Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BSI - Event - Contestant entries – Winner Announced!!!

OK! First of all a big fat thank you to all of you who submitted entries for this event. I had all together 22 entries for this week’s event, making it a great success!

To be perfectly honest with you choosing a winner from these wonderful recipes that I received was a very difficult job. As I went through each one of the recipes, it was very easy to get distracted by your amazing photos. Every time I saw a new recipe, I was thinking if only I can have some of it…so many adorable looking yummy dishes..ummm mouth-watering! It’s difficult not to drool, but more than that was choosing the winning dish. The recipes which gave me the most hard time to control my urge of eating them somehow, were the following, Kesar Pista Rasmalai, Apple Pista Milkshake by Creative Sanyukta, Jumbo Pistachio CookiesPista Shahi Rabri by Super Yummy Recipes, Falooda Kulfi by IndianSimmer, Delicate Darling – Pistachios gujiya/puri by A Pinch of Love, Pistachio Halwa by Joy of Cooking, Pistachio Lime Cookies by Isabel Lake, Pistachio & Cardamom Cake (Eggless) by Queen of my kitchen, Garam Masala Tofu Scramble by Recipe Rhapsody and Pistachio Gelato by Biggest Diabetic Loser.

I wish I had more prizes to give out, in that case I could have done justice to all the brilliant entries but there is only one winning place to secure. Finally after quite a lot of deliberation I decided the winner of this week’s event is  Pistachio & Cardamom Cake (Eggless) by Queen of my kitchen. A big congratulation to Supriya. Now can I have a piece of your cake please?

OK! Time to announce the next week’s host for the BSI- Event. I am really glad and happy to announce that Sanyukta from Creative Sanyukta will be the next host of this event. Please visit her blog to see the next week’s BSI and participate. Thanks Sanyukta for hosting this event on your blog.

Below is the list of all the entries I received for the 92nd week of BSI- EVENT :

1. Pistachio-Bottlegourd Pudding/Lauki Pista Kheer - By Creative Sanyukta

2. Luxury Fruit Bread – By Chacko’s Kitchen

3. Chilled Carrot Soup with Pistachios – By Quips, Travels and Braised Oxtails

4. Falooda Kulfi – By IndianSimmer

5. Jumbo Pistachio Cookies – By Super Yummy Recipes

6. Pistachio & Cardamom Cake (Eggless) – By Queen of my kitchen

7. Delicate Darling – Pistachios gujiya/puri – By A Pinch of Love

8. Basundi Recipe – By What’s cooking today?

9. Mango Shrikhand – By The taste space – steam, bake, boil, shake!

10. Garam Masala Tofu Scramble – By Recipe Rhapsody

11. Shrikhand –By Creative Sanyukta

12. Kesar-Pista Basundi –By Creative Sanyukta

13. Heavenly Cracked Wheat Kheer – By Creative Sanyukta

14. Tri colour peda – By Joy of Cooking

15. Shrikhand – By Joy of Cooking

16. Pistachio Halwa – By Joy of Cooking

17. Pistachio Lime Cookies – By Isabel Lake

3 cups sugar
1/2 cup lime zest, about 6 to 8 limes
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, chilled
6 ounces shelled pistachios
5 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon natural almond extract
3/4 cup fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor work bowl, add sugar and lime zest. Process until sugar and zest are well mixed, about 20 seconds. Scrape into a large mixing bowl. Reserve about 1/2 cup of lime sugar in a separate bowl for later use.

Add flour, baking powder and salt into food processor and pulse briefly to mix. Add cold butter into food processor with flour mixture and 3 ounces of the pistachios. Process with short pulses until mixture resembles cornmeal and no large lumps of butter remain, about 10 seconds. Add remaining pistachios and mix briefly, about 5 seconds. Pour this mixture into the sugar and lime mixture in the large mixing bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix egg yolks, vanilla extract, almond extract, and lime juice together.

Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, pour in the lime/sugar and flour/butter mixture and stir until combined, about 15 seconds. Then, while the mixer is still running, slowly add egg/lime juice mixture and mix until well combined and dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 15 to 30 seconds.

