Friday, December 28, 2007

Microwave Cooking - Fast, Healthy yet Yummy Recipes





Microwave Cooking

* The advantage of a microwave cooking is that it is a clean and efficient way to cook and you can serve it in the same bowl you cooked it in!

* When you cook food using a microwave, the most important thing is to make sure the food is cooked thoroughly to destroy any food poisoning bacteria that may be present.

* Foods that you can cook in the microwave include rice, pasta, meats, fish, poultry, vegetables, potatoes and any pre-cooked microwave meals. Fruits and vegetables in fact, retain more nutritional value because less water and a shorter cooking time is needed.


Tips to make the most of your Microwave Oven

1. Covering most foods will speed up cooking.

2. Use round or oval dishes, instead of square or rectangle, for more even cooking.

3. If you are cooking two foods at the same time, choose foods that take about the same amount of time to cook.

4. Heating continues after food is removed from the microwave oven, so allow time for this additional cooking.

5. Arrange chicken pieces so that the thicker, meatier portions are toward the outside of the dish and the thin, bony parts are toward the center.

6. Foods containing sugar and fats cook faster.

7. Stir or rotate food midway through microwaving to eliminate cold spots where harmful bacteria can survive, and for more even cooking.

8. To cook your meal more evenly, cut food so that pieces are about the same size.

9. Always undercook--if more time is needed, you can always add another minute or two.

10. Microwave cooking increases the flavour of herbs and spices. Therefore, make sure to reduce half the amount of spices specified for conventional cooking.
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RECIPES

MICROWAVE MUTTON CURRY

Ingredients:

1 kg mutton (boneless cubes)
6 cardamoms
1 bay-leaf
5/6 cup oil
2g saffron
3tbsp. Garlic paste
1 boiled egg
4 cinnamon
8 cloves
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3tbsp. Ginger paste
3 tbsp. Green chilli paste
Salt to taste

Preparation:
Heat oil, add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf.

When brown put ginger, garlic, green chilli paste.

Saute for a few minutes and add yoghurt and mutton cubes.

Put it in a glass dish, cover it and micro it for 10 minutes and then stand it for 5 minutes.

When meat is tender, add salt, pepper and saffron and micro it further for 3-4 minutes. Stand it for another minute and serve.

To serve garnish with quartered boiled egg and mint.

A squeeze of lemon juice will greatly enhance the taste.
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Cajun Baked Fish

Be careful not to overcook fish, as it will become very tough. Meat, poultry, vegetables and fruit cook in approximately 6 minutes per pound, but fish and seafood take only 3-4 minutes per pound. Orange Roughy or other mild white fish are good substitutes for the catfish in this dish.

Ingredients:
1 lb. catfish filets
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup crushed cracker

Preparation:

Mix mayonnaise and spices.

Coat fish on both sides with mayonnaise mixture and roll in cracker crumbs.

Arrange fish on microwave rack or in casserole, thickest portions to the outside.
Microwave on High power (100%) for 3-4 minutes.
Let stand a few seconds and check for doneness. Fish will flake easily when done.

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Chocolate Scotch Bars

Ingredients:

1/2 cup margarine
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts or coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping:

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter

Preparation:

Melt margarine and blend in sugar and stir in remaining ingredients.

Spread into greased 8” x 8” baking dish, or round dish of same capacity.

Cook for 3-8 minutes at 70% until bubbly all over.

Cool for 1-2 minutes and sprinkle with chips.

Place small drops of peanut butter on chips.

When chocolate and peanut butter begins to melt, spread, marbleizing slightly, to frost.

Allow frosting to partially set before cutting into pieces.

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Microwave Raspberry Cake

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

Cream butter and sugar in large bowl.Mix in preserves. Blend well. Add sour cream and eggs. Beat well. Blend together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add gradually to first mixture, beating well.

Pour batter into greased 8-inch round microwave-safe dish. Microwave on full power for 4 to 5 minutes or until top springs back when pressed with finger.

Cool. Frost with Raspberry Frosting.

Raspberry Frosting

2 tablespoons butter 2 cups powdered sugar, divided 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves

Combine butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, vanilla extract and preserves. Blend well. Add remaining 1 cup powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Spread on cake.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Lets get Nutty - Add some nuts into your life



Nutty Facts

Nuts are seeds that are covered with a hard shell. Most are the seeds of trees, but the seeds of a few other plants that are not strictly nuts will also be considered here as they can be conveniently classified with nuts for culinary purposes.

Nuts can be used in many ways. Whole, flaked and ground nuts and nut butters are widely available. A classic vegetarian savoury is nut roast and many vegetarian cook books give a recipe for one, which can be endlessly varied with different herbs and flavourings and different combinations of nuts and cereals. Nuts can be added to sweet dishes, cakes and biscuits, and nut butters can be added to soups and stews to thicken them.

Nutrition

Nuts in general are very nutritious, providing protein and many essential vitamins, such as A and E, minerals, such as phosphorous and potassium, and fibre. Nuts are also high in carbohydrate and oils, so shouldn't be eaten in excess.
Whereas pulses all belong to the legume group of plants, nuts come from a variety of different plant groups, so the nutritional content is more varied too. A brief description of individual varieties is given below, together with the main nutrients they contain.

Storage

Nuts should be stored in cool, dry conditions in airtight containers away from the light. Because of their high fat content, many of them benefit from storage in the fridge or freezer to deter rancidity.





Varieties Availabe

Almonds - Almond oil is used for flavouring and for skin care preparations and is extracted from the kernel of the Bitter Almond. The Sweet Almond is grown for nuts for eating.

Brazils - Brazils are high in fat, which causes them to go rancid very quickly, and protein.

Candle nut - A hard oily nut used to flavor and thicken Indonesian and Malaysian curries. The name arises because the nuts, when threaded on the mid-rib of a palm leaf, are used as a primitive candle. Similar in size and shape to a macadamia. Do not eat raw. Store in the fridge.


Cashews - The nut grows in a curious way on the tree, hanging below a fleshy, apple-like fruit.

Chestnuts - The nuts can be used in soups, fritters, porridges, stuffings and stews, as well as being roasted or boiled whole. Available fresh (in autumn), dried, canned - whole or pureed, or ground into flour. Dried chestnuts need soaking for at least 1-2 hours and boiling for 45-60 minutes, fresh need boiling for 40 minutes before being peeled. Preserved in syrup they become the famous delicacy, Marron-glace. High in starch, but low in protein and fats.

Chironji nuts - Small brownish nuts that looks like a little large sunflower seeds, sometimes ground with other nuts, such as almonds and cashew. White poppy seeds is sometimes added to enrich some dishes. The flavor is similar to that of hazelnuts. Almonds and hazelnuts are good substitutes.


Coconuts - Unripe nuts contain coconut milk. The nutmeat can be eaten fresh or dried (desiccated or flaked coconut) and is also available in blocks of creamed coconut. A valuable oil is also extracted from the nut meat and used for cooking (although it is very high in saturated fat), margarines, soaps and detergents.

Hazels - Used in sweet and savoury dishes, they are available whole, ground and flaked, or made into oil and nut butter. They are lower in fat than most other nuts.

Litchi nuts - A sweet, white fruit about 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter. It has a dark red hull which must be removed before eating. Also comes canned and dried. Use as a garnish or as a fruit.


Macadamia Nuts - Notoriously difficult to extract from their shells, they are expensive but have a delicious creamy flavour and crunchy texture. Low in carbohydrate, but quite high in fat.

Peanuts - Also known as groundnuts or monkey nuts, peanuts are actually legumes. It gets its name groundnut because as the pods ripen, they are actually forced underground. Peanuts are high in protein and contain 40-50% oil. The oil is used in cooking, as salad oil, in margarines and the residue is fed to animals. Whole peanuts can be eaten raw or roasted or made into peanut butter (look out for brands which do not contain hydrogenated oils, which are highly saturated).

Pecans - It is used extensively in ice cream, cakes, nut bread and confectionery. The flavour is rather like a mild, sweet walnut.

Pine Nuts - They are very difficult to harvest, hence their cost. They are vital for pesto sauce, and are delicious lightly toasted. They become rancid very easily and should be stored in the fridge or freezer.

Pistachios - The kernels are green and are prized as much for their ornamental colour as for their flavour. Also sold roasted and salted in their shells. They are more expensive than most other nuts.

Walnuts - It is grown for timber as well as its nuts. Walnut oil has been used for centuries in the preparation of artists paints. High in fat, they go rancid very quickly and should be stored in the fridge or freezer.

Seeds

Pumpkin - Can be eaten raw or cooked in both sweet or savoury dishes. Delicious toasted and sprinkled, while hot, with soya sauce and served on salads. They are rich in protein, iron, zinc and phosphorous.

Sesame - An oil is extracted from the seed and used for cooking, salad oil and margarines. It is also available as toasted sesame oil for oriental cooking. The whole seeds can also be eaten and are most often seen as a decoration on cakes, confectionery etc. Sesame seed paste, tahini, is used in many dishes e.g. hummus. Halva, a sweet made from sesame seeds is often found in health food shops. A good source of protein and calcium.

Sunflower - The oil extracted from its seeds is used in margarine, varnishes and soaps but the seeds can be eaten whole, raw or cooked. They can be added to breads and cakes or sprinkled over salad or breakfast cereals. A good source of potassium and phosphorous.

Now for some Nutty Recipes!

Nut Masala Recipe

Ingredients

2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon cardamon seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch piece fresh gingerroot, grated
2 oz blanched almonds or unsalted cashew; nuts, chopped
1/4 cup boiling water

Directions:

Heat oil in a heavy skillet, add spices and cook over medium heat 5 to 10 minutes, until golden brown, stirring constantly. Add garlic and gingerroot and cook 2 minutes more, then cool.

