Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Southern Style Banana Pudding with Meringue Topping







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Yield - 8-10 servings
Recipe source - Christy Jordan's Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe

Ingredients: 

For the pudding: 

1. Vanilla wafers - 1 pack ( I used 365 Everyday Value Organic Vanilla Wafers from Wholefoods )
2. Bananas - 3, sliced
3. Egg yolks - 3
4. Milk - 2 cups
5. All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
6. Sugar - 1/4 cup
7. Pure Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp

For the meringue topping: 

1. Egg whites - 3
2. Confectioners sugar - 3 tbsp
3. Cream of tartar - 1 tsp

Preparation: 

1. Arrange the vanilla wafers and sliced bananas in alternating layers in a baking dish or pie dish.
2. Heat the ingredients 3-6 in a heavy bottomed pan, stirring continuously with a wire whisk on medium heat.
3. The pudding will begin to thicken after 5-10 mins.
4. Add the vanilla extract, mix and remove from the heat. Pour over the banana and wafers. Let the wafers get soaked in the pudding.
5. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Add on top of the pudding.
6. Bake on 350 F for 10-15 minutes of until the meringue is golden brown.
7. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Enjoy! :D


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Risotto with Chicken and Mushrooms






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Yield: 4 servings
Recipe Source: Eat Well Stay Well, Readers Digest

Ingredients:

Olive oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp for the rice
Boneless skinless chicken breasts - 2, cut into small cubes
Garlic paste or garlic powder - 1/4 tsp
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Shiitake mushrooms - 200 g
Crimini mushrooms - 200 g
Arborio rice - 1 1/4 cup
Dry white wine - 2/3 cup
Chicken stock - 3 cups
Salt - As desired
Parmesan cheese - 2 tbsp, grated
Freshly ground black pepper - 1 tsp or as desired

Preparation:

1. Marinate the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and garlic for 30 mins.
2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the chicken pieces and fry until golden for about 5 mins on each side. Keep aside.
3. Heat oil in another saucepan. Add the chopped onions and cook for 5 mins on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 10 mins.
4. Add the rice, stir to coat and then add the wine. Cook until the wine has been absorbed.
5. Add one cup of stock, cook until the liquid has been absorbed and repeat with the remaning liquid.
6. Add the chicken and cook for 2 more mins until the rice is creamy and the chicken is cooked.
7. Stir in the parmesan and some additional black pepper if desired.

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Enjoy! :D

Friday, May 24, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting









I happened to read this just when I needed it - “Your hand and your mouth agreed many years ago that, as far as chocolate is concerned, there is no need to involve your brain.”  Dave Barry


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Yield: 8 -10 servings, 1 6 X 3 inch pan or 1 8 X 2 inch pan
Cake Recipe: Adapted from 'Taste of Home' , Edition - Feb - Mar 2013
Frosting recipe: Adapted from 'My Baking Addiction'
Printable Recipe

For the Chocolate Cake:

Ingredients:

1. Dark Chocolate Chips - 3 oz
2. Brewed coffee - 1/2 cup
3. Eggs - 2
4. Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
5. Oil - 1/3rd cup
6. Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
7. Dutch processed cocoa - 1/2 cup
8. All purpose flour - 1 1/4 cups
9. Baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
10. Salt - 1/8th tsp
11. Buttermilk - 1/2 cup

Preparation:

1. Bring all the ingredients to room temperature.
2. Line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper and grease them.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
4. Place chocolate in a bowl, pour hot coffee over the chocolate and stir with a wire whisk until fully dissolved. Let cool slightly.
5. Sift together all purpose flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa in a bowl and keep aside.
6. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until it becomes a pale yellow. Add the coffee mixture, oil, vanilla extract, sugar one by one and beat well to combine.
7. Add the buttermilk and sifted flour cocoa mixture alternately in parts to combine with the batter.
8. Transfer to the baking pan and bake for 30-35 min (for a 8 X 2 pan) or 50 - 60 min ( for a 6 X 3 pan) until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
9. Let cool. Cut the cake horizontally into two and keep aside for icing.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting: 

Ingredients: 

1. Cream cheese - 8 oz
2. Dark chocolate chips  - 4 oz
3. Butter - 1 stick or 1/2 cup
4. Powdered sugar - 2 cups
5. Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
6. Salt - 1/8 tsp

Preparation: 

1. Melt the dark chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds. Stir to combine. Heat again for 30 seconds, mix again and for 30 more seconds and stir. This should melt the whole chocolate. Let cool slightly.
2. Cut up the cream cheese into 1 inch cubes.
3. Add cream cheese and butter to a large bowl and cream them until mixed thoroughly. Add the vanilla extract and salt and mix.
4. Add the powdered sugar in parts and mix on low speed until combined well.

For the Raspberry Filling: 

1. Raspberries - Frozen 1 cup (for 6 inch cake) or 1 1/2 (for 8 inch cake)
2. Lemon juice - From half a lemon
3. Corn starch - 1/2 tsp
4. Sugar - 1/4 cup ( or as desired)

Preparation: 

Heat all the ingredients in a heavy bottom pan and keep mixing to form a thick syrup.
It should take about 10-15 mins. Keep aside to cool.

