August 31, 2010

A No Name Dish


I earnestly requested him to name the dish, but the reluctant husband lazily stated to let the dish without a name. I didn’t want to take the honour to name the dish and on the contrary, my philosophical mind grabbed the pride to invite a no name dish in the world of flaunt where name comes first then the body. So this dish became famous in our menu as a “ no name ” dish. Whenever my taste bud needs a change, I would request him -“ machher oita banao na.”(Make that dish with fish). So It will be worthy to say that the dish got commonly noted as “Machher oita” (That one by fish) in our menu. Today I am going to share this special dish, which doesn’t own a name officially, from my Husband, Mr.P’s virtual kitchen book, which is entirely written in his mind and tried and tasted in our kitchen. Spilling of the outcome- it’s totally an outstanding dish which made me survived on, during the pick time of my pregnancy.



No need to tell, all the proud moms have a different story about their pregnancy, mainly when we limited our discussion on the ‘switching taste buds’. The moms only know how the nine months passed in facing the changes of moods and tastes. The first annoying part starts when you go through the morning sickness in the early few weeks. You will never know which smell is going to make you sick and purge. I feel lucky as I had a very limited period of morning sickness and very less things were there in my list which used to make me barf. During that period, I used to hate green peas, corn, cheese and Mexican food, which I was always, lusted for. I became too much prone towards spicy fried food. I still remember, I used to spent days after days only on white rice, plain lentil soup and besan coated capsicum fry. Plain fish curry or chicken curry used to make my face changed as if some vapid dish was served to me. In the foreign land we had to devour whatever food was cooked in the kitchen by two of us. So each day was then, an experimental day to cook a dish, which would be very nutritious, healthy and also delighted the mom’s taste. One day when I became totally exhausted of experimenting the verities of recipes on fish the husband saved me and took the charge of the kitchen by making this delectable dish.


After we got married and shifted to this foreign land, Mr.P made a rule that the weekends would be my rest day and he would cook. So usually in the weekends my husband rarely used to visit the kitchen and took me out for meals, trying out the different flavours of the world in the restaurants around the city. But this gaiety time, devouring outside food, constricted to more homemade healthy foods when we were getting ready to welcome the new guest of our life. Then the would-be dad became more responsible and started visiting the kitchen more often to help the would-be mom.


This no name dish is one of my favourite dishes cooked by him, which I enjoyed too much during my pregnancy and still now I would devour it whenever it is served in front of me, only the condition is, it would be made by my husband. The dish will give a commingled tangy, spicy and fried taste, which will make you wish for more and more to eat. This dish proved to us a very healthy nutritious pack for both the mom and the child. A few days back, the day before his birthday he cooked the dish as a return gift to me. We relished the dish as the same, in reminiscence of those golden days when we two were weaving the dreams, how to welcome the little bundle of joy of our life. And the little listener, recently turned 3, heeding the recollections like a fairy tale, savoured her daddy’s delicious cook.


Ingredients:-

Fish – 5- 6 blocks of less bony side/ from the belly side (Here the Rohu/Rui fish is used)
Potato- 2 small size
Tomato - 1 big
Onion- 1 medium
Ginger paste- 1 tea spoon
Garlic paste- ½ tea spoon
Turmeric Powder- ½ tea spoon
Cumin Powder- ½ tea spoon
Coriander Powder- ½ tea spoon
Red Chilli Powder- According to taste/optional
Green Chilli- According to taste/optional
Coriander Leaves- 1 cup chopped
Garam Masala whole- 2 of each
Cumin seeds- ½ tea spoon
Salt- According to taste
Oil- 3 + 2 table spoons (It may be increased or decreased)

 
Method:-

1. Tip the fish blocks in a pinch of salt and turmeric powder.
2. In a deep dense pan /non stick pan heat 3 table spoon oil. Fry the fish blocks and reserve.

3. Cut the potatoes in to medium pieces length wise. Roughly chop the onion. Chop the tomato.
4. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan (you can use a different if you wish). Temper with the cumin seeds and garam masala. Add the onion when they start to splutter. Fry the onion till it turns brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and the potato. Fry for few minutes more. Add tomato and fry till the tomato melts well.

5. Now add all the other ingredients along with the fish, except the coriander leaves. Break the fish blocks in to small pieces and mix altogether in a nice mixture. Cover with lid. Keep them cook in a low flame till the potato gets cooked. Keep on stirring in intervals to avoid the burn.

