Thursday, October 31, 2013

Huguenot Torte - A Charleston dessert

Deepavali is just around the corner. Food blogs are rich with an amazing array of sweets and savories. Mostly I end up making a couple of sweets and a savory here and there. I would love to make Gulab Jamuns like may ammayee made them which is what I miss about the festival. There is still time left so maybe it might happen perhaps.

Happy Deepavali!

The advantages of working from home are many. Chief among them being the ability to catch my favorite day time shows. No No not those shows. A steady diet of that will send me straight to the mental asylum in record time. I am talking about a particular one - The Chew on ABC. The hosts are not annoying and there are 5 of them which makes it easier on the eyes as well. There are not too many recipes that they make that I want to try at home but a couple of weeks ago I caught a show where the Lee Brothers were showing a so easy to make torte.

I first heard of the Lee Brothers on the NPR show linked above and have been meaning to buy their book. While listening to the show did not make me rush up and cook the torte, watching them do it on TV sure did. "The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen" is a book about Southern Cooking and Charleston in particular. One should love their food a LOT to spend time and effort to bring out a book like that. I am totally cool with that.

Beat the egg till frothy. Mix in the dry ingredients and Vanilla.
Chopped apples and roasted pecans.
All the ingredients mixed and batter poured into the prepared pan.
Out of the oven and ready to be served.



What describes Huguenot Torte is best explained in the NPR show by Matt,
"Huguenot torte has this nice meringue-like crisp top, but then a sludgy caramel and apple and pecan bottom to it," Matt says. "It's got flour but tons of leavening — so it just puffs up in the oven, then collapses and creates this very interesting and uniquely Charleston dessert."

It takes almost minimal time and effort and the ingredients were all in and around my pantry and it was done in record time. It is easily one of my favorite baked products to date. DD who helped me make it was absolutely delighted when she saw the results and needless to says it disappeared while it was still warm. And yes it was exactly how it is described above.

This might be a nice one to try for Deepavali but it has eggs. So if that is not OK do give this a try for Thanksgiving. I bet your family will be very happy.

What exactly is a Huguenot Torte you might ask? The history is pretty interesting as well, again from the NPR article

Until relatively recently, Charlestonians believed that this confection, as the title might suggest, came to Charleston with the French Huguenots, who settled in the city in the eighteenth century, and that it was a rustic cousin of elegant p√Ętisseries. But in the 1990s, the culinary historian and Lowcountry native John Martin Taylor tracked down the woman to whom the recipe is attributed in Charleston Receipts, and learned that she'd encountered the dish as "Ozark Pudding" while visiting relatives in Arkansas in the 1940s. She had brought the recipe back to Charleston, and put the dessert on the menu of the Huguenot Tavern, where she was a cook.

The fact that this dessert has become as much an icon of Charleston home cooking as Charleston Okra Soup [see page 74 of The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen] and She-Crab Soup [page 77] seems odd — but it's all part of "Charleston's food pattern," as May A. Pyatt wrote in a 1950 review of Charleston Receipts in the News and Courier. Another interesting note: not many Charleston restaurants these days offer the torte — or even variants upon it — but it is almost always offered on menus at the tea rooms [see page 79] that open in the spring throughout the area. You should master it yourself; it's easy to make and easy to eat, and nice to have in your repertoire.


Having been used to reading about baked goods having a perfect crust and texture but for this one the looks don't really matter. The top will rise up beautifully then collapse into itself for that beautiful chewy cookie crust on top.

You can clearly see I am smitten with the dessert. Give this a try and I bet you will be too.

Update:Thanks to DD's friend who made the dessert here is some tips on the amount of sugar. If you are not going to serve it with Greek Yogurt or thick cream you should absolutely reduce the quantity of sugar. I am thinking 1 cup for raw sugar/brown sugar and 3/4 cup for regular white sugar.



