Friday, 20 January 2017

Dak~Chicken Bulgogi

Dak Bulgogi
Chicken Bulgogi

"Fire meat" is what Bulgogi literally translated means, a word from the dialect of Korean called Pony'ng. When one speaks of Bulgogi, it does imply to be prepared with beef, unless specified to be any other kind.
Small pieces of  beef, chicken or dwaeji~pork, are often used to perpare bulgogi which is served up with sticky rice or rice noodles and enjoyed with chop sticks. Often a cucumber salad is offered with it. 
Originally created for royalty this is referred to as a rich mans food. With the culinary world closer and familiar than ever before, bulgogi is now available all over the world in varied versions. Here is one you can prepare in your own kitchen. 

Dak Bulgogi on sticky rice garnished with sesame seeds and green onions


Marinade:
Grate finely
1 large peeled pear 
4 cloves of fresh garlic
3 tbsp fresh, peeled ginger root
1/2 cup soya sauce
4 tsp crush chilli flakes
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp corn syrup, maple syrup or honey
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
6 tbsp sesame oil 

Marinate in the above marinade for a minimium of 2 hours or up to overnight
2.2 lb 1 kg chicken thighs in small pieces

You will also need

oil to pan fry
For the garnish
4 green onions, sliced 
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

In a hot skillet add a tbsp of oil, heat for a minute and add the pieces of chicken to sizzle and cook. Turn it once or twice. Keep adding the marinade as needed. Lower the heat and allow it to cook through. There should be little sticky gravy left at the end of the cooking.
Pour all of it over the bowl of rice or rice noodles.
Garnish it with green onions and the toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Tips
Serve this with a bowl of plain or sticky boiled, jasmine or basmati or sushi white rice. 
A bowl of rice noodles is another alternate.
Also serve thinly sliced cucumber, salt, tossed in rice wine vinegar with red radish or seaweed nori pieces.
If using beef, slice the flank steak against the grain in bite size pieces. If using short ribs keep them small enough to pick with chop sticks. You can consider using duck as well. Generally duck breast is a better choice to cook with.

There is no salt in this recipe because of the soya, (especially if one is not using the light variety) and sesame oil but you may adjust it according to your palate. Generally chicken needs some, while beef can do without.

The corn syrup, maple syrup or honey makes the gravy sticky. If you wish to reduce the sweetness cut  down the sugar not the syrup.


For more recipes from Niloufer's Kitchen click to purchase my new cookbook on Parsi Cuisine.



Photo courtesy Shamineh M.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Savoury and Sweet Pudding


Sweet and Savoury Pudding
It does sound a tad confusing, but this pudding is really a wonderful combination of textures and flavours. Not too sweet, it has the consistency of a bread pudding with the bites of the savoury turkey, smoked duck breast that is thinly sliced or any other favourite meat bacon to enhance the experience. Thinly sliced cooked sausages may work just as well. 
It is a pudding, do not allow it to overcook or bake on a high heat. You simply need to gently set it. 




Gently baked Savoury and Sweet Pudding

Prepare the bowl with the brioche rolls

Squeeze all the meat filled brioche buns as tightly as possible.























A deep baking dish that will fit all the rolls.

Ingredients
8-10 brioche rolls
350 gm/12oz smoked meat rashers like turkey bacon
3 eggs
2 cups half and half
2 cups whole fat milk
1/2 cup maple syrup or golden syrup
1/4 tsp salt flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly scraped nutmeg
1 tsp demerara sugar

Snip the turkey bacon into large pieces. Pan fry them until cooked through. 
Take each of the brioche rolls, slit open and put the meat into it. Stuff each on into the dish.
In a bowl mix the creamy milks, syrup. eggs, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour into the baking dish over the prepared brioche.
Press it down with a fork to submerge the bread into the liquid. 
Allow it to stand for 2 hours.
Sprinkle with the demerara sugar.
Bake in a preheated oven at 300 F/140 C for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow to set for another 30 minutes. 

Serve warm.

Tips

It is best not to reheat this pudding.

Allow it to stand at room temperature and not in the fridge as it will cook evenly and set gently.
Do not try to speed the process by raising the oven temperature. It must not boil.
You can use 1 cup of  full cream/whipping cream and 3 cups of whole milk if half and half is not available.

The demerara sugar will give a golden brown crunch on the top.

Smoked duck breast, salami, proscuitto, smoked montreal beef, smoked hunters beef and any other flavourful meat, which is preferably smoked and sliced will work for this pudding.

An addition of  a handful of nuts for the crunch may work well too.



