Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Rosemary

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This delicious snack is so quick and easy to make. You can serve it at parties or have it as a family meal.

All you’ll need is:

  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 large mushrooms 
  • 2 links of italian sausage (casing removed) (Replace with paneer for vegetarian version)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 6 scallions (chopped)
  • Some grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Freshly chopped rosemary (keep some sprigs for garnishing)
  • Salt and pepper as per taste

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove the stems from the mushroom and keep aside.
  3. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and add the minced garlic. Sauté it for a minute.
  4. Add the sausage and crumble it using a wooden spoon. Cook it till it turns brown and then add the scallions.
  5. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, add the chopped rosemary, mix well and finally turn off the heat.
  6. Fill each mushroom generously with this sausage mixture and sprinkle some freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano on top. 
  7. Season them with some salt and pepper and arrange them in a baking dish. 
  8. Bake them for about 20-30 mins. Garnish with some fresh rosemary sprigs before serving.

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American Sponge Cake with Chocolate Frosting

American Sponge Cake

Both me and my husband do not have a sweet tooth at all (except for those days when we sit and empty half a bucket of vanilla ice-cream), but once in a while after having our spicy Indian meals we crave for something to soothe our simmering taste buds. I have tried a version of sponge cake before, but this recipe is just the thing that we were looking for since it is not overly sweet and uses no fat, which makes it amazingly light and moist. It is complemented perfectly by whipped cream and fresh fruits but for the health conscious, it tastes great as it is without any frosting. Here is my take on this classic recipe for a 9″ cake.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup (100 grams) sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Zest of lemon or orange (outer skin)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (or same amount of lemon juice)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.  Have an ungreased 9 inch round cake pan ready.
  2. Separate the cold eggs, keeping the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and keep aside to bring them to room temperature. Meanwhile sift or whisk the sifted flour with the baking powder and salt.
  3. Place the egg yolks and 2/3 cup (135 grams) of the sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment or use an electric hand beater. Beat on high speed until they are thick, fluffy and light colored. Then beat in the vanilla extract, water, and lemon zest and set aside. 
  4. In a clean bowl beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar or lemon juice and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup (65 grams) of sugar and continue beating until the egg whites are shiny and form stiff peaks. 
  5. Next, sift the flour mixture over the beaten egg yolks (about one third at a time) and gently but quickly fold the flour into the egg yolk batter with a rubber spatula. Then gently fold the egg whites into the batter little by little, folding just until incorporated. Do not over mix the batter or it will deflate. Pour the batter into the pan smoothing the top. 
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 28 -35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 
  7. Remove from oven and immediately invert the pan on a cake stand or a plate. Allow the cake to cool completely before unmolding (about one hour). Run a flat metal spatula or sharp knife around the cake along the pan and unclip the pan rim. Invert the cake onto a greased wire rack. The cake can eaten plain or with fresh fruits and whipped cream. I tried mine with a chocolate frosting which turned out to be amazing.

Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken

So this was our second valentine since we got married and I had planned a surprise meal for my husband. But as usual nothing went as planned. Just a day before valentine, there was a snowstorm here in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, so we couldn’t leave the house. I wanted some alone time so that I could prepare everything, but to make things more difficult, my husband was asked to work from home that day. Yes, I was excited to have him all to myself but I wanted my plan to somehow work too. I desperately wanted him out of the house for atleast an hour, but such a lazy bum he is, he refused to budge even after all my excuses. Luckily we ran out of milk and that is an emergency situation in our house as both of us are big Coffee freaks, so finally he had to step out.

I had some chicken breasts in the freezer so this was the quickest recipe that I could prepare in that time frame and with the things that were available in the house. Here it goes-

Ingredients:-

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 lemons, one juiced and one sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6-7 pieces (about 2 lbs.) chicken breasts, pat dry
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or fresh chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, or fresh chopped
 Method:-
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic,  lemon juice, cornstarch, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, paprika, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  3. Place the chicken in a rimmed 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Place the breasts and spread them out evenly in the pan. Pour olive oil mixture all over chicken, turning pieces to coat all sides.
  4. Arrange slices of lemon over the chicken. Sprinkle the freshly chopped thyme and rosemary generously.
  5. Bake uncovered for about 30-40 mins or until chicken is cooked.
  6. Finally, garnish with additional chopped fresh herbs, if desired. Enjoy!

