Monday, February 09, 2015

Food and Wine Pairing #1

Food and Wine Pairing #1 We have been doing a lot of food and wine pairings of late. I will get to posting the recipes on here soon but will start with some pictures at this time :) Course 1 - Cheese platter Course 2 - Mushroom barley coup with sherry

Course 3 - Endive salad with roasted beets

Course 4 - Spicy crab with padthai Course 5 - Kheema sliders Course 6 - Chicken rice with quinoa salad Course 7 - Salt tasting Course 8 - Dessert Carpaccio

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Salt & Caviar on my Mind!

Salt & Caviar on my Mind

I recently discovered the amazing world of "salt". I know this sounds crazy considering I have been using salt in cooking forever now. But this is not your everyday salt I am referring to, but flavored salts that can take simple everyday foods from Yah that's Good to Oh My God, I am in Heaven :D

After having used these new found salts, I am finding it almost impossible to go back to plain old salt!

Ghost Pepper Salt (SUPER spicy so use sparingly). Paired well with avocado & mango

White Truffle salt. Paired very well with baked baby potatoes

Gray salt with Seaweed. Paired with grilled eggplant & pears

Murray River Pink Salt. Paired with the baked baby potatoes & drilled eggplant

Expresso Salt. Paired excellently with caramel ice cream as well as with lavender ice cream.

Given our dinner was already so decadent, I added caviar to the menu. The black caviar was served on boiled quail egg while the red caviar was served with home made bread with some sour cream on top.

All these go perfectly with a good champagne or mimosa :D

Enjoy !

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!

My sister got us some fantastic chocolate from the land of love, France!!!! This one is a sweet treat for all the hard working moms out there.

Hope everyone gets some rest and TLC :D

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mango-Chocolate Mousse with Vodka

I promised to post this recipe soon, but that soon didn't come soon enough. Thanks S for motivating me to post this. Do let me know how it turns out!

This is not your typical mousse recipe, but I liked that it was light and of course full of that great mango flavor. I also spiked it with Vodka and chocolate. For those who remember I made it for Holi along with the now infamous Gol Guppa shots (hic hic!).

Mango-Chocolate Mousse with Vodka Recipe


1. 2 cups Mango Puree (I used the Desai Bandhu Alphonso mango pulp.)
2. 1/3 cup powdered sugar
3. 1 cup Plain yogurt (I used full fat)
4. 1 cup heavy cream
5. 1 oz packet unflavored gelatin
6. 1/4 cup vodka (optional)
7. 1 cup chopped good quality dark chocolate
8. Handful of coco nibs or chocolate shavings for garnish


1. In a small saucepan sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water. Let it soften for a minute, and heat the mixture over low heat, stirring, until the gelatin is dissolved.

2. In a blender blend together the mango puree and sugar. Add the gelatin mixture, and blend well.

3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the yogurt and vodka.

4. Add some vodka to the chopped dark chocolate and melt the chocolate (making sure it does not burn). You could even just melt the chocolate-vodka mix in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Using a spoon, pour the melted chocolate at the bottom of your dessert/serving glass. Swirl some of the chocolate mix on the sides of the glass as well.

5. In a chilled bowl beat the cream until it holds stiff peaks, fold it into the mango mixture gently but thoroughly, and pour the mousse in the chocolate swirled dessert glasses.

6. Chill the mousse for at least 4 hours or overnight.

7. Garnish the mousse with the coco nibs or with mint and mango slices.

The Vodka and chocolate can easily be omitted to make a pure mango mousse. combine. However, I liked the bitterness of the chocolate and vodka that tied in well with the sweetness of the mango pulp. Not to mention the chocolate swirl on the glass made it look even more appealing!

I am sending this chocolate laden treat to Tasty Treats' For the Love of Chocolate event! Given my chocoholic nature, I can't wait to see the entries for this one!

Enjoy :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Watermelon-Papaya Salad

I want some now!

Living in California, we are extremely spoiled by great weather. Last week we all complained when the temperature reached 94 degrees saying this was way too hot. 2 days later, we all started complaining about how cold it was when the temperature dropped to a shocking 75 degrees :D.. Oh well, I guess after paying those extremely high home prices/rents/taxes, that's the least we can do eh :P

I for one am thoroughly enjoying the warm spring weather this year! It surely was time to cool it off with a refreshing watermelon-papaya salad which I have blogged about earlier. You can get the detailed recipe here.

Given that nothing speaks Spring like a Crisp Watermelon Salad, I am sending this to Bee & Jai's Click:Spring/Autumn event.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pani Puri shots, Mango Chocolate Mousse & Wood

Pani Puri Shots, Mango Mousse and Wood !

Ok, now that's an odd combination if I saw one!! What are these three things doing together I wonder. Well, I made Pani Puri shots & the Mango Mousse for Holi recently, and wood...well that's the theme of this month's click photography event hosted by Jai & Bee. Ok wait, before I go far ahead with this, what are pani puri shots anyhow? I have been asked that question several times these last few weeks (maybe it was those drunken pics post the shots my friends saw;). Pani puri shots are your regular gol guppas but with a punch....the punch being vodka, gin, get the drift ;).

