December 26, 2010

Mango Times: Mango-Ricotta Cookies

I am also taking these cookies to Nupur's Blog Bites 9: The Holiday Buffet. This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite blogs AZ Cookbook. I have made the Lemon-Ricotta-cardamom cookies before for Xmas a couple of years back and loved them.

I pretty much followed the recipe, with a few minor changes. In my stand mixer, I added 1 stick of sliced butter, followed by 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Actually 1 cup of this is not regular sugar, but palm sugar. Then I added 2 eggs after the butter+sugar was creamy. For the ricotta part, I added 1 cup of left over Mango peda dough, which is basically a mixture of ricotta cheese + mango pulp + sugar, cooked for a while to get the dough consistency. Then the dry ingredients - 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 tsp of baking powder, a pinch of cardamom went in along with a pinch of salt. My dough was a little thicker than I expected, mostly because I didn't add enough ricotta. Should have reduced the amount of flour, which I thought of later. Anyways, the cookies were 'dropped' on a baking sheet lined with parchment and baked for 15 minutes in 375F oven. Once cooled, I dusted them with a lot of powdered sugar. I got 36 cookies made last night. Only half are remaining this morning. Looks like Santa had a feast :)

Mango Times: White Chocolate Mango Pie

Here are the two last-minute dishes that I am taking to Nupur's Blog Bites 9: Holiday Buffet. I made this White-chocolate Mango Pie a couple of weeks back for an ugly sweater party. And I also made Mango-Ricotta cardamom cookies last night for Xmas.

The pie was assembled in a puff pastry shell that I had waiting to be used up. I grated mango-chili dark chocolate on the shell before adding the filling. The recipe for the filling was adapted from here. I used a pack of Trader Joe's frozen mango chunks. Soften the mango with a little water on the stove top. I added about 3 tbsps of sugar and let it cook for a few minutes. Once I could mash the mangoes, I added 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips, 1/2 a can of frangipane (almond paste). Then I powdered about 2 tbsps of tapioca pearls and added the powder to the simmering mango mixture. A small pinch of salt and the whole thing simmered for a few minutes. Then the filling went it the shell, and was baked at 350F for about 40 minutes. 

I added snowflakes with a mix of white-chocolate and cardamom, but as you can see, I have ways to go on my squeeze-bottle skills. The pie also needed more cooling before we sliced it. That didn't matter though as the plate was empty by the end of the evening!

December 25, 2010

Baked Pancakes from Germany

Christmas day morning brunch was a simple yet delicious Baked German Pancakes with a banana-pecan topping. These pancakes are so easy to make and could be a regular if not for the volume of butter! My simple version for a 10-inch cast-iron pan is: Pre-heat the oven to 425F. Heat the pan, add a tbsp or more of butter, spread in the pan. In a blender, add 3 eggs, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup milk, 1 tbsp powdered sugar. Blend these together for a few seconds, pour in the pan, slide the pan in the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, till the pancake come out golden. Squeeze half a lemon over it and sprinkle come powdered sugar. 

For the topping, I basically sliced up 3 bananas, heated them in a pan with 1/2 tsp butter, added a handful of pecan pieces, 2 tsp of ginger honey and 1 tsp of bourbon maple syrup. Top it with grated lemon peel and fresh nutmeg. Serve over the pancake. Yummy goodness :)

December 21, 2010

Mushroom Stew

As the holidays near, the days seem to be getting busier & busier. Couple of weeks back, the Sunday was a whirlwind with friends coming over for both brunch and dinner. Brunch was a simple Rava Idli with sambhar & chili powder. Dinner was a little more elaborate with this mushroom stew, Kerala red rice, cucumber raita, rasam & dessert. 

I put together this spicy mushroom stew at the last minute, and it went fast. Saute a halved & sliced onion in butter + olive oil, add the 16 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms when the onion have softened. Add a diced tomato, season with salt, 1/2 tsp chili powder and 1 tsp kitchen king masala. I also added 1 tsp of cumin + coriander powder. Add 1 cup of water and cook for a few minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve. That was definitely easy :)

December 14, 2010

Djuvec from Serbia

For a Thanksgiving potluck at my friend Emilie's place, I made this vegetable casserole adapted from a recipe here. It was such a delicious dish and was almost over that night. Though the original recipe called for baking, I ended up cooking it on the stove top on my Le Creuset. I used the following vegetables chopped: Potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, carrots, celery, red and orange bell peppers, onion. I sautéed these vegetables, added enough water, seasoned with vegeta, salt & pepper. I also added a handful of Arborio rice and a cup of Israeli cous-cous. Covered and simmered till all the water is used up and garnished with chopped mint. Made for a filling vegetable dish. 

I am sending this dish to the food blogging event Dish Name Starts with: D, hosted by Akila's Kitchen.

December 13, 2010

Ethiopian Gomen ~ Stewed Collard Greens

As the end of the year approaches, I am scrambling to finish off a list of things both at work and at home. New Year = new things to do! And on the blog front, I want to catch up on the posts from my Cooking the World. In 2010, though I didn't get to finish making a recipe from all the independent countries of the world, I am a little more than half-way through. However, posting all the recipes? Hmm!

We have never had Ethiopian Gomen at a restaurant before. Its such a simple recipe, adapted from here. I modified the recipe for Niter Kebbeh - seasoned ghee. Basically, I chopped up the collard greens (from the farmer's market), wilted them in the microwave with a little water. In my sauté pan, I melted a tbsp of ghee, added a pinch of cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Let it simmer for a few minutes before adding 1/2 a chopped onion, couple of slit serrano peppers, a clove of minced garlic, a pinch of turmeric. Once the onions were soft, I added the greens and let it cook for a few more minutes. I kind of overdid the peppers as the Gomen turned out to be a lot more hotter than we wanted. Not so hot that serving it with yogurt couldn't take care of!


December 4, 2010

Quick dish from Congo - Moambe with Eggplant

The latest book from which I have been cooking is the Ethnic Vegetarian by Angela Shelf Medearis. I used the last two eggplants from my garden this year for this stew and served it with rice. Here is my slightly modified version.

Heat olive oil+butter in a pan, and saute 1 sliced onion. Add the cubed eggplants (2 rosa bianca) and 2 minced cloves of garlic. Once the eggplant has cooked, add 1 tbsp tomato puree, season with salt & 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. I also added 1/4 tsp cumin+coriander powder. Add 3 tbsp of peanut butter, let the sauce simmer for a few more minutes. Add a little water if the sauce is too thick. Season with freshly grated nutmeg. The stew was creamy & flavorful. 

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