Cook's Hideout: November 2009

November 30, 2009

Chinese style Vegetable Noodles & Eggplant

Hope everybody had a good weekend and everyone celebrating Thanksgiving had a good long weekend. We had a quiet Thanksgiving dinner at home and had family come over and stay with us on Friday and Saturday. Sunday was as usual, scrambling to get everything together before the week starts; shopping, laundry, mopping, cleaning etc.
This quick Chinese lunch came together in matter of minutes as we came home late from our shopping trip with grumbling tummies on Sunday. I didn’t use a lot of soy sauce or other seasonings and the final dishes tasted mild, so if you want some kick to the dish, add seasonings as per your taste.
These dishes go to this month’s IVAW: Chinese going on at Vaishali’s site Holy Cow.

Ingredients for Vegetable Noodles:
Noodles – I used tomato noodles, any asian style noodles can be used or even linguine or spaghetti would be good
Veggies – 2 cups, finely chopped (I used carrots, red & green peppers)
Scallions – 4, chopped (I used one huge Texas scallion)
Soy sauce – 1tbsp
Asian Chili sauce – ½ tsp (I used Sriracha)
Ginger – 1’ piece, finely minced
Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
Salt & Pepper – to taste

  • Heat 2tbsp oil in a sauté pan or wok; add ginger & garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Next add all the veggies and stir fry on medium-high flame until crisp tender, about 6-8 minutes. In the meantime prepare the noodles according to package directions.
  • Once the veggies are tender, add soy sauce, chili sauce, salt & pepper. Finally add the noodles and toss them together. Serve hot.

I served the noodles with Sautéed eggplant in Black bean sauce. I had an eggplant dish from a Chinese take out in a mall and I absolutely loved it. Eggplant was creamy inside and the sauce was sooo yummy, I was thinking the whole I ate how to make it at home. I couldn’t figure it out and couldn’t find any recipes online, so if any of know how to make take-out style Eggplant dish, please leave a comment, I’d (or my tummy) really appreciate it. Coming to this recipe, it’s very simple with sautéed eggplants in store bought black bean & garlic sauce base.

Japanese eggplants – 2, chopped into medium half moons
Onion – 1 small, chopped
Black bean & Garlic sauce – 1tbsp
Sugar – ½tsp
Corn starch – 1tsp
Sriracha sauce – 1-2 tsp
Ginger – 1” piece, finely minced
Garlic – 1 clove, minced
Salt & Pepper – to taste

  • Heat 1tbsp oil in a wok or sauté pan; add ginger & garlic until fragrant.
  • Next add onions and sauté until translucent.
  • Now add eggplant and stir fry on medium flame until eggplant is tender.
  • Add the black bean sauce, sugar, chili sauce, salt & pepper along with ½ cup of water. Let the sauce come to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Mix 2tsp water in cornstarch in a separate bowl and add it to the pan. Simmer for 2 minutes and serve hot with noodles or fried rice.


November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

This is a quick post with pics of the dishes I made for Thanksgiving dinner. It was quiet with just the 3 of us and I didn't want any leftovers since I'm going to have company today. I made stuffed Acorn Squash (inspired from DK's recipe), Mashed Potatoes & Stuffing. For dessert I made 2 servings of Mini Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake tarts (recipe adapted from here). Here are few photos, will post the recipes and more pics soon. I've to get the house cleaned up before my guests come over. See you soon. Hope all of you have a wonderful holiday weekend.


November 22, 2009

Baked Mini Chocolate Donuts

Ever since I discovered the wonderful world of food blogging and the many awesome home-cooks out there, my favorite thing to say is “I CAN make these at home!!” That’s also my favorite line to say to my husband who drools at all the baked goods at the grocery stores. Sometimes I say it to get him away from that section and sometimes I’ve already seen those being baked at one of the talented blogger site.

So in the pre-blogging days, if you had told me to make a donut at home, I would have said No way—José. But now, I’m a changed person—anything and everything can be made at home—ask those uber talented Daring Bakers group. I can never in my life muster courage to sign up for one of those.
Well coming back to the donut recipe on hand: I non-veganized a vegan recipe since I didn’t have non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (which is on my shopping list and I’m definitely going to buy very soon) and egg replacer (I tried to order this online, but I thought it was a pretty expensive investment when I can buy real eggs instead).

Recipe is from Vegetarian times by Lauren Uhm @ Vegan Yumyum. I bought the mini-donut pan from Amazon.

Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times
All-purpose flour – 1 cup
Sugar – ½ cup
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – ¼ cup
Baking Powder – 1½ tsp
Salt – ¼tsp
Soy milk – ½ cup
Unsweetened Chocolate chips – 1/3 cup
Non-hydrogenated vegan margarine – 4tbsp (I used unsalted butter, pls see my notes above)
Egg – 1 (or use 1½ tsp egg-replacer mixed with 2tsp water)
Vanilla extract – 1tsp

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat the mini-donut pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder & salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add soymilk, chocolate chips and margarine to a sauce pan and heat the mixture just until margarine and choc. chips melt. Let cool. Whisk in egg (or egg replacer mixture) and vanilla.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well to incorporate.
  • Fill the greased pan half full, bake for 12 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean. Remove on to a cooling rack and repeat with remaining batter.
This made 24 mini-donuts for me. My son snacked on a couple before glazing and during glazing (as you can see in the picture). I halved the recipe for glaze and still had plenty left over, so the next time I would may be just make ¼ of the recipe.

