Archive for Sides

Breadless ovenfree crab cakes

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It’s been 3 months since we have been eating Paleo. Yes, a step ahead of gluten free. Now we are grain free, dairy free, and yes sugar free. And it’s been 3 months since I posted anything here, was buy experimenting with Paleo. Trying to make them simpler and faster. This is one of them. 4 ingredients crab cakes, 6 patties will be ready in 20 minutes. 

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Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups crabmeat

1 cup crushed baked potato chips

1 egg

1 tbsp oil

Instructions: 

In a bowl, beat an egg for 30 seconds. Add crabmeat and crushed potato chips. Mush it well. Make 6 patties and pan fry them on medium heat, each side for 5-6 minutes and then flip. None of the ingredients need very long time to cook.

 

Crab Eggplant Bruschetta

Crab Eggplant Bruschetta

This is one of my best creations so far. This one is for you to impress your guests.

Serves: 4, Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

Crab Eggplant Bruschetta

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup crab meat (I get claw meat. for two reasons: one I like it better and I think it’s cheaper)
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp caviar (optional, just makes it look nicer)
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 2 tbsp oil

Method: 

  1. Slice eggplants into 1/4″ thick diagonal slices, you should get 8-10 slices. Marinade them with salt in a ziplock bag.
  2. In a bowl mix crab, mayonnaise and spring onion and set it aside.
  3. Drain the excess water from eggplant slices and dry them on paper towels. Empty the ziplock bag completely and wipe it on inside with a paper towel. Add flour and eggplant slices to the same bag and toss the bag from one hand to another so that slices are evenly coated with flour.
  4. Heat a tbsp of oil on a large skillet on medium heat and arrange all the egg plant slices on the skillet. If you don’t have a skillet large enough, you can sear the slices in two batches. Turn the slices over after 5-7 minutes, or when they are brown on one side. Let them brown on the other as well then place them on a paper towel for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Transfer the slices on a serving plate, once they are cooled a bit put a spoonful of crab mix on every slice. Decorate with dash of caviar.
  6. Your guests would think of you as a great chef! 🙂

 

 

 

Arabian Nights Lamb Chops Dinner Complete with Baba Ganoush

Arabian nights dinner

This is another one of my creation. Lamb chops inspired by baba ganoush. Or let’s say lamb chops using same marinade as baba ganoush spices. Just an experiment that turned out great. 

Arabian nights dinner

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 1/2 lb lamb chops
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 green chili pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

 

Method:

  1. Make paste of all the ingredients except lamb and eggplant in a blender and divide it.
  2. Brush some oil on eggplant, poke it with a fork or knife at 8-10 places and broil it on high for 45 minutes.
  3. In a ziplock bag combine the spice paste and lamb chops. Roll the bag a few times so that the paste completely coats the lamb. Let it marinate for 45 minutes.
  4. Once the eggplant is cooked, take it out of the oven and let it cool on cooling rack or a plate.
  5. Preheat oven at 375 deg F. This should not take time as you just used the oven for broiling the eggplant. In an oven proof trey place the lamb chops and bake it for an hour or so.
  6. While lamb chops are getting done, peel the eggplant and paste it in a blender with the marinade paste.
  7. Once the lab chops are ready serve them with the baba ganoush.
  8. Just to add some starch to the dinner I pan seared some boiled potato slices. If you are not gluten free you can very well have pita bread with this.  Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 4.57.06 PM Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 4.57.31 PM

 

 

 

Thai Inspired Salad

When I made summer rolls for the first time I had lots of sprouts, shrimps, julienne carrots and julienne dicons left. I made this salad just to make good use of all those left overs and have been making it since then. And love it every time. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup sprouts
  • 1/2 cup small shrimps, cleaned, deveined and cooked (of course don’t use shrimps if you are making vegetarian)
  • 1/2 cup julienne carrots
  • 1/2 cup julienne dicons
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup crushed and roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (use soy sauce for veggie)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch of salt if needed

 

Directions: 

In a salad bowl mix everything except cilantro and peanuts, use them to garnish.

 

Thai Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Thai is one of the cuisines that i just couldn’t get right. And Z loves Thai food, may be thats why he signed both of us up for Thai Cooking Class by MasterChef, my valentine’s day gift =) . Although I was pretty bored with chef’s yapping, I did pick up a few tips and tricks. And just handful of these opened up all new possibilities with this yummiest cuisine for me.

Here is my first one from the Thai series: The Summer rolls with peanut sauce.

Summer rolls: 

Ingredients: 

  • 6-8 rice roll wraps, found at asian grocery stores
  • 1 cup julienne carrots, as per the chef, julienne = 8 x 8 x 2, which essentially means all pieces should be 1/8″ x1/8″ X 2″ in size.
  • 1 cup julienne dicon
  • 1 cup small shrimps, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • a few cups of hot water

Directions: 

  1. Mix shrimps, fish sauce, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl. Cover it with paper towel and microwave for 5 minutes. Alternatively you can saute’ the mix on a pan.
  2. Take hot water in a large bowl. Dip one wrap at a time for 15-20 seconds in the hot water. Take the wrap out and spread it over a cutting board or any other flat and clean surface.
  3. Place some carrots, dicons and shrimps in one line, in the center of the roll. Do not over stuff. Roll the side towards you over the stuffing then fold left and right sides. finally apply some water to the open edge and seal it. Try to make tight but not very tight rolls.
  4. Place the rolls in the fridge for a few minutes before serving. Cut them in half and serve with peanut sauce.

