Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Honey Oat Bread (Can be made in a Bread Machine too)

Bread Baking is a hobby and a passion. The waiting with baited breath to get the yeast to rise and the kneading of the dough and then the wait to get the dough raised to double its size only to punch it down and knead it again. And of course the best part - the aroma of freshly baked bread when it spreads through the house.
I know I know - its too dramatic on my part. But, that's exactly how I feel about baking a bread at home. Its pure excitement. Of Course the family loves home baked bread and that's a big perk in itself.
We bake a bread at home every week. We try to go through just one loaf of bread in a week - so as to give other food items a chance to be part of our consumption too. No other reason. We believe in equality.
I have been baking a whole wheat bread for a long time. Wanted to incorporate oats too. There are a lot of recipes out there. Somehow, it never interested our palette. I tried experimenting and finally came up with this recipe which is a keeper. The bread is a little different texture wise as it is a bit crumbly compared to a white bread or a whole wheat bread - but, its soft and airy and has a beautiful aroma. Can be toasted and had with jam or butter or if you are not a fan of toasting it, you will like it just like that too. We love to toast it on a pan with a drizzle of ghee (Clarified butter) - yummmmm!!!!!!!


Ingredients

1 and 1/4 cup warm water (do not use hot water)
1/3 cup honey
2 and 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (1 packet)
4 tablespoons oil (I use olive oil)
1 and 1/2 cup oats flour (I used old fashioned oats that were ground in a blender)
1 and 1/2 to 2 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
some extra flour (for kneading if you are not using the breadmaker)


Method

In a stand mixer add the warm water, honey and yeast. Let the yeast bloom. This should take about 5 to 10 minutes. Now add the salt and oil and the oats flour and bread flour (1 and 1/2 cups). Start stirring the mixture. If you see its a little loose, add 2 tablespoons of bread flour at a time and mix well. You should get a soft dough which forms a round on the dough hook, but is sticky to touch.
Mix it with the dough hook on medium speed for about 10 minutes. You could do this by hand too. Remove the dough out and mix it with oiled hands and put it back into the greased bowl. Cover and let it sit in a warm place for about 1 hour until it rises to double its size.
Once its doubled in size. Punch it in the bowl to release all the air. Get the dough out on a clean counter. Mix it well with hands and knead it for about 5 to 7 minutes. Spread some flour on the counter and using a rolling pin roll the dough into a oval shape. Now roll one end of the dough and connect the seams. Place it in a greased 9X5 bread loaf pan with the seam side down. Cover with a soft cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes to an hour.
In the last 15 minutes of its rise - preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Place the loaf pan carefully in the oven and let it bake for 30 to 35 minutes. After 30 minutes, check the bread, if you tap the top and it sounds hollow, you know the bread is cooked.
Remove the bread form the oven and immediately and carefully remove the bread onto a cooling rack. let it cook completely before you slice it.
This bread stays good for 3 to 4 days outside or for a week in the fridge.
Enjoy this yummy bread.


Notes


  • Before baking, you could brush the top lightly with a mixture of equal parts honey and warm water and sprinkle some oats on top - to get a beautiful look.
  • You can bake this bread in a breakmaker too. I have used my WestBend breadmaker with the white bread setting for 1 and 1/2 pound loaf. Just add the ingredients in the inner pot and start the cycle. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rice & Shrimp Taco - #TacoTuesday #2

I have been meaning to post these taco recipes for quite some time now. These tacos were made almost a year ago, but never got around to posting them on the blog. Hopefully, all the tacos will find a home here soon now. 


Ingredients

8 small tortilla (6 inch ones) - I used the ones made at home - Recipe Here
1 pound medium shrimp (about 25 shrimps)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 TBS lemon juice
salt to taste
1 tbs oil
1 onion - sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup cooked rice
Chipotle mayonnaise (store bought)

Method

Mix together the cilli powder, roasted cumin powder, garlic powder and salt along with lemon juice and form a paste. To this add the shrimps and coat each piece well with the marinade. Let it sit for atleast an hour. In a wok, add the oil and then cook the shrimps till they curl up and become a pink color - about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove shrimp on a plate.
In the same wok - add the sliced onions and get a nice seat on them on high heat. Remove on a plate.
I just warm the tortillas a bit. You can do this on a griddle or in a microwave too.
To assemble the tacos - take a tortilla, place a tablespoon of rice and then some of the onions. Add about 4 shrimps per taco. Top with chopped cilantro and drizzle some chipotle mayo on top. Serve as is with a side of Pico de Gallo and Guacamole.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Mexican Sweet Corn Soup - #SoupSwappers