6. When the potato is fully cooked and the juice is dried up, high the flame and cook for few minutes more. Add the coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice and dal. You will surely enjoy it.

 

August 26, 2010

Mango Pie


The dulcifying savour still smacks my lips. I tasted this dish in one of my husband’s colleagues’ party almost 4 years back. This was served as the dessert and everyone englutted it in no time. Being a newlywed bride my prime attention was then to feed my husband with new kind of viands. Cooking then became a passion for me and a ritual to ask for each and every recipe served in each party. And all the hosts got to get ready with their recipes handy before my arrival.


Mango Pie is one of the most challenging recipes till date for me which I failed to make two times and then quit 4 years back. I noted down the recipe properly but never understood the trick of wielding the Gelatin then. Both the times the pie was failed to jell. I dared to ask the recipe again as this was prepared by the colleague himself and all my research on setting a pie from the net didn’t work at all. So the best option I chose to relinquish. Now almost 4 years are passed and I have become the queen of the kitchen in moderate sense. In this long run, I crafted my hands in Jell-O making quite often. And two of my greatest achievements, the Layered Jell-O and the Broken Glass Jell-O gave me the confidence to try the failed recipe once again. No need to say this time when I defied the dish, it’s a grand success. You all should see the winning pacification on my face when I saw the pie congealed. This time I made a little bit of change by the addition of a layer of jelled condense milk, as I have to use the condense milk any way. With the addition of the layer the pie looked more colourful and tasty too.  The base of chocolate pie crust and two layers of a gelatinous condensed milk and the piquant mango pulp conflated with cream cheese, made a luscious twinge of delicacy. Both the kids and the adult would enjoy the dish till the last bite.

  Shuffling some information on Gelatin last night, I encountered with this fact, from which I was totally ignorant-
“Gelatin is a protein substance derived from collagen, a natural protein present in the tendons, ligaments, and tissues of mammals. It is produced by boiling the connective tissues, bones and skins of animals, usually cows and pigs. Gelatin's ability to form strong, transparent gels and flexible films that are easily digested, soluble in hot water, and capable of forming a positive binding action have made it a valuable commodity in food processing, pharmaceuticals, photography, and paper production.” 
 

Did you know that!!!!! If you want to read more about Gelatin go Here.



 Now come to the recipe:-

Ingredients:-
Instant Chocolate pie crust base- 1
The first layer of Condense Milk:-
Condensed Milk- ½ cup
Knox Gelatin- 1 envelops
Water-1 cup
Second Layer of Mango Pulp:-
Mango pulp- 1 cup
Cream Cheese- 2 table spoon (soften in room temperature)
Water- 2 cups
Knox Gelatin- 2 envelops


Method:-

The first layer of Condense Milk:-

1. Boil ¾ cup water.

2. Pour the condense milk in a bowl and add ½ cup boiling water. Fold nicely.

3. Pour 1 envelop of gelatine in ¼ cup of cold water, stir gently and leave for 2mnts to set. Add the remaining hot water. Mix well.

4. Add the gelatine to the milk mixture. Sir well.

5. Pour it on the pie crust base and refrigerate for 3-4 hours to set.

Second Layer of Mango Pulp:-

1. Boil 1 ½ cups.

2. Blend the Cream Cheese and the Mango pulp nicely. Add 1 cup boiling water.

3. Pour 2 envelops of gelatine in ½ cup of cold water, stir gently and leave for 2mnts to set. Add the remaining hot water. Mix well.
4. Add the gelatine to the mango pulp mixture. Sir well.
5. Pour it on the empty space of pie crust base and refrigerate for 3-4 hours to set. Best is to keep overnight to get the thick consistency. Enjoy....


Sending this to Indrani of Recipe Junction 's Summer Fruit event:

August 22, 2010

Broken Glass Jello- A sweet treat


Celebrating the 50th post of my blog with a sweet treat. On the auspicious day of my husband’s birthday my blog posts are glad to reach the half century. It’s a long run for me. But still I am happy to reach a cusp. The recipe, Broken Glass Jello, I have borrowed from The Food Librarian whose blog is full of magnificent recipes and I am literarily in love with her photography. When I first saw the recipe I was instantly moved by the colourful texture of the dish. And when I prepared it at home the dish didn’t take any time to vanish. Too easy to make and a toothsome bite both for the kids and the adults. My daughter got attracted with the colours and enjoyed it till the last bite. So without wasting any time let me share the recipe with you.




