Mango flavored Chocolate Cream Cheese Tarts:

Mangoes are in season, and what better way than to make the most of it; than to have a mango flavored tart… 🙂 . Here is a recipe that is simple and easy to make.. The chocolate and cream cheese mix off set the crispness of the tart; while the mango lends a distinct flavor making this a heavenly little dessert… Take a look..

All that goes in: _ATP6526

For the Tart Shells: I used

  • 200 gms of All purpose flour
  • 100 gms of butter
  • 50 ml of cold water

Makes around 15-18 small/medium tart shells

For the filling: 6-8 shells depending on size of the shells (I used the ingredients more like a guideline than a real recipe; so do feel free to change the proportions to how you would like your filling to taste.. there aren’t any hard and fast rules to this.. 🙂 )

  • 50 gms – cream cheese (unsalted)
  • 50-60 gms of white chocolate
  • 3-5 tbsps – fresh mango puree
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional depending on how sweet your mix is)

_ATP6527Making the filling: using a hand blender, whip up the cream cheese, making it light and airy… Add the melted chocolate in & mix well using a wooden spoon… Then add the mango and sugar and mix lightly till all the elements are nicely combined… (Don’t over mix or you could knock back the air that would have incorporated earlier)

Pour into the tart shells and let the mixture set.. Prep the shells around 15-20 minutes before you are ready to serve.

Serving suggestions: Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and bite right in!!

p.s: As you can see I’ve  unsuccessfully piped out the whipped cream into a squiggly swirly pile; not very pretty i know…  😦 …but…  what the heck it was soo much fun and ofcourse tasted so good that in the end it was all worth it!

TARTS, PIES AND MORE!!

Off late, I’ve been fascinated with making short-crust pastry… It’s so versatile that there is no limit to all that you can do with some great tart shells…

My earliest memories of any kind of pie making, were that of my grand-mother; bringing the butter and flour together with her nimble fingers and turning out this most light, flaky pie crust… Pure Heavennn….

And so, I finally got down to making mine… With lots of help from a Gordon Ramsay Youtube tutorial this one turned out superbly the 1st time round and the next couple of times that I tried making it…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1siW_wm9TnA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8hMr3bxM1I

Now that I feel a little more confident, I am going to dedicate the next few recipes to celebrate just how versatile a short-crust pastry is…

Filling these mini bites with something sweet or savory is a great way have fun and re-invent the taste experience every time!!

TUNA & EGG SALAD SANDWICH

It’s a Sunday!!!! And we’re trying to balance the effects of over eating last night by settling down to eat a nice, light sandwich 🙂 … The greens add freshness and the tuna & egg up the proteins, making it nice and filling…

Try this simple recipe with all but a few things!!!_ATP6476

All that goes in:

  • 2 Slices of bread to make a sandwich (Toasted – I used regular white bread, but you could use just about any bread you like)
  • Canned Tuna (All the way from Goa – A Costas Tinned Tuna can)
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 green olives – sliced
  • 2-3 tomato slices
  • 1 large lettuce leaf
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Tomato Sauce/ Tabasco
  • Cheese Spread/Butter/Mayo – whatever you like to spread onto your toast

Putting it all together: _ATP6476A

Fire up a frying pan, put some oil and put in the egg. If you like the yolk runny then don’t flip it over… I flipped it over to let the yolk cook through… Keep aside…

Now for the Sandwich; there isn’t really any method to this… just slather the cheese spread/mayo onto to toast, and begin piling all the goodies on…

Begin with the lettuce, then the egg… Add the tomato slices… add a little salt and pepper as you build up the layers, and then the tuna and olives… Add a little sauce – tomato/tabasco…

And that’s just about it…Dig in and let the textures of this great salad sandwich take over!!

GINGER-LEMON MINT TEA FRUSICLE!!

Hi there… I am posting this in the morning, cause i thought, Subeh ki chai mein kuch thandak ho jaye!!… This one is really simple… And all you need is literally 3 ingredients to put it together…. It’s so fresh and light, that it truly cools things down on a hot morning!

All that goes in:_ATP6487

  • Ready Lemon Ice Tea Pre-mix
  • Ginger juice – freshly pressed
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint, coarsely chopped
  • Water

Implements:

  • Silicon moulds / plastic tea containers
  • Ice cream sticks

Prepping the Frusicles: Add the pre-mix to the water… Feel free to increase or decrease the ratio of pre-mix to water, depending on how sweet you like it… (I’d recommend making it slightly sweeter than you prefer it, as once this chills, it seems a tad less sweet)

_ATP6489Add the ginger juice and mint leaves.. I liked the spice that the ginger lends to the overall flavor so I added a little more juice…

Pour the liquid into your moulds, cover with cling wrap or aluminium foil and push a candy stick through…

Freeze for a minimum of 4-6 hours, or till it fully hardens

Enjoy your morning cooler!!