Huguenot Torte
Preparation Time:15 minutes
Cooking Time:60 minutes
Ingredients
  1. 2 eggs
  2. 1 cup Pecans slightly toasted and chopped
  3. 1 1/3 cups sugar (used raw sugar)(not planning on using a yogurt topping, reduce the sugar to 1 cup, if using white sugar reduce it to 3/4 of a cup else will be too sweet.)
  4. 2 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  5. a small pinch of salt
  6. 1/4 cup flour (I used white unbleached whole wheat flour)
  7. 1 Gala apple (Granny Smith is the recipe's choice) peeled, cored and diced
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  9. For serving
  10. 5oz Greek Yogurt

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Keep a greased 8x8 baking dish ready.
  2. In a mixing bowl whip the eggs till nice and frothy (about 4 minutes easily)
  3. Add sugar, flour, nuts, apples, baking powder, salt, Vanilla and mix it in with the whisk gently.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes till the top turns a caramel color or crusty.
  6. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  7. Whisk the Greek Yogurt to smooth.
Slice and serve with a dollop of Greek Yogurt on top.






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Monday, October 28, 2013

Raw Banana masala fry - Vazhakkai masala poriyal

Raw bananas are a favorite in our house. I usually use the ones that are readily available in most grocery stores. Raw bananas are used in a lot of Latino and Caribbean cuisine and they are found pretty much in any grocery store. But the kind commonly found here in raw form are mostly plantains with an orange inside and gets a bit harder when cooked. Compared to these the raw bananas found in Indian stores get cooked nice and soft and work best in a masala fryo. There is no harm in using raw plantains but they are just not the same.

Raw plantains work in a fry or grated banana fry so give those a try if you get only raw plantains. Once ripe they taste great as a dessert when roasted with ghee and caramelized with sugar.




Raw Banana masala fry
Preparation Time:15 minutes
Cooking Time:220 5 minutes
Ingredients
  1. 3 raw bananas
  2. 1/2 onion chopped
  3. salt to taste
  4. seasoning: mustard seeds, curry leaves and a 2 green chilies slit
  5. Masala
  6. 2 tbsp coconut
  7. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  8. 6 green chilies + 1 red chili
  9. 1/2 tsp of pepper corns
  10. Blend the above with a little bit of water to a fairly smooth paste
  11. 3 tsp of oil


Method
  1. Steam the bananas till they are cooked. I use a pressure cooker without a weight. Cut the bananas in half and place them in a slotted vessel and let them steam for about 12-15 minutes. Peel and cut them into bit sized dices.
  2. In a wide mouthed vessel heat a tsp of oil and add the seasonings followed by the onions. Saute till they turn translucent.
  3. Add in the cooked bananas followed by the masala paste. Mix it in gently so the masala coats all of the pieces of banana
  4. Add salt and add the remaining oil when required. Continue to saute till the bananas are nicely coated and the masala has lost its moisture and they are nicely roasted.
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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Book Review - Tarquin Hall's mysteries with Vish Puri

I have written several times in these pages how I am fond of mystery novels and court room dramas. My love affair with mystery books started with Enid Blyton's Famous Five, Secret Seven and continued with Erle Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason), Robert Ludlum (Bourne Identity), Harold Robbins, Leon Uris, Ayn Rand and several other authors. The long summer holidays during school and college provided ample time to read these fat volumes. No summer jobs or internships or foreign language immersion tours for us those days. Sorry about the busy life kids have these days. So with long hot summer days stretching in front the thicker the books the better it was. John Grisham came much later when I found them in Landmark - I worked for a short period in an office in the floor above Landmark the first air conditioned book show room in Madras. A portion of paycheck went to buy books here every month after the first month's pay check bought Time to Kill and Pelican Brief.

Having built my reading habit on a steady diet of American and British authors there was no need to look for Indian authors but they sure were making their presence felt. Around the time I completed my higher secondary (here in the US it is equivalent to graduating from high school) Indian born authors writing in English were slowly being talked about and their books getting well known. Authors like Vikram Seth, Upamanyu Chatterjee were starting to get popular and many of my friends were talking about them and reading them. All I can remember is English August which did not make me crave for more and neither did a Suitable Boy.