Ingredients:-
(serves 8,5oz cups)
2 package of Coloured Jell-o – 3oz each
Condensed Milk -1/2 cup
Knox Gelatine- 1 envelops
Water- 1 cup


Method:-
1. Prepare the coloured jell-o separately following the instructions given in the package. Refrigerate.
2. Cut them in to small cubes when they are fully set.
3. Boil ¾ cup of water. Add ½ cup boiling water with the condense milk. Blend nicely.
4. Pour the gelatine in ¼ cup of cold water, stir gently and leave for 2mnts to set. Add the remaining hot water. Mix well.
5. Add the gelatine to the milk mixture. Sir well.
6. Put the Jell-o cubes in the cups in equal measurements. The pour the milk mixture to each glass equally. Keep for at least 4-5 hours in the refrigerator to set. Enjoy them when they are fully set.

I would not be able to achieve this milestone if you, my fellow blogger friends, would not motivate and inspire me with your encouraging feedbacks on my each and every post. I wish and hope that you all will help me and will be by my side always to make this journey successful till end. Above all I would like thank my husband too, to inspire me a lot to continue this blog. This 50th post is a gift and tribute from me to my husband on his birthday- A small relic of love and respect.
I made some Layerd Jello too. Please find out the recipe Here.

This recipe is off to Pari's Only Kid's Delight Event. I am also sending the Chocolate Marshmallow Slices to this event.

August 20, 2010

Collections from the Wild Life


August 18, 2010

A Scary Detour Transformed To A Jaunt

Now a day it has become a necessity to go for a quotidian outing in every Saturday. And why not!! This time we are staying in such a place, if you buckle up yourself and drive for few miles east, west, south or north, you will be in some jaunty places. We have the Disney Parks in 20mnts driving distance, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Sea world and Los Angeles in an hour or so driving distance. One could certainly imagine that when so many magnificent places are located around why one should not indulge him/herself to get spoilt in every weekend. So it is an indeterminate excogitation that every Saturday is the One-day tour day. Even it’s my pleasure to wake up early in the morning, prepare and pack the breakfast, lunch and snacks for the sashay. Our 3 year old would get ready in no time, pack her bag and prove her the most obedient girl of the world only for that day. And my hubby, who loves to sleep for late hours in the non-working days, would never get irritated to wake up early when a long drive or a tour is concerned. We spend the whole week deciding which place we are going to visit the coming Saturday and that gives us a great alleviation from our tiring days. Whether we go or not, plans are always geared up. Anyway now let me come to the fact for why I am here today.


Last Saturday we decided to visit San Diego Wild Animal Park, which is an hour driving distance from Irvine, where we stay right now. That day we started our journey little bit late when the sun was almost in the middle of the sky. When we reached the highway I-5 South, we got stuck in the sphere of huge traffic. The traffic was moving very slow. We were moving at 10-20ml/hr where the speed limit was 70ml/hr. It is rarely seen a traffic jam in the highways unless and until some mishap has taken place. But this time by god’s grace nothing ominous has happened. It’s just a rush of huge traffic. Everybody had come out in the same hour to take the advantage of the magnificent weather. None to blame. My daughter started growling as she never likes from her birth, the car moves slow. We were just wishing the traffic should get clear soon, our GPS indicated to take a detour due the severe traffic ahead. We got energised to get a way out from this traffic maze. We decided to detour, though we have to drive 30mints more than an hour. So we have taken HWY 74 (Ortega Hwy) towards Grand Avenue.


From the plain land we suddenly got in to the hilly road. There were only two lanes one for each direction. And in between the two lanes there were hardly a gap of a foot. The hilly curves were too sheer and made me scream in every turn. All the menacing thoughts started to crawl down my mind and I kept on muttering to my husband “Go Slow” just like the holy words. I was promising myself from the next time onwards I am not going to take any detour. We almost crossed two hills and suddenly we confronted to this majestic site.




We parked our car in a view point. We were not able to believe our eyes what we were watching. The heavenly beauty of the place filled out mind with a queer tranquilization. Our heart tried to inhale all the invigorated fresh air of the place. The spellbinding view whipped away all the fear and scare I was nurturing till of the route. We were feeling like to stand there for eternity. But our daughter’s call, who felt asleep when the car started to gear the speed, woke up us from this mesmerising horizon.




