Showing newest posts with label American-Southern Food. Show older posts
Showing newest posts with label American-Southern Food. Show older posts

7.4.11

Grilled Trout with Mango Salsa - Cloned Restaurant Special


Grilled Trout:(Southern Cooking)

You enjoy restaurant food...And you have tried re-creating it at home, what was the result? Yeah, I agree sometimes we flunk over simple ones! Honestly, many a times...I abstain from fixing 'Restaurant Secret Recipes' at home. Not that because it is still a secret or hard to fix kind! And come on, in today's web-world the word 'Secret' in on thin ice! Anyway, if I fancify (fancily create) my everyday meal a little with lots of myriad flavors, throw in some bold colors, concentrate more on garnishes, enrich with exotic ingredients and bring forth steaming hot comfort meal...I know, I know, I would be praised, petted and appreciated!! But, it would guarantee a 'No Escape' from my monotonous life in the kitchen:(

Let me tell you what is a best kept secret recipe of mine...voluntarily ruin a couple of meals (dinner time works better), call it a sick day (you know...headache, ouch-broke a nail, etc) and say you're exhausted for couple of more times! Outcome? Picture this: 'There you are, in a upscale restaurant enjoying the evening with your sweetheart'. Nothing is more fun, than getting him out:) To evade your guilt (of tricking him)...Now, you could actually re-create the restaurant meal that you both enjoyed:) How does the plan sound like?

Ingredients:

Trout fillet 2
Southern seasoning (any brand that you like)
Lemon juice
Brown sugar
Hickory sauce - as per taste
Salt(seasoning has enough)
Pepper powder
Olive oil few spoons.

For Dressing:

Mango Salsa.

Method:

Prepare the salsa (trail the link for the recipe), and chill them.

I used home-grill, as it is still freezing cold outside. However charcoal grill gives you more flavor.

Marinate the fish fillets with lemon juice and seasoning. Overnight will be good.

Grill them till reddish brown and fragrant. Sprinkle brown sugar, pepper powder and extra seasoning, a hint of hickory sauce.

Serve steaming hot, topped with salsa.

6.4.11

Kale and Cheese Omelette - The Infinite Variable





Kale-Cheese Dinner Omelet:

So you know spinach omelet...and why not Kale? Isn't it a perfect choice to include some greens in your diet. Whenever I had to fix a bitter-tasting greens...I put some extra effort to make it quite appealing and palatable. The moment I saw this recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen, I knew that I am gonna try this recipe sooner or later. It was overwhelmingly pretty and tempting. I remembered how Mommy used to add an egg to Keerai Poriyal, when we were kids. A flash second of home-nostalgic feeling is enough for me to be in kitchen, next minute:) ...in another few minutes, turned these fresh greens into omelette. Well...I tweaked the original recipe a bit to suit my needs...it turned out fabulous, more than my expectations:) So, here you go...

Ingredients:(Serves Two)

Large eggs 4
Milk few teaspoons.
Kale 1 bunch
Salt
Jalapenos 1 sliced
Large Onion 1 sliced
Pepper powder - maybe a little
Grated cheese - as per your choice, 1 table spoon
Olive oil (preferably)few teaspoons.

Method:

Wash and clean the greens, set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet, add jalapenos, onions and kale...stir-fry briefly till the greens wilt and reduce. Once the moisture is gone, remove from heat.

Beat the eggs vigorously till foamy, add milk and stir-fried ingredients. Mix well.

Heat a skillet, smear oil and make an omlette. Cover and cook if necessary, flip them over and cook both the sides. Finally add grated cheese and remove from heat.

Serve warm.

29.3.11

Broccoli Casserole - Flavors of Southern Cooking!






Broccoli-Green Beans Casserole:

Another important dish, that is close to heart. No one could turn this down, after a hard day's work. Speaking of work'...I mean real physical activity, okay. In this new age of information world...work is something that is confined to cushioned chairs, driving to destinations, or even making a phone call for scheduling an appointment!!! If you want to realize the pleasures of old time, now move it baby...mow your lawn, today (don't call Andy to do the chore), clean up the garage, burns 350 calories in 35 minutes...and now you deserve the treat, don't you?! Experience the real meal n tell me how you feel...isn't it comforting, worthy?