Reading English books where I could identity with the milieu should have made me wanting more but that did not happen. I am not really sure if it was the way the books were written or the theme or why I did not take to them. I much preferred reading books in Tamil if I wanted to read books by Indian authors. The literature of the authors in the local language was much more mature than those attempting to write in English. Tamilvanan was my favorite Tamil author because he wrote mystery novels. Several like Sivasankari, Anuradha Ramnan, Uma Chandran were all books that kept me engrossed and an unintentional side effect they helped me improve my grades in Tamil. Though Tamil was my mother tongue the sad truth is I was more proficient in English than Tamil. Reading all kinds of novels and magazines is how I got on the road to getting good grades in Tamil.

I laid off reading Indian authors till Arundathi Roy's "God of Small Things" came about. Sorry to say that did not impress me either. So my enthusiasm for finding English books by Indian authors took a severe hit. I wouldn't deny the sheer thrill of enjoying a book where the protagonist is a person you can identify with and the the foods they crave are the ones that you like to enjoy as well. But sadly books that were interesting were not the ones which had Indians as detectives or lawyers.




When I was younger reading fat books were easy, while food was served at regular times and I hardly remember having any other activities. Fast forward to now getting through any book is tough and sometimes a couple of weeks before I can flip a few pages. Too much to do, distraction and sometimes being plain tired. With that said, all that does not stop me from checking out books from the library, buying books or borrowing books.

A couple of months ago I heard on NPR a discussion about books by Tarquin Hall. What made me sit up was that the protagonist in the book was Vish Puri an Indian slightly over weight detective who likes to eat the fried snacks that were common and all too tasty, spicy and of course greasy. With an introduction which said cultural and culinary delights of India - you think I can resist after that?


Tarquin Hall is a British born author with an American mother and seems like he has lived all over the world. He is married to an Indian and now lives in India. He captures the essence of life in India pretty well especially the aunties and their informal networks that help with sleuthing.

I did a search in our local library for the book series with this detective. Lucky for for me I found the first 2 books in the Vish Puri series right away. I finished the first one eventually. Though the plot was not page turning or that much of a mystery it certainly kept me engrossed. What endeared me most were the foods the detective ate along the way to solving these mysteries. The aunties you encounter in the book are as authentic as they come.

I am on the second book and still as interested in all the detectivism Vish Puri takes you through and the foods that he eats along the way.

If you are looking for something that will help you pass the time without too much thought or work these books are just right for a tired soul at the end of a hard day at work.


Have any of you read any of the books and what do you think of them? Are they popular in India?




Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cream Cheese Stuffed Roasted Peppers - A Quick Snack

A friend gave me some red peppers. They looked like tiny bell peppers but with a tiny bit more heat. The same friend had made these stuffed jalapeno peppers for a party and that is what I decided I'd make with those peppers. If you are a cheese lover this is a must try. The stuffing could be minced chicken or spiced potatoes. I used cream cheese but any shredded will work perfectly. Any stuffing of choice will work really.


These are so very easy to put together and are perfect as a quick appetizer or an evening snack. I used some salsa flavored cream cheese - yes that was new flavor in cheese for me as well.



Cream Cheese Stuffed Roasted Peppers
Preparation Time:15 minutes
Cooking Time:25 minutes
Ingredients
  1. 10-12 Jalapeno or any not too spicy peppers
  2. Cream Cheese of Choice - I used Salsa flavored Cream Cheese
  3. 1 -2 tsp of Olive Oil

Method
  1. Slit the peppers in half and remove the stems and ribs (these are the spicy parts) or just cut the top off and scoop out seeds and rubs.
  2. Fill the halves of the pepper or the whole pepper with cheese or any filling you prefer.
  3. I used a toaster oven for broiling. If using conventional oven use the middle rack otherwise the peppers and the cheese will burn.
  4. Place the peppers on a foil lined and greased tray. Set the peppers with the cheese side on top, drizzle lightly with olive oil. Broil for about 8 minutes. Once the cheese is broiled it hardens up a little bit and ready for the next step. The next step is purely optional, if you like the pepper to be slightly more roasted proceed else stop here.
  5. Turn to the other side and broil the pepper side for another 6-8 minutes till it starts to blacken a little bit.

