Cheese Toast

Cheese Toast Pic: Priya Q

This is a quick snack for your kids when they come back hungry from school or play in the evening

Eggs – 2 nos

Cheddar cheese – 1 cup to 1 and 1/2 cups

Butter – to spread over the bread slice

Bread slice

Black pepper – coarsely powdered

Mustard  – 1 to 2 tsp

  1. In a bowl whisk the eggs and add cheddar, mustard and pepper
  2. Since the cheese and butter already have salt content add salt to above only if required
  3. Butter the slice on one side and place it in a ovenproof dish, buttered side down
  4. Pre heat the oven to 220 degree C
  5. Divide the cheese mixture over the bread slices and bake it for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and well risen

 

*If you do not want to use eggs then follow the steps above and instead of egg mixture put cheese slice on the bread

till next time….have fun cooking!

Croissant

Croissant Pic: Priya Q

Once you have the pie crust there is a lot you can do! I have shared with you recipe for fruit pie ..here am sharing with a very simple recipe for croissants

 

Pie crust

Mixed dry fruits – cashew/pista/walnuts etc (grounded to a powder)

 

  1. Add a tsp of sugar to ground nuts
  2. Pre heat the oven to 180 degree C (35 degree F)
  3. Roll out the pie crust in a rectangle shape
  4. Using a knife cut triangles
  5. Keep the cut piece in front of in such a way that one tapered corner is on top (in other words you see the triangle!)
  6. Gently pick the base and put in the filling and start rolling the crust till you reach the tapered top
  7. Apply little water to the top using your finger and roll the tapered end onto the rest of the croissant
  8. Gently shape it and place on baking sheet and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes till the crust is golden brown
  9. Cool it and serve

 

*use filling of your choice!

 

till next time…have fun cooking!

(is there any recipe you would specifically want to know? …do let me know! :) )

(follow Akshayapatram on Facebook)

 

Wholesome meal with a Chicken and Mushroom Pie

Chicken & Mushroom Pie Pic: Priya Q

I recently borrowed a great cookery book from a friend and as I was glancing through I had the urge to try out something new. Well, I have made pies before but they have been open ones. This one looked different and was also cooked differently than my normal style, so I zeroed on this one. But I decided to go with different ingredients essentially what I had readily available in my refrigerator! Taste wise came out well 🙂 texture wise could have been better!! Well I will tell you the mistake I made as I go along!

 

For the pastry

All purpose flour (Maida / refined flour) – 3 cups

Butter – 150 gms (cubed)

Chilled Water – 1/4 cup

 

For the filling

Chicken breast – 250 gms

Onion – 1 nos (small sized) – finely chopped

Mushroom – 50 gms (sliced)

Potato – 1 small (sliced)

Fresh coriander – 2 tbsp

Salt and pepper for seasoning

egg – 1 no (beaten)

 

Pastry

  1. Put flour in a large bowl and add butter
  2. Rub the butter into the flour gently till you reach a breadcrumb kid of consistency. (this needs patience :))
  3. Now add chilled water, little by little as you work the mixture. It will start clinging together
  4. Move the mixture to a floured worktop and gently knead the dough until smooth
  5. Wrap it in a clingfilm and refrigerate for atleast 20 minutes

 

For the filling

  1. Cube the chicken in to small pieces
  2. To above add all vegies and season it

 

Preparing the pie

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180 degree C (350 degree F)
  2. Take 2 quarter plates of different size. 1 should be smaller than the other by few centimeters
  3. Keep 1/3rd of the pastry and reserve to make lids
  4. Roll out the rest and using the bigger plate cut out circles
  5. In the center add filing
  6. Roll out the remaining pastry and using smaller plate cut out the lids and cover each of the circle with filling
  7. Using your fingertip and little water seal the pie .Bring it up and pinch the edges together
  8. Make a hole or a cross in the middle of each pie
  9. Brush it with egg and slide it onto baking sheet
  10. Bake for 1 hour
  11. Serve as it is or with your favorite sauce

 

Area where I went wrong was I rolled out thick circles therefore had to bake it longer than 1 hour and in the end the pastry was tough in few places. Since I normally cook my filling before putting inside the pie and spent less time in the oven; I was wary and subconsciously made thicker pie crust fearing what if the filling comes out during baking…which in the hindsight I feel was nothing to be worried about! Anyways, there always a next time 🙂

till next time…have fun cooking!

(is there any recipe you would specifically want to know? …do let me know! :) )

(follow Akshayapatram on Facebook)

 

 

 

 

 

Pie Crust

 

Pie Crust (in the making)

 

This can be the base for many savory and dessert dishes… I use it to make vegetable pies / fruit pies etc. I will share the recipe for it in the days to come….

