Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sage Onion Batter (Bread) Muffins

Sometimes, I try to experiment too much. A little twist here and there works fine. But when you combine too many twists then there is a chance of failure and makes you ore cautious.So always before going for twists and turns I try to scale down the recipe. Usually I make one fourth of it by scaling down, but this I wish I had not done so as this batter bread turned out to be hearty.

A batter bread is a yeast based bread which is made by whipping /whisking of batter rather than kneading like the regular bread. Basically these are made of eggs and even spoonbread is a type of batter bread ade using cornmeal.You can use any container or pans or dishes to bake the bread as a thick batter is involved which takes the shape of the baking  dish after it is done. Though normally this is an eggy whipped bread, I found this simple recipe for white sandwich batter bread from Smitten Kitchen.I first tried the bread, which came out perfect but then I thought a twist was necessary. So I spruced it up by adding sage and onion and baking in muffin pans and also by reducing the recipe to one -fourth. A simple, easy to carry and good to taste muffins.

Warm Milk:  1/4 cup +1 -2 tsp
Fast Rise Yeast: 1/4 + 1/8 tsp

Unsalted Butter: 2 tsp melted 
Onion: 2 tbsp
Sage: fresh/frozen: 1/2tsp or as needed

Sugar: 3/4 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp

All Purpose Flour: 1/2 cup

Heat a thick pan and add 1 tsp butter to it. Add finely chopped onions and sage and saute till the onions are transparent and start to brown. You can add pinch of sugar and salt to this to help browning quickly. After  done add the remaining butter and remove from heat. 

To warm milk in a bog bowl,add the yeast and stir and let stand for five minutes. Its supposed to bubble but its ok even if it does not. 

Add in the salt ,sugar and the onion butter mix to the yeast -milk mix. Whisk well using a and blender or whisk. I preferred the blender which is easier. Slowly add in flour little at a time whisking/whipping to remove the lumps in the batter. Finally you will end up with a thick sticky batter.

Pour the whisked batter in buttered muffin tins or loaf tins and let is rise covered with a buttered plastic wrap for 1-1.5 hours. You can remove the wrap once you the bread has risen and is hindered by the wraps.Also you can spoon the muffin tins half up so that there is enough space for the muffins to rise like this ...

After rising they are like.... 

Preheat the oven to 400F/ 200C about 20 minutes prior to baking. Once this is done, place the muffins in the oven, reduce the temperature to 375F/190C and bake for about 15-18 minutes until the tops are brown and you might also see the muffins separating from the edges of the tins if they are silicon molds, I suppose.

A soft and little crumbly bread. The crust is brown, but slightly soft though perfect for me. The sage onion combo is A1. I think after baking this bread I have developed a leaning towards the batter bread as they are easier to make than the regular breads. Only one rise is involved for batter breads and this makes them quicker as well. The bread if baked in a loaf tin can be used as a sandwich bread. They can soak up soups and sauces and make wonderful soup bread.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Oatmeal Crisps

The weather has turned and it has become very windy with little rains. You feel very lazy and want to take long walks and do little else. And me I can easily put the blame on the winds and flying clothes for not blogging. :D. But no, I feel like fighting against it atleast twice a week and continue the posts and recipes. And that too easier ones like the oatmeal crisps from Martha Stewart which I found while browsing.

Butter: 2 tbsp unsalted and soft

Sugar: 1.5 tbsp heaped
All Purpose Flour: 1 tbsp
Vanilla Extract: 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1/8 tsp (adjust if using salted butter)

Oats: 1/3 cup


I a medium bowl mix together butter with sugar,flour,salt and vanilla. Fold in oats and bring together to form a sticky mass. 
Scoop packed teaspoon sized pieces and drop on a lined baking sheet 1-2 inches apart. You will get around 12-14 pieces.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F/175C for about 12-14 minutes till the edges stat to brown. Take out and let them cool completely on the pan. While taking out you can see that the centre is not set and still bubbling. But once cooled, they will be set and the cookies will turn crispy and crunchy.

