Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vegetable puffs with basil- An entry to Herb Mania

Alright I really loved this idea. Herb mania- Any vegetarian dish you are allowed to prepare using specific herb, this time it was basil. I was sooooooo excited to read about this event here. I love herbs. There are so many different types of herbs available around, with culinary as well as medicinal values attached to them. One of my favorites is basil.

So little bit about why I decided to go with this one. I wanted to work with puff pastries for a really long time. This recipe came to my mind when I was going through one of stack of cookbooks I have. I thought this might be the right time to use the recipe from the book and add couple of ingredients to make it more tastier.

So I started with picking up the fresh basil first, of course what would I do without that. I bought puff pastry and paneer. Yes this was the one of the ingredients I decided to add.

here is what I used:-
  • Onion chopped
  • Garlic chopped- 1 clove
  • carrot- Just half- medium sized
  • A small potato
  • A palm full of peas
  • 1/2 a cup of vegetable stock.
  • a really good amount of fresh basil leaves.
  • And one egg lightly beaten.
I started with a some oil in a pan, added garlic and onions. I added some salt after onions, to bring out sweetness from the onions. This way onions gets evenly cooked. Then I added carrot and potato. After adding vegetable stock in the pan I lowered down the heat and simmered it for 10 minutes, until the stock got entirely absorbed by the vegetables cooking them completely. Add little more salt as per taste, and some red pepper flakes. And the lastly I added the peas and the paneer and basil leaves. I crumbled the leaves with my hands and added in to it. Kept it on the stove for a minute more and that's it. This was my mixture to stuff in to the puffs. One thing to remember here is basil is the last thing you want to add, because it will loose the flavor if you add them early in the preparation.

Now it was the time to deal with puff pastries. As I said this was my first time to use them. I was a little nervous. But they were more perfect than I expected. I wanted to make rounds out of it and then fill in the mixture and fold them in to a half circle. But I ended up by making square and folding them in half. It was more easy to handle. I bordered the cut sheet with water, added a spoonful of mixture in it. After folding it, sealed the edges. Brushed the beaten egg on the both sides of the puff.

And then I spread the oil in the baking pan and layered the puffs on it. Heated up the oven on 415o F. Left those puffs for about 20 minutes. And the result was great.
Beautiful golden puffs with aromatic basil in them. They were just perfect.

To make them more perfect I made a gourmet sauce, which was even more delicious.
Try it and you will love it.

Ingredients for sauce-
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • some onion chopped
  • 1/4th cup of wine (I used red here)
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • dried basil
  • dried oregano
I started with heating some olive oil in a pan, added some onion and tomatoes. After a minute added wine and vegetable stock. I boiled the mixture and simmered it for 15 minutes and allowed to cool. Then I made a puree out of it and returned it to the pan. Then I added the tomato paste and dried oregano and the dried basil. A little bit of salt and it's ready. The sweetness of tomato and the sourness of wine was great together.
You can serve the sauce hot or cold.

The combination was way too perfect. My idea of adding basil in to the puffs was worth it. A little hint of basil at the very end of every bite. Neither too much nor too less.
So try these once. They are really fun.
Lets grab a plate and enjoy while they are hot.

This is how they look from inside:-

Coming Up: Rosted onions and potatoes with rosemary

1 comment:

Ivy said...

The pastry looks so flaky and delicious! Yum!