Saturday, February 16, 2013

Potato Salad with Ginger & Lemongrass | Comfort Goes One Up

I love spuds and this fact has been repeated several times here. I also love trying several salads with spuds . Ofcourse, potatoes are full of carbs and mostly a no no to people on diets , but still once in a while you have to have your comfort. Especially this one which I recently tried out with lemongrass dressing from here. Compared to the mayo rich traditional American potato salads or even the sourcream/yogurt based ones , this one is much more lighter. It was also awesome and different and perfectly vegan as well. Basically it was like taking your comfort food one step higher. It was easy to make and was perfect as a side salad or even as a starter. 

Potatoes: 2 peeled & chopped into pieces
Cilantro Fresh: few tbsp + more for garnish

Sesame Oil: 1 tbsp
Lemongrass: 1-2 stems finely chopped

Rice vinegar: 2-3 tsp
Lemon Juice: 1-2 tsp (optional)

Fresh Ginger: 1-2 tbsp minced
Chilli Paste /Chilli Sauce/finely chopped green chillies : 1 tsp +

Salt & Pepper: as per taste

Boil water in a deep pan with  salt and add the potato pieces. Cook until fork tender. Drain and keep aside.

Heat sesame oil in a pan and add lemongrass to it. Remove from heat and let it sit for few minutes so that the oil is flavoured.

Add in fresh ginger, rice vinegar, lemon juice,chilli sauce, little salt & pepper. Whisk in till it emulsifies. 

Add in the drained potatoes along with few tbsp of cilantro. Toss gently and adjust the salt and seasonings. 

Garnish with more cilantro and serve as a side salad.

Here I have used both lemon juice and vinegar. You can opt for either or both. I am not a big fan of sesame oil and I wanted to avoid its taste in the dressing. Hence I added lemon juice also. Also you can add another stem of  lemon grass if you want it to be predominant. It gives a subtle flavour when consumed and this is followed by fiery heat of the ginger.Adjust the ingredients as per taste.

The salad reeks of comfort in general. It also goes well as a filling for sandwiches & wraps and a topping for canapes. Comforting salad which is taken one step higher.

The salad also goes to NCR:Potato Salads at Tinned Tomatoes.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Honey Joys | Simple Joys of Life

I am always short of snacks. Especially something that can be made in a jiffy. They surely make life easy, full and tasty. Obviously I had not heard of Honey Joys. These are actually mini granola bars or mounds. Or they are cornflakes dunk in melted butter and honey and baked for a few minutes. I came across these while browsing through this blog. I gave it a try after googling several other recipes as well and they were awesome. 

Cornflakes: 1.5 cups
Candied fruits/Tutti Frutti : 4 tbsp
Walnuts/ choice of nuts : 2 tbsp chopped

Unsalted Butter: 2 tbsp
Honey: 2 tbsp
Granulated Sugar: 1-2 tbsp
Ground Ginger: few pinches (completely optional)

Coloured Sprinkles:  handfuls

Mix together cornflakes, candied fruits and nuts in a bowl. You can adjust the quantities as per choice, taste and availability. 

In a large sauce pan, melt together the butter,honey,sugar and optionally ground ginger. Once the liquid starts to boil,reamove from fire and add in the cornflakes mixture and stir well to combine until they are evenly coated with the hot liquid.

Drop spoonfuls into cupcake liners or suitable dishes and top with sprinkles. Bake for about 8-12 minutes in a preheated oven at 150C.

Take out and cool on a wirerack. I took mine out in the 8th minute as I didn't want the sprinkles to discolour and look ugly.They were not firm like granola bars commercially available. They were like soft granola bars and easily shareable if  you want. But the portions were perfect for individual servings. Good things definitely come in small packets.  

Pair it up with icecream or sorbet so make a complete dessert. They are very easy to make and a perfect snack. So enjoy this simple joy of life.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Nutella Cookies | Celebrating World Nutella Day

This is what happens when you keep something soooooooo long. My nutella dried out. 

Ofcourse the cookies were yum, but they look as if nutella was swirled into them just before baking. But hey, thats a good idea after all.

