Wednesday, November 28, 2012




Chicken Pizza


For the pizza dough

3 ½ cups all purpose flour (maida)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cup warm water
1 sachet yeast

For the pizza sauce

1 cup tomato puree
Dried oregano to taste
Dried basil to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Onion powder to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

For the topping

½ cup capsicum  (cut into rings or strips) 
½ cup fried sausage                              
Rings  of one medium onion
1 tomato (diced)  
1 cup shredded mozzarella 

How to prepare the pizza sauce
Mix all the ingredients under the ‘for the pizza sauce’.

How to make the pizza base

1.    Add yeast to warm water and set it aside for about 3 minutes, so that it dissolves completely and produces a creamy texture.
2.    Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and olive oil in a glass bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer. Pour the yeast mixture to it and knead into soft dough. If using hand, knead it for about 15 minutes and if using a stand mixer, knead it for about 10 minutes in low speed.
3.    Oil two bowls with olive oil. Divide the dough into two halves and roll into balls. Keep them on the bowls and brush some olive oil on top, to prevent crusting. Cover the bowls with plastic wraps and place them in a warm area of the kitchen. I prefer the inside of my oven, keeping it switched off.
4.    Let them rise for approximately 1 ½ hours or until they have doubled in size.
5.    Once ready, sprinkle some flour onto the counter and roll out the dough, one at a time, using a rolling pin.
6.    Place the base on the baking sheet or pizza plate. Make a shallow well on the base by slowly and carefully pushing from the inside out towards the edge.


The Pizza

Spread the pizza sauce on the pizza base and spread the vegetables and sausage over it. A layer of mozzarella cheese on the top and the pizza is ready to go into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven preheated to 475 degrees.
Dough made as per the above instructions will give two medium pizzas.

Note: You can change the toppings and the sauce as per your taste.
          Ready-made pizza sauces are available in the market.
Cook chicken strips with some salt, and season with pepper. This can be used instead of sausage.
 i know the crust looks hard and ugly. But believe me, it was very soft and yummy.







Monday, November 5, 2012




Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:
Unsalted butter, softened                       1 cup
White sugar                                         1 cup
Brown sugar                                         1 cup
Eggs                                                    2
Vanilla extract                                      2 tsp
All-purpose flour (maida)                        3 cup
Baking soda                                         1 tsp
Salt                                                     ½ tsp
Cocoa powder                                       ¾ cup
M&M’s/Gems                                        1 cup

Method:
1.    Using an electric beater, mix butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well. Then add the vanilla essence, baking soda dissolved in hot water and salt, one after the other. Now stir in flour, M&M’s, nuts and cocoa powder. Mix this well without overdoing. The more you beat, the harder the cookies get.  So it enough that the ingredients mix well.
2.    Roll out small balls of the dough and spread it lightly using a rolling pin or your hand.
3.    Spread them over a non-stick baking dish or baking sheet.
4.    Bake for about 10 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 175 degree Celsius until the edges brown well.
5.    Take the cookies out of the oven and set aside for cooling for 10 minutes.

Tips:
1.    Drinking chocolate instead of cocoa powder will do just fine.
2.    Semi-sweetened choco chips can be used instead of M&M/Gems.


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Baked Sausage Pasta

Ingredients:
Pasta (shells, butterfly, spirals, any type will do)                    500 gm
Sausage (chicken or pork) cut into slightly big pieces               2 cups
Green peas                                                                       1 cup
Pepper powder                                                                  2 tsp
Chili powder                                                                     1 tbsp
Thyme                                                                             1 tsp
Basil                                                                                1 tsp
Oregano                                                                           ½ tsp
Italian pasta sauce (tomato-base)                                         350 gm
Shredded mozzarella cheese                                                 1 cup
Salt to taste
Oil (preferably olive oil)
Method:
1.    Boil water in a vessel and add some salt and oil. Add pasta and when almost cooked, strain and keep aside.
Oil is added to the boiling water so that the pasta does not stick together.
2.    Mix the chili powder, pepper powder and salt to the sausages in a bowl. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and sauté till the sausages become slightly brown.
3.    In a large mixing bowl put together pasta, sausages, green peas, thyme, basil, oregano and the pasta sauce, and mix well.
4.    Transfer the mixture into a baking dish and top it with a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese.
5.    Bake it at 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes. Serve hot.




Pathiri

Ingredients
Rice powder roasted                              1 cup
Water                                                 1 cup
Salt to taste

Method
Add salt and slowly add the rice powder to boiling water. Make sure to stir continuously to avoid forming lumps. Remove from fire and keep it to cool down slightly. Knead thoroughly using both hands and make into a dough.  The more you knead, the softer the dough becomes. Make lemon-sized balls and press slightly using palms. Roll them on a board using a rolling pin, sprinkling rice powder to prevent it from sticking.
Heat a skillet and keeping on medium, put the pathiri on it. Keep turning it continuously a few times. Make sure it maintains the white colour and not change to brown. The pathiri comes out real soft. Eat hot.



Sausage Curry

Ingredients

Sausage cut into medium pieces                        1 cup
Onion                                                           1 medium chopped
Tomato                                                         1 medium
Fresh green peas                                            a handful
Garlic                                                           3-4 cloves chopped
Red chilli powder                                            2 tsp
Turmeric powder                                            ¼ tsp
Chicken masala                                              1 tbsp
Coriander powder                                           2 tsp
Curry leaves                                                   as desired
Salt to taste

Method
Shallow fry the sausage pieces and keep aside. In the same oil sauté the onion and garlic. Grind it to a paste along with tomato, the skin of which is removed, chilli powder, turmeric powder, chicken masala and coriander powder. Heat oil in a pan and sauté this paste for 2 minutes. Add the sausage pieces and green peas and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Put the curry leaves just before removing from flame. You can also garnish it with coriander leaves.






Cheese Steak Roll

Ingredients
French bread or any bread roll cut vertically                  1
Chicken breast cut into thin slices                               2 slices
Cheese slices (any variety will do)                               2 slices
Big onion cut finely into long strips                                       1
Olive oil                                                                  2 tbsp
Steak sauce                                                             to taste
Worcestershire sauce                                                          to taste
Salt and pepper                                                        to taste

Method

Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the chicken pieces and keep aside. Slightly toast the roll and keep aside.  Heat half of the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion. Add some salt and pepper and sauté it again till the colour changes slightly and becomes translucent. Take the roll and fill it with the fried onions and lace with the sauces. Take the remaining oil in the pan and keeping on high heat, fry the chicken pieces. Once done, keep one cheese slice on each chicken piece and when they to start melt, transfer them into the bread roll.
Note: Take care not to cut the roll completely into half. This will make it tough to keep the fillings intact.
And beef tenderloins make a better substitute for chicken breasts. I used chicken in this recipe since we don’t much fathom beef.