Ingredients: (Serves Four)

Rice 1 and 1/2 cups
Broccoli 1 head - florets
Green beans 100 grams - no trimming
Corn kernels 1 small cup
Button mushrooms 1 cup sliced
Milk 2 cups
Mushroom cream soup 1 can
Fried onions 1 cup to garnish
Butter few cubes
Grated cheese to garnish
Pepper powder to taste 1 teaspoon, per serving.

Method:

Melt butter in a crock pot, add rice enough salt. Further add water and milk, cover and cook.

Once the rice is half the way done, add cream soup, plus all the vegetables. Maybe be add a little more salt for the veggies.

Cover and cook till tender.

Now, finally add fried onion, cheese, pepper powder.

Serve steaming hot. Enjoy:)

24.2.11

Mississippi Blackened Cat-Fish - Healthy Way To Eat It






Crispy Oven-Baked Fish:

Southern Cooking - Blackened Cat-fish (not fried but baked)! Since, I have rooted at Mississippi for a long time, now...I have a slight incline towards Southern delights (U.S.A). No wonder that many call it as soul food n comfort food. I have strong affinity towards anything down-home country cooking! Well, to me it reflects the culture. And moreover studying 'Food-Ways and Culture' is part of my Thesis! Though, I cook frequently the local flavor' I have to admit that I haven't mastered the art of Southern cooking, yet! So, I never blogged about the food that I encountered in my kitchen:(

Since, there are plenty of water-bodies around, preparing cat-fish is inevitable from the menu. So, this is one of the famous recipe around my area...blackened cat-fish, pan-fried with lots of seasoning, considered very spicy(However, it won't be that spicy for an Indian palate)! I have followed all the thumb rules of an authentic recipe...but switched to oven-baking instead of pan-frying!Hmmm, the fish looked' like all sucked up, without any moisture...but you got to trust me, it turned out to be good, well-done! The good news is, it was very crispy than I imagined, guilt-free and quite comforting:)

Ingredients:

Cat-fish fillets 4
Salt
Vinegar 1 cap-full
Onion powder 1-2 spoons
Garlic powder 1 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Black pepper powder 1 spoon
Oil for spraying.

Method:

Marinate the fish briefly with all the above mentioned spices.

Grease the tin-foil with butter/oil. Place the fillets and bake them for at least one and half hours over 350 F. Check whether it is done-thoroughly.

Serve warm as a side dish.

16.2.11

Snow Cones From My Back Yard:)





Snow Cones with Roof Afsa Syrup

It has been a long, frightening winter...with lots of cold and dark days n nights. Its officially Spring, though sleet won't stop. One thing I like about snowy, breezy evening is...not watching TV, just go gaze through the plain window for a natural show. Most of the time' step out to the yard and play like a child.

Okay, Girls its play time in Mississippi. Let's get our hands dirty and run in the field. Ouch, watch out...it really hurts to walk down without proper shoes or gloves. After done enough with snow balls and stuff...its time for some snow cones! A similar treat' could be whipped using scrapped ice or crushed ice, topped with your favorite syrup. Voila, that's it...lick it off like a baby, there you go' you are already aware of it:)

Disclaimer

You probably know, its not healthy to eat fresh natural snow! By doing so, you may be inflicted with flu!! However, if you want to have some fun, go ahead and try to collect the snow in a clean bowl...directly while it is showering. Do not collect it from the ground, please!

13.8.10

Curried Macaroni / Spicy Macaroni




Curried Macaroni:

Cook mac' as per the box directions, and get creative. I just added, some mint leaves, garlic powders and lots of crushed tomatoes. Garnished with parmesean cheese, dinner ready:)

19.7.10

Chocolate Mousse & Memoirs of School Days Fun:)









Chocolate Mousse:

When I was in high school, I loved recess. Come on who didn't? Its a chance to get away from the regular boring classes. The usual obedient show' we put up on, will be broken in split second upon hearing the bell sound! We were allowed to run around like a maniac and act like a complete idiot for 45 minutes:):)

Every day, there were so many kind of fun options...goals' that need to be achieved quickly – the playground games, sneaking out to the nearby stores, meeting up at assembly hall for that loud noisy chat, I’d overwhelmingly join in any sort of group activity to pull other people's legs (invariably teasing anyone that passes by) Well, by doing so...we earned a title 'Worst Batch, Ever'...anyhoooo, nothing bothered us - duh.

