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Recipes

Scotch Eggs

Here’s a classic recipe, probably left over from the day of the Raj. I remember this to be one of the favorites of the Army Officers Mess cooks, whenever asked to cook ‘continental’. It’s probably still served on ‘special’ days.

You’ll need:

  • 3 Minced Mutton
  • 1/2 Cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 5 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 5 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Boil the mincemeat with salt and vinegar.
  2. Grind the onions, ginger paste, green chilli paste, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and add the ground masala from step 2, ground pepper and tomatoes.
  4. When the water has evaporated, add the meat and stir over a low flame.
  5. Sprinkle flour and salt. Stir well.
  6. Add the milk and cook till the meat is the right consistency to be rolled into balls. Remove from fire.
  7. Make 10 even sized balls and shape each into a cup.
  8. Roll eggs in flour and cover with meat mixture.
  9. Dip in beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs.
  10. Deep fry in a wok or use a deep fat fryer if you have one.

Serve with fried potatoes (boil potatoes, thickly slice, shallow fry till each side has a brown crust, sprinkle with ground pepper and salt)

– Sid

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Reviews

Pasto – Second Visit [Closed]

[Rating:4/5] We paid a second visit to Pasto [sector 18, NOIDA] this past Friday. As with the previous visit, this one was worth the time and money spent.

We started with a Minestrone Soup [weak flavor] and a Velvety Prawn Bisque [good flavor, could be a bit thicker, slightly over cooked prawns, lots of prawns]. This was followed by small platters of Caesar Salad [good] and Meatballs [very tough], accompanied by Lemonade [salty!!] and a Lemon Cello [good].

The main course was ham wrapped in chicken with oregano sauce [good, chicken could be more tender], fillet of sole in a tangy tomato cruda [good] and grilled vegetables on a crisp potato base [base wasn’t as crisp as the name, but good nonetheless].
Desert was Tiramisu [good].

All in all, a good experience, with attentive staff and great ambience.

Rating: 8/10 | Meal for Two: 2000 [includes all taxes and service charge of 10%]

– Sid

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Columns

Definition: The Maillard Reaction

The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring heat. Like caramelization, it is a form of non-enzymatic browning. The reactive carbonyl group of the sugar interacts with the nucleophilic amino group of the amino acid, and interesting but poorly characterized odor and flavor molecules result. This process accelerates in an alkaline environment because the amino groups do not neutralize. This reaction is the basis of the flavoring industry, since the type of amino acid determines the resulting flavor.

In the process, hundreds of different flavor compounds are created. These compounds in turn break down to form yet more new flavor compounds, and so on. Each type of food has a very distinctive set of flavor compounds that are formed during the Maillard reaction. It is these same compounds that flavor scientists have used over the years to create artificial flavors.

Although used since ancient times, the reaction is named after the chemist Louis-Camille Maillard who investigated it in the 1910s.

The Maillard reaction is responsible for many colors and flavors in foods:

  1. toasted bread;
  2. malted barley as in malt whiskey or beer;
  3. roasted or seared meat;
  4. dried or condensed milk;
  5. roasted coffee

Content Courtesy: Wikipedia

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Recipes

Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Mashed Potatoes Here’s a recipe for a classic comfort food – mashed potatoes. These can be served with virtually any dish (dry or with gravy) from any type of cuisine. They can be had on their own too – with perhaps a piece of toasted garlic bread and a little herb butter.You’ll need:

  • Boiled and peeled potatoes
  • Salt and Pepper

Optional Ingredients:

  • Garlic salt instead of regular salt
  • Milk
  • Grated Cheese

Strictly speaking, all you need to do is to mash the potatoes with a fork, add the salt/pepper and you’re done! But wait a minute, if you’re looking for something that *really* feels good to eat – add some milk and cheese to the potatoes along with garlic salt in place of regular salt.

– Sid
Image Courtesey: Wikipedia

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Definition: Blind Baking

Blind Baking: The term blind-baking (sometimes called “pre-baking”) refers to the process of baking a pie crust or other pastry without the filling.

Generally, the pie crust is lined with tin foil or parchment paper, then filled with dried peas, lentils, beans or other pulses, so that it will keep its shape when baking. Metal or ceramic pie weights are also used. After the pie crust is done, the pulses are replaced with the proper filling. Blind-baking is necessary if the pie filling can not be baked as long as the crust requires, or if the filling of the pie would make the crust too soggy if added immediately.

