Whole Wheat Bow Tie Pasta

BowTie Pasta

I really can’t start yet another post with ” Sorry for being absent and not posting frequently”.The “Sorry” itself will¬†start a “Sorry, Not Sorry” debate in your mind ūüėČ

Really, things have been chaotic in real life. Vipul’s travels for work, my job search, me exploring other things I want to do alongside (E-book, art portfolio and lot other¬†ideas in works), debating whether to buy a house or NOT ( if so, where, how much etc), volunteering at Varun’s school, not to mention pinning ton’s of stuff for Varun’s party which is totally outsourced (the pins are just so I feel I contributed to it other than swiping my card).

Anyways, in amidst this, I found myself with orphaned egg yolks. Yet again. Pudding I salivated!

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Mind-blowing Super Easy Tiramisu

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Father’s Day weekend and a weeklong Vipul’s trip to London (read as absence at home) made my heart go fonder. My heart debated should it be JEALOUS (¬†it absolutely was when I saw his pictures drinking beer outside pub’s in London); HAPPY¬†that I get to hog the entire bed, plain UPSET that he gets to be off parent’s duty for an entire week or GLAD that when we go to London, I get to sightsee without kids (as he will be on parent duty as he has already been to the tourist spots).

Finally, his LUCK prevailed. It was Father’s Day weekend, it was not the weekend to be MAD at him or his work travels. His arrival made me forget all the negative feelings (after a jibe or two at him while I saw his pictures from London Eye) and I decided to make it up ( to my own sanity) by an extra large serving of Tiramisu. ¬†Oh, I mean how can I be MAD at him. I ought to make him something special ūüėČ . That’s how this extra large – super delicious Tiramisu was made on Saturday night.

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Seriously this is the best and most easy recipe of Tiramisu possible. It is so freaking easy that I am afraid I am gonna make some next week as well. It’s easy because most of the ingredients are store bought and the only hard part of beating egg yolks and mascarpone cheese is made easy by using an handheld electric whisk.

Leaving it overnight in the fridge makes the flavors meld, the biscuits soften and everything becomes this one big flavor feast that only begs to be had over and over again. It ends the meal on a special note.

It can be¬†doubled easily and made ahead. Be warned, its easy to make and even more easy to have second helpings. And more than one serving, it will dent your summer bikini plans. But with a luscious dessert like this on hand who gives London or bikini’s a damn?

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Tiramisu Recipe

  • 2 1/2 cups boiling-hot water and¬†4¬†tablespoons instant-espresso powder ( Alternately make 2 1/2 cups of espresso which is what I used)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons Tia Maria (coffee liqueur) (I use Kahlua, which works well)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup dry Marsala
  • 1 pound mascarpone (2 1/2 cups)
  • 1¬†tub whipped cream ( or use 1 cup heavy whipping cream and whip it till it forms stiff peaks)
  • 36 savoiardi (crisp Italian ladyfingers; from two 7-ounce packages)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

1. Stir together espresso ( or hot water and espresso powder), 1 tablespoon sugar, and Tia Maria in a shallow bowl until sugar has dissolved, then cool. Set aside.

  1. Beat egg yolks, Marsala, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water using a whisk or handheld electric mixer until tripled in volume, 5 to 8 minutes.

If whisking by hand it will take about 10 mins of constant beating till the eggs are foamy and double in volume. I figured double in volume is good enough. And it was.

  1. Remove bowl from heat. Beat in mascarpone until just combined. Don’t over-mix.

4. Fold mascarpone mixture into whipped cream gently but thoroughly.

  1. Dipping both sides of each ladyfinger into coffee mixture, line bottom of a shallow Pyrex 9 X 13″¬†pan¬†with 18 ladyfingers in 3 rows, trimming edges to fit if necessary.Spread half of mascarpone filling on top.

Remember there is no need to grease the bottom of the pan.

 

  1. Dip remaining 18 ladyfingers in coffee and arrange over filling in pan. Spread remaining mascarpone filling on top and dust with cocoa.

  2. Chill, covered with loose foil , at least 6 hours to overnight.

Serve chilled.

 

 

A Yellow Whole Wheat Egg Yolk Pasta

Egg yolk whole wheat pasta

Sorry for the almost weeklong absence. This was the week when most of the pre-school applications for Varun were due. And we had not even toured some of the schools; which is mandatory in some cases before applying.

With Vipul at work, the task was on me and I was driving all over the town to attend the last few tours that the schools had. I joked one evening that we need a SCRUM board to just track the schools and their process (plus other things we had to do like pick up house keys, find a pediatrician closer to new house, possibly look for an interim preschool closer to our new apartment etc).

Egg yolk whole wheat pasta

To be out and about, I used to have a heavy breakfast (fried eggs and cereal) so it would tide me over till lunch.

I don’t like yellows in my eggs. Its been the case since I was young and before the low-fat/carb diet etc were even part of my vocabulary. I can’t stand their smell unless it is poached or baked.

Egg yolk whole wheat pasta

So, what do you do with the yellows? They are actually rich in vitamin A and D, folic acid, potassium and selenium – not to mention protein and omega-3 fatty acids. The bulk of nutrition in an egg is in the yolk.

Instead of discarding them as I previously used to do, I used a recipe that I read in Jamie Oliver’s cookbook to make a pasta dough with ¬†flour and egg yolks. Knead this with a little water like nobody’s business. And you have a dough that can be rolled, filled or shaped.

You will have a naturally yellow whole wheat pasta that is rich in nutrients and then can be made into anything you like. I don’t have a pasta making machine, but it can easily be rolled thin and cut up to make fettucine.

