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Monday, August 29, 2016

What to do with extra apples?

Creole inspired boiled shrimp with Andouille sausage and corn

This recipe tastes best with fresh shrimps with shells on. You may use deveined, shelled variety if you like.

  1. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Add bay leaves, garlic powder, onion powder, salt to taste, cajun seasoning, and extra cayenne if you want it hot.
  2. Add halved corn on the cob, andouille sausages, bell peppers, diced onions. (You may choose to saute these ingredients first, except the corn)
  3. Cook to a boil. Add the shrimp. Taste the broth for seasoning.
  4. Add Zatarains Gumbo File or Shrimp boil seasoning. Old Bay seasoning works well too. 
Serve with lemon wedges, pepper, and salt.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Basic Vanilla cookies

Hat tip to my friend Sonia Dey. I changed the measurements a bit.

Unsalted butter (I used Strauss European style organic unsalted butter) 4 oz (113 g) or one cube
Good quality vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Sugar to taste (I used 1/3 cup)

Plain flour or maida 1 and 1/3 cups
Baking powder 1 tsp

  1. Whisk the butter (at room temperature) with vanilla essence and sugar.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder together. Pour to the butter mix. Mix well. Use a spatula or a dough mixer.
  3. Roll the dough into a log. Refrigerate for 2 hrs.
  4. Cut the dough into pieces. Place on parchment paper on a cookie tray. Bake for 15-20 mins in preheated oven at  350 F or until the edges are brown. Let them cool at room temperature.

    I also tried a second batch with chocolate chips. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Kora, bata, and the likes

A long time ago, we had a cook named Hari Kaku. He was scandalized to know that we throw away vegetable peels. When he asked Ma to let him cook opo peels (লাউয়ের খোসা), I was amused. She took me to another room and said- Don't laugh at him. He has many mouths to feed. He has to be resourceful. And vegetable peels are nutrient rich. Let's give him a chance. He made it for us, and it was a hit. We never threw away opo peels again. Today, I made pointed gourd peels (পটোলের খোসা বাটা) with garlic and nigella seeds and it reminded me of Hari Kaku. RIP.

Here are some the baata/paste recipes that I have been trying:

Potoler khosha baata /pointed gourd peels paste with garlic
Process pointed gourd peel and garlic into a thick paste Stir fry in heated mustard oil and nigella seeds with turmeric and salt to taste.

Cabbage paste/ badhakopir baata
Parboil cabbage leaves in salt water. Add garlic cloves, green chilies and process to a paste. Heated mustard oil in a non-stick frying pan, add nigella seeds. Stir fry with a pinch of cumin powder, chili powder, turmeric, salt to taste. Add asafetida/hing and narkel kora/coconut flakes for a very special dish.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dates and mixed nuts laddoo

No sugar added. Home-made energy balls.

  1. Dry roast nuts of your choice till crunchy and slightly browned. (I used unsalted raw nuts from Archer Farms which has almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, and pistachios). 
  2. Keep aside to cool.  Pulverize in a processor. Leave a few broken pieces for crunch.
  3. Heat pitted dates in pan until soft. Process those into a paste. You might have to work in batches.
  4. Mix the nuts and dates as thoroughly as you can.
  5. Take a dab of good quality desi ghee (I used Anil Ghosh er  Baghabari ghee) and rub your palms with it. Roll the mixture into round balls.