Pinwheel crepe and fruit skewers

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BMG # 82: Week 3, Day 1
Theme : Crepes
Recipe: Crepe and fruit skewers

Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the batch of crepes helped me make three different kinds and this is the second one. The idea is from Kathryn Hawkins’  book Crepes, Waffles and Pancakes. The only modification I made was to spread a little jam to the crepes before threading them onto the skewers. This was a delicious and fun treat, I will try this again for sure. My husband, who doesn’t like to eat anything sweet, loved this one. This can definitely be a fun appetizer for parties or a quick snack that makes a good impression.

I used the fruits I had (which also happened to be what the book recommended), but this would work with any combination of fruits. The bright red strawberry along with the green kiwi and yellowish guava was a good visual treat too. I followed the low fat honey crepes recipe for the crepes.

This recipe goes to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group and Blogging Marathon. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#82 

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Ingredients:

For the crepe

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • butter to grease the pan

For making two fruit skewers

  • 1 crepe from above recipe
  • a teaspoon of jam, optional
  • 2 strawberries, halved
  • 1 kiwi, sliced
  • 1 small guava, sliced or sweet mango slices

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the crepe using a wire whisk or blend in a mixer to get a lump free batter. This quantity makes about 8 crepes 6″ diameter in size. I used only one of those for the fruit skewer.
  2. To make crepes, heat a 6″ non stick skillet or pan. Spread a little butter to the base of the pan to grease it. Spoon 1/4 cup crepe batter and swirl/rotate the pan so that the batter coats the base. Try to avoid the batter going to the sides/walls of the pan. Cook until the batter is not wet anymore and the sides turn slightly brown. With a silicone spatula, carefully flip it over and cook the other side. Take off the pan and keep it on a plate. Make more crepes until the batter is used up.
  3. Take a crepe and spread a little jam or nutella and roll it up. Cut into 1″ thick pieces.
  4. Thread this pinwheel crepe with the different pieces of fruit onto a long bamboo skewer. Serve immediately.

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Low fat crepes with mushrooms

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BM # 82: Week 3, Day 1
Theme : Crepes
Recipe: Mushroom filled crepes

A good library with lots of excellent books has made life very easy for me. The most used section by me is of course the cookery books. For this week’s theme of crepes, I took out the book Crepes, Waffles and Pancakes by Kathryn Hawkins. I used the book more for ideas than actual recipes. I didn’t follow the recipe for basic crepes from the book. Instead, I found an easy recipe here at Mr.Breakfast.com that uses a lot less fat. I halved the recipe given in that site and made 8 small 6″ crepes. I made three different fillings for these 8 crepes. The first one here is the savory mushroom filling and it was my husband’s choice. So in the recipe section below, you will need to increase the filling quantity a little more if you want to prepare it for all of the crepes.

The book had a spinach and mushroom crepe recipe where you add cooked and chopped spinach to the crepe batter. It is then filled with mushrooms in cream. I just filled the crepes with sauteed mushrooms and left it at that. It was tasty regardless.

Read on for the first crepe recipe!

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Ingredients:

For the crepe

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • butter to grease the pan

Filling for one person

  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons cream, optional
  • a teaspoon of butter
  • salt and pepper as needed

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the crepe using a wire whisk or blend in a mixer to get a lump free batter. This quantity makes about 8 crepes 6″ diameter in size. I used only two of those for mushroom filling.
  2. To make crepes, heat a 6″ non stick skillet or pan. Spread a little butter to the base of the pan to grease it. Spoon 1/4 cup crepe batter and swirl/rotate the pan so that the batter coats the base. Try to avoid the batter going to the sides/walls of the pan. Cook until the batter is not wet anymore and the sides turn slightly brown. With a silicone spatula, carefully flip it over and cook the other side. Take off the pan and keep it on a plate. Make more crepes until the batter is used up.
  3. For the filling, heat a teaspoon of butter in a pan. Saute the garlic, onions and mushrooms until everything is cooked. Season with salt and pepper. If you feel like, add a little cream to the mushroom mix and bring it to a boil. Divide this mixture into two crepes. You can either keep in the middle of the crepe and fold the edges to the middle or spoon the mixture on one half and cover it with the other half and serve.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#82

Slutty Brownie cake

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BM # 82: Week 2, Day 3
Theme : USA
Recipe: Brownie cake

Brownies and cakes are part of USA food and sometimes they come together as a single treat. Brownie cakes are actually brownies that are then decorated as cakes, that’s not the case here. While browsing I came across something called ‘Slutty brownies‘ which is a decadent treat. It has three layers – a cookie layer, oreo layer and then a final brownie layer. When made with ready made cookie dough, crushed oreos and a box mix for brownies, its an easy to make treat and every bit decadent as you can imagine.

The recipe here is a cake version of the same. It is a layer cake with three 9″ layers – each corresponding to the slutty brownie layer. So a base cake batter is prepared and divided into three portions – one each for the cookie layer, brownie layer and oreo layer. This is a delicious treat by itself, it is definitely a cake recipe and no means resembles brownies or cookies in any way. I followed the recipe from What’s Gabby Cooking without any change.

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The best part of this recipe for me was it gave a single recipe for a three 9″ layer cake. Else I was using a double batch of a two layer cake which would always leave me with an addition fourth (and unnecessary) cake. I have tried the same base recipe and made a Neapolitan cake instead of brownie layers.

I have to start making videos to explain the cake assembling better, but until I figure that out, you guys can scroll down and read the recipe.

