Chicken and Mushroom in Sour Cream sauce

Winter holidays are just about to start and for me that means a lot of extra effort to keep my 11 yr old busy. This year since we are not travelling anywhere, i intend to experience this city like i did as a child. So that would essentially include visit to the planetarium, Victoria Memorial, the Birla Musuem and of course a lot of eating out! We are chalking out an itenerary so that we can make the most of these holidays and create some wonderful memories. What is life afterall, just a beautiful collage of memories. Todays recipe also has a dose of memory in it. Its my take on my grandmothers soul satisfying Chicken Soup. A very simple recipe that used to be our staple evening snack while growing up. She simply used to boil a whole country chicken with some salt and pepper. Then drain the stock, Saute some chopped onion and garlic and ginger in butter, add the stock, season and serve with a slice of toast. While I do make that soup a lot too, this experiment also turned out great. Mushrooms are abundant now all year round so that adds a lovely texture to the dish. Since it was made for lunch, served it with some spring onion herbed rice.

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Chicken and Mushroom in Sour Cream sauce
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Continental
 
Ingredients
  • Chicken breast/leg pieces - 2 large pieces - cut into smaller pieces
  • Button mushrooms - 1 small box - cut into halves
  • Onion - 1 large - chooped
  • Garlic - few pods- crushed
  • Flour - 1 tbsp
  • Chicken Stock - 2 cups
  • Sour cream - 1 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter - 2 tbsp
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Instructions
  1. Marinate the chicken with some garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil and butter in a pan.
  3. Pan fry the chicken pieces till slightly brown.
  4. Remove from pan and keep aside.
  5. In the same pan, add the onion and some crushed garlic.
  6. Saute till lightly browned.
  7. Add mushrooms, fry till done.
  8. Add flour and stock.
  9. Add the pan fried chicken pieces.
  10. Add seasonings.
  11. Whisk in the sour cream.
  12. Let the gravy simmer. Remove as it thickens.
  13. Serve with rice or bread.
 

Chili Garlic Fish along with some pickled vegetables

In my quest to make easy but delicious everyday meals I have been making a lot of Indo Chinese dishes. Today on the menu was some Chili Fish, that i served with some steamed long grain rice and pickled vegetables. The markets are filled with fresh green vegetables and this is the best time to indulge in the goodness of these greens.

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My choice of fish was basa but any boneless fish fillet would work fine I reckon. Feel free to add some peppers to the gravy if u wish to, it enhances the taste.

For pickled vegetables, cut carrots and cucumber in thin strips. Make a mixture of vinegar, salt, sugar and tabasco. You can add some chopped red chilies for heat. Soak the cucumber and carrot strips in this mixture for an hour and serve with the fish. Can easily be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Chili Garlic Fish along with some pickled vegetables
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Chinese
 
Chinese Fish curry
Ingredients
  • Basa fillets - 8-10 nos
  • Onion - 1 large finely chopped
  • Garlic - 8to10 pods - crushed
  • Spring onion -a handful chopped
  • Ginger paste - 1 tsp
  • Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
  • 'Vinegar - 1 tsp
  • Red chilli sauce - 1 tbsp
  • Veg stock/warm water - 1 cup
  • Green chilies- a few - chopped
  • Corn flour - 1 tbsp mixed with little water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sugar - a pinch
  • Oil - 1 tsp
Instructions
  1. Marinate the fish fillets with a tsp of soy sauce, salt, pepper and a tsp of corn flour.
  2. Pan fry till cooked and keep aside.
  3. Preparing the gravy:
  4. Heat oil in a non stick pan.
  5. Add garlic and ginger paste.
  6. Next add the chopped oinions and saute till browned on low heat.
  7. Add soy sauce, vinegar, red chilli sauce, salt, pepper and sugar.
  8. Add a cup of stock/water and let the gravy simmer.
  9. Add the spring onion and chilies.Check for seasoning.
  10. Add the fish fillets to the gravy.
  11. Lastly add the cornflour slurry amd remove from heat as the sauce thickens.
  12. Serve with rice.
 

Caprese Salad – A plate of sunshine on cold winter days

If there is one thing I really miss here in Kolkata, that would be availability of a variety of Cheese. You know the kind of Cheese shops you find when u travel abroad, where you go bonkers looking at the range, you dont even know what half of them are, those kinds! However things are getting a little better and you do find a decent variety nowadays at the supermarkets. I was pleasantly surprised with the range of cheese available at Big Basket, was a bit unsure of the taste and quality but nevertheless ordered a box of Boconcini. And I was not disappointed.

My first thought was to make a fresh Caprese Salad and I went with that.

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Caprese Salad - A plate of sunshine on cold winter days
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
 
Fresh Salad with Tomato and cheese
Ingredients
  • Tomatoes - 4 large - thinly sliced
  • Boconcini cheese - a box of it - say around 10-12 balls
  • Basil leaves - a handful
  • Fresh lettuce - a bunch
  • For the dressing:
  • Extra virgin olive oil - 3 tbsp
  • Honey - 1 tbsp
  • Crushed garlic - 2 pods
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Lay the lettuce and tomato on a plate.
  2. Tear the cheese roughly and put on top. Add the basil leaves.
  3. Put all the ingredients listed under dressing in a jar and mix well.
  4. Pour on top of the tomato and cheese.
  5. Leave to rest for half an hour so that it soaks up the flavours of the dressing.
 