For more recipes click Niloufer's Kitchen : Winter

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine is now available




Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Boule ~ Cheese Bread

Bread ~ cheese marmalade 

Preparing to make bread can be most therapeutic. 
Once the basic dough is made it has so many variations one can try out with the fillings. 

Boule is a French word for ball, which is flattened; pronounced as "boul".




Cheese and Marmalade Boule.



Proofing the yeast:
In a bowl add 
a sachet of traditional active yeast (8gm/.30 ounce approx 1 tbsp)
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup tepid warm water
Leave this for 10 minutes to rise and become into a thick pasty liquid.

For the Dough

Sift 3 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
Add 1 /3 rd cup melted oil and butter mix - this must be warm and take half and half of both.
The ready yeast
Add to this the fine zest of one large orange soaked in 1 cup of tepid warm water
Mix with a dough hook or knead with your hands until soft, shiny and smooth.
You may need to add another 1/4th cup flour or 1/4 cup water to make it balance.
If the texture is too sticky  add flour, if it is to dry add water. 


Put into a large glass bowl. Cover it with a tea-cloth and leave in a dry warm place like the oven-top/stove-top. After 1 hour punch it down with your knuckles and re-cover leaving it there for another hour.

After an hour dust the table top with flour and roll out the dough to a large rectangle.
Approximate size of 14x10 inches/35x25cm

For the filling
Mix
1/2 cup cream
1 cup grated strong cheddar cheese
3/4 cup marmalade

Spread the filling all over carefully, do not go to the edge keeping a finger width empty. This will prevent it from oozing out while rolling.
Starting with the shorter side closest to you roll tightly away from you. Now twist the roll as tightly as you can and make it into a coil.
Place in a well buttered cake pan of 9inches/32cm.
Brush the top of the dough with oil, butter or cream.

Bake the bread in a preheated oven of 400F/205C degrees for 35 minutes.


TIPS

Flour
There are so many types of flour that you can get and if you are fortunate enough to find it in your city pick one that is unbleached. 
Sift the flour twice to make it fresh and light.
Mix all the dry ingredients well before adding any of the liquid to prepare the dough.

Yeast
There are two types of yeast commonly available. Instant or rapid rise, and traditional. I prefer the traditional one.  To proof the yeast add 1 tsp sugar and pour 1/4 cup of tepid warm water over it. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes and see it bubble into a cup of pasty dirty looking liquid. It is now ready to use. If it fails to rise, do not add to the flour mix as the bread will not rise.

Sugar
All recipes call for white sugar but I generally bake with brown and so this recipe did have brown sugar only.

To store and eat, keep it covered in the refrigerator. Slice with a sharp bread knife and heat it on a hot skillet to toast for a minute on each side; turning it once. Perfect way to eat over the week.

For more recipes 
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine

or

Niloufer's Kitchen : French Bistro 

Jalapeno and Cheese bread


Jalapeno and Cheese Loaf



Jalapeno and cheese loaf






For the Dough

Proofing the yeast:
In a bowl add 
a sachet of traditional active yeast (8gm/.30 ounce approx 1 tbsp)
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup tepid warm water
Leave this for 10 minutes to rise and become into a thick pasty liquid.

In a mixer bowl
Sift 3 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
The ready yeast
Add 1 /3 rd cup melted oil and butter mix - this must be warm and take half and half of both.
Add to this the fine zest of one large orange soaked in 1 cup of tepid warm water
Mix with a dough hook or knead with your hands until soft, shiny and smooth.
You may need to add another 1/4th cup flour or 1/4 cup water to make it balance.
If the texture is too sticky  add flour, if it is to dry add water. 


Put into a large glass bowl. Cover it with a tea-cloth and leave in a dry warm place like the oven-top/stove-top. After 1 hour punch it down with your knuckles and re-cover leaving it there for another hour.

After an hour dust the table top with flour and roll out the dough to a large square.
Approximate size of 11x11 inches/30x30cm

For the filling
Mix
1/2 cup cream
1 cup grated strong cheddar cheese
3 to 6 sliced jalapenos

Spoon the filling in the middle of the dough leaving the top and bottom folds empty
tuck the sides in and then fold down the top of the dough to cover the filling and place the bottom fold over the top one to seal.

Place in a well buttered loaf pan; sealed side down.
Brush the top of the dough with oil, butter or cream.

Bake the bread in a preheated oven of 400F/205C degrees for 35 minutes.


TIPS

Flour
There are so many types of flour that you can get and if you are fortunate enough to find it in your city pick one that is unbleached. 
Sift the flour twice to make it fresh and light.
Mix all the dry ingredients well before adding any of the liquid to prepare the dough.