Put spice mixture in a blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add almonds or cashew nuts and water; grind to a smooth paste. Cover tightly and keep in a cool place for up to 1 month.

Mixed Nuts Katli

Ingredients
25 g cashew nuts
25 g pecans
25 g almonds
25 g pistachios
1 can condensed milk
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon rose essence
1 teaspoon ghee

Directions:
Soak all the nuts separately in warm water for 3-4 hours.
Drain and grind them together into a very fine paste using very little water if needed.
Grease a marble or wooden surface with ghee.
Mix together the condensed milk and nuts paste.
Cook in a pan on medium flame.
When the mixture thickens, reduce the flame.
Keep stirring till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Sprinkle cornflour.
Stir well.
Remove from the fire immediately.
Mix in the rosewater and turn it onto the greased marble or wooden surface.
Roll thinly with a greased roller.
Spread the silver sheet (silver warakh) over if desired and cut into diamond shaped katlis.
Serve and enjoy!

Date and Nuts Delight

Ingredients
30 dates
1 cup rice
1 tablespoon butter
15 cashews
15 pistachios

Directions:
Remove stones from dates.
Mash up the"stone-less" dates.
Wash rice and soak for 5 minutes.
Drain well.
Roast rice in a heavy bottomed pan.
DO NOT OVER-ROAST.
Then, powder the roasted rice in a grinder/blender.
Mix this powder with the date fruits.
Warm butter in a frying pan.
Add butter to the powder-date mixture.
Grease your palms with a little butter to avoid sticking of the mixture.
Mix well.
Make small balls out of the mixture.
Decorate each ball with cashews and pistas.
Serve with tea.

Cajun Cocktail Nuts recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 to 3 dashes hot pepper sauce
1 pound unsalted peanuts
1 pound raw cashews
2 pounds unsalted, raw pecan halves
Garlic salt
Black pepper

Directions:
Heat oven to 275 degrees F. Mix butter, Worcestershire, chili powder and pepper sauce in glass measuring cup.

Combine nuts in large roasting pan and drizzle with butter mixture, stirring to coat. Bake 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread out on paper towels (labeled for use with food) to dry. Season with garlic salt and black pepper.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

What's cooking HONEY

Honey is another miracle of the nature. Its has so many medicinal properties (and yet doesn't taste yucky). Honey should be introduced into our healthy lifestyles.

First lets look at - What is honey?

Honey is made up from fructose, glucose, water and other sugars. It also contains many enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino acids that our body needs. Honey contains many antioxidants that are used by the body to eliminate free radicals - molecules which zip around in healthy cells and have the potential to damage them. Honey therefore makes a good alternative to sugar in food and drink. Care must be taken though, as honey does contain lots of sugars and it must be eaten in moderation. Sugars should not generally represent more than 10 percent of your total calorie intake.




How honey can heal
Research being carried out around the world suggests that honey helps in the healing and sterilising of wounds and ulcers, in the growth of new skin, and, has many antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. The reason for this is the unique combination of properties that honey has.

As Medicine:

One to two tsps full of honey in a glass of hot milk is said to be a good sedative.

For children the use of honey as a general tonic has been known from time immemorial.The reason being that honey acts as a disinfectant and an antiseptic.So a judicious internal administration of honey would render the digestive system aseptic and disease-causing germs would fail to thrive.

Honey is good for sore throats,coughs and colds.An age-old cough mixture still used in many homes consists of honey and limejuice in equal parts.

Honey is also reputed to be a good stimulant for a weak heart.

As far as constipation is concerned,honey is a very popular laxative.

Now for some HONEY recipes. YUM YUM (Got the recipes from National HONEY Board)

Curried Chicken Wings- Makes 13 servings -


Ingredients
1 cup honey

2/3 cup Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoons butter or margarine

4 teaspoons curry powder

2-1/2 lbs. chicken wings


Directions
In a small saucepan, combine honey, mustard, butter and curry powder; cook and stir over medium heat until blended. Arrange chicken in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish; drizzle with honey mixture. Cover with foil and bake at 350° F for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 30 minutes longer; turn after 15 minutes.

Honey Roasted Nuts - Makes 3 cups -


Ingredients

3 cups nuts

1/2 cup honey

2 Tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Directions

Combine all ingredients; mix well. Microwave at HIGH (100%) in 600 to 700 watt microwave oven 4 to 7 minutes or until nuts are toasted, stirring halfway through cooking time. Spread nuts on foil to cool.


Honey-Glazed Sweet Potatoes - Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

2 lbs. sweet potatoes or yams

2/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup honey

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon butter or margarine

Directions

Wash and pierce potatoes or yams. Place on a piece of heavy-duty foil and bake at 375°F for 40 to 50 minutes until just tender. Cool, peel and cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Spray 8x8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place cooked potatoes or yams in dish; set aside. In small pan, combine orange juice, honey, cornstarch, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Stir until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat stirring until thick and mixture begins to boil. Stir and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Pour over potatoes or yams stirring to coat. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes until hot and potatoes are tender.


Pear Cheese Tarts with Honey and Hazelnuts- Makes 18 tarts -


Ingredients

1 box (17.3 oz.) frozen puff pastry

1 pear, cored and quartered

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons Sage honey, divided

8 oz. cream cheese

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

Baking spray


Directions

Remove puff pastry from freezer 30 minutes before using. Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut pear into thin slices. In small bowl, combine pear, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon honey. Reserve another 1 Tablespoon honey in a small heatproof bowl.

Use a mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down the sides and add the honey, flour and lemon zest. Mix until smooth. Add the eggs, scrape down the sides again and mix until very smooth.

Cut half of the pastry sheets into 9 squares. Spray a muffin tin with baking spray. Carefully fit 1 square into each muffin cup. Fill each cup with 2 Tablespoons cheese mixture. Cut pear slices to fit muffin tin. Fan 3 or 4 slices of pear over each cup and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon hazelnuts. Freeze 10 to 15 minutes to firm pastry.

Bake cold tarts until pastry is lightly browned and cheese is puffed, about 20 minutes. Cut 9 more pastry squares and repeat filling and baking. Microwave reserved honey 5 seconds on High and drizzle tarts with warm honey.

Let tarts sit 10 to 15 minutes before serving or refrigerate and reheat in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.


Tortilla Crisps with Honey Dip - Makes 6 servings -

Ingredients

1/2 cup honey

2 Tablespoons butter or margarine

1 small cinnamon stick

1 piece (1-1/2 x 1/2-inch) orange peel

6 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Vegetable oil


Directions

Combine honey, butter, cinnamon stick and orange peel. Cook over low heat at least 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and peel before serving. Cut each tortilla into six wedges. Deep-fry tortillas, smooth-side up, at 375°F about 30 seconds. Turn and deep-fry 30 seconds longer or until golden brown. Tortillas should puff as soon as they are put in hot oil. Remove from oil to paper towel-lined tray. Serve crisp tortilla with honey dip or spoon dip over chips.

Oven Method: Brush both sides of whole tortillas with vegetable oil. Cut into wedges before baking, if desired. Place on baking sheet and bake at 325°F about 12 minutes or until crisp and browned but not hard.


Apricot Honey Bread- Makes 12 servings -


Ingredients

3 cups whole wheat flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1-1/4 cups 2% low-fat milk

1 cup honey

1 egg, slightly beaten

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts or chopped almonds

1/2 cup raisins


Directions

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Combine milk, honey, egg and oil in separate large bowl. Pour milk mixture over dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Gently fold in apricots, sunflower seeds and raisins. Pour into greased 9 x 5 x 13-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350°F for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.

Apple Honey Tart- Makes 4 servings -

Ingredients

1 (17-1/4 oz.) puff pastry dough

1 egg, well beaten

1 cup white zinfandel wine*

1/2 cup honey

1 stick (3-inch) cinnamon

3 whole cloves

1 slice (1/4-inch) fresh ginger root

3 medium apples, pared, cored and sliced

Whipped cream or low-fat dairy sour cream


Directions

Cut two 5-inch hearts out of puff pastry. Cut 1/2-inch wide strips of pastry from remaining dough. Brush edges of hearts with beaten egg. Twist and line edges of hearts with dough strips, joining ends of strips with egg mixture as necessary. Bake according to package directions. When golden and baked, remove or push down puffy centers of hearts to allow space for apple filling. Bring wine, honey and spices to boil in 9- to 10-inch skillet; reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Add apples in one layer, return mixture to boil and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until apples are tender. Carefully remove slices from liquid and drain thoroughly. Reduce liquid until syrupy; cool. Brush bottom of crust with syrup; arrange poached apples over syrup. Serve with dollops of whipped or sour cream.

*If desired, apple juice may be substituted for wine.


Apricot Honey Oat Bar Cookies- Makes 8 servings -


Ingredients

1-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, uncooked

1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt

2 egg whites

2 Tablespoons wheat germ

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt


Directions

Spray 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in large bowl; mix well. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake at 325°F about 25 minutes or until center is firm and edges are lightly browned. Cool and cut into 2-inch squares.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

How to cook eggs - delicious egg dishes



This article is part of How2Blogger’s Super Sexy Holiday ‘How To’ Contest which you can see at How2Blogger’s ‘How To’ site.



I came across a contest from How2blogger.com which I found to be interesting and challenging.

So I'm going to detour from my Traditional Breakfast dishes to attempt a fun entry by dishing up different way to cook eggs.

1. Fully boiled eggs - Put water in a pan. Add an egg. Boil water for about 5 minutes.

2. Semi cooked eggs - Similar to above only take out the egg in 2-3 minutes. Crack the egg onto a bowl. Add salt, pepper or soya sauce or any combination as per your desire.

