Monday, July 9, 2012

Roasted Almond and Basil Pesto with Char Grilled Eggplant

I came to know about 'pesto' only after watching Giada de Laurentiis recipes. When I heard it for the first time,I thought it is associated with  'pestle and mortar'. But its true, the ingredients in a pesto are ground with a circular motion in a pestle and mortar. Anyway, we shall do it in a food processor or blender. This recipe is done by my husband and he surprised me with this delicious and simple recipe.

What you need ?
1 Medium size eggplant

For Pesto

1 handful of Basil leaves
10-12 Almonds
2 Garlic cloves
5 tbsp of Olive oil
Grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon (4-5 tbsp)
Salt and pepper to taste

- Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch thickness and brush olive oil on both sides of all eggplant slices.

- Heat a grill or griddle until hot and cook the eggplant slices for about 3-4 minutes until you get the grill marks or cooked through on both sides.

- Place basil,almonds, garlic,lemon zest, lemon in a food processor and blend together.

- Slowly add the remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil and blend until the mixture forms a smooth paste.

- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

-For serving, stack the eggplant on a platter. Drizzle some pesto on top of hot and grilled eggplant and serve immediately.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cake Pops - Birthday Party Favours

Having a get together or a party in the near future ? Then, cake pops are the right choice as party favours and definitely a delicious alternative to cupcakes. I made these cake pops for my daughter's 1st birthday party and became a bit hit.
I adapted this recipe from wildly popular blogger Bakerella. Cake pops are cute little cakes balls on a stick coated with candy melts of your choice and any sprinkles or decor. To make 5 nos, you need :

Plain cake any flavor 1 cup (crumbled)
Frosting any flavor 1 tsp
Candy melts or Chocolate (for coating)
Styrofoam block
Lollipop sticks
Sprinkles for decoration (optional) 

These adorable cake pops fit any occasion.

Step 1: Plain cake to be crumbled

Step 2:  Add frosting to the crumbled cake.

Step 3:  Mix well and divide into 5 equal portions. Roll into smooth balls by hand. Place it in the refrigerator for 15 mins.

Step 4:  Melt candy coating or chocolate according to the package directions. I melted these dark chocolate bars in the microwave for about 40 secs.

Step 5:  Dip about 1/2 inch of the tip of each lollipop stick into the melted chocolate.

Step 6: Insert straight into the cake ball, pushing it no more than halfway through.

Step 7:  Hold the cake pop by the stick and dip into the melted chocolate or use a spoon to cover the cake balls with enough melted chocolate and make sure its been coated evenly. Tap gently to remove any excess.

Step 8: Stick the cake pops into the prepared Styrofoam block. 

Step 9: Decorate with colored sugar or sprinkles.

Store the cake pops in airtight containers or cover them in small treat bags and tie with curling ribbons.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Grilled Brussels Sprout With Sun Dried Tomatoes

I love eating salads. No matter warm or cold salad. Whenever you want to finish your cooking soon, then this is it. All you need are few ingredients and just wrap or roll it in rotis or tortillas.

Brussels Sprout fresh or frozen about 2 cups
Sun Dried tomatoes 3/4 cup
Juice of 1 lemon
Garlic 2 cloves
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Paprika powder 1/2  tsp
Salt to taste

Finely chop garlic and mince it well.

In a medium sized bowl, add about a tbsp of olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, paprika powder and salt.

Meanwhile, defrost Brussels sprout in microwave. I used frozen ones. Cut into halves.

Throw the cut sprouts and sun dried tomatoes  into the oil mixture and make sure that all the pieces are coated well with oil.

Grill the Brussels sprout and sun dried tomatoes mixture on an electric or stove top grill for about 3-4 minutes, until you see those beautiful grill marks and the Brussels sprout is cooked through.

Before serving, heat the remaining olive oil in a small skillet and add mustard seeds.Saute for 30 seconds on a medium high heat or till the seeds begin to sizzle.

Drizzle over the grilled mixture and serve.