Saturday, August 28, 2010

Egg Bhurji: Breaking Kids into Indian Food

Hmm. Hello. 

Today. Today, I have nothing to say. 
Today is a day like any other day... 
but I have, to offer, nothing gourmet. 
Today we practiced, over and over, 
rhymes and rhymes, 
like food and mood and dude and rude 
and it was okay, 
sitting on the parquet, 
dreaming of soufflé or a fun flambé.
But nothing to offer gourmet.

Egg Bhurji is something I remember from my childhood. I remember it from my grandmother's kitchen and my mother's kitchen. Funny how that grandmother is not my mother's mother. Anyway, I'm passing it on today. Because you're worth it, like L'Oréal. 

You'll need:
(Adapted from my mommy.)
1 medium onion
2 small tomatoes or 1 large tomato
2 tablespoons of ghee or butter (You could use vegetable oil, just not olive oil please.)
1 handful of frozen peas
2 green chillies (I didn't include it this time because of the kids but I urge you to do it if you can handle it. You could also use some chili powder for some extra heat.)
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
1/4 cup of milk
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh coriander, to garnish (I didn't have any at home. You can choose to eliminate it.)
Chop your onions, chillies and tomatoes up. Yes, I know you can't see the tomatoes on top but use your imagination until I show you.
There we go. Tomatoes and onions. Let them sweat then add your peas, turmeric and coriander powder (as well as the chili and garam masala if you're using them. No fresh chili for me this time. Cry.) 
But I was sneaky enough to add in some red pepper flakes. Muahahaha!

Pour the egg mix in, scramble and let it set according to your preference and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve, preferably with a flat bread. Happy kids every time. Happy adults every time. Who says no to Happy? (Btw, this is a great idea for Sohour, in case any of you are fasting during Ramadan.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chocolate Cake better known as: "Finished Already"

We are split into 2 camps in this house. The chocolate camp and the vanilla camp. Lately, the chocolate camp has been complaining of unjust treatment. The chocolate camp claims that the vanilla camp isn't doing its part to make chocolate fit in. It's claiming that we're hoarding all things vanilla and not stocking up on anything chocolate. "What if there's a chocolate surplus in the world and people need a recipe?" they ask. "What if you're the only one whose blog doesn't have much chocolate in it?" they ask. They play on guilt. They play with me and I take it. Why? Because I secretly like chocolate too. Just don't tell them or we won't be 2 camps anymore. 
You'll need:
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 cup of low-fat yoghurt
1/2 cup of milk
1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1.5 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 cups of cocoa powder (If you're using Dutch processed, keep the recipe as is. If not, eliminate the baking powder and up the baking soda to 1/2 a teaspoon.)
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Broken up chocolate bits to scatter on top (70% cocoa dark chocolate is the way to go on this.)
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Butter and lightly flour a loaf pan. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat well, then the milk, yoghurt and vanilla. Don’t worry if the batter looks a little uneven. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together right into your wet ingredients. Stir together with a spoon until well-blended but do not overmix. Scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spread out your broken chocolate bits onto the top to get that amazingly uneven, melty texture. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. It might take a little longer. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 to 15 minutes, at which point you can cool it the rest of the way out of the pan. 

At this moment, a little one in the house starts screaming, "Look, it'th not cake! It'th frosssteen!" We're trying to work on pronouncing things more beautifully, the way a "Princess" would. Shoot me. (By the way, turns out princesses get annoyed when they find out it's not frosting.)
This evaporated into thin air. As you finish this post, there will be no more of this cake in this world. Until you make it.  
Piece of cake?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rosemary Bread: A Letter to a Craving

