Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Pomegranate Fool


Layers of crunchy biscuit  crumb and toasted oats, topped with pomegranate syrup, pomegranate seeds and creamy vanilla mascarpone . Finished with  jewel like juicy pomegranate fruit and toasted flaked almonds makes this delightful dessert so desirable  and delectable it will leave you  in a delirious state of heaven.

Ingredients:

2 oz oats
6 digestive wholemeal biscuits
250 grams mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 tablespoons single cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 large pomegranate
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon sugar
Few toasted almond flakes.

Method:

1. In a heavy bottom pan add the pomegranate juice and  bring to boil, reduce the heat and simmer till juice reduces to half the quantity.
2. Add the sugar and simmer till sugar is totally dissolved and a rich syrup forms. Turn off heat and keep aside.
3. Cream together the icing sugar, vanilla essence, mascarporne and cream till it is smooth and creamy.Put into a piping bag and keep aside.
4. In a dry frying pan toast the oats for 2-3 minutes and remove from hot pan. Allow to cool.
5. Crush the biscuits  to form a coarse crumbley texture. Add the toasted oats and mix together.
6. Peel and  de seed the pomegranate making sure no white bits are stuck to the seeds as this will make them bitter.


To assemble the fool:

7. In sundae glasses place a layer of biscuit  and oat mixture.
8. Add  a layer of the pomegranate seeds and drizzle some pomegranate syrup on top.
9. Pipe some mascarpone cream on top of this layer .
10. Repeat with a layer of biscuit and oats, followed by pomegranate seeds, topped with pomegranate syrup.
11. Finally pipe mascarpone rosettes all round this  layer leaving the centre.
12. Add more pomegranate seeds in the centre and drizzle with more pomegranate syrup on top.
13. Finally garnish with toasted almonds.
Chill before serving.

You may like mango mousse

Submitting to:
CWS  Pomegranate seeds event  hosted by Samayal Arai event by Priya of  Priya's Easy N Tasty  recipes

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Daring Bakers Challenge November 2010 ~ Crostata


Crostata is an Italian tart the base of a crostata is pasta frolla (or pastafrolla), sweet short crust pastry (or sweet tart dough) made of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Pasta frolla is versatile: it provides the base to make crostata with fruit preserves, pastry cream, fresh fruit, ricotta, and other ingredients.

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona  of  briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Ingredients:

For the Pasta frolla (pastry)

1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine sugar (see Note 1) or a scant 3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar
1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bow l(I added 1 tablespoon egg substitute mixed with 2 tablespoons water instead)

For Filling:

Black Cherry Tarts:

8oz can of Hartleys black cherry pie filling.

For Banana Tart:

2  Bananas sliced
8 oz / 240 grams  custard
1 tablespoon brown sugar.

Method:

1.Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
2.Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
3.Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
4.Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg substitute and 2 tablespoons water.
5.Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
6.Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
7.Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.
8.Heat the oven to 375ºF [190ºC/gas mark 5].
9.Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.(I chose not to do this and didn't add lattice top on my tarts)
10.To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer.
11.Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
12.If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.
13.Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.
14.If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.
15.Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.
16.Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places
17. Blind bake the pasty for 10 minutes in the oven.(I added this step to the recipe as previous attempts of not blind baking made my base really soggy when it came out of the oven.)

For Black Cherry filling:

18.Spread the Black cherry pie filling evenly over the bottom of the crostata and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until pasty is golden brown.
19.Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.

For Banana and Custard Filling:

20.After blind baking the pastry shell  spread the custard over it and arrange banana slices on top of the custard.
21. Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake till pasty is golden brown  about 20 minutes.
22. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.
You may like:
Doughnuts

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Cucumber Raita


Refreshing  light  and creamy yoghurt with cucumber,carrot  and delicately flavoured with cumin, and  coarsely ground mustard.

