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Bok Choy and Scallop Stir Fry

October 6, 2013

Yummy, simple and quick- need I say more???

  • ½ to a pound scallops, cleaned and sliced in half or quarters
  • 1 large bok choy, cleaned, chopped with greens and whites separated
  • 4 green onions, chopped with greens and whites separated
  • ½ cup cilantro, leaves and stems separated and chopped

Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce or ¼ cup regular low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup black bean sauce
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch

Mix the ingredients well in a small bowl and keep aside.

  • 3 tablespoons extra light olive oil

Heat a wok like sauce pan with the olive oil. Add the scallops and sauté for 2 minutes on high heat. Take out of pan with a slotted spoon. Reheat and add the whites of the green onions, stems of the cilantro and whites of the bok choy. Saute on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the bok choy greens and the remaining cilantro. Add the sauce and the scallops. Bring to a boil and cook for another few minutes till the scallops are cooked through. Check for seasonings and serve with brown rice.

Hyderabadi Style Chicken

September 30, 2013

We are all guilty of being stuck in a rut- especially when it comes to cooking. I realized, I had not cooked Indian food in a while- not sure what my rut was but it certainly wasn’t Indian food. I decided to change that and come up with a delicious chicken curry!

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in or out, without skin
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped fine
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Mix the yogurt, garlic, ginger, cilantro, lemon juice and salt. Transfer to a medium bowl with the chicken. Marinate over night or at least 2 to 3 hours.

Spice Mix

  • ½ cup grated coconut (I use frozen)
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • ½ inch cinnamon stick
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds

Process all the ingredients in a spice grinder (coffee grinder) and keep aside.

  • 3 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt

Heat a heavy saucepan with the oil. Add the onion and sauté on medium high heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add the spice mix and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomato puree and sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken and water. Bring to a boil and simmer with lid for 35 to 40 minutes or till the chicken is cooked through. Take lid off and cook on high heat to cook off the excess liquid. Add salt if necessary. Serve warm with rice or quinoa.

 

 

Cooking Class at Le Cirque!

September 29, 2013

A cooking class- for whom you ask- well, me, of course!! It is a great way to learn new tricks from cooks/chefs any chance one gets!! Especially when it is at a New York institution like Le Cirque!! I found the offer a few months ago on GiltNYC and jumped on it. I was very excited to be going into the kitchen in one of the most prestigious restaurants in NYC! The class was offered on a Saturday from 11:30 to 2:30. The certificate stated, I would enjoy a meal, a glass of Prosecco and a goodie bag consisting of their famous cook book in addition to the actual class.

I walked into the grand space and found about 5 to 6 people already waiting in the bar area. I signed in and sat down to wait for the class to start. I noticed the dining room was empty with one table in back set for all of us to sit and eat later. We were soon ushered into the kitchen and two chefs were waiting for us with a variety of fresh foods sitting in front of them. Le Cirque Chefs
We got started fairly quickly with their famous Lobster salad that is an original Daniel Boulud recipe which they still use. The salad consisted of fresh lobster which were immersed into boiling water as we received the rest of the instructions. The chef precisely sliced three slices of a tomato, three slices of a grape fruit, four haricotverts, three slices of an avocado and three squares of potatoes, poached slowly in oil. He placed everything on a plate and showed us how to make this delicious looking salad which was topped with a black truffle dressing. We made our way to our stations and proceeded to replicate the plate of delicious looking salad. Some time later, I managed to come up with a reasonable looking plate.

Le cirque lobster salad

Le Cirque Lobster Salad

Once the salads were placed on the large table in the dining room, we came back to the kitchen to learn how to make Paupiette of Black Bass served on top a bed of leeks cooked in reduced cream, drizzled with a red wine reduction sauce. We watched the chef expertly filet the fish and form it into a shape and surround with a coating of flash fried, thinly sliced potato. It was then sauteed in clarified butter and cooked for precisely 2 minutes each on all four sides- 8 minutes all together! The dish of amazing looking- and better than that- it was delicious. Watching these hard working chefs, one realized how many steps went into one simple looking dish!

