Monday, 27 October 2014

Party Bash on John’s Pass Seafood Festival

Hey friends, hope you had a bash on 33rd Annual John’s Pass Seafood Festival with an electrifying weekend, full of taste bud teasing, ear vibrating diversion and sight pleasing. This year the event had taken place from October 24 to 26, 2014. The event takes place at Historic John’s Pass Village located on most beautiful Madeira Beach, Florida, United States. The highlights of the event includes musical entertainment, art and craft show and luscious seafood. There were delectable grouper sandwiches along with 100+ seafood options. 
Some of my special friends paid a visit to that place and were talking about the goodies including food vendors, beer truck, full bar rodeo-style fishing tournament etc. Oh! I missed it all.. They had ultimate time on the Halloween Party and Costume Contest. Nevertheless Best Seafood Competition was the centre of attraction for the tourists as well as the localites. Keeping the spirit of the event, let's make the Korean Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup AKA Champong that is welcome by lot many goodies from the sea.
Korean Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup AKA Champong
8 peeled Shrimp,
1/2 sliced Onion,
1/2 sliced Carrot,
6 scrubbed Mussels,
7 cups Chicken Broth,
2 sliced Green Onions,
60 grams sliced Pork,
1 packet Egg Noodles,
60 grams sliced Squid,
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil,
1 teaspoon sliced Garlic,
1 teaspoon sliced Ginger,
2 sliced Red Chili Peppers,
5 dried black Mushrooms,
Salt and Pepper as required,
1/4 sliced Chinese Cabbage.

Preparation Method:-
1. Soak mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain, slice and set aside. Bring mussels and water to a boil in a pot. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes or until shells open.
2. Set mussels aside. Do not throw away the liquid. Add it to chicken broth to make 6 cups total liquid. In a large pot of boiling water, cook noodles. Drain and set aside.
3. Add olive oil to a wok. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant for 5 seconds. Add pork and stir-fry. Add shrimp, squid, and mussels and stir-fry. Add onions, carrots, red chili pepper, and green onions and stir-fry.
4. Add cabbage and chicken broth mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and let simmer. Add soy sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Place noodles in a large soup bowl. Pour hot soup mixture over noodles. Enjoy!
Have fun on John’s Pass Seafood Festival :)

Friday, 24 October 2014

Happy Halloween with Pumpkin Chickpeas Fritters

It’s Halloween, it’s party time. I’m not gonna spend too much time in the kitchen, are you? I had guests in the evening yesterday. Luckily, I had leftover boiled chickpeas from the dinner, the night before. Since Halloween is approaching I’m trying out different pumpkin recipes, so I had canned pumpkin available as well. Rest all the ingredients are integral part of any kitchen. So I prepared quick and easy Pumpkin Chickpeas Fritters. My guests loved it, and so will yours. I have decided that this would be one of my appetizers on The Halloween Party. Hope you liked my blog previous blog, Halloween food ideas
Pumpkin Chickpeas Fritters
1 beaten Egg,
Olive Oil to fry,
Salt as required,
1½ cups Pumpkin,
1 teaspoon Cayenne,
2 cloves minced Garlic,
2 chopped kale leaves,
1 teaspoon Lemon juice,
Breadcrumbs as required,
1 cup cooked Chickpeas,
1 teaspoon smoked Paprika,
cup toasted Sesame seeds,
2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar.
Preparation Method:-
  1. Add chickpeas, pumpkin, egg, apple cider vinegar, garlic, kale, sesame seeds, smoked paprika, cayenne, half of the bread crumbs and salt to the blender. Blend until smooth. 
  2. Form 6 patties. Coat in breadcrumbs. Fry in a pan, turning once, till golden brown on each side.
  3. Garnish with Italian seasoning. Serve with your favorite dip!
Enjoy the Halloween Treat!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Food Ideas for Halloween Party