Ingredients:

8 oz / 240 grams  natural set yoghurt ( needs to be thick and creamy)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon  coarsely ground mustard seeds( rai bhardo)
1/2 teaspoon  ground cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2  inch piece cucumber
2  inch piece carrot
1 green chilli finely chopped (optional)

Method:

1. Peel and grate the carrot.
2. Keep the skin on and grate the cucumber. Squeeze surplus liquid from cucumber.
3. In a bowl add the yoghurt, salt, sugar, coarsely ground mustard seeds and ground  cumin . Mix.
4. Stir in the carrots and cucumber.
Transfer to serving bowl and chill before serving with vegetable rice.

You may like:
Yoghurt and mint dip

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Fruit and Vegetable Carving ~ Melon Basket

Having completed  my 6th lesson in my carving class and I have progressed to melon carving.  I am pleased to say that my fingers have not occured any cuts this week and my carving skills are slightly improving.
My first attempt at the melon basket is simple and it is very basic compared to the intricate details that can be carved , however  even simple carving gives the melon a new dimension.
Simple flowers and leaf patterns  using lattice work gives a  very elegant look to  these melon baskets making them  wonderful centre pieces for a dinner party or  dessert table .They can be filled with fresh berries, melon balls of seasonal fruit.


Since I  have posted about my carving classes here and here, I have had many enquiries about  the books that I have purchased and the tools.
I am posting here some helpful links for purchasing books, basic tools and also links to u tube videos  that are fairly good for learning fruit and vegetable classes in your own home.



I hope to continue next year  and most certainly I will  continue to utilize my few found interest and the skills it has taught me in my food presentation. It is a skill worth mastering.
I certainly hope that reading about my carving interest has encouraged some of my blogger friends to try this wonderful skill, do drop me a line if you do.


You may like:
Vegetable carving 1
Vegetable carving 2

Submitting to:
Create n Carve  ~ Fruit and Veg event by simply.food , hosted by Mina


If you are in UK you can buy knives from here
You may  also purchase knives and books by clicking on these amazon links below.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Cabbage Chutney


A fiery and hot but really tasty chutney to spice up any snack dish.

Ingredients:

2oz /60 grams white cabbage shredded.
4  long red chillies
2  green  turkish chillies
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 ripe tomato skinned and de seeded
4 tablespoons water

Method:

1. De seed and chop both types of chillies and place in blender jug with tomato and cabbage. Add water and blend to a fine puree.
2. Add the salt, chilli powder, lemon juice and oil and blend again to combine the spices into the chutney.
3.Transfer to a sterelised jar and keep refridgerated.( will keep for 4-5 days)
Use as and when required as a dip for savory snacks.

You May like:
Coriander Chutney

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Sooji (semolina) halwa

Creamy semolina halwa that is aromatic and tasty with the infusion of saffron and cardamom.

Ingredients:

120g / 4oz fine sooji (semolina)
120g / 4oz sugar
3 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
250 ml milk
Few strands saffron
Few almond slivers for garnish.

Method:

1. In a heavy bottom pan add the ghee and add the semolina, stir fry in ghee till sooji turns light brown. (Approx 10 minutes)
2. Warm the milk in the microwave and add the saffron, leave for milk to be infused with the saffron flavour.
3. Add the milk to the browned semolina and stir till mixture thickens and all the milk is absorbed.
4. Add the sugar and cardamom powder and mix till sugar is melted and well mixed with the semolina.
5. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with almond slivers, alternatively to make semolina barfi transfer the halwa to a greased tray and pat the halwa into it smoothing it down with a back of a spoon. Garnish with almond slivers.
6. Once cool cut to desired shapes

You may like Rava ladoos

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Papaya Salsa

This recipe was published in Issue 12 Take a break My favourite recipe . Page 20


Colourful, sweet and tangy salsa perfect for a  healthy and nutricious snack served with baked tortilla chips.