Scrape the dough into a large bowl and refrigerate until cold, but not solid, about 30 minutes. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Take the dough balls and roll the tops into the reserved lime sugar. Use the bottom of a water glass to press the cookies flat, about 1/4-inch thick. Bake the cookies until slightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove the parchment paper with the cookies from the tray to a cooling rack and cool.

18. Kesar Pista Rasmalai – By Creative Sanyukta

19. Apple Pista Milkshake – By Creative Sanyukta

20. Almond-Pistachio Vermicelli  Milk Pudding – By Creative Sanyukta

21. Pista Shahi Rabri –By Super Yummy Recipes

22. Pistachio Gelato –By Biggest Diabetic Loser

Monday, August 16, 2010

BSI - Event

Ok Guys! As I mentioned before, there are going to be some changes to my week of hosting BSI event, so here they are. There was some miscommunication regarding the hosting of the 89th week’s event and as a result two people hosted week 89. There after two parallel threads of the same event were going on. This problem was discovered during my week of hosting. We had stop this from continuing and for that I had a lot of discussion with the immediate previous hosts. The conclusion was that I will continue to host this week and my week will be 92nd week of this event. I have updated the list of previous hosts below to accommodate everyone and also the last date of submission for my week.
The story behind this event is that each week the chosen host will pick up an ingredient of his/her choice which has not been chosen as BSI before. To participate in this event you need to send recipes using the chosen ingredients and at the end of the week the host announces the winner and passes on the event to the next host.

Now time for the surprise. I am really happy to announce that I have received a sponsorship from CSN Store’s Dutch Oven for the winner of this week’s BSI-Event. The prize is a gift certificate of US $35. This gift certificates can be used in CSN Stores US/Canada and if the winner is from UK then an equivalent amount of gift certificate will be given which can be used on CSN Stores UK online stores. There is a huge range of products to choose from. My apologies if the final winner is not from US, UK or Canada, but I am sure the recognition of being a BSI winner is a reward by itself! So gear up and send me your entries. 

This week's ingredient is Pistachio.


How and When:

    * Main or one of the main ingredients of your recipe should be Pistachio.
    * Anyone can participate, you don't need to have a food blog to participate in this event.
    * If you have an archived recipe then please send me the link.
    * Please send your entries at (easy2cookrecipe [at] gmail [dot] com).
    * Alternatively you can also leave a comment on this post.
    * Last date to send entries 29th August 10pm GMT.
I will announce the winner on Sunday 29th August also the name of the next host who would like to host the 93rd Week.

Here are our previous hosts:

Week 91: The Southern Cookbook – Butter

Week 90: Recipe Rhapsody - Flour

Week 89: Debbi Does Dinner Healthy - Ground Turkey

Week 89: Abraham Chacko – Garbanzo Beans

Week 88: Hema – Onions

Week 87: Quips, Travails & Braised Oxtails – Black Eyed Peas

Week 86:  Making Good Choices – Applesauce

Week 85: Non-Dairy Queen - Raspberries

Week 84:  Healthy Exposures - Bulgar Wheat

Week 83:  Clarity in Creation – Peaches

Week 82: Mo’s Kitchen - Rice

Week 81: Waisting Duxie - Swiss Chard

Week 80: Fuss Free Flavours - Capers

Week 79:  Jenn Cuisine - Honey

Week 78: Living Free - Cashews

Week 77: Affairs of Living – Artichokes

Week 76:  One Frugal Foodie - Sunflower Seeds

Week 75: Part of the Whole - Beets

Week 74: Dinner at Christina’s - Sour Cream

Week 73: The Chef in My Head - Goat Cheese

Week 72: 5 Star Foodie - Asparagus

Week 71: Eats Well With Others – Carrots

Week 70: Burp and Slurp - Brussel Sprouts

Week 69:  Fun Fearless Foodie – Parmesan Cheese

Week: 68:  Natalie’s Killer Cuisine - Cocoa Powder

Week 67:  Eat, Live, Travel, Write - Lemon Zest

Week 66: Travel Eat Love - Coconut Milk

Week 65: Run Beans Run - Tofu

Week 64: Chicago Marathon Val - Mushrooms

Week 63: Biggest Diabetic Loser – Cheddar Cheese

Week 62: A Fit and Spicy Life – Balsamic Vinegar

Week 61: Peanut Butter Fingers - Nutmeg

Week 60:  Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now - Garlic

Week 59:  Home Cooked Em – Cinnamon

Week 58: The Balanced Broad – Flax

Week 57: Cookin Fanatic - Blue Cheese

Week 56:  Foodie in the City - Ricotta Cheese

Week 55:  Savvy Eats - Maple Syrup

Weel 54: Sound Eats - Dried Fruit

Week 53: Mega Nerd Runs - Acorn Squash

Week 52: Healthy Tipping Point - Pancake Mix

Week 51: Live, Laugh Eat - Almond Butter

Week 50: Balance, Joy and Delicias! – Cauliflower

Week 49: Healthy San Diego Living - Chickpeas

Week 48: Thought 4 Food - Yogurt

Week 47: London Foodie in New York - Chocolate

Week 46:  Johnstone’s Vin Blanc - Oats

Week 45: Guilty  Kitchen - Figs

Week 44: Ordinary Recipes Made Gourmet - Peanut Butter

Week 43: The Sophisticated Gourmet - Brown Sugar

Week 42: My Kitchen Addiction – Lime

Week 41: Nutmeg Nanny – Coffee

Week 40: Chaya’s Comfy Cook – Broccoli

Week 39: Healthy Delicious – Plums

Week 38: Zoe - Feta

Week 37: ChezWhat- Potatoes

Week 36: Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice – Blueberries

Week 35: Girlichef -Greens

Week 34: The Ungourmet – Watermelon

Week 33: Bread + Butter – Bell Pepper

Week 32: Burp and Slurp -Corn

Week 31: Say Yes to Salad – Kabocha

Week 31 1/2: Simply Fabulous Now – Cherries

Week 30: Thinspired – Bananas

Week 29: To Be The Whole Package – Almonds

Week 28: Kristas Kravings – Lemon

Week 27: From French Fries To Flax Seeds – Coconut

Week 26: Plentiful Plants – Avocado

Week 25: Training Fuel – Eggs

Week 24: Dinner at Christina’s – Cabbage

Week 23: Hey What’s for Dinner, Mom? – Strawberries

Week 22: One Bite at a Time – Basil

Week 21: Just Sweet Enough – Black Beans

Week 20: What I Ate Yesterday – Kale

Week 19: What’s for Dinner – Orange

Week 18: BranAppetit! –Spinach

Week 17: Tales of Expansion Dates

Week 16: Biggest Diabetic Loser – Zucchini

Week 15: Sweet & Natural –Peppermint

Week 14: bella eats [and runs] – Ginger

Week 13: Coffee Talk – Walnuts

Week 12: For the Love of Oats – Pumpkin

Week 11: Trying to Heal – Sweet Potatoes

Week 10: The Inner Workings of a College Graduate – Eggplant

Week 9: Itzy’s Kitchen – Pears

Week 8: The Fitnessista – Cranberries

Week 7: Tri to Cook – Lentils

Week 6: Rhodey Girl Tests – Polenta

Week 5: Eating Bender – Butternut Squash

Week 4: Care to Eat – Apples

Week 3: On a Lobster Placemat – Mushrooms

Week 2: Hangry Pants – Tomatoes

Week 1: sportsnutritionliving – Quinoa


Monday, August 9, 2010

Boozy Chocolate Cake

OK! Now I know this sounds bit strange but after you read the whole story you will know how I ended up doing this experiment. My better half was out of country for couple of weeks. I was alone at home and honestly didn't have any drive or interest to cook for me only. You see, I am known for my laziness and specially when the king is away from the castle, the whole administration becomes quite relaxed (a bit too much relaxed!!). Throughout week I had lived on minimum cooking. To begin with, heating up the leftovers but how long can leftovers remain? Once they are over then I turned on to heating stuff on oven and microwave. Somehow I reached the end of the week and on Friday, I reached my limit of having frozen food so I decided to cook something. I cooked some spaghetti in white sauce with mushrooms and peas and opened a bottle of red wine.

