Friday, 29 August 2014

Celebrate Labor’s Day with American-style Fried Chicken and Beer Dip

Summer in America ends-up with the Labor Day. This certainly calls for a family picnic. The occasion is accompanied by coleslaws, corny dogs, salads, baked beans, lemonade and of course the authentic mouthwatering fried chicken. The thought is making me hungry. Yummzz! Hope you enjoyed my barbecue recipes for picnic. I will love to pair up this fried chicken with my favorite cheese dip and french fries. What would you pair it with? My mom always prepares aromatic fried rice, which serves as an equally great combo with any kinda chicken. So here I bring you with my favorite fried chicken recipe and Cheesy Beer Dip.
Authentic Fried Chicken
Ingredients:-
1 teaspoon salt,
2 cups buttermilk,
2 cups all-purpose flour,
1 tablespoon garlic powder,
1 tablespoon onion powder,
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard,
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper,
1 tablespoon baking powder,
5 cups vegetable oil for frying,
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces,
1 teaspoon ground black pepper.
Preparation Method:-
1. Whisk together buttermilk, salt, mustard, pepper and cayenne in a large bowl. Pour it into a plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces and coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air. Seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours.
2. Before frying the chicken, combine the flour, garlic powder, baking powder and onion powder in the other plastic bag. Mix thoroughly.
3. Add one marinated chicken piece at a time into the dry ingredients mixture  bag. Coat the dry mixture completely. Complete this process with all the pieces.
4. Now heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, fry chicken in batches until golden brown on both sides, till the chicken is completely cooked.
5. You can serve the dish with various options like French fries, fried rice etc. I prefer having this with my favorite Cheesy Beer Dip.
Cheesy Beer Dip
If you really wanna have a relaxing holiday on the soothing summer evening, enjoy this cheesy beer dip. Though you can pair this dip with chips, nachos, french fries and other veggies, I’d like pairing it up with my fav fried chicken.
Ingredients:-
1/4 cup beer,
1/2 cup chunky salsa,
½ teaspoon garlic powder,
2 cups shredded American cheese blend.
Preparation Method:-
1. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, or until smooth and the cheese is melted. Stir frequently.
2. Serve immediately!
Happy Labor’s day!



Monday, 25 August 2014

Enjoy Germany’s Stuttgart Wine Fest

Stuttgart Wine Village, 2014 (Germany) welcomes you with more than 500 exotic wines from Baden and Wurttemberg. The beautifully decked-up 125 wine arbours will certainly drive you crazy. Not only this, the masterchefs from Stuttgart show their cookery skills through best of Swabian food like Kasespatzle, Maultaschen, Schupfnudeln etc. Kasespatzle is noodle plus cheese blend. Maultaschen are filled pasta squares. Schupfnudeln are potato noodles with sauerkraut. Once you mention the word wine, in Stuttgart, you are there with the list of award winning local vintners and the popular wines produced there. Not to a surprise, by 16th century, Stuttgart served as one of the largest wine-growing communities in the German nation. The best of wines grown here include Trollinger, Spatburgunder and Lemberger.  
Trollinger is fruitful and light red in color. It is enjoyed when freshly made and old as well. Limberger is a special variety of red grape that's grown in the Wurttemberg area, Germany. Spatburgunder stands among the top quality wines with amazing ageability. So lemme start with Swabian appetizer called Maultaschen and refreshing cocktail.
Swabian Maultaschen:-
Ingredients:-
4 beaten Eggs,
1 cup Ground beef,
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg,
1/2 cup minced Onion,
1 pound frozen Spinach,
2 tablespoons Butter/Oil,
Salt and Pepper as required,
1 package Wonton wrappers,
4 Bread slices soaked in milk,
1 beaten Egg with a little Water.
Preparation Method:-
1. Thaw the spinach, squeeze out the liquid and chop finely. Heat butter or oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute the onions. Add ground beef and saute until cooked thoroughly.
2. Mix the spinach and ground beef mixture together in a large bowl. Crumble bread into the bowl and add the eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Knead the filling to form a paste.
3. Place 2 teaspoons of the filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper, moisten the edges with a little of the egg-water mixture. Fold the wrapper in two and press down on the edges to seal. Repeat this with the remaining filling. Lay them on a baking sheet as they are finished.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the finished maultaschen and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and serve topped with bread crumbs toasted in melted butter. Or serve in a bowl with a little beef or chicken broth!
Trollinger Sprizz
Ingredients:-
80 ml Trollinger,
1 slice Orange,
Rhubarb as required,
250 ml Mineral water,
30 ml Fruity-bitter liqueur,
Aromatic herbs as required.
Preparation Method:-
Blend all the ingredients together. Top-up with ice cubes. Serve with slice of orange. Enjoy!
Enjoy the Wine Fest!!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Enjoy Foodies Festival with Authentic English Pudding