For best results, chicken can be marinated in an air-tight plastic container for a couple of hours or overnight in the olive oil mixture.

 
 
 
 

Flatbread with Rosemary & Onion

Flatbread with Rosemary & Onion

This is my second bread baking experience and I can proudly say that I’m becoming better with each one..:)
I’ve recently added a rosemary and thyme plant to my collection and have been wanting to use the fresh herbs in baking ever since. I browsed through my recipe books and found this one to be really tempting and decided to give it a try. So here is the recipe that I followed:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Wheat Flour
  • 1½ cups All Purpose Flour or White Bread Flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 envelope Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary plus small sprigs for garnish
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil plus some for brushing
  • 1¼ cups lukewarm water
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced and pushed out into rings
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Honey

Method:

  1. Take 3tbsp of lukewarm water and add the yeast and honey to it. Leave for 10 minutes till the mix becomes frothy.
  2. Sift together the flour and salt into a bowl and stir in the yeast and rosemary. Make a well in the center and pour in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the water. Stir well until the dough begins to come together, then knead until it leaves the side of the bowl. Invert onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
  3. Brush a bowl with oil. Shape the dough into a ball, put it in the bowl and cover with a damp dishtowel. Let it rise in a warm place for one hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Brush a baking sheet with oil. Invert the dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for one minute. Roll out the dough to a circle about 12 inches in diameter and put it on the prepared baking sheet. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, make indentations all over the surface of the loaf. Spread the onion rings over the top, drizzle the remaining oil and sprinkle the sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the rosemary sprigs, return to the oven and bake for an additional five minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly and serve warm.

4pm Hunger Bug

Tomato-Basil-Cottage Cheese Toast

The healthiest 4PM snack ever.

I had been struggling with my 4pm hunger bug since a very long time and used to end up having crappy junk food.

Finally I came up with this recipe to do justice to my taste buds without having the guilt of consuming unnecessary calories. This recipe is ready in minutes and is also a great snack if you ever have surprise guests over.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Take a few slices of any loaf (preferably rosemary-olive oil or Garlic) and spread cottage cheese generously. I used the unsalted one, so I sprinkled some salt and chili flakes on it.
  3. Put these slices in the oven for 2-3 mins or till you see the cheese melt.
  4. Take them out of the oven and add sliced cherry tomatoes, freshly chopped basil and sprinkle few drops of olive oil(optional).

Enjoy your toast…:)

The tanginess of tomatoes, the punch of freshly chopped basil blended with the soft cheese will take your tastebuds for a roller-coaster ride.

Mushroom Garlic Toasted Bread

Mushroom Garlic Toasted Bread

This is a great side dish which can be served with drinks or can be had for breakfast as well.

For this you’ll need :

  • 1 packet diced mushroom
  • 1 loaf of Ciabatta garlic bread
  • 1tbsp canola oil
  • 2tsp minced Garlic
  • 2 split green chilli
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 2tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Heat the oil in a pan. When its hot, add green chillies and garlic and saute for 2 mins.
  2. Add the onions. Once the onions turn translucent, add mushrooms.
  3. Let the mushrooms cook till they start leaving water and shriveling up. Add salt and pepper and cook for another 5-6 mins.
  4. Turn off the heat, add coriander and mix well. Let it sit for 5 mins.
  5. Spread the mushroom mix evenly over the bread slices and bake them for 5-7 mins.

Your Mushroom Garlic Toast is ready..:)…

(P.S. : To make it more delicious, you could grate some cheese on top before putting the slices into the oven.)

Homemade Whole-Wheat Bread

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After gaining some confidence from my last baking experience, I decided to give it another try by baking a bread at home. Though it’s not that complicated, it requires insane amount of patience and precision to bake one. So for all those impatient people out there, just go to a store and buy a readymade one. TRUST ME. Usually, one can be creative with recipes, but as far as baking is concerned, it’s better to stick to the recipe for technique and limit your creativity only to minor flavor alterations.

I searched for a lot of recipes online, found this one to be relatively simple and gave it a try. I fell in love with it the moment it came out of the oven. The sheer pleasure one gets from the smell and the taste of  a freshly baked bread right out of the oven is indescribable. The result was pretty amazing and yet again I was proud of my first ever HOMEMADE bread..:)

For recipe, follow this link :

http://www.takebackthebread.com/brown.html

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