Thursday, June 30, 2011

Layered Vanilla Panna cotta

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. These softly set and creamy Italian puddings are so silky-smooth they slip down beautifully at the end of a meal. Perfect served with fresh berries or fruits according to the season. They are also perfect for dinner parties because they can be made a day or two in advance and kept refrigerated until ready to be served.

I made pomegranate jello with the juice and attempted to layer it with the panna cotta. It looks pretty, but all of the waiting for things to set and pouring and tilting got a little tiresome. This is not a recipe for the impatient (Def I am impatient). Well, the recipe is fine for anyone if you want to do the standard dual layer deal. What I mean is if you want to make all of the tilting layers, then keep in mind that it won’t be a fast assembly.

Vanilla Panna Cotta:

1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon (one packet) (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups (720 ml) whipping cream
1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp of Vanilla extract


1. Pour the milk into a bowl or pot and sprinkle gelatin evenly and thinly over the milk (make sure the bowl/pot is cold by placing the bowl/pot in the refrigerator for a few minutes before you start making the Panna Cotta). Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.

2. Pour the milk into the saucepan/pot and place over medium heat on the stove. Heat this mixture until it is hot, but not boiling, about five minutes. (I whisk it a few times at this stage. If you let it boil it will develop a very unattractive skin on top as it cools. You don't want that.).

3. Next, add the cream, honey, sugar, and pinch of salt. Making sure the mixture doesn't boil, continue to heat and stir occasionally until the sugar and honey have dissolved 5-7 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then pour into the glass or ramekin.

5. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Add garnishes and serve.

This was much easier to layer..

pomegranate gelatin

2 oz. water, boiling hot
1 1/2 tsp powdered unflavored gelatin
8 oz. pomegranate juice
1 tsp sugar (optional)

Stir the gelatin and hot water together until the gelatin has dissolved. Pour the pomegranate juice and sugar (if using) into the mixture and stir. When the panna cotta has firmed (depending on size of glass, but be sure not to take it out too early) pour a layer of pomegranate gelatin over each panna cotta and let set up in refrigerator.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Puff Pastry Pinwheels

Pinwheel pastries are a great party appetizers.These tempting appetizers look like they're difficult to make...but they're not. They feature a spinach, onion and cheese filling simply rolled up in flaky puff pastry and sliced into pinwheels.

1 no Puff pastry sheet
1 no Egg or milk for brushing
1 no Onion ( chopped)
¼ cup Spinach (frozen and thawed)
2 clove Garlic (finely minced)
¼ cup Red or green bell pepper
½ cup Monterrey or Colby jack cheese
1 dash Salt
3 dash Black pepper powder
1 tbsp Cream cheese(chive and onion)
Plain flour for dusting


Thaw one Puff pastry sheet according to packing instruction to room temperature. Dust the work surface with plain flour and unfold. Roll out the sheet to stretch a little to make it slightly thin.

For the stuffing:
Make this ahead as it needs to be cooled before use. In a pan, heat oil and saute chopped onions, bell peppers and garlic for few minutes. Add thawed frozen spinach and salt. Cook until it becomes dry and switch off. Let this cool completely.

After rolling out the sheet, spread with cream cheese evenly. Then add the sauteed spinach mixture and spread leaving about 1/2" inch to the sides. Sprinkle cheese, dash of salt and pepper.

Apply little water to the edges ,roll and seal the edges.

When done, cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to make them firm. Place them on a cutting board, cut them into 1" slices.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper or aluminium foil(use cooking spray if using foil)and arrange the pinwheels with cut side down. Mix egg mixture with little water and brush over them to give a glossy look.

Preheat the oven to 400F and bake for 15 minute or until the top looks golden. Serve warm or at room temperature with Ketchup.
One sheet Yields 10 to 12 Pinwheels

Parotta(without Egg)

4 cup Maida
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Water (approx)
5 tsp Oil (for dough making)
¼ cup Oil (for kneading)
½ cup Oil (for shapping)
½ cup Oil (for toasting)

Dough making and kneading:
Mix maida, salt, 5 tsp of oil and water. Knead to make a soft dough, like how we make for chappattis and puris. Put it in a bowl and close it with a plate, let it stay for 30 minutes. Meanwhile clean your kitchen counter to make a big work surface.Now press the dough and knead it by slowly adding oil (1/4 cup) little by little. Repeat the process until the dough becomes very soft (20 minutes approx). Beat the dough , which ofcourse need expertise, but the same can be done by using a rolling pin. (10 minutes approx). Now make ten equal portions (4 cups maida yeilds only 10 parottas) and put them under a damp cloth or kitchen towel, this helps it from becoming dry.

Stretching the dough:
Take one portion and roll it as much as you can with a rolling pin, the funny part is, you can watch as you stretch, it rolls back, so apply oil say about a tsp for each parotta and stretch it to paper thin size. It might tear in some areas… thats ok. Stretch using your hands or use the rolling pin, oil makes the work easier.

Shaping the dough:-
Again apply little oil on the stretched surface of the dough. Now using both your hands try making pleates and fold as you do that. Just like making a paper fan. Start from one side and finsih on the other end. Tap it a couple of times on the conter real fast inother to stretch it lengthwise. Start rolling it backwards from both ends to form a little heart shape. Keep on half of the heart on the other and press it with the center of your palm. Repeat the whole process for each parotta and store them back under the damp towel.