These cookies were simple and easy to make and have just 5 ingredients. And were perfectly eggless. So no need to rack your brains on using a suitable egg replacer.

 I had long wanted to try out Giada's Nutella drop cookies and I had been saving my nutella from prying hands for making these.But just my fate, the nutella became sort of dry.

Once I kept the butter out for softening, I went through the reviews and found that you need more nutella in these. But no probs, more, the merrier. I had more than what was needed .

Psst.. I had already quartered the recipe.

The moment I started mixing it up in the dough, I found that it was pretty dry. Never one to give up, I continued blending/mixing nutella into the dough resulting in a  swirled nutella cookie.


All Purpose Flour: 1/2 cup

Butter: 1/4 cup or 1/2 stick soft
Powdered sugar: 1 tbsp + more for dusting

Vanilla Extract: 1/4 tsp

Nutella Spread: 3-4 tbsp


Cream together butter and sugar in a bowl for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in the flour at high speed. Add in the nutella and blend/beat/mix in together to form a soft dough. 

Now if you feel the dough is slightly dry then add in another tbsp of nutella. I added about 3 tbsp and the final cookie had nutella flavour. But keep adding 1 tbsp more if you feel the dough is too dry. 

As I had mentioned, my nutella refused to cream in and so my hands got in and mixed everything together.It looked as if nutella was swirled in which was ok for me. But you can definitely blend it if you want.

Once the dough was ready, I pinched small portions off it ,rounded it off and placed on a lined but ungreased baking sheet. Continue doing this till the dough is used up or the sheet is full.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F/180C for about 7-10 minutes or until the cookies puff up  and the edges turn brown and slightly flatten. Take out and cool for a few minutes in the sheet and then transfer to a wirerack to cool completely.

Mine took about 7 minutes to finish and I immediately transferred them to the wirerack. The cookies did puff up, they were slightly flat and brown at the edges. The centre was slightly soft while the edges were crumbly. The nutella flavour was definitely there though you can definitely add more . The above estimate yielded exactly 12 cookies.

These perfect cookies join World Nutella Day, an event by Ms.Adventures in Italy & Bleeding Espresso.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Chimichurri Dip with Potato Wafers | Comfort Snack

Chimichurri is a sauce used for grilled meat. Its supposed to be originally from Argentina, though there are several theories regarding this. Its usually a mix of flat leaf parsley, garlic, olive oil and vinegar though the ingredients can change as per taste and availability. I have tried this sauce as a thick dip for  my potato wafers. IT can be used as a pasta sauce or even marinating veggies. I am just writing the guestimates for each items you can definitely vary according to your taste. 

Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley : 1 small bunch.
Fresh Cilantro: 1/2 quantity as parsley
Garlic: 1-2 cloves
Vinegar : 2 + tbsp
Olive Oil: 2+ tbsp
Salt: as per taste
Chilli Flakes: optional : as per taste : or any chosen spice/seasoning

 In a blender blend together the herbs,little salt, little chili flakes and garlic, adding vinegar and olive oil. You can first add oil and then vinegar so that they blend to emulsify.

Adjust the salt and spices after the taste test. Serve as a dip or sauce with your choice of accompaniment. I went for potato wafers.

Potato Wafers
These are nothing but thin round slices of potatoes which are pan fried. These are awesome  as an easy evening snack. I love potatoes and some evening seeing my craving for potatoes my mom used to make these for me. These are much low in calorie than the oil drench fried potato chips as well. So this is like one of my comfort foods . 

Potato: 1 big sliced into thin rounds
Salt & Pepper: as per taste

Heat water in a big vessel adding salt. Bring it to boil and add the potato slices in it. Let it get blanched and start to cook for a minute or two. 

Take it out ,drain on towels or colander. Meanwhile, heat a pan on medium -high. Spray/drizzle little oil on it. Put the potato slices onto it and cook for a minute or two on both sides, till brown spots appear. 

Do the taste test and top with more salt and optionally pepper as well.

Serve with chimichurri dip or your choice of sauce/dip/sides.A simple and easy snack for the lazy evenings.

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