Friday, October 22, 2010

White Gazpacho

As we reach cruising altitude at 30,000 feet, I think to myself how cool it would be to post my first recipe from up in the air!! I'm thinking of my sister right now as I travel to Boston and this recipe is for her because she likes light  soups.  I made this also a week ago with Cindy's help and it reminded me of the cucumber sauce in a gyro so it has that type of a taste but much lighter. The traditional gazpacho is a Spanish tomato based red soup. But not all gazpachos are red. The white ones are made with cucumbers and are very light, delicious chilled & refreshing. Since it is still 80 degrees in Mumbai right now, I think this will come in handy all year round!
Ingredients:
Cucumbers 4 medium sized  (US)or 3 English long or 8-10 Indian small - peeled seeded and cut into chunks (save a thin slice for garnish if you wish)
3 garlic cloves
2 cups chicken stock (make stock with soup/bouillion cube and water)
Process above in blender and transfer to a bowl and add the following:

1 32 oz container plain yogurt (about 4 cups)
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper (I am not a big fan of white pepper because it smells wierd and a little excess could ruin the dish so I would probably go with black pepper)
1 large bell pepper (red or yellow or green) - chopped really fine
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced (use one that has been sitting in the fridge and not too strong or soak in water for 5 minutes to make milder)
1/4 cup milk
Stir to combine and chill well. Served garnished with a cilantro leaf, dill or a thin slice of cucumber.  Best if prepared several hours in advance or the night before. So easy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Paella with Rabbit, Shrimp and Bay Scallops

I learnt this recipe in a cooking class and havent really had a chance to try it until now. Thanks to Ernesto and Cindy for the idea to make a Paella and for Ernesto's suggestion of trying rabbit although i will probably always pick chicken. Pork could also be used. The key with Paella is really the pan. You should be using a Paella pan (in pic) which can be used on the stove top and oven http://www.tienda.com/paella/ This recipe serves 6-8 people
Ingredients:
Meats (Proteins)
1 lb spicy sausage. Try 3-4 of the hand made chorizo from farmers market.
1.5 lbs peeled deveined, raw shrimp (15 to 20 large)
2 cups bay scallops (or squid rings)
1 whole rabbit or chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Vegetables:
2-3 handfuls of fresh green beans
1/2 c frozen peas (and/or carrot)
1 can chopped tomatoes in puree
1 finely chopped onion
1 each red and green pepper cut into strips
2 lemons cut in wedges
2 cups rice - use a medium grained rice if possible. Jasmine or Basmati will probably work too.
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
pinch of saffron
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, for saute
Paste of 8 whole blanched almonds, 4 tablespoons cilantro, 3 cloves garlic

1) Heat olive oil over medium high heat in paella pan
2) Sautee sliced sausage. Remove and add rabbit/chicken to remaining oil.
3) Add chopped onion, cooking until soft and translucent.  Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes more.  Add raw scallops and shrimp, cook for a few minutes and remove.
4) Make a paste of last 3 ingredients in a processor and add it to pan cooking for 1-2 minutes.  Add rice and stir to coat then add wine. 
5) Next add bell peppers, peas and green beans. 
6) Bring stock to a boil and add to pan. Add saffron (2 pinches) and salt. Cook for 10 minutes, stiring frequnetly until broth is absorbed but some liquid still remains. 
7) Heat oven to 325 add cooked rabbit/chicken and scallops and bake for 10 minutes. Add lemon wedges and bake another 10 minutes.
So colorful and delicious!!!!