Egg yolk whole wheat pasta

I gave a small dough to Varun and he rolled and played with it while I made the rest for us. This pasta cooks in a couple of minutes and topped with olive oil, parsley and pepper was one the yummiest meals in a while.

Am in love with making fresh pasta. Next time, I plan to add some chopped spinach or kale to sneak in some veggies!

Egg yolk whole wheat pasta

Whole Wheat Egg Yolk Pasta Recipe

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups whole wheat flour + 1/4 cup for rolling
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil ( for greasing)
  • 7-8 cups water (to boil pasta)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley chopped
  • Olive oil, parmesan cheese to top and serve per taste

1. Take the flour on  the counter and form a well in the center.  Add egg yolks. And a little bit of water.

2. Oil your hands. Mix a little bit of yolk and flour, in circular motions, incorporating more and more flour on each pass. The mix does get hard, dry and crumbly. Don’t give up. Use a little bit of water if it’s too dry. Keep kneading.

Using the heel of your hand, massage and knead the dough till it comes together and eventually becomes soft and pliable. This took me about 15 – 20 minutes.

3. Set the dough aside for 30 mins to rest.

4. Set water for pasta to boil.

Flour the counter and then roll the pasta into largish ovals/circles and cut up using a knife. Or use a pasta making machine if you have one.

5. When the water has a rolling boil, add the pasta. Cook for about 2 minutes till the pasta floats to the top.

6. Season with salt and pepper. Top with some olive oil, parsley and cheese.

Serve warm!

 

 

Easy Peasy Whole Wheat Olive Focaccia

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My apologies for being a bit tardy in posting last week. Work got in the way and I didn’t have enough time to blog. I promise to do better this week.

Last night, I was mentally prepping menu’s for weekend and the week so I can shop accordingly. A fried egg sandwich came to my mind. Hmmm…that with coffee would be a good strat to the weekend. While thinking about bread, focaccia came to my mind. Only problem – I haven’t found focaccia in the supermarkets or even in a bakery here in Hyderabad. I needed a hearty bread for brunch.

So I looked up online to find an easy focaccia recipe and found one that needs minimal effort. Just mix all the ingredients up and let yeast do its work. The dough rises and flavours meld.  A few hours later with minimal effort we had a chewy focaccia. It was denser due to whole wheat flour but I am sure half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour would result in a lighter bread while still being healthy. Olives added saltiness to the bread. Herbs in the bread enhanced its flavour so we could eat it as is. Which is exactly what Varun did after removing olives.

The recipe is very simple and requires very little effort beyond the initial kneading. If you have a food processor or a stand mixer then even that is minimal. Also, it  is very versatile. Change the herbs Рlemon Рcilantro, roasted garlic, smoked paprika Рsun-dried tomatoes per your mood. Play with toppings, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, red onions. Its bound to surprise you with its flavour.

Give it a try this weekend. It can be dressed up into an elegant brunch with salad and wine or into a memorable breakfast with fried eggs and bacon.

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Easy Peasy Whole Wheat Olive Focaccia Recipe

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for topping + 1 tablespoon to grease the pan
  • 1/2 ¬†cup olives

1. In a large bowl, mix sugar in the water and add then add yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes till the yeast proofs.

2.  Once proofed, add all the ingredients listed (other than olives) and knead for about 10 minutes. It will be sticky which is fine. Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to double. It takes about 3- 4 hours here but can take longer. Have patience with the first rise. Else the bread will not be soft.

3.   Punch down the dough, and knead for 30 seconds again. Oil a baking pan well and spread the dough in this pan. You can leave this free form. Using your fingers, make dimples in the dough. Insert an olive in each dimple. Brush with olive oil.

Set aside for another 45 minutes to rise.

4. Pre-heat oven to 180F/350 C and bake the bread for 30 – 35 minutes till golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool in pan.

Cut and serve warm. It goes well with salads, soups, or in an open faced sandwiches.

Summer In A Cup: Mango Panna Cotta

MAngo Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is a simple custard made by simmering milk, cream, sugar and gelatin and chilled till it sets. Silky smooth it is light and a perfect weeknight dessert. Quick and easy to make, leave it in the fridge to set, top with some fresh fruits to ease the guilt.

As mangoes are in season, and I had fresh cream on hand (since we boil milk everyday and save the creamy skin) I made a mango panna cotta. Most recipes call for the custard to be set for at least 4 hours but we couldn’t really wait more than two. Topped with fresh mangoes it was every bit of summer in a cup.

Use canned mango pulp, fresh Mexican mangoes or substitute with other seasonal fruits – strawberries and rhubarb particularly would be awesome this time of the year in US/UK.

Give it a try – its easy to make in a large quantity if you are entertaining or scaled down dessert just for two!

Mango Panna Cotta Recipe
Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 packet Gelatin ( or Agar Agar if vegetarian)
  • 1 cup fresh cream
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup mango pulp
  • 1/4 cup sugar (optional if the mango is sweet)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)

Garnish

  • Fresh mango cubed
  • Mint

1.  Add the gelatin to water and stir well so that there are no lumps. Set aside for 5 -10 minutes.

2. In the meantime bring the cream, milk, sugar, mango pulp and vanilla bean to a simmer. Take off heat.

3. Add gelatin and stir well.

4. Remove the vanilla bean, if using, split and scrape it. Mix well. If you want a smooth mixture without tell-tale mango pulp bits then run through a blender.

5. Ladle in individual cups. Keep in refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours.

6. To serve, top with fresh fruit and mint leaves. Enjoy!