Sunday, February 28, 2010

BBQ Meatballs and Mac & Cheese

I found these recipes this week from that Pioneer Woman's blog. Andrew likes anything bbq and i like any pasta, so I thought it would be a perfect dinner for us. 

These two dishes are simple but time consuming, at least I think they are. I made the meatball first because they needed to be baked for 45 mins, and during the baking time, I could make the mac & cheese.

I too tried to take all the ingredients out first, (I don't usually do it, but for the photography purpose, I did this time, and surprisingly, J C did too!). The meatball recipe calls for instant oat, which I don't have, so I used cooked rice instead (just like every time I substitute it when I used meatloaf hehe). 

I mixed ground beef, onion, milk, rice, black pepper, and salt together. 
Then I rolled them into balls! I did learn a trick from the Pioneer Woman, put the meatballs in the freezer for about 5 mins, I think it made the balls firm, easier for the next step, which is dredging them in flour. 

Then I browned the balls in a pan. 

While they were being cooked in the pan, I quickly fixed the sauce. Mix ketchup, vinegar, sugar, more onion, and my favorite, Worcestershire sauce (yummm), oh some Tabasco too. I put the browned meatballs (not fully cooked yet) in a baking dish, poured the sauce on top, popped it in the oven for 45 mins, and tada!

So, while the meatballs were in the oven, I started to make the mac & cheese (yay for multi-tasking!)

Cooked the Elbows pasta until it was just a bit too hard to eat (that's what it says in the recipe), then drained. Then I failed while I was making the sauce. I followed the instruction, melted some butter, and whisked in some flour, however, my pot wasn't hot enough to cook the flour what it supposed to be, (it is a very important step, but I failed, so the mac & cheese was doughy). 

Then I added milk, dry mustard, cheese, salt, and pepper. Then added elbows. Done, you could put it in a baking dish and sprinkle more cheese on top, then put in oven until the cheese melted, but I didn't have more cheese, so I just ate it as it was. 

Then I cheated, bought some bag-steam veggie as side dish. And there you go, my dinner :D

House Salad

I woke up this morning still high from my cooking success last night. Since I was away on business the whole last week, my food choices weren't so great. I ate out practically three times a day and since it was the South, I don't think any of them were even remotely healthy. So now that i am back I decided to make something healthy, so being the unoriginal person that i am , i decided to make a.......Salad. hahahah. But hey hey it was a great salad. Not your typical lettuce, tomato cucumber and call it a day salad. This one was loaded.

So as far as recipe, I don't think anyone needs special intructions..its your basic chop and mix.

Here's whats in J's House Salad. Lettuce, Tomato, Cucumber. Avocado, Apples, Cranberries, Roasted pecans ( I roasted them) and Parmesan peppercorn cheese wedges. Topped it all with some raspberry vinaigrette dressing. I made some garlic pasta with shrimp on the side. That was an easy recipe. Just cook the pasta and shrimp. Then saute them in a pan with garlic and butter. And Voilaaa there's my lite Sunday Brunch.

The pics did not do justice this time. I think i was just in a hurry to eat that i really didn't spent time taking the pics. heheh It was actually a greatttt salad. My mom- the anything but spicy Indian is crap critic actually loved it.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chappathi and Motta - My first Everest!

I don't where it came from or how but I got an inspiration this evening to cook. And not just to cook but to cook something i have never cooked before or have the recipe too. It's an Indian dish, typically eaten for breakfast although it is spicy -but hey that's how we do it. So today with an unknown source of inspiration and confidence I headed in to the kitchen with a smile and a camera and made the ever so popular Chappathi and Motta Curry ( Wheat flat bread/tortilla and Egg Curry) I have eaten this countless times in my life before, but never cooked it but I figured I can wing it. So here is my version of breakfast for dinner.

Although I cooked the Chappathi and egg somewhat simultaneously, for the sake of a chronological order I am going to post the Chappathi first and then the egg.

So for the Chappathi, it is wise to get all the ingredients first, otherwise you'll be running back and forth trying to get things and getting flour all over the place.
Get Wheat Flour, Yogurt, Salt and Oil this. Rose Bush is optional.
Add the yogurt and salt to the flour and knead well. Knead knead knead, otherwise your chappathis wont be soft. Once you have kneaded it in to a ball, leave it aside for 20 minutes.(*hint- good time to start the egg curry).
After the wait, make them into lime sized balls. Notice the flour on the left side.. use flour on your hand and the ball to avoid sticking.