The Foodies Festival in UK calls for summer celebration involving lots of yummy food and drinks. Foodies enjoy this festival to the fullest by getting a chance to meet their favorite chefs and food experts. The great cooking shows are held in theaters and masterclasses. One can dine at the famous restaurants and also have good time in the private VIP areas. The afternoon tea time is certainly enjoyable accompanied by cakes cookies, cupcakes, rich biscuits and other snacks. 
Not only this, people can dance in the Vintage Tea Tent and have ultimate fun in the Real Ale and Cider Farm. A competition known as "chill competition" is also held on this special occasion. People enjoy family picnics on lush green grass and also listen to the live music and much more. But as you know that any festival is incomplete without dessert, I thought of sharing an English dessert recipe with you. Hope you liked my recipe "Roasted duck with pomegranateglaze, UK-style". So let's start with Authentic English Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Authentic English Sticky Toffee Pudding
For the Pudding:-
1 cup Sugar,
2 large Eggs,
1/2 teaspoon Sea salt,
1/4 cup unsalted Butter,
1 teaspoon Baking soda,
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract,
1 teaspoon Baking powder,
2 cups sifted All-purpose flour,
1 1/2 cups chopped pitted Dates.
For the Sauce:-
1 teaspoon Brandy,
1/2 cup Heavy cream,
1/4 cup unsalted Butter,
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract,
1 1/4 cups light Brown sugar,
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Preparation Method for the Sauce
1. Take a small heavy saucepan. Bring sugar, cream, and butter to a boil, over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat; stir in brandy and vanilla. Warm gently before serving.
Preparation Method for the Pudding
1. Preheat the oven to 350 D. F. Bring dates and 11/4 cups water to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan with tall sides. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda. The mixture would be fluffy. Set aside and let it cool.
2. Whisk 11/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Blend 1/4 cup butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Now add 1 egg; blend well. Add half of flour mixture and half of date mixture; again beat to blend. Repeat with remaining 1 egg, flour mixture, and date mixture. Pour batter into the pan.
3. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted at center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Invert pudding onto rack. Cover and let it stand at room temperature. The pudding is ready. Add sauce over it. Serve warm!
Enjoy the Foodies Festival!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

La Tomatina Festival

La Tomatina is held each year in Spain in the month of August. This food fight festival includes people throwing more than a hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes at each other. People participate in the paella cooking competition, a night before the tomato fight. The first event of La Tomatina first begins at 11:00 am. The festival is accompanied by music, dance, parades and lots of fireworks. Hope you liked my recipe, Spanish omelette. So let's prepare a recipe rich in tomatoes to celebrate La Tomatina to the fullest. Meatballs with Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce can be prepared in 30 minutes and forms a great appetizer(dry) or main course (gravy). The main course can be served with spaghetti or rice. 
Meatballs with Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce
For Meatballs:-
1/4 cup unseasoned Dry bread crumbs,
500 grams ground Beef,
1/2 teaspoon Garlic salt,
4 medium Green onions,
1/4 teaspoon Pepper,
1 egg.
For the Tomato Sauce:-
1/2 cup Water,
2 tablespoons Wine vinegar,
3/4 cup chopped dried Cherries,
1 Handful chopped fresh Chives,
25.5 oz fire roasted Tomato pasta sauce.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 D. F. Mix meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into 25 (1 1/2 Inches) meatballs. Place on an ungreased pan.
2. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. You can check this with the help of tooth-prick, the meat must not stick to it.
3. Meanwhile, in 3-quart saucepan, heat all sauce ingredients except chives. Boil it, stir occasionally. Reduce the heat. Stir in meatballs. Sprinkle with chives. Serve hot!
Enjoy La Tomatina Festival!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Celebrate Independence Day with Indian Street Food