Cake assembly: 

Add a layer of the filling on the top of a cut layer of cake and keep the other layer of cake on top. Frost with the cream cheese frosting as desired.

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Enjoy! :D


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Banana Almond Butter Muffins





Yield - 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1. Banana -2 (Very ripe - almost black)
2. Sugar - 1/2 cup
3. Salt - 1/8th tsp
4. Buttermilk - 1/4 cup
5. Baking powder - 1 tsp
6. Eggs - 2
7. Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
8. Almond butter - 3/4 cup
9. Oil - 1/2 cup
10. All purpose flour - 2 cups
11. Blueberries - 1 cup


Preparation:

1. Pre -heat the oven to 350.
2. Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature.
3. Add the baking powder to buttermilk. It will foam in a few minutes. Keep aside.
4. Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Add the all the ingredients 2-9 and mix well.
5. Add the flour in 3 parts and keep on mixing.
6. Finally add the blueberries and mix.
7. Bake for 15-20 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Naadan Beef Curry




Ingredients: 

1. Beef - 2 lb, chopped to small cube sized pieces 
2. Cinnamon stick - 1 inch piece
3. Green Cardmom - 4
4. Cloves - 4
5. Fennel seeds - 1 tsp 
6. Ginger - 1 inch piece
7. Garlic - 1 pod 
8. Red chilli powder - 1.5 tbsp
9. Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
10. Turmeric - 1/2 tsp 
11. Onion - 2 +1 medium size, chopped lengthwise
12. Ginger - 1 inch piece, chopped lengthwise
13. Green chillies - 4 split
14. Tomato - 2 medium size, chopped
15. Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
16. Coconut Oil - 4 tbsp
17. Salt - As desired

Preparation: 

1. Grind the ingredients 2- 10 into a smooth paste using a grinder adding about 2 tsp water. 
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and saute for about a minute. Add 2 chopped onions and saute.
3. Once the onions sweats add the ground masala paste and mix well. When the raw smell goes away, add the chopped tomatoes and mix well for a minute. 
4. Add the beef pieces, salt and mix well. Cover and cook until the beef gets cooked and is tender and the gravy becomes thick. 
5. Add the remaining chopped onions and curry leaves and mix. 
6. Serve with fresh rotis or parathas. 

Enjoy! :D 





Bok Choy and Egg Stir Fry



Ingredients: 

1. Bok Choy - 2 bunches, chopped
2. Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
3. Onion - 1, finely chopped
4. Salt - As desired 
5. Black pepper - 1 tsp 
6. Eggs - 2 
7. Oil - 2 tsp
8. Curry leaves - A few (optional)

Preparation: 

1. Heat oil in a pan. 
2. Add garlic and onion and saute for about a minute. 
3. Add the bok choy and curry leaves and cook until all the water evaporates. Add salt and pepper and mix well. 
 4. Make a small well in the middle of the pan and crack the eggs into it. Make sure there are no shell bits. 
5. Scramble slowly from the middle outwards until the eggs blend in with the bok choy and is cooked completely. This would take about 5 minutes. 

6. Serve with warm buttered toast. 

Enjoy! :D 


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Baked Eggplant and Chickpeas




Another recipe from my Readers Digest cookbook. This could be your next veggie favorite! 

Yield - 8 servings

Ingredients:

1. Red Bell peppers - 2, cut lengthwise into flat strips
2.  Eggplants - 2, 1 diced and the other sliced
3. Extra Virgin Olive oil - 1/3 cup
4. Salt - To taste
5. Onions - 2 large, chopped
6. Garlic - 4, finely chopped
7. Crushed Italian plum tomatoes - 2 cans (I used San Marzano tomatoes from Whole foods )
8. Fresh sage - A bunch
9. Fresh thyme - 1 tsp
10. Crushed red chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp (Adjust according to desired heat level, or you could omit this completely)
11. Cooked kidney beans - 2 cups
12. Cooked chickpeas - 2 cups
13. Flat leaf parsley - A few sprigs for garnish
14. Fresh mozzarella - 1/2 cup

Preparation:

1. Soak the chickpeas and red kidney beans for 5-6 hrs in water. Cook them with a little salt and water, drain and keep aside. You could alternatively used canned options.
2. Heat a spoonful of olive oil in a pan. Place the red bell pepper pieces with skin side up and cook for 5 minutes or until the skin is slightly blackened. Remove from heat and keep aside.
3. Heat another spoonful of oil. Lightly fry the sliced eggplants until they are golden brown and keep aside.
4. Heat half of the oil in a saucepan. Add the chopped garlic. Saute for a few seconds. Add the chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the diced eggplant to the onions and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.
5. Add the tomatoes, red chilli flakes chickpeas and kidney beans. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
6. Add the chopped sage and thyme and mix well.
7. Preheat the oven to 355 F.
8. Place a layer of bean tomato mixture followed by a layer of eggplant and red peppers. Follow this until the whole of the eggplants, peppers and tomato sauce is over.
9. You could top it of with a layer of fresh mozzarella before baking or serve fresh after baking.
10. Cover and bake for 30 mins. Let stand for 5 more minutes.
12. Garnish with flat leaf parsley and serve.