For the pie crust

All purpose flour (Maida) – 250 gms

Butter – 200 gms (at room temperature)

Salt – 1 tsp

Water

 

  1. Sieve the flour and Salt together
  2. Chop butter into tiny cubes
  3. Combine the butter into the flour gently with soft hands till you get a crumbly texture (you can see the butter chunks)
  4. Add little water and mix gently. Keep repeating till you get a sift ball. The key is to be gentle and soft while forming the dough to get crisp and flakier pie base
  5. Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 20 min
  6. Flour the kitchen platform and very gently roll the into an elongated shape
  7. You will still be seeing bits of butter chunks giving it a marbled effect
  8. Fold the dough from one side till half and repeat with the other side to cover the just folded side. Flour both the sides and roll
  9. Repeat this process atleast 4-6 times to ensure you get multiple layers. Refrigerate overnight
  10. Next day roll the dough into a circle. Be gentle
  11. Grease the pie dish
  12. Gently place the rolled out dough over the pie dish
  13. Don’t pull the dough out; instead ease out the dough into the tray and it shrinks during the baking process
  14. Using a fork puncture the dough at various places and cover it with plain raw beans / lentils…etc and put the pie dish into the pre heated oven to BLIND BAKE* the pie crust at 185 degree C for 30-40 minutes
  15. Once the crust is crisp and brown. Take out all the beans
  16. Your pie crust is ready

 

Pie Crust (post baking)

 

*Blind Baking means where you are baking the crust without any filling. You use the raw beans and puncture the dough, so that the dough doesn’t puff and cave up.

**check out the Quiche recipe where the pie crust recipe is relatively simple and less time consuming

 

Till next time…. have fun cooking! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quiche

Quiche Pic: Priya Q

I first made this for friends and I can safely say they will vouch for this one 🙂

For the base

All Purpose Flour (Maida) – 200 gms

Butter – 100 gms (at room temperature – tough and not melting)

Salt to taste

Pepper for seasoning

Cheddar Cheese – 1 tbsp (grated)

Egg – 1 no (beaten)

Water – at room temperature

 

  1. Mix gently with hands all ingredients except Egg and Water. You should get a crumbly texture somewhat like bread crumbs
  2. Add the beaten egg along with a tsp of water to the above mixture little by little as you keep working on the dough gently till you get a soft ball (keep repeating the egg and water step till you get a nice soft ball of dough)
  3. Knead the dough lightly
  4. Divide the dough into two parts and roll 1 part out on a floured board into a circle with enough thickness
  5. Gently roll the above on a floured rolling pin and unroll it over a greased pie tray /pan
  6. Ease out the excess dough into the pan. DONOT pull the excess dough outwards since the dough shrinks during baking. So press the dough inwards and downwards towards the sides

 

Filling

Olive Oil – 1 tbsp

Ginger,garlic & green chilli – 1 tbsp (crushed) – optional

Vegetables – combination (sweetcorn, capsicum,spring onions or onions, spinach etc)

Eggs – 4 nos

Cheddar Cheese – 1/2 cup

Milk or cream – 1 cup

Mozzarella Cheese

  1. Add olive oil to a pan and saute the Ginger,garlic & green chilli coarse paste
  2. Fry onions till half cooked. Keep aside to cool
  3. In a bowl mix milk, eggs and cheddar cheese with a whisk. Season it with salt & pepper
  4. On the base gently spread cooked onions, sweetcorn, capsicum – Ensure there is no water in the mixture else the base will get soggy
  5. Pour the milk mixture on top. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 min at 200 degree C or till the top appears golden

 

* I kept strips of dough to make the criss cross . If you plan to do this prick all corners and overlaps with a fork

** for non-veg option you can use -chicken pieces / shrimps etc…. cook them along with onions till they are dry

 

till next time…..have fun cooking! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pasta Recipes

Pasta in Mushroom Cream Sauce Pic: Priya Q

The two sisters from Australia visited us recently and took over my kitchen one evening. While Miriam was baking chocolate cookies, Shifra decided on the main course. Pasta with mushrooms in cream sauce it was…and quite yummy at that! Here’s the recipe she learned from her father and gladly shared with me….

 

Pasta (of your choice)

Dry red chilli – 2-3 nos

Onions – 1 no (big) or 2 medium sized (finely chopped)

Mushrooms – 100 gms (sliced)

Oil – 2 tbsp

Garlic – 3-4 flakes (finely chopped)

Fresh Cream – 100 ml

Salt to taste

Pepper for seasoning

 

  1. Boil and cook pasta in water with some salt & oil
  2. Once cooked, drain and run it under cold water. Keep aside
  3. In a vessel, heat oil and tip in the dry red chilli and garlic. Saute
  4. Add onions and continue sauteing
  5. Add mushrooms and saute well
  6. Add fresh cream and keep stirring
  7.  Cook for 10 minutes while stirring in between
  8. Season with salt and pepper
  9. Arrange the pasta on serving plate and pour over it the mushroom cream sauce

 

till next time…happy cooking! 🙂

 

Mushroom Pasta

Mushroom pasta Pic: Priya Q

I had this at my friend’s place. She made, I ate. And I asked her the same question that many people have asked me – Coriander in pasta? And I give the same reply as I got … oh it tastes and smells so good! So here it is Mushroom Pasta with coriander!

