Friday, 31 August 2012

Playing with recipes (Spagetti & Meatballs)

Buongiorno miei amici...My lovely friends lets leave India for a bit, we shall return to eat more of their delicious meals some other time. Today we would be going to Italy once again, and we would be learning how to make yummy and mouth watering meatballs...who doesn't like meat balls??? no one i guess! everyone loves meatballs, little children and adults so its a meal for the whole family, you should make it one of your favorite family comfort foods.

Ingredients
  • ground beef
  • ground pork
  • garlic
  • breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • parsley
  • basil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • canned crushed tomatoes
  • tomatoes
  • tomatoes paste
  • 2 sliced bread
  • onion
  • Parmesan cheese
  • spaghetti
  • olive oil
  • sugar

For the Meatballs
  • ground pork
  • ground beef
  • bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons salt (the cheese is salty so do not add too much salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red chili pepper or pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • olive oil

For the Sauce
  • 1 onion
  • 1 teaspoons minced garlic
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomatoes paste
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 fresh tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper
  • sugar

Lets cook

1. In a bowl combine the breadcrumbs, meat, break in two eggs, add plenty of freshly grated Parmesan, some parsley, basil, garlic, black pepper, red chili pepper or pepper flakes, onion powder and a little salt.
2. Get your hands in there and get dirty, mix all the ingredients together.
3. Mold small balls out of the mixture and place on a flat tray, when you are done put it in the freezer for a few minutes just to make the meatballs stick solidly together.
4. Heat up equal amount of vegetable oil and  olive oil in a heavy pot or skillet, large enough to hold the sauce ingredients, because we would be using same pot for the sauce.
5. When the oil is hot. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. Don't crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs when they are brown on the outside but not done on the inside. They will finish cooking in the sauce later. Move them to a plate covered with paper towels.
6. Keep the same pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, stir it around for a couple of minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomatoes paste, fresh diced tomatoes, parsley, basil, black pepper and pepper flakes, salt and sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Let the sauce cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Carefully add the meatballs, and stir them into the sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 20-30 more minutes. The yummy juices inside the meatballs will work their way into the sauce, giving it some really delicious flavor. Stir the sauce very gently a couple of times.
8. Serve on your already prepared Spaghetti and grate a generous amount of Parmesan cheese. Enjoy your meal.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Meatballs after being browned before putting it in the sauce

Buon Appetito
.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Playing with recipes (Chicken Curry)

Last time we went to India and we had delicious Chicken Briyani, hope you enjoyed yours because i certainly did. I know you wouldn't forget in a hurry the long list of ingredients we had to use, the good news is, virtually all those ingredients are the basics to every Indian recipe, so having filled my kitchen store with Indian ingredients i had to desperately search for more Indian recipe that i can comfortably eat and enjoy and make over and over again (lol).
And i found this recipe, didn't need to buy much, i had virtually all the ingredients waiting to be used in a sealed container...hehehe.
Let us prepare Chicken Curry.

Ingredients

3 chicken breast (cut into bite sizes)
4 tomatoes (chopped)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 onion (chopped)
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon  tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 green chili (chopped)
1 cup yogurt
1 coconut milk
1 tablespoon curry power
1 teaspoon coriander powder
salt to taste
a pinch sugar
4 potatoes (diced)
oil
a hand full of fresh green coriander (finely chopped)
2 bay leaves

Method

1. Heat the oil in a pot. Saute onion until lightly browned. Stir in the tomatoes, tomatoes paste, add the ginger, garlic paste. Stir for about a minute and cover the pot.
2. Stir in all the powder ingredients the ginger, garlic powder, paprika, cumin powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, salt, sugar (a pinch), curry powder, green chili and bay leaves.
3. Add the chicken and potatoes and stir everything together (do not add water) cover the pot and let it sit on the heat for about 3 minutes, stir constantly so it doesn't burn.
4. Pour in the yogurt and coconut milk, stir and taste, adjust seasoning if need be. Add the coriander leaves. Cover back your pot, allow it come to a boil and your chicken curry is ready to be served.
5. Have your hot Basmati rice waiting and pour your chicken curry sauce on top of it.



