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Irish Soda Bread

March 12, 2019

3 cups all purpose
¼ cup evaporated cane juice (sugar)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mixture of raisins, cranberries and currants, chopped
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed or powdered
4 tablespoons super cold butter, cut into little pieces
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400.
Grease a large cast iron skillet or a 10 inch cake pan.

Transfer the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl, whisk together. Add the butter and mix briefly with fingers, incorporating the butter. Add the raisins mixture, zest and fennel seeds and mix well. Mix the buttermilk and egg together in a small bowl and whisk well and refrigerate until needed (the key is to have this liquid as cold as possible) Add the liquid slowly to the dry mixture while mixing it with a fork. Once all the liquid is incorporated, gently mix everything with your fingers and form an 8 inch round loaf and transfer to the cast iron skillet or cake pan. Mark the top with an ‘X’ with a knife about ½ inch deep.
Bake for 20 minutes in the oven and check if the top is getting too brown. If it is, then top with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. Take out of oven and keep the foil on till it cools off.

Pear and Ginger Crumble

December 16, 2018

Pear and Ginger Crumble

Topping

  • ¾ cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½ inch squares

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an ovenproof dish that is approximately 13 X 9. Mix the seven ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the butter and rub in with fingers until moist clumps form. Keep aside.

  • 2 pounds ripe yet firm pears, peeled, cored and sliced thin
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Toss the pears with the lemon juice, sugar and flour. Transfer the filling to the ovenproof dish. Sprinkle topping over. Bake the crumble until pears are tender and the topping is golden brown- about 40 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream.

Apple Cardamom Trifle

December 18, 2017

I thought I would do a bunch of desserts for the upcoming holidays.. this is one of my favorites…

Apple Filling

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large apples, Pink Lady and Honey Crisp, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods, seeds taken out and crushed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • Juice of half a lemon

Place the butter in a large frying pan. Add the apple pieces, cinnamon stick, cardamom seeds and sugar. Stir constantly until the butter melts on a medium heat. Add the cider and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover with lid for ten minutes or till the apple pieces are soft but not mushy. Bring to room temperature and refrigerate. Take out of fridge a few hours before assembling. Divide into two portions.

Vanilla Custard (Gale Gand Recipe)

  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 10 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain. Whisk in ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture, reserving the empty saucepan.
Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan. Cook over medium high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling. Removed from and heat and stir in butter. Transfer to a storage bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to eliminate skin forming. Refrigerate overnight. Divide into two portions.

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

  • 8 oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons powdered cinnamon

Whip the mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, sugar and cinnamon till stiff peaks form.

One pound cake, sliced, divided into two layers
One trifle bowl

Assemble the trifle by starting with a layer of pound cake at the bottom. Cover with one portion of the apples and then the custard. Repeat the process one more time and top with cinnamon whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 4 to 5 hours before serving.

Garlic Cilantro Naans

October 18, 2017

This will be a great addition to the Diwali dinner…

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup full fat yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • Extra all purpose flour
  • Cast Iron Pan

Garlic Topping

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon onion seeds (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

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

In a large bowl, mix the flour baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar together. Add the yogurt and mix well to make a soft dough. Add more flour if necessary making sure it is still soft but not sticky. Clean the bowl and rub the oil and return the dough to rest covered with a damp towel for an hour.

Divide the dough into 3 even balls, cover with some flour and roll out with a rolling pin into a oval shaped naan. In the meantime, heat a wide cast iron pan on a medium high heat. Apply a bit of water on one side of naan and place it on the pan with the water side down. Brush a third of the butter mixture on top and cook on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or till the bottom part of the naan is golden brown. Take off the heat and place on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet under a medium heat broiler. Cook under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes or till the top of the nann is golden brown and cooked through. Serve warm.

Watermelon Sorbet with Yogurt

August 31, 2017

This is perfect for a hot day and very easy to whip up in your blender… make it before the watermelons go away… I served the sorbet with some macerated blueberries… yum! Healthy and delicious… and simple!

  • 4 cups watermelon, cut up and frozen overnight
  • ½ cup full fat yogurt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon lemon juice

Transfer the watermelon, yogurt, honey and lemon juice to a Vitamix. Blend till a sorbet consistency is formed. Transfer to a air tight container and freeze.

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod, sliced in half or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

Transfer the blueberries, sugar, vanilla and mint to a bowl. Mix well and let sit at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.

Serve with the sorbet.

Phirni- Indian Rice Pudding

August 13, 2017

Phirni is a rice pudding like dessert common in the Middle East. It is also popular in Kashmir and other parts of North India. I have known about it since I was tiny. My Mom would make it for us in individual bowls, especially when we had people over for dinner. It is a creamy concoction of milk and sugar. The milk is thickened with rice and flavored with crushed cardamom seeds. It can be topped with chopped almonds and pistachios.

  • ½ cup rice
  • ½ cup water

Soak rice in water for 2-3 hours. Blend the mixture in a blender by first adding the wet rice and ¼ cup water. Gradually add the rest of the water and blend till smooth. Keep aside.

  • 4 cups milk (whole milk or low fat)
  • ¾ cup sugar (adjust according to taste)
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • 4-5 cardamom pods, ground

Garnish

  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • 3 cardamom pods, ground
  • ¼ cup pistachios, ground

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer the milk. Add the sugar, almonds and cardamom. Gradually add the rice mixture while stirring constantly. Keep stirring till the mixture thickens up like a custard. Cook for another 3-4 minutes on low heat, stirring constantly.
Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with almonds, ground cardamom and pistachios.

Yaki Soba with Beef and Chinese Broccoli

June 13, 2017

Can’t get enough of noodles!!! Yum, yum… we all love them and I love going to our local Asian grocery store to buy fresh noodles…

  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pound skirt steak, sliced against the grain into thin slices
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil plus more
  • 1 orange or red pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch Chinese broccoli, chopped
  • 1 pound yaki soba fresh noodles, cooked according to package directions

Mix the tamari, mirin, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and sugar in a bowl and mix well.

Transfer the beef slices to a mixing bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the sauce, corn starch and sesame oil to the beef. Mix well and marinate for 2 to 3 hours.

Heat a wok like pan with the peanut oil. Add the marinated beef strips and sauté on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Take out of pan and add more oil if needed. Reheat the pan and add the pepper and onion. Saute for another 2 to 3 minutes and add the Chinese broccoli and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the noodles and the rest of the marinade. Mix well and check for seasonings and serve.