Toasting the parotta:-
Keep a tawa hot and ready while you do the last stretch. Flame should be on meduim high throughout the frying process. Now take one portion of the shped dough and slightly roll it lenthwise and widthwise with a rolling pin, just one side only. The other side should be the firm on the bottom do not flip while doing this. Transfer it straight to the tawa and let cook for few minutes, now flip on the other side and a tsp of oil, you will see it becoming fluffy, flip one more time and then put it back on the counter. Using both hands, try to beat it once, just like clapping, to seperate the layers. Serve hot with your favorite side dish.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Deep fried Jalapeno Poppers

jalapeno Poppers are extremely popular snack. The typical way to make a jalapeno popper is to slice off the top of a jalapeno, and then remove the pepper innards with either a thin knife or a pepper corer. It is then stuffed with cream cheese, breaded and deep fried.You can also bake them in the oven for health reasons,although you can pretty much stuff your pepper with any kind of filling you want..


5 nos Jalapeno peppers
5 tsp Cream cheese(onion & chives)
¼ cup All-purpose flour
½ cup Bread crumbs(i used Italian)
2 cup Oil (for deep frying)
1 dash Salt
2 tsp Water
1 no Egg


1. Take a shallow dish, combine egg, water and salt beat well. Keep this aside.

2. Take two similar shallow dish and spread one with all-purpose flour and the other with bread crumbs.

3. Clean the Jalapeno peppers, with the help of a sharp knife, make a slit and open up, keeping the stalk intact.

4. Using the back side of a spoon, remove all the seeds and discard.

5. Stuff each pepper with a tsp of cream cheese. (You can sprinkle some salt before stuffing)

6. Heat the oil and keep it ready for deep frying.

7. Now line up the dishes in this order (Flour —- Egg mixture —– bread crumbs).

8. Take one stuffed jalapeno pepper, dust it with flour, then dip it into the egg mixture to coat and then into the bread crumbs. Toss gently until its well coated and sealed on all sides. put them in the fridge for about 1/2 hour in order to make them firm.Then deep fry them.

9. Drop gently into the oil and deep fry until golden.

10. Drain excess oil and serve hot with choice of dipping sauce.

Friday, June 10, 2011


1 cup Gram flour
½ cup Rice flour (add 3 tbsp along with this)
¼ tsp Baking soda
1¼ tsp Salt
4 tbsp Ghee / vanaspathi (room temperature)
¼ cup Water
2 Onion (cut lengthwise) (medium)
2 Green chili (finely chopped) (medium)
5 clove Garlic (crushed)
1 tbsp Ginger (crushed)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
¼ tsp Red chili powder
3 cup Oil (for deep frying)
few Curry leaves

1. If ghee or vanaspathi is cold, just bring them to room temperature.
2. Cream ghee or vanaspathi with baking soda until its well blended.
3. Combine gram flour, rice flour, turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt. Add this to the creamed fat and mix to form a crumbly textured flour.
4. To this, add onions, chopped chilies, curry leaves, crushed ginger and garlic. Mix well to coat the flour mixture on all sides.
5. Slowly add water as you knead and form a stiff dough. It should look like a thick mass, but not too sticky.
6. Meanwhile heat oil in a kadai(medium high flame). When its ready, try a sample first. Fry till golden on all sides, cool and wait for 10 minutes. Now taste it to check whether its crunchy enough.

Tips & Tricks:
The oil should not be very hot nor low.The temperature of the oil should be just right.
By mistake if you add more water and if the dough looks too soft then you would end up making soft pakodas. Its OK, but in order to make them crispy, the dough should be just about firm.

Tip: Add extra rice flour, adjust salt and try again.

If you fry them too long expecting them to turn crispy, you will end up having very hard pakodas. Please do not keep them too long, when they are evenly browned, the vigorous bubbles will settle and that’s the key to remove.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chiffon Cake


Ingredients :
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Grease a 8" round cake pan. Keep aside.
2. Sift together all purpose flour, baking powder and powdered sugar. Keep aside.
3. Separate egg whites and yolk in two separate bowls.
4. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until very stiff. Set aside.
5. Combine orange juice,egg yolks ,oil and vanilla extract.Mix Gently and pour over the combined dry ingredients.
6.With a large rubber spatula or wire whisk, gently fold the egg whites into the batter just until blended (being careful not to deflate the batter).
7.Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 to 30mins or until a toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Noodle Salad


1 head cabbage, shredded
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 (2 1/2 ounce) packages slivered almonds
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 packages Top Ramen noodles

1/2 cup vegetable oil or cup canola oil
2 tbsp tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tbsp tablespoons sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix cabbage and onions and refrigerate overnight. Combine oil, sugar, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, and noodle seasoning. Stir well and add to salad immediately prior to serving. Toss with noodles. Before serving, garnish with sunflower or sesame seeds and almonds.

You can add chicken to it to make it an entree salad.

Note:If you plan on eating this left over, keep in mind that the noodles will not stay crunchy.