 

Mushrooms – 100 gms (sliced)

Vegetable Oil – 1/4 cup

All purpose flour (Maida) – 2 tbsp

Rosemary – a dash of it

Pasta – shape of your choice

Milk – 1 litre

Oregano – 2 tsps

Garlic – 2-3 flakes (crushed)

Salt to taste

Olive oil – 2 tbsp

Coriander – 3 tbsp (finely chopped)

 

  1. Boil and cook pasta in water with some salt & oil
  2. Once cooked, drain and run it under cold water. Keep aside
  3. Heat vegetable oil and nicely saute the mushrooms in it for about 3-5 minutes
  4. Add all purpose flour and continue sauteing till the flour starts getting stuck to the mushrooms and the vessel
  5. Slowly pour milk and keep stirring avoiding lumps
  6. Add rosemary and salt and continue stirring
  7. Continue cooking till the sauce thickens
  8. Add chopped coriander and stir. Take off the burner and set aside
  9. In a thick bottomed pan add olive oil and crushed garlic. Keep the flame of the burner on low
  10. Once the taste and smell of garlic infuses into the oil, tip in the cooked pasta
  11. Add oregano and give a nice shake to the vessel. Take it off the burner
  12. Arrange the pasta on serving plate and pour over it the mushroom sauce
  13. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and serve

 

Till next time… happy cooking!

 

Bruschetta

Bruschetta

Bruschetta pronounced as Brus – ketta is a light, delicious and healthy snack. It is supposed to be an appetizer (antipasto in Italian) but besides making it a pre-pasta meal I also make it for breakfast at times!

 

Wheat bread – 4 slices (you can use the bread of your choice)
Tomato – 3 nos (nice and firm ones)
Garlic – few flakes
Oregano – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Olive Oil – 2 tablespoons
Fresh Basil leaves – 5-6 nos
Olives – for garnish (optional)
Mozarella / Cheddar cheese – 3- 4 tbsp

 

  1. Chop the tomatoes into small cubes
  2. Add to tomatoes oil, cheese, salt, basil and oregano. Mix well, cover with shrink wrap and refrigerate for ½ hr or put it in the freezer for 10 minutes
  3. Apply few drops of oil to bread slices and toast them at 150 degree C for about 10 minutes. It should be fairly crisp
  4. Rub garlic on all slices
  5. Place the tomato topping over each slice and garnish with olives
  6. Serve immediately (else the juice of tomatoes will make the bread soggy)

 

You can also  thin slices of meat like prosciutto (pronounced as pro-shutto)  or salamis etc as topping

till next time…happy cooking!

Easy Pasta

Pasta with Mushrooms
Creative Commons License photo credit: sushi♥ina

Pastas are my all time favorite so much so that I stack my cup board with different varieties of pasta and make them as often as I can 🙂

Cut into thin strips Capsicum (use colored one to make it interesting)
Cube or slice other veggies like carrots, zucchini, tomatoes etc
Blanch broccoli florets
Slice baby corn and parboil
Sausages / grilled chicken pieces
Bean sprouts
Button mushrooms
Boiled Pasta (of your choice)
Oregano – 2 tsp
Dried herbs – 1 tsp (of your choice)
Salt and Pepper

  1. In a pan take a little oil and add all veggies and fry on low heat (except mushrooms)
  2. Add button mushroom after 3-4 minutes
  3. Add meat
  4. Add boiled pasta
  5. Add Oregano and dried herbs
  6. Season with salt and pepper
  7. Sprinkle parmesan or other cheese of your choice (optional)
  8. Serve

Until next time…. happy cooking!

Honey Walnut Chicken

cotcot miel
Creative Commons License photo credit: rore

Well, am always impressed with men who can cook and more so when it comes to something as exotic as Honey Walnut Chicken. Rishi who is based out of USA sent me over this recipe for my Walnut week. Check it out…
Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts – 1 kg
Walnut – 1 cup (halved)
Honey – 1 tsp
Ginger – 1 tsp (finely chopped)
Rice Wine – 2 tsp
Cornstarch – 1 tsp
Brown Sugar – 1 tsp
Dark Soy Sauce – 2 tsp
Garlic – 2 tsp  (coarsely chopped)
Green onions – ½ cup (Cut 2” long. Slit in half)
Green bell pepper – ½ cup (Cut 2” long thin.)
Chopped white onions – ½ cup
Chinese 5 spice powder – 1 tsp*
Mix fruit jelly – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Butter – ½ tsp
Sesame oil – 1 tsp

  • Marinate chicken in ginger, rice wine, salt, cornstarch and Chinese 5 spice powder for atleast1 hr
  • Roast walnuts with a bit of butter.  Add honey and mix till dry
  • Prepare a mix of dark soy sauce, brown sugar and mix fruit jelly
  • In a pan, heat oil. Stir-fry chicken and keep separate
  • Add garlic and stir-fry
  • Add green onions, green bell pepper and white onions and stir-fry
  • Add cooked chicken and mix
  • Garnish with roasted sesame
  • Serve with fried rice or noodles

*The 5 spices if not available can be prepared at home. Combine schezwan pepper corns (if not available use normal pepper corns), star anise, cloves, cinnamon & fennel seeds and grind them to fine powder.

Thanks Rishi for sharing this fab recipe with us.

Meet Rishi

Rishi Menon is a software consultant. He dabbles in cooking and photography in his spare time. You can check out his portfolio here