We have never been much of soup lovers. The occasional soup we have is Chicken Noodle Soup or Tomato Soup or the Manchow Soup and ofcorse the yummy Indian Chinese Sweet Corn Soup.
I joined this group called Soup Saturday Swappers in an attempt to learn more about the various other soups out there. The challenge this month was to cook a Mexican Soup. I further challenged myself and attempted a full vegetarian soup.
My research gave me so many options - all yummy pork and chicken soups out there. The one that caught my eye was the simple Sweet Corn Soup with Mexican flavors of roasted cumin and paprika. Its a very simple recipe and a very tasty soup too.


Its the peak of winter here and we have had icy storms around. So, there was no fresh corn on the cob available anywhere. I made use of the frozen sweet corn here. I am sure fresh corn taste would have been amazing - but, the frozen corn soup was yummy too.

Ingredients

4 cups corn kernels
1 yellow onion
4 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks
2 teaspoons roasted cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup cotija cheese (I used romano as cotija was not available)
1/2 cup corn (steamed) - for garnish)
2 tbs cotija or romano cheese - for garnish
1/2 cup chopped cilantro - for garnish
sour cream - for garnish (optional)
salt to taste


Method

Heat a huge saucepan or dutch oven and add the oil to it. Then add the garlic, onions, celery and 4 cups corn and let it saute for about 10 minutes - stir it occasionally. When you see the onions are transparent and the corn looks a bit cooked, add the cumin powder and paprika powder and mix well. Add the vegetable stock to this mixture. Cover the pan and let it come to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat and let this mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.
Remove it off the heat and let it cool down a bit. Use either a immersion blender or a blender like vitamix or blendtec to puree the mixture. To this add the cotija or romano cheese and salt to taste. Bring it back on heat and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Add the black pepper powder and mix well.
Soup is now ready to be served.
When serving - add soup to a bowl, top it with some steamed corn kernels, some shredded cheese and chopped cilantro. You can add a dollop of sour cream for extra creamy soup. Enjoy!!!




Sending this to #SoupSwappers

This month the theme is  - Mexican Soup, Caldo & Sopa
Hosted by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Do check the posts of the different Mexican Soups made by fellow bloggers.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Fish & Chips - #FishFridayFoodie

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone who is celebrating. I do not know much about this day - just know that it is the traditional day when St. Patrick passed away and its a Public holiday in Ireland as they celebrate the feast of his life.
St. Patrick used the 3 leaf shamrock (clover) to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish and I guess hence its all about clover leaves this day. I learnt from Lil Miss A that the reason everyone wears green on this day is because green is the color associated with Catholics in Ireland and Orange is associated with Protestants. I was not sure about this as she is just 6........... so, I did read about it online. She is right........ ofcorse she learnt it at school.
Ofcorse then there are legends or myths about rainbows and leprechauns and pots of gold. 
And ofcorse #LuckOfTheIrish


I wanted to make something special for this day that was from the region of Ireland.Wanted to try something simple that the family would love. So settled with fish and chips. I know, people associated Fish & Chips with UK........ but, it is very much found in Ireland and in Irish Pubs too. I just joined the group  #FishFridayFoodie  and they had a theme for Irish Inspired dishes. So, that was another reason for this dish.  


Ingredients

For Fish

5 big tilapia Loins cut into 3 inch pieces - we got about 15 of them.
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
7 oz beer (I used corona)
2 cups oil

For Chips (in Air Fryer)

4 Russett Potatoes
2 tablespoons Al Purpose Flour
Salt


Method

For Fish

Wash and pat dry the fish pieces and let them sit on a paper towel.
In a pan add the oil and let it heat till it becomes very hot (about 380F).
In a bowl whisk together the  flour, salt, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, and garlic powder and baking powder. Take half of this dry mixture on a plate. With the remaining half in the bowl, add the beer to this mixture and mix well till you get a flowy batter.
Take the fish. Put it on the dry flour mixture and then dunk it in the beer batter and then again in the dry mixture and dust extra flour off and let it sit on a baking sheet. Use tongs to do this. Get all the other fish pieces ready in the same fashion.
Keep cut potatoes in ice water after cut, and let sit 5-10 minutes
Meanwhile, dry the fish with paper towels and dredge each piece in the flour mixture on the baking sheet.
Add 3 fish at a time to the hot oil and fry for about 8 minutes till it turns a beautiful golden brown. Once done, remove and transfer to on a paper towel lined plate to drain.


