Monday, July 19, 2010

Homemade gourmet sandwiches: Portobello mushroom,red onion jam & blue cheese

So here are some things that go really well together: Red Onion Jam, Blue Cheese, Portobello Mushroom, Challah bread, A refreshing wine like Sauvignon Blanc. You can always use steak, or lamb instead of the potobello and it would be awesome too.

For some reason, I got interested in making Red Onion Jam. I thought that blue cheese would go well with the red onion jam so I bought some from whole foods. I picked up Blue D'Auvergne. This cheese is from the south of France and is made from cows milk (versus sheeps). It is sooo good and I imagine it would be great on a salad or with mild crackers or baguette. I also picked up challah bread --- this is a traditional jewesh bread eaten on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Its slightly sweet because the dough has honey and eggs in it.

Shopping list:
Challah bread or bun for burger
Blue cheese
Portabella mushroom
Thyme - fresh, 2-3 sprigs
Olive oil
Red onion (1 big or 2-3 small) thinly sliced
Thyme - 1 sprig
Red wine - 1 cup
Red wine vinegar - 1/4 cup
Honey 1/4 cup

Red Onion Jam: Add olive oil to a non-stick skillet. Add onions, sprig of thyme, salt and pepper. Sautee for 10 mins until onions are wilted. Add wine and cook on medium for 10 mins until wine is absorbed. Add the red wine vinegar and honey. Simmer for another 15 minutes until it turns into a jam/relish like consistency.

Marinade for the portabella mushroom:
Olive oil, garlic (1 clove), balsamic/red wine vinegar, thyme. Whisk. Toss the portobella and sear (Char on a grill, grill plate or pan on high heat for about 4 minutes).
Make a delicious sanwich or burger by layering bread, portobella, red onion, blue cheese. Enjoy with a chilled glass of white wine!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Authentic Indian Fish Curry with Coconut Rice

In my mind it's always been a challenge to master an authentic curry. I have made Indian food many times but havent posted much because I've been waiting to discover dishes that are truly unique. I am so tired of the word "curry" -- it is a generic and mediocre term applied with little authenticity. So let me introduce you to a bengali style fish curry that is mouth wateringly delicious. You will see when you taste it how the fresh tomatoes blend with the ginger, garlic and mustard to give you a powerful fish curry that is unique and authentic.

As usual, this technique is simple and the fish I have used is easily available in the frozen section if you are in a hurry but nothing like fresh fish if you can get it. My inspiration for this is a dish is the chef Anjum Anand who is from London. She has several TV shows there and has also publised a few books. I can't wait to try more of her recipes.

Cod -- 3-4 fillets. Recipe is for 1 lb. Cod is a firm and flaky fish that is ideal for curry and doesnt fall apart. I used the Cod fillets from the frozen section. Just bring home and thaw under hot water and they are ready for use. All good indian dishes have 2 main compoments - a masala or a paste of spices and/or a tadka which is spices toasted in oil.

To make Masala or Main paste, grind the below in a small food procesor with 4 tblsp of water until its a fine paste:
Tomatoes - 2 medium fresh
Garlic - 6 cloves
Ginger - two chunks, the size of your big toe (sorry but thats what came to mind!)
Coriander powder - 3 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp heaped
Mustard seeds ground if possible
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder 1/2 tsp
garam masala 1/2 tsp

To make the Tadka or Toasted Spice Oil (tempered in spices and herbs):
Oil - 4 tblsp
Fenugreek seeds (methi) - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Green chilli - 2-3 slashed or poked with a knife but kept whole
Cilantro and lime for garnish

For Coconut rice:
Boil 2 cups basmati rice, 2 and 1/2 cups water and 1/2 cup coconut milk (Ratio of rice to liquid is 1 cup rice = 1 and 1/2 cup water). Add chopped cilantro, little onion, a few tblsp oil, salt. Cook for 20 minutes on low/medium.

1) Heat oil in a stainless steel mid size pan
2) When hot (not smoky), add fenugreek and mustard for 20-30 seconds until you hear the splatter. Add the green chilli and use lid if needed to contain the splatter.
3) In 10 seconds, reduce heat and stir in the masala or main curry paste
4) Season with salt, pepper, cover and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes
5) Remove lid and cook for 4 minutes until paste changes color (becomes darker) and the oil seperates from the rest of the masala. This is a very important step and it is here that the tru flavors of the spices start mingling
6) Add the fish gently. Use a spatula to fold the curry oaround the fish. Pour a little water. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes until fish is cooked.
7) Serve with coconut rice. Squeeze lime on the fish and sprinkle chopped cilantro

You will not be dissappointed with this delicious fish curry!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Delicious recipes for a long summer weekend

90 degrees. We are in the peak of summer and I'm in Boston celebrating 4th with my friends. Below are some recipes that are part of the long weekend celebrations. I am playing sous chef to my friend and co chef Sara who is on a roll!

1) Breakfast: Yogurt delight
Mango slices
Yogurt (something creamy)
lime zest
In a glass layer fruit, yogurt (whipped), honey, zest of lime. Enjoy!

2) Lunch or Light Dinner: Baked Cod with rosemary potatoes
Yellow potatoes cubed
Grape tomatoes
Olives (fresh mix, pitted)
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Garlic 3 cloves sliced thin
Fish (Cod fillet; red snapper would work too)

In a glass baking dish, mix potatoes, rosemary, salt, pepper, olive oil. Bake @ 450 for 20 minutes.
In the meanwhile, coat the fish with salt, pepper, olive oil, seasoning(we used italian all purpose but it could be any rub or spice).
Remove dish and add tomatoes & olives. toss.
Move to one side (like in picture) and place fish next to it.
Bake @ 450 for 20 minutes.
Serve with light salad

3) Snack: Proscuitto, olives & peppered salami