My sister in law served up this beautiful Pumpkin soup as a part of her Christmas eve dinner and ever since I have been wanting to do something similar in my kitchen. Now I am a pumpkin lover, as a kid one of my favourite meal would be steamed rice with a pumpkin-potato mash and a dollop of butter. Even now I do indulge in such meals sometime while the boys cringe! Coming back to the pumpkin, soup is the only possible way I can make my 8 year old try it.
With minimum labour, it turned out to be stellar. Again the flavours are clean and easy and with a little prep ahead, it can be doled out in a jiffy. I used some leeks ,oregano and parsley for it to come together. My SIL puts loads of lemon grass, which goes pretty well too with pumpkin. Well then, a book and a warm blanket is all you need for some delicious me – time. More on me- time in my next post.
It was my 8 year olds first day in school after the winter vacay and I wanted to make sure something special waited for him when he got back. Of late he has gotten hooked on to the Masterchef series and has been picking up culinary jargons which of course makes his mama very pleased. I am also hoping this would broaden his eating horizon as well as he will overcome his fear to try out different things as and when . Now peanut butter is not something he would particularly enjoy but in the avatar of a cupcake with a gooey chocolate frosting , it will surely brighten up his day.
The initial idea was to make some cookies but then I came across this at Sallys Baking Addiction – a truly wonderful blog to follow if you are an avid baker. The recipe is loosely based on hers with my twist of the chocolate cream frosting which is very different from your usual ganache , but so delicious.
Sometimes its good to indulge in something without having any knowledge about the same. Being a food blogger, its assumed that we are this know-it-all breed when it comes to food, but that’s not really the case. We are passionate about food no doubt and leave no opportunity to learn about a new dish, a new cuisine, we are constantly learning , that’s who we are! The same happened to me when I got an invite to preview the Peruvian pop up at Swissotel. Armed with zero knowledge about the cuisine , I landed up at Café Swiss on a beautiful winter afternoon to sample some Peruvian food.The fact that I was meeting all my favourite people at the hotel was an added bonus.
The menu comprised of snacks, salads, soup along with the main courses and dessert. Peruvian cuisine is influenced by a variety of other mainstream cuisine and it does borrow from the cuisines brought in by its immigrants from parts of Europe, mainly Spanish and Italian , also Asian influence from Chinese and Japanese cuisine. The original menu has been created by Chef Erika Santa Maria of Swissotel, Lima but developed here by the very dedicated Chef Pranay of Café swiss along with his team.
We started our meal with a beautiful layered potato, avocado and chicken salad which Chef Pranay told me is always served at the start of a Peruvian meal. Subtly flavoured, it acts as a palate cleanser. We moved on to a few other entrees like Cebiche de Champignon – a pickled mushroom dish along with Cebiche de Pescado – lemon marinated fish served along with some corn and sweet potatoes. The success of this dish depends on the freshness of the fish and full marks to Chef for delivering something so wonderful. The little apprehensive me when served anything raw , went in for a second helping!
The Jalea Mixta – deep fried sea food and Antichichus de Pollo – Chicken skewers came in next, one could clearly see the Japanese influence. Crispy crunchy delight! Aji Amarillo – a kind of yellow pepper grown in Peru is at the heart of most of the dishes. The names may sound a bit alien but trust me once u taste these dishes , you will find so much similarity with the kind of food we eat. Many common ingredients but a different technique to use it, that’s the essence of food and how it binds everyone. The Aguadito de gallina – a hearty chicken soup with rice and potatoes flavoured with coriander was a comforting meal in itself.
The rest of the meal was equally delicious, simple and yet so nice.Pescado a la Chorillana – fish cooked with onion, tomatoes and oregano and Lomo Saltado – chicken cooked with onion tomatoes and soy sauce served on a bed of French fries! For the vegetarians – Pimentoes Rellenos con quinoa – Capsicum filled with quinoa layered potato , avocado is a great option.
Our Peruvian lunch ended with a lovely dessert platter which consisted of Arroz con leche – a rice dessert, definitely a twin of our very dear Paayesh. There was Crema Volteada Peruana – Crème caramel with quinoa and Maracuya cheese cake.
The Peruvian Pop up is the brain child of Mr. Marco Saxer , brilliantly executed by his team here. The food is new and delicious and definitely worth a try. It is on for a week from today and dishes are available on a la carte basis. Thank you Team Swiss on behalf of Kolkata Food Bloggers for this experience.
I came back from my winter vacation to a pleasant Kolkata. Cant say it really feels like winter here but the nip in the air kind of makes up for it. And this kind of weather calls for hot broths – fuss free but delicious. Our favourite Chinese joint , a discreet watering hole tucked away in the lanes of Tangra – China town of Kolkata make a mean chicken , mushroom soup, more a broth I would say. Clean flavours , nothing fancy but soul satisfying . I can survive on bowls of steaming hot soups every winter night , but since its not feasible to source it from outside all the time , I make my own. It just needs a little prep ahead, like you make the stock,store the veggies and you are good to go in a jiffy.
Just go with your instinct I say when it comes to seasoning your broth. The simpler flavours you go for, the tastier the soup. Like in this one I just seasoned the stock with garlic, ginger and pepper. Toss together some veggies and boiled chicken in a pan, simmer with the stock and it is ready. Totally a soul satisfying experience.
I will begin with wishing all my readers a very happy new year. A new year , a new hope, a new chance , same dreams but a fresh start. A new year with loads of love and happiness and good food of course. Last year wasn’t really how I wanted to focus on this blog of mine. Something that started as a hobby , as a passion but helped me achieve so much recognition and knowledge. I want 2016 to be the year of My Food My Life , where I can take a few plunges that I have been thinking of for a while now. Cooking and sharing continues for sure in and keeping with the tradition sharing this super recipe of Cherry Cheese Chocolate Cake . It was an experiment gone right and I am so happy to share it here.