The best way to celebrate any festival of a country is through it’s street food. Let’s check out how Indians come down on the streets to celebrate with loud music, dance, colorful parades and Indian Street Food. I love Indian Food <3 <3
Pakoras - Pakoras are Indian fritters, originated from Uttar Pradesh, that are made up of gram flour. These are crisp and fried snacks made up of different vegetables like potatoes, onion, spinach, mix-veg etc. The filling may also consist of bread, cottage cheese slices etc. The gram flour batter includes chopped green chillies, salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic paste, hot Indian spices etc. Nevertheless, it is considered as one of the best street foods or finger food and makes great party appetizers as well. Any big or small get together is incomplete without pakoras. It can be paired with tomato chutney (Indian homemade sauce) or green chilly chutney.
Dosa - Dosa is another street food that has originated from South India. Dosa is an Indian pancake or crispy savory fermented crepe. It is made up of rice and black lentils batter. The stuffing may consist of spicy potato mixture, onion mixture, cottage cheese mixture or combinations of two or more mixtures put together, the thought makes me feel hungry :P. Dosa is paired with two types of chutneys, coconut-herb chutney or peanut chutney. Though the recipe is popular in South India, with time it has gained popularity throughout India. Indian restaurants in abroad do serve Dosa, which is loved by many local people out there.
Chaat - Chaat is a crispy, sweet and sour snacks made up of round flat and crisp flour fritters. This is accompanied by beaten curd, boiled sliced potatoes and special tamarind sauce, green chilli sauce, Indian tomato sauce. There are various combination of chaat such as ‎Papdi chaat, Samosa Chaat, Spicy sweet Corn Chaat , Aloo Chana Chaat etc. I have described Papdi chaat here. Special chaat masala(mixture of Indian spices) is sprinkled over sauces and curd. Though the origin is Uttar Pradesh, the hawkers and vendors have stalls throughout India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Aloo Tikki - Aloo stands for potato and tikki means small cutlet. The crisp potato cutlets are pan-fried or deep fried and served with the topping same as that of chaat. Though this recipe is famous in North India, it is loved by people throughout the country.
Kachori - Kachori is puffed up and flaky from outside and hollow from inside. In this, the filling sticks to the crust of the fritter from inside. The dough is made up of hard wheat flour. There are various types of kachori like peas kachori, potato kachori, onion kachori etc. It is served with different types of spicy Indian chutneys.
Dahi Vada - Vada is a soft, fried lentil dumpling. These dumplings are dipped in beaten curd(dahi) and topped with Indian hot spices and different chutneys especially tamarind chutney. They are very popular in marriage parties in India.
Samosa - Samosa is fried pastry made up of refined flour. These are triangular in shape. The fillings consists of spicy potato mixture, basically. The mixture is accompanied by boiled peas and cottage cheese bits. The filling may vary from region to region. It may consist of cottage cheese entirely or ground lamb, ground beef or ground chicken etc. The super crispy treat is accompanied by Indian chutneys, especially tamarind and green chilly chutney.
Pav Bhaji - Pav means bread and bhaji means vegetables. Hence pav bhaji includes spicy vegetable blend in tomato gravy. It is served with pav (Indian buns). Pav bhaji is topped with lotto butter. It is basically a Maharashtrian fast food dish, but has again gained popularity all over India, just as other popular Indian street food.
Pani-puri - The more you describe, the more hungry you feel. Pani-puri consists of a round, hollow hard puri (small hard wheat flour fritter), crisp and filled with a mixture of flavored water (“pani”), tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion and chickpeas. It is generally small enough to fit completely into one’s mouth. It is famous throughout India, though the taste varies from  region to region. 
 
