Potato Dauphinoise

Never underestimate the power of the potato. Not only because it gives us pretty little things like vodka and fries, which are ah-mazing. But also because their humility allows you to really work magic with them. Add eggs and they make an awesome frittata. Bake them and season, resulting and glorious potato wedges. Grate them onto a skillet for a quick and crispy potato roesti. You get the gist.

What I chose to do with (or rather, to) my potatoes was a little more luxurious. My mum was having her gaggle of friends over for a lunch soiree, and in addition to a bunch of salads and desserts, the main course was heralded by this version of potatoes – the Dauphinoise.

Lets rewind. The first time that I tried this spectacularly simple dish was at a restaurant in the city for a buffet lunch. I remember some friends of my parents going ga-ga over the preparation, which prompted them to call the chef out to the table to learn more about this new
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Open Face Caprese Sandwich

I am in the process of researching an imaginary trip to Italy.

Rome, Milan, Florence, maybe the Tuscan countryside, and wine country.

From the crux of my initial research, lets call it Eataly. It is almost like a dream, to be able to eat and live life on the robust flavours of Tuscany, the gorgeous wines and the exceptional deserts. I think my version of a dream holiday in Eataly involves waking up early to beat the long queues spiralling alongside the museums and art galleries, with a mandatory quick stop at a local cafe for a double espresso. After the gallery/museum of the day, walk around one of the many quaint squares and their attached by lanes, poking around the local stores and boutiques, collecting pantry essentials (truffles, olive oils, cheeses, herbs, you get the gist!) and enjoying the local vibe. Next stop – a trattoria or deli

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Tagliatelle with Zucchini Ribbons, Basil and Mushrooms

Do you ever get obsessed with eating or fantasising about eating one particular thing, week on week, day on day, meal on meal? I have that obsessive tendency, where I fall in love with a particular dish, and just can’t get enough of it – until one fine day, the obsession dies out completely. I’m still unsure about whether its because I overdid it, or because the dish outlived its welcome. In either way, the evidence is clear – when my heart falls into a plate, it takes a while for me to get it off that plate!

It started a few weeks ago, with creating Ribboned Zucchini with Almond Pesto and Truffle Drizzle. Unhappy with the actual ribbons that were created, I went out and bought a cute little handheld spiraliser, to give me those perfectly extra long and thin spaghetti like zucchini ribbons. After step one was done, I decided that I wanted to make a pasta that wasn’t ‘saucy’ in the slightest, but which burst with flavours, was clean on the palate and looked amazing.

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Cherry Tomato Mascarpone Arrabbiata

To the entire world, India has always been associated with its abundance of spices. Not surprisingly, Indians favour the spicier offerings of global cuisine, which brings us to the famous arrabbiata. The literal translation from Italian means ‘angry’, an ode to the fire and heat that is prominent in this sauce, my version using none other than ground bits of emaciated Kashmiri mirchi.

This recipe came about after pottering through the larder and the refrigerator, with the aim of satisfying my friends who we invited over for a long overdue tete a tete consisting of vats of wine and a bounteous spread.  Read more…

Hoisin Glazed Tofu in Miso Broth with Soba Noodles

Never underestimate the strength and benefits of local produce. Although I have in the not so distant past rambled on about the gorgeous ingredients I picked up at the vegetable market, I do not restrict this concept to fresh ingredients, but even to pantry staples. A lot of times, we tend to pick certain imported brands or products that we are familiar with, rather than its local counterpart or substitute, often because we focus on authenticity in flavour.

In the last few years, there has been an amazing growth of local brands selling stellar products not traditionally available here, ranging from perfectly portioned healthy snacks, freshly grated parmesan, fresh tofu, sparkling passionfruit juice, dried herbs and seasonings, freshly roasted coffee beans, you get the gist!

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