For Chips

Peel the potatoes and cut them into big sticks like french fries. Keep them soaked in cold water for about 1 hour. Drain the water and pat dry the potatoes with a paper towel. Take half of them in a bowl, add 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp flour and dust each stick with it. Add 1 tbspoon oil and shake the bowl again. Add this to the airfryer at 375F for 20 minutes. Halfway through the cycle, just open the airfryer and give it a shake. Repeat with the other half potato sticks. Remove them on a plate and sprinkle some more salt on top.
You can fry these chips in oil too. You will need 2 cups oil. Heat it to 375F. Add potatoes in batches (do not overcrowd). They should turn a nice golden brown in about 5 minutes. Remove onto a paper towel lined plate to drain. When all the chips are done, add salt and mix well.

Serve the fish and chips together on a plate - if you line it with a magazine page or newspaper, you can get the authentic street side way of having the same food.



Sending this to #FishFridayFoodie
The theme this month was “Irish Fish & Seafood Recipes” - hosted by Heather at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen

Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies?  
We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of the month. 

To join our group please email Wendy at wendyklik1517@gmail.com. Visit our Facebook page and Pinterest page for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.




Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Kerala Style Mutton Stew (InstantPot)

The man of the house (Mr. A) had a real tough job yesterday. He had to go out and clean our huge driveway after the beautiful snowfall that dumped almost 10 inches of snow. He is okay doing this work as long as he gets some nice yummm food. So, he asked for Kerala Style Mutton Stew and Appams as a reward for his hard work. So, the preparations for the feast started at home and the results were pretty much appreciated by the man and the kid too.
This is a very easy and tasty stew to make and its so warm and comforting on such cold and windy days. 
Here is wishing for the winter to go bye-bye untill December 2017.


Ingredients

To Grind

1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 green cardamoms
3 cloves
1/2 piece of mace
1 black cardamom
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 star anise
1 tsp poppy seeds (optional)

To Marinate

1 pound mutton/goat meat (cut into 2 inch pieces)
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric

To Make Stew

2 tsp coconut oil (you can use any other oil too)
1 onion - thinly sliced
2 tsps ginger garlic paste
1 can coconut milk
1 potato (cubed)
2 carrots (cubed)
20 green beans (halved)
salt to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish


Method

Take the ingredients in the 'To Marinate' tab and mix well. Let it sit aside for atleast an hour. Now take the ingredients in the 'To Grind' tab and using a spice grinder/coffee grinder, grind it to a fine powder. Keep it aside.
Take the instantpot and put the inset. On saute mode add the oil. Now add the onions and fry them till they get transparent (we do not want to brown them). Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes away, Add the marinated mutton and half the potatoes. Add 1/2 cup water. Close the intantpot and put the seal on. Manual pressure for 12 minutes. Then Natural release for 10 minutes and do a quick pressure release. Mutton would be partially cooked. Now add the other vegetables and the ground spice mixture. Stir and mix well. Cover the instantpot again with the vent sealed. Manual cook for 5 minutes and Natural release for 5 minutes. Do a quick release after that. Generally all the vegetables and the mutton are cooked perfect by this time. If not - just do a manual cook for another 4 minutes.
Put the instantpot on saute mode and add the coconut milk and salt to taste to the mutton and vegetable. Mix well and let this mixture come to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with Appams.

Notes

  • This stew can be made using a pressure cooker to cook the mutton too.
  • Just fry onions in a pressure cooker, add the mutton and half the potatoes. Give it 2 whistles. After pressure is released. Add the other vegetables and cook for another 2 whistles. Wait for pressure to release. If cooked, just add coconut milk and the masala and salt and give it a boil. If not...... cover and cook for another whistle. 


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