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Friday, July 21, 2017

Baked Cannelloni Pasta with chicken and cheese



What would I have to say about my vanishing act? You eager souls are wondering what can be the reasons. Oh this and that, then and when etc. …if I ever write my story …I mean ever... although doubtful, some chapters will definitely be on my vanishing act. Anyhow the exact reason is I was not keeping well. So, I didn’t feel like updating the blog. Although I did cook from time-to time, but updating the blog was not a priority at those terrible times. Anyhow slowly I am trying to figure out how to handle things. Hopefully will try to update this space more often. I can keep trying but I can’t promise.


I made this pasta recipe way back, but couldn’t post the recipe on time. This cannelloni pasta recipe was well received by my folks and also by my dear daughter’s school friends. I happen to pick this pasta while doing my grocery shopping and was intrigued. I found working with them little challenging as they tear out on a brink if extra pressure is applied. You have to work with gentle hands and be gentle with them like a true artist holds their paint-brush. Cooking this pasta is of course a piece of art. Anyhow I have used chicken and cheese stuffing for this recipe .Vegetarians don’t get disappointed, you can substitute it with spinach and ricotta cheese- absolutely delish material.

Here is how cannelloni pasta recipe we made

Baked Cannelloni pasta with chicken stuffing
Recipe requirements (serves 3-4 people)
  • 12 – Cannelloni pasta

For the Chicken stuffing
  • Roasted chicken 2 cups- thin and small bite size pieces
  •  1 large onion
  •  1 medium potato
  • 1 tomato
  •  2-3 tsp of dried Italian herb seasoning (can use dried sage and dried rosemary)
  •  3-5 heaped tbs of Pasta sauce

For Béchamel sauce
  • 3-4 tsp of butter
  • 2-3 cups of milk
  • 3-4 tbs of flour
  • White pepper powder
  • Quarter tsp of nutmeg powder
  • ½ cup of mozzarella cheese
  • some more to mozzarella to form the nice brown crust
  • 2 free range eggs
  • Salt as per taste



Method

For béchamel sauce
  •  Heat butter add in flour and stir mix. Add in milk and keep stirring .Add in eggs one by one and mozzarella cheese and keep mixing till it thickens. You can use Parmesan cheese in equal quantity as well like half mozzarella and half Parmesan cheese. This way it adds a nice texture and flavour to the sauce. Adjust salt as per taste. Add in white pepper powder and nutmeg powder.
  • Reserve some portions of this sauce to be used later on while baking cannelloni.
  • Now add in roasted chicken, finely chopped onion, potato and tomato to the above simmering béchamel sauce to make the stuffing . Add in dried Italian herb seasoning.Mix well and cook for 15 mints. This form a thick stuffing for cannelloni pasta….

Bake and Cooking of Pasta
  • Cook pasta al dente for 7-8 mints. Now quickly take out the pasta and let it dry a bit over a plate. Carefully lift the pasta and fill in the stuffing inside of the cannelloni pasta with the help of spoon.
  • Prepare a baking tray. Layer rest of the béchamel sauce first evenly at the bottom.
  • Now place stuffed cannelloni pasta to fill the space in baking tray. Put some pasta sauce over them.
  • Now again put stuffed cannelloni pasta one by one neatly over this layer. Spread some more béchamel sauce if you have any leftover or otherwise you may spread some pasta sauce as well.
  • Bake at 175 deg C for 10 mints...Take out sprinkle mozzarella cheese and bake further 10 mints or till the cheese evenly melted and a nice brown texture is formed.
  • Take out and serve.


Tips

You can use lasagna sheets in place of cannelloni pasta as well. As working with cannelloni pasta can be tricky.

Happy Cooking Friends

Friday, June 9, 2017

Pomfret Fish Curry- Ikan Bawal curry and Lemon Rice

We have been wanting to make Pomfret fish curry with South Indian influence for long time. So, made this pomfret fish curry and lemon rice.This was really a nice variation for our Bengali palette. Simple ‘mach-bhaat’ turned out something lip-smacking and delicious supper for us. Here is how we made both….



Pomfret Fish curry / Ikan Bawal curry
Recipe requirements (serves 2-3)
2-3 pomfret fish  
1 large tomato
3 cloves of garlic
8-10 shallots 
Spices and seasonings
1 tsp of turmeric powder (½ tsp of stir/fry and ½ tsp for rubbing fish)
 2 tsp of red pepper powder
 ½ tsp of coriander powder
 1 tsp of salt or as per taste
3-4 Thai red chillies
5-6 tbs of mustard oil
 1 cup of coconut milk
 Curry patta 12-15 leaves
Method
Clean, and cut pomfret fish. Clean the fish stomach as well. Cut into half.
Rub in fish with turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside.
Heat up a fry pan, add 2 tbs of mustard oil, add in pomfret fish and stir/fry them for about 3-4 mints flipping sides as well. Take out in a separate plate/bowl.
In that fry pan itself, add more mustard oil, add in chopped garlic and Thai red chillies. Add in curry patta/leaves.
Now add in chopped tomato and shallots as well. Keep on stir/fry for about 7-8 mints at medium high flame.
Now add in turmeric powder, red pepper powder, coriander powder and salt. Sprinkle little bit of water and keep on stir/fry.
Add in fried fishes.
Add in 1 cup of coconut milk and water depending upon the consistency of curry. Don’t add much water if you want a thick gravy. As we were going to have with lemon rice, I thought little bit of gravy is required. So I added coconut milk and water in equal proportions.
Cover and cook for 8-10 mints or till fishes are cooked through well.
Take out in a serving bowl. This goes well with warm cooked rice or with lemon rice.



