Friday 26 June 2009

Crêpe au Jambon/Fromage/Oeufs (French Pancake with Ham, Cheese and Eggs)

“Crêpe” is a thin pancake made with wheat flour or buckwheat flour, similar to a maida dosa. It is one of the widely spread national dish in France, traditionally served with cider on festive occasions and which can be found very commonly, throughout the year in two versions, either sweetened crêpes, like simply topped with some sugar or chocolate or jams or flambéed with a liquor “Grand Marnier” and served for desserts or 4° clock snacks and an unsweetened savoury version served as a complete meal, like the example here under…. It needs only some basic ingredients that we always have in the pantry but at the same time very nutritious for children and believe me even the little ones who drag to finish their meals every day will devour it within minutes :)

Ingredients (for about 20 thin unsweetened pancakes):

250g all purpose flour
250 ml milk
250 ml Beer
3 eggs
2 tbsp melted butter
½ tsp salt
Butter for frying

For the accompaniment:

Ham
Eggs
Grated cheese


Method:

Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle, add half of the liquids (beer and milk) and stir with a spatula starting from the middle until you get a smooth paste (you may also use a robot for doing this).

Beat the eggs nicely and add it to the above mixture while stirring. Add the salt and the melted butter and continue stirring.

Add the remaining liquid (beer and milk) and stir thoroughly until you get a smooth fluid mixture. Cover and leave it at room temperature for about an hour or two.

Heat a pan and spread some butter, pour a little pancake dough, spread it evenly on the surface of the pan and cook over medium heat for a few seconds. Flip over and cook the other side too.

Add some ham and break an egg or two on the crêpe and sprinkle some cheese over it. When the eggs are done, transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle some freshly ground pepper and salt and enjoy!
Bon appétit!

Thursday 18 June 2009

Chicken Biryani and Mother’s Day Gifts........

It was Mother’s Day two weeks back, was celebrated on 7th June in France, and naturally it was the day of pleasant surprises, touching and tender moments to share with my beloved ones……… some of their loving intentions here.........a poem written and offered by my dear son, along with a lovely handmade jewel box and a beautiful bracelet (handmade of course) offered by my little sweetie who then sang to me perfectly (with the action please :) a song especially learnt by heart for the Mother’s Day and then to crown all the joyfulness, a delicious Chicken Biryani prepared by the Chef himself along with his small assistants :) Isn’t life wonderful?


Well, this is how the Chef proceeded.......


Ingredients:

4 cups Basmati rice
1 kg chicken (cleaned and chopped into pieces)
1 cup ghee
Whole spices (4 Bay leaves, 3 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cardamoms, 1star anis)
3 big onions
6 green chillies
1full garlic
Ginger = ½ the quantity of garlic
2 tbsp poppy seeds
A pinch of pepper
Salt to taste
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp fennel powder
A cup of yoghurt
2 cups of coconut milk
A bunch of coriander leaves
A bunch of mint leaves
A handful of cashew nuts and dry grapes
A few saffron strands

Method:

Wash the rice and strain.

Add 3 tbsp of ghee in a wok, and fry the rice on medium heat, until the raw smell goes and keep aside.

Add the yoghurt to the chicken and reserve.

Chop the onions very finely.
Peel the garlic and ginger and chop finely.
Deseed the green chilies and grind to a fine paste along with the ginger, the garlic and the poppy seeds
Clean and chop the coriander and mint leaves roughly.

Heat ghee in a large vessel, splutter the whole spices, add the onions and fry until brown, add the ground paste and fry on medium heat until the raw smell goes. Add the dry powders, fennel and cumin, pepper, salt and the coriander powder, followed by half of the coriander and all the mint leaves and fry on high flame; add the chicken pieces and fry until oil separates from the sauce. Add 5 cups of warm water and the coconut milk. Stir well, correct the taste if necessary and cook closed until boil comes.

Add the rice and the saffron strands and cook closed air-tightly on very low heat until done. You may also use a rice cooker, then transfer everything to a rice cooker and cook until done.

Fry the cashew nuts and the dry grapes in a little ghee, on low flame and sprinkle before serving.

Traditionally served with a Raita and a Tomato Sweet (Thakkali Thithipoo).