While having my dinner I was reading about how difficult it is to match a wine with chocolate and as a result started craving for a piece of cake. It was quite late to go to supermarket, so the only option I had is to bake it myself. I started the process and then I thought why not bake a chocolate cake with red wine. Quite a lot of wine was left in the bottle and this was just the excuse I was looking for to do my experiment. I found a recipe online, but I find it difficult to stick to recipes so mid way in the process of  baking the cake I thought let me add some whiskey as well. It's going to boozy cake anyway why not make it a cocktail one. So I used some single malt whiskey from my husband's collection. Later on when I told him that I used some of his treasures in baking the cake, he was shocked and gave me a blank look and to his surprise there was a glittering spark of revenge in my eyes.

Ingredients :

For the cake:

125gm unsalted butter
125gm sugar
2 eggs
1 glass of  red wine
3 tbsp single malt whisky
125gm plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 bar of dark chocolate (75 gm)

For soaking: (Yes, you need to soak the cake, which keeps the cake moist for a long time)

1 cup of water
2 tbsp sugar
1 glass of red wine

In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients together and keep it aside. Melt the butter and add the sugar to it and start whisking. Break the eggs and add them to the butter and sugar mix and whisk them until pale in colour. Melt the chocolate and add that to the egg-sugar-butter mix. Continue whisking while adding the glass of wine in to it. Now add the dry ingredient mix in the whisked mixture and as usual continue mixing (use a electric one). When it has become a homogeneous mixture, add the whiskey and the nuts and mix with a spatula. Preheat oven to 170°C and grease the baking tin. Pour the mixture in to the baking tin and bake it in the oven for 35 minutes until well risen. Insert a skewer in to the centre of the cake to check if it is cooked. If it comes out clean then your cake is ready. Once cooked, let it cool down for half-an-hour or so, then take out from the baking tin.

Now comes the soaking bit. Bring water and sugar to the boil in a small pan and add the red wine to it. Place cooled cake back in tin and pour the red wine syrup in to it. Once the liquid has been absorbed, store it in the fridge at least for few hours (ideally overnight). Don't try to cut a piece out immediately after soaking, I learnt this because I did and it broke into pieces as it was too moist. Later on you can take the cake out of the tin carefully and serve cold.

Note: This was a pure experiment with some unconventional ingredients for a cake but I enjoyed it. Hope you will also like it!!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Coconut filled Pancakes

Coconut always reminds me of festive sessions in India. I can't think of one festival where I have not seen coconut being used. In India any puja, festival or any auspicious ceremony will not be completed without coconut. I was pleasantly surprised to know that there is a festival in Maharastra which is named after this tropical fruit. It's called the "Narali Purnima" which is celebrated during the month of Shravan (August) by the fishermen.

I made these pancakes quite some time ago but never really got a chance to upload them. This week I was going through my list of unpublished recipes and found this one. Although I have uploaded the photos on my Facebook page but the recipe was not uploaded. Back in India we used to relish on this dish during Makar Sankaranti around end of January. The dish is called Patishapta in Bengali. I have made little changes to the original recipe. So here is the recipe of Patishapta with chocolate sauce.  


For the pancakes:

100 gm plain flour
100 gm semolina
30 gm rice flour
600 ml of full fat milk
50 gm of brown sugar
Pinch of cinnamon powder
Oil for frying

For the coconut filling:

100 gm of freshly grated coconut
50 gm soft brown sugar
50 ml Maple syrup
50 gm honey
3-4 green cardamom

For the Chocolate Sauce:

100 gm dark chocolate ( at least 60% coca solids)
100 gm soft brown sugar
100ml double cream
50 gm unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla essence


Mix all the dry ingredients for the pancake, then add the milk and mix well until it becomes a thick homogeneous mixture. Keep it aside. In a deep bottom pan mix the coconut, sugar, maple syrup and honey until the sugar has melt and the whole thing has become sticky. Crush the green cardamom seeds and mix in the coconut mixture well.

Break the chocolate in to pieces and place them with the butter and sugar in a Bain-marie and let it melt till it becomes a pool of chocolate. Add the double cream and the vanilla essence; mix well with a wooden spoon. Remove from the water bath and let it cool.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add spoon full of pancake batter and spread with the spoon. Cook till bubble forms on the top. Place the coconut mix on one side of the pancake and roll the pancake and keep for a minute and remove from the pan.Repeat the procedure for every pancake you make. Serve hot with the hot fudge sauce.