The fun part is, every once in a while we would plunder our classmates lunch boxes!!! I know, I know we were such a shameless Kiddos back then, but for 14-16 year old, it was lot of fun. I have to tell you that the food tasting part got crystallized in my memory better than the pythagorous theorem, ha ha:):)

Well,I vividly remember the taste of Thayir Saadham and Masal vadai from Siva Kumar's box, how Damodharan used to bring Super-Spongy Idlies and Sathya Devi's Mom makes wonderful Ultimate Pattani Kuruma. Besides, did I tell you this...many juniors (7-10th grade)used to rob my lunch box ,every single day!!! That is before 9'O clock, in the school bus itself! Giridhari specifically completes the Lemon Rice without any mercy. Sometimes Harpreet would trade his Pulkahs to eat rice, sweet huh:) Aarthi and Gayathri loved my Mommy's Ellu Saadham so much, Naren, Suresh, Abdul Haleem, Harpreet, Vidhya Lakshi - hogged anything that I took:) Pavithra loved Pongal and Kotsu combo' a lot. Somehow, we never dined properly...but very satisfied:)

Did I tell you, I met my II grade classmate at orkut, which left me completely nostalgia:)

Ingredients:

Unsweetened chocolate - as much as you want
Strong Coffee about 3/4 of a cup
Liquor 1/4 cup
Eggs - extra large 2 numbers
Milk - optional 1/4 cup
Salt 1 pinch
Sugar 4 spoons.

Method:

Beat sugar and eggs together for about 4-7 minutes. Once they are heavy like cream, add melted chocolate, milk, coffee and liquor to it, beat vigorously for another 7-10 minutes.

Transfer them into small cups, cover and refrigerate for at least 5-7 hours. Once they are kind of solid enough, its done.

Garnish with cherries, mint and whipped cream, serve chilled:)

13.6.10

Honey Glazed Carrots with Indian Touch of Spices:)






Honey Glazed Carrots with Asian Touch of Spices

Like most of my recipes, this one is pretty flexible. I tweaked the original recipe for Honey Glazed Baby Carrots. Added stuff of my own choice, like ginger, chilies etc. This is a great recipe to adapt to use your favorite ingredients, or at least the ones that has been sitting in the fridge at that moment:)I loved it...sincerely, appreciating its simplicity. Yeah, the dressing can be used more as a base' to embellish any vegetable, the way you want them:)

Ingredients:

Carrots 5
Honey 4-6 teaspoons
Butter a cube or ghee few spoons
Ginger 1" grated
Dry Red Chili 1 torn into flakes
Salt
Garam masala powder 1 pinch
Lemon juice few spoons
Cilantro leaves to garnish.

Method:

Wash and clean the carrots, peel and trim their ends, slit if it is too big. If you are using baby carrots...the procedure can be skipped.

Now boil them for 7-10 minutes, add enough salt and lemon juice tot the water. Once they are tender, remove from heat.

In a wide skillet, heat oil...add ginger, chili and carrots...saute for few minutes. Once oil coats up well, add garam masala powder and honey, allow this to glaze all over the carrots. Garnish with cilantro.

Serve to go as an entree. Enjoy:)

19.10.09

Fried Cheese Sticks




Fried Cheese Sticks:

Fried Cheese. Breaded Cheese Sticks.

Nothing much to talk about the recipe, jut fried the string cheese...that's all!:) Simple evening munch. Now...who wouldn't like cheese, huh!:)

Ingredients:

String cheese 2-4
Egg white 1
Bread crumbs few spoons
Salt
Pepper
Dry Parsley
Dry garlic powder
Dry onion powder
Oil for shallow frying.

Method:

Mix all the above said ingredients(except oil, cheese and egg)in a mixing bowl and spread them in a tray.

I sliced the string cheese into two...but one could hold the same size.

Now roll them in egg whites first and followed by bread crumbs.

Shallow fry them in hot oil, until nice color.

Serve warm as a snack.

13.5.09

Water Melon Sorbet



Water Melon Sorbet:

Water Melon Sarbeth. Tarpoosani Sharbeth.