Chicken Lasagna – Homestyle and Cheesy

The weather here in Kolkata calls for hearty meals. Am getting my zeal back to spend a considerable amount of time in my kitchen and trying out a lot a recipes that had been earmarked for a while now. Chicken being the preffered choice of protien, I am always looking out to do something different with it. One pan or one pot meals works best when you are pressed for time but still want something delicious. However there are times when you crave something indulgent, something that makes you go yum,yum,yum like a lasagna! My first memory of tasting a lasagna goes back to my LSR days when Big Chill( my mostest favourite eatery of all times) had opened up in the neighbourhood. Digging into that gooey goodness of cheesy meaty lasagna. Never missed a chance to grab atleast one meal there whenever I am in Delhi which is rare now. So to revive all those delicious memories I took it upon me to recreate the dish in my kitchen. It takes some amount of effort but at the end it was totally worth it. A little amount of prep the day before goes a long way. Like i prepeared the meat sauce a day in advance, it kind of enhanced the flavours too. So the next day it was quite a breeze to put it all together.

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20181209133405665_COVER~2Ok now one important point here. I was always confused whether to pre cook the pasta sheets before layering or just let it the way it is for it to cook in the oven. I scoured around for some info on this but failed to get a clear picture so i decided to pre cook it anyways. Just dunked them in boiling water for 10 seconds and then layer them up. Worked beautifully I must say! You guys go note the recipe and give it a shot, promise you wont be disappointed.

Chicken Lasagna - Homestyle and Cheesy
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Italian
 
Cheesy gooey one dish baked Chicken Lasagna
Ingredients
  • Lasagna pasta sheets - around 8 to 10 - precook for 10 seconds in boiling water.
  • For the chicken mince sauce:
  • Ingredients:
  • Minced Chicken - 500 gms
  • Chopped onions - 2 large
  • Tomato paste - 8 large
  • Minced garlic - 4-6 pod
  • Oregano - to taste
  • Basil leaves - a handful - roughly chopped
  • White pepper - to taste
  • Salt - to taste'
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Bay leaves - a few
  • Oilve oil - 2 tbsp
  • Butter - a blob
  • Paprika - 1 tbsp for colour
  • Chicken stock - 1 cup
  • Fresh cream - 2 tbsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil - 2 tbsp
  • For the white / bechamel sauce:
  • Flour - 2 tbsp
  • Butter - 2 tbsp
  • Milk - 2 cups
  • Grated cheese - 1 cup - i used cheddar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Some more grated cheese - a mix of mozarella and cheddar to top the lasagna
Instructions
  1. Making of the chicken mince sauce - try make it a day in advance
  2. In a deep dish pan melt the butter and olive oil.
  3. Add the mince garlic and saute till fragrant.
  4. Add the chopped onions, Saute till slightly browned.
  5. Next add the tomato paste, oregano, bay leaf,basil leaves,salt, pepper and sugar.Cook the tomato paste till oil separates on the side of the pan.
  6. Add the chicken mince. it will release a fair amout of water. Cook till the water dries up.
  7. Add the chicken stock and cook till the sauce turns thick. Check for seasoning.
  8. Finish with fresh cream and EVOO.
  9. Making the white/Bechamel Sauce:
  10. In a non stick pan, melt the butter.
  11. Add the flour and roast till fragrant .
  12. Now add the milk slowly, stirring constantly with a whisk so no lumps are formed.
  13. Keep stirring while the sauce thickens up. add the grated cheese.
  14. Add salt and pepper to taste. Check before adding salt as we already added cheese.
  15. Keep aside.
  16. Take a rectangular or square deep baking dish.
  17. Start making layers.
  18. Put a layer of pasta sheets at the bottom of the dish. Then layer of mince sauce, then some white sauce, top with some grated cheese.
  19. Repeat the layers till u reach the top of the dish.
  20. Top with a lot of grated cheese. Cover the dish with foil paper.
  21. Bake at 180 deg C for 30 mins.
  22. Remove the foil and bake at 200 deg C for another 10 mins.
  23. Serve hot!
 

Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken Roast

Its that time of the year again when you are just reminiscing about the months that went by and start looking forward to a brand new year and wish for everything to get better. You pull yourself together one more time and hope to make the best of the time you have. I am doing that too! Really looking forward to the coming year and making the most of it. Workwise i have been extremely lazy and i wish to change that for good. Like I keep going back to my favourite quote by the very wise his Holiness The Dalai Lama ” Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions” So on this note, I decided to make a Roast Chicken as its almost Christmas and I wanted to test the recipe one more time before I put it up on the blog. And I also put up the tree and decorated it pretty with all the little things that I have collected over the years. It felt good I must say.

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Now coming back to the roasted chicken it is again a very simple recipe. The marination is the key and the longer the marination the better. Simple flavours work best and a honey mustard glaze just adds to the taste. Add vegetables of your choice, i kept it simple with just onions and potatoes. Serve it with choice of your breads and your Christmas lunch is sorted.

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Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken Roast
Recipe type: continental
 
Tray bake Roast chicken with a honey and mustard glaze.
Ingredients
  • Whole chicken - 1 medium sized. I used the one with skin on
  • Olive oil - 4 tbsp
  • Ginger and garlic paste - 2 tbsp
  • White pepper - to taste
  • Salt - to taste
  • Chopped dill leaves - a handful - optional. you could use any fresh herb of your choice.
  • Juice of 1 big lime
  • A few whole onions and potatoes
  • For the glaze :
  • Dijon Mustard paste - 1 tbsp
  • Honey - 1tbsp
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Instructions
  1. Clean and pat the whole chicken dry.
  2. Make a marinade with the olive oil,ginger garlic paste,salt,pepper, lime juice and chopped dill leaves.
  3. Rub this mixture nicely all over the chicken. Add the potatoes and onions also into the mixture Let it rest overnight in the fridge.
  4. Just before you put it in the oven, rub the honey mustard mix all over the chicken.
  5. Grill in the oven for 40 mins at 200 deg for the first 30 mins and then at 175 deg C for the remaining 10 mins.
  6. Keep glazing the chicken at regular intervals for that lovely colour.