SPICED STRAWBERRY BANANA COOKIE FRUSICLE

I love how banana and strawberry come together to create a great flavor combination… Add a little cinnamon to it and it becomes even more special…And don’t stop just yet… Add some Choco chip cookie bits, and your’re in frusicle heaven… 🙂

Great way to add a twist to the dessert you serve up your guests!!! Take a look at these super tasty; but really yum fun dessert pops! _ATP6493

All that goes in:

  • Ripened bananas
  • Fresh strawberry pulp
  • Enough Cinnamon powder to lend a distinct taste to an already strong flavored banana-strawberry mix
  • Condensed milk as a sweetener
  • Yoghurt – ( I added the condensed milk & yoghurt in equal proportions)
  • Choco chip cookie bits (Coarsely crushed)

Implements:

  • Silicon moulds / plastic tea containers
  • Ice cream sticks

Prepping the Frusicles :  Put all the ingredients into the blender and blend into a nice gooey mix… Taste… add a little more condensed milk if you find the mixture too tart…  but there isn’t really any proportion to follow here… Just as long as it tastes good!! 🙂

Pour s_ATP6493Aome of the mixture into the moulds (upto ¾ the limit), add a layer of the biscuit and then add some more of the mixture. Continue adding layers in a similar manner finishing with the mixture on top… cover with cling wrap or  foil and push a candy stick through…

Freeze for a minimum of 4-6 hours, or till it fully hardens..Cut off the plastic containers before you are ready to eat these Dessert pops.

Serving suggestions: Would make a great combination with toasted Marshmallows…

WATERMELON MOJITO FRUSICLE!!!

It’s hot, yeah… and instead of grabbing a chilled beer, you could consider this great mocktail frusicle… With watermelons being in season, this is as fresh as it gets peeps… 🙂 _ATP6484A

All that goes in:

  • Fresh Watermelon juice
  • White rum – as strong as you want it to be 😉
  • Fresh Mint leaves coarsely chopped
  • Some sugar/honey (should the juice be a tad bland)
  • Lemon barley water around less that ¼ the total juice mixture
  • A pinch of salt

Implements:

  • Plastic cups/ moulds
  • Candy sticks

_ATP6484Prepping the Frusicles:  Put all the ingredients into the blender and blend till smooth… Pour the mixture into the moulds equally. Cover with cling wrap or foil and push a candy stick through…

Freeze for a minimum of 4-6 hours, or till it fully hardens..

Serving suggestions: Great way to welcome your guests with this Popsicle :)…

BEAT THE HEAT WITH FRUSICLES THIS SUMMER!!!

With the temperatures soaring its time to cool things down…, and what better way to do so than eat a Popsicle!

In my next couple of posts, I will be putting together some lip smacking flavor combinations; with fresh fruits, yoghurt and even some alcohol!!

Picture1

Also what’s better is that there really aren’t any proportions to these recipes… you can chop and change the ingredients, and quantities depending on what everyone likes and the number of people you are catering for….

So slurp away with your kids, or share a grown up yet fun mocktail with your friends, or serve this up as a delicious dessert twist!!

EGGS IN A BASKET AND SAUTEED GREENS

As the lazy week end extended itself to Monday, we decided to make the most of the short Goa vacay; by treating ourselves to an elaborate eggs and bacon brunch…I decided to add a few twists to ensure that we got a fair helping of delicious veggies, keeping it simple (as I didn’t really want to over-work my self :P)

All that goes in:_ATP6458

Eggs in a Basket:

– Eggs (as many needed for those eating)

– Capsicum (Ensure you take a medium sized capsicum, de-seed it, cutting off the stem and making a basket big enough to house a sin
gle egg)

– Salt & pepper to taste

– Cheese optional

Sauteed veggies:

– 1 large onion (Cut into slightly thickish rings)

– 1 Broccoli (Cut into large florets and blanched)

– Salt and Pepper to Taste

– 1 Tsp of Butter (I used the bacon fat, that added the extra flavor)

Other Accompaniments:

– Toast

– Fried Bacon and Ham

Prepping and cooking the Eggs: Heat a non-stick deep-dish pan with the cover on it… (this will create a oven like pre-heat effect that will help the egg to cook faster)…

Take the capsicum and make a small hole at the base in the center.. (to allow the heat to travel into the capsicum and cook the egg through, while ensuring that not too much of the egg runs out from under).. Also you may want to slice a tad bit off the base of its stubs so that it will sit easily in the pan without falling over….

