Monday, December 29, 2008

Stuffed peppers

A red and a yellow pepper stuffed with egg noodles, top it off with some breadcrumbs for crunch and nicely shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake it off and your mouth will water....:)

A perfect comfort food for a perfect winter...:)

Let me start by mentioning that stuffed peppers as the name suggests is pretty versatile dish. You can pretty much stuff anything inside the peppers. You can stuff them with orzo, rice or may be a nice stuffing of boiled potatoes with a mixture of Indian spices. Variations are literally endless. 

A perfect dish to use your left brain....:)

So here's what I used-:
  • 1 Cup of wide egg noodles
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoon of tomato paste ( Used store bought, you can also use tomato puree)
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
Prepare the egg noodle- As per the instructions on the packet. 
Drain the noodles and keep it aside
Heads up:- Make sure your noodle are really shy to al-dente, because they are going to finish their cooking in oven later. 

Reserve the water before draining off the noodles. It's a nice starchy water which you can use later while making the sauce.

Cut the top off of the peppers.

and also the bottoms, just so that the peppers will stand straight.

Heat canola oil in a pan , add finely chopped shallots , Italian seasoning, followed by tomato paste.
Add some salt to taste and some freshly ground black pepper. Add some reserved starchy water from the step 1. Saute everything for a minute or so and then add the egg noodles you prepared in step 1. Turn off the heat, coat the noodles well with the sauce. Add some more starchy water if you feel to mix everything together.

Take one bell pepper, place it firmly inside a loaf pan of any baking pan which has some height. (You need to pour some water or some stock around the peppers when you bake them in the oven. That is why you need height to the pan.)
After you place the peppers in the loaf pan, stuff them with the stuffing we made in step 3.

Make sure to stuff every bell pepper up to the top. 

Sprinkle some breadcrumbs on the top. This will make nice brown top and will add a crunch on bite.

Toss in some ( actually a lot..) sharply shredded Parmesan cheese which will melt while in the oven.

Pour some water around the peppers. You can also use some chicken stock or vegetable stock if you want. That will enhance the flavor when the peppers bake. 

Cover the loaf pan with aluminium foil. 

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the pan in the middle rack. Bake it off for 40 minutes.

Check after 40, keep for few more minutes, if you fell the peppers aren't cooked yet. In that case 10 more minutes should do the trick.

Other way to cook the peppers-:
Instead of keeping them directly in to the oven, you can also cook the peppers after you cut the bottoms and tops off for about 10 minutes, and then stuff the filling and bake it off for 20-25 minutes.

Be very sure not to cook the egg noodles completely, just cook them for about 5-6 minutes in water, and allow to cook them later in the oven. It Will make the noodles too soggy if you cook them completely beforehand.

Enjoy stuffed peppers with  some rice or some nice grilled fish...:)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A sweet treat for holidays!!

Rawa (Sooji/semolina) Cake

One of the reasons to eat cake..............:D
Sometimes I make recipes sound so conveniently healthy that I don't feel guilty about eating them....:)

Interesting isn't it? A cake without egg, without maida (All purpose floor) I won't say without butter..well.... it is without butter, but with eventually, cream balances out butter, and give us a reason to feel guilty about....:(

Well..........this is a holiday season of the year everywhere and it's okay to go crazy once in a while.

So here it goes-:
A cake for holidays.....!!

Here is what you will need-:
  • 1 cup rawa (fine)- you can get in any Indian store, it's called sooji or semolina..if you prefer. Its essentially made up of wheat.
  • 1 Cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup of cream 
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of milk I used 2%
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Almonds, walnuts, raisins for crunchiness
This is how you do it-:

Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Mix all the dry ingredients first. Then add the wet once. Make sure that everything gets mixed up well with no lumps formed. 

Slice the almonds, chop the remaining nuts and add in to the tub.
Spray your cake pan with non-stick cooking spray or you can also rub some butter inside the pan. Pour the batter nicely.
Slide the pan in to the preheated oven and bake for about 50 minutes. The baking time may vary due to difference in the ovens. Check after 45 and decide. If you feel , keep baking for 10 minutes more or so.

Insert the knife and make sure it comes out clean, if not that means, it needs more baking.
bake to perfection and enjoy your holidays...!!!

Happy holidays...everyone...!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

HHDD #24 Pesto- another entry for a round up!

This one is specially made for HHDD round up. Here is the link to the host and the facilitator.
Thank you for hosting this round up.