Now use a rolling pin or a chappathi maker to flatten the balls in to 6- 8 inch in diameter thin flat bread. Now place it in a hot pan and cook it for 2 minutes on each side. Typically they are a perfect circle, but since i am not perfect I am not holding my Chappathis to that standard either ;)

There You are done with the Chappathis. Now to the EGG ROAST.

Cut up some onions ( red or white - i like both so i used both), a little bit of ginger and garlic and of course curry leaves.
No heat up some oil in a Wok, yes i did say a Wok- we use it too and you know what we call it China Chatti (Chatti = any type of pan or vessel to cook in). Now add all the ingredients mentioned above to the wok and stir. Typically I believe you add the masala first then you add the onions but hey I forgot.

Now to the masala. I added chilli , turmeric, cumin and coriander powder. Honestly I had no clue what to add, I guess since a masala isnt standardized you could basically add any spice you want. This is what i used and the end result was pretty good. For some reason I also added some cardamoms to it - I like the sweet flavor it brings to dishes.
Now take your hard boiled eggs( oh yea boil some eggs) and give them a cut in the middle, dont split them open..just a cut so that the masala can get in.

Now mix everything together and turn down the heat. Place a lid on it and let it cook in low heat for a while..We need them onions to cook.
And we are done!!! And here is my baby!! My Chappathi and Motta Curry.
I garnished the curry with some cilantro ( always a good idea for currys esp beef) and the yellow thing on the side is White lemon pickle (that's a post in itself).

The sense of accomplishment and pride I feel as I am finishing this blog is overwhelming. Chappathi and Motta was my first Everest!! Here's to more Everests down the line.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Shrimp Biriyani/Oven Baked Shrimp rice

Hi All..This is what I made over the weekend..I ll post the recipe soon!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Feb 21, 2010 Simple Chinese Dinner

I cook simple Chinese last night for dinner. I stir-fried "I-don't-know-how-to-call-it-in-English" veggie Chrysanthemum Coronarium with beef and spam-n-egg.

First, I marinated the beef with soy sauce for about an hour. Then put some chopped garlic in a wok with very hot oil.

Then added beef, stir-fried it until 90% done. 

Lastly, added that veggie, stir-fried about couple minutes until it turned color and it's done!

Next is spam-n-egg. Cubed a can of spam, pan-fried them for couple minutes. 

While it's been cooking, beat 4 eggs with tiny bit of salt(don't put too much because spam is already salty). 

Stir in eggs with spam, cook until egg is done. Because it's salty, it goes well with white rice! Super simple recipes!!!

First Weekend!

So its half way through Sunday and i haven't seen a new post. Is our first weekend going to be a bust??? I did not cook or even go near a kitchen this weekend, but that didn't mean i didn't enjoy some quality food this weekend.
My mom has a huge family, 4 brother and 4 sisters. One sister is in India, the other three are here. They were all here visiting this weekend which is very rare - they are all scattered in CT, NY and TX. So the kitchen was getting some good usage. All four of them together whipped up a classic Kerala dish. Yucca with Oxtail. It's a dish with softly cooked yucca ( cassava, tapioca whatever you want to call it) mixed and mashed in with very well cooked Oxtail Curry.

I was so busy this weekend that unfortunately i didn't get a chance to take pics. I figured i could always take once our guests were gone, but it was so good that they finished most of it. Everybody was pleased and had only good things to say about the dish. I'm hoping my aunts have transferred the recipe to my mom and one day she will remake it. I'll post the recipe and pics then.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Moving on to a New Phase!

Hi Partners...How are you both doing? I left Shick with a heavy heart today. Now I know, how hard it would hve been for u Phebz, when u left. Thank u Jewlz for the chocolates & card..U made me cry..I will MISS having lunch with u from next week on. Let us know all details abt ur Mr. Godfearing next week;)..Have a great weekend prtners and post some recipes!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hi Yo Partners

I am so excited about this blog too..I can't wait to post my simple and easy recipes:)..Moreover I am happy that I get to keep in touch with ma looser amigos..Love u guys!!

Its 12 o'clock and i am ready for cubicle lunch! :)

Hello my Cubicle lunch partners! So excited we decided to do this thing. For so long we had lunch together in our messy cubicle and from now on i guess this is where we meet for lunch. In any case as we all embark on new chapters in our lives, i am very happy and thankful that i have my two bestest friends Brownie and Flan and i am very very happy that we are doing this together.

Bon Appetit!!!

We are going to have so much fun!!!