Monday, March 30, 2015

Flounder in a Spicy Tomato Sauce

When I was growing up, one of the scariest thing I was asked to eat was a whole red snapper,
eyeballs and all, in a oniony tomato sauce. Grandma would make this dish since it was one of my Mom's favorites and each time I would just take a taste of the sauce making sure the eyeball wasn't staring at me.While my Abuelas' dish smelled good and the sauce was tasty; truly it scared the daylights out of me. I had this fear that the fish wasn't really cooked, or I'd swallow a bone, or some other crazy notion. I guess I really should have prefaced this post with the statement that as a child, for better or worse, I had an overactive imagination.
Kishore's Fish Curry
Ok, ok I still have an overactive imagination...Anyway, I rarely cook fish in sauce, (see above) but Kishore does and I thought to myself, 'you know he loves Grandmas' cooking why not give her recipe a go.' I made a few adjustments, tweaked it here, changed the fish and Voila, Flounder in a Spicy Tomato Sauce! These slight changes really helped quell my childhood irrational fears.

  • Fish - from Whole Snapper to Flounder Filets - Little to No Bones
  • Turmeric Treatment - Hey why not, adds a nice color and has antibacterial properties!
  • Browning the Fish - Gives the fish a little more structure so it doesn't fall apart in the sauce.
  • Sauce - Left the tomatoes a little more rustic rather than cooking them down all the way.

This dish has just the right amount of heat mixed in a rustic spiced tomato sauce which compliments the flaky, citrusy Flounder perfectly.

Here's my recipe for Flounder with a Spicy Tomato Sauce:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Murukulu - Tasty, Crunchy Rice Snacks

As I've mentioned before, Kishore likes crunchy snacks, and not just any kind of crunch there is a particular  phrase he uses "crunchy, crunchy." One of his favorite "crunchy, crunchy" snacks are made from a mixture of rice and bean flour, they are called Murukulu in Telugu. They are kind of fun to say too....Murk-ulu, Murk-oolu! Anyway, he introduced my family to them early on, and whenever he would come over for dinner or a party, he'd bring a bag of them. As a result they have become a regular snacking food in our house and amongst the family. When Amma came to visit she showed me how to make the handmade twisted version of this, it was labor intensive but oh so tasty! She said that she'd get me a press when I came to visit, and she did! But I didn't want to wait so I decide to give it a go with my cookie press's cheese straw disc and it worked exactly as I'd hoped...sometimes you just have to think outside the box!

These golden savory spirals, have the perfect amount of salt, heat, and 'crunchy, crunch' to quell your snack craving.

So here is my recipe for Crunchy, Crunchy Murukulu:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Happy Ugadi! Mango Rice

Happy Ugadi Everyone!

This past Saturday (3/21) was Telugu New Year also known as Ugadi. It is usually celebrated with the reading of the New Years' almanac and traditional foods. Like Ugadi Pachadi whose ingredients represent different experiences that we all deal with in one year's time: Happiness, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, Surprise and Fear. This year, we celebrated Ugadi together with family Friday night, which also happened to be the First Day of Spring...and it snowed. We had a great time minus the snow!

The table spread consisted of: Mango Rice, Plantain Bajji, Green Bean Poriyal, Potato fry, Ugadi Pachadi, Curd Salad, Sambar, Cauliflower Roast, Masala and Cabbage Vada. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the table, but to be honest the meal didn't hang around long enough for a photo...which I'll take as a compliment. :)

Anyway, the real hit of the night was the Mango Rice. Green mango is suppose to signify surprise in the Pachadi, and we definitely had a surprise in the form of 6 inches....that's right 6 inches of snow on the First Day of Spring!
This rice dish was just the right amount of savory, spicy, and tart, evoking happy thoughts of the warmer weather  to come. It was a perfect way to bring in the New Year, and celebrate the coming of Spring!

Here is my recipe for Mouthwatering Mango Rice:

Monday, March 16, 2015

Irish Chicken, Leek & Potato Bake

For St. Patrick's Day, I've seen a lot of Corned Beef and Cabbage recipes on the recipe blogosphere and I wanted to make a different recipe contribution. Last week I found this handwritten recipe in one of my old cookbooks, 'Irish Chicken and Potato Pie'. I'm honestly not sure who wrote it, or when, but as I was making it a familiar smell filled the kitchen. It brought me back to the many Sundays evenings spent in my Grandparents house, a warm enticing smell...comfort food.

This baked pie has a savory filling of chicken and root vegetables. The mustard and black pepper adds just the right amount of snap to the creamy chicken, leek, and potato filling. The only change I made to the original was to swap the heavy pastry topping to a lighter crisp Phyllo dough, but the essence of the recipe stayed the same.

Here's my recipe for this heart, tasty Chicken bake:

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Irish Cream Glazed Vanilla Bean Baked Donuts

St. Patrick's Day is near and dear to my heart, and as I posted last year it is tradition to make Grandma Walsh's Irish Soda Bread. Every year Mom makes corn beef and cabbage, roasted potatoes and vegetables, and we have the Soda Bread after dinner. After dinner, we have some Irish cream and we watch an Irish movie, The Quiet Man, Waking Ned Devine, Far and Away, or War of the Buttons. My Mom usually makes her Homemade Irish Cream for Christmas but last year there wasn't any left so out came the Bailey's. 
This year in addition to our family's tradition of soda bread, I decided to use my Mom's Homemade Irish Cream to make some tasty baked donuts. These baked Vanilla Bean donuts are soft and fluffy, and the Irish Cream Glaze just give them the right amount of sweet with a touch of whisky! :)

Here's my recipe for Irish Cream Glazed Vanilla Bean Donuts:

Monday, March 9, 2015

Beet, Orange, and Fennel Salad

Despite the lose of an hour of sleep, this week seems like it's going to be an improvement over last....Why, you ask...Two reasons: Sun and warmer temperatures!

I can feel Spring closing in on us, and it's a welcome feeling. This past friday was Holi, the Hindu spring festival of colors. People celebrate by showering each other with colored powders and colored water, all to celebrate the coming of Spring. 
When I gave it to Kishore to taste upon seeing it he called it 'Holi on a Plate' and frankly I agree with him! I love the festive bright colors of this salad, it really does bring some much needed sunshine to our table.

This salads' flavors of sweet Orange, Beet, Carrot and Fennel meld wonderfully with the earthy and tart Dill Vinegar dressing. Fresh, bright flavors and vibrant colors make this a great Spring Salad.

Here's my recipe for Beet, Orange, and Fennel Salad with Dill Dressing:

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Root Vegetable and Lentil Goulash - Hungarian Stew

More cold snowy days means more hearty soups and stews on the table in our house!
Needless to say we've been eating a lot of them, and to keep it interesting I like to take inspiration from world cuisine.

This weekend we got a lovely bottle of Sweet Red Hungarian Wine, and it inspired me to use my Hot Hungarian Paprika to make a hearty goulash with root vegetables and green lentils for dinner.
It proved to be a winner!

This hearty veggie and lentil stew is flavorful, with just the right amount of spicy kick. It's delicious, served topped with Sour Cream and Crusty Homemade Sourdough bread on the side.

Here's my recipe for Spicy Root Veggie Goulash:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In My Kitchen - March 2015

It's time for another round of the very cool monthly happening called "In My Kitchen" run by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

So here we go....

This Month in my Kitchen...

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