Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pan-Roasted Salmon With Tomato Vinaigrette!

Fish- " When Fish tastes like the sea, there's no need to hide the flavor in heavy sauces."- Cathal Armstrong, Chef n' Restaurateur, Alexandria, Virginia

The Above Picture is of A "Pan-Roasted Salmon With Tomato Vinaigrette!" This is is A Copy Cat Recipe from "Food & Wine" Cookbook/Magazine. I have not improvised or altered it  as such but since I like the garlicky flavor in my Fishy Dishes, I've added 1 tbsp of minced ginger-garlic and 1 Tsp of soy sauce. Now this garlic flavored Salmon suits my taste more than perfect! Pan-Roasted Salmon is a great dish for a backyard barbecue! 

While Salmon is getting roasted in the oven/grill- in the meantime..I think of this :-) - Boats and lakes come in many sizes...but one thing is for sure-eating out in the open water on a sunny day or in the marina once the sun is going down, will make seafarers of your most land-lubberly friends! Do you think likewise??  hmmm :-D

Anyhow-for now, I don't see Us (Parth n' I) on a boat cooking or roasting. So I will now take you back to the shore(i.e in our backyard/kitchen :P) to use a grill/oven!

But Hey You All- boats or no boats, I believe, simple meals... and sheer hospitality is to be expected - and welcomed at all times! 

"Special helps For Fish and Seafood"
Seafood- Lucky you if you live where seafood abound. A whole world of good eating awaits those who try fish enhanced with smokey barbeque flavor. Frozen fish and seafood appearing in greater quantities all across the country as people become familiar with this economical and low calorie food source!

*** When choosing Fresh Fish Look for:
* fresh, mild odor
* bright, clear convex eyes
* firm, springy flesh
* bright and tight scales
* Store dry, dressed fish in a dish, loosely wrapped with foil or plastic wrap in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Use within ONE DAY!

*** When choosing Shellfish Look for:
* in-shell oysters and clams with tightly closed shells
* scallops that are creamy and pink
* firm, meaty shrimp and lobster tails with mild odor
* keep fresh shellfish in cracked ice in the refrigerator
*to prevent sogginess and flavor loss, frozen fish fillet needs only partial thawing before grilling.
!! Pan-Roasted Salmon With Tomato Vinaigrette !!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Advance Booking!!

!! You Are Invited !!
for the
57th Idea Filmfare Awards 2012 - A Night To Remember!

Stuffed Hari Mirch (Stuffed Serrano Peppers) !!

"Giving Modern Twists To Old Favorites"-
A topic, to which I shall return to later my friends :D!!

I love food, but then I don't like to Travel- I am more of a Home Bird ...I am lazy bones! Hence my passion for food has not yet taken me around the world. I can say one thing though, it sure has got me glued to the Travel and Food Channels! One of the greatest joys of watching these channels is getting to know more about food, places and people and that too a.) getting the gist and knowing more about the ingredients without tasting their food, b.) getting to know the people around without meeting them in person and the last one I love the most, that is c.) zero travelling! Now, all I want to do is seek out to the markets around and shop for a variety of food ingredients. Once I am done with my shopping, and when I leave from the markets, all I can think about is getting back to my own kitchen and re-creating the dishes!

Menus all over the world are most likely guided by the seasons and traditions! Preparing top-quality food with a blend of ingredients and perfect simplicity is a valued attribute for any Cook, be they professional or domestic. Spiced street food and snacks, vada pavs and kanda bhaji's, bhel-puri or chaat, have been an integral part of my life- sometimes eaten outdoors on the go or as a part of an indoor meal!! Luxury hotels serve refined international cuisine for the wealthy and tourists, but it is the everyday food from hundreds of stalls and dhabbas on street corners that has often managed to capture my attention!