Here comes Halloween, we are all set for it. Yipee! Ofcourse I will not like to spend my precious time in the kitchen. So here are some TIME SAVING HALLOWEEN PARTY IDEAS…..
Halloween's Scary Hand (Simple Meatloaf with shape of a hand) - The scary hand is here, it's burnt, it it looks dreadful, but it's yummy. Since time will be a constraint that day, I decided to prepare a quick and easy meatloaf, loved by people of all age groups. You can use roasted pearl onions to give an impression of dead nails. Then you can cover up the ground meat with cheese and tomato sauce, it'll give an impression of flesh and blood, OMG! Nevertheless the ground meat (I prefer beef) must contains your family's favorite Mediterranean herbs, especially garlic, barbeque sauce etc. to enjoy the taste of the fest. 
Grave Pudding (Chocolate Pudding with your favorite Cookies) - I love chocolate recipes and chocolate pudding is one of my favorites. Chocolate Pudding is one of my favorites. The pudding can be prepared a day before to save time. The pudding can be loaded with your favorite nuts to give impression of the soil. Add the pudding in small glasses as shown. Place Biscuits as shown, they look like tombstone. With chocolate sauce you can write R.I.P. I’m sure kids are gonna love this “Dark Spooky Pudding”.
Spooky Spiders on my Eggs (Deviled Eggs with Black Olives) - This quick and easy recipes is so light and delicious. I always use low-fat mayo for the egg yolks. On the deviled eggs, cut the olives into two equal halves. Make the body of the spider from half of the olive. Slice the other half to give the impression of the spider legs. You can also sprinkle some pepper to give impression of the dust. Though I prefer using low-fat mayo, you can always add mayo that is your family’s favorite. The Deviled Eggs are really devilish here :P
Devilish Cookies (Pumpkin Cookies) - This is the easiest of all. You need making simple cookies with sugar-spiced pumpkin filling. You can always draw lines like the one on pumpkins with blunt knife. With the sharp knife you can cut the eyes and mouth. You can also add in some other filling if you want, but I always prefer my family’s favorite Pumpkin Filling. The Scary Devilish Cookies will definitely cheer up the kids.
So, where’s the party pals?

Friday, 17 October 2014

Happy Diwali with Indian Rice Pudding

Here comes the biggest Indian festival, Diwali. This year Diwali is falling on October 23, 2014. Diwali is not only celebrated in India, but Nepal, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana,and Fiji. This festival symbolizes victory of good over evil. On Diwali, people lighten up their houses with earthen lamps and candles. Special prayer is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the giver of wealth and prosperity. Firework follows immediately after the evening prayer. Gifts are exchanged between the friends and family. And as I always say, any festival is incomplete without food, especially the yummy dessert recipes. So let's welcome Diwali with great pomp and show. I'm making kheer, the authentic Indian rice pudding. So jump with yummzz :P.
2 tablespoons Sugar,
1 1/2 cup Cooked Rice,
2 cups Full Cream Milk,
3 teaspoons Clarified butter,
1/2 tablespoon chopped Almonds,
1 Pinch teaspoon Nutmeg Powder,
1/2 tablespoon chopped Pistachios,
1/3 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk,
1/2 tablespoon chopped Cashew nuts.
Preparation Method:-
1. Heat 1 teaspoon of clarified butter in a heavy bottomed pan. Roast cashew nuts, pistachios and almonds until light brown for a minute. Transfer the nuts to a plate.
2. Place milk, condensed milk, sugar and cooked rice in the same pan. Stir continuously and cook until milk is absorbed. Mixture must be medium thick. It will take approximately 15 minutes on low flame.
3. Add in it nutmeg powder, 2 teaspoons of clarified butter and mix well. Transfer prepared kheer to a serving bowl. Garnish with roasted nuts. Serve hot or cold!
Happy Diwali!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Celebrate Eurochocolate with Choco Pumpkin Muffins

Eurochocolate is the festival which is entirely dedicated to chocolate of Umbria, which is a historic as well as modern central Italy region. I love chocolate recipes. This festival takes place every year in the month of October in Perugia. The origin of this festival dates back to 1994 and symbolizes creative architect Eugene Guarducci. The festival displays Italian and International chocolates. It also consists of various cultural events and shows that animate the streets of the city. The most remarkable events among the events is the display of enormous Chocolate Sculptures, made by skilled sculptors. 
These sculptors are made out of one metre cube volume of chocolate. The sculptors prepare and display designs of their masterpiece during the event. I decided to make vegan and gluten-free pumpkin chocolate chips muffins for a perfect celebration. I have used Flax Seed Egg that is the substitute of organic egg to keep it vegan. Gluten-free flour is readily available in the market. I thought of combining the chocolate from Europe and pumkin of America to make a friendly recipe that would cheer both the nations.
1/4 teaspoon Salt,
1/2 cup Brown Sugar,
1 teaspoon Cinnamon,
1/2 cup Pumpkin puree,
2 cups Gluten-free Flour,
2 tablespoons Canola oil,
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract,
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda,
1 teaspoon Baking powder,
1 cup Almond milk+1 Tbsp Lemon juice,
1/3 cup Vegan Semisweet Chocolate Chips,
1 Flax Egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 2.5 tablespoon water).
Preparation Method:-
  1. Preheat oven to 375 D. F. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Prepare flax egg by mixing flax meal and water in a large bowl. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin puree, almond milk, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla extract and stir. Then add salt, baking soda and powder and cinnamon and whisk.
  2. Carefully place flour into a bowl, over wet ingredients and stir. Add chocolate chips and stir again lightly. If the batter appears to be thick, add almond milk accordingly. Fill the mixture in muffin tins.
  3. Add a few more chocolate chips to the top, if you are a really big fan of chocolate like me. Bake for 28 minutes or until golden brown. Check whether it’s baked or not with the help of a toothpick. It must come out clean when inserted till the bottom of the muffin.
  4. Let the muffins rest in the pan for 5 minutes. Enjoy the treat.
Enjoy Unique Chocolates on Eurochocolate Fest!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Pumpkin and Bean Stew for Halloween