3. Sunny side up. Heat pan and add a table spoon of oil(Do choose a low calorie oil scuh as canola oil as there is enough fats in the eggs.) Once the pan is well heated crack an egg. Transfer to a plate once the egg is cooked.

Now for the serious cooks

4. Harvest Omelet

1/4 cup diced fresh pears
• 1 tablespoon shredded Swiss cheese
• 1 teaspoon diced green onions with tops
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 2 eggs
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1 teaspoon butter or margarine

Combine pears, cheese, onions and nutmeg. Set aside.

In small bowl, beat together eggs and water until blended. In 7-to 10-inch omelet pan over medium heat, heat butter until just hot enough to sizzle a drop of water.

Pour in egg mixture. Mixture should set immediately at edges. With an inverted pancake turner, carefully push cooked portions at edges toward center so uncooked portions can reach hot pan sur- face, tilting pan and moving cooked portions as necessary. When top is thickened and no visible liquid egg remains, fill with pear mixture. With pancake turner, fold omelet in half. Invert or slide onto plate.



5. Cuban Eggs

8 hard-cooked eggs
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp
Cheddar cheese, divided
3 tablespoons non-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
Dash pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped sweet green pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 cans (8 oz. each) no-salt-added tomato sauce
Hot cooked rice, optional
Parsley sprigs, optional

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks and set whites aside. In small bowl, mash yolks with fork. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese, milk, salt, and pepper until well blended. Fill each white with one heaping tablespoon yolk mixture. Place in 8x8x2-inch baking dish.

In medium saucepan over medium heat, cook onion and pepper in butter until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and bring to boiling. Pour over eggs. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Serve over rice and garnish with parsley, if desired.

6. Herbed Popovers

• 3 eggs
• 1 cup non-fat or low-fat (1%) milk
• 2 tablespoons cooking oil or butter, melted
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
• 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
• 1/2 teaspoon basil leaves, crushed
• 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, crushed
• Eggs Goldenrod*, optional

In small mixing bowl at medium speed, beat eggs until foamy. Beat in milk and butter. Add flour and seasonings. Beat at low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Fill spray coated or greased popover pan, muffin cups or 6-ounce custard cups half full.

Bake in preheated 425° F oven until brown and firm, about 35 to 40 minutes. For crisper popovers, prick side of each with wooden pick and bake about 3 to 6 minutes longer. Loosen edges with narrow spatula or knife, remove from pans and serve immediately as is or fill with Eggs Goldenrod.

* Eggs Goldenrod

(About 2 1/2 cups)

• 2 cups non-fat or low-fat (1%) milk
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

• 1/2 teaspoon garlic or onion salt
• Variation ingredients, optional

• 6 hard-cooked eggs



In covered jar or blender container, shake or blend together milk, flour and garlic salt until smooth. Pour into medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and is smooth and thickened. Stir in variation ingredients, if desired. Remove from heat.

Separate egg yolks and whites. Chop whites and stir into sauce. Heat to serving temperature. Spoon into Popovers. Press yolks through a strainer or sieve. Sprinkle over Popovers.



Variation Ingredients: Choose one or a combination. After sauce has thickened, stir in:
• 1 jar (2 oz.) chopped pimiento, drained
• 1/4 cup chopped ripe olives

• 2 tablespoons drained bottled capers
• 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

7. Classic Cooked Egg Nog
• 6 eggs
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
• 1 quart milk* divided
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• Garnishes or Stir-Ins, optional

In large saucepan, beat together eggs, sugar and salt, if desired. Stir in 2 cups of the milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin film and reaches at least 160°F. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 2 cups milk and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight. Just before serving, pour into bowl or pitcher. Garnish or add stir-ins, if desired. Serve immediately.

*For faster preparation heat milk until very warm before stirring milk into eggs and sugar.

MICROWAVE: In 2-quart liquid measure or bowl, beat together eggs, sugar and salt, if desired, until thoroughly blended. Set aside. In l -quart liquid measure or bowl, cook 2 cups of the milk on full power until bubbles form at edges, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir into egg mixture. Cook on 50% power until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin film and reaches at least 160°F, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 cups milk and vanilla. Continue as above.

GARNISHES AND STIR-INS

Choose 1 or several:

• Chocolate curls
• Maraschino cherries
• Cinnamon sticks
• Orange slices
• Extracts or flavorings
• Peppermint sticks or candy canes
• Flavored brandy or liqueur
• Plain brandy, rum or whiskey
• Fruit juice or nectar
• Sherbet or ice cream
• Ground nutmeg
• Whipping cream, whipped

8. Mayonnaise
2 egg yolks
• 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon dry mustard
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Dash pepper
• 1 cup cooking oil

In small saucepan, stir together egg yolks, vinegar, water, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper until thoroughly blended. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles in 1 or 2 places. Remove from heat. Let stand 4 minutes. Pour into blender container. Cover and blend at high speed. While blending, very slowly add oil. Blend until thick and smooth. Occasionally, turn off blender and scrape down sides of container with rubber spatula, if necessary. Cover and chill if not using immediately.


9. Basic Omelette

2 eggs
2 tbsp water
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp butter


Beat together eggs and water; season with salt and pepper.

Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter in skillet. Pour in egg mixture. As mixture sets at the edges, with spatula, gently push cooked portions toward the centre. Tilt and rotate the pan to allow uncooked egg to flow into the empty spaces.

When egg is almost set on surface but still looks moist, cover one half of the omelette with filling, to taste. Slip spatula under the unfilled side, fold the omelette in half and slide onto a warm plate.



Variations

Western Omelette: In 2 tbsp (30 mL) melted butter, cook 1/4 cup (50 mL) finely chopped ham, 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped green pepper and 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped onion until vegetables are tender but not browned. Pour in omelette mixture and cook as directed in Basic Omelette recipe.

Strawberry-Orange Omelette: Replace water in Basic Omelette recipe with orange juice. Cook as directed. Fill with 1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced fresh strawberries. Sprinkle omelette with icing sugar or garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.

Fine Herbs Omelette: To the Basic Omelette recipe, add 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped parsley, 1 tsp (5 mL) finely chopped green onion, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried tarragon and 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) finely chopped garlic. Cook as directed.

Serving Variations:

Egg Dog: When eggs are almost cooked on top, slide omelette onto plate. Place cheese cubes or strips in a line close to one end. Roll up, starting at end with cheese. Place cooked bacon strips and rolled omelette in hotdog bun.

Pita Eggwich: Place folded omelette inside a pita lined with mayonnaise. Stuff tomato slices and lettuce leaves into pita.

10. Curried Poached Eggs
Water
1 1/2 tsp each ground coriander and curry powder
1/2 tsp each ground cumin, turmeric and salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
4 eggs


In a medium saucepan, pour in enough water to have about 3 inches (8 cm). Stir in coriander, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Break a cold egg into a small dish. Gently slip egg into water. Repeat with remaining eggs. Cook in barely simmering water for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and drain well. Serve immediately.



Tip

For poached eggs with a compact oval shape, use fresh eggs and add a few drops of vinegar to the water. To poach eggs, the water should simmer; rapid boiling will cause the egg to break up as it cooks.

HAVE AN EGGSTRODINARY MEAL

Friday, November 23, 2007

Traditional breakfast in the Philippines


A favourite traditional breakfast in the Philippines consists of garlic fried rice, fried or scrambled eggs, and a choice of breakfast meat: beef tapa (like a fried beef jerky), pork tocino (caramelised pork), longaniza (breakfast sausage), dried salty, smoked fish, tinned sardines, sauteed corned beef, or crispy pork adobo, often with Western-style baked beans, sliced tomatoes and a local pickle (achara) on the side. Alternatively, a cheese-topped breakfast pastry called an ensaimada (a colonial relative of the Mallorcan ensaimada) is also eaten, usually with hot chocolate, as is pan de sal (Philippine breakfast roll) filled with a buffalo milk white cheese, and local barako coffee. Finally, there is champurrado, a local sweet chocolate sticky rice porridge, often served with a side dish of crisp-fried sun-dried fish (danggit or tuyo) -- an unusual, though authentically Filipino combination.

Ensaimadas
Ingredients :

2 1/2 stk margarine
1 cup sugar
9 x egg yolks
1 whl egg
2 pkt dry yeast dissolved in
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
6 cup bread flour
golden raisins
melted butter
parmesan cheese

Method :
Have margarine and eggs at room temperature. Dissolve the yeast in water. Cream margarine and eggs until fluffy. Add the dissolved yeast, milk and salt.

Add flour. Knead until dough no longer sticks to your hands. Add more flour if necessary.

Let rise 2-3 hours in a warm place until double in bulk. Punch down. Divide dough into 4 equal part and form each part into a long roll. Cut off pieces the size of an egg. Roll each piece into an thin oblong and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese and a few golden raisins. Roll into a coil and place in greased muffin tins. Let rise, covered until 3 times in bulk.

Bake at 350 degrees. Remove from tins and brush top with melted butter and roll in a mixture of 1 cup sugar and 2 T. parmesan cheese.

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NOTES : These are somewhat labor intensive, but worth every bite.
Makes lots and lots. Freeze for later enjoyment!!


Vegetarian Lumpia from the Philippines
Ingredients :

1 package lumpia skins, from an asian specialty store
10 carrots, chopped small
4 leeks, well cleaned,and chopped small
6 shallots or 2 onions, chopped small
sesame oil, dark (or regular oil, but sesame is better)
salt (try 1 tsp)
Chinese duck sauce or plum sauce (for dipping)

Method :

Saute chopped carrots, leeks, shallots and salt in sesame oil til the carrots are tender and soft.

Use the lumpia skins at either full size or 1/4 size (by cutting larger skins into four squares).

Moisten a lumpia skin in water and roll the vegetable mixture into the skin.

Repeat with the remaining skins.

