Saturday, November 5, 2011

Paneer mutter (Indian Paneer & Peas)

Paneer 1 package 14 oz (from any Indian store)
Peas 1 cup (frozen peas work really well)
Tomato paste (half a can)
Onion garlic and ginger paste (Puree with 1/2 onion, 3 cloves garlic and 2 inch ginger)
Turmeric powder 3/4 teaspoon
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1.5 teaspoons
Red Chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon
Bayleaf 1
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp

1) Cut paneer into bite size cubes and lightly fry in canola oil. They will get a nice brown color very quickly. Set aside
2) Puree onion, ginger and garlic in a small food processor
3) In a nonstick and using 3 tablespoons of oil sautee bay leaf, and onion paste until light brown
4) Add all the spices, salt and sugar.  Sautee until they cook together and so the flavors blend. Very soon, add the tomato paste and 1/2 cup of water. Stir gently to loosen up the sauce and create a nice tomato sauce mixed well with the spices
6) Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the oil seeps out of the sauce. Add water if it get dry.
7) Add peas and paneer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and season as needed.
8) Serve with steamed rice or naan

Tomato Bisque with Grilled Cheese

Inspired by the Grant Park Farmers Market & Chef Todd Ginsberg of Bocado
This is the perfect fall soup - so yummy, colorful and perfect for a chilly winter evening.  We made this at Cindy's on Sunday night and had it with the perfect grilled cheese (also included).

1 can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoon tomato paste
2 ripe fresh medium tomatoes
Bunch of fresh Basil (important)
1 and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (don't compromise here...the cream makes this dish)
1/2 cup red wine
Garlic - 2 cloves
Onion - 1 medium diced
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Water - 2 cups
Salt, Sugar and Pepper (fresh ground)

Sautee onion and garlic in butter until you smell it and you see a light golden color. Add tomato paste and caramelize. Deglaze bottom of pan if it sticks using little water. Add red wine and reduce to a think syrupy texture. Add all the types of tomates (canned and fresh), water, basil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add cream and simmer for 10 more minutes. Blend in mixer.

Grilled Cheese
Any type of gourmet cheese that is good for slicing. Even better, try a combination of two cheeses.
Chiabatta bread 2 (makes 4 halves)

1) Cut Chiabatta half way and then again down center to create top and bottom halves.
2) Brush both sides with butter (one small square should do, not too much needed here and olive oil is optional)
3) Place cheese in between
4) Heat a pan. Place sandwiches. Press down using bottom of another heavy pan.
5) Cook on each side till slightly charred. Enjoy with the soup!