Sunday, September 28, 2008

Corn Patties

There are two reasons for this post.
  1. I wanted a breakfast item, which I can partially prepare a day before. Ever since we are on a healthy mode, me and my husband A usually have cereals for our breakfast,. But I love to start a day with a healthy yet yummy snack which does not distract me from loosing weight as well as help me break my everyday cereal ritual.
  2. There is an event due today called Sunday snack on the Taste of India and I wanted to participate.
So let me talk a little bit about this event-:

This event is hosted by Hima of SnackORama. The theme for this month's Sunday snack is Bake it.
So here it goes-: Corn Patties

All goes in one bowl-
  • 1 cup Yellow corn kernels ( I used fresh kernels, you can also use frozen)
  • 1 boiled smashed potato.
  • 1/2 inch ginger grated (about 1 tsp)
  • 2 cloves of grated garlic
  • 1 chopped green chili.
  • 1 tsp chaat masala ( you can find one in any Indian grocery store)
  • Half a lemon/ lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp of cumin seeds
  • half a palmful of coriander finely chopped
  • olive oil. about 2 tsp
  • salt to taste
  • One last thing is breadcrumbs or a good substitute for breadcrumbs is sooji (rava).
I prefer breadcrumbs over rava, simply because I always want a nice brown crust from outside, and breadcrumbs does that just perfect. Wait until you see my pictures...:)

Toss all ingredients above in one bowl except breadcrumbs, and oil. Mix everything together.

I was using fresh corn, so it was very soft and sweet naturally, but if you use frozen, thaw them and microwave them for about 5-6 minutes. When you are using fresh, if you feel that the corns need to be more soft , cook them a little bit.

Make small round balls of the mixture, and press them a bit to give them patties shape.
Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate. I used Italian style breadcrumbs. I love them because they are already seasoned with parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, different spices, and my favorite Pecorino Romano cheese....:) But you can use anything of your choice. I also happened to like Japanese style breadcrumbs called panko.

When all your patties are ready, place them on a baking sheet, which is sprayed with non- stick cooking spray. Toss a little bit of olive oil on the top of the patties. Just enough to give them a golden brown crust.
Turn on your oven on 350° and slide your baking sheet inside for about 12-15 minutes on one side, then turn the patties and 10 more minutes on the other side.
You should get a nice crust on both sides, if you feel you can keep them inside for a couple more minutes, but make sure you check on them.

You can also, shallow fry them in the pan/ tava. But this oven version is a figure friendly option to cut down oil to just 2 tsp. And olive oil is always better for you right? An oil which has a good cholesterol which keeps your heart in good condition. And guess what you don't have to sacrifice the taste. It gives me a satisfaction of doing good karma to my body....:) feels great.

This is how they look when they come out.

Scrumptious ..........Isn't it? I just love them. Try them out, I am sure you won't miss the fried version.

ohh.. and they are great with mint chutney, or a ketchup.

Just like that!!! Yummoooo!!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Masala okra

One of the most common fresh vegetable you can find in India....Okra....(Bhindi)
It's hard to find fresh okra all around the year here in US. Masala okra is one of my favorites school lunches. I used to like it because of it's perfect consistency. It has a consistency of something between a dry and a curry version. That way it really holds itself for a longer time. Great with chapati/naan as well as rice. I prepare okra in 2/3 ways. Here is how I make the okra with masala. I will hold other 2 types for later.

You have two options for Okra, you can use frozen or the fresh variety. I used frozen here. I believe frozen versions are partially cooked, so you don't have to cook them more that 7-10 minutes, makes your life a little bit simple.

Look for this type of cut okra as shown in the picture.

Make sure that you don't thaw the frozen okra, just use as it is from the packet for the better taste.

Prepare the masala for Okra -:
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder (Cilantro seeds are called as coriander)
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. ground fennel seeds.
  • 1 tsp. dried mango powder( amachur) I used chat masala here...just the ingredient I like to use in almost everything.
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder, you can also you paprika
  • salt to taste
Toss all the ingredients together.

Next thing you want to do is be ready with following ingredients:-
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 medium size tomato
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 inch of freshly chopped ginger
  • 1 green chili chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Asafetida (hing)
  • 2 tsp oil
Coat the pan with the oil on a medium flame, add cumin seeds. Add asafetida when cumin seeds splutter. 1 shallot chopped goes next in to the pan. After 2-3 minutes add tomatoes to it and wait until you get a consistency like pulp. Now it's time to add frozen okra to the pan. After a minute or so the masala mixture joins the hot tub...:)

Make sure you coat all the okra with masala. Add little bit of salt if needed. Keep it on the medium flame for about 4-5 minutes. Turn off the flame when you feel the okra is cooked completely.

Add freshly chopped cilantro at the end. It's a good finishing touch for the yummy masala okra.....!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I am in to Crocheting!!!!!

This post has been moved to my new blog manaliscibbles. As this is a food blog, I wanted it to be that way, so I have started a new blog, which has more generic approach. I will be posting everything other than food on manaliscribbles. 

