Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Bolognese sauce / Ragù alla bolognese

I learned to make this bolognese sauce from Hans some 22 years ago and I have been making like this from that time onwards.
I never knew anything about this sauce untill I came here and Hans was a much better cook than me actuakky I should rephrase it, I didn't know to cook at all.
So Hans who was used to make this bolognese sauce showed me how to make and then from that time onewards I have been cooking this sauce.

I must have taken the picture of the sauce in summer 2012 for adding the recipe in the blog and I remeber it was getting late and I was hurrying up to take pictures so the sauce has been only simmering for less than 2 hours and I just took some sauce from the pot and fast clicked few pics and then put the sauce back with the rest to let it simmer for more time :-)
Doing all that work I still didn't post it and now here I am writting a post with the pictures take a while ago :-)

Tip :
1. There are times when I add 100 gm of bacon into the sauce.
2. When ever I make this sauce as it takes so long to simmer I always triple the recipe or more and then freeze them in portions as I think if you are anyway going to do the work then do the work once and enjoy it later too :-)
3. There are times when I add a bit more broth, more wine etc...
4. Always simmer it for long so that the sauce gets thicker and delicious.
5. I always take my hand blender (when the long coking is done ) and give it a mix so that the sauce gets a bit smoother ( don't over mix it) The picture you see I have not used the mixer because as i mentioned i was in a hurry to take pic so took the pic fast and then put it back for futher simmering.

Bolognese sauce, known in Italian as ragù alla bolognese, is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. In Italian cuisine, it is customarily used to dress "tagliatelle al ragù" and to prepare "lasagne alla bolognese".
In the absence of tagliatelle, it can also be used with other broad, flat pasta shapes, such as pappardelle or fettuccine, or with short tube shapes, such as rigatoni or penne.
Genuine ragù alla bolognese is a complex sauce which involves slow cooking using a variety of techniques, including sweating, sautéing and braising
 Ingredients include a characteristic soffritto of onion, celery and carrot, different types of minced or finely chopped meat (generally bovine, including beef, and possibly pork, such as pancetta), wine and a small amount of tomato concentrate.
Thankyou Wiki for the information.


500 gm mixed mince ( we use here beef,pork and Kalf mince)
200 ml milk
3 tbsp olive oil
3 onions peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot  peeled and finely diced
1 celery stick finley chopped
3 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
800 ml tinned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs ,(basil , oregano etc..)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
350 ml Red wine
1 cup beef . chicken broth ( aprox)
Salt and pepper to taste
Hand full of chopped parsley
In a big pot add the olive oil and add the onions, when it is lightly colored add the mince meat and fry till they are light brown.
Add the milk and let it boil in a high fire till the milk is evaporated, add the red wine and cook again in a hig temperature till all the wine is almost evaporated.
Add the carrots, celery,tinned tomatoes , herbs , bay leaves ,garlic ,broth ,sugar , parsleyand salt and pepper to taste and bring it to boil.
Reduce the heat now and simmer for 3 to 4 hrs.
Serve with any kind of pasta .

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Kerala Egg Curry

There are times when I say to myself, why do I mostly blog about the baking goodies I make at home rather than the easy to make dishes like this egg curry.
Answer is simple, I always think why I should post a very easy recipe as who would be intrested in such a easy dish to make.
I have started posting here some easy recipe as I know Shyama has fully started cooking lunch/ Dinner in her place.
She refuse to take the tupperwares which I pack with all the dishes I make as I did in the first years of her college years.
Now every weekend when she goes I will be asking her shoudn't you take atleast one dish with you which I have kept in the freezer for you.
She will be like no mama you know I am cooking these days with my friends in Kot.
 But she fall for her Indian mom's trick, I just make this sad face and she takes a tupperware :-)

Idiappams just going to be steamed

So this is yet another super easy recipe and I know she will make them in her place too and yet another reason for me for making this is , Friday I am giving a Cooking Demonstration ( Kerala food) for a whole bunch of University Kids in Leuven.
So this is such a easy recipe to make and just use few ingridients and also SUPER cheap and I didn't want that the recipe is not in my blog if any of them wanted to make the dish for them self.

Serve 2
2 Hard boiled eggs
2 tbsp oil
Onions 1 1/2 thinly sliced
Green Chilly 1
Ginger grated 1 tsp
2 garlic cloves grated
Few curry leaves ( 6 )
Chilli powder 1 tsp
1 tsp corriander powder
Garam masal 1/2 tsp
Half tomato ( large) chopped
Coconut milk 150 ml ( I used tinned)
Salt to taste.

