My Spicy Kitchen

Collection of my Recipes…

Edamame August 31, 2008

I did not participate in last months JFI event and this month, I could not make up my mind on what to send. First I thought of tofu. I am not a big fan of tofu, but I do eat it.  However, I don’t cook it very much at home, because I am the only one who ends up eating it. Then I thought of Soya chunks. This is not a regular food in my kitchen either. I have eaten it at my relatives and friends places, but whenever I cook it at home, it never turns out good. I use to get the soya chunks in a plastic bag, which doesn’t have cooking directions. So this time, I bought Nutrela soya chunks, which has cooking directions on the box. I followed the directions and cooked it couple of times. I once added it to beans stir fry and was good. The second time around, I added it to spinach and wanted to blog about it. I took the pictures but, for some reason, I didn’t feel like putting it in my blog. So, I was back to square one, and nothing to send to Sia for JFI – Soya.

Two three days ago, when at the frozen section in a grocery store, edamame caught my eyes. That suddenly reminded me of Edamame at Nobu, a Japanese restaurant in midtown Manhattan. They steam or boil the soya pods in salted water and serve it as an appetizer.  Edamame is served as an appetizer in most of the Japanese restaurants and that was the first time I have been to one. I usually avoid Japanese cuisine, because the first thing that comes to my mind is sushi and I don’t like sushi.  Anyway, I picked up the edamame from the freezer section and knew what my entry would be for Sia. Edamame is young Soya bean inside a Soya Pod.

edamame2

Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1-2

Ingredients:
  • ½ lb Edamame
  • Salt to taste
Preparation:
  • Boil 3-4 cups of water in a sauce pan. Once water boils, add salt and soya pods and boil it for 5 minutes.
  • Drain the water and serve hot or cold as a snack or an appetizer.
  • Split the pod, eat the soya beans and discard the pod.
edamame

This quick, easy, tasty and healthy edamame is making its entry into JFI: Soya hosted by Sia. JFI is a monthly food event started by Indira of Mahanandi.

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Foccacia – Italian Bread

Filed under: Baking,Event Entries,Vegetarian — usha @ 3:17 pm
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I was thinking of baking some bread for quite some time and was intimidated by the lengthy process. First we need to make the dough, then rest it or ferment it until it increases in size and then baking it. It is a long process and I lack the patience required for such a lengthy process. Last week, I finally decided to give it a try and chose Amu’s Foccacia bread. Amu is a fellow blogger and a young pastry chef by profession. She called for all purpose flour in her recipe and I wanted to use whole wheat flour, so that I can send it to BBD#13. I checked with Amu if I can use whole wheat (whole meal) flour and she said I could. So I bought a small bag of whole wheat flour and then I got cold feet. We usually don’t eat bread at home and on top of it, I was baking whole flour bread. I wasn’t sure if I would like it. So I drop the idea.

This morning, when I saw the announcement for next month’s JFI – Whole Grains, I got excited and started my preparation to bake my Foccacia. Only after I finished baking did I realize that the theme of JFI for next month is whole grains and not whole flour. I don’t know if this entry would qualify for that event but, I am glad I tried the recipe. When I first tasted it, I thought, I probably would have liked refined foccacia better than this. Later, the more I ate the bread, it tasted better. I loved the topping on the bread and in fact, I don’t think I would have liked the foccacia without the topping. I liked the crust better than the inner bread. Next time I bake it again, I will make the loaf thinner and wider, use more topping, so that I have more crust and lots of topping 😉 .

Foccacia5

Total Time:
Preparation: 30 minutes
Resting Period: 50 minutes
Baking: 20 – 25 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 packet or ¼ oz or 7 gm Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 cup or 250 ml Lukewarm Water
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 350 gm Whole Wheat Flour or All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 20 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Topping:
    • Olive Oil
    • Dried Oregano or Herbs of your choice
    • 4 dried tomato halves cut into small pieces
    • 2 jarred Jalopeno Peppers cut into small pieces
    • 1 tbsp grated Cheese (I used mexican blend that I had at home)
Method:
    • In luke warm water, add sugar and dry yeast. Cover it and leave for the yeast to activate.
    • Sift flour, add salt oregano and oil to flour and mix well. Once yeast becomes foamy, add it to flour mixture and make a dough.
    • Knead it with both your palms. I used only one hand and 5 minutes into kneading, my hand started hurting. I kneaded it for another 2-3 minutes and put it in a oiled bowl. Let it rest for 30-40 minutes.  In 30 minutes, it should double its original size. I rested it for 40 minutes.
Foccacia1

dough doubled in size

    • Flour the counter top and knead the dough again, to remove all the air and bubbles from it.  This should take about 3- 4 minutes.
    • Grease a baking pan with oil.  Make a loaf of the dough with your hand.
Foccacia2

resting loaf

    • Let it sit until it increases in size. I let it sit for 10 minutes. Pre heat the oven to 356 F (180 C)and prepare the ingredients for topping. This takes about 5 minutes. So the loaf was resting for 15 minutes (10 + 5 minutes when I was preparing the topping).
Foccacia3

Loaf raised

    • Brush the top of loaf with oil, top it with the topping and bake it for 20 -25 minutes.
Foccacia4

ready to bake

 

  • Bread should be golden brown in color and hard on the top. When tapped at the bottom of the bread, it should sound hallow.  Oven temperatures vary, so check the bread is baked before removing it from the oven.

 

Foccacia6

a slice of foccacia

Note:
  • I used sun dried tomatoes and jalapeno peppers for the topping. Amu used olives and dried tomatoes. Topping can be used according to ones taste or could skip the toppings all together.
  • Next time I bake it, I would like to top it with onions, tomato and jalapeno peppers.

Guess what, I checked with Suganya and this recipe would be accepted for JFI: Whole Grains event, since I am using whole wheat flour. Jhiva for Ingredient, JFI is a brain child of Indira of Mahanandi and Taste Palettes is guest hosting it this month.

 

A Click for Click, Awards and a Noble Cause August 27, 2008

Filed under: Awards,Event Entries — usha @ 1:53 pm
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Healthy Fruit Milkshake and Lassi August 25, 2008

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Orange Basundi August 22, 2008

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Poori, Pitla and Tomato Shorva August 20, 2008

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Vegetable Noodles August 19, 2008

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Carrot Pachadi / Carrot Salad August 13, 2008

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Grilled Salmon August 12, 2008

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Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani August 7, 2008

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