Ingredients:

1 semi ripe papaya
2 inch piece cucumber diced
1 tomato de seeded and diced
1 tablespoon boiled sweet corn kernels
1 tablespoon red capsicum diced
1 red chilli finely chopped
Pinch salt
Pinch white pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Method:

1. Cut the papaya in half.
2. Scoop the inside of one half of the papaya and keep skin aside for using as serving dish
3. Skin and dice the remaining papaya and place in to a bowl.
4. Add the diced cucumber, sweet corn, diced red capsicum and chopped red chilli. Mix.
5. Add pinch of salt ,white pepper powder and lemon juice and toss.
6. Spoon papaya salsa into the prepared empty papaya skin and serve immediately with tortilla chips.


You make like:
 Mexican salad
 

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Update on my fruit and vegetable classes.


I posted about my experiences of the first couple of weeks of my classes here. I am pleased to say that I am enjoying the classes tremendously and my knife skills and manual dexterity is definitely improving.

Weeks 3-4 and I have progressed to slightly more intricate carrot / vegetable carvings such as detailed flowers and leaves.




I also attempted some simple garnishes to dress a salad .There is so much more to learn and I am really getting into this carving hobby.

Its amazing what a transformation can take place in an ordinary salad with just  one or two simply carved carved vegetables.
Week 5 -6 and I have been taught simple melon carvings. I will post photos of them in my next update
Having completed 6 classes I have booked for more in January, until than I guess I will continue practising as they say practice makes perfect. 

Monday, 15 November 2010

Varo (Indian Nut Praline) ~ ICC cooking challenge October 2010


Varo a traditional Sindhi recipe. Similar to peanut brittle this lovely praline has mixed chopped nuts and is delicately flavoured with poppy seeds(khus khus ) and cardamom.

The source of this recipe is from Simply Sindhi recipes and is for the ICC cooking challenge by srivalli of spicing your life



Ingredients:


Mixed Nuts (Almonds, Pistachios, Cashew nuts) - 1 Cup
Poppy Seeds / Khus Khus - 2 tbsp
Cardamoms - 4 -5
Sugar - 1 Cup
Ghee Clarified Butter - 1 tbsp

Method:

1.Slice all mixed nuts. Powder the Cardamom seeds.
2.In a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee and sugar. On low heat melt the sugar.
3.When the sugar is melted and caramelized to a light brown color add the sliced mixed nuts, Khus Khus, and powdered cardamoms. Mix till nuts are coated well with the caramelized sugar.
4.Pour this mixture onto the back of a thali/ greased plate or on a rolling board.
5.Using the back side (flat side) of a cup, flatten the mixture like a thick chapatti or disc. You can use a rolling pin to roll the mixture. This has to be done very quickly as the mixture begins to harden as soon as it is removed from heat.
6. Before mixture begins to set score lines where you want to break the varo as this will make it easier to get uniform size pieces when set as Varo will break on the scored lines .
7.Leave the rolled Varo to set for some time.
Break into pieces and store in air tight containers

You may like :
Ariselu

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Bread Rolls


Fresh crusty bread rolls, crispy outside, soft inside simply delicious fresh straight out of the oven.

Ingredients:

480 grams / 16 oz bread Flour + 1 tablespoon for dusting and kneading.
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon quick acting yeast
1 tablespoon oil
Warm water (as required)

Method:

1. In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
2. Add the oil and make dough using warm water.
3. Cover and keep dough aside in warm place to rise.
4. Once dough has risen punch it, knead on a floured surface.
5. Divide into 12 balls and roll into bread rolls of desired shape.
6. Place on oiled baking try with plenty of space in between them to allow rising
7. Cover and leave for 30 minutes.
8. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 º C / 400 º F for 15-20 minutes till golden brown.
Remove from oven and serve hot with butter and hot soup.