Bake at 375 on a lightly oiled baking sheet for approx 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned- keep an eye on them, as ovens vary.

Serve hot with plum or duck sauce.
Enjoy!

Chicken Adobo

Ingredients :

3 lbs chicken thighs, cut into serving pieces
4 fluid ounces white vinegar
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup peppercorns, crushed
1 teaspoon brown sugar
5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 bay leaves
salt

Method :

Combine all ingredients in a pan, cover, and marinate for one to three hours.

Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Uncover the pan and allow to simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the chicken is lightly brown.

Serve with white rice.

Achara (Pickled Papaya)

Ingredients :

1 papaya
1 red bell pepper, julliened
1 green bell pepper, julliened
1 medium carrot, julliened, could also be cut in decorative florets
5 shallots, sliced thinly crosswise
1 large garlic clove, sliced thinly crosswise
1 inch gingerroot, julliened
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
Pickling Solution
1 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Method :

Peel the papaya and discard seeds. Shred using a vegetable grater or a cheese grater with bigger holes.

Put the shredded papaya in a bowl, sprinkle with the teaspoon of salt and toss. Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour, then squeeze by the handfuls, discarding the juice.

In a sauce pan - mix together the pickling solution and bring to boil stirring until sugar and salt are completely dissolved.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Put everything in a bowl and pour the cooled pickling solution on top and mix well.
Refrigerate, covered or transfer into jars and let cure for a day or so before serving.

Enjoy!

Crusty Pan De Sal

Ingredients :

1 tablespoon shortening
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 cup water
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
5 cups sifted flour
breadcrumbs

Method :

Combine shortening, sugar, salt and boiling water in a large mixing bowl.

Cool to lukewarm.

Add warm water and sprinkle in dry yeast.

Stir until dissolved.

Let stand for 5 minutes.

Add flour gradually and turn out on a lighlty floured board.

Knead until smooth and elastic.

Place in a greased bowl and brush with shortening.

Cover and let rise in warm place until double in size- about 1- 1 1/2 hour.

Punch down and turn out on a lighlty floured board.

Divide dough into 24 equal parts and shape into ovals.

Roll lightly in bread crumbs.

Place on greased cookie sheet.
(spread 6 inches apart).

Cover, let rise in warm place, free from draft, until light- about 1 hour.

Bake at 425 degrees, for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Traditional Indonesian Breakfast Recipes


There are obviously regional variations accross the vast island populations that comprise Indonesia. Influences come from China, Malaya, Singapore and of course the western world. In some regions the cuisine will tend to be generally sweeter with much coconut milk used, in some more fiery with greater use of chillies and in other more emphasis on the fragrant. The common breakfast dishes found in most parts of Indonesia would include Nasi Goreng - basically a rice dish flavoured with mild curry, vegetables, soy sauce and chicken or prawns. This can be topped with a fried egg and sliced cucumber and then called Istimewa.
Toasted breads, pancakes and omelettes in various forms, eggs and of course fruits will also feature almost everywhere.

Nasi Goreng Istimewa

Fried rice is actually a breakfast dish in Indonesia. It is often made from the boiled rice, which may have been left over from the previous nights meal. To make it 'istimewa' or special, a lightly fired egg, some cucumber slices and kerupuk (prawn crackers) are served on top of the rice.

Ingredients:
4 cups cooled cooked rice
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 medium onion
1 tsp chilli
2 tbsp oil
salt

Slice the onion lengthwise, heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic, chilli and shrimp paste until the onion is soft. Add the rice and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly while constantly turning until every grain is coated. Then add the soya sauce and mix again until the colour is even throughout.
The rice should have taken on a nice orange-red tinge from the chilli powder. Cooked meat or prawns can be added with the soya sauce. Onion crisps (Goreng Bawang) are often used as a garnish.

Prawn and Corn Fritters

4-6 servings – 20-30 fritters
Ingredients:
1 cup small prawns. Head and tail removed
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup bean sprouts
½ cup leeks, cut into 2cm pieces
1 onion thinly sliced
1 red chilli thinly sliced
½ cup corn kernels
1 cup water
oil for frying

Combine all ingredients and a cup of warm water.
Mix thoroughly with a spoon until all ingredients are really well combined (about 1 minute). If the mixture is too thick add more water.
The mixture should be thick enough in order to spoon it into hot oil for deep-frying. Deep fry until golden brown.
Best serve hot with chilli sauce, satay sauce or ketchup.

Sheer Korma
This is a traditional Muslim festive breakfast. A sweet breakfast made with vermicelli, sugar & milk and flavoured with cardamom, almonds, saffron, raisons and rose water. It is traditionally served on Eid day (both Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha) to the household after they come back from Eid prayers. It is then served throughout the day to all well wishers and guests who come to celebrate Eid..

Ingredients:
1 pack vermicelli
8 pints fresh milk
1 cup sugar
20 whole cardamom pods
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
1 cup chopped almonds, cashews and pistachios
½ cup fresh cream
½ teaspoon saffron strands
3 tablespoons charoli nuts
½ cup raisins
½ teaspoon rose water
1 tablespoon butter

Fry the vermicelli in the butter until well browned but not burnt and all the butter is dried. Add in ¼ cup sugar and continue cooking. Add in the milk cup by cup, stirring constantly, and bring to the boil.
Add in the raisins, whole cardamom, and 1/2 cup slivered almonds, cashews and pistachios, and the remaining sugar. Reduce the heat and thicken the sheer korma to three-strand consistency, letting the milk boil until it is reduced by half
The vermicelli must be very soft by now. Quickly add in the rose water, charoli and fresh cream and let simmer covered for 10 minutes. Garnish with the saffron strands and powdered cardamom, and serve immediately.


Soufflé omelettes are spectacular dishes, yet they are disarmingly simple to prepare. The Indonesian spicing of this dish, and the coconut milk which is so typical of that cuisine, make this a meal to remember. Serve it with a couple of salads of your choice.
Serves 2

Ingredients:1 cm Root ginger peeled and grated
1 Clove of garlic; crushed
Sesame oil
75 g Chinese cabbage, shredded
75 g Small button mushrooms, sliced
50 g Sweetcorn
50 g Mange-tout
1 Fresh chilli, de-seeded and chopped
40 g Dry-roasted peanuts, ground
150 ml Thin coconut milk
3 Eggs; separated
Salt
Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

Soften the ginger and garlic in the oil for 2-3 minutes and then toss in the prepared vegetables. Stir until heated through and well coated with the oil, then add the ground peanuts. Stir well. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then mix in the beaten egg yolks and stir thoroughly. Season to taste.

Fold in the stiffly beaten whites and pour the mixture into a large, well-oiled, heavy frying pan. Cook over a very gentle heat for 8-10 minutes until puffed and beginning to set. Brown under a hot grill for a minute or two to finish the cooking, and serve immediately garnished with fresh coriander leaves. Cut into wedges for each serving.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Traditional Vietnamese Breakfast Dishes


When you're talking about breakfast in Vietnam, you're probably talking about one of three things: pho, sticky rice or some sort of French bread.

Pho (pronounced "fuh") is soup with rice or wheat based noodles that's flavored with a meat such as chicken, pork or beef. Fresh ingredients are added to the soup or act as a topping for the soup. These ingredients may include any combination of the following: preserved cabbage, chopped chilies, roasted peanuts, shallots, bean sprouts, cilantro, basil, lime, Vietnamese parsley and garlic. A fish or chile sauce is almost always served with the soup. Pho makes occasional appearances at other meals as a starter course.

In many rural areas, sticky rice or xoi rules the breakfast table. Often the rice is steamed with brown sugar and mung beans. The rice is then wrapped in coconut or bamboo leaves.

In the late 1800's, the French took over every Vietnamese city they could get their wily hands on. The result of decades of French rule - as it applies to breakfast - is the abundance of French-influenced breads that are still widely consumed in Vietnam. French bread is available in most restaurants. It's common in metropolitan areas to see women carrying burlap bags full of baguettes on their heads to sell on the street. It's even easy to find a good crepe in fancier restaurants.

Fruit is often served as or with breakfast. Mango and dragon fruit - a unique regional fruit from the cactus family - are particularly prevalent.

Beef noodle soup (pho bo)
Makes 8 satisfying bowls


For the broth:
2 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound total)
4-inch piece ginger (about 4 ounces)
5-6 pounds beef soup bones (marrow and knuckle bones)
5 star anise (40 star points total)
6 whole cloves
3-inch cinnamon stick
1 pound piece of beef chuck, rump, brisket or cross rib roast, cut into 2-by-4-inch pieces (weight after trimming)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons fish sauce
1 ounce (1-inch chunk) yellow rock sugar (duong phen; see Note)


For the bowls:
1 1/2-2 pounds small (1/8-inch wide) dried or fresh banh pho noodles ("rice sticks'' or Thai chantaboon)
1/2 pound raw eye of round, sirloin, London broil or tri-tip steak, thinly sliced across the grain (1/16 inch thick; freeze for 15 minutes to make it easier to slice)
1 medium yellow onion, sliced paper-thin, left to soak for 30 minutes in a bowl of cold water
3 or 4 scallions, green part only, cut into thin rings
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (ngo)
Ground black pepper


Optional garnishes arranged on a plate and placed at the table:
Sprigs of spearmint (hung lui) and Asian/Thai basil (hung que)
Leaves of thorny cilantro (ngo gai)
Bean sprouts (about 1/2 pound)
Red hot chiles (such as Thai bird or dragon), thinly sliced
Lime wedges


Prepare the broth:

Char onion and ginger. Use an open flame on grill or gas stove. Place onions and ginger on cooking grate and let skin burn. (If using stove, turn on exhaust fan and open a window.) After about 15 minutes, they will soften and become sweetly fragrant. Use tongs to occasionally rotate them and to grab and discard any flyaway onion skin. You do not have to blacken entire surface, just enough to slightly cook onion and ginger.


