Some days you are just tired of the same old same old, so you look at what you got and see what you can put together without having to step out and get something. Just before the lockdown lifted here in California I was shopping like most people online and saw a special (meaning getting ready to go bad) on scallops at Whole Foods. Decided to get half a pound and figure it out later. Well that evening hubby being part Italian voted Italian instead of Asian inspired. So got to looking on the internet and found a couple of recipes that looked promising but we were missing most of the key ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes or bacon or pancetta. So leftover salami it was and the last survivors on our arugula plant in our backyard instead of spinach. The half-eaten tomato etc. I wouldn’t have bothered typing the recipe up if it hadn’t turned out to so good.
*/ The above recipe is shared by Dilnaz Kain, my cousin who stays in USA. /*
It is the time of the year when the berries are available in
the market-the most notable being strawberries.
The following are some delicious recipes using berries. Do try them out in your spare time.
Devil’s love bite cocktail
½ cup strawberry puree;
½ peg white rum,
Sugar syrup to taste;
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Blend fresh strawberries and strain the juice.
Shake along with the remaining ingredients in Boston shaker.
Garnish with fresh cut strawberries and salt on the glass rim.
Baked berry cheesecake
75 gms butter melted plus extra for greasing;
175 gms digestive biscuits;
175 gms seasonal berries plus extra for decorating;
450 gms cream cheese;
150 gms caster sugar;
1 tsp. vanilla extract;
4 eggs lightly beaten;
Icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Butter the sides and base of a 24cm cake tin. Place the biscuits into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs.
Alternatively, place them into a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter and press down into the base of the tin.
Spread the berries over the base and allow for chilling in the fridge for an hour.
Beat the cream, cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and the eggs together in a large bowl until smooth and creamy.
Pour over the top of the berries and then bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until pale golden and only wobbles slightly when you gently shake the tin.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for about 10-15 minutes.
Then run a knife around the edge to loosen it and carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin.
Sprinkle over a few blueberries/strawberries, then dust with icing sugar Best eaten at room temperature.
100 gms almond powder
180 gms icing sugar,
100 gms egg whites,
¼ tsp cream of tartar,
35 gms castor sugar,
A few drops of pink gel paste food color.
Baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Place the almond powder and confectioners’ sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground (about 1 to 2 minutes).
Sift the mixture to remove any lumps. In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar gradually add the superfine sugar, and continue to beat, on high speed, until the meringue holds in glossy and stiff peaks.
Once the almond structure is completely folded into the meringue, fill a pastry bag with the batter.
Pipe rounds of batter onto the parchment paper. Let the macaroons sit at room temperature for about 30-60 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat your oven to 150 degrees c. Bake macaroons for about 16-20 minutes. Remove from oven and place the baking sheet on a wire rack. Let the macaroons cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Place the macaroons on a wire rack to cool completely.
In a bowl beat or whisk, the cream cheese with the mascarpone cheese until nice
and smooth with no lumps. Stir in 3-4 tbsp. of raspberry jam until well
combined. Place in a small piping bag.
To assemble macaroons–
Start with two cookies of about the same size. Pipe a round of raspberry
filling onto the flat bottom side of one cookie. Take the second cookie and
place it (top side up) on top of the filling to sandwich together.
Christmas is undeniably a glorious season, a busy time for most, caught up in the pressures of the season and that special day. But as most festivals, and in the pursuit of happiness, one must retain the true essence that this marvellous day embodies. Finding real joy is not in all that hurrying and scurrying to get more done, but the real joy is to just focus on what’s important.
The true celebration of Christmas should simply reflect love and selflessness taught by the Saviour, born in a stable, cradled in a manger, who came forth to reshape the world, which prevailed in those days and, henceforth, taught mankind that sacrifice and love is above all. The spirit of Christmas should illuminate the picture window of one’s soul; it should throb with every beat of your heart. What we are mistaken about is that Christmas is not just about a day or a mere season, Christmas is about the human spirit, living the truth every moment of every day. While it’s easy to soften our hearts, forgive our enemies, and obey the word, the gospel truth is that like all religions Christianity is also about living this philosophy day in and day out all through our lives.
The complexion of Christmas wears a paint of brotherly love. Joy filled Christmas is not about the gifts you receive or give, nor how lavish the festivities are, but imbibing the gifts of true understanding and compassion, service and friendship, kindness and gentleness.
Somewhere in the recesses of my memory, a simple poem penned by English poet Christina Rossetti always springs forth during this season:
What can I give Him?
Poor as I am?
If I were a Shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man,
I would do my part,
Yet what can I give Him?
Give my heart.
These are indeed such beautiful words, simple but deep. Something to think upon, something to contemplate!
So, while December brings forth the only Christmas Day in the year, let there be Christmas all through the year in things you do and say. It isn’t about the tinsel and decorations, the tree and gifts; the mince pies or Christmas cake, it’s not about your hearths being warm and your holidays being grand, it’s all about your hearts being warm and your generosity being grand.
It’s all about giving your children the right perspective on the fantasy of Santa and the angels, the miracles and wonders. Cinch in that thought that Christmas is not about you what you buy. It is about what you make, the traditions, memories and bonhomie. A Christmas that holds you, can revive and reshape you. Make this season one for kindling the fire of hospitality in your homes and the genial flame of charity in your hearts.
A merry and joyful Christmas to all!
Cook Yourself a Yummy X’Mas Feast!
Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce
1 whole Turkey
Butter 100 gm,
Chopped Onion 100 gm,
Chopped Celery 100 gm,
Crumbled sage and thyme 10 gm,
Salt and pepper to taste,
Chopped fresh parsley 10gm,
1 bay leaf,
Garlic minced 10 gm,
Balsamic vinegar to taste,
Sugar 20 gm,
Cranberry 150 gm.
Method– In a skillet melt butter over medium heat. Stir in onions, celery, sage, thyme and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove giblets and neck from the turkey cavity, keep for gravy.
Rinse turkey inside out with running water. Stir together with a little of the remaining butter, sage, salt and pepper, rub over turkey, inside and out. Loosely pack stuffing into neck and body cavities, fold over and skewer neck flap closed over stuffing. Tie legs together.
Place turkey, breast side up on a rack in roasting pan. Cover with foil and roast in 325 degrees F oven for about 1.5 hours, basting with pan juices every 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to roast or 1 ¾ hour, basting every half hour. Keep it aside for carving.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring chicken stock turkey neck, giblets, onion and bay leaf to boil. Reduce heat and simmer. While cooked turkey rests, skim excess fat from roasting pan whisk in flour until well combined. Gradually whisk in reserved giblet stock. Bring to boil and cook. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain and serve alongside turkey.
For cranberry sauce in a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; stir in onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until softened. Put balsamic vinegar, boil for 5 minutes or until reduced. Now mix together cranberries, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix into onion mixture. Bring to boil and cook until cranberries are tender, and sauce is thick.
Gingerbread with jaggery
100 gm unsalted butter at room temperature,
135 gm jaggery granules or jaggery chopped fine,
45 ml honey,
30 ml water,
1 tsp dried ginger powder,
1 tsp cinnamon powder,
Zest of 1 orange,
1 tsp. baking powder,
½ tsp. baking soda,
175 gms whole-wheat flour,
Demerara sugar for sprinkling over.
Method: Preheat oven to 180 c. Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly grease 5 mini cake moulds. Place the jaggery, butter, honey and water in a heatproof bowl. Then heat in microwave for a minute, until the butter has melted. Whisk well with a balloon whisk until the jaggery and butter have combined.
Add the ginger powder, pie spice, orange zest, vanilla extract, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk well to mix.
Whisk in the eggs one by one. Now fold in the whole-wheat flour gently.
Ladle into prepared tins, sprinkle over dried orange crystals. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until risen and light golden brown. Use a tester to check if done.
Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes and then gently loosen sides to demould. Serve warm as it is or with a drizzle of unsweetened whipped cream.
Gluten-free Christmas cake
300 gm pre- soaked Christmas dry fruit with orange and lemon zest,
200 ml jaggery syrup,
150 gms almond flour,
100 gms grated apple,
175 gms butter,
4 medium eggs.
Method– Preheat the oven to 140 degrees. Put the remaining ingredients except for the flour in a large bowl. Beat with a hand-held electric mixer until well combined. Fold the almond flour well.
Grease a deep 23 cm round tin or 20 cm square cake tin with butter. Line with a double layer of baking paper and grease the paper. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Level the top.
Bake for about 2 hours until firm to the touch and a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
When the cake has cooled, remove the baking powder, pierce the top in several places with a skewer, then pour over a little brandy. Remove cake from the tin but wrap it with baking powder, then wrap with foil. Then store in a cool place to mature.
Decorate the cake with Glace fruit, marzipan or ready-to-use icing.
Dark chocolate 100 gm
Fresh Cream 50 gm,
Whipped Cream 70 gms,
Nutella 100 gms,
Milk 1 litre,
Milkmaid 500 gms,
Curd 500 gms,
Castor sugar for dusting,
Maida 150 gms,
Baking powder 70 gms,
Baking soda 30 gms,
Cocoa powder 150 gms,
Oil 50 ml
Method– Prepare the log sponge by mixing milk, Milkmaid, curd, sugar. Add all dry items in the mixture and oil at the end. By heating cream and dark chocolate and make the ganache. Now add whipped cream and Nutella into the ganache and assemble in a log shape, serve in plate and dust icing sugar (castor sugar).
Recipes courtesy – Executive Sous Chef Lokesh Jarodia of Novotel Imagica Khopoli and Executive Chef Gopal Jha of Grand Mercure Bangalore.
Greek food is somewhere in between Turkish/Middle Eastern food and Italian food. Most of the meats are grilled or roasted and most of the veggies are cooked in olive oil (fried or stewed).
Two ingredients that are common in Greek food might be perceived by some people as being bitter. Personally I don’t find them bitter, but they are:
Greek It’s a strong robust oregano, often used in generous amounts.
I’ve never understood why some people think of lemon as bitter. Bitter and sour are really opposites with respect to Ph values.
On a dish such as Greek chicken with oregano, olive oil and lemon, the oregano intensifies and becomes a bit more bitter as it bakes. The acidity of the lemon however helps to neutralize the alkaline bitterness. The essential step for this is basting. Greek chicken should be basted twice while cooking and once before serving. If you’ve cooked this and it was bitter, my first guess was that you didn’t baste.
Greek roasted lemon chicken with potatoes, properly basted.
~Jan Soloven, Trained chef, organic gardener, and experienced eater.
You may serve this with Tzatziki Sauce. Tzatziki sauce is an easy and tasty recipe, typical in Greece, and very popular in the neighbouring countries
Here is how to make it?
Greek food combines the freshest of ingredients from land and sea.
Greek lasagna, called pastitsio, is usually made with a tubular noodle such as penne rather than lasagna noodles. But it’s the white, creamy sauce that really sets this dish apart. The sauce is called béchamel and makes this Greek lasagna impossible to resist.
Pastichio (also spelled “pastitsio”) is like lasagne, but a big difference is using long tubes of macaroni, maccheroncelli, instead of flat layers of pasta, with a milk/cheese sauce.
-2 pounds ground beef
-1 pound maccheroncelli
-1 small chopped onion,
-1 clove of garlic minced
-3 medium tomatoes chopped
-Whites of two eggs
-About a stick of butter
-3/4 cup white wine (my mom used white zinfandel)
-Grated kefalograviera cheese (substitute parmesan or romano if you don’t have it)
-2 eggs with 2 additional egg yolks from the egg whites above (for four egg yolks total in this part)
Chop the ingredients listed above. Separate two egg yokes from the whites. Put the two egg whites in one bowl and the two yokes in another bowl that also has two whole eggs.
Boil a pound of the maccheroncelli pasta and add salt in it. Turn the heat to about medium on a large pot. Melt about half a stick of butter in the pan and add the chopped onions. Stir them and let it cook for a few minutes. Crumble 2 pounds of ground beef and add it to the pan and stir it (Trader Joe’s ground beef is my favorite). Add the minced garlic clove to the pan. Add pepper, salt, and keep stirring.