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

I love to send my entries to these round ups. This one was simple to make. Pesto- is an Italian sauce, commonly used on a pasta. I love a basic basil pesto. For this round up, I will be trying something different.

I love making pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and olives. Simple yet hearty dish, with red wine, and some crusty french bread is a perfect weekend lunch for me and my hubby. 
I decided to go with the same ingredients, except olives (I didn't have those in my pantry this time and I didn't have time to go buy them as the clock was ticking for the deadline).

I like the flavour of basil, so I decided to add the basil as well. 
It just took me 10 minutes to make this pesto. (or should I say less then 10!!)
I used-:

Sun-dried tomatoes (out of the jar and their oil)

Fresh Basil Leaves

Garlic Cloves, salt and pepper

Blend everything together . Blend until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer it to a bowl.

If you want to use it as a spread you can add some olive oil while blending. Otherwise, whatever oil sun-dried tomatoes have in the jar is enough.

As I said,You can use it as a spread over the bread, or toss in some cooked pasta and make it more delicious. 

I love to use this pesto as a dip with some corn chips or tostitos or with the pita chips.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I am a foodbuzz featured publisher now!!!!!!!!

Today is the day to celebrate for the perfect reason. I started blogging June 18th of this year. My blog will be six months old on 18th of this month. I will be posting my 30th post as we speak. 
I started this blog to document my trial and errors and learn from them later, also to share my experiences with the world, and most importantly to learn something which I didn't know before, from the bloggers all over the world.

This blogging creates a platform, which creates learning opportunities for foodie like me.
One of such platforms is  foodbuzz. I am sooooooooooo very excited, to know that I am one of the featured publishers of the foodbuzz now.

I already have updated layout of my blog. Lots and lots of fun yet to happen, a lot more experiments yet to fail and a lot more wonders yet to happen from those failures.
Can't wait.......:))

Thank you foodbuzz for giving me this opportunity to be a featured publisher.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Quick dinner!!

I am always looking for something quick especially when it comes to weekday dinners. Many of the times I just cook once a day , mostly mornings and sometimes I make chapatis, some kind of vegetable (Sabji), and dal for lunch and then just make additional chapatis for the dinner or just some rice and dalfry for the dinner instead. 
Whenever I am out off all the options I mentioned above I just want my supper to be tasty, healthy, and a non-Indian item.

Last Wednesday evening was one of those non-Indian supper evening. I try to keep the list of the ingredients as less as possible on such nights, and this is for 2 reasons- 
First- to keep the calories under count and ...
second- sometimes less ingredients make more wonders and such wonders create some really great recipes, keeping it's simplicity alive....:)

This time I had wide noodles in my pantry and some soup cans as usual.
I decided to make egg noodles casserole with a can of cream of celery soup...:)

I Preheated the oven to 400°F.

Here is what I used-:

Wide egg noodles- half a pound
cream of celery soup- 1 can ( I used 98% less fat- of Campbell's- healthy request)
Milk- I used 2%,  1 cup
Spring onion chopped- 1/2 stalks
Breadcrumbs- I used Italian style
Butter few chunks

Start with boiling water in a pot, toss in the egg noodles when the water starts bubbling. Cook egg noodles for about 4-5 minutes. 
Heads up-: Cook them a little bit shy to al -dente, as they are going to finish their cooking process in the oven later. Do not overcook at this point of time.

Once the noodles are ready, rest of the things are very simple. Take a casserole dish/bowl. Mix 1 can of cream of celery and 1 cup of milk. Add the boiled noodles in to that mix well. Add chopped spring onion. ( You can completely skip spring onions, I just wanted to add some color to the dish and also I thought celery and onion goes well with each other.)

Mix everything together. Add a few chunks of butter on top, and sprinkle some breadcrumbs as well.
Bake it off in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.  Nice bubbles will be formed on the top and the top should look crusty and crispy....:)


Get ready to eat your weeknight supper in just 30 minutes........:)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My entry to Indian Adventure round up!!

I was sending something for a round up after a gap of almost 2 and half months. I was surely excited.  Joelen of Joelen's Culinary Adventure hosted this roundup and I had more than dozen of recipes to send her on this topic. I choose masala okra, that I posted on my blog recently.
You can take a look at the round up here.
If in case, you want to take a look at my blog post, it's  here.

Thank you Joelen, for considering my entry for the round up. I learned a lot from other entries too.