Happy Independence Day!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Celebrate Independence Day with Chole Bhature

India celebrates Independence Day each year on August 15. The country became an independent nation on August 15, 1947. This is a gazetted holiday. The day is observed with flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and cultural events from different parts of the country. People display national flag on their attires, homes, vehicles, accessories etc. People listen to the patriotic song, watch the patriotic movies, parades on television with the family and friends. Though entire India suffered, North India was in great turmoil, even after independence and contributed a lot for the nation. The land includes freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar. So today I'm presenting a popular Punjabi Recipe, called Chole Bhature before you, which is popular in India as well as abroad. Chole are spicy curried chick peas. Bhature is fried bread. In this recipe, we use a special type of spice powder called chole masala, that consists of bay leaf, cumin, coriander seeds, cloves, mustard seeds, red chillies, peppercorns and pomegranate seeds. 
 For Chole:-
Salt to taste,
2 tablespoons oil,
2 cloves grated Garlic,
1 finely chopped  Onion,
50 grams grated Ginger,
2 teaspoons Chilli powder,
2 teaspoons Chole masala,
2 cups Tomato paste,
1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds,
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder,
1 tablespoon Coriander powder.
2 teaspoons dried Mango powder,
1 cup white Chickpeas (soaked overnight),
1 teaspoon Tea leaves (tied in a muslin cloth).
For Bhature
Salt to taste,
1/2 cup Plain flour,
Oil for deep-frying,
1 1/2 teaspoon Oil,
1/2 cup Potatoes, boiled and grated.
Preparation Method:-
For Chickpeas Curry:-
1. Pressure cook the chickpeas with the tea bag for 3 whistles, until they are soft . Drain and keep aside. Discard the tea bag.
2. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the onion, ginger and garlic. Saute till the onions are golden brown. Add tomato paste and cook till the oil starts separating itself. This indicates the mixture is ready
3. Add the chole masala, and all other spices and saute for another minute on slow heat. Add the chickpeas with 1 cup of water and mix well. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with bhaturas and onion with lemon wedges.
For Bhature:-
1. Combine the flour, potato, 1½ teaspoons of oil and salt and knead into a firm dough without using any water. Knead the dough very well till it is smooth. Cover with a wet muslin cloth and rest the dough for 10 minutes.
2. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll out into circles. Deep fry in hot oil till the bhaturas puff up and both sides are golden brown. Enjoy the treat!!
Happy Independence Day!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Happy Raksha Bandhan with Indian Desserts

Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is one of the most important Hindu festival. This year it is falling on August 10, 2014. It is a bond of protection. It is a ceremony that includes tying of sacred thread (now-a-days fancy ones), on the wrist. Sisters tie this thread on their brother’s hand signifying eternal bond of love and the promise to protect them throughout their life. According to Hindu mythology, Indrani, the wife of Lord Indra started this practice. Lord Indra had lost his kingdom when he had a fight against the demons. Lord Vishnu advised Indrani to recite sacred prayers and tie a sacred thread around her husband's wrist, and as she did so, Lord Indra defeated the demons and got back the throne. Rakhee signifies protecting the weak. Raksha Bandhan is accompanied by number of Indian desserts and sweets like ladoos, gulab-jamun, barfi, rasgulla etc. Here, I present before you tasty Indian Desserts.
Gulab Jamun - Gulab Jamun are dumplings made up of thickened or reduced milk that is soaked in rose flavored sugar syrup.
Ingredients:-
3 cups Sugar,
6 cups Water,
1 cup Double cream,
3 cups Powdered milk,
1 1/2 cups All purpose flour,
2 Tablespoons Rose water,
Sunflower oil for deep frying,
1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking powder,
1 Tablespoon Cardamom powder.
Preparation Method:-
1. Mix the water and sugar in a deep pan and boil till all the sugar is dissolved. Turn-off the flame and add the cardamom powder and rose water. Mix well and keep aside. Mix the milk powder, all purpose flour and baking powder, well. Add a little of the thickened cream at a time to them and knead to make a dough that is medium soft but not sticky. Don’t use all the cream.
2. Make small balls of dough with the palm. Heat the oil for deep frying in a wide pan on a medium flame. Fry the dumplings, stirring often to brown completely. Do not cook on very high heat as the dumplings will burn on the outside and remain raw inside.
3. When cooked, drain, remove the dumplings from the oil and transfer immediately into the sugar syrup. Repeat this till all the dumplings are cooked and added to the syrup.
4. Allow the dumplings to soak in the syrup for 2 hours before serving. Serve with ice-cream or condensed milk.