Chicken Curry
Enjoy my friends!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Playing with recipes (Chicken Briyani)

Hey friends lets go to India and eat...Even if you are not a fan of Indian recipes, this i promise you would enjoy.The Chicken Briyani is by far the most popular Indian rice recipe around the globe. Use good quality basmati rice for the best flavor and appearance. The key to making a good biryani lies in the way you par boil the rice, if that is not done right you may end up with a mushy and soggy briyani.
please don't get intimidated by the very long list of ingredients, most of them are spices used in a very small amount, its advisable to use all the ingredients. Each spice, contributes to the overall flavor. All  the spices will be easily available at any supermarket or definitely at an Indian store.
We would also be making a Raita without this, you would not enjoy your Briyani and most Indian meals. Raita is a yogurt-based condiment that can help douse the fire if a dish is just a little too hot and spicy, it helps you balance the food so your mouth don't burn with the spices, that way you get to enjoy ur meal even more.
These are the ingredients you would need to make your Chicken briyani (dont run away when you see the list believe me these things are inexpensive except for the saffron ).

Ingredients

  • 6 Onions (very thinly sliced and deep fried until light brown)
  • 20 Cashews (fried in a little desi ghee/clarified butter)
  • 1 Kg Chicken on the bone cut into pieces or Chicken breast cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 2 Tsp Garlic and Ginger paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 500 gm Basmati Rice (washed and soaked in salted water for at least 30 minutes )
  • 3-4 Tbsp oil
  • Oil for frying the onions
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 (1 inch) Cinnamon
  • 4 green Cardamoms
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • 4 Cardamom pods
  • 1/4 Tsp Caraway seeds (shahi jeera/black cumin seeds)
  • 4 large Tomatoes (chopped finely)
  • 1/4 Tsp of mace powder
  • 1 Tsp Coriander powder
  • 2 Tsp red Chili powder (to taste)
  • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 green Chilies (to taste, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • a few strands of Saffron (kesar) (dissolved in 1/2 cup hot milk)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Desi ghee (clarified butter) or Butter
  • 2 cups of fresh green Coriander (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 4 small potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 1 lime juice
  • 2 Tsp Cumin powder
For the marinade

  •  1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  •   tsp Ginger paste or powder
  •  1 tsp Garlic paste or powder
  •  1 tsp Garam Masala Powder 
  •  1 tsp Turmeric Powder 
  •  1 cup Yoghurt 
  •  Salt
  • 1 lime juice

For the Raita

  • One large (or two medium) cucumbers, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and seeded, then grated
  • 2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
  • 10 large mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sugar
  • 1 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped

Lets Make the Raita

1. Place grated cucumber in a sieve and press to squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
2. Stir spices and mint into yogurt in a medium bowl. Stir in the grated cucumber, tomatoes and onions. Chill until ready to serve.

Lets Prepare Chicken Briyani

1. Put all the ingredients of the marinade in a bowl and mix well. Add the chicken pieces, cover and put away in the fridge for over an hour if you have the time.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the onions (separate the thinly sliced onions using your finger tips) in the oil and reduce the heat to medium-low.Keep stirring the onions, so that they get evenly browned. The trick is to evenly and slowly brown the onions. If the flame is very high the onions will burn on the outside and remain watery on the inside. Once a uniform color is obtained, drain on thick layer of kitchen paper, so that maximum oil is soaked. Keep these aside.
3. Boil water in a very deep and wide pot, when water starts boiling add green cardamoms (2), bay leaves (1), oil (1tsp), cinnamon stick (1), cloves (3), cumin seeds (3) and a lot of salt, your briyani would be tasteless if the rice is not boiled with enough salt. Boil on very high heat for like 5 minutes but make sure the rice is not completely cooked, you know your rice is ready if you take a grain and press between your fingers, if it breaks into 3 parts, its ready to be taken off. Strain the rice and keep aside to cool off you can take out all the whole ingredients you put inside at this point or leave them, the choice is yours.
4. In a separate bowl, mix saffron and hot milk, keep aside and allow it to soak. The color is going to turn yellowish.
5. Heat a pan on medium heat, add in oil and the clarified butter (you can use normal butter).Once hot, add in the cashews fry for a couple of minutes till the cashews get a light golden color. Remove from the Pan. Make sure you drain all the Oil. Keep aside.
6. Heat oil in a deep pan, add the remaining bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon and green cardamoms. When they crackle, add the ginger, garlic and chilies. Saute for a minute and add the marinated chicken, along with the marinade.  Add your potatoes, Cook on a medium heat till all the water dries up (water from the chicken and yogurt). Add the tomatoes, 1/3 of the fried onions, and some of the cashew,  all the powdered spices, salt and cook till all the water from the tomatoes dries up. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be.
7. Use a deep heavy bottom pan with a lid. Spread some desi ghee or butter at the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of rice, followed by a layer of chicken. Now sprinkle a generous handful of chopped coriander, fried onions and cashews. Repeat the layers with rice being the top most layer. Sprinkle the leftover onions and all the cashews. Pour the milk and saffron on the top using a spoon, evenly covering the whole area. Once all layers are set, take melted desi ghee or butter with a spoon pour it around the rim of the vessel and a little on the rice. If you lid does not close tightly use foil paper or a clean kitchen towel to cover the pot and the put the lid on it.
8. Allow to sit for like 10 minutes and serve with your chilled Raita.

