Naan Therapy

Or should it be 'paratha' therapy …

Archive for September 2009

Ad Hoc – Thomas Keller’s restaurant in California Wine Country

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Napa countryside

Napa countryside

When your ship finally comes in you go to eat at French Laundry or Per Se. But until then, Thomas Keller has you covered with some less pricey options – Bouchon (Yountville and Las Vegas), and Ad Hoc (Yountville). Bouchon pretends to be a French bistro several thousand miles away from any real French bistro. Ad Hoc is a modern Californa bistro with its white walls, dark linear furniture, and servers dressed in retro gas-station attendant uniforms rather than the classic black and white. Ad Hoc also declares – pretentiously if you are hungry, cutely if you are not – ‘for temporary relief from hunger’.

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Written by Sachin

September 30, 2009 at 8:39 am

Kitchen Bookshelf: Ismail Merchant’s Passionate Meals

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Cover of Ismail Merchants Cookbook

Cover of Ismail Merchant's Cookbook

Ismail Merchant’s Passionate Meals: The New Indian Cuisine for Fearless Cooks and Adventurous Eaters. Includes recipes to please all tastes – fish, shellfish, chicken, lamb, beef, rice, lentils, vegetables, desserts…

Pros:

  • A great introductory cookbook – authentic and sophisticated tastes with a handful of ingredients – for anyone who want to cook Indian
  • Each dish is presented with serving suggestions; Sample menus at the end for entertaining
  • The cookbook was clearly written with US audience in mind, so the measures are US friendly and the ingredients are not hard to source

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Written by Som

September 28, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Tasty oatmeal – morning dessert

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Breakfast oatmeal served with caramelized figs, toasted walnuts and homemade orange marmalade

Breakfast oatmeal served with caramelized figs, toasted walnuts and homemade orange marmalade

I decided to give oatmeal a try after watching Alton Brown.

Before steel cut oatmeal became part of my daily diet, I had  unsuccessfully tried several instant oatmeal versions. The steel cut variety is actually tasty. The grains are bigger resulting in chewier texture and the flavor is distinctly nuttier. Here is my dessert like version that is tastier than AB’s.

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Is it bread or is it cake?

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Spice cake/bread

Spice cake/bread

Here is a link to a cake recipe that is not only great tasting but it not too bad for your arteries.

We have made it several times now with multiple variations and it turns out great every time.

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Written by Som

September 25, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Chocolatey chocolate biscotti

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Chocolate biscotti

Chocolate biscotti

Here is a link to our favorite chocolate biscotti recipe from David Lebovitz. When had along with an excellent cup of coffee (e.g. Blue Bottle), this is chocolate and coffee heaven.

We rarely make variations on this one but for this batch, we used dried apricot kernels (source: Trader Joe’s).

Written by Som

September 25, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Skin to seed of tomatoes – part 4

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Using the seed:

Dry the seeds from your healthiest plants and store for next garden patch. Jose Andres uses the tomato seed “fillets” as tomato caviar in a colorful salad.

Using the skin:

I usually roast large batches of tomatoes – 10-12 large tomatoes, cut in half, bake at 450 for 20 minutes, cool, take the skin off and puree/chop the tomatoes for sauces. For the longest time, my best solution for the peeled skin was a compost pile. But couple of years ago I found this tip in a booklet that makes use of the skin. I tried it out, and it works wonderfully well. So here is the recipe for tomato skin powder –

  • Spread the skin evenly on a baking sheet.
  • Dry the skin in oven at 200F for 2-3 hours (until completely dry). The skin should be in a single layer for even drying.
  • Crumble it using a spice grinder and store.

The color is paprika red and the flavor is that of intensely roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle it on omelette, cheese and other savory items of your choice.

Written by Som

September 25, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Skin to seed of tomatoes – part 3 – Green tomatoes

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Green Tomatoes

Green Tomatoes

I can’t beat my local Farmer’s market in quality of heirloom tomatoes but in Bay Area, where green tomatoes are non-existent in the marketplace, growing your own tomato plant has this added bonus.

Wait to for the tomatoes to achieve their full size. Pick when still green and very firm.

In Indian cooking, green tomatoes are used like ripe ones – only difference is in color of the curry and tartness. Here are couple of multi-purpose (and cross-cultural) fat free recipes using green tomatoes.

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