When I was a kid, we had 2-3 water melon vines in our garden. Each vine produces just one, but big, big, very big melon! The stumpy vine always spread on the ground to support their extraoridinary large fruit. It was fun getting up early morning and take a look at the fruit(how big it has grown today)!!! Nostalgic childhood memories.

Water Valley, Mississippi is the Water Melon Capital of the World!! This little town's name comes from the Melons they produce, actually. Water Valley supplies water melon, through out US. They have a Water Melon festival carnival,every year.

Tips: For more sweeter Water melons, always buy the eliptical ones!

This recipe goes to Maheshwari from www.publishtoday.blogspot.com

Event Hosted by Ashwini from Spicy Cuisine

Ingredients:

Water melon chunks 1-2 cups(deseed)
Sugar 1/4 cup
Mint to garnish.

Method:

Make a sugar syrup. Set aside till it cools down to room temperature.

Make a puree out of melon. Now mix this puree with syrup. Freeze them for 2 hours.

Blend them quickly just before serving.

30.4.09

Chiffon Cake - by Bi Sheng

Bi Sheng & Stephanie:


Chiffon Cake:

Chiffon Cake:

My friend Sheng is from China, she is doing her PH.D at the University of Mississippi in English! She is an active member of Cook! Eat! Share! the International club...that I attend to! So last week we had an Event, India Table(Yeah, yeah you guys guessed it right, I cooked). During the heavy work load...grocery shopping's, cooking for 50 people, maintaining the atmosphere to Restaurant standards and last minute hiccups(like deep fryer doesn't work)...its a real challenge to run the whole episode(will detail about the event later, anyway)!!!

So coming to the point...Sheng brought us this cake, to feed the members! How thoughtful, so kind of her. And even during that busy schedule I didn't fail to notice...that the cake was impeccable...so moist, smooth, tasteee!! Everyone felt the same way...she went to next level of translating the recipe written in Mandarin Chinese to English for us, so sweet, right!

I really enjoyed her cake, but failed to take a snap! By chance we have this one picture...taken by her, though she is not very satisfied with it(the picture is kind of blurred), I guess for we food bloggers, its the recipe & taste are important factors here(not just the picture always, right)!!!

Here is her recipe, in her exact words:

CHIFFON CAKE RECIPE:

Ingredients:

·5 eggs 90g sugar ·70g milk ·70g vegetable oil ·90g cake flour (sift before measuring)
·1/2tsp salt ·1/2tsp vanilla ·1/2tsp baking powder ·1/2tsp cream of tartar


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Separate egg whites and egg yolks.
Be Careful. They have to be completely separated, especially the egg whites. Put them in very clean bowls (avoid water and oil), just like this:

3. Make the egg yolk mixture.
In a separate bowl, combine milk and vegetable oil. Beat until well blended.
Slowly add the cake flour, baking powder and vanilla, blend well.
Add 1/2 egg yolks, blend well, add the rest of the egg yolks, blend, until it look like this:

3. Make the egg white mixture.
Beat egg whites using hand mixer on low speed. When it looks like this, add 1/3 sugar, cream of tartar and salt.

Add another 1/3 sugar when it looks like this:

Add the rest of the sugar, continue beating. The mixture will start to become foamy. First it will look like this when you hold the hand mixer:

Gradually, the peak will become stiff. When you see the peak like this, stop mixing.

This part usually takes 5-6 minutes. Avoid over-beating. If you continue to beat, the mixture will get too stiff. You don’t want your egg whites look like this:

4. Mix the egg whites and egg yolks.
With a rubber spatula, add 1/3 egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Gently but swiftly mix them together, using “fold and cut” motion (do not stir!).
Add the above mixture back to the egg white mixture. Use the same motion, until it becomes very smooth.
Your final mixture will look like this:

5. Start baking!
Pour the mixture into an ungreased 10-inch pan.
Bake about 15 minutes.
Test with toothpick. Cake is done when toothpick comes out clean.


6. You can decorate the cake by using whipped butter, whipped cream, jam, or fruits, whatever you like. Make sure the cake is cold when you start to do this.

15.1.09

Buffalo Wings / Hot n Spicy Fried Wings




Hot Chicken Wings:

Cornish Hen Wings. Fried Wings. Rock Cornish Hen - Buffalo Wings. Hot & Spicy Wings.