Saturday 13 June 2009

4 Cheese sauce, Veal Scallop with Fettucine

My better half was in the kitchen to prepare dinner for us last night, so I had get out of the kitchen absolutely to avoid any kind of war :) Needless to say that inspite of the richness of the sauce, it was something irresistibly succulent, thank you for the feast, sweetheart :)
Ingredients:(for 4)
1 packet fresh Fettucine
100g Emmental
100g Comté
100g Gruyère
100g Roquefort
250 ml fresh cream
25g butter
3 tbsps fresh parsley leaves
1/2 tsp cumin powder
Pepper, salt
4 veal scallops (120g each)
100g Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tbsp oil

Method:
Heat butter in a skillet and pour the fresh cream and heat on low flame; add the 4 cheeses except the Parmigiano-Reggiano and let it melt. Stir gently until smooth and flowing. Add the cumin powder and garnish with parsley. As the cheese is salty, I don't add any extra salt to this sauce.

Meanwhile, sprinkle some salt and some fresh pepper on the scallops.
Heat oil in a saucepan and fry the escalopes 3-4 minutes each side on medium heat.

Cook the Fettucine al dente in salted boiling water.
Serve Scallop, the Fettucine topped with the cheese sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

My beloved has served this dish with some boiled carrots topped with parsley leaves and with a "Jurançon".

Enjoy your dinner!
Bon Appétit!

PS: The french cheeses can be very well substituted by any other cheeses provided they are meltable.


Sending this recipe to the "Presto Pasta #118" Event, hosted by Daphne.

Carrots/Beans Koottu

Another simple and quick-to-make vegetable side dish, with no spices at all, except the salt, and which may also be constituted as a main course to make a humble but healthy meal, the way I like it indeed, with some plain rice topped with some ghee or with Rice, Papads and a ladle of rassam or however you please.......

Ingredients:

2 onions
2 green chilies
100g of moong dhal (pacha payiru)
100g of Channa dhal (Kadala paruppu)
Salt to taste
100g shredded fresh coconut
200g Carrots
200g French Flat Beans
5 tbsp ghee
some coriander for garnishing

Method:

Prepare all the ingredients.

Pressure- cook both the dhals with a pinch of salt in 2 cups of water, until 3 whistles.

Chop the onions finely; deseed the green chilies and chop them into small rings.

Shred the coconut.

Peel the carrots and clean along with the beans and chop them into small pieces.

Heat the ghee (on medium heat) in a wok; fry the onions and the green chilies.

Add salt and then the carrots and the Beans and fry by sprinkling very little water if necessary; (we want it cooked but firm and crunchy)

Add the shredded coconut followed by the cooked dhals and stir it all together. Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.

Have a healthy meal!

Friday 5 June 2009

Stir-fried Vegetable Noodles

Like many of you, I like Chinese food, no I would rather say, I love “FOOD”, whether it is French, Indian, Vietnamese, Japanese or Chinese and I shall go on, I appreciate good fine food and happily all the other three too….:).

This is my way of doing a simple Stir-Fried Noodles or may I say a Chop Suey?

Ingredients:

Noodles (400g)
8 tbsp oil
1 bell pepper
200g scallions
250g carrots
200g Broad beans
200g Button mushrooms (Shitake and Wood Ear Fungi might be ideal too)
200g Leeks
2tbsp minced garlic
A tbsp of chilly sauce (optional)

Topping sauce:
2 tbsp seasoned Rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp thick soya sauce
1 tsp pepper
½ tbsp sesame oil

Method:

Boil and cook the noodles as per the instructions in the packet.

Get the rest of the ingredients ready.

Julienne the bell pepper, scallions, carrots and the beans finely. Chop the Leeks and the mushrooms. Scissor the scallions very finely.

Prepare the topping sauce by stirring all the ingredients of the sauce together except the oil; taste and then, add the oil and mix well.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok, stir fry the cooked noodles for a minute and remove.

Heat another tbsp of oil in the same wok and stir fry the mushrooms until done.

Heat the remaining oil and stir fry quickly the carrots and the Beans, followed by Bell pepper, the Leeks and then the garlic until slightly soft but still crunchy. Add the mushrooms and add the salt, chilly sauce and the prepared topping sauce. Stir fry all on high heat and add the noodles and stir fry a little more and switch off the fire.

Serve hot with the Nuoc Mam Sauce and some chilly-fragranced soya sauce.
PS:
You may like to enrich the preparation with more vegetables like celery, Bok Choy, Cabbages, baby corns, there is no limit!

My dear non-vegetarians might prefer to add fried prawns or pork meat or poultry to the preparation.