Yeast
There are two types of yeast commonly available. Instant or rapid rise, and  active traditional. I prefer the traditional one.  To proof the yeast add 1 tsp sugar and pour 1/4 cup of tepid warm water over it. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes and see it bubble into a cup of pasty dirty looking liquid. It is now ready to use. If it fails to rise, do not add to the flour mix as the bread will not rise.

Sugar
All recipes call for white sugar but I generally bake with brown and so this recipe did have brown sugar only.

To store and eat, keep it covered in the refrigerator. Slice with a sharp bread knife and heat it on a hot skillet to toast for a minute on each side; turning it once. Perfect way to eat over the week.

For more recipes 
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine

or

Niloufer's Kitchen : French Bistro 

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Jalapeno ~ Peppadew Corn Bread








Jalapeno and Peppadew Corn Bread

With a lovely "bite" to the cupcake this corn bread is gluten free, moist and delicious. It has wonderful subtle flavours which make the perfect choice of a side dish with a good roast, ribs or any soup of choice. 


Jalapeno & peppadew corn bread ready to be baked.




Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C
Prepare the pan

Makes 24 cupcake size breads

In an electric mixer bowl mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup soft salted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar

In a bowl mix together
1 cup white cornmeal
 1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder

In another bowl mix
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
12 pieces of jalapenos ( from a jar ) OR 1-2 fresh Jalepenos finely chopped, deseeded
 6 peppadews, chopped
1 can creamed corn (approximately 14 oz/400gms)

With an electric beater whip the eggs and butter until well mixed.

With a spatula, by hand gently fold in the cornmeal, salt and baking powder.
Continue to gently fold in the cheese and peppers.

Divide the batter into 24 equal parts filling each cupcake.
Bake for 30 minutes until the test skewer comes out clean.
Serve immediately.

Tips
Its best to have the eggs and butter at room temperature.

Pick your favourite sharp cheese like Gruyere for a perfect flavour. Grate it through a large grater to keep the cheese in larger strands rather than fine. This keeps the cheese part of the bread more visible once cooked.

If creamed corn is not available use corn kernels roughly chopped.

If you wish to buy only one type of cornmeal take 2 cups of yellow cornmeal.

Peppadew is a wonderful small red chilli, which can be sweet, mild or hot and is available in bottled jars as a pickle on super market shelves.
Jalapenos in this recipe are green and can be fresh or from a jar which is pickled and ready to eat. If using fresh use only 1-2 finely chopped.

If you do not have paper cup cake holders, ensure that you butter and flour the cupcake pan.
If it is a non stick pan, only buttering it will do.

Using an ice cream scoop with a spring to fill the cups will make it simpler.


For more fun recipes
Niloufer'sKitchen:Soups

Niloufer's Kitchen : Winter

or order my published book The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine online

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Milk Cake ~ A take on Tres Leches


Nicaraguan in origin, claimed as their own by the Mexicans, Tres Leches is a 3 milk dessert recently popularised by the American food scene in Texas, New Mexico and California. Milky, soft and pudding like, it is simply a combination of 3 milks added to a sponge cake.  
Those of you who love something rich, melt in the mouth and sweetly delicious, will not regret taking a bite of this heavenly soft luscious dish of goodness.

It has been on my list to make for a number of years. And finally I did go ahead with it for a 60 people Sunday Brunch. 

Everyone has their own concoction to make it look pretty. Here is mine.






Sponge Cake

4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup boiling milk
2 tbsp salted butter

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
Boil the milk and butter together.
Keep aside.

Beat on a high speed all the eggs until light and tripled in volume. Lower the speed and pour in slowly the sugar. Add the vanilla. 
On the lowest speed add 1/3rd of the dry ingredients, then half the liquid followed by the dry, wet and ending with the dry.

Depending on the size of the bowl you use to assemble the cake, you need three pans of 8 inch/20 cm or 9 inch/23 cm each.
Line each one with parchment paper. Butter and flour each tin. 
Divide the batter equally and bake for 25 minutes in a preheated oven of 350 F/180C. Test with a skewer to ensure the cakes are properly cooked through. The skewer must come out clean. Prick all the cakes all over to make holes for the milk to soak in easily. Allow the cakes to cool.


Tres Leches Mixture

1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup rich milk
2 tsp vanilla essence
pinch of salt

In a pan simply mix it well with a wooden spoon.

Caramel
In a pan 
On a medium high flame melt
1 1/4 cup sugar
Swirl over the heat until beautiful amber coloured.