Rasmalai - Rasmalai is another popular Indian dessert that is prepared from Indian cottage cheese. Ras stands for juice and malai means cream. Rasmalai means the spongy cottage cheese balls soaked in goodness of rich saffron flavored creamy cool milk. First of all, the milk made thick on slow heat, stirring it again and again with strands of saffron and sugar. Then the already prepared spongy cottage cheese balls are thrown in the milk, allowing it to soak the milk but not completely. It is garnished with slivered pistachio and cashew nuts. It is served either cold or at room temperature. 
Happy Raksha Bandhan!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Enjoy Pig Festival with French-Style Roasted Pork

I can feel the tempting aroma of roasted pork for this porcine fest. The festival is not only accompanied by yummy pork recipes, but there are various funny and enthusiastic competitions and engaging activities like piglet race, best pig outfit, best sausage eater etc. There is a competition called Black-Pudding-Eating Competition. In this the competitors eat congealed blood, stretching over 1m. The criteria is pretty simple, how much and how fast. The main events include Pig Imitating Competition and aural extravaganza. In this, the competitors squeal like a pig. However the festival gives a boost to the declining pig-farming industry. So here I go with the luscious French-Style Roasted Pork recipe to keep up the spirit of the fest at the par. 
French-Style Roasted Pork Recipe
Ingredients:-
1 Bay leaf,
1 teaspoon Sugar,
2 teaspoons Herbs,
Pepper as required,
3 Lbs Pork loin roast,
2 tablespoons Butter,
2 sprigs Fresh thyme,
3/4 cup Chicken broth,
1/3 cup Dry white wine,
1 finely chopped Onion,
Kosher salt as required,
6 cloves thinly sliced Garlic,
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil,
1 tablespoon chopped Parsley,
1 tablespoon Unflavored gelatin,
1 thinly sliced Granny Smith apple.
Preparation Method:-
1. Preheat oven to 225 D. C and place oven rack in lower middle position. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add half of garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden. Now set aside to cool.
2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt over both sides of butterflied pork loin and rub into the pork. Sprinkle sugar over inside of pork, and then spread with cooled garlic mixture. Fold roast back together like a letter, Keep the fat portion outside and tie with twine at one-inch intervals.
3. Sprinkle tied roast evenly with herbs and season with pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven over medium heat until very hot; add roast, fat side down for 8 minutes. Transfer the roast to a large plate.
4. To the dutch oven add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, apple and onion. Cook, stirring frequently until onion is softened and browned for 6 minutes. Stir in remaining garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine, thyme, and bay leaf; cook for another 30 seconds.
5. Return roast to pot, fat side up. Place a large piece of aluminum foil over top of pot and cover tightly with a lid. Transfer pot to oven and cook until pork at 140 D. C for 90 minutes. Transfer roast to carving board, tent loosely with foil, let it rest for 20 minutes.
6. While pork rests, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of chicken broth and let sit until gelatin softens, for 5 minutes. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf; pour just into 2 cup measuring cup and; if necessary, add chicken broth to measure 1-1/4 cups.
7. Return to pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk softened gelatin mixture, remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and parsley and season to taste; remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
8. Slice pork in ½ inch slices, adding any accumulated juices to sauce. Serve pork, pass sauce separately. Enjoy with wine of your choice. :)
Enjoy the Pig Festival!