.

In West India, dals are used to make curries to be eaten with rice. Dals are also used to make fermented preparations such as idli, dosa, in south and coastal India. In East India, rice is also the main accompaniment. In Sri Lanka, dal is most often consumed in a curry made with coconut mlk.
Dal preparations can be eaten with rice, as well as Indian breads in North India.

Thankyou Wiki for all the information :-)

This recipe is from the Cooking book called The Kerala Kitchen I have tried few recipes from the book and each dish as come out so good untill now.
This is the Malayali Version of the lentil dish prepared all over the India.
In the book it is written this dish is better made with split pigeon peas, but can also made with other lentils.
I used Toor dal as I think that cook much faster.
Also if you reheat the dal just make sure you don't let the lentils boil.
The recipe below is the exact recipe from teh book, but I dod make some change when I made and those changes I have written in another color.

1 1/2 cup dried split pigeon peas,pre soaked in water for 2 hours ( as I mentioned earlier I used Toor dal)
3 cups water
1 cup thin coconut milk ( Used tinned ones)
1/2 tsp sliced fresh ginger ( I used more)
3 green chillies slit ( used double)
1/2 tsp turmeric ( I used 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp roasted cummin powder ( I used 1 tsp and didn't roast)
( I also added 1 tsp chillie powder which the recipe didn't ask for)
1/2 cup thinck coconut milk
Salt to taste
2 tables spoon oil
1/2 tsp mustard seed ( used double)
1/4 cup sliced shallots ( used a bit more)
3 cloves garlic slices
8 curry leaves
2 dry red chillies torn in half ( used double)
I also used 1 tsp cummin seeds which the recip didn't ask

In a large pot, ccok the soakes peas with the water, thin coconut milk,ginger,green chillies and turmeric for 15 to 20 minutes. ( The lentils should be soft and musshy) When the lentils are cooked i just mush them with a wooden rounded spoon.
Add salt and thick coconut milk and remove from the heat.

Heat the oil in a small skillet and add the mustard seeds, when the pop add the cumin seeds and then add the shallots and garlic and fry for few minuted untill they are lightly browned.
Add the curry leaves and red chillies and fry for few seconds.
Pour into the cooked dal and serve hot with rice, that is how I prefer to eat this dish.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Fondue Bourguignonne

Fondue Bouguigninne, well I only knew about this after comming to Belgium.
Mostly we make it when we invite family just to have a get together and then if I don't want to prepare any dishes we do this as it is so easy.
You need the foundue pot and you fill with oil keep in the middle of the table, and you have a plate full of variety of meat, salades,slices fresh tomatoes, slices cucumber, corn salade ,grated carrots and a huge variety of mayonaise like simple mayonaise, curry mayonaise, spicy mayonaise , tartare mayonaise, garlic mayonaise etc.... and thenn if I am in the mood I make a rice salade so the only work I have is to do all the vegetables and make some of the mayanaise and the plate of meat is ordered from the local butcher.

As i mentinoed when I do fondue like this I invite family over but last saturday I planned to do just for three of us and I decided why not prepare the meat my self too.
The main work if you don't order the meat platter from the butcher is to make the meat balls for the rest you just have to cut the pieces of variety of meat and then arrange on to a big platter.
And the main reason for me to blog this recipe is my sister also do fondue after hearing it from me , but she makes the meat platter her self but never made the meat balls, so I thought as I am making anyway I will blog it for her as she is planning to do fondue this sunday.

Fondue is a Swiss dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot (caquelon) over a spirit lamp (rechaud), and eaten by dipping long-stemmed forks with bread into the cheese. It was promoted as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union in the 1930s and became popular in North America in the 1960s.
Since the 1950s, the name "fondue" has been generalized to other dishes where a food is dipped into a communal pot of hot liquid: chocolate fondue, where pieces of fruit are dipped into a melted chocolate mixture, and fondue bourguignonne, where pieces of meat are cooked in hot oil.

Fondue Bourguignonne consists of a fondue pot filled with hot oil into which diners dip pieces of meat to cook them. Various sauces are provided on the side.

For the meat platter. ( There is not recipe for the meat just tha tyou have to cut vareirty of meat, I use more chicken and less beef as here at home we are not beef lovers)

1 big chicken breast cut into small chunks
300 gm good quality beef cut into chunks
300 gm Veal cut into chunks.
300 gm pork cut into chunks
Couple of sliced of bacon.
400 gm minced meat ( I take a mix of beef ,veal and pork)
1 small egg
Few table spoon of bread crumbs
Pepper powder
Salt to taste, take care as the spice mix normally have salt in it.
I use spice/herb blend we get here to cover the meat balls. I don't know you get them were you are but I am sure in US it is available as my sis said she has it especially the American steak spice mix. You don't have to use the spice mix i have used you can use what ever flavour you like.
And if you don't get them I suggest you make a mix of herbs, salt, garlic powder, paprika powder,onion powder salt etc to make your own blend.
Few tbsp of Toscane spice mix,
Few tbsp Amrican steak spice mix.
For the meat ball, add the mince in a bowl together with the peper,salt bread crumbs and egg.
Mix everything well .
If you think the mix is too soft add a bit more bread crumbs
Now take small portion of meat mix ( a golf ball size) and make into balls, making sure that are well shaped and tight so that the balls don't break when you deep fry them in the oil later.
When all the balls are made, take a drop of oil and rub on each balls and then roll with the spice mix of your choice.
Keep the meat balls in the fridge atleast for 4 hours before you use them.
Now when it is time for having your foundue dinner, arrange the cubes pieces of meat and balls in a plate and layer inbetween or on the side bacon pieces.
Heat up the fondue according to the manufactures instruction and when the oil is hot poke one piece of meat with your special fork and dip into the oil and fry for few minutes or how fries you want you meat to be.
Enjoy with salade and mayo and with slices of baguttes.
Sometimes here we just fry the bacon slices straight. We just curl it up and poke with the special fondue fork and fry or we wrap around the meat pieces the bacon and then fry.