Remove from the fire and add 1 cup of cream over the caramel; This will splatter so be careful.
Add a pinch of salt
1 tbsp of Tahitian Vanilla
OR
2 tbsp Rum

Walnuts
3 cups chopped walnuts


Assembly:
Divide the milk mixture into 3 equal parts. 
From 1 part pour 3 tbsp of the milk mixture in the bottom of your serving bowl. Place one of the cakes in the dish. Pour the rest of the milk over and allow to soak.
Once all the milk has been soaked up, pour the caramel in a thin layer and cover with chopped walnuts.
On cake #2 pour one-third of the share of milk mixture. Over turn the cake into the serving bowl and pour the rest of the milk over the cake. Keep it slow and even all over. Once all of the milk is soaked in, apply the caramel and cover it with broken walnuts. Repeat with cake #3. 

Cover and chill overnight.  

Tips 
Ensure the eggs are at room temperature. 
Keep the measured dry ingredients and the milk should be boiling hot when you start the beater. It cannot ''wait'' once it has been beaten. 
The rich milk can be whole milk, half and half or simple cream. I used whole milk.
Caramel can be made at home or store bought in glass jars. 
I added 2 tbsp rum to my caramel.


For more dessert recipes click on my new cookbook
The Art of Parsi Cooking;reviving an ancient cuisine

Reviews on the book can be viewed here.

Grain, lentils and pickled vegetable Salad


Grain and Lentil Salad


Aren't healthy salads a treat when they taste good too? Here is one with mixed grains, like Lentil, quinoa, wild rice, bulgur wheat, 




In a pan heat 3 tbsp olive oil
Add
1 1/2 cup each of 
brown lentils
bulgur  or cracked wheat
quinoa
wild rice

Mix well and add 6 cups of meat broth or chicken stock.
Add to the pot
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ras el hanout
1 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp freshly crushed garlic

Bring everything to a boil and lower the heat. Allow to cook through. Once the liquid has evaporated, cover and steam for another 20 minutes.
Over turn all the grains on to flat cook sheets and allow to cool.

Squeeze fresh lemon all over.

Before serving assemble it with

A cup each of your 3 favourite pickled vegetable
mushrooms
beetroot
red pepper
Keep approximately 1/2 cup of liquid from these, like the oil and vinegar
Toss

Also add
2 cups of your favourite piece of cooked meat in squares; like sausage 

1 cup broken pecan or walnuts

Sprinkle all over

1 cup finely chopped herbs like mint, parsley, corriander etc.

1 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

1 cup crisply fried onions

Optionally: 
1 cup kalamata olives
1 cup artichoke

Tips
The idea is to keep the cooked grains whole and not mashed up. Keep it moist and glistening with olive oil. Taste for salt.

The different choices are to give it the perfect taste, texture and colour.

Add your favourites, avoid the your family's questionable!

For more delicious salads and recipes
Niloufer's Kitchen : Moroccan Cuisine http://amzn.to/NKMoroccan






Monday, 24 October 2016

Kohra no Patio ~ Pumpkin Chutney

Kohra no Patio~ Red Pumpkin Patiyo




The perfect patio/patia, depends on the right combination spicy, sour and sweet / thiku-khatu-mithu. Taste the patio/patia for what your family may find delicious and adjust it accordingly.
This is served with Khichrifried fish  or fried fish roe~ gharab  mango buffena (a sweet mango pickle) and papad.

This dish is often served in the month of June when Zoroastrians observe the Bahman Mahino which is when most do not eat meat for 30 days. 





Red pumpkin Patio, a tbsp of  sweet mango chutney, a pot of khichri and toasted papadums
Serves 8 persons

Ingredients:

1 tbsp oil
2 tsp freshly ground garlic 
2 tsp freshly ground ginger
1 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chillie powder
 1 tsp salt
1 cup fried onions that are crushed or finely chopped
3 medium sized fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 kg red pumpkin that has been cleaned and diced (weigh after it has been peeled and cleaned)
2 geen chillies slit
2 peeled raw mangoes sliced
1  1/2 tbsp jaggery

optionally add 2 tbsp vinegar instead of the raw mangoes if unavailable.

In a pan heat the oil. Now add the garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, chillie powder and salt. Mix for a minute and add the onions, tomatoes and pumpkin. Mix well. Add the green chillies and the raw mangoes.  Cover, lower the heat and allow to cook till the pumpkin is soft. Now add the jaggery. Once it has all melted, crush the pumpkin with a potato masher. Taste for  the sweet and sour balance.

Serve with Khichri and Papadum.

Tips

Add 1/2 cup water if it is looking dry and not yet cooked through. 
Cooking it properly covered on a low to medium heat will ensure it steams through cooking it to the correct softness.
Taste for the sweet and sour balance before serving.
While the delicious orange/red pumpkins are best for this recipe, butternut squash would also work well for this recipe.
Fried fish is often served with this dish.

For more delicious Parsi Food recipes click
The Art of Parsi Cooking, reviving and ancient cuisine

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