Clear, clean flavours from besan, coconut, sesame seeds, cumin, and amchur powder, and blasts of heat from one of the hottest chillies sums up the essence of this 'Tantalizing Stuffed Mirchi!'  This recipe does not involve complex preparations and yet the end result is satisfying! 
I love this Teekhi Mirchi and I would request you all to embrace the hot ingredients and flavors with equal enthusiasm as the warm sun rays or the soft rains pet your window panes!  

Method :-

1. Wash, dry , slit & deseeded Serrano Peppers
2. Now, cut the Serrano Peppers in such a way that we can fill in the masala.
3. In a pan heat 2 tsp of oil.
4. Now gently saute these ingredients for 3-4 minutes on low flame,  4 tbsp besan ( chick pea flour), 1 tsp each of red chilli powder, cumin powder, 1/2 tsp of roasted and powdered sesame seeds, garam masala is optional, 1tsp of coconut powder is also optional, very little salt, jaggery,amchur powder, 1/4 tsp haldi, pinch of asafoetida,
5. Remove the above mixture in a bowl and add some chopped cilantro.
6. Now mix it all together to form a coarse and crumbly mixture.
7. Stuff the mirchi with the above masala.
8. Put the stuffed mirchis in a frying pan and add just a little oil from all the sides of mirchi.
9. Cover and cook the chillies on low heat till the skin feels tender.
10. Serve these Hot Serrano Peppers with Jeera Rice n Daal Fry Or Hot Nann/Rotis

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tasty Fish Bites !!

"Daawat .Com"

A couple of weeks ago on a friday afternoon, my friend calls on my phone and leaves me a message on my answering machine," You are coming here for lunch tomorrow. I am gonna cook. Post lunch we can do a bit of Shopping together before I leave for my vacation."  Later in the evening, I call her up to confirm that I would be joining her for lunch. 
The Following day, I get to her house at noon, which was when she'd told me to come over. As I enter, I see her husband wearing " Sahara India Sweatshirt", all geared up on the couch in front of their Television set- Ardent Cricket Lovers all over the world will never ever mind crushing a few dollars for the most desired replica of the Indian Cricket Sweatshirt- they will wear it with utmost pride while watching and supporting the players and the game!

It was kind of cute of him to be cheering out loud. The cheer and excitement also got doubled when a couple of his friends stepped in! As his friends entered, this fellow, started grumbling, “I will stop watching Cricket, if Sachin misses his century today. He should might as well retire if he is not able to perform." Just so you know, the Game was about to begin but the grumbling had started already and was at it's peak. It all looked cute and yet a little weird to see a  42-year-old guy all dressed up like a wannabe cricketer- with a helmet on his head, some thick lip-balm(kinda moonlit color) on his lips, a cricket bat in one hand and a ball autographed by some cricket player in the other!

While I was there, there was no way I could have missed all the excitement happening around in between the commercial breaks. This fellow was taken over completely by cricket- so much so, that he could not avoid the urge to imitate and fake the best catches shouting out loud "Howzat ?" -A Cricket Fanatic!  I was convinced yet again- Cricket and Cricketers  do bring in happy moments in their fans lives!

Cut II- My friend who had left me a message and who had invited me over for lunch- hadn’t made me anything for lunch, because she said, she had "Kohinoor's" Ready To Eat Indian Meal stashed up in her pantry. She also said, "I knew you don’t like these and I figured you were going to eat before you came out here anyways.”

WHAT? Did I miss anything? What did I miss? I might have forgotten to fill in the blanks, perhaps! What part of “Come Over For Lunch involved me eating something before I went to her house? And what part of "I am Gonna Cook" involved me to have known, that I was going to be served Kohinoor’s Ready to Eat Meals?"

Oh well- FRIENDS !!!

We ended up eating at Panera's that afternoon! Nevertheless, I consider my friend to be one of the perfect shopping partners! Though, not all of my good friends can come along with this – not everyone makes a great shopping partner, at least for trips where we have a lot to accomplish and where stamina and patience play an important part- Trust me this combination is a must! 