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Recipe source: Whats Gabby Cooking

Ingredients:

Base cake:

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour*
  • 1/2 cup corn flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk

*Use 4 cups cake flour instead of a mix of flour and corn flour

Oreo Cookie layer:

  • 10 oreos crumbled

Cookie dough layer:

  • 1 tablespoon molasses (didn’t have any)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Brownie layer:

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

Filling, frosting and toppings:

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and line three 9″ pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, corn flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and continue beating at medium speed. Once the four eggs are combined well, add the vanilla essence and beat it in.
  4. We have to add the flour in three batches, alternating it with the buttermilk. That means, we have to first add 1/3rd of the flour mix into the butter mix. Beat at a lower speed to avoid spilling of the flour all over. Once the flour is mixed in without streaks, add one cup of buttermilk and continue beating. Now add half of the leftover flour mix. Once that’s mixed well, add in the rest of buttermilk. Once that’s combined well, add the remaining flour. At any point, you can stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to help combine the batter better.
  5. Divide the batter into three bowls. Add 1/3 cup cocoa powder into one batch, crushed oreo cookies into another and 1 tablespoons of molasses and chocolate chips to the last batch.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 35-45 minutes until a skewer comes free of cake crumbs when inserted into the middle of the cake.
  7. Take off the oven, let it cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Then take off the pan, cling wrap it two times and return to the same pan until its time to decorate.
  8. For decorating, prepare the butter cream. Fill and frost the cake only after its completely cool. Prepare a glaze and top with assorted chocolates.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#82

Easy Chana chaat

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3:00 PM is panic time at my place. My son comes home by 4. Usually I give him rice and veggies leftover from our lunch. But there are times when I would have managed an easy lunch somehow and then there won’t be anything left for him to eat. Even though I know that he comes by 4, I choose only 3 PM to start panicking. I am cool as cucumber until then.

On one of those days, I made this quick chana chaat using canned beans. If you can plan ahead you can always soak and cook chana. The chutneys takes only a few minutes to make or you can always use ready made ones. I have used the recipe from Vaishali’s space. Ideally you use only sweet chutney for this, but I added a teeny tiny bit of green chutney too. My son loves the sweet chutney a lot. I make paani puri with aloo filling with ready made puris too, but for today’s post, it is the chana chaat.

Chaat in general is not exactly healthy, but this particular one is definitely healthy. There is no deep frying involved, its just cooked chana with chutneys, spices and a bit of yogurt. I added a spoon of ready made sev for a bit of crunch, but its not enough to make the healthy factor go away.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
For the green chutney:

  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1 green chili (or per taste)
  • juice of a lemon
  • salt as needed

Grind everything together to a fine paste. Some people add ginger and garlic as well when grinding. You will need only a teaspoon or so of this chutney, so you can skip this if you want.

For the sweet chutney:

  • 1/2 cup of tamarind pulp
  • 1/2 cup jaggery
  •  a pinch each chili powder, garam masala and hing
  • salt as needed

Mix 1 tablespoon tamarind paste with half cup of water to get 1/2 cup of pulp. Or soak a small gooseberry sized tamarind ball in 1/2 cup water for 15 minutes and then extract the pulp and discard the fibrous bits. Bring the pulp to a boil with jaggery (or sugar). Add salt and the powders. Taste test and adjust if needed. Let it cook until it thickens a bit. Take off the heat and once its cooled down, use it in the chaat.

For the chaat:

  • 1 can garbonzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 small tomato, chopped finely
  • 1/2 small potato, boiled
  • handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala, ready made
  • lemon juice and salt as needed
  • a tablespoon of sweet chutney
  • a teaspoon of green chutney
  • a teaspoon of sev, optional

Method:

  1. In a bowl, add the drained and washed beans, onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves, potatoes, chili powder, chaat masala. Mix it in carefully and add lemon juice and salt to taste. You can add more or less chaat masala according to your preference. Add some sweet chutney and green chutney. Serve with some sev on top.

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Instant Pot Rajma Pulao

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People use weekends to catch up with stuff they are lagging behind. For me its just the opposite. I always let things go on weekends and struggle on week days to catch up with everything. My blogging front always takes a set back during the weekends.

Now ask me what I do on weekends to keep me super busy. Am I busy slaving in the kitchen and dishing out delicious curries and naans to keep my man happy? Definitely Not. In fact we eat outside, so there may not be even minimal cooking!

Am I dusting the house from top to bottom to make it squeaky clean? Goodness, No. I don’t do that on even on weekdays!!

Is my house flowing with guests for parties? No again.

Still the weekends – I don’t even know how, gets over before I know it. We might go out for a bit. But for the most part, its a laid back lifestyle, trying to catch up with friends and family whenever we can. Cooking, if at all there is any, is about making simple meals like this Pulao. Recipes where you add everything to the Instant Pot and let it do all the work. A neighbor of mine gave me another recipe for the basic pulao masala, I will post that also soon.

So after reading about my busy-doing-nothing weekend, lets move on to the recipe. Read on for the pictorial.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 big onion, sliced into thin pieces
  • 1 big tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder (or per taste)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • salt as needed
  • 1 cup of cooked rajma
  • 1 teaspoon kasoori methi
  • 1 cup of basmati rice

Method:

Soak rajma overnight and cook until its done, about 15 minutes in Manual mode if you are using Instant Pot.

Wash and soak one cup of basmati and set aside. Set the Instant Pot in saute mode. Heat the oil or ghee. Add the cloves (and if you prefer a small cinnamon stick and a bay leaf). Add the sliced onions and saute till pink.  Now time to add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a minute or two.

Add the masala powders – coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt. Mix it in and cook for a couple more minutes. Now add the cooked rajma.

Follow it up with kasoori methi. Mix it all in. Drain the soaked basmati and add to the pot along with 2 cups of water. Taste test the water and adjust the seasonings and salt if needed.

Switch the mode to Manual. Set timer for three minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Wait for the rice to cool down a bit before fluffing with a fork. Serve with yogurt or raita.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80