_ATP6459After the pan is heated for about 2-3 minutes, put in the capsicum and put the lid back on… Allowing it to steam for another few minutes.. Then crack open the egg into the basket).. add salt and pepper… even chilly flakes if you like..

Cover and allow the egg to cook through (the color of the transparent liquid will change and you won’t be able to really see the yolk….Keep on sim as you don’t want the capsicum to burn before the egg cooks…

Now depending on how you like your eggs you may choose to serve them up at this stage itself… they tend to be par boiled .. which is nice if you like the yolk nice and gooey… J

My family though prefers their eggs well done.. So once the egg had firmed up on top, I turned it over, allowing it to cook till the yolk was done…

Flip over and grate a little cheese for the added flavor….

Sauteed veggies: Add bacon fat/butter to a frying pan… toss in the veggies and add the seasoning… I also added the some capsicum rings from the baskets instead of just chucking them… .cook till the onions are translucent and the other veggies are soft…

Serving suggestions: Serve hot, with crispy bacon and fried ham…

As we take in the sun, sand and surf all we’d like to say is Bon appetite !! 🙂

LEMONY-MINT CHICKEN SATAY

With all this World Cup frenzy, some finger food toh banta hai… and what better way to celebrate a victory with some lip smacking chicken… 🙂

I tried a simple recipe and threw in some very basic ingredients…..I guarantee ( for the guys especially), that this one is a easy fix that takes only a couple of minutes to put together..but with match winning results !! 🙂  Take a look..

All that goes in_ATP6252 (1):

– 250 gms of breast boneless chicken

– Handful of chopped mint (pudina)

– 1/2 tsp of green chilli sauce

– 1 tsp of fresh ground black pepper

– 1 tsp of ginger-garlic paste

– 1/2 tsp of salt

– Dash of Soy

– 1/2 tsp of Green chilly sauce

– 1 tsp of oil

– 1/2 tsp of cornflour

– Juice of 1/2 lemon (medium size); I also added a few tsps of orange juice (fresh)

– Satay skewers

Prepping the chicken: Cut the breast into slivers and use a meat mallet to tenderize and flatten out the pieces… (make sure the slivers are about the size of meat you get when you order a satay at a restaurant)..

Mix all the ingredients and apply onto the chicken… Let this rest for about 30-40 mins; allowing the chicken to absorb all the lovely juices…

Cooking the chicken: Give yourself a 1/2 an hour heads up before you’d like to eat the chicken… thread the chicken strips onto the skewers… heat up a non-stick frying pan on the side… and put in the skewers… cover and allow to cook…for about 2 mins… turn over and allow to cook for another 3-4 minutes..  (The meat takes very little time to cook given that it has been tenderized and the soy inclusion further aids the cooking process… the idea is to retain the moistness without drying it out… )_ATP6252A

Don’t worry about the water residue in the pan… drizzle a little cornflour to mop it… turn up the heat a little, while you allow the mixture to thicken… (you need to work quickly here, while ensuring that the pieces are nicely coated with the slightly browned mixture…but be careful as the cornflour mixture is likely to burn and dry out the chicken in the process….)

Serving suggestions: Serve hot with ketchup or any other hot sauce you have at home… Or add some boiled veggies on the side and turn it into a mini-meal… Enjoy!!!

CRUMB COATED HERBED CHICKEN

A packed house, and a family wedding kept me rather busy over the last couple of weeks….But more importantly, the heavy, only veggie/paneer packed wedding food meant a justifiable, uncontrollable Non-Veg craving!!

So i cooked up a simple recipe that is full of flavor, and ensured it gave me the required protein kick 😉

All that goes in:Food0002 18

– 450 gms chicken – cut into large pieces

– 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

– 1 sprig of rosemary

– 1 tbsp of dried, ground basil

– 3/4 tsp of freshly ground pepper

– 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

– 1 1/2 tsp salt

– 1 tbsp oil

– bread crumbs (un-toasted) to coat the chicken

Prepping the chicken: Make slits in the chicken pieces… using a meat mallet, gently tenderize the meat.. Add all spices, salt, oil & herbs to the chicken.. rub well, and fill into the slits… let this sit for about 30-40 mins.. this would allow the chicken to be properly marinated, ensuring the flavour seeps in nicely…

Food0002 24Cooking the chicken: season the bread crumbs with a little salt/pepper & some cinnamon….

Heat a non-stick frying pan… add a few drops of oil… coat the chicken with the bread crumbs and add to the pan… cover and allow each side to brown nicely; while the chicken inside cooks through… this should take around 7-10 mins.. uncover and allow each side to crispen slightly before you turn off the heat…

Serving suggestions: serve on a big bed of rice or with a large helping of salad and a dash of lime!