Appetisers and Hors D’oeuvres

Sweet Corn with Miso Butter

Inspiration for the combination of miso + sweetcorn came while watching Masterchef AU, the episode where Sara makes a roasted quail dish, on a bed of miso sweetcorn puree with a blackberry vinaigrette. As usual, I look at the side elements on a protein dish that I can re-create at home, maybe not in the same exact form, rather as a flavour pairing that I can then create my own recipe with. Now let’s be honest, we’ve all eaten butter slathered corn on the cob, and even steamed corn with a dollop of butter and spices, and it is safe to deem the bowlful of goodness as a warming and comforting snack. Adding miso and some other relishes, well that just makes it burst with flavour in an understated and perfectly rounded way!

For some reason, a lot of people like to boil their corn before using it, or steaming it. I personally find this not only wasteful and cumbersome, but I find that repetitive cooking  Read more…

Scallion & Sprouted Mung Bean Sauté with Peanuts

SS and I just celebrated 5 years of being together, in Hong Kong. I mention this because while exploring Soho one sleepy Sunday, we stumbled upon a store called Pantry Magic, which transported me back to any good European or American kitchenware stores (picture a Williams Sonoma meets Divertimenti) – from where I took home the pictured gorgeous wok, perfect for cooking up Asian fare at home, without taking up too much space in my already congested pantry cupboard! Now, one Sunday after that purchase was made, I decided to use my Clean Foods cookbook (for much needed detox after last night’s revelry and general HK indulgences!) and repeat this Scallion & Sprouted Mung Bean Sauté with Peanuts which I previously made with some pak choi, but this time left it out.

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AirFried Vegetable Spring Rolls

My love for Thai food is something that can never be satiated, or so I’d like to believe. About a decade ago, my parents and I had a week long vacation there, with a few days at the beach and the rest in the bustling capital. What was clear from this vacation was that my mum and me gluttonously attacked Thai food at every meal (ok fine, barring breakfast, although even at breakfast our plates were filled with mangosteen) so much so that after 4 days, my dad actually ordered a sandwich from room service before we went for another Thai meal, because clearly, he had reached the brink.

Not for me. Every city I visit, always has me looking for at least one Thai pit stop. In Delhi, it’s always Ego Thai, a classic non fussy joint, packed with loads of comfort food. Even when we were in Croatia, we managed to find Pearl of Siam, which coupled with my desire to eat spice and flavour (the vegetarian food in the more touristy parts of Croatia were unimaginative) went so out of control, made us return there two nights in a row! In London,  Read more…

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Spring Onion and Goats Cheese

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Spring Onion and Goats Cheese

Now apart from my last post on the summer fresh and easy umami chickpea sandwiches, the bulk of 2015 has been written up as sweet posts, including Momofuku’s cinnamon brown butter bun pie, amarula spiked chocolate pudding pots and coconut brown butter cookies with the exception of my Valentine’s Day inspired heart shaped champagne and truffle risotto. Time to give you a more balanced approach to cooking! Today I have for you an absolute stunner – Sweet Potato salad with spring onion and goats cheese. This stunner has been adapted from Ottolenghi’s arsenal of glorious recipes. Now as you may recall, I’ve succeeded at emulating Ottolenghi’s sweet potato cakes, which I still fantasise and salivate over.

There’s enough potato in this significant salad to serve as a meal in itself for 4-5 people, or as a part of a larger gathering of food, for 8-10 people. But I would definitely size it down and serve it to myself for a gratifying and fire-crackingly flavourful lunch or dinner – nutritiously comprising of gluten and grain free carbs along with a handful of vegetables and sprinkling of protein. And my most important food group – spice!

The bulk of the work is done by the beautiful marriage of the ingredients – the perfectly golden…

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Red Wine Poached Pear and Blue Cheese Crostini

Have you ever poached pear, or for that matter, any other fruit? Until recently, I never had. But after tasting the wondrous results of humble home poached fruit, I am obsessed. I admit that I am showing symptoms of another obsession – crostinis! But they’re just so dam good, its kinda hard not to.

Since we are talking about obsessions, strawberry season is back! Over the weekend I experimented with some jalepeno infused strawberry margaritas from How Sweet It Is’s new book, Seriously Delish. And can I just say, it was just ah-mazaing! It was made up of pureed strawberries, fresh jalepeno, cointreau and of course, some good old rum. You could totally swap the rum for the originally called for tequila, but I found this incredibly delicious (yet not too sweet) cocktail to be am amazing spin on a bloody-mary meets a daiquiri meets a caprioska.

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Mushroom Hors d’oeuvres

A few weeks ago, I wanted to make an hors d’oeuvre which could be served both warm and room termperature, and had the ability to invoke the desire in anyone to lean over for one more! I find that mushrooms and parsley are one of those heavenly matches – like strawberry and balsamic, orange and dark chocolate. Puff pastry is an obvious and amazing choice. How can you go wrong with something that has 1000 layers, and rises butterfully (see what I did there – beautifully with butter).

On a free afternoon, I pre-thawed the puff pastry for a few hours in the fridge and then rolled it out, cut 2″ rounds using a cookie cutter, and pressed down the corners with the back of a fork – providing those pretty little ridges in the pastry. The indentations also allow the corners to rise more and get nice and golden, whereas the centre remains a little dented, paving way for filling of choice. After they were indented, I popped them back into a freezer layered with parchment paper between each circle, to prevent any scope of sticking. This method saved me a huge amount of time and effort on D-day, and is also a great way to utilise any excess pastry.

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