Let cool. Under warm water, remove charred onion skin; trim and discard blackened parts of root or stem ends. If ginger skin is puckered and blistered, smash ginger with flat side of knife to loosen flesh from skin. Otherwise, use sharp paring knife to remove skin, running ginger under warm water to wash off blackened bits. Set aside.


Parboil bones. Place bones in stockpot (minimum 12-quart capacity) and cover with cold water. Over high heat, bring to boil. Boil vigorously 2 to 3 minutes to allow impurities to be released. Dump bones and water into sink and rinse bones with warm water. Quickly scrub stockpot to remove any residue. Return bones to pot.


Simmer broth. Add 6 quarts water to pot, bring to boil over high heat, then lower flame to gently simmer. Use ladle to skim any scum that rises to surface. Add remaining broth ingredients and cook 1 1/2 hours. Boneless meat should be slightly chewy but not tough. When it is cooked to your liking, remove it and place in bowl of cold water for 10 minutes; this prevents the meat from drying up and turning dark as it cools. Drain the meat; cool, then refrigerate. Allow broth to continue cooking; in total, the broth should simmer 3 hours.


Strain broth through fine strainer. If desired, remove any bits of gelatinous tendon from bones to add to your pho bowl. Store tendon with cooked beef. Discard solids.


Use ladle to skim as much fat from top of broth as you like. (Cool it and refrigerate it overnight to make this task easier; reheat befofe continuing.) Taste and adjust flavor with additional salt, fish sauce and yellow rock sugar. The broth should taste slightly too strong because the noodles and other ingredients are not salted. (If you've gone too far, add water to dilute.) Makes about 4 quarts.


Assemble bowls: The key is to be organized and have everything ready to go. Thinly slice cooked meat. For best results, make sure it's cold.


Heat broth and ready noodles. To ensure good timing, reheat broth over medium flame as you're assembling bowls. If you're using dried noodles, cover with hot tap water and soak 15-20 minutes, until softened and opaque white. Drain in colander. For fresh rice noodles, just untangle and briefly rinse in a colander with cold water.


Blanch noodles. Fill 3- or 4-quart saucepan with water and bring to boil. For each bowl, use long-handle strainer to blanch a portion of noodles. As soon as noodles have collapsed and lost their stiffness (10-20 seconds), pull strainer from water, letting water drain back into saucepan. Empty noodles into bowls. Noodles should occupy 1/4 to 1/3 of bowl; the latter is for noodle lovers, while the former is for those who prize broth.
If desired, after blanching noodles, blanch bean sprouts for 30 seconds in same saucepan. They should slightly wilt but retain some crunch. Drain and add to the garnish plate.


Add other ingredients. Place slices of cooked meat, raw meat and tendon (if using) atop noodles. (If your cooked meat is not at room temperature, blanch slices for few seconds in hot water from above.) Garnish with onion, scallion and chopped cilantro. Finish with black pepper.

Ladle in broth and serve. Bring broth to rolling boil. Check seasoning. Ladle broth into each bowl, distributing hot liquid evenly so as to cook raw beef and warm other ingredients. Serve with garnish plate.


Note: Yellow rock sugar (a.k.a. lump sugar) is sold in one-pound boxes at Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. Break up large chunks with hammer.


Variations: If you want to replicate the splendorous options available at pho shops, head to the butcher counter at a Vietnamese or Chinese market. There you'll find white cords of gan (beef tendon) and thin pieces of nam (outside flank, not flank steak). While tendon requires no preparation prior to cooking, nam should be rolled and tied with string for easy handling. Simmer it and the beef tendon in the cooking broth for two hours, or until chewy-tender.

Peanut Sticky Rice

2 cups glutinous rice (sometimes sold as sweet or sticky rice; other rices won't work for this dish)
1 cup raw peanuts
1 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 Tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt


For topping:
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 Tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
sugar - to taste
In separate pans, soak the raw peanuts and rice overnight in warm water. Drain both in the morning.

In a large sauce pan, combine 1 cup of water and the coconut milk with the rice, peanuts, oil and salt. Bring mixture to a rolling boil. Immedietly reduce heat to low and stir. Cover and continue to cook on low for 20 minutes until all liquid is absorbed - stirring occasionally.

Fluff rice once with a fork before serving.

Place equal amounts of rice in four serving bowls. Top with shredded coconut, peanut pieces, sesame seeds and sugar.


In Vietnam, this dish is very popular for breakfast in rural areas where the finished rice is often wrapped in coconut or bamboo leaves.


Friday, November 2, 2007

Traditional Korean Breakfast Dishes


Korea has a great tradition of breakfast. Centuries ago, Korea barely recognized a lunchtime meal. It was a snack at best. The result was that both breakfast and dinner were grand meals often consisting of several courses.

Today, breakfast is still a large meal. A traditional breakfast of Korea consists of rice, a fermented cabbage dish called kimchi, beef and/or fish, a soup made of either beef ribs or pork intestines (tripe) and often a selection of breads and pastries.

Kimchi is a spicy and very pungent condiment that is served with almost every meal in Korea. It's made by fermenting various vegetables such as cabbage, turnips, onions and radishes with a range of spices such as red pepper powder, garlic and ginger. Homemade kimchi is often placed in tightly sealed jars and buried in the ground for four days or more to ferment.

KimChi

Ingredients :

1 Large Chinese cabbage
1/2 cup Sea salt
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
5 Spring onions, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
5 cm Fresh ginger, grated
3 teaspoons Chopped fresh chili
1 tablespoon Caster sugar
2 1/2 cups Cold water

Method :

Cut the cabbage in half, then into large bite-sized pieces.

Place a layer of cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with a little salt. Continue with layers of cabbage and salt, finishing with a salt layer.

Cover with a dinner plate that will fit as snugly as possible over the top of the cabbage.

Weigh down the plate with cans or a small brick and leave the bowl in a cool place for 5 days.

Remove the weights and plate, pour off any liquid, then rinse the cabbage well under cold running water.

Squeeze out any excess water and combine the cabbage with the cayenne pepper, spring onion, garlic, ginger, chili and sugar.

Mix well to combine before spooning the cabbage into a large sterilized jar.

Pour the water over the top and seal with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 days before eating.

Note : Kim Chi is an accompaniment eaten with Korean main meals and with steamed rice. For an authentic flavor, use 3 tablespoons of chili. Bottled chopped chili can be used instead of fresh chili.


Bean Pancakes Recipe
(Bindae Duk)


Ingredients : Makes about 20

1 cup Mung dhal (dried mung beans halves without skin)
1 cup Water
2 Eggs, beaten
125 g Pork mince
1 Small onion, finely chopped
1 Spring onion, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup Fresh bean sprouts, chopped
1/2 cup KimChi or shredded white Chinese cabbage
2 tablespoons Sesame oil

Method :

Wash mung dhal and soak in cold water overnight.

Rinse and drain well.

Then put into container of electric blender with 1 cup water.

Blend until smooth.

Pour into a bowl, add all other ingredients and mix well.

Heat a griddle or heavy frying pan and drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture on the hot surface.

Cook until golden brown underneath, turn and cook other side.

Serve hot or cold.

Sesame Seed Sauce Recipe
(Cho Kanjang)


Serve this sauce with cooked or raw vegetables. It may be made and kept for a few days, or longer in the refrigerator.

Ingredients :

1/2 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Vinegar
3 tablespoons Light soy sauce
4 tablespoons Sesame seeds

Method :

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until they are a toast-brown color.

Crush with mortar and pestle or in an electric blender.

Mix in sugar, vinegar and soy sauce.

Store in a bottle and serve with hot or cold vegetables or as a sauce for meat.

Beef Stew Recipe
(Yukkae Jang Kuk)


Ingredients : Serves 6

1 kg Skirt or flank steak
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
24 Spring onions, sliced
1 teaspoon Sugar
125 g Rice vermicelli
2 tablespoons Sesame oil
2 teaspoons Chili powder (or to taste)
2 Eggs, lightly beaten

Method :

Put whole piece of steak into a saucepan with salt, pepper and just enough water to cover.

Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until steak is very tender.

Allow to cool, then shred with fingers into fibers.

Return to the pot, add spring onions and sugar and simmer for 10 minutes, then drain.

Add to simmering pot.

Mix sesame oil and chili powder together and add to stew.

The rich red oil will float on top.

Drizzle the beaten eggs into the bubbling stew, stirring so that it cooks in shreds.

Serve with hot white rice.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Traditional Japanese Breakfast Dishes


Japanese breakfast consists of steamed rice, miso (soy bean paste) soup, and side dishes. Common side dishes are grilled fish, rolled omelet, pickles, dried seaweed, natto, salad, and more.

Steamed Rice
Hot steamed rice is the most important dish in Japanese-style breakfast. Usually it's plain without any seasoning.


INGREDIENTS:
2 cups Japanese-style rice
2 1/4 cups water

PREPARATION:
Put the rice in a bowl and wash it with cold water. Repeat washing until the water becomes clear. Drain the rice in a colander and set aside. Place the rice in a pan or rice cooker and add water. The amount of water used is just a little more than the amount of rice.

Miso Soup with Fried Tofu
The most popular soup in Japanese cuisine is miso soup. Most typical Japanese-style mealsinclude a cup of miso soup. Miso soup is seasoned by miso, soy bean paste. Making miso soup is the basic of Japanese cooking.

INGREDIENTS:

3 1/3 cups dashi soup stock
2 fried bean curd
3-4 tbsps miso paste
*chopped green onion

PREPARATION:

Put the fried bean curd in a strainer and pour boiled water over them to remove the excess oil. Cut the fried bean curd into thin strips. Put the soup stock in a pan and bring to boil. Scoop out some soup stock from the pan and dissolve miso paste in it. Return the soup in the pan and stir well.

