Asparagus & Mushroom cravings

For several days I had asparagus & Italian mushrooms (whole) waiting in the refrigerator for their turn to shine.

Today was the day, for starters I heated the oven to 425 F

next heated olive oil with fresh chopped garlic in a pan on the stove

I added the mushrooms and left them alone for @ 5-7 min or so, 

(the mushrooms were still firm) in the meantime, I took the asparagus placed

them in oven proof dish and added a little salt, pepper, tarragon, thyme, basil, fennel,

lavender and olive oil since cream makes all things taste delicious, I poured cream (1/4 cups or so)

over the asparagus mixed it all together and topped it with the mushrooms and all the

pan drippings and finally I topped the asparagus and mushrooms with a generous portion of parmesan cheese

baking  the dish about 15-20 min later (note I like my asparagus soft)

the parmesan cheese baked to a crunchy topping and the cream sauce with the flavor of the

spices, delish!  Since asparagus are healthy can I have the entire bunch?

 

I served with roasted chicken thigh and leg, unable to wait for the yams decided I would save them for

tomorrow, the asparagus was the best tasting dish I have had in some time. 

Still trying to upload the photo

Whats New?

It has been sometime since my last post and much has happened during this time.  I traveled to Jaipur, Rajasthan, India (I loved it although time was short, Jaipur is definitely in the Top 3 favorite places in India) returned back to Bangalore and the US, where I am currently.

As I seek the next road on this journey of life, I am excited to renew my blog time I have many recipes and restaurant reviews to share with you. So Bon Appetit!

Masala Chai

While in India, there was every reason to have Cardamon tea, Ginger tea or my favorite Masala Chai, so here is my recipe which has my special touches and the remaining has been adapted from the blogs, Indiaphile.info.com and culinaryteas.com.

The best tea to use is not Assam or Darjeeling, but just regular Indian tea found at a local Indian Market or use Lipton (yeap) which is very popular in India.

There are a couple of keys to cooking Masala Chai or Indian food in general, don’t rush.  We typically want it out tea instantly but when cooking Indian, patience will definitely pay off in the end, with that being said, lets get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon tea/coffee
  • 2 cups of whole milk or half & half (full strength, I use almond milk)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 anise pod
  • 3 cardamom pods (I like 4) – crushed
  • 3 black peppercorns crushed
  • 3 cloves (I like 4)
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • a small slice of ginger
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • sugar to taste

Method:

Boil water with all spices except nutmeg for approximately 5-7 min, or when you remember your boiling water

the most important step, reduce the heat slightly add milk, tea, sugar and boil for about 5 minutes or so

strain & garnish with nutmeg

ps. Indian tea can be very strong, word of caution on measurements. If you are like me

the stronger the better or for some bitter, ha.

There it is my favorite recipe for masala chai

Happy New Year

I hope you all had a wonderful time of celebration at Christmas along with bringing in the New Year, typically the evening is a quiet one for me but this year I had the awesome experience of bringing in the New Year with some members of my family.    

Some people make a new bucket list, new diet plans or exercise dreams, regardless of how you approach this New Year, I hope you will achieve and exceed your goals and may your dreams come to fruition in 2014.  As this year passes may you be enriched even as you enrich others around you.   

There are several recipes I would like to share with you to start the New Year off, one is my favorite Masala Chai which was adapted from 2 blogs and a couple extra touches added from my hand.  I will also post Chicken Stir-Fry which I just made last night and the last recipe for this post is one I learned while in Bangalore, working in the hotel kitchen inventing creative dishes to spruce up a typical protein. 

Happy New Year!!

 

P.F. Chang’s Fall Goodness Contest

P.F. Chang announced their Fall Goodness Contest on FB, so I decided to enter. You get a list of their fall ingredients and you have to pick at least (3) to cook with, make your dish, take a photo and hit submit and presto you have entered the contest.  I choose the

Beef, mushrooms, scallions, brussel sprouts, sprouts, boy choy, Fuji apples and mangoes. Since it is the Fall Goodness Contest and after looking at the ingredients when I think of the fall season, I think of the warmth of clear broth soup with filled with fresh vegetables bursting with clean fresh flavors individually when combined they dance in your mouth. 

So this is what you will need:  Beef, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, red wine vinegar – mushrooms, scallions, seared Brussel sprouts with garlic, sprouts, boy choy, Fuji apples, ginger with red pepper and mangoes – oh don’t forget soup bones

and here is the method of madness: 

Start with making the clear broth, once the water boils then add beef bones, onions, celery, carrots reduce fire to simmer, skim top throughout cooking time and simmer for @ 2 hours until clear.

peel an apple and use the peeler to get thin slices of apples and then do the same for the ginger, let the apples and ginger slices combined soak lemon juice, cinnamon and touch of sugar

Beef – sliced thin, marinate with tablespoon brown sugar, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper rub over meat and add red wine vinegar.  After 2 hrs, in a little olive oil meat sear it until it is cooked and tender, if needed add a little broth in the pan but its probably not needed

sear the brussel sprouts in butter, a touch of brown sugar and olive oil, season with salt and pepper.

sauté mushrooms and 1/2 scallions in butter until mushrooms are soft but firm

once broth is finish, skim any remaining scum on the top, strain clear return stock to pot and add sprouts, boy choy cook for 10-15 minutes, then add all of the remaining ingredients. Let the flavor combine and serve hot, top with soy ginger crispy wontons and red pepper flakes. 

Take the apple thin slices roll around the ginger slices and serve on the side and garnish with mangoes.

Here is my submission and I do request if you do make the recipe it would not be made professionally until I find out the results of the contest. 

Tea – Kashmiri Kahwa

A couple of my favorite Indian cuisines are various dishes from Kerala and Kashmir,

We will talk about Kerala deliciousness later, from Kashmir is the tea, Kashmiri Kahwa is what I would like to talk about today, maybe my reasoning is I sit here with a sore throat which is getting more painful as the hours tick away.  Kashmiri Kahwa is in the top 5 listing for favorite teas, there are variations to the tea but the foundational ingredients include green tea, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, saffron and sugar. I will list the variations at the end but to make this delicious tea you need:

 

4 teaspoons of Kashmiri tea leaves (green tea)

2 pods of cardamom

2 cloves

4 pinches of saffron

2.5 liter of water

2 tablespoons of sugar (to taste)

½ stick cinnamon

8 chopped almonds

 

 

Garnish: 

A few strands of saffron or

Chopped almonds

 

Method:

Boil the water with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves

Pour over the tea and let simmer over low flame

When using saffron you typically dissolve it in a little water

Strain the tea and add the liquid saffron

Top with chopped/slivers of almonds

Or you can top with a couple saffron threads  

 

Variations include:

The addition of milk, which actually changes the name from Kahwa to Chai

Some add rose water or syrup