I’m a tad confused on the title of this post (yeah, real first world problems). I kind of want it to look and sound like a restuarant menu dish with the hero ingredients followed by the sauce and frills in italics below. You know, something like:
Fresh Ravioli with Spinach & Homemade Ricotta
Morel Mushroom Sauce with Chestnut and Walnut, Almost-Burnt Butter Crispy Sage
Now doesn’t that sound fancy? Well, firstly, this post has been long in the making, and its ingredients have been accumulated even longer – waiting impatiently to be purposed into a meal. For some odd reason, over the last few months I’ve received bottles and tubes of chestnut puree/cream. And to be blatantly honest, I had absolutely no idea how to use it – and then began the incessant googling. The French may have some suave and sophisticated ways to use it, but little old me sure doesn’t! Then comes morels, or guchhi, which SS insisted his parents bring back from Kashmir (not that he as *any* intention of cooking with them ahem ahem). I also bought the pasta attachment to my kitchen aid, which was an extremely considered and thought through decision, but till date I have only been able to successfully use the roller (my last attempt to cut the rolled sheets into fettuccine was a big glubby disaster.
Since that fateful day, I have found a pasta recipe (from Taj’s Favourite Vegetarian recipes book – the ravioli which coincidentally, we have had the privilege of eating – Read more…
Want to make a desert this festive season?
But you want it to be quick, simple, lacking any kind of technique?
And most importantly, need it to look rustically perfect?
Well, have I got all those criteria marked off, and more!
You see, my Strawberry Shortcakes not only make the best and most beautiful centrepiece to your table this festive season, but take literally no time to make, use fresh in season luscious strawberries and is topped off with vanilla bean infused whipped cream. How do you not salivate?! And with christmas around the corner, the redness of the strawberries make the desert look even more festive and inviting!
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…
Do you notice a Brown Butter trend? I sure do!
Plus, I adore coconuts.
Maybe it’s because I have childhood memories of stopping at the neighbourhood naariyal paani wala for a chilled coconut water in the blistering summer heat, and then asking the naariyal paani wala to scoop out the tender inner flesh of the coconut, to eat as a glutinous snack [and he’s even make a spoon out of the husk, as we watched]. I also distinctly remember my first Thai curry, at the famous and favourite Thai Pavillion. Now given my love for spicy and coconut, Thai curry was a no-brainer instant love affair that just hasn’t ended, and I don’t see it ending, any time soon. But it continued. Coconut macaroons, coconut ice cream, khopra pak, and I finally noticed a strong personal preference developing.
So when I came across this recipe for coconut brown butter cookies from Smitten Kitchen, it because almost impossible to ignore.
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.
I have a theory. Well, lets be honest – I have many theories, but this particular one that I am sharing with you today revolves around mastering the art of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. It involves the perfect base – caramelised brown sugar and butter being optimal, with excellent quality slightly larger than normal semi sweet chocolate chips, so that each bite of the chocolate chip cookie really does melt in your mouth, and each mouthful can wait for the next. Now there are people who prefer certain cookies over the others, but mastering a basic like chocolate chip just opens up horizons of options for the average Jo.