Heat oil in a pan add the slices onions fry for few minutes till they become light golden brown, add the ginger, gralic, chilly and curry leaves and fry for 2 minutes.
In the mean time mix chilli powder, worriander powder and garam masala in a small bowl with 1 tbsp of water. Add this mix into tha pan and fry in a medium fire for 5 minutes. Take care you don't burn the spices if it is too dry add one more table spoon of water.
You will know when it is ready when the oil seperates from the spic mix.
Add now the sliced tomato and cook for futher few minutes.
Add salt , and the coocnut milk and bring to boil. Add the egg  ( I just give few cuts on the egg not too deep so that little taste of the sauce can go into the eggs )and cook it further for just 2 more minutes so the eggs are heated through.
Serve with rice, Idiappams, Apoms or even bread choice is yours.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Apple Tart / Tarte aux Pommes

I had got into a new routine and was back into my regular blogging and then crash it went.
Father in law broke his foot so it has been really busy, going with him to the hospital, and then going to his place twice a day to check on him plus spedning more time there as he is sitting in this home all alone as he cannot go out and he will have to wear the cast for 4 weeks.
He does hopp around in his living and to the bedroom etc...

But now it is only 2 more weeks to the next trip to the hospital and he is already feeling better well his foot his better no pain etc...so that is a plus point.
So fingers crossed as it is not nice for him to just be inside day after day inside.
He did go to a concert from Hans which was in our town.

Today morning while we were having our breakfast I was just sitting and smiling and Hans asked what are you smiling and then I told him what happend yesterday in his fathers place.
Aparently someone had been ringing my FIL's doorbell after midnight or so.

And my fil thinks it is some one he mush have locked up ( as he was in police) when he was working.
So now he found out a trick, before he goes to sleep he takes the phone from the doorbell off.
But he wanted to try it, he told me Finla when you go down ( I was going to the next door shop to get something for him) ring the bell and I will answer you and then i will not keep the phone on the hook I will just leave it hanging and you ring again and I will see if it make noise.

So I did what he asked when I went down rang him once he answered and I waited few seconds and rang again and I went off to the shop to buy the stuff he wanted and came back to his place.

While I enterd his living room I saw him sitting on the chair next to the door phone and eating grapes from the fruit basket, I asked him Dad what are you doing well he said Finla I was waiting for you to ring again and I just bursted out , I said I rang you second time and ofcourse you dodn't hear anything if you don't keep the door phone back in the hook.

He has been sitting there as he thought I didn't ring the bell second time.
Each time when I think about the incident it makes me  smile and I thought I will share this with you all :-)

This apple tart recipe is from Delicious Magazine and it is so easy to make, especially as one is using shop made puff pastry.



500g block all-butter puff pastry
Flour for dusting
6-8 cox’s orange pippin apples (see tips), peeled, cored, halved and cut into 2mm slices (about 650g) (I used Jognagold)
20g unsalted butter
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
3 tbsp caster sugar
5 tbsp apricot jam
Vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche to serve

For the almond cream

60g unsalted butter, softened
75g icing sugar ( I used only 50 gm )
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 drops of pure almond extract
1 medium free-range egg
100g ground almonds
1 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp dark rum

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. For the almond cream, in a small bowl whisk the 60g butter with the icing sugar, vanilla and almond extract for 2-3 minutes until the butter turns pale, then add the remaining ingredients. Whisk well and set aside.
  2. 2. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a 32cm round (to the thickness of a £1 coin), then place on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Using the back of a small knife, draw a line 1cm in from the edge of the pastry all the way round to give the tart a border.
  3. 3. Prick inside the marked circle all over with a fork, then spread over the almond cream.
  4. 4. Starting from the outside, arrange the apple slices over the almond cream, overlapping them tightly so that only about 1cm of the previous slice is visible. Make a complete circle then start another circle, overlapping the previous one. Repeat this operation until the tart is complete.
  5. 5. In a small frying pan, melt the 20g butter with the rosemary until foaming, then add the sugar. Stir, then remove from the heat and brush the mixture over the apples. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are well coloured around the edges. With a spatula, lift the tart carefully and check the bottom is cooked and crisp.
  6. 6. Heat the jam very gently in a small saucepan with a tiny splash of water. Sieve it (if you want a very smooth glaze), then brush over the tart. Serve with vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche or simply as it is.