Chicken Briyani

Chicken Briyani and Raita

Chicken Briyani Ingredients 

Enjoy your delicious Indian meal...

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Judith Audu

Am so happy to be here, would be sharing my thoughts, food recipes i have played with, fashion, lifestyle, news and general entertainment gist and gossips with you guys...i must warn u though they aren't always sounding good (wink wink)...

Playing with recipes (Creamy Mushroom Sauce)

This recipe is for people like me that find it boring to have steak and fries with no sauce by the side, and would have to make do with ketchup or mayonnaise.
I searched and searched for a simple and yummy sauce to compliment my steak and voila! i found this delicious mushroom sauce that would make you not go to restaurants again for steaks because you would rather prepare it yourself and enjoy in the comfort of your home.
These are the ingredients you would need and its super fast and easy, preparation time is less than 10 minutes.

Ingredients
  • mushroom
  • butter
  • cream or milk
  • mustard
  • pinch of cumin seed (optional)
  • garlic
  • paprika
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • mixed herbs (basil, parsley and coriander)

Method

1. Melt butter with crushed garlic and paprika in a pan.
2. Add sliced mushroom and cook until butter is mushroom colour.
3. Add cream or milk (quantity depends on the number of  the people eating), cumin seeds, mustard, salt, black pepper and the mixed herbs (a pinch of all of them).
4. Simmer until thickened.
5. Serve and eat with you steak.

Yummy Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Notes
This recipe can also be used with grilled chicken.
you can use white wine if you like.
you can use any herbs you prefer and play with the recipe, discover additional ingredients to make it more yummy.

Enjoy your meal!!!




Thursday, 23 August 2012

Playing with recipes ( Chicken Stir-Fry )

This recipe is a winner any day and you wouldn't believe how easy it is to prepare. I first saw Paula Deen prepare this on food network channel and i noticed all the ingredients she used are things i could find in the market and that was when i developed the urge to prepare whatever i see on tv that appeals to my tummy and search for more wonderful recipes, that way we get to have more options at the table and make everyday feel like a celebration and special, prior to this i had an idea everything i see them prepare on tv i s a 'no go area' for me because there is no way i would be able to get the complete ingredients down here and even if i find them they will be super expensive but i was so wrong! 
So basically this was the first continental recipe i played with and it was a great success, and then i decided to continue playing with others too sometimes i look at the store in my kitchen, search for what i can make with whatever i find and i have never been disappointed, cant speak for the others that eat it thou (hehehe).
What really made me fall in love with stir-fry in general is that its a very healthy meal and its an opportunity to eat a lot of vegetables with plenty of vitamins plus it is so fast to prepare. I have prepared this several times and each time i prepare it,something changes depending on what i see when i open my fridge or freezer, you can use beef, pork, chicken or turkey whatever kind of meat you like or have at that point in time can serve
 
      Ingredients
  • vegetable oil
  • sesame oil
  • boneless, skinless chicken breast (you should always have these in your freezer they always come in handy)
  • broccoli
  • mushrooms
  • carrots
  • red bell pepper
  • yellow bell pepper
  • green pepper
  • onion
  • can water chestnuts
  • chicken broth (chicken stock)
  • hoisin sauce
  • soy sauce
  • powdered ginger
  • cornstarch or cornflour
 