Cool and ready to eat. Some of these peppers are spicier than the others but the cream cheese in them mitigates the heat.


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Monday, October 21, 2013

Chettinad meen kuzhambu - Chettinad style spicy fish curry

I bet everyone has heard the news of the lady spilling hot coffee bought from McD on her lap, suing and winning a jury award. There are not many of us who have not heard the story. In most news stories she came off as a rip off. I barely paid any attention to the award she received but remember thinking of it pretty much the same way. If you listen/read this news story you will realize no news story is what you read. Fascinating - here is the link 'Scalded by Coffee, Then News Media'.

Now moving to the recipe,

Everyone likes fish in our house but for some reason or other I don't cook it that often. I came upon some king fish and a Chettinad fish curry seemed just the right choice. Chettinad recipes are the best when it comes to chicken, goat or fish dishes. I followed the basic recipe from Solai's True Chettinad Kitchen.

Saute the minced onions till they start to turn brown. Add in the masala powders.
Add the tomatoes and saute till they become soft and mushy. Add the tamarind extract and one more cup of water.
Let the mixture come to a boil. When the desired consistency is reached add in the fish pieces.
Once the fish pieces are added the gravy might become a bit watery again, cook some more till desired consistency is reached. Fish the pieces out before boiling again otherwise the fish pieces will become rubbery and dry.

I followed the general guidelines she has in the recipe but followed some methods I learned from my mom. Back home for fish curry onion is never made into a smooth paste (unless it is sauteed and ground to a masala paste) but usually pounded. I do not pound the onion instead chop it in the food processor.



If you prefer the traditional Kongu style Fish Kuzhambu recipe give that a try.



Chettinad Meen Kuzhambu - Chettinad Style Spicy Fish Curry
Preparation Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time:30 minutes
Ingredients
  1. 4 King Fish Steaks - any other fish can be used (1 1/2 lbs)
  2. 1 red onion about 3/4 cup of minced onions
  3. 8 garlic cloves sliced
  4. 2 tsp of grate ginger (optional)
  5. 6 green chilies - slit
  6. 2 juicy tomatoes about 1 cup of chopped tomatoes
  7. 1 tbsp red chili powder or cayenne pepper
  8. 2 tsp of turmeric powder
  9. 2 tsp of kuzhambu thool or 1 1/2 tsp of coriander powder + 1/2 tsp of cumin powder
  10. tamarind extract from a small lime sized ball of tamarind about 1 cup of extract
  11. roasted and powdered fennel 3/4 tsp + fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
  12. salt to taste
  13. seasonings: curry leaves, fennel seeds few, methi seeds few, mustard seeds and cumin seeds
  14. 3 tsp of oil

Method
  1. Using a food processor mince the onions. It can be made to a paste but takes longer to saute.
  2. In a wide mouthed pan add oil and when hot add the seasonings and when the mustard starts to pop add the slit green chiles, saute for a minute and add the minced onions. Saute till it becomes slightly brown. Do not let it burn.
  3. Add in the garlic saute for another minute.
  4. Now add all the powders- chili, turmeric and the kuzhambu thool give a good mix.
  5. Add in the chopped tomatoes, let them cook till they become soft and mushy
  6. Add in the tamarind extract with another cup of water and let it come to a boil. Let it come to the desired consistency. Add salt.
  7. Add in the fish pieces and let it be completely submerged. 3-4 minutes of cooking time is sufficient to cook the pieces. Adding the fish pieces will make the gravy a bit more watery so if is too thin at this point, fish out the fish pieces, set them aside and in high flame continue cooking till the required consistency is reached.
  8. Add the fish pieces back in cook for a couple more minutes and turn off the heat. Let it sit for at least a couple of hours before serving. Tastes even better the second or third day.
Serve with steamed white rice.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blog Action Day 2013 - Human Rights

What exactly does 'Human Rights' mean? The dictionary meaning states that it is 'a right that is believed to belong justifiably to every person'.