We again started our journey through the hilly road for 15mnts or so. But this time I forgot to panic. Both my husband and I kept on discussing about the unforgettable site we witnessed just before and thanking the GPS. That day we spent our whole day with an amazing beam of energy. The detour surely proved to us a bliss.


Information on Lake Elsinore:-

The lake we cherished from the hill top is Lake Elsinore. Little bit information is provided below.

“Lake Elsinore, originally Laguna Grande, is the largest natural freshwater lake in Southern California and is situated at the lowest point within the 750 square mile San Jacinto Watershed at the terminus of the San Jacinto River, where its headwaters are found on the western slopes of San Jacinto Peak with its North Fork, and Lake Hemet with its South Fork. Lake levels are healthy at 1,244 feet (above sea level) with a volume of 30,000 acre•ft (37,000 dam³)[3] that often fluctuate, although much has been done recently to prevent the lake from drying up, flooding, or becoming stagnant. At 1,255 feet, the lake would spill into the outflow channel on its northeastern shore, known properly as Temescal Wash, flowing northwest along I-15, which feeds Temescal Creek, which dumps into the Santa Ana River just northwest of the City of Corona. It then flows to Orange County, out to the Pacific Ocean just south of Huntington State Beach.

Lake Elsinore is bordered by the Elsinore Mountains to the west, which are a part of the larger Santa Ana Mountain Range, and receive snowfall a few days each year. Included in the Santa Ana Mountains is the Cleveland National Forest and El Cariso. Lake Elsinore is a part of the Temecula Valley and northern portions are also considered part of Temescal Canyon.”

Lake Attraction:

“Lake Elsinore is ideal for motor boating, jet skiiing, waterskiing, wake boarding, kayaking and fishing. It boasts public beaches with picnic and shade features, plenty of safe easy-access parking, a three mile levee for hiking, nature watching and fishing (some areas restricted), and a tournament channel for professional ski instruction and club and pro competitions.”

Get more information HERE.

-->

August 16, 2010

Chocolate Marshmallow Slices


I bought a package of marshmallow since a long time. Though it’s not so long, I felt it had been a decade, as I almost forgot about the existence of the packet. Thanks to god that while cleaning my cupboard in the recent weeks, I found the untouched package and noticed the date about to expire. I bought it in thought of making homemade fondant roll. But somehow it didn’t turn out. This weekend I spent almost an hour in search of some nice recipes on marshmallow after my mind to save it from trashing off. I didn’t have the plan or energy to make fondant roll anymore, so I wanted some different and easy recipe to devour it. And then I found this Site and the recipe of Chocolate Marshmallow Slices. It is too easy to make and just tastes heaven. Each bite will give you a soft gooey chocolaty crunchy taste. The amalgamated combination of the chocolate, marshmallow and the nuts incorporated in a savoury sweet treat. Both my husband and my daughter (and me too) gobbled up it like crazy little children, same as our daughter. THis recipe is borrowed from Sheknows' Food & Recipes. Following is the recipe.

Chocolate Marshmallow Slices

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
1 package miniature marshmallows (10&1/2 ounces)
1 cup finely chopped nuts

Method:

1. Melt butter and chocolate chips in a medium saucepan over low heat.

2. Stir constantly until both are well mixed.

3. Remove from heat; cool for five minutes. Stir in marshmallows and nuts. Do not allow marshmallows to melt.

4. Take a tray and spread a wax paper. On wax paper, pour the mixture and flatten. Gently roll the mixture using the wax paper but be careful not to roll the wax paper along with the mixture. Every time you roll take out the wax paper.

5. Refrigerate overnight. Cut the roll into slices. Though it is told to store in airtight container in cool, dry place, I reserved it in the refrigerator only.

Updating the post and sending it to the ongoing event of Kolkata Food Bloggers...

August 10, 2010

Information on Scallop

In my last post I shared the recipe of Spicy Baby Scallop. After that I realised that I should have mention few information about scallop. As many of us are hearing about scallop for the first time. I never knew what a scallop was, until I found many recipes on scallop in the restaurants and in the blogosphere, searched about it what exactly it was and then tried and tasted it in my kitchen. Here in USA, I am lucky enough to get the shelled and cleaned scallops in the seafood section. That is a blessing in other sense. If anyone browses the internet, he/she will get a bunch of information regarding Scallop. Here I tried to accumulate the illuminating parts of scallop in hope to help my readers a little bit to save their energy.  Mostly the information is taken from the net and the sources are attached below. All the photographs are taken from Googleimages.com.