Directions
1. Slice the chicken into very small pieces, cut all the vegetables into bite size i.e the carrots, mushroom, red, yellow and green pepper, broccoli, can water chestnuts and onions.
2. In a large skillet,wok or pan, heat the oils (vegetable and sesame oil about a tablespoon each depending on the amount of chicken you are preparing). Add the chicken and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
3. Pour in the broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, pepper, and onions and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Stir in the water chestnuts.
5. In a small bowl, combine chicken broth (stock), hoisin sauce, soy sauce ( a table spoon not too much or it becomes too salty), ginger and corn starch or corn flour, mix them together until smooth.
6. Add the mixture to the chicken on fire and bring to a boil over medium - high heat.
7. reduce heat to medium- low, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
8. Serve over hot cooked rice

Chicken Stir-fry with Rice
 
This is a very easy one guys try it out and let me know how it goes. Bon app├ętit.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Playing with recipes (Osso Bucco)

Been away from my blog for a while now,hope you didn't miss me much (lol). So i have been struggling to define my blog as to what i love writing about and what i want it to be about and boom i figured i love cooking and playing with recipes and then i said to myself hey Judith why not share with your readers all the experiments and new recipes u play with and the i was like why not! Hope you would like it and also put it to practice but make sure you have someone to share the food with else you would become a regular at the gym in no time and bear in mind not all of them come out as desired on your first attempt (hehehe).
I am blessed with a partner that eats more continental food so i always have to travel far away from Nigeria whenever i want to make something to wow him and i always do almost all the time (wink),that way i have been able to learn n practice how to prepare cuisines from Italy, Indian, Thai, Chinese and some i have no idea where they are even from but they taste yummy which is what i care about, My eyes are always glued to Food channels and whenever i sit on my system am always on one food site looking for my next experiment, feel sorry for my partner and any of my friends that are around because they must eat the food (hahaha).
Today i would be sharing an Italian recipe with you called Osso Bucco), i have made this recipe several times that i can prepare it now with my eyes closed (lol). Lets get down to the business of the day,cooking is so much fun for me and makes me happy (i may end up opening a restaurant someday, u never know), would like you to feel the same enjoy your kitchen space and always make sure you have everything you would be needed close to you so you don't burn anything and destroy the taste of your food.
Ossobuco or osso buco is Italian for "bone with a hole" (osso bone, buco hole), a reference to the marrow hole at the center of the cross-cut veal shank.
To make Osso bucco these are the ingredients you would be needing and i assure you would find them in any stores close to you the veal shank which is the main ingredient might be the tricky one but you should be able to get it in big stores:

Ingredients
  • veal shanks
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • celery sticks (optional, i don't put in mine)
  • onions
  • garlic cloves
  • plain flour
  • tomato paste
  • diced Italian tomatoes in juice
  • beef stock
  • dried thyme
  • bay leaves
  • Gremolata
  • lemon
  • garlic cloves
  • parsley
Method to prepare it
1.  Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan, add carrots, onions (finely chopped) , celery (optional also finely chopped) and garlic (crushed). Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to an ovenproof dish.

2. Season the plain flour (add salt and pepper, i usually put maggi cubes in mine) put in in a plastic bag with veal shank and shake it well make sure the flour covers it up, remove excess and place it on a plate.
3. Preheat oven to 200oC. Melt another butter and oil in a frying pan over high heat. Brown both sides of veal shanks. Place on top of vegetables you had earlier put in an ovenproof dish.
4.  Add tomato paste, tomatoes, beef stock thyme and bay leaves to pan. Bring to the boil. reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Pour over vegetables and veal shanks. Cover with lid or foil paper. Transfer to oven and bake for 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 hours or basically until veal is tender and falls off the bone sometimes mine gets ready in 45mins you can always open your oven and check it.

To serve
You can enjoy this delicious recipe with boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes. Make a gremolata and sprinkle on top of it, here is how to make it: 

Grate the rind of lemon (meaning the back of a lemon), chop ggarlic glove and parsley mix them together and just sprinkle on top of your meal and you would eat and ask for more.
Fresh out of my oven
Osso Bucco with Boiled Potatoes


Osso Bucco with Mashed Potatos


 
A table! Enjoy!!!

Let me know what you think and if you have a recipe you have been battling with or have a way to modify this recipe and make it even more delicious please share. Thank you and enjoy. Cheers.