Everybody sits up and takes notice when human rights abuses are obvious - dictators controlling and torturing their own people (North Korea, China,Burma). There are several other countries that heap abuses on their people in their own hidden perverted way like,

People who do not have the rights to express themselves and suppressed in the name of religion (most countries in the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan), people whose rights are violated,country exploited in the name of democracy through corruption and political misdeeds (India, Indonesia, Philippines), peoples whose rights are trampled by misinterpretation of the constitution, corrupt elected officials bowing to the money power of big corporations and politically connected donors to write laws that favor the few and harm the multitudes(USA, Britain, Canada). Different modes, different parts of the world by all are violations of ordinary people's rights in one way or other.

No country has sole proprietorship of human rights abuse. Every country does its fair share. How a country comes out looking depends on how it chooses to window dress it is based on their money power, PR strategies and the standing in the world. USA the self appointed world arbitrator of human rights abuses writes laws that allows big corporations to do business with countries like China who violates people's rights in no small measure, mass killing of people during a peaceful protest, worker abuse which US corporations blithely participate.

Let's talk about the abuses that happen in the US - namely every law that is ever written is skewed to supports the gun rights lobby and the NRA. "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." is what the second amendment states. No where does that mean to imply an individual's right to hold arms that can harm large groups of people. The second amendment has been hijacked by the NRA to threaten "elected" members of Congress to support every narrow minded agenda the organization has ever dreamed up. These elected representative don't care about the right of the majority only those of their NRA buddies.

There is no one to talk about the rights of those people who fall victims to the mindless killings that happen by the mindless promotion of these weapons which have no place in free society. Even here in the USA do we really live in a free and civilized society? The government fringes on the rights of people by warrant less wiretapping, by passing laws in private or getting judges to sign off on rules in secret.

No place is free of gun violence or mass murders - an elementary school, high school, University, Community College, Army barracks, Navy Yard, Movie Theater, Sports Event - nothing nothing is free of armed massacres. Leaving aside the mass murders there are tens of thousands of murders which happen at homes through robbery, abuse, accidental discharge of weapons by children on other children. Why? Because a very small fringe which threatens the rest of the population with their own self serving interpretation of a constitution law written about 2 centuries ago!! What about the rights of the people who get killed by these weapons?

Our elected representatives in Congress and the President seem to be doing absolutely nothing about the human rights violations happening in their own backyards due to gun violence. How do they think they have the moral authority to talk about abuses in the rest of the world?

Statistics for gun violence should be sobering to anybody. If these kinds of deaths were reported because of a virus, there would be panels and committees organized to attack the problem. But there is a deathly silence because these deaths are due to guns - which enjoys a protection that humans can only dream of.

I am not a big fan of China but I have to fully agree with what they have to say about the US.

In particular, China noted that:

Americans are the most heavily armed people in the world
Two thirds of murder cases in the U.S. involve guns
An average of three women in the US lose their lives every day as a result of domestic violence
Many people in the U.S. have experienced sexual abuse in childhood
The world’s largest economy is also the country with one of the biggest income gaps
The U.S. turns a blind eye towards its own infringements. These include chronic racial discrimination.

Source: examiner.com

We need the United States Government to stop turning a blind eye and address the problem of gun violence. It violates each and every one of our rights to protect the rights of a tiny few. We need to have elected leaders who actually care about the country and not be motivated by selfish self promotion. These elected officials do not think twice about sending the country to the brink of one manufactured disaster to the next when there are real problems affecting real people.

This is a food blog after all. Rights to good, healthy food should be a right enjoyed by kids but sadly that is not so. The very same actors in Congress and White House would do nothing to control big food manufacturers from controlling out food supply and poisoning kids who for the first time will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

The big human rights violators are right here in our backyard. A few line or pages are not enough to elaborate how the US government has been involved with most of the dictators and atrocities in the world. We the American people are oblivious to the gross human rights violations does day in and day out. Read this excerpt -
‘The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide’ by Gary J. Bass. This is just an example of many.