Here comes the “Pumpkin Festival”. We all are excited for Halloween. Isn’t it? Let’s start the preparation with a healthy kick. Whether you are throwing a fancy party to your friends or kids, a healthy recipe is always welcomed. Pinto beans serve as a great source of proteins. Infact, it is a good substitute for meat. Pumpkin is almost fat free and low in calories. It contains carotenoids that generate vitamin A. They are also rich in vitamins C, E and B complex. 
Pumpkins contain calcium and fibre too. But the advantage is that they are free from fat which is otherwise present in red meat. They are great for sodium-free diet. These beans are rich in vitamin B, thiamin, roboflavin and niacin. Apart from this, they are rich in fibre which is very helpful in controlling blood sugar levels. Pinto beans are used in meal courses such as bakes, appetizers, salads and even bread. I will be preparing Healthy Pumpkin and Bean Stew with Herbs.
Healthy Pumpkin and Bean Stew with Herbs
2 cups water,
1 sliced Onion,
2 teaspoons Salt,
2 Mexican Chillies,
4 chopped Tomatoes,
15 ounce Pinto Beans,
2 tablespoons Olive oil,
2 teaspoons ground Cumin
1 tablespoon minced Ginger,
5 cups cubed peeled Pumpkin,
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese/Vegan Cream Cheese (Optional).
Preparation Method:-
1. Preheat the broiler. Place Mexican chillies on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until blackened for 8 minutes, turning them with a tong. Steam the chillies, discarding stem and seeds.
2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add cumin, onion, ginger and Mexican chillies. Cook for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes are soft for 5 minutes.
3. Add water and pumpkin. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in par-boiled beans and cook until heated through. Stir in Parmesan/Vegan Cream Cheese and salt.
4. Serve hot with steamed rice or garlic bread!
Enjoy the Halloween Treat!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Gala with Risotto on White Truffle Festival

Just Italian red wine called Barolo is not enough to celebrate the month of October among the Italians. Alba is considered as Italy’s top culinary commodity, where people celebrate the White Truffle Fest, aka, Tuber Magnatum Pico. During the weekends, the markets are flooded with luscious local treats. The white truffle season brings with it the rarest of all the mushrooms. For good quality of white truffles, leaching of fungicides into the soil and global warming is of utmost importance. White truffle reminds one about a perfect combo of wet soil, rain of the fall, youth that is lost and old steaming affairs. 
The highlights of the fests includes a parade of 1000+ people decked up portraying medieval period and amusing donkey races. The restaurants throughout are stuffed with heavily truffled lunch and grand dinners. I must definitely try something authentic, after all I love Italian food. I thought of trying out something with Arborio rice. Arborio rice is Italian short grain rice. It is called so because of the town of Arborio, in the Po Valley, where it is grown in abundant quantity. I have used wine which is one of the specialty of the country. You can definitely replace chicken stock with vegetable stock if you are vegan/vegetarian or beef/fish if you are a fan of non-veg or seafood. The recipe is quite flexible, filling and easy to cook. 
White Truffles Soup with Risotto Recipe
6 tablespoons Butter,
2 cups Arborio rice,
1 cup Dry White Wine,
7 cups Chicken stock,
3 finely chopped Shallots,
1 tablespoon chopped Garlic,
1 ½ ounces fresh White Truffles,
Coarse Salt and freshly ground Pepper to taste.
Preparation Method:-
  1. First of all, melt three tablespoons of butter in a heavy frying pan over low heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Pour in the rice and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until all the rice is coated with the butter. Let it cook for four minutes.
  2. Stir frequently. Then add wine. Let it evaporate. Then add chicken stock, one cup at a time, and cook the rice over medium heat, stirring constantly as the stock is absorbed by the rice. When the rice is almost done, add in garlic. Cook again for ten minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Add in the remaining butter. Serve with Barolo!

    Enjoy the Fest!