Drain the maccheroncelli and put it back in the pot. Put about 1/3 of a stick of butter in the pot with the maccheroncelli. Add tomatoes, parsley, and white wine to ground beef once it’s brown and stir. Let it cook for 45 minutes on a medium-low flame. Add a little salt to the pasta if you like and stir.
In a large pan, turn on the heat and melt one stick of butter in it. Gradually add 3/4 cup of flour to the pan and stir it thoroughly. Pour in the 4 cups of milk and stir it until it’s thick, but do not let it boil.
Add pepper, salt, and a little nutmeg to the milk and stir.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees to bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn off heat to the ground beef after 45 minutes. Turn off heat to milk sauce when it’s thick.
Put some grated kefalograviera cheese into the milk and stir it. After it’s cooled down a little, beat the 4 eggs and add it to the sauce and stir. Add egg whites to ground beef mixture after it has cooled somewhat and stir it.
Put a layer of the pasta on the bottom of a baking pan like lasagna, then spread grated kefalograviera. Pour all the meat mixture onto the pasta and even it out. Put a layer of pasta on top of the meat and spread more grated kefalograviera cheese evenly. Then pour the milk sauce on the entire thing and spread the cheese evenly on top of the sauce.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour (my mom did one hour). Let it cool for at least 30 minutes. And you’re done!
If you are on planning to visit Israel, then you must go through this food tour by Mark Wiens–
Abu Hassan –
Located in a peaceful area of Jaffa, this restaurant is always packed and busy full of people hungry for hummus, ful, and musabaha. it’s truly a legendary place and the hummus was of the sticky and smooth variety. I think my favourite thing was the musabaha, like hummus, but with whole chickpeas. They also offer a mix of hummus, ful, and musabaha all in a single bowl which is excellent. Total price – 72 ILS ($20.95)
You may also like [button link=”https://bestplacesofinterest.com/masterclass-gil-hovav/” newwindow=”yes”] Masterclass with Chef Gil Hovav[/button]
Sabich Tchernichovsky –
An Iraqi Jewish food in Israel, sabich is a pita filled with eggplant and hard-boiled eggs, and a selection of salad and condiments. David says that there’s no doubt Sabich Tchernichovsky makes the best sabich in Israel, and I was very impressed. He assembled the pita so slowly and perfectly, adding layer upon layer of eggplant, egg, and salad. It was truly one of the best vegetarian (but with egg) sandwiches I’ve ever had. Price – 21 ILS ($5.87)
Falafel Johnny Benin –
Next to Sabich Tchernichovsky, is Falafel Johnny Benin, a legendary Tel Aviv falafel hole in the wall restaurant. I ordered a half of a falafel sandwich, with salad and tahini. It was delicious and freshly cooked. Half falafel pita – 9 ILS ($2.51)
Carmel Market, Tel Aviv –
Carmel Market is one of the most well-known of all open-air flea markets in Tel Aviv. You’ll find everything there, including a nice food section. HaBasta Restaurant – Located on a side street of Carmel Market, is HaBasta, a gourmet market fresh restaurant. They served us some very fresh and interesting dishes. The crab was delicious, and the fried veal brain was amazing, but I especially loved the cherry salad. Total price – 400 ILS ($111.72)
Pronto Restaurant –
Owned by the renowned Chef David Frankel, Pronto is a refined Israeli Italian and Mediterranean restaurant. The food was extremely high quality, and the flavours were very subtle and delicious. We were planning to pay for our meal, but David knows the chef very well, and Chef David wouldn’t allow us to pay. Delicious high-end gourmet food.
Jasmino, Tel Aviv –
This was probably my favourite food on this entire Israeli food tour of Tel Aviv, Jasmino, specializing in grilled meat pita. The owner, another extremely kind man, ordered me the sweetbreads pita, grilled thymus and bottom part of lamb throat glands, with salad and tahini. It was extraordinary. My kind of place. Price – 28 ILS ($7.82) And that completed our Tel Aviv food tour! –
Transport yourself to a tropical paradise with these luscious mango recipes. All you need to do is bring home some succulent mangoes to prepare these innovative and easy-to-make recipes to relish.
Following are few of avant-garde mango recipes for summer!
