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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chicken meatball Marinara

This is a very versatile sauce that can be used as a pizza sauce or to top pasta . You can spread it over grilled fish or meat , add it to cooked rice and stirfry for a flavored rice. Add it to your soup to thicken and enhance flavor.

Ingredients for the Marinara Sauce :

  1. Red ripe tomatoes - 12 ,peeled ,cored and crushed roughly with your hands
  2. Onion - 1 chopped fine
  3. Garlic - 3 cloves crushed
  4. Red pepper flakes - 1/2 tsp
  5. sugar - 2 tsp (add more or less as per taste)
  6. salt - to taste
  7. Parsley - 1 tbsp chopped
  8. Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Bring a large pot of water to boil . mark an 'X' of the top end of the tomato and drop into boiling water for a minute . This is to remove the skin. remove from water and when it cools down you can peel the skin off.crush with your hands and keep aside . If you like a smooth sauce you can blend it.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the onion, garlic and pepper flakes and saute until onion is soft .
Add the crushed tomato and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, reduce flame and simmer until the sauce thickens to coat the back of the spoon.
Add sugar and salt to taste and add the parsley . Adjust seasonings . Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
It can be stored for 2 weeks in the fridge.

Ingredients for the chicken meatballs:

  1. Chicken without bones - breast and thigh meat from 1 chicken , keep the fat pieces along .
  2. Onion - 1
  3. Garlic - 3 cloves
  4. Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
  5. Vinegar - 1 tsp
  6. chopped parsley - 1 tbsp
  7. crushed black pepper - 1 tsp
  8. bread - 1 slice soaked in water and squeezed out
  9. Egg - 1 optional (I did not add egg)

Add the raw chicken cut into small pieces along with the onion and garlic into the food processor or blender and blend . It only takes about 30 seconds to get the meat ground.
Add all the ingredients to the meat mixture and mix with your hands till combined.
Soy sauce has enough salt depending on the type you are using , so you might not have to add salt.
Form into lemon sized balls and saute in a nonstick frying pan with a drizzle of oil.
You dont need to cook it , just brown the outside of the meat balls.
Take enough of the marinara sauce in the same pan that you browned the meat balls  and dilute it with chicken stock ( add 1/2 a cup of stock ) and bring to a simmer .
Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and simmer until the sauce thickens .
Serve over spaghetti or pasta.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Home made Bagels

Bagels are usually made from bread flour which has a higher gluten content. I have used All purpose flour/Maida . The Bagels are first boiled and then baked. The quantity specified below yields 5-6 bagels.

Ingredients :
  1. All purpose flour -  2cups
  2. Water  - 150 ml
  3. Sugar - 2 tbsp
  4. Salt - 1 tsp
  5. Yeast - 1 and 1/4 tsp
  6. Baking Soda - 1 tsp


Sift All purpose flour plus salt and keep aside
Warm the water so that its slightly above room temperature and add 1 tbsp sugar to it (in a bowl large enough to hold the risen dough - it will double in size)
sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm water and leave it aside - The yeast should foam and activate, it takes around 6-7 minutes.
Add the sifted all purpose flour to the yeast mixture and knead to form a soft dough that isnt sticky. you might have to add a bit more flour to get it to the right consistency . Check and add as required. The dough should be very soft and just short of being sticky.
Knead it well for about 8-10 minutes and set aside in the oiled bowl covered with a damp kitchen towel.
Allow it to rise for a minimum of 45 minutes up to  3 hours .
Punch the dough down and divide into 5 or 6 bals.
Roll these into a rope shape and form Bagels by pinching the ends that meet  OR you can slightly flatten the ball and insert a hole in the center of the dough with a flour dusted finger and make a hole thats slightly larger than an quarter or 2 rs coin.
Keep these aside covered with a light towel for 15 minutes.
Preheat the Oven to 220 degrees centigrade ,Oil a baking pan or pizza pan with oil and keep aside.
Meanwhile Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil , reduce the flame and add the remaining 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp baking soda.
Add the Bagels one or two at a time and boil for 1-2  minutes turning it over in between.
Drain the water  and place the boiled bagels on the oiled pan and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops turn brown .
Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Tastes best toasted and smeared with cream cheese or plain butter and jelly.

NOTE :Brushing the bagels with egg wash will give a shiny top. I did not do that .

Monday, November 24, 2014

Chilly garlic mussels sautéed with crispy onions.

Ingredients :
  1. Kallumekaya / Mussels - 2 kg shell on
  2. Kashmiri chilly powder - 1.5 tbsp
  3. turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  4. corriander powder - 1/2 tsp
  5. Crushed black peper - 1/4 tsp
  6. Vinegar - 1 tsp
  7. Onion - 3 thinly sliced
  8. Garlic - 10 coves crushed
  9. curry leaves - 2 springs
  10. Coconut Oil - 3 tbsp

Wash the mussels well , remove the beard , rinse a few times in tap water.
Add the mussels into a large pan , pour in 1/2  a cup of water , cover the pan and put it on the flame .
Let it come to full steam and cook for 5 minutes.
Turn the flame off .
The mussels would have opened up now - drain the water and pick the mussel and clean the intestines
Wash well to remove any sand and squeeze the water out .
Marinate the cleaned mussels with the crushed garlic, 1 tbsp chilly powder , pepper powder, 1 spring of curry leaves, Vinegar , turmeric powder and salt to taste (add less salt ,the mussel has some salt in it).
Keep aside for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a non stick pan and add the sliced onions. Fry until it starts turning a light golden brown.
Add the curry leaves and remaining chilly powder, and corriander powder and stir to mix.
Add the marinated mussels and stirfry on medium high flame .
The mussels are already cooked during the steaming process, we only need to cook it enough to get the browned crispy texture .
Do not make the mixture too dry as the mussels tend to dry out and become rubbery.
A quick stirfry on high heat is best. to retain the moisture as well as get colour and crunch without loosing the soft texture.

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