Content Courtesy: Wikipedia

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Recipes

Green Banana Curry

Due to Gurdeep’s repeated admonitions, here’s a vegetarian recipe. You’ll need

  • Green Bananas
  • Curry Leaves
  • Coconut Milk
  • Turmeric Powder
  • Green Chillies – sliced lengthwise in half
  • Finely sliced onions
  • Pinch of garam masala
  • Salt to taste

Phase 1:
Peel the green bananas. You’ll need to lightly oil your hands and the knife you’re using. When done, Cut in half lengthwise and then again. Proceed to chop into 1.5 – 2 inch pieces. These should be about 1cm wide. Sprinkle with salt and turmeric powder. Store for about 20 minutes. Deep fry. Remove when hard to feel and crisp to eat, but not brown.

Phase 2:
Heat some oil, add the onions, curry leaves, garam masala and green chillies. Sauté till the onions are soft. Pour in the coconut milk. Bring to a medium boil while stirring. Put in the bananas fried in phase 1. Keep stirring till the curry is a soft yellow color and the bananas soft, but not mushy. Keep at it too long, and you’ll end up with banana and coconut pudding!

Serve hot with plain boiled rice, preferably the short grained, sticky variety.

-Sid

Categories
Recipes

Skewered Masala Prawns

This is a really simple, probably non-traditional way of making very tasty prawns. Only one consideration here. Make sure you soak the bamboo skewers overnight in water to prevent them getting charred or scorched. You’ll need

  • Peeled, de-veined medium size prawns
  • Sesame oil
  • Meat masala [I told you it wasn’t traditional]
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemons [cut each lemon into 8 pieces]
  • Bamboo skewers [the type used for satay sticks]

Soak the bamboo skewers in water overnight. Mix some sesame oil with the salt and meat masala. Mix in the prawns. Marinate for a few hours if possible. Thread the prawns on the skewer. If you have a coal barbecue, then grill over open coals on that. If you don’t, a simple flat oiled griddle will do just as well. Remember not to overcook, else the prawns get tough. When grilling over hot coals, depending on the distance from the coals, about 5 minutes should do the job. When on the hot, oiled griddle, 30 – 40 seconds on each side will suffice. Also remember not to overdo the masala. The important thing here is to ensure the flavor of the prawns comes through.

Squeeze a few drops of lemon on each skewer and serve hot.

– Sid

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Definition: Sautéing and Stir-Frying

Sautéing: Sautéing is browning food first on one side and then on the other in a small quantity of fat or oil. When sautéing, which is a type of frying, the fat is placed in a shallow pan, and when it is sufficiently hot, the food is put into it. When cooking, the fat should not come up the sides of the food being cooked, the food basically cooking on a thin layer of fat. Foods that are to be sautéed are usually sliced thin or cut into small pieces, and they are turned frequently during the process of cooking. Sauté is French for “jumping”, used to describe the action of the food in the pan as it is tossed around to prevent burning.

Stir-Frying: Stir-frying involves frying food quickly over very high heat in an oiled pan. While stir-frying, you generally stir continually. A special slope-sided pan called a wok is designed for stir-frying. Here are some tips:

  • Make sure all ingredients are prepared before you begin stir-frying.
  • Heat the wok on medium-high or high heat at least one minute before adding oil. Do not pre-heat the wok if it has non-stick coating, as the heat can damage the coating.
  • Drizzle the oil down the sides of the wok to maximize oil coverage as well as to heat the oil more quickly.
  • Cook meat on high heat in order to keep it juicy. Remove the meat before stir-frying the vegetables. Add the meat back into the mix once the vegetables are almost cooked.

Content Courtesy: Wikipedia

Categories
Recipes

Fried Chicken

This isn’t yet another recipe for fried chicken, where you slather pieces of chicken in batter and deep fry, then eat with tomato ketchup. This is the definitive recipe for fried chicken that can possibly be described as the deep Indian version. As with most of my recipes, the listing is *not* for beginners and you definitely need to know what you’re doing.

You’ll need:

  • 500gm Chicken on the bone
  • Bay leaves
  • Cloves
  • Ginger garlic paste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vinegar
  • Chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Oil
  • 250gms Onions, sliced finely

In a pressure cooker, add some oil, put in the onions and fry till the onions are soft and just thinking of turning brown at the edges. Put in all the ingredients, except the vinegar, freshly ground black pepper and the chicken. Stir. Put in the chicken and lightly sear. Add a cup or so of water, close the cooker and cook. You’ll need to estimate when its just about to turn tender. Perhaps a little earlier is ok, but not later.

Pour everything from the cooker in a wide pan. You can do this in the cooker itself if you like, but it’s easier to handle this way. boil down the water till the chicken is dry. add some vinegar and the freshly ground black pepper, give it one final stir, taking care not to scramble the chicken if its gotten too soft, or to jarr it off the bone.

Serve hot with fresh bread [Indian: roti, parantha, naan… or freshly baked white bread].

– Sid