Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spinach Crostini

              As you may have guessed from my previous posts, Spinach is one of my favorite greens. Considering the abundant nutrients in these little green leaves, I try to incorporate in various different dishes and always love experimenting with it

               So here is my yet another spinach dish, Spinach Crostini.

  • 1 loaf Ciabatta bread
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic clove halved
  • 3 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 8 cups Spinach leaves
  • 1 cup Italian Cheese (I used Mozzarella and Italian Blend mixed)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cut the bread into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • Preheat the oven at 400o F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and drizzle them with Olive Oil.
  • Bake them for about 10 minutes or until they are light golden brown.
  • When done, let them cool for 2 minutes. 
  • Then, with the halved garlic, rub the warm toasts to give them a nice garlicky flavor
  • Set the toasts aside. Then, heat a pan over medium heat. 
  • Add 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • Add the garlic and saute it for a minute or until it is fragrant.
  • Now add the spinach and cook it for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Then add salt and red pepper flakes and mix it well
  • Remove it from heat
  • Now, using tongs, arrange this spinach mixture on top of the toasts evenly.
  • Sprinkle it with cheese.
  • Bake it for another 7-8 minutes at 400o F until the cheese melts and starts bubbling.
  • Serve hot and Enjoy!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tomato Pepper Sauce

               My husband is a big fan of spicy food. Be it entrees, snacks or sauces, he prefers them to be really spicy. But at the same time, he doesn't like the one available in the stores as they are either too tangy for his taste or just the heat without any flavor. I ended up with more than 5 varieties of hot sauces in my refrigerator as he keeps buying different ones to find the right sauce for him.
                His passion for hot sauces motivated me to prepare it at home with the flavor, spiciness and the consistency that he likes. Here is my attempt at making the hot sauce:

  • 3 cups chopped Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onions
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 4 Jalapenos peppers
  • 2-3 Serrano peppers
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp distilled White Vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • Chop the peppers. The seeds are the spiciest so you can either remove all the seeds or use according to the heat desired
  • Heat the Olive oil in a pan over medium heat
  • Add chopped garlic and saute it for a minute, then add the onions and the peppers
  • Saute it till the onions are soft and translucent 
  • Now add the tomatoes, vinegar, lemon juice and salt 
  • Cook until the tomatoes begin to soften 
  • Then, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree it until smooth. Be very careful while pouring the hot mixture into the blender
  • Now, sieve the puree using a fine sieve and extract out all the liquid. Use a wooden spoon to push away the solids
  • Let the sauce cool to the room temperatures for about 1.5 – 2 hours before serving 
  • You may freeze the sauce for a couple of months and use as needed. 
  • I generally have a small container in refrigerator for daily use and freeze the rest so that it lasts longer 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cabbage Poha

                   Yesterday, we were contemplating what to make for dinner when I realized we did not have much vegetables at home except for some cabbage. We usually prepare Cabbage curry with it, but we were tired of having the same curry so this time we decided to try something else.

           Poha (flattened/beaten Rice) is a famous Indian breakfast/snack dish which is usually had along with Onions or Potatoes, but I thought of trying it out with Cabbage. So here is my take on the classical dish.

  • 1.5 cups sliced Cabbage
  • 1 cup Poha (Flattened Rice)
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 3-4 chopped Cashews
  • 3-4 Raisins
  • 4-5 Curry leaves
  • 1 tsp Green Chili paste
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp roasted Chana Daal (Daliya) i.e Split Chickpea
  • 1/2 cup chopped Cilantro
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • Wash the poha under running water for a few seconds
  • Toss well to drain out excess water and keep it aside
  • Heat some oil on a pan, add Asafoetida
  • Now add the roasted Daliya and saute it for a minute or so. Then add the mustard seeds
  • Once the mustard seeds start to crackle, add the cumin seeds and curry leaves to it
  • Then add the green chili paste, cashews and raisins to it
  • After about 2 minutes, you will get a nice aroma of roasted nuts. At this point, add the sliced cabbage and mix it well
  • Let it cook for 4-5 minutes. Make sure the cabbage is little crunchy i.e. dont cook it for long time
  • Now add the salt, sugar and lemon juice and mix it well
  • Lastly add the poha and mix it well
  • Let it cook for a minute on slow flame
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot