Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dinner for One

There are some good aspects of being alone occasionally. You can do whatever experiment you want ...If it does not work you can always have egg and toast for dinner, if works then that's great! You have a treat for yourself!!

I had some ricotta cheese and didn't know what to do with it. I searched for some recipes over the internet and found this. Initially, I didn't believe that this could be something nice but still thought of giving a try and I was pleasantly surprised. I had it with a glass of Kiwi Cuvee Pinot Noir. Loved it. 


200 gms pasta (I used fusilli)
100 gms of ricotta cheese
bunch of  fresh spinach leaves / 2-3 cubes of frozen spinach
Olive oil
Some walnuts or cashew nuts


Cook the pasta in slightly salted boiling water, you can add little bit of oil in the water and give it a stir so that the pasta doesn't get sticky.  In a frying pan heat the oil and add the spinach to it. Cook till the spinach is reduced then add the ricotta cheese and mix it well. Cook for a minute then add the pasta into it. Mix it well, Season it with salt and pepper. In a separate pan dry roast the nuts, then add it to the pasta and serve warm.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mango Lassi

This is probably the easiest thing you can make. Very tasty and refreshing, an ideal drink for summer. Also a must have one!!


6 Tbsp mango pulp
3 Tbsp yoghurt 
1 Tbsp sugar
1 glass of milk
Some crushed ice


Blend every thing together, pour it in glasses and serve. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mango Cake

Last weekend I bought some tinned mango purée and was wondering what to do with it. You can blend with yoghurt and crushed ice to make a chilled mango lassi. Ideal for  summer, but I wanted to make something more complicated than that. If I think of dessert the first two things that comes to mind is ice cream and cake. Mango ice cream I have had several times but never had a mango cake. So I thought of experimenting with it and here is what I ended up with. Trust me its not bad! It turned out to be a moist and soft cake.

As I said I was "experimenting", the measurements given below is not exactly accurate as I didnt measure them in the scale but they are quite close enough. Good Luck if you are trying this.


3 Eggs
4 Tbsp of self rising flour (heaped)
2 Tsp baking powder
30 Gms melted butter
6 Tbsp mango puree (the Alphonso and Kesar varieties are the best)
2 Tbsp sugar


Strawberry jam
Icing Sugar


In a bowl break the eggs, add the sugar and melted butter and beat together. After the mixture becomes light an fluffy, add the flour and the baking soda and beat again for ten minutes or until you see air bubbles forming. Now add the mango puree and continue beating. Add a bit of flour if the mixture becomes runny.

Butter the baking tin, pour the mixture in to it and bake it in the oven for 20 minutes at 190 degree Celsius. Once done let it cool for some time then get it out of the tin. 

For simplicity I didn't bake another one of these instead I divided the cake into halves and made a sandwich with strawberry jam and topped with icing sugar. 

Served with freshly brewed black coffee. Enjoy. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ham & Cheese Sandwich

There are some days of the week when you are just on your toes all day. I was having one such day. By the the time I was out of my office, I was very tired (almost zombied), hungry and no energy left even to drive back home, forget about cooking a meal after that.

Stuck in a traffic on the way back home I was thinking, back in India if would have had such a day, then when I came home, my mom would have got me a nice warm cup of tea followed by a nice dinner and a good night's sleep! 

What a comforting daydream......but got back to reality pretty soon as the guy behind me honked quite hard asking me to move forward (The traffic lights were green!!).

Poor me!!

I started driving again and said to myself well mom is not husband is away for the whole week!!...I am alone at home..its cold and wet outside and I still need to cook something (how depressing can it get!!).

I tried to console myself, you are alone, tired, hungry and depressed, you have every reason to pamper yourself. So what do you do when you are depresed... you eat chocolate! Ah! As if I got back some strength..ok! Its working..feeling better. So I got my dessert sorted! I have some homemade choco-nut fudge in the fridge goes very well with a cup of black coffee.

Whats left is main course. I started thinking what's left in my fridge..I have some cheese, some leftover meat, some tortilla (and some other leftover ofcourse!!). That's it! Sorted!

Its going to be a warm ham and cheese sandwich. Takes 5 minutes to be ready and it also means I don't even need to waste time in the supermarket, look for parking, stand in the queue..etc etc. Not now at least!!

The thought of soft melted cheese coming out of crispy tortilla made me drive home faster than I thought!! Lucky that the traffic later wasn't so bad.


1 Tortilla 
2- 3 Slices of ham (or any cooked meat)
3-4 Tbsp grated hard cheese 
1 Green chilli chopped (optional)
1 Spring onion (chopped)
Butter/oil for frying


Heat the pan, brush the tortilla with some oil on one side only, place it on the heated pan. Lay the ham slices on one half side of the tortilla. Spread the grated cheese on top of it, then the chopped green chillies and spring onions. 

Fold the other side on top of the cheese, press and turn it on other side, cook for another minute. Serve hot and Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dinner Party Menu

Last weekend we had a get-together with our very close friends. We were meeting after almost six months. So, I was planning for it for quite some time. I didn't wanted to cook a lot of dishes because when you have a dinner party at your home you don't want to spend most of the evening in cooking and not spending time with your guest. I wanted something not too complicated yet delicious. After some thought, I ended up with the menu below. I did the dessert  previous night as it needed to set for few hours in the fridge, but rest of it I did on Saturday and believe me, I had enough time to make my house presentable and finish cooking before my friends arrive. Just on time. I had a wonderful time with my friends relaxing over glasses of wine, watching movies and lots of chit-chat and gossip.


1. Chicken and sweetcorn wrapped in honey roasted ham slices

2. Spicy tuna mayonnaise wrapped in honey roasted ham slices

3. Smoked Scottish salmon flavoured with coriander & red chilli

Main courses 

1. Lamb curry

2. Scallops in coconut curry sauce

3. Spicy peas and potato

Served with Naan bread and Basmati rice


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chocolate Cherry Trifle

I love desserts and chocolate is one of my favourites. Last weekend our friends came over and I decided to make a very special dessert for them as even my friends like chocolate as I do. This was my first attempt to make a chocolate trifle but it came out pretty well.


Layer 1 : The Base

8 thin slices of chocolate cake (I used marble cake but you can choose just plain chocolate cake) 

2-3 tsp of strawberry jam

2 tsp of dark rum

Layer 2 : Cherries

100 gms of cherries in syrup

Layer 3 The Chocolate Mousse

150 gms of Belgian dark chocolate (with 60% or more cocoa)

2 eggs

1 tsp of instant coffee granule

1 tbsp of sugar

2 tsp dark rum

2 tsp cream


You can make this dessert in a dessert bowl but I thought of presenting it in flute glasses as it looks nice and you don't need to go through the hassle of plating it just before serving. 

For the base just make some jam sandwich with the cake slices and place at the bottom of the glass. Pour the dark rum on top of the cake base so that it absorbs the rum completely. Now place the cherries on top of it to make the second layer.

For the chocolate mousse I used Belgian dark chocolate. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place it on a bowl. I used Bain-marie method to melt the chocolate, so I placed the chocolate bowl on a hot water bath on a simmering heat. 

While the chocolate is melting, separate the egg whites and the yolks. Give the yolks a quick whisk and keep aside. Whisk the egg whites separately until soft peaks formed (around 5-7 minutes). By now the chocolate would have melted, so add the coffee, rum and cream, give it a stir with a metal spoon and take it off the water bath and let it cool. 

Add the egg yolks to the chocolate and mix it well, now add the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and mix the whole thing well. and pour it on top of the cherry layer. Leave the glasses in the fridge to set for 2-3 hours or more. Serve chilled. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mini Chocolate Croissant

                                  Good Morning.....

Wake up on a cold Sunday morning to a steaming cup of brewed black coffee and freshly baked mini croissant with a melted gooey chocolate centre. Sounds great..right!! Tastes great as well!!

Warm, freshly baked mini chocolate croissant sounds difficult but you can make these in a very quick and easy way if you do what I did.. 

You can make your own puff pastry but that takes a long time and years of practice. I don't have either of the above, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it.. Here is how I did it. I got the puff pastry from the supermarket!!


1 ready rolled puff pastry
1 bar of chocolate (I use dark chocolate)
1 egg


The puff pastry I used was a size of an A4 sheet. Cut that in to 8 equal squares. Now cut each square diagonally so that you get a triangle. 

Break the bar of chocolate into small cubes (For this recipe you will need 16 small chocolate cubes). Take one at a time, place it on to the wider side of the triangular pastry and roll it to the tip of the triangle. Seal the sides so that the chocolate cant come out while baking. Repeat the same procedure for all of the pastries. At this point the pastries looks like little crabs.

Place them on a baking tray. Now beat the egg and using a brush, paint the mini croissants with the beaten egg. 

Pre heat the oven at 200 degrees and bake them for 15 minutes. Serve hot with freshly brewed black coffee. Perfect start for a day. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cupcake with Chocolate centre

I am a big fan of chocolate. The other day I was wondering what to have for tea break which is light and sweet. I thought of having a chocolate but what I really wanted was something more than chocolate. So, I ended up making these chocolate cupcakes. I love chocolate fondant but its quite difficult to make especially the melted centre is quite difficult to get right, so I used a trick (you will find that in the method below).  Its simple, easy and bite-size so you can have them guilt free as you won't be consuming a lot of calories (unless you eat all of them together!!). Here goes  the recipe..


4 pieces of dark chocolate
3 tbsp of self raising flour
2 tbsp of sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
20 gm of melted butter
pinch of baking soda
1 tsp vanilla essence


Add the butter and sugar to the beaten eggs and beat the mixture till it turns into a smooth batter. Now add the flour slowly to the mixture and continue to beat. Add the vanilla essence and the baking soda and continue to beat until the mixture in a homogeneous and there are no lumps remaining.

Roughly chop the chocolates into small pieces. Don't worry if they are not even as they are going to melt anyway!!

Butter the ramekins and pour the mixture into it till only quarter of the ramekins are filled.  Now add the chopped chocolate in to the center of the mixture then pour the cake mix on top of it so that the chocolate is completely covered. Don't fill the ramekins more than 3/4 of its capacity. Now place them in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes at 200 degree Celsius. Check with a skewer by poking in the cake. If it comes out clean (well you might see some melted chocolate) then its cooked. Serve hot with tea or coffee. Enjoy!!