History of Scallop:- 
“The great scallop gained great prestige during the medieval era. Pilgrims visiting the shrine of St. James in Spain began to use empty scallop shells for both eating and begging. The scallop and its shell quickly became a symbol of this magnificent shrine with people using them to decorate their doorways as well as their coats of arms. In honour of the shrine, they were called the shell of St. James, now best known by their translated French name of Coquille St. Jacques.”


What is a Scallop?

Ans: A scallop is a mollusk (Invertebrate having a soft unsegmented body usually enclosed in a shell), same as clams and oysters. They are found both in bay waters and in the sea. They do not attach themselves to a permanent anchorage, but move themselves through the water by opening and closing their shells. As a result, the muscle that controls the 'hinge' of the shell is much larger than that of oysters or clams.

Many scallops are highly prized as a food source. The brightly colored, fan-shaped shells of some scallops with their radiating fluted pattern are valued by shell collectors. The name ‘scallop’ is derived from the Old French escalope, which means ‘shell’.

“Like the true oysters (family Ostreidae), scallops have a central adductor muscle, and thus the inside of their shells has a characteristic central scar, marking the point of attachment for this muscle. The adductor muscle of scallops is larger and more developed than that of oysters, because they are active swimmers; scallops are in fact the only migratory bivalve. Their shell shape tends to be highly regular, recalling one archetypal form of a seashell, and because of this pleasing geometric shape, the scallop shell is a common decorative motif. They also possess eyes with a lens and retina, which are more complex compared to other bivalves. Scallops cannot resolve shapes, but can detect light and motion.”
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scallop)

What are the food values?

Ans: “ Scallops are actually a very good source of a very important nutrient for cardiovascular health, vitamin B12. In addition to their B12, scallops are a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids and a good source of magnesium and potassium, three other nutrients that provide significant benefits for the cardiovascular system. Omega-3 fats keep your blood flowing smoothly by preventing the formation of blood clots. Magnesium helps out by causing blood vessels to relax, thus helping to lower blood pressure while improving blood flow. Potassium helps to maintain normal blood pressure levels.”

The other benefits of in taking scallops are:-

i) A Nutrient Team for Better Cardiovascular Health.
ii) Increases Heart Rate Variability-A Measure of Heart Muscle Function.
iii) Protection against Fatal Heart Arrhythmia.
iv) Help Prevent and Control High Blood Pressure.
v) Protection against Stroke.
vi) Eating Fish Daily Provides Substantially More Protection against Heart Attack.
vi) Choose Broiled or Baked, but Not Fried Scallops to Reduce Risk of Atrial Fibrillation (Heart Arrhythmia).
vii) Protection Against Cancer and Protective against Colorectal Cancer.
viii) Highly Protective against Childhood Asthma.
ix) Protection against Alzheimer's and Age-related Cognitive Decline.

How to clean a scallop?

1.Open up the shell. Begin the shucking process by inserting a knife into the side of the shell to pry it open. Set one side of the shell aside.
2. Release the scallop from the shell. Carefully slide the knife under the meat of the scallop to remove it from the shell. The meat should slide out easily.
3. Transfer the scallop meat to the plate. Carefully move the scallop meat from the shell and set it on the plate.
4. Remove the dark meat. Discard the dark meat from the scallop, leaving the white flesh intact.
 5. Remove the muscle from the scallop. This small piece of flesh can be found near the edge of the scallop; carefully remove it from the main section before preparing your recipe.
6. Rinse the scallop. Gently rinse the scallop under cold water and set on small plate. Now the scallop is clean and ready for cooking .




How it can be prepared?

Scallops are a popular type of shellfish in both Eastern and Western cooking. They are characterized by having two types of meat in one shell: the adductor muscle, called "scallop" which is white and meaty, and the roe, called "coral", which is red or white and soft. Scallops are edible bivalves similar to oysters and clams. Thousands of recipes on scallops can be found in the net.


Tips for Preparing Scallops:

1. Wash thoroughly the scallops under cold water .
2. Scallops have a strong wild smell. To avoid it marinate and cook with flavoured spices.
 3. Scallops should only be cooked for a few minutes since exposure to too much heat will cause them to become tough and fibrous.


All pictures are taken from Googleimages.com.
-->