Wednesday, November 27, 2013
One fine morning all of us woke up shivering with a bone-piercing chill . My son figured out that the furnace had broken down just when it was most needed - the onset of winter! Since it was week end, servicing could be done only on Monday. My son and daughter-in-law pulled up their socks and started a fire in the fireplace. An electric heater started working day in and day out on the opposite side. My daughter-in-law started baking morning and evening so that the oven too played an important part in keeping the house warm. She remembered to call the 'paparazzi' ( that is how she playfully calls my husband! ) every time she started baking a delicious meal. Here are the paparazzi's clicks of the Shepherd's pie she baked, followed by a briefing on how she baked it .We enjoyed every bit of the delicious pie sitting in the warmth of the fireplace which set a perfect holiday mood for the whole family!
1. Peeled and cubed potatoes were cooked till soft.
2. The cooked potatoes were riced or mashed well.
3. Milk, salt , pepper and butter were mixed with the potato mash.
4. Onion, beans, potatoes and Brussels sprouts were chopped and kept ready. Tofu pieces were slightly roasted in butter and kept aside.
5. Chopped onions, beans, Brussels sprouts and potatoes were added to hot butter in a pan in that order and sauteed well.
6. Frozen peas and corn were added next.
7. A scoop of vegetable base was stirred into the vegetables along with the roasted tofu, salt, and pepper. A paste of arrowroot powder and water was added. The vegetable medley was cooked till it thickened.
8. The oven proof pan was removed from stove and the potato mash was spread evenly on the prepared vegetables.
9. The pie was baked at 350 degree F in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until the crust turned into a golden brown colour.
10. We enjoyed every piece and scoop of the hot and delicious Vegetable Shepherd's Pie with tomato sauce and chips.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
ORZO PILAF / PULAV
My son is the only one in the family who is a very organised cook. The vegetable peels go directly into his bin as and when they are chopped. The knives, peeler and the cutting board are arranged in the dish washer immediately after use. The cooking range is wiped clean and dry. The ingredients needed for cooking are all ready within his hand's reach. And only then he starts cooking. His kitchen is ever ready for a photo session! I was amazed at his orderliness and the ease with which he prepared Orzo Pilaf for us on a lazy Sunday.
Orzo is a form of pasta and it looks like long grain rice. Here is how my son cooked pilaf / pulav using this pasta.
Orzo- 2 cups
Chopped onion - 1/2 cup
Chopped red bell pepper - 1/2 cup
Slit green chillies - 4
Fresh ginger ( slivered) - 1 tsp
Carrots ( chopped ) - 1 cup
Frozen peas - 1 cup
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Vegetable broth - 2 1/2 cups
Olive oil - 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Cloves - 6
Star anise - 1
Cinnamon - 1'' piece
1. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
2. Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and star anise and fry.
3. Add the onion, bell peppers, ginger and green chillies and saute till onions turn transparent.
4. Stir in carrot and peas and cook for three minutes.
5. Add orzo and keep stirring till dry.
6. Finally add the vegetable broth and salt.
7. Cook till the orzo absorbs all the broth stirring now and then.
8. Add more broth or water if necessary and cook till the pilaf is done.
Thanks dear sonny, we enjoyed your Orzo Pilaf garnished with so much of your love and care.