Here’s the recipe form V-times.
For the glaze:
Confectioners Sugar – 2 cups
Soymilk – 2tbsp
Vanilla extract – ½tsp

  • Add soymilk to confectioners sugar in a small saucepan; bring the mixture to a simmer while constantly stirring. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool for 5-10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  • Dip the tops of the donut in the glaze, twirl and let cool on cooling rack.
Enjoy these cute mini delights with your morning cup of joe or just snack on them, but I’m sure you won’t stop with just one.

November 19, 2009

Creamy Broccoli Soup in Bread Bowl

This recipe is adapted from Nupur’s Broccoli soup, my only addition is the extra carrot. Nupur’s original recipe here.

Broccoli florets – 3 cups (from a medium size head)
Carrot – 1 medium, peeled and chopped
Onion – 1 medium, chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
Butter – 2tbsp
Flour – 2tsp
Vegetable broth – 2 cups
Milk – 2 cups (I used 1%)
Sharp cheddar cheese – 1 cup grated
Nutmeg – ¼tsp freshly grated
Salt & Pepper – to taste

  • Microwave broccoli & carrot with ¼ cup water for 5-6 minutes or until the veggies are almost tender.
  • Heat butter in a medium size sauce pan; add onions and garlic; sauté until onions turn translucent.
  • Sprinkle flour on the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium-low flame until the flour doesn’t smell raw anymore.
  • Whisk in broth & milk; bring the mixture to a low simmer whisking occasionally.
  • Next add the par-cooked veggies and bring the mixture to a boil. Season with nutmeg, salt & pepper. Turn off the heat.
  • Blend the mixture to a smooth consistency either using an immersion blender or in a blender.
  • Return soup to the saucepan; stir in grated cheese. Serve hot.
I served mine in a sour dough bread bowl. I scooped the inside out of the bread, poured soup in, topped it with some cheese and broiled for couple of minutes so that the bread is toasted and cheese is melted and bubbly.


November 16, 2009

Vaishali's Applesauce Cake

I wanted to make this cake as soon as I saw it on Vaishali’s blog. I had all the ingredients on hand and as Vaishali points out applesauce turns bad pretty quick even in the fridge. I usually buy a big bottle of applesauce for my son, but he being a 2 year old, has his mood swings and would not touch it for days together. I was in that rut and this cake was a savior; AND it tastes so good. It is the different spices that Vaishali adds makes it very special.
I made it non-vegan with the addition of egg instead of egg-replacer. You can find the original recipe here.

The changes I made are: Added 1 extra large egg instead of egg-replacer. Used pecans instead of walnuts.

November 09, 2009

Pasta with Broccoli and Mozzarella in Red Pepper Sauce

I like to add veggies to my pasta dishes, so it makes for a complete meal. This is one of my favorite ways to have my pasta, sautéed veggies with lots of sauce. For this dish I decided to puree store bought roasted red peppers out of the jar with some roasted peanuts and almonds for a quick weeknight dinner. I also had some cherry mozzarella in the fridge that I put in the dish to make it creamy & cheesy.

Short cut pasta – 1lb. box, I used tri color rotelle pasta
Red Onion – 1 medium, chopped
Broccoli florets– 2 cups, chopped
Chickpeas - 1 16oz. can, drained & rinsed
Tomato – 1 medium, chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
Roasted red peppers – 4-5, drained
Roasted peanuts – 3tbsp
Almonds – 2tbsp
Red pepper flakes – 1tsp
Cherry size Mozzarella (Bocconcini or Ciliegine) – 8 oz. container, drained
Salt & Pepper – to taste

  • Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.
  • In a large sauté pan, add 2tbsp oil and sauté onions for 8-10 minutes or until translucent.
  • Add garlic and cook for another minute or until fragrant.
  • Next add broccoli; cover and cook till they are tender.
  • In the meantime, blend the roasted peppers, peanuts & almonds into a paste. I wanted some texture to the sauce, so I left the sauce a little coarse.
  • When the broccoli is almost cooked add the sauce along with tomato, chickpeas, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper. Simmer for 5-7 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Stir the pasta into the sauce along with mozzarella. Mix well and enjoy hot.

November 03, 2009

Paneer & Green Pepper in Creamy Sauce

When I was making this dish, I had a creamy restaurant style curry in my mind. As it turns out I didn’t have cream in the fridge, but I used the next best thing I had, mascarpone cheese. It made the dish creamy, light, mildly sweet and delicious.

Paneer – ½ cup, cubed
Green peppers – 2 medium, chopped
Carrot – 1 medium, chopped
Red onion – 1 medium, chopped
Tomato puree – 1/3 cup
Kasoori Methi – 2 tsp
Ginger+Garlic paste – ½ tsp
Milk – ½ cup
Mascarpone cheese – 2tbsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste

  • Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan, add onions and sauté till golden brown.
  • Add g+g paste and cook for another minute. Next add the veggies, cover and cook till completely cooked.
  • Add tomato puree, kasoori methi, red chili powder, garam masala & salt. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  • Next add milk while stirring continuously (otherwise milk might curdle) along with paneer & mascarpone cheese. Simmer for another 2 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with roti or fried rice.

This is my entry to JFI: Paneer being hosted by Trupti @ The Spice who loved me. JFI is the brainchild of Indira @ Mahanandi.



Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin
Blogging tips