You may like :
Apple and pumpkin soup

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

October 2010 ~ Newsletter


simply.food
Apologies for being slightly late with this news letter, but as saying goes its better late than never!!!
October brings golden leaves, darker evenings and cold weather, but also many festivals such as Halloween, Guy Fawkes and of Course Diwali and New Year.
simply.food has been busy so blog posts have been limited to 1-2 a week, if you have missed any of them do check these links.
Kothu Roti  inspired by a friend this snack dish is perfect for lunch.
Pickles one can never have enough pickles , they are perfect with rotis, parthas and curd rice.
Punjabi Kadhi with Pakora  this challege by ICC was one I really enjoyed making nad now has become a firm favourite.
Meetha Bhaat an uncomplicated delicious swet rice dish  that is healthy too.
Award Time we can never get enough of these  so please do take this one if you havn't got it already.
Fruit and Vegetable Carving inspiring, creative and mind blowing.
I have started fruit and vegetable carving classes and I must say I am really enjoying them tremendously, it’s a very skill full art and needs a lot of patience and dexterity but the results can be amazing. 
Do check out these u tube videos to be inspired.
Doughnuts Daring bakers challenge and a definate hit with family and friends.
Fafda a wonderful diwali snack to tickle and tantalise your taste buds.
Kofta Biryani  This month I also had the opportunity to try out some Tilda  Basmati Rice and I  was really pleased  with the difference it made with my rice dishes.The long grain rice cooked to perfection.

Saboonadana Kheer deliciously tempting a wonderful creamy kheer to savour.
 
Flavours of Punjab is still running till the end of November so if you haven’t already sent your entry get your aprons on and start cooking. For more details check here.

I am also pleased to say that after winning the sushi hamper last month again this month simply food has won  a prize.This time its for my Meetha bhaat post  that was entered for only festive food event by  preeti of Kaugari  and event by Pari of Foodilicious. Many thanks for the  £ 60.00 CSN  gift voucher I am looking forward to spending it.

This months article by simply.food for the  Homeobuzz magazine  is going to be apple and pumpkin soup, which is perfect for the cold winter nights and of course halloween and Guy fawkes and bonfire night.
Followers at simply.food are steadily growing , the current number being 232.Welcome to all new followers  and of course all the existing ones who support simply.food.
Last but not least wishing all readers a very belated Diwali and wishing you all a very prosperous new year.
Finally if you enjoyed reading this news letter please do subscribe to it so that you can get regular updates.You may do this via this newsletter or link on side bar on simply.food home page.

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Friday, 5 November 2010

Saboodana Kheer (Sago/tapioca kheer)

Fragrant and sweet tasting creamy milk pudding made with pearls of saboodana, flavoured with delicate hints of cardamom and saffron.

Ingredients:

½ cup saboodana (sago/tapioca)
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon almond slivers
½ table pistachio slivers
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 pinch saffron.
3 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup water for soaking saboodana

Method:

1. Wash and soak the sabudana in the water and leave to soak for 2 hours.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan heat the milk till it comes to boil, once it is boiling reduce heat and simmer on medium heat till it thickens ( about 10 minutes) stir constantly so that milk does not scorch.
3. Add the soaked saboodana to the milk and cook, stirring constantly till the saboodana turns translucent and when pressed between thumb and finger there is no hardness.
4. Add the sugar and the saffron and cardamom and cook for 3-4 minutes more.Keep stirring.
5. Add half the almonds and pistachio and stir into the kheer.
6. Transfer kheer to serving bowls and garnish with remaining almonds and pistachio slivers.
Serve chilled.

NB- saboodana kheer will thicken once it cools.

You may like:
Rice Kheer
Submitting to:
Nivedita' s Celebrate with Sweets kheer event hosted by  Taste of Pearl City
Jagruti -joy of cooking complete  my thali mithai event- hosted by Mina of authentic vegetarian food

On this special occasion of diwali simply.food would like to wish all its readers a very Happy Diwali and an auspicious and prosperous new year.Thankyou to all my visitors, and blogger friends who have made simply.food what it is today. I really appreciate all your visits, comments  and support.





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