Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Arre dekho birthday aa raha hai! *Day E and E*

I seriously cant believe how I managed to do this for 90 days, but I will go on with this latest challenge, now that I have started. So, the 2nd AND 3rd letter of my friends name are E, so today I cooked two dishes with the key ingredient starting with the letter E. :) 

E is the fifth letter of the alphabet. I just counted on my fingers to double check what I have known since I used to do the el o men o pee dance. 

So, the first ingredient today is Edam cheese. 

I made a wonderful summer chicken salad today, modified a recipe I found online, and it worked quite well. Here is the source:


What you need: 

Half a kilo of boneless chicken, marinaded for 15 mins with two tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste 
A handful of washed mixed greens, I used baby spinach, parsley and basil today, any lettuce will work wonders too 
Three oranges 
A tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Seven dried figs, halved and toasted 
Around 150 grams of edam cheese, cubed 
Two spring onions, chopped

What to do: 

1. Cook the chicken until its white and not pink, and cut into bite sized pieces. 

2. Peel two oranges, and halve the segments. Take out the seeds if you have the energy. Take out the juice of the third orange. 

3. Make the dressing by combining the balsamic vinegar and orange juice. 

4. Assemble the salad by dunking everything, the chicken, greens, orange segments, fig pieces, edam cubes, and chopped spring onions,  into a conveniently sized salad bowl. 

This is what it finally looks like:

The second ingredient today is elaichi, or cardamom. I somehow can never ever call elaichi cardamom. Like really. 

So I was thinking of making shrikhand, this yummy dessert, but then I realized that it is tuesday, and umm, shops are shut. I could have traversed to another market, which I did end up doing for the edam, but the thought of a lovely cup of chai made me keep things simple, and oh so elaichi. 


What you need: 

A tea ball ( It is ok if you dont have one, but you should go get one anyway. This just saves you the hassle of draining things out. But if you dont have one, just put everything into the tea anyway, and strain it) 
Two elaichis 
Half a cinnamon stick
A teaspoon of crushed/chopped ginger 
One clove 
Two teaspoons of tea leaves 
Sugar to taste
A cup or two of water, depending on how many people want to experience the magic of this

What to do: 

1. Crush everything in your mortar and pestle, except the tea leaves. Duh. 

2. Put it inside the tea ball, along with the tea leaves, and shut the tea ball. 

3. Boil the water. 

4. Dunk the tea ball into the water and steep till you get the colour you like. Add sugar. 

5. Drink up. Hmm. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Arre dekho birthday aa raha hai! *Day N*

So, I am back to some kind of serial blogging, (when I say serial, I mean in a serial order!) and my target is a friends birthday. Everyday till her birthday, I will cook with the letters which make up her name. This is to keep things surpriseworthy, not that you need to know. But anyway, so the letter for today, to start things off, is is is is...N! 

N, for the lazy gits among you, is the 14th letter of the alphabet. 

So today's ingredient is nuts! In french walnuts are called 'noix', so I am keeping to my brief here. 

Here is what I made: 

(A walnut tart, with a lot of walnuts) 


What you need:

One pre-baked pie crust or pie crust dough, (as you wish, I prebaked mine) 

For the pie crust recipe see here:

The day 30 recipe calls for a tart shell on top and bottom, but you only need to make the bottom part of the tart shell, not the top, so keep that in mind. 


One and one fourth cup of toasted walnuts 
This is how I toasted mine:

Little more than half a cup of cream 
Litle more than half a cup of brown sugar (use brown, or else you wont get the colour you want, which will be sad really) 
One fourth cup honey 
One teaspoon vanilla essence 
A pinch of crushed cinnamon 

What to do: 

1. Mix all the filling ingredients together, in a saucepan. Or in any other vessel with which you believe you can pour easily. 

2. Pour it into the pie crust, and bake in a 200 degree oven for 20 mins, or until the centre appears to have set. 

Cut it neatly and eat it. So the idea is for the filling and crust to come out together, but this may not happen. Keywords here being may and not. 

What I did is, I baked it, then I took it out, and I didnt like what it looked like. So I took a spoon and mashed it all up, and then put it in the freezer. I then microwaved it and served it, which worked for me. To avoid this, do not mash with the spoon. 

Another thing, you do not have to first bake the crust and then bake again with the filling, you can just bake both together. I am going to try that soonish. For this, you prepare pie dough, lay it out in the pre greased tin, and then pour the filling in. THEN bake for twenty minutes. Maybe this works better. 

I love you friend! Keep looking at this space for more surprises! :)