Truth be told-My friend is driven, intense, hopeless and yet gorgeous! We could not finish a single store in an hour, let alone the whole "Kenwood mall"! 
Not only did she carry a lot of stuff in the basket but boy a hell lot of ideas and opinions came along too!

On that tiskety and taskety and baskety note...
Let Me Share  The Recipe For Tasty Fish Bites With You My Friends!!

" The Angry Bird wid Fish (Bites) in the Nest/Basket n' Eggs Lying down in Green Pastures!! "

400 grams firm white fish fillets, (such as Tilapia).
3 slices bread, crusts removed (stale bread is best)
If using Fresh Bread , Mix 1 tsp of Rawa and Rice Flour each
1 Cup Buttermilk (Original Recipe relies on Fat Free Milk for Marination)
1 Tsp of White Pepper pwd
1 tsp each if Tandoori seasoning, turmeric powder, amchur pwd and cumin powder
A pinch of Red chilli powder
Oil for deep frying the fillet.
Salt to taste

1. Cut the fish fillet into bite size pieces. Rub the fillet pieces with a bit of salt and white pepper powder.
2. Marinate the pieces in butter milk and keep them refrigerated for one hour. (do not over soak the fillet) 
3.  Blend the bread in a food processor to make fine breadcrumbs. Tip the crumbs on to a plate.
4. Now, coat each piece of fish fillet with bread crumbs mixed with your choice of seasoning and deep fry the fish bites on medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until crisp and golden.
5. Garnish the fish bites and serve hot with tomato ketchup or your choice of salad and eggs.
*Sprinkle a bit of Chaat Masala- for extra tangy fish bites*

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Missing Chord!

"Would You Wait a Bit, Sweetheart?"

Kept tossing and turning and turning and tossing all night long- I kicked the blankets on the floor, turned my pillow upside down(remember the song?) Yes, It was too soon for me to believe that I was turning into an insomniac. I had no idea why? But I couldn't sleep that night! I thought maybe my afternoon nap and a late night coffee must have been a horrible idea after all!

I spent the next day too, lying in bed, trying to figure things out. Skipped brushing my teeth and missed my breakfast. This had happened after a long time- Something that kept me thinking , a little worried and uneasy! 
I sat on the couch, looking out of the window- saw the cars moving, kids with their helmets rolling around with their cycles in the drive-way, also saw the mailman drop off and pick up the mails in the neighborhood- was watching everything with my eyes wide open and yet something left me clueless and disconnected ! 

I got distracted when I heard my cell phone ring. It was a text from my friend- the MSG said,  "it's finally over!" For a moment I wondered, I had dreamed my friends text. I wanted to text him back instantly but could not find the right words. It was the most ridiculous feeling I was going through. What was I going to say? A blogger is someone with a bunch of words ever ready, some may say. True- but it is just too hard to put feelings and sentiments into words every single time! 

I wasn't certain whether to reply to the text or not, whether to call or not, so I lay down and pondered over the text long and deeply- ignoring the text, the thought on my mind-my friends marriage was a perfect marriage kept flashing on the main screen!
Their, my friend and his wife's marriage was surrounded by many a shared activities- 
loving deeply, vacationing together, cooking together in the kitchen, gardening enthusiastically, movie-watching , child-rearing- so on and so forth.

I'd known them since our college days-both of them. Within the boundaries prescribed by the culture of their birth, they had expressed their affection quite more than often...planting kisses on each others cheeks, putting their arms around in photographs, sitting close to each other on the couch at functions and absent-mindedly stroking each others hair as they ate from the same plate.

Had that not been love? Being really crazy for each other? Being there for each other ? If it had- then I would have bet my life on it-how had it crumbled overnight or was it a long hard fight?  Why would this come to an end? Could all the things of the world crumble so suddenly? Was there a third person involved and would they be able to survive that one blow-if there was any! What was the point, then, of putting their hearts into any achievements? 

Unlike my other posts, where I am certain and usually know about the end of the story right from the beginning- this post leaves me in a bit of a challenging hypothesis!