Kairi Murgh Tikka or Mango Chicken Tikka
Ingredients Chicken leg boneless 180 gms., Raw mango 100 gms, Ginger 10 gms, Garlic 10 gms, Green chilli 8 gms, Salt 5 gms, Turmeric powder 5 gms, Garam masala 2 gms, Jeera powder 5 gms, Lemon 10 gms, Besan 20 gms, Egg 1, Mint 15 gms, Coriander 20 gms, Curd 100 gms.
Procedure Make the marinade by mixing all the ingredients. Boil the mangoes and make a puree of it. Now add chicken and keep it overnight. Arrange marinated chicken on a skewer and cook it in tandoor of an oven. Serve hot.
1 litre milk
½ cup mango puree
1 tablespoon rice, soaked for 1 hour
3-4 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon green cardamom powder
1½ tablespoons finely chopped mixed nuts (almonds and pistachios)
¼ cup chopped mango Mango slices for garnishing
1. Boil milk in a deep non-stick pan.
2. Grind rice into a smooth mixture, add to boiling milk, mix and cook until reduced. Add sugar and mix till it melts.
3. Switch off heat, add green cardamom powder, mixed nuts, chopped mangoes and mango puree and mix well.
4. Put in individual serving bowls and refrigerate to chill.
5. Serve chilled garnished with mango slices.
Mango kulfi is an easy Indian mango ice cream and this recipe does not require any cooking, so easy!!
Mango Puree: 1 cup or 1 1/2 cups chopped Alphonso mango
March 8th is celebrated annually as Woman’s Day throughout the globe. This day is dedicated to honouring women for their contribution to their personal and professional lives. They dote on their children, run a household like a queen, and lead teams as bosses at work! There is no concept of a ‘time-out’ for them. Let’s treat them like the queens they truly are. Brothers, Fathers, Husbands, Kids and family alike can join hands and cook up a storm for the women in their lives.
[tweetshare tweet=”Women’s Day Special recipes” username=”wizmagic1″]
Some of these quick and fun recipes include:
Macaroni with Creamy Corn and Nachos
1 tbsp Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves (Chopped)
1 Onion (small. Chopped)
50 g Corns
1 tsp Black Pepper Powder
100 ml Hot Pasta Stock
60 g Dr. Oetker FunFoods Mayonnaise Veg (4 Tbsp)
120 g Macaroni (Boiled)
20 – 25 g Nachos (8-10 pcs., Jalapeno flavour)
50 g Cheese (Processed, grated)
Heat oil in a nonstick pan (low flame) add garlic, onion and cook for 30 seconds or until onion, gets caramelize. Add corn and sauté for 1 minute. Season it with salt and pepper.
Add pasta stock to above vegetables and stir. Take the pan away from flame, add mayonnaise and stir well. Bring it back to flame and let it simmer for 1 minute or until sauce thickens.
Add pasta to above sauce and toss well.
For Assembling- Place nachos around the plate, add above pasta in the middle and sprinkle cheese on top. Serve.
Preparation time: 15 Minutes
Spicy Mexican Style Wraps
6 Portion Chapattis
30g Butter (2 tbsp.)
150g Onions (2 small, finely chopped)
100g Green Bell Peppers (1 medium, finely chopped)
150g Tomatoes (2 small, finely chopped)
45g Dr. Oetker FunFoods Salsa (3 tbsp.)
In a non-stick pan shallow fry the chapatis in butter from both sides until they are crispy.Make medium size balls from above mixture and keep them aside.
In a bowl add salsa, capsicum, onion and tomato. Mix well.
Spread the above mixture on the chapattis. Roll up. Serve hot.
Preparation time: 5 Minutes
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
Peanut Butter Cake
100g Dr. Oetker FunFoods Eggless Cake Mix Chocolate
150g Butter (melted)
100g Dr. Oetker FunFoods Peanut Butter Crunchy
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Mix melted butter, bake mix and water.
Grease and flour a 7 inch (18cm) dia. baking pan and pour batter in.
Bake at 180°C for 30 minutes until a toothpick, inserted in the centre, comes out clean.
Leave to cool for 15 minutes and place cake on serving plate. Spread peanut butter and cut as per choice. Serve
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Recipes curated by Gaurav Chadha, in-house Chef Dr. Oetker India are sure to strike the right chord!