Do I have confidence in these elected people? Of course not. But one should never lose hope right? Once hope is lost everything is lost!






Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hazelnut Burfi

Festival season is a big deal in India. Living outside the country it is hard to get into the spirit of the season without the atmosphere which make these festivals so special. Of course there is one other important component that is essential to any celebration! Yes you guessed it - is the foods that go with it. I am neither in the the country nor able to provide the atmosphere but I am able to do something about the festive foods that get prepared.

So that is where this Hazelnut Burfi comes. The equivalent word for burfi might be fudge in the English language but fudge is more moist and chewy while a burfi is crumbly and melt in the mouth soft usually. Again there are no hard and fast rules everything works for a burfi. Burfi can be made with nuts, any kind of flour or coconut. Why hazelnuts and not almonds which are usually perfect for this?

The first time I got introduced to hazelnuts was through Nutella. The more I read about Nutella the more I wanted to stop buying it and make my own version at home. The first step is to buy the hazelnuts which I did easily enough. Once that happened they lay in the fridge waiting for an auspicious day which happened now just in time for Saraswathi Poojai celebrations, not as nut butter but as burfi.

Slightly roasted Hazelnuts and sugar required.
Roast and powder the hazelnuts while you get the sugar syrup ready.
Let the sugar reach one string consistency and mix the powdered nuts into the syrup.
Keep a small cup of water to do the sugar test. Sugar does not dissolve in the water when it has reached the correct consistency or does not flow when put in the plate.
Pour the mixture into a prepared plate and cut to desired shapes.


I have tried making Almond Burfi the hard way not listening to the suggestion given by a friend who gave the recipe. This time I followed her method and the texture has made me happy.

Initially I thought I'd add a bit of cardamom but hazelnut has this delicious scent so another flavor component like cardamom is not required. If you like it go ahead and add it.

Hazelnut Burfi
Preparation Time:15 minutes
Cooking Time:25 minutes
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups hazelnuts
  2. 2 cups raw sugar
  3. 1/4 cup of water
  4. 2 tbsp ghee (optional)
  5. a small lime or few drops of lemon juice
Method
  1. Take a wide mouthed heavy bottomed pan, add the sugar and enough water to just cover the sugar.
  2. Let it come to a boil till it reaches one string consistency. Took me about 20 minutes.(See Note)
  3. Tip:When boiling sugar as it sticks to the sides squeeze a few drops of lime juice or lemon juice on the sides to avoid crystallization of sugar.
  4. As the sugar is boiling get the nuts ready. Lightly toast the nuts and cool. Blend to a smooth powder in the blender with short pulses. Do not over process, the nuts will get sticky which is good for nut butter but not for burfi.
  5. Grease a plate with sides about 2 inches (a cake tin will work in a pinch) with ghee and keep ready.
  6. Once the sugar reaches the string consistency, lower the heat and add the powdered nuts to the mixture and quickly mix into the sugar syrup. Add the ghee now and this process should take less than 4 minutes. (See Note if your sugar syrup did not reach sugar consistency).
  7. Transfer to the greased pan and smooth the top.
  8. Let it cool a bit. Now make marks for the required shapes. Cool completely and transfer them to an airtight container.
Note:
  • As the sugar syrup is getting cooked keep a small bowl of water. Add a few drops of the sugar syrup to the water. If the sugar syrup dissolves in the water it is not ready.

  • Once the sugar syrup dropped in the water retains its shape. It is ready.

  • If you added the powdered nuts to the sugar syrup before it reached the string consistency, cook a bit longer till the mixture comes together without sticking to the sides.

  • Tuesday, October 8, 2013

    Blueberry - Avocado (or banana)Breakfast Smoothie (a la Ice cream special)

    Here is the big reveal! Going by the looks of it not many people were interested in knowing. But in the hopes there are a few silent one interested in knowing how to enjoy a perfect ice cream like meal in the morning I am typing up this post. This smoothie usually sustains me through afternoon better than any carbohydrate filled breakfast has ever done.