These are crunchy and crispy as the name says and completely eggless.They were perfect for tea and my daughter loved these more. For me, they were not too sweet,just correct sweetness only. Maybe you can use brown sugar next time and try these.

This time few remaining ones are off to CookieMela at Srivalli's which is open the whole of july.So pitch in.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Coca Cola & Kaffir Lime Granita

After the coffee pops ,its another cool dessert this time as well. As most of us in India know, junior masterchef australia reruns are shown here and last week the senior masterchef rerun also started. This time its really early as last year we already knew who the winners were from the net. While catching up a masterclass in junior masterchef 2010, I saw the chinotto (carbonated drink) or soda and kaffir lime granita being whipped up by George Calombaris. Out of the three flavours he showed this one was most intriguing and I definitely tried it out to get a lemony flavoured coco cola granita. Very simple and easy except for freezing time.

Coca Cola: 200 ml
Water: 100 ml
Caster Sugar: 2-3 tbsp or 50 gms
Kaffir Lime Leaves: 3 + as per taste.
Lemon Juice: 1 tbsp

Mix all the ingredients together in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Stir well and let it be on heat till the sugar dissolves. Allow it to cool to room temp. 

Pour the mix onto a freezable and sturdy pan/baking dish after straining out the leaves and freeze for about 1-1.30 hours until it starts to set. Scrape with a fork to get flakes and then refreeze. Repeat this scraping and freezing atleast 2 times to get the texture correctly. 

Serve as a dessert garnished with lime leaves or as such.

Little lemony cola dessert. Do add more kaffir lime leaves for a stronger citrus scent and flavour. Another perfect for summer treat. You can also get other granitas here. And hopefully more might come as they are easier than the sorbets. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Vietnamese Coffee Pops

As the heatwave continues here with little signs of rains, I thought its better I post some desserts that i had made earlier. An easy one as well. Vietnamese coffee it seems is made using condensed milk and you pop them in appropriate moulds to get the coffee pops. Best way to enjoy the hot summer. I had bookmarked these pops from David Lebovitz and they were a breeze to make.

Condensed Milk: 2/3 cup
Prepared Coffee : 2 cups strong espresso /choice of coffee

Prepare coffee using water and the required coffee/espresso granules to get 2 cups strong coffee.As it cools slowly add in the condensed milk and stir well. Do the taste test and add 1-2 tbsp more milk if needed. I didn't do this. 

Pour in the chosen mold and freeze.I have used kulfi molds and even cupcake containers to make mine.
Serve as a delicious dessert.

Yum yum yum. Make it and taste it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Corn Kebabs

These days the weather has started to turn and we are desperately waiting for rain. Though I love summer for all its cool and cold  desserts we can indulge in, sometimes I feel its better if it rains. And when it rains, it pours. As it did  suddenly two days ago, me being me was caught in the middle of heavy winds and heavy rains without an umbrella and ofcourse I was fully drenched. The weather that time felt like it was time for pakodas and garam chai to quote my friend.. I was too irritated to make pakodas but went for a quicker one as seen in Rasyas blog or corn kebabs as they are called. The time was right for Radhika's Blog Hop Wednesdays Week 18 as well as Rasya is my partner for this month. They were quick to make and perfect for teatime.

Frozen Sweetcorn niblets : 2 cups thawed and dried on paper towels
Capsicum/Bell Pepper: 1 medium chopped fine OR 1/2 cup
Onion: 1 small chopped fine OR about 4 tbsp
Green Chillied: minced/finely chopped : 1-2 OR as per taste
Rice flour: 3-4 tbsp
Salt: as needed

Oil: for deep frying

Dry out maximum moisture from the frozen sweetcorn niblets. You can also use fresh cut corn as well.Keeping aside a hand of corn, blend the rest in a mixer to a smooth puree/paste. Add in the corn niblets kept aside along with finely chopped onion,capsicum and green chillies to this puree.Also mix in enough salt and rice flour to bind everything together to get a soft dough. 

Meanwhile heat oil in a deep pan for frying. Pinch small pieces of the dough and shape into a patty or kebab. Deep fry in hot oil a few pieces at a time till golden brown.

