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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Spicy Masala Chicken Curry (Dhabe wala Chicken)

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Another one of my absolute favorites-Spicy Masala Chicken curry or Dhabe wala Chicken(as I prefer to call it). This amazing Indian Curry dish is spicy, full of flavor, has rich thick gravy and is mouthwateringly aromatic. Even though I’m always in favor of healthier and seemingly less fatty alternatives but there are certain dishes where I just don’t compromise on flavor and stick to its true original recipe and this dish is definitely one of those. So here is the recipe –

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
  • 1.5 lb chicken thighs or 3 lb chicken legs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • teaspoon kashmiri lal mirch or red chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4-5 cups water or chicken broth(for more flavorful results)
  • cup canned tomato purée
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 small potatoes-quartered
  • Plain yogurt, torn fresh mint, and naan, flatbread, or cooked rice (for serving)

METHOD

  • Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat.
  • Add onion, garlic, and ginger to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Add tomato puree, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, coriander, red chili, salt, pepper and cardamom and cook, stirring often, until tomato puree is beginning to darken, about 5-6minutes.
  • Add broth or water and cream to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and add the chicken. Simmer, partially covered, skimming occasionally, until chicken is almost done and liquid is slightly thickened, approximately 1hr.
  • Add potatoes to the pan and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are fork-tender, chicken is fully cooked, and liquid is thick enough to coat a spoon.
  • Top with yogurt and mint, and serve with naan, flatbread, or rice.

(For best result, if you are using leg pieces you should saute the chicken for 7-8 mins in a separate pan before adding to the broth.)

Couscous with Chickpeas and Spinach

Sometime back this recipe was featured in the New York Times. It looked so tempting that I had to give it a try, and I must admit it turned out to be pretty darn good. The combination of spinach and chickpeas is very unusual which made me all the more curious to test it myself. To my amazement, they blended so well and the addition of spinach added a flavorful punch to the overall recipe.

This recipe goes well with couscous but tastes equally good with naan or rice.  For all those health conscious people, this dish is a very good substitute for salads because not only it is so filling, it’s highly nutritious as well.

So here it goes:

Couscous With Chickpeas, Spinach and Mint — Recipes for Health - NYTimesCouscous With Chickpeas, Spinach and Mint — Recipes for Health - NYTimes2

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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.

Cauliflower Steak with Mushroom Gravy

DSC_9558The moment I came across this recipe online, I was eager to try it out myself. Both, me and my husband are always on a lookout for recipes which are ‘healthy and tasty’ at the same time. I used to believe that healthy and tasty don’t go together, but the notion was completely transformed by this amazing blog-http://loveandlentils.com/. It is full of great cooking ideas that force you to believe that vegan cooking can be interesting too…:)

I modified the recipe slightly to my taste. For the steak and kale you can follow this link. For the mushroom gravy, here’s my own recipe which is slightly spicy (the way I like it).

Ingredients:-

  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 medium sized onion sliced
  • 2-3 dried red chiles
  • 1 packet sliced white mushrooms (8 oz.)
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  •  ½ cup chicken stock (Vegetarians can use vegetable stock instead)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan on low-medium heat.  When warm, add the garlic and dried chiles and saute for a few seconds.
  2. Add the onions, saute for a minute and then add mushrooms turning the heat to high.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the cornflour and milk and keep ready. Once the mushrooms start shrivelling and leaving water, turn the heat to medium again and add the cornflour mix and chicken stock.
  4. Once the mix starts to thicken, add the red wine vinegar, salt, pepper ( I put a lot of pepper) and coriander.
  5. Stir well for 2 minutes, turn off the heat and let it stand for a couple of minutes before serving.

Now, layer the cauliflower steak with kale and pour a generous amount of mushroom gravy over it. Pour yourself a glass of wine and savor the dish…:)

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

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This popular Italian recipe takes minutes to make and makes you realize, how sometimes a simple recipe can be so purely delicious. Above all, its low in calories and high on flavor. This can easily be a part of my staple diet.

This recipe has various versions, here is mine.

For this all you need is:

  • 7 ounces Brown Rice or Whole Wheat spaghetti
  • 11/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 11/2 tsp Chili Flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
 

Method:

  1. Boil and drain the spaghetti as per the instructions on its cover.
  2. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan on low-medium heat. Add the Chili flakes and Garlic and saute till garlic starts changing its color.
  3. Add spaghetti to the pan and sprinkle salt and pepper.
  4. Mix well and turn off the gas.
  5. Garnish with freshly chopped basil and serve warm with Ciabatta or  Sourdough bread.

(You can be alter this version and add toppings as per your liking. Though I like the burst of pure flavors in this recipe.)

pic source: http://www.yumsugar.com/Spaghetti-Garlic-Olive-Oil-Chili-Flakes-21398824/

Baked Orzo

I have always been tempted to buy Leek, but didn’t know how to cook it. But this time at farmer’s market I could not resist the temptation, so I went ahead and bought a bunch. I browsed some recipes online but finally went ahead with my own. Here it goes:

You need:

1 1/4 cup orzo
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 pound leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 pound (4 ounces) turkey, thinly sliced
3/4 cup fresh or frozen carrot & peas
1/2 cup mozzarella
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
salt as per taste
Few grinds fresh black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil a 2-quart baking dish.
  2. Fill a medium pan with salted water and bring to a boil. Cook the orzo until al dente, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil until shimmering. Add sliced leeks and cook until translucent, about 7-9 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Fold in the turkey, carrot, peas and orzo, stir well, and cook until all the ingredients are warmed through. Fold in the cheese and set aside off the heat to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, milk, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Fold the orzo mixture into the milk mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Scrape the creamy orzo into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned along the edges and the center is set completely. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve hot with freshly toasted Ciabatta. ENJOY!