Well, everyone knows that Buffalo doesn't have wings, yet the name traces its origin to Buffalo(name of a place)in New York. The first recipe was created with left over chicken wings. Later the recipe underwent series of change, ever since. Now I could relate this spicy fried hot wings to my own Indian style of cooking. The special kick of this recipe comes from Southern hot-sauce (the Louisiana Hot Sauce), a perfect blend of hot peppers and vinegar.

After holidays its common to have lots of leftover in the fridge...staring at you! Especially when it comes to chicken wings, flaky fish or cocktail shrimps...I would like to work on it. I don't like wasting food, I try to fix them...create a new innovative dish & present!

If the meat/fish was lying there for really long time(but yet not spoiled)if it perfect for consumption...my idea will either pan-frying or deep frying. It brings up the flavor & makes them crispy. Also adding vinegar/lemon juice will allow them to stay firm. Dusting flour could help holding up too. When we add a little extra-spice(than usual)no one could actually notice...that these were only a fix recipe!!! So one of my such fix recipe is this 'Rock Cornish Hen Spicy Fried Wings', TaDa...

Ingredients:

Left over Rock Cornish Hen Wings 8-12
Chili powder 1/2 spoon
Paprika powder 1/2 spoon
Louisiana Hot Sauce 1 spoons
Soy Sauce 1 spoons
Green chili Sauce 1 spoon
Tomato Sauce 4-6 spoons
Salt
White Vinegar 1 table spoon
Peanut oil for deep frying
Vegetable oil for stir-frying 1/2 table spoon.

Method:

Marinate wings with salt, vinegar, chili and paprika powders. Maybe for at least 2 whole hours.

Then deep fry them till crisp and golden brown.

Now in a separate stir-fry pan, heat oil. Add these fried wings and add all the sauces mentioned above. Saute them real good.

Once all the sauces coat up well and no moisture left in the pan, its perfect to transfer.

Arrange them in your salad tray or serve as appetizers.

7.10.08

Grilled Chicken






Power Foods:

Grilled Chicken:

On the other day....Ramona(from my cooking class)asked me....why it is always 'Tandoor Chicken' looks pink in these Indian Restaurants. I myself wondered several times...what is that pink little thing staring at me(not even red....its totally pink)! They hardly use any spices...just coloring agent....get it grilled!! All my clients really enjoyed my spicy meals! I never altered or adjusted the spice levels for Americans! I did the same way each time.....as I do it for myself! They really appreciated it! All they want to know is....how we cook at home!

Well....today I thought of giving nice marination to the chicken, with all fresh spices and herbs! I am not really a skilled griller!! But I am little aware of the facts of marination and grilling!! So as usual....I didn't depend upon any store-bought mariantion...I am not even using my spice powders! Okay the fresh tomatoes, yogurts and lemon are going to work to tenderize the meat! The acidity from these ingredients will break down the protein structure and will make it easy for digestion! Well....it will give good flavor through out the stake! Also these wholesome puree will boost nutrients intake! They also protect from harmful bacteria growth!

Besides ginger, garlic and cilantro are disease fighters and anti-agers. They also counter-react with that risk associated with grilling. Yeah when meat is heated in high temperature, cancer causing substance called Heterocyclic amines are formed! But marination cuts the risk by 87-90%, a reduction is directly co-related with amount of antioxidants present in your puree/sauce!

Well...I also used bone-in chicken today, to hold that latent heat and hasten the procedure(cooking). Skin-on will be helpful than using cubes and cubes of butter!

Ingredients:

Chicken Leg piece 2 (bone-in & skin-on)
Onion 1 large
Garlic 5 beads
Ginger 2"
Tomato 1 large
Red Peppers(fresh and large)3
Cilantro leaves 1 fistfu
Mint leaves 10-15
Lemon juice 1 fruit
Yogurts 1 cup
Salt
Clarified butter as required!

Method:

Make a thick puree out of all the above mentioned ingredients(except 1st and last).

Marinate chicken in the puree! Well....actually I packed them in one of those ziplock bags and left it in freezer for a whole day! Is it not wonderful...or do it overnight mariantion for better results!

Brush them with clarified butter and get them grilled....until they are done thoroughtly!

Happy eating!:)