Serve with tomato sauce or green chutney or any of your favourite accompaniment.

A simple and easy to make kebab which is very flexible in nature. We can add or remove more and more ingredients as per our convenience as well as interesting spice mixes and seasonings to give it a unique look. 

Very tasty and perfect anytime treat this one is.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kaju Saathe Khichdi Pulao- Parsi Style Coconut & Cashew Rice

After two delicious desserts, I thought I would better post one of my other favourites - a one pot meal or a rice dish. This one is supposed to be Parsi rice dish and is from India's Vegetarian Cooking by Monisha Bharadhwaj. Now, there is either khichdi or pulao, but this is the first time I had heard about the name together.  Normally khichdi tends to be bland and is best served during illnesses,- easy to cook and easy to digest, non spicy but less tasty. Generally the texture of the khichdi is very mushy but there are firmer khichdis as well as per the author atleast. You add vegetables and dry fruits and spices to the conservative khichdi and give it a nice make over -there you get a festive khichdi pulao. 

Oil/Ghee/ Combo:  3 tbsp
Onion: 1 medium sliced long and thin or almost 1/2 cup

Peppercorns: 10
Cloves: 3
Green Cardamoms : 3 bruised/lightly crushed
Bay Leaves: 2 or 1 tsp

Basmati Rice: 300 gms or heaped 1 cup

Coconut Milk: 300 ml or 1-1.5 cups as needed
Water: 300ml or 1 cup or  as needed
Salt: as per taste

Green Pepper/Capsicum: 1 deseeded  and sliced
Green Peas : 3 tbsp

Raisins: 2 tbsp
Cashew Nuts: 2 tbsp

Heat 2 tbsp of oil/ghee/combination in a heavy bottomed pan and fry till the onions start browning or golden brown. Add the whole spices(I lightly crushed them) and bayleaves and mix well so that they get coated in oil and start flavouring it. once the raw smell of the spices go add water and bring to boil.

Add rice to the water along with a little salt and half of the coconut milk after reducing the heat. Mix well,bring to boil, again reduce the heat and add the green pepper and peas. Mix well and let it cook till the milk is almost absorbed. Add the rest of the coconut milk or as needed to cook the rice fully as per your taste. Cover the pan and simmer until the rice is cooked through.

Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of the oil/ghee and fry the raisins and cashew nuts till brown and nicely fat. Saving some for garnish, mix the remaining with rice. 

Serve garnished with the nuts and raisins along with a nice hot stew if needed or even a cool raitha.

The texture of the rice was between firm and mushy with a nice coating of the coconut milk. The taste was awesome. I was in two minds before making, but once daughter gave her thumbs up after tasting, then there was no looking back. Actually the pics were taken a bit hurriedly as I could not wait for my bowl of rice.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

SweetLime Sorbet

A sweet start to the fifth birthday means another sweet should follow. Especially after a one week gap. So here I am with a simple sweetlime sorbet.Sweetlime is available year around here and is usually consumed as such or juice or even added to fruit salads. I decided this time to turn them into a simple sorbet and have referenced Dianas Dessert for the same.

Fresh Sweet Lime Juice:3/4 -1 cup
Water: 1 cup
Sugar: 1/4 cup  + as per taste
Pepper : a pinch (optional)

Make a simple syrup by heating water and add sugar to it.Stir till the sugar dissolves completely and the let it cool. Mix in the fresh squeezed sweetlime juice and pepper if using. Do the taste test. Add more sugar if needed and stir till dissolve if you find sweetness too low. 

It is better to add extra sugar and make the juice mix sweeter as I had found that the frozen product has reduced sweetness than the liquid form.

Pour in a shallow baking dish/container  and freeze for about 2 hours -just in time for ice particles to form. Take out give it a nice whisk, pour back into the baking dish/container and freeze for another 2-3 hours. Repeat the whisking and refreezing process few more times.

Take out,let sit in for a few minutes till scoopable and then serve scooped up in cups/dessert bowls.

A simple creamy and cooling sorbet.Simplicity at its best.It feels definitely good now that rains are  delayed. But summer does have its advantages and this is one of those.

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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