Peanut sauce: 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp chili paste
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp fish sauce

Directions: 

  1. Mix the ingredients well with a fork or in a blender till they form a uniform mix.

 

 

 

 

Greek Baked Eggplant with an Indian Twist

For Indian vegetarians eggplant is one of the most hated vegetable. However my dad loved eggplant bharta, as a result we ate lots of and still loved it. I have made greek baked eggplant before and loved it as much as I love bharta. For love of both, just decided to combine them. And the result not just looks good, it tastes good too. 

Indian baked eggplant

Ingredients: 

  • 4 medium size eggplants
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chili pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions: 

  1. Cut each eggplant vertically in half. Scoop out the inner of eggplant, chop it and set it aside.
  2. Heat some oil in a pan and add eggplant inners, tomato, onion, green pepper, turmeric, cumin, red chili pepper and salt. Let it sauté till entire mixture is softened and slightly browned.
  3. Heat the oven to 375 deg F.
  4. Brush the eggplant halves with some oil and set them in a prepared baking dish. Fill the eggplants with the mixture. Put them in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes or when the outer eggplant is softened and started to brown, take them out and scoop out a table spoon of yogurt on each eggplant half. Put the eggplants back in the oven.
  6. Let them bake for another 10 minutes.
  7. Finish them with cilantro and serve them as side or a vegetarian dinner.

 

 

 

Baked Eggplant

eggplant

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced in 1/2″ thk slices
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Directions: 

  1. Drizzle salt over eggplant slices, set it aside for 10-15 minutes. After that transfer the slices on paper towel and dry them by pressing gently.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and place the slices in a single layer on high heat. Flip them after 3 minutes. Once they are nicely browned on both the sides, place them in a prepared oven dish.
  3. Blend oil, garlic, basil leaves and lemon juice together to form a paste.
  4. Pour the paste over eggplants. Place one tomato slice over one eggplant slice. Sprinkle cheese generously.
  5. Preheat oven at 375 deg F and bake the eggplants for 25-30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Jwarichi Bhakri

This might be the healthiest one from the bread family. Many parts of the rural india eat it in some or the other form. Poorer india eats it with onion and salt and richer with curries or ghee. Can made of rice flour, millet (jowar/jwari) flour, corn+wheat flour, only wheat flour. Very flwxible like rest of the bread family. Can be eaten with every meal. As a child, I remember eating it with jaggery and ghee for breakfast. And after growing up, love the rice flour bhakri with fish curry and the jwari flour bhakri with goat curry. Ummm the satisfying feeling that it gives me. I must share the not so easy recipe. 

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Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups pearl millet flour
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method: 

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix flour and salt.
  2. Then add hot water 2 tbsp at a time and go on mixing, till it becomes like pizza dough. Knead it for good 5 minutes.
  3. Make 3-4 balls out of dough.
  4. Dust the rolling surface with flour. Press one of the balls and make a pattie shape. Place it on rolling surface and roll it with rolling pin. Try to get a round 9″ diameter. If it cracks, stick it back by pressing it or with a drop of water.
  5. Heat a skillet on medium to low heat. Carefully pick up the rolled bhakri and place it on the skillet. Brush it with water. When this water dries up flip it, starting on the edges first to remove it if it’s stuck to the pan. Increase the heat from medium to high. When bhakri puffs a bit flip it to other side. Roast it for 30-40 seconds and then remove in a plate.
  6. Repeat the process for rest of the bhakries. And you know how to eat them!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps, P F Chang inspired and better!

Last time we went to P F Chang, wasn’t a very good experience. The waitress was preoccupied, food was mediocre etc. So as a revenge I made P. F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps at home and I assure you these turned out better than the original. Of course they were the improvised version. Made them little more colorful by using red bell peppers and spring onions. The added red and green. Why not? After all the food appreciation starts from it’s looks. Something that looks good and smells good, we assume it will taste good. Almost always it does, unless you have forgotten the salt! 

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Ingredients: 

  • 1 chicken breast, skinless and boneless
  • 2 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless (I like dark meat, that’s why I mixed it. If you don’t. Then use one more breast)
  • 1 can water chest nuts
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce/ soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice/ vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6-7 lettuce leaves
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil

Method: 

  1. Chop chicken, mushrooms, water chest nuts, bell pepper and spring onions into tiny pieces
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add chicken. Saute’ chicken for a while on medium to high, till it’s dry, golden brown and starts to give away some oil.
  3. Take the chicken out and set it aside. Add mushrooms, water chest nuts, red bell pepper and spring onions to the pan and saute for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Once the mix looks dry add rest of the ingredients, except lettuce leaves. Mix it well and add chicken. Mix it for a minute more.
  5. Set lettuce leaves in a plate and add the mix in each leaf. Serve it.

 

 

Quick Fix Okra

We mostly eat fresh fruits and vegetables, yet for the unplanned times I always have a packet of frozen okra. It makes an excellent side for dinners when you are late.

Quick Fix Okra

Time: 10-15 minutes

Difficulty level: Simple

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pkt frozen okra
  • 1 tbsp or lesser oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method: 

  1. Heat oil in a pan and empty entire packet of okra. Sauté it by turning continuously till okra gets some black spots.
  2. Sprinkle some salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes more. It’s ready!
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