    I got a big bag of frozen blue berries at Costco and I crave for this smoothie every single morning. If there is time amid all the rush to get the kids out of the door in the morning they get a share too else it is all for me. Of course it is great afternoon back from school snack and filling enough to last through to dinner time.

    Blueberry Avocado Smoothie
    I have used Avocados which is my favorite or bananas and cold milk besides the blueberries. For a vegan version almond milk or just plain water will work. The only requirement is whatever liquid you use has to be cold like milk in the fridge cold. The blueberries have to be frozen if you want a thicker smoothie and frozen bananas well makes everything taste good.

    Most days just this smoothie by itself is big enough for a breakfast. Sprinkle some granola on top for a change or more fresh fruits.

    Blueberry Avocado (or banana) Breakfast Smoothie
    Preparation Time:15 minutes
    Serving Size:1
    Ingredients
    1. 1/2 Avocado or 1 banana (cut and freeze if preferred) or 1/4 Avocado + 1/2 banana
    2. 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
    3. 1/2 cup of milk (or 1/4 cup water)
    4. 1 tsp or less of raw sugar or honey (optional)
    5. Take all the ingredients in a blender and blend together and pour out and enjoy.

    Saturday, October 5, 2013

    Spicy Corn Bread with Chipotle Peppers, Jalapeno and Pepper Jack Cheese

    Corn Bread with butter is one of my favorite non-Indian hot breakfasts. I am not that fond of sweet corn bread but give me the spicy one any day. Most corn bread sold in stores are sweet so if you are fond of spicy ones you have to make it at home.


    That is what I try to bake on weekends when I wake up early in the morning and decide no to the more common weekend breakfasts of the Indian kind. If you are averse to baking corn bread is something that you got to try because it is sure to convert you. It is fairly straight forward and the substitutions tend to work pretty well usually.
    In a mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Whisk the eggs till they become nice and fluffy.
    Add the oil to the whisked eggs. Add the milk and yogurt to the flour.
    With a few strokes as possible mix the wet ingredients and the dry. Prepare the chipotle peppers, jalapeno peppers and cheese.
    Mix the peppers into the flour and pour into a greased square pan and bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 425F oven.


    I have made corn muffins before but altered the recipe slightly to get a more crumbly texture and also use more corn meal than wheat flour. It is corn bread after all. I have decided I like this version better. If you like a cakey version choose the old recipe but if you'd rather have a crumbly texture choose this one.

    Spicy Corn Bread with Chipotle Peppers, Jalapeno and Pepper Jack Cheese
    Preparation Time:15 minutes
    Cooking Time:35 minutes
    Ingredients
    1. 2 cups stone ground corn meal
    2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
    3. 1/4 cup of sugar
    4. 1 tsp baking soda
    5. 1 tsp of salt
    6. 2 Eggs
    7. 1/2 cup of olive oil (any oil should work)
    8. 1 cup of milk
    9. 3/4 cup of yogurt whisk
    10. 3 chipotle peppers seeds removed and bit of the adobo sauce
    11. 3 tbsp of jalapeno pickled peppers chopped(if you do not have access to pickled pepper any roasted pepper or fresh even will work)
    12. 1/4 - 1/2 cups of grated pepper jack cheese or any cheese you like
    Method
    1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
    2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients - Corn meal, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and set aside.
    3. In another bowl beat the eggs till they become nice and frothy, add in the oil and mix it gently.
    4. Add the milk and yogurt to the flour and with the spatula and mix the liquid in gently. Now add the egg mixture and with as few strokes as possible to so it is well mixed.
    5. Add in the prepared chipotle peppers, jalapeno peppers and cheese and mix it in.
    6. Get a 8 inch square tin grease it with spray or butter and pour the batter and let it bake for 25-30 minutes or till the skewer inserted comes out dry.
    7. Serve with melted butter on top.