Le Cirque Fish

Paupiette of Black Bass

Next came the dessert! Bombolonis were served- which are small Italian doughnuts! The pastry chef showed us all the ingredients and the procedure. We proceeded to make pastry cream to be served with the doughnuts. We split into a few different groups and went to work. After getting all the ingredients together and cooking according to direction- we managed to separate our pastry cream!!! Turns out, it was the way we were whisking it- if one decides to whisk clock wise, then one needs to continue and not change directions. Changing directions can separate the creme… According to me, we had over cooked it.. either way- we messed up! Its a good thing they had plenty of pastry creme already chilling for us for later!

Bombolonis

Bombolonis

After a few minutes, we were ushered into the dining room to enjoy our meal. We started with the salad we made- it was delicious but lacked some seasoning- so I added salt and pepper. The fish was amazing, soft and luxurious inside with a crispy crust on the outside. The leeks were subtle yet flavorful and the wine sauce was complex and delicious. We sipped our Prosseco and waiting for the airy and light bombolonis.. well, they did not disappoint! The three dipping sauces including the pastry cream were yummy! After the yummy food and nice conversation, it was time to go. I was happy to go home and share my experience with my family and use the techniques I learnt in the Le Cirque kitchen!

Mustard Roasted Potatoes and Onions

September 25, 2013
  • 5 to 6 large yellow skinned potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the potato quarters and bring to a boil. Drain the water and let the potatoes dry and cool in the same pan.

  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Transfer the potatoes to a lined cookie sheet. Add the onions. Add the mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and roast in oven for about 40 to 45 minutes till the potatoes are golden brown and crispy.

Filet Mignon with Mushroom Sauce

September 24, 2013

I love a good steak and my favorite is a nice juicy rib eye but a filet mignon is leaner and a bit healthier… although taste is not compromised!

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 ounces Cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Small bunch of thyme
  • 4 medium filet mignon, salt and pepper sprinkled on both sides
  • 1 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Salt

Heat a wide frying pan with the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté on medium high heat and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the thyme, shallot and garlic. Saute on medium heat and move the mushrooms and aromatics to the outside of the pan making a circle and a round empty space in the middle. Raise the heat and add the filets in the middle and brown on both sides. Take out and bring the vegetables back into the middle. Add the flour and cook for a minute. Add the broth and whisk any lumps out. Bring to a boil and reduce about half way. Add the steaks back into the pan and cook till desired doneness. Check for seasonings and add salt if necessary. Serve with roast potatoes and green beans.

Sausage and Green Bean Pasta

September 23, 2013

This is a perfect dish to make for this season as the basil season is coming to an end. I cut down all my basil and made a big batch of pesto to freeze. It is a great way to enjoy some summer flavors in a few month!

Pesto

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 cups basil
  • ¼ cup tarragon
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (or more if needed)

Add the garlic, cheese, pine nuts, lemon zest and lemon juice to a processor. Process for a minute and add the basil, tarragon, parsley and salt. Process for a minute and gradually add the oil while the machine is still on. Taste for seasonings and keep aside.

  • 8 oz tender green beans, trimmed

Add the green beans to boiling water. Bring back to a boil and take out and dip into cold water to retain the color. Take out and keep aside.

  •  2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 links chicken sausage, casings taken off and crumbled
  • ½ pound pasta, cooked al dente
  • Salt to taste

Heat a frying pan with the olive oil. Add the crumbled sausage and sauté on a medium high heat, stirring constantly for 5 to 6 minutes till golden brown. Add the pasta and green beans. Add enough pesto to coat everything and mix well. Add salt if needed and serve.

Mushroom and Olive Meatballs

September 22, 2013

Here is another version of my delicious meatballs. Everyone loved them. I took two of my daughter’s favorite pizza toppings- mushrooms and olives, and added them to the turkey meat. I also added garlic and parsley. Of course the homemade tomato sauce helps with the taste factor. This is a good one!!

  • 1 pound dark meat turkey
  • 1 cup Cremini mushrooms, shredded
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs soaked in ½ cup milk (for 10 minutes)
  • 2 cups tomato sauce

Transfer the tomato sauce into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer.
Transfer the turkey, mushrooms, olives, garlic, parsley and cheese into a medium mixing bowl. Mix well and add the egg, salt and panko crumbs. Mix well and form meatballs and slide into the simmering sauce. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer and cook meatballs covered with a lid for 15 minutes. Taste for seasonings and serve with pasta.