Enjoy! :D





Friday, May 10, 2013

Rigatoni all'Arrabiata




Ingredients: 

1. Rigatoni - 1 pack
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 4 tbsp 
3. Garlic - 3 cloves, finely chopped
4. Dry Oregano - 1 tsp 
5. Crushed red chilli - 1 tsp 
6. Canned, crushed italian plum tomatoes - 3 cups
7. Black pepper - 1 tsp 
8. Salt - To taste 
9. Balsamic Vinegar - 2 tbsp 
10. Dry Basil - 1 tsp 
11. Fresh Mozzarella - 1/2 cup
12. Fresh Basil - For garnish 

Preparation: 

Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add the dry chilli flakes, oregano and garlic. Saute for about 30 seconds. Make sure the garlic does not brown. 
Add the tomato and let boil for about 8-10 minutes. 
Reduce heat and crush the tomatoes into the sauce. Add the black pepper, dry basil, salt if required, balsamic vinegar and one tbsp of olive oil. Let simmer for 5 more minutes. Keep aside. 
Meanwhile cook the rigatoni according to packet instructions. 
Mix pasta and sauce and garnish with fresh basil and fresh mozzarella. 

Enjoy! :D 


Strawberry Ricotta Crepes




Recipe Source - Reader's Digest, Eat Well Stay Well 
Yield - 8 crepes


Ingredients: 

1. Milk - 1/2 cup 
2. All purpose flour - 1/3 cup 
3. Sugar - 1/4 cup 
4. Egg -1 
6. Butter - 2 tbsp melted
7. Ricotta cheese - 1 cup 
8. Pure Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp 
9. Strawberries - Chopped, 1 cup 
10. Icing sugar - 1 tbsp 

Preparation: 

1. Combine the milk, flour, 1 tsp of the sugar, egg and melted butter in a blender and process until smooth. Let stand for 30 mins. 
2. Spray a pan with cooking spray and heat over moderate heat. Spoon the batter, about 2 tbsp at a time, into the pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Once lightly browned (about 15-30 secs), lift and turn the crepe  and cook for another 5 secs. 
3. Stack the crepes one over the other between parchment paper. 
4. Combine the ricotta, vanilla extract and remaning white sugar in a bowl. Fold in the strawberries. Add the mix onto the centre of each crepe, fold and plate.
5. Sprinkle with icing sugar. 

Enjoy! :D 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blueberry Lemon Buttermilk Cake



For all those blueberry and lemon lovers out there - this could be your favorite blueberry lemon cake recipe. It was very difficult to stop myself from eating all of the cake while photographing it. Hence, just one picture! Hope y'all will love it as much as I did! 

Source: Adapted from Huffington Post  for a 4 serving yield or a mini loaf pan.

Ingredients: 

1. Butter - 4 tbsp 
2. Sugar - 1/2 cup 
3. Egg - 1 large
4. All purpose flour - 3/4 cup
5. Baking powder - 1/2 tsp 
6. Salt - 1/8 tsp 
7. Lemon zest - From one lemon
6. Lemon juice - Freshly squeezed, 1/2 tsp 
7. Buttermilk - 5 tbsp 
8. Vanilla Extract - 1/4 tsp 
9. Blueberries - 1/2 cup (I used frozen blueberries for this recipe, if using frozen do not thaw, just add them directly into the batter. )

Preparation: 

1. Keep all the ingredients at room temperature for at least 1/2 hour. 
2. Pre-heat your oven to 350 F. 
3. Butter the cake pan and keep aside. 
4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and keep aside. 
5. Cream butter and sugar using the electric/stand mixer. 
6. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well until it is slightly curdled. Add the grated lemon zest. 
7. Add the 1/2 the flour and buttermilk alternatively and beat well until well incorporated. 
8. Add the lemon juice and give a quick mix. 
9. Add the blueberries and mix with a spatula. 
10. Transfer to the cake pan and bake for 40 -50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Enjoy! :D 


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Chocolate Panna Cotta




This recipe is adapted from a Chocolate Latte Cotto Recipe from a Reader's Digest Cookbook from years back. 

Ingredients: 

1. Milk - 1 cup 
2. Heavy Cream- 1 cup 
3. Semisweet chocolate - 1/4 cup, chopped
4. Brown sugar - 1/4 cup 
5. Powdered Nutmeg - 1/2 tsp 
6. Coffee - 2 tbsp
7. Unflavored gelatin - 1 envelope

Preparation: 

1. Soften the gelatin in 1 cup of warm milk. 
2. Heat a saucepan, combine ingredients 2-6 and bring to a boil on medium heat. Keep on stirring and make sure the chocolate is completely melted. 
3. Remove from heat and add the milk with gelatin, bring back to heat and bring to a boil. 
4. Transfer to serving cups and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until set. 
5. Serve with fresh raspberries or chocolate shavings.

Enjoy! :D 



 
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