Remember not to boil the soup after you put miso in. Add the fried bean curd strips in the pan. Add some chopped green onion if you would like.

Tamagoyaki
Japanese rolled omelet is called tamagoyaki or dashimaki. It's also known as a Japanese-style egg roll. Tamagoyaki is often served for Japanese-style breakfast. Also, it's one of the most popular dishes in Japanese bento lunch boxes.

There are many types of tamagoyaki. Some are sweet and some are salty. Also, you can add fillings in tamagoyaki to make it colorful. Create your favorite tamagoyaki!

Tamagoyaki is usually cooked in a rectangular omelet pan. Rectangular omelet pans are commonly sold in Japan, but it might not be a common cookware in other countries. It's OK to use a regular frying pan if a rectangular omelet pan is not available.

INGREDIENTS:
4 eggs
3 tbsps dashi soup stock
2 tbsps sugar

PREPARATION:
Beat eggs in a bowl. Add dashi soup and sugar in the egg and mix well. Heat a frying pan on medium heat. *Preferably, use a square tamagoyaki pan.

Oil the pan. Pour a scoop of egg mixture in the pan and spread over the surface. Cook it until half done and roll the egg toward the bottom side. Move the rolled egg to the top side. Oil the empty part of the pan and pour another scoop of egg mixture in the space and under the rolled egg. Cook it until half done and roll the egg again so that the omelet becomes thicker. Cook the omelet until done. If you are using a regular frying pan, shape tamagoyaki on bamboo mat. Cut tamagoyaki into 1-inch thick pieces.
Makes 4 servings (2 tamagoyaki)


Friday, October 26, 2007

Traditional Chinese Breakfast Dishes


Here are some traditional Chines breakfast recipes for you to try out. Please not that I've not tried out any of them, but got them from friends and the net.

Wonton
This is a basic recipe for wonton with a pork and shrimp filling. Deep-fry the wonton or boil in soup as desired. For extra flavor, use fresh water chestnuts.

Yields about 35 - 40 wonton
Ingredients:
1/2 pound boneless lean pork
1/2 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp
3 water chestnuts
2 slices ginger, or as needed to make 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine, dry sherry or rice vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
a few drops sesame oil
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Wonton wrappers, as needed
Preparation:
Finely chop the pork and shrimp. Peel the water chestnuts and finely chop. Mince the ginger until you have 1 teaspoon.

Combine the pork and shrimp with the water chestnuts, minced ginger, oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry or rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and white pepper.

To fill the wontons, lay one won ton skin in front of you. (Cover the remaining won ton skins with a damp towel to keep them from drying out). Moisten all the edges of the won ton wrapper with water. Place a heaping teaspoon of won ton filling in the center.

Fold the wonton wrapper in half lengthwise, making sure the ends meet. Press down firmly on the ends to seal. Use thumbs to push down on the edges of the filling to center it. Keeping thumbs in place, fold over the wonton wrapper one more time. Push the corners up and hold in place between your thumb and index finger. Wet the corners with your fingers. Bring the two ends together so that they overlap. Press to seal. The finished product should resemble a nurse's cap. Repeat with remaining wontons.

Alternate method: Place the teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper and twist to seal. The final result should resemble a money bag or drawstring purse.

Boiling the wontons: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the won tons, making sure there is enough room for them to move about freely. Let the wontons boil for 5 - 8 minutes, until they rise to the top and the filling is cooked through. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon.

Deep-frying the wontons: Heat oil for deep-frying to 360 degrees. Add wonton in small batches and fry, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Wontons can be prepared ahead of time up to the cooking stage and frozen. Thaw before cooking.

Mantou / Baozi / Steamed Bun Dough
This dough can be used to make Chinese steamed buns, called mantou, or filled buns, called baozi. These fluffy, chewy, warm and unusual breads are common breakfasts, sides and meals in much of China. They are especially popular in Shanghai (Baozi) and Beijing (Mantou), where window-stall and small shop vendors sell them. Because this is the less unhealthy version with some whole wheat substitutions, they can be finicky based on dampness and temprature —

1½ hours 30 min prep
Ingridients:

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup skim milk, warm
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 (1/4 ounce) package fast rising yeast


Mix the yeast and flours in a large bowl.
Dissolve the sugar and add the peanut oil in the water.
Add to the flour bowl and mix thoroughly.
Knead dough until it becomes a consistent ball, adding milk or more flour as needed (I usually end up using a tad more than 1/2 cup of milk).
Cover dough in a bowl and allow to rest 10 – 15 minutes.
Remove dough, pound it down, and re-knead until it forms a fully elastic dough ball.
Place ball in a greased, covered bowl and allow to rise for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled or tripled in bulk.
Divide into 16-24 small dough balls, or roll out into one large flat rectangle on a floured surface.
Flatted dough balls with a rolling pin, OR measure 3 – 5 inch rounds out of the pressed rectangle.
Fill each flat round with roughly 2 tbs of the filling of your choice in the center. Pull the dough on all sides from the corners up to the top, and ‘twist’ to close.
Steam filled buns (baozi) for 15 – 25 minutes over high heat.
NOTE: Plain buns, or mantou, can be obtained by simply omitting the filling.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Traditional North Indian Breakfast Dishes


Now, for some of my favorite North Indian Breakfast Dishes.

The usual North Indian breakfast consists of paratha breads with fresh butter, cooked spicy vegetables especially aloo sabji (Potato).


Try these out and enjoy!

Methi Puri
INGREDIENTS

1 (100 g) cup wheat flour
1 cup fenugreek leaves, finely cut
3 tablespoons coriander leaves, finely cut
1 pinch turmeric powder
water
ghee (to fry)

DIRECTIONS

1. Sift flour in a bowl.
2.Mix the rest of the ingredients with 1 tsp.
ghee
3. Make a soft dough using water.
4. Knead well for 15-20 minutes.
5. Divide the dough into 20 portions.
6. Shape them into round balls.
7. Roll out each ball on a floured board into a round puri 4" (10cms) in diameter.
8. Heat ghee in a deep frying pan. (Use low calorie oil for those who are health conscious)
9. Fry 1 or 2 puris at a time until it turns golden brown.
10. Serve hot with raita and a vegetable dish


Naan Bread

INGREDIENTS
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
2. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
3. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.
4. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

Fruit Chaat

This is a refreshing summer salad with a twist. It will go well with any Indian barbeque meal. Serve it before, along or after the meal. It is a very versatile dish.

INGREDIENTS
1 Apple - (red delicious) - Skinned and cubed into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Pear- Skinned and cubed into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Oranges - Remove skin from the segments and half each segment
3\4 cup fresh Pomegranate seeds
1 cup Green seedless grapes
1 cup Red seedless grapes
1 ripe Mango - Skinned and cubed into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Bananas - cut into round slices, approx 1 cm thick
1 tsp Salt
3 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Chaat masala or to taste
Juice of 2 lemons and 2 oranges

DIRECTIONS

Mix the two juices, salt, sugar, and chaat masala well in a large serving bowl. Add all the fruits one by one into the bowl. Mix well. Garnish with mint leaves and chill well before serving.


Yogurt based stuffed okra

INGREDIENTS

1/4 kg tender lady fingers (okra/bhendi)

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 slit green chillis

3 cloves garlic finely minced

1″ ginger finely minced

2 big onions finely sliced

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli pwd

1/2 tsp coriander pwd

2 tomatoes finely chopped

1 tbsp ghee (you can use a wee bit more)

salt to taste

2 tbsp hung curd

For stuffing:

1 1/2 tbsps roasted channa powder (dalia/putnala pappu)

1 1/2 tbsps chaat masala

1 tsp ghee

pinch of salt

For garnish:

chopped coriander leaves

pinch of chaat masala

1 tbsp lemon juice (adjust)

DIRECTIONS

1 Wash and dry the okra. Trim the okra top and ends and make a slit in the center for stuffing.
2 Combine the roasted channa powder, chaat masala, salt and ghee and stuff the okras. Drizzle a kadai with some oil, on high heat, add the stuffed okras and constantly keep stirring them for approx 6-7 mts till they are nicely browned. Turn off heat. Remove and keep aside.
3 Heat ghee in a kadai, add cumin seeds and let them crackle. Add the ginger, garlic and green chillis. Saute for a few seconds.
4 Add the sliced onions and saute till transparent. Add the turmeric and red chilli pwd. Combine.
5 Add the tomatoes and salt, combine and cook covered for 5-7 mts on medium heat (do check and stir inbetween).
6 Add the slightly cooked stuffed okras and cook on medium heat for 4-5 mts (uncovered). Now, on high flame, keep stirring and cook till the okras are soft and done (approx 8-10 mts).
7 Turn off heat, adjust salt and chaat masala. Add the lemon juice and mix in the hung curd. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with hot rotis or rice.

Dum Aloo

INGREDIENTS

• 1/2 kg Small potatoes
• 1 Small piece of cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp Caraway seeds
• 1 tbsp Coriander seeds
• 2 Cardamom
• A pinch of asfoetida
• 4 Cardamoms
• 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
• 1 tsp Chilli powder
• 1 Medium size onion
• 2 Cup fine curd
• 4-5 Cloves
• 7-8 Black pepper
• 4-5 Bay Leaves
• 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
• 4 tbsp Ghee or oil
• 1/2 Cup milk
• Salt to taste


DIRECTIONS
• Make a fine powder of cardamoms, black pepper, coriander seeds, caraway seeds, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon by the help of a blender.
• Remove the peel from potatoes and prick them.
• Take oil in a frying pan and heat it for about one minute. Fry the potatoes on a medium heat until their color changes from white to light brown. Keep it aside.
• Add grated onion, asafoetida, bay leaves and ginger-garlic paste to the remaining oil. Fry the mixture till the paste turns reddish brown.
• Add the masala prepared in first step to this mixture and heat for about 2 to 3 minutes.
• Add turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Fry again for about a minute.
• Now pour the milk to make gravy followed by adding fine curd. Keep stirring continuously.
• You can pour little water if the gravy appears too thick.
• Now add pricked potatoes to this gravy and cook in a pressure cooker. Remove from the flame after 4 to 5 minutes just before the first whistle.
• Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.
• Dum Aloo is ready to serve.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Traditional South Indian Breakfast dishes


You might have guessed from my rather long earlier post, that I'm going to concentrate on traditional breakfast dishes of different nations for the next few posts.

Being an Indian, I'm starting with South Indian recipes. My favourite is Idlis with potato chutney and my second favorite is Masala Thaosai with Sambar.

FYI: Almost all South Indian Breakfast dishes are vegetarian.

Hope you will try out these dishes and enjoy!

Quick Cream of Wheat Savory Cakes(Rava Idli)

Semolina (also called Rava in India) tempered with spices, mixed in yoghurt and steamed.

Serves: 4
Cooking time (approx.): 16 minutes
Style: South Indian

2 tablespoon(s) coconut oil
1 teaspoon(s) mustard seeds
1 teaspoon(s) split husked Bengal gram (chana dal)
1 teaspoon(s) split husked black gram (udad dal)
4 green chillies chopped
1 tablespoon(s) cashewnut bits
1 sprig curry leaves
1 cup(s) semolina (or quick cream of wheat)
4 cups sour yoghurt
1 cup(s) coriander leaves chopped
2 cup(s) grated coconut if available
1 teaspoon(s) soda bicarbonate
salt to taste


1. Heat the coconut oil in a pan. Toss in the mustard seeds followed by the grams and fry till the seeds splutter fully. Add the green chillies, cashewnut bits and curry leaves. Stir-fry on medium level for about 3 minutes or till the grams are red in color.
2. Add the semolina and stir-fry on medium / low level for about 3 minute(s) or till golden in color and aromatic. Let cool. Once cooled, mix in the salt as per taste and the soda bicarbonate.
3. Divide the semolina mixture into two portions to steam then in two batches. Take a portion of semolina mixture and mix in half the quantity of yoghurt, coconut and coriander leaves. Keep aside for 15 minutes to ferment. Meanwhile, heat water in a steaming vessel. Pour the batter onto greased idli moulds and place it in the steaming vessel. Cover and steam on high level for about 10 minutes or till the idlis are fluffy and well cooked. Repeat the procedure to make the next batch of idlis.

TIP:
# If coconut oil is not available, any other vegetable oil can be used.
# If you do not have an idli mould, try muffin cups.
# The stir-fried semolina mixture can be prepared a day or two in advance and stored.

Serve hot with: Green Chutney (Hari Chutney)


Green Chutney(Hari Chutney)

Chutney is the Indian equivalent of a dip, and fresh green coriander ground with spices makes for a delicious dip with snacks.


Serves: 4
Cooking time (approx.): 2 minute(s)
Style: North Indian Vegetarian

2 tablespoon(s) grated coconut
2 flake(s) garlic peeled and chopped
½" piece ginger peeled and chopped
6 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves chopped
4 green chillies chopped
1 teaspoon(s) each of cumin and mustard seeds
1 tablespoon(s) chopped onions
1 tablespoon(s) oil
lemon juice and salt to taste


1. Grind the coconut, onions, cumin seeds, green chillies, coriander leaves, garlic and ginger to a fine paste using a little water. Pour the paste / chutney into a bowl and adjust the consistency using suitable amount of water.
2. Heat the oil in a pan on medium level for about 2 minute(s) till it is hot enough. Add the mustard seeds. Fry briefly till they splutter and pour them on the chutney.
3. Add salt and lemon juice to the chutney.


Peanut Chutney(Kadale Chutney)

Roasted peanuts ground with spices make an interesting dip (called Chutney in India) for snacks.

Serves: 4
Cooking time (approx.): 2 minute(s)
Style: South Indian Vegetarian

2 tablespoon(s) grated coconut
2 tablespoon(s) peanuts roasted
1" piece ginger peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves chopped
4 green chillies chopped
1 small onion(s) chopped
1 teaspoon(s) mustard seeds
½ teaspoon(s) asafoetida powder
4 curry leaves
2 tablespoon(s) oil
salt to taste


1. Grind the coconut, roasted peanuts, green chillies, onion, coriander leaves and ginger to a fine paste using a little water.
2. Pour the paste / chutney into a bowl and adjust the consistency using suitable amount of water.
3. Heat the oil in a pan on medium level for about 2 minute(s) or till it is hot enough. Add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter and then add the curry leaves and the asafoetida powder. Fry briefly and pour it on the chutney. Add salt to taste.



RAVA DOSAI RECIPE

Ingredients:

2 cups semolina (sooji, rava)
1/2 cup rice (chawal) flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp asafoetida
salt (namak) to taste
1 inch ginger (adrak)
4 green chillies
10-12 curry leaves (kari patta)
1/4 cup coconut (narial) (scraped)
12 cashewnuts
2 tblsp peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tblsp vegetable fat (ghee)
refined oil (tel) to fry

How to make rava dosai:

1. Blend rava, rice flour and buttermilk to make a thin batter, add asafoetida and required salt. Stand the batter for at least 6 hours.
2. Wash and finely chop the ginger, green chillies and curry leaves. Chop the coconut and cashew nut into very small bits.
3. Crush the peppercorns and cumin seeds. Heat the ghee and roast peppercorn and cumin seeds in it and add to the batter.
4. Mix the chopped greens, coconut and cashew into the batter. Stir well.
5. Grease a non-stick tawa, smear little oil. Pour a ladle full of the batter and spread by swirling the tava.
6. Pour a tablespoon oil around and on the dosa.
7. Cook till it is crisp and golden in color. Remove and serve hot.


VERMICELLI UPMA RECIPE

Ingredients:

2 cups Vermicelli
1 tsp Chana dal
1 tsp Urad dal
1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
2 tsp Cashewnuts
2 tsp Peanuts
1 Onions
2 Green chillies
1/2 inch Ginger
1 Potatoes
1/4 cup Peas
1 Carrots
1 Tomatoes
4 1/2 cups Water
3 tblsp Oil
2 tblsp Ghee
3 sprig Curry Leaves
Salt to taste

How to make vermicelli upma :

1. Chop the onions, chillies, ginger, tomatoes , potatoes, carrots into small pieces and keep aside.
2. Heat oil and add chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds and curry leaves. When they start to crackle , add peanuts and cashewnuts. 3. Fry till they turn golden brown.
4. Add potatoes, carrots and fry for 4-5 minutes.
5. Then add chillies, ginger , onions, peas and tomatoes.
6. Cook until they are done.
7. After that add salt and 41/2 cups of water, cover with a lid and let it boil .
8. When the water comes to boil add vermecelli and simultaneously stir ( so that no lumps will be formed).
9. Cover the upma with a lid for 5-6 minutes and then add 2tbsp of ghee and stir well.
10. Serve hot with coconut chutney.


MASALA DOSA RECIPE

Ingredients:

Dosa shell:
1 1/2 cups rice
1/2 cup urad dal
salt to taste
Oil

Masala Filling:
2 large potatoes
1 medium onion (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon yellow split peas
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1-2 green chili
1 tablespoon oil
salt to taste

Preparation:
Dosa shell

1. Separately soak rice and urad dal at least 6 hour or overnight in water.
2. Grind to paste.
3. Mix together, add salt with water to make batter.
4. Leave in room temperature overnight.
5. Mix onion and chilies to the thin batter.
6. Heat pan or griddle with little ghee or oil.
7. Spread the mix on pan in circular motion to make thin Dosa.
8. Cook on both the sides, if desired.

Masala Filling (Spicy Filling):

1. Heat oil. Add mustard seed, peas, onions and spice.
2. Fry for about 5 minutes on medium heat or/until onions are turned into golden brown
3. Add potatoes and mix and cook some more Serve
4. Add filling inside Dosa and roll. Serve hot with Chutney.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What's for Breakfast Mom?


I'm sure this is one statement we all have used at least once in our lifetime. (Probably many more times).

I guess what's for breakfast depands on who we are and what's available. Full breakfast of the English, such as eggs, bacon, and sausages, accompanied by toast and tea or coffee as well as the modern version of packaged cereal with cold milk, toast with a variety of spreads such as butter, jam, marmalade is most common. Or is it?

Different nations and races have their very own traditional breakfast dishes. For south Indians, Thosai, Idlis and Chutney or other dishes made from rice flour is most common. While North Indians use wheat flour for breads such as Chapatis and Naans.

Chinese breakfasts vary greatly between different regions. Except for Hong Kong, Western types of breakfasts or their derivatives are rarely eaten. In Northern China breakfast fare typically includes huājuǎn, mántou (steamed breads), shāobǐng (unleavened pocket-bread with sesame), bāozi (steamed buns with meat or vegetable stuffing), with Dòunǎi or dòujiāng (soy milk) or tea served in Chinese style as beverages.

Indonesian breakfasts usually contain rice in some form. Some common dishes are nasi goreng, lontong sayur (rice cake wrapped in banana leaf with vegetables and coconut milk soup), and gado gado. In Jakarta nasi uduk would be served which consists of spiced milk and steamed rice served with fried fish or fried chicken, sliced cucumber, and sambal. Many Indonesians also enjoy bakmie ayam (chicken noodle) as well as an assortment of cakes in the morning.