Dear "Italian" Herb Bread for I know no other fancy name,
I don't like it when you bribe me into eating you at Italian restaurants. I've promised myself countless times that I won't touch you again because you're free and things that come for free aren't as great as people make them out to be. I promised myself again that I wouldn't touch you because my life is not lacking in carbs. The best things in life are NOT free and you being free makes me just a little teeny tiny bit suspicious of you (not to mention, fat). I won't fall for it when you're aiming at my hips again. But you know what, I've missed you. I haven't seen you around lately and the longing got... long... so I decided to bring you home in the shape of flour and rosemary and dress you up until you become yourself again: hot, soft and loving my hips. I'm so sorry I can't eat you right now. You see, I'm fasting and I won't be able to take a bite of you for another 3 hours and a half. But the kids did so don't be sad. Alas, I have a feeling you'll be gone before I get to try you since we have little people who have just discovered balsamic vinegar. I know it means the world to you to have me eat you since I'm the one who nurtured you into adulthood but I want you to know that I'm so proud of your beautiful crust. They way you sound when I knock on you is just the way it should be and I won't even talk about your color because people might think I'm racist. 
Love you lots,
Fasting Foodie
You'll need: 
(Thank you, Emily at OneLovelyLife for 
a relatively quick and super easy recipe)
3/4 cup of warm water
1/2 cup of warm milk
2 teaspoons of yeast
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary 
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of salt, plus extra for sprinkling
3 cups of flour
A spray bottle full of water

You'll need the things above to make this thing below. But, the things above are not all you need. No, no. 'Tis not that easy. Read on. Read on. Reaaad on. [Insert Depeche Mode's Dream On tune.]
Combine water, milk, sugar and yeast and let it bubble for around 5 minutes. Add your olive oil, rosemary, garlic powder and salt and stir to combine. Add the flour half a cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Your dough should be relatively sticky. Turn your sticky-ish dough onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Put your dough in a greased bowl and cover it with cling wrap. Let the dough rise for an hour or until it's doubled in size. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Form each half into a ball and place them on a pizza stone or cookie sheet. Slash the top of the dough ball. You can slash an X into it or diagonal slits. You decide. It's your bread. Cover and allow to rise for another half an hour. Bake at 220 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Spritz inside the oven every 3-4 minutes with the water spray bottle. Allow to cool then slice and serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Pretend it has a fancy name. It's more fun that way. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Oaty-Cherry Crumble

"All the world in one grain of sand
And I've blown it
All my world in one grain of sand
And you own it
Black cherry, black cherry, stone
Black cherry, black cherry"
-Black Cherry, Goldfrapp

LADIES (And MEN who like to cook or eat or have a strange obsession with food photos)! How about we pretend that the Internet is the world, nothing else exists, and we all get along just like we do online? How about we pretend we never had to find out how babies come out of mommies' bodies? How about we pretend we were never asked that question as adults ever? How about we pretend to be a little healthy and add cherries and oats to the two evils: flour and butter? How about it, ladies (and men who fit into the long descriptive phrase above)? Play pretend with me.
Pretty cherries. Yummy cherries.
Pop your cherries. Or rather, pit your cherries. Pamper them by drizzling them with some vanilla and water.
Crush the almonds. I spared them the torture of skinning them. So kind of me.
Mix your dry ingredients together in a small bowl and mix in the butter with your fingers. I love the feeling. I wouldn't use a mixer to do this EVER. It's so pointless even if you're making a bigger quantity.
Pop it in the oven for 25 minutes. It starts oozing pretty colored juice (that's not so pretty once it stains). 
Oh look at that. No, no. Not the water on the tray. Look at the edges. Look at the natural gooeyness of it all. Revel in it.
Eat! I get happy when I make something I can't say "pig out" to. It makes you feel that little extra better about yourself. Extra points if you eat it with yoghurt! 

You'll need (per bowl/ramekin):
5 to 7 pitted cherries
1 heaped tablespoon of all purpose flour
5-7 crushed almonds
1.5 tablespoons of rolled oats
1.5 tablespoons of brown sugar
A pinch of salt
1 tsp of water
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 tablespoon of cold butter
Extra butter/oil for greasing

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Grease each bowl or ramekin. I didn't have enough cherries to fill my bigger ramekins. Throw in your cherries into the serving/baking dish. Combine all your dry ingredients and mix them. Add the cold butter and mix it into the dry ingredients. It'll stick to everything and become... crumbly! Add the dry, buttery mixture to the cherries and bake for 20-25 minutes. Like I said earlier, extra points for yoghurt. Penalties for ice cream. We're trying to pretend we're good to our bodies, remember? 
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