Lemon rice
Recipe requirements (serves 2-3 people)
4 cups of cooked rice or 2 cups of uncooked rice
¾ tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of salt
3-4 tbs of cooking oil
For tempering
2 tsp of chana dal
 2 tsp of white urid dal
2 twigs of curry leaves or 10-12 leaves
1 tsp of mustard seeds
2-3 dry red pepper
½ cup of raw peanuts
 2-3 tsp of lemon juice
Method
Soak rice grains in water for about 10-12 mints.
Cook rice in a big pot with water. Sprinkle turmeric powder into it and mix well. Leave it to cook and drain the starch once rice is cooked. Keep the pot open, do not cover .Let the vapour/steam escape. Add in lemon juice and mix gently.
Now in a big enough fry pan/kadai, which can hold entire rice content, add in cooking oil.
Add in peanuts and fry them for couple of mints.
Now temper the oil with mustard seeds, dry red pepper, Urid dal and Chana dal.
Add in curry leaves.
Now add in cooked rice grains and slowly mix in the rice with the above tempering mixture.
Cover and leave aside for half an hour.

Serve with fish curry. This is absolutely aromatic and delicious.

Happy Cooking friends........

Friday, June 2, 2017

Shrimp and Pea Sprouts stir-fry recipe


A simple stir fry recipe with shrimps and pea sprouts on a busy weekday night comes handy. All you need is to cut some colourful vegetables of your choice. Pea sprouts are the star ingredients of this stir-fry recipe. If you don’t get pea sprouts, then you can use baby bok-choy wholes or some chopped Ung Choi as well. Anaheim chili gives a milder flavour.




Shrimp and Pea sprouts stir/fry
Recipe requirements ( serves 2-3 ) 
  • 10-12 large shrimps
  •  1 and half cups of pea sprouts
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2-3 Anaheim red chilly
  • 1 tsp of freshly crushed black pepper
  •  2 tsp of fish sauce
  • Salt as per taste
  • 4 tbs of cooking oil/soybean oil
  • Soya sauce (optional)

Method
  • Clean, de-shell and devein Shrimps. Sprinkle crushed black pepper and salt over shrimps. Keep aside for about half an hour.
  • Cut chop all the vegetables- red bell pepper, tomato, carrots and Anaheim red chilly into long and bit of thick juliennes.
  • Heat up a fry pan, add cooking oil, add in shrimps and stir/fry them for about 5-7 mints or till they are lightly browned. Take out in a bowl. Keep aside.
  • Now add in left-over oil.
  • Add in cut vegetables. Next add fish sauce and salt.Be careful with salt as fish sauce itself is salty. Sprinkle red pepper powder if you need more hotness. Keep on stir/fry for about 4-5 mints, retain the crunchiness of the vegetables. At this stage you may add soya sauce for some sweetness otherwise you can skip it as well.
  • Now add in fried shrimps, mix well. Take out on a serving plate. Enjoy with some cooked noodles or warm cooked rice. This is absolutely delicious.



Happy Cooking Friends

Friday, May 26, 2017

Spicy Shrimp with Avocado and Alfalfa Sprouts Salad


I haven’t updated this space for a while, so thought of posting this spicy shrimp avocado salad. There are many ways shrimps can be prepared and relished. This salad is one healthy way of introducing nourishing foods to our menu. This comes as refreshing change to a mundane summer salad. Avocado and alfalfa sprouts add up to the flavour and health benefits. Now without further ado here is simple recipe for this salad.




Spicy Shrimp with Avocado and Alfalfa sprouts salad

Recipe requirements
 10 large shrimps
¼ tsp of turmeric powder
 1 tsp of Red pepper powder
½ tsp of coriander powder
Salt as per taste
 2-3 tbs of cooking oil
1 ripened avocado
½ cup of alfalfa sprouts
¼ cup of chives and garlic sprouts
10-15 cherry tomatoes
2 cups of lettuce
2 tsp of olive oil
Salt as per taste
Method
Clean, de-shell and devein Shrimps. Rub in shrimps with red pepper powder,coriander powder , turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside for about half an hour.
Heat up a fry pan, add 2 tbs of cooking oil, add in shrimps and stir/fry them for about 5-7 mints or till they are lightly browned. Take out in a bowl. Keep aside.
Now assemble the salad
Cut and destone avocado in to bite size pieces.
In a big mixing bowl, add in lettuce leaves, alfalfa sprouts, avocado and cherry tomatoes.
Sprinkle salt and add in olive oil. Toss well.You may sprinkle black pepper powder as well.
Now serve with stir/fried shrimps.
You can squeeze in fresh lemon juice to get a tangy flavour over shrimps as well.
There are other variations as well – you may add chopped cucumber or include any nuts as well.


Let me also wish you all a very happy and healthy Ramadan Kareem.
Ramadan Mubarak To all .....