As far as this blog is concerned, I hope foodies like me would appreciate the change.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Grilled Salmon- My Way

This is the first time I am posting something which is non-vegetarian on my blog. I am not a pure vegetarian. I do enjoy few meat options like fish or white meat for it's nutritional value.
I love salmon. Of course for it's taste, especially grilled than baked or poached.
According to American Heart Association, we should eat at least 2 fish servings per week.
Now that's a nice excuse for a fish lover like me....:)
I used to try different healthy fish recipes at home. I prefer cooking fish at home. That way I can control the quality of ingredie
nts. It's been a while since I cooked fish at home, that's the reason I was craving for fish this weekend.

I started with the salmon fish fillet from my local grocery store. I made my own marinade which I think came out really good. I served grilled salmon with steamed fresh green beans and mashed potatoes. I love to make marinade and love the taste when it gets all soaked up in to the fish.

All the ingredients I am mentioning here are enough for 1 salmon fillet.
You can adjust the ingredients as per the quantity.

For the marinade-:
  • 2 Tbsp of cumin powder.- I made a fresh cumin from cumin seeds. I like to make it fresh because I love the fresh aroma.
  • 2 Tbsp of Grilled seasoning- It's from the grill time. I love it. It has a nice blend of vegetables like garlic, onion, red bell peppers and little kick of Parmesan and Romano cheese, and different spices like red chili flakes, fennel seeds. It's a perfect combination for grilling.
  • 2 Tbsp of Thick yogurt- Greek style yogurt will be perfect. It has a nice thickness to it.
  • 3 tbsp of Soy sauce- To add a little kick to it, and also acts as a thinning agent on to your marinade.
  • A bunch of freshly, coarsely chopped cilantro. I would say the more the better.
You don't need to add the salt. The seasoning and the soy sauce contains enough of that. Just add freshly ground black pepper and there it is, your quick marinade is ready for you.

Just to show you how the marinade looks on the Salmon

All you have to do now is marinade the salmon fillet from all the sides. The easy way to do this is take your good old zip lock bag. Pour your marinade in to the bag along with the fish. Lock the bag, and rotate the bag so that fish gets coated from all the sides. Open the bag, remove
air if any. Seal it again tightly. Make sure that all the air is out and keep the bag in the refrigerator for about an hour. And now, It's grilling time.

Heat your grilling pan. I used my indoor grilling pan.

Spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Put the fish in to the pan with the skin side up. (This is very important, even if you remove skin, you should put the fish skin side up first.) Ohh..I removed the skin of the fish before marinating.

Leave it there for about 4-5 minutes on the first side. It will change the color of the fish from bottom.
Turn the fish and cook it for 2-3 more minutes on the other side. It's very important that you do not overcook the fish. It looses the nutritious value as well as the flavor.

Along with the Salmon, I served mashed potatoes. I just boiled the potato in the microwave and mashed them with the bottom of a small bowl. I added shredded Parmesan cheese while the potatoes were hot, a little bit of salt and I like to add some red chili powder in my potatoes, just for taste. This is a quick recipe of mashed potatoes which I like to prepare any busy night of the week.

For the green beans, I simply steamed the beans with the water on the stove top. I like to add the salt in the water, this way the beans retain there green color.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My entry to herb mania- Round up

I made my first entry last month in one of the events - Herb mania- Basil.
Dee of Ammalu's Kitchen has posted the round up recently here. You can view all the pictures of the participant's recipes here. I really like the experience and I am looking forward to next one...:)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Black and White Cookies

This was my first attempt to make cookies. I was a little nervous. I am not really a sweets person. I like spicy food over sweet pleasures. probably that's the reason I have never tried homemade cookies. My hubby although love cookies, any sweet for that matter. So I decided to make the cookies for him. I admit that my first attempt of making cookies was not completely successful. The lesson I learned is you have to have all the proper measuring equipments when it comes to baking.
As I have mentioned in one of my blogs before, that I don't really measure when I am cooking. but Baking was a whole lot of different experience.

This is what you will need:-

1/3 cup of cream
7 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped in to small pieces
3/4 cup of sugar
1 package of sugar cookie dough (18 Ounce)

Place a pan over medium heat. Add the cream and warm until boiling, for about 3 minutes.
turn off the heat and add the chocolate. Stir for 1-2 minutes, until chocolate melts.
Place the chocolate mixture in to a small bowl.
Cool the chocolate until firm enough to roll in to balls.
To cool the chocolate quickly, place the chocolate mixture in to refrigerator for about an hour.

Once the chocolate is firm, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the sugar on a dish. Roll the chocolate into teaspoon-sized balls and set aside.

Roll a walnut-sized ball of cookie dough into a thin log about 3 inches long about height of your little finger.

Place a chocolate ball on a work surface and wrap a cookie dough log around the
chocolate ball and press to adhere. It should look like a cookie version of the planet Saturn.
Roll the cookie in the sugar to coat.
Place the cookie on a large baking sheet and continue forming
the remaining cookies and rolling them in sugar. Once all the cookie balls are on the baking sheets, use the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten the cookies to about 1/4 inch thick.

Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool, then serve.

I didn't have an exact measurement of a cup. So my chocolate, cream mixture came out little thinner than I expected. The test was great, but because the mixture wasn't perfect it got spread all over the cookies in the oven. Everything other than that was fun.

I need to buy a nice cup measurement so that my cookies will be better next time...:)