A traditional Japanese breakfast is based on rice, seafood, and fermented foods, which do not differ substantially from dishes eaten at other meals in Japanese cuisine. An exception is nattō (a type of fermented soybeans), which is rarely eaten outside of breakfast. Typical breakfast beverages are green tea (traditional) and coffee (modern).

In Korea, breakfast contains rice, soup, several kinds of Namul or seasoned vegetables, Kimchi (fermented, pickled vegetables), and grilled meat or fish. Traditionally, food eaten in the morning does not differ substantially from the other meals of the day (see Korean cuisine) though the number of dishes is fewer.

In Myanmar (formerly Burma), the traditional breakfast in town and country alike is htamin gyaw, fried rice with boiled peas (pè byouk), and yei nway gyan ( green tea) especially among the poor.

A favourite traditional breakfast in the Philippines consists of garlic fried rice, fried or scrambled eggs, and a choice of breakfast meat: beef tapa (like a fried beef jerky), pork tocino (caramelised pork), longaniza (breakfast sausage), dried salty, smoked fish, tinned sardines, sauteed corned beef, or crispy pork adobo, often with Western-style baked beans, sliced tomatoes and a local pickle (achara) on the side. Alternatively, a cheese-topped breakfast pastry called an ensaimada (a colonial relative of the Mallorcan ensaimada) is also eaten, usually with hot chocolate, as is pan de sal (Philippine breakfast roll) filled with a buffalo milk white cheese, and local barako coffee. Finally, there is champurrado, a local sweet chocolate sticky rice porridge, often served with a side dish of crisp-fried sun-dried fish (danggit or tuyo) -- an unusual, though authentically Filipino combination.


The breakfast includes usually fresh(hot) bread, Rotti, Pittu (Rice or Manipittu - Eaten with Oxstripes) String Hoppers (With Milky Gravy), Hoppers, Rice or Green Grams. These are usually eaten with gravy (meat or vegetable), Sambol (Commonest - Coconut or Seeni (Onion fried with chilli and sugar), Maldive Fish) or with Juggery and Plantains.

In Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam it is customary to eat soup for breakfast, as well as congee.

In case of Thailand, a variety of different food is served for breakfast since the country has opened to receive eating culture from many countries. Thai-Chinese people typically have congee/jook, boil-rice with fishes, pickles, dried shredded pork, dried shredded pork; dim-sum is also popular in some provinces particularly in the South of Thailand.

In New Zealand and Australia, the typical breakfast strongly resembles breakfast in other English-speaking countries. Owing to the warm weather in some parts of Australia, breakfast is generally light. In the cold parts, however, one might find a full English breakfast. The light breakfast consists of cereals, toast, fruit, and fruit juices rather than cooked items. Australians also enjoy a heavy breakfast with fried bacon, egg, mushroom, sausage, tomatoes and toast, with tea or coffee and juice (similar to the full English breakfast).

A typical Continental breakfast consists of coffee and milk (often mixed as Cappuccino or latte) or hot chocolate with a variety of sweet cakes such as brioche and pastries such as croissant, often with a sweet jam, cream, or chocolate filling. It is often served with juice. The continental breakfast may also include sliced cold meats, such as salami or ham, and yogurt or cereal. Some countries of Europe, such as Holland and those in Scandinavia, add a bit of fruit and cheese to the bread menu, occasionally even a boiled egg or a little salami. In Britain, a continental breakfast can include bacon, eggs, toast, a bit of broiled tomato, etc

The breakfast in Belgium consists of breads, toasted or untoasted, with several marmalades, jams, and nut spreads, such as nutella or just with a bar of chocolate. Other common toppings include sliced meats and cheeses. Pastries and croissants may be served on Sundays, but are mostly not eaten on a regular day. To drink, the Belgians often enjoy coffee, tea, hot chocolate, water, or fresh juice with breakfast.

Dutch people typically eat sliced bread with 3 sorts of toppings: dairy products (numerous variations of cheese), meat products (a variety of cured meats and sliced meats), or sweet products/ semi-sweet products like jam, syrup (from sugar beet of fruit), honey, Bebogeen (a topping which is very sweet, sugar beets are adapted into caramel spread), Kokosbrood (Cocosbread, sliced pieces (just like sliced cheese) in which coconut is the main component) or peanut butter. Another type of sweet toppings are the chocolate-toppings.

A typical breakfast in Denmark, similar to its southern neighbor Germany, consists of bread rolls or toast with butter and Danish skæreost (slicing cheese), a buttery creamy white cheese (often Danish havarti or Danish tilsit), fruit jam, and a lot of coffee.

Breakfasts in other parts of Scandinavia besides Denmark can be quite ample. Fish, cheese, eggs, bacon, hot and cold cereals, breads, potatoes, and fruits are all eaten in various combinations, along with juices, coffee, and tea. Filmjölk (Sweden) or kulturmelk (Norway), a cultured milk similar to buttermilk or yoghurt is often eaten with cereals. Whole-grain porridges are popular in Finland, also accompanied by this type of cultured milk.

In Iceland, pickled fish is a popular dish, particularly pickled herring. Pancakes are also eaten.

The typical German breakfast consists of bread rolls, butter, jam, ham, a soft-boiled egg, and coffee. A special breakfast treat is Affenbrot.

Swiss breakfasts are often similar to those eaten in neighboring countries. A notable breakfast food of Swiss origin, now found throughout Europe, is muesli.

The traditional Polish breakfast is a large spread with a variety of sides eaten with bread or toast. Sides include various cold cuts, meat spreads, the Polish sausage kielbasa, sardines, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, and sliced pickles.

In Eastern European countries with cold climates, such as Russia, breakfasts tend to be substantial. Zavtrak may consist of hot oatmeal or kasha, eggs, cheese, cured meats or sausage, rye breads with butter, and coffee or tea.

In France a typical domestic breakfast will consist of cups of coffee, often café au lait, or hot chocolate. Bowls are rarely used these days. The main food consists of tartines — slices of baguette spread with jam — sometimes dunked, as well as brioches and other breads. Croissants are also traditional, as are other similar pastries such as pains au chocolat and pains aux raisins.

Various kinds of pastry constitute the traditional Greek breakfast. Tyropita, spanakopita, and bougatsa (particularly in Northern Greece) are eaten, usually accompanied with Greek coffee. Simpler breakfasts include honey, marmelade or nutella cream (as well a Greek variation thereof, Merenda) spread over slices of bread. Children typically drink chocolate or plain milk.

The traditional breakfast in Italy is simply Caffè e latte (hot coffee with milk) with bread or rolls, butter, and jam — known as prima colazione or just colazione. Fette biscottate (a cookie-like hard bread often eaten with Nutella) and biscotti (cookies) are commonly eaten.

In Central Spain the traditional breakfast is chocolate con churros — hot chocolate with Spanish-style fritters, which are extruded sticks of doughnut-like dough with a star-shaped profile covered in sugar.

A Portuguese pequeno-almoço comes in two varieties: one eaten running to work and another, more time-consuming one, more common on the weekends. When rushed in the morning, a cup of yogurt, milk, coffee or both and some bread with butter, cheese or jam suffices. Given the time, additions include orange juice, croissants, different kinds of pastry, and/or cereal.

Turkish breakfast consists of fresh white sourdough bread, white cheese (feta), yellow cheese (kasar), fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, black and/or green olives, butter, honey, preserves, soujouk, salami, pastirma and a boiled egg — all accompanied by hot black tea in small tulip-shaped glasses.

In northern South America, maize-based breads, such as tortillas or arepas, may dominate or be augmented with wheat breads or pastries. Caffè, caffè e latte, chocolate, and tea are common beverages.

In Argentina, breakfast consists mainly of espresso coffee, café con leche, or yerba mate. There are also croissants, brioches, or facturas with dulce de leche, filled churros, French bread with jam and butter, grilled sandwiches of ham and cheese known as tostados, and sweet or salted cookies.

In Brazil, the common breakfast consists in bread and butter, toasted or not, alongside with coffee, black, or with milk. It can also have juice, usually of orange.

In Chile, breakfast is a light meal consisting of coffee or tea and 2 types of bread, called "Marraqueta" and "Hallulla".

In Costa Rica breakfast is traditionally Gallo Pinto which is pinto beans and rice. A preferred alternative is to substitute black beans for the pinto beans.

In Colombia there are various breakfast staples. In the Cundinamarca region people eat changua, a milk, scallion, and cheese soup.

In most Arab areas, the most popular breakfast by far is pita bread dipped in rich labneh, a type of creamy curd, or in olive oil and za'atar (a common Middle-Eastern spice mix). Other popular breakfast foods in the Mashriq include boiled eggs, olives, cheese and beans.

In Iran, a non-Arab country, varieties of Iranian flatbreads (naan), Iranian feta cheese (panir-e irani), butter (kareh), a variety of traditional marmelades (morabba) or jams, honey (angebin or asal), and hot tea are essential breakfast foods. Other foods, such as heavy cream, walnuts, hard and soft boiled eggs, and omlettes are also popular for breakfast.

In Egypt the traditional breakfast is ful medames: slow cooked fava beans (sometimes with lentils) dressed in olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.

An Israeli breakfast typically consists of coffee, orange juice, fresh vegetables salad, goats/cows cream cheese, fresh bread or toast, olives, butter, fried eggs of your choice, and some small cookies or slices of cake. For an even fuller breakfast it might include hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese, quark cheese, and Israeli salad.

Traditional breakfasts in the United States and Canada derive from the full English breakfast[citation needed] and feature predominantly sweet or mild-flavored foods, mostly hot. Typical items include hot oatmeal porridge, grits (in the South), other hot grain porridges, eggs, bacon, ham, small sausages, pan-fried potatoes (hash browns), biscuits, toast, pancakes, waffles, French toast, cornbread, English muffins, pastries (such as croissants, doughnuts, and muffins), and fruit. Coffee and tea are standard breakfast beverages.



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