The other thing I made for Holi this year was a quick Mango Mousse also spiked with Vodka...well it was Holi with the song Rang Barse blaring away in the background..what can I say :D the Mango Mousse with a chocolate bottom turned out pretty good...or maybe after all that Vodka, everything just seemed to taste g8 :D...either ways let me know if you make any of these and hopefully are less drunk than I was to tell what you really think of them :D

I was planning on submitting this photo to Jai & Bee's fantastic photography event, but alas just realized that I was too late :(...
When I took this pic, I thought oh this came out nicely..but then went on to their site to look at the current entries and was blown away....its hard to believe so many of the entries are by amateur photographers! Check out the dynamic duo behind this event if you haven't already done so!

Pani Puri/Gol Guppa Shots Recipe

1. 1 pack store bought pani puri puris. There are some folks who make the puris at home which I think would be healthier..but wait who said these were meant to be healthy ;). You can see find home made puri recipes here and here
For the Pani/Tangy Spicy Water
1. 3 tbsp Tamarind Pulp (you can make this by soaking tamarind in warm water for 1-2 hours or even overnight)
2. 4 cups cold water (add more of needed)
3. 1 cup mint (pudina) leaves
4. 3-4 green chilies (adjust to taste)
5. 3 tbsp lemon juice
6. 1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
7. 1 tbsp Jeera (roasted cumin) powder
8. 1 tbsp jaggery (adjust to taste)
9. 1/2 tsp black pepper
10. 1 packet salted boondi
11. Vodka, tequila and gin (you can also do JUST vodka..i kind of like the variety with the shots)

1. Blend everything except the water together to make a fine paste. While blending, add water as needed
2. Strain the paste by adding some water if needed
3. Mix the paste with remaining water
4. Add more lemon juice, chili, jaggery or salt as needed. For example I like my water very spicy, but my husband likes his very very we make 2 batches of it based on our tastes :)
5. Just half an hour before eating, add the salted boondi to the water
6. Fill 3/4th of the shot glasses with the spicy water. Top it off with the alcohol of your choice namely vodka, tequila, gin. If you like yours stronger, by all means feel free to add more alcohol!

Enjoy..hic hic

I will post the Mango Chocolate Recipe soon..I promise :). For now am off to Vegas for a conference..aah more chocolate and food indulgence!!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Caribbean Spice Stuffed Chicken

Caribbean Spice Stuffed Chicken

When Meeta called for a Caribbean dish for her Monthly Mingle, I had to participate, moreso as it gave me an opportunity to try out a dish from the land of one of my favorite bloggers, Cynthia of Tastes Like Home!!

I have always been fascinated by the whole/rotisserie chicken on display in restaurants, streets of China town, and now in countless stores like Whole Foods, Safeway, Costco and the like. It seemed daunting to be able cook an entire chicken in your own kitchen! And what does one do with so much chicken I wondered. Oh well, try one must, so I decided to take the plunge, and am thrilled I did. So what if it took 2 days and a whole lot of friends to help finish the chicken...all seems justified in the world of culinary pursuits :D

Actually now that I think of it, making whole chicken and then using it in a sandwich, biryani, taco or pasta is a GREAT money and time saving tip! And in these crazy economic times, this is a fantastic way of pushing the $$s further!

The chicken came out perfect....moist yet crispy, and oh so tasty! I followed this recipe pretty closely, with the exception that I stuffed the chicken with wild rice and potatoes to make it a more wholesome meal.

1. 1 (3 pound) whole chicken
2. 1 tbsp olive oil
3. 1/2 tsp ground ginger
4. 1 tbsp brown sugar
5. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6. 1/4 tsp ground clove
7. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 tsp black pepper
9. 1/2 tsp salt
10. 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves or 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
11. 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
12. 2 ounces rum
13. 2 cups pre-cooked wild rice (optional). I get my wild rice from Trader Joe's
14. 1 cup potatoes (optional), diced and pre-cooked
15. 6 lemon slices for the garnish (optional)
16. 7-8 grapes for the garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

2. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, rum, and brown sugar; set aside. Mix together the cayenne pepper, clove, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, salt, and thyme leaves.

3. Remove and discard giblets and neck from the chicken and trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen the skin from breasts and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.

4. Rub the Caribbean spice mix under the loosened skin and over breasts and drumsticks. Stuff the rice and potato mixture in chicken cavity. Tie the ends of the legs together with twine. Lift the wing tips up and over back and tuck them under chicken. Place chicken, breast side up, on a roasting pan coated with cooking spray

5. Place the pan in the oven for about 90 minutes, until the juices run clear or until a meat thermometer inserted in center of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F. Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

6. Garnish with fresh thyme, grapes and lemon slices

Tip: Baste the chicken with the sauce every 20 minutes while it's cooking

Enjoy :)