Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Festive "Fibrous" Fruit N Nut Rice

Dried Fruits take the prize for being packed with Fiber which will keep you feeling full longer. This is because the nutrients are concentrated in the solids when the water is removed. Dry fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and an excellent choice for snacking. Plus can be easily incorporated in recipes.I make this dish at home more often than not simply because I love the flavor explosion coming from different fruits and the crunchy texture from the nuts. The fiber packed goodness is just an added bonus. Enjoy it with Citrus Potatoes N Peas as I did yesterday.
Other dishes with a sweet kick that may be of interest -  Conquer Cancer Cups, Celebrating Citrus Fruits, Rice Noodles(Sevai) in Yogurt Sauce, Edible Festive Wreath, Homemade Muesli

  • Long-Grained Rice - 1 cup, soaked 20 minutes prior to cooking
  • Slivered Almonds and Cashews - 1/4 cup
  • Dried Figs, Apricots, Craisins, Raisins - 1/4 cup
  • Cloves - 4
  • Onion - 1/2, medium, diced
  • Milk - 1/2 cup
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Salt for taste
  • Green Chilli/ Serrano - 3, vertically slit
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Olive Oil - 4 tbsp
  • In a thick bottomed saute pan add a tbsp of olive oil and fry the mixed nuts. Once they are browned add the dry fruits and quickly toss around. Remove after a minute and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat the remaining oil and add the cloves, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, onions, chillies.Saute until the onions are browned.
  • Add the soaked rice and fry gently till they are coated in oil.
  • Pour the milk and water. Mix gently. Sprinkle salt and check for taste. Add more if needed.
  • Throw in the sauteed nuts and dried fruits.
  • Lid the pan and cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle more water, if needed until the rice is cooked.
  • Serve hot with any side dish choice.
Makes 2-3 servings.

  • To make this rice EXTRA festive, soak a few strands of saffron in the milk prior to adding it to the pan.
  • Reduce the amount of  dried fruits for an extra spicy flavor.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Celebrating Citrus Fruits1 - Citrus Tea, Citrusy Gold Potato Sides

Lemon N Ginger Infused Tea For Morning Sickness(For 1 cup):
This recipe, as told by my ex-colleague, helps pregnant women who are prone to morning sickness. Also does double duty in giving temporary relief for sore throat. 
  • Green Tea Leaves - 1/2 tsp  or 1 tea bag
  • Ginger - 1/4 tsp, grated
  • Turmeric Powder - A pinch
  • Lemon - Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Honey - 2-3 squirts
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Boil water along with grated ginger, tea leaves or tea bag, turmeric powder for a minute.
  • Strain, add lemon juice and honey.
  • Consume warm.

Citrusy "Gold" Potatoes N Peas:
This simple and easy side dish is made extra yummy by cooking in orange juice. Believe me when I tell you that is packed with flavor and goes well with Festive Rice, Flavored Rice, Pork or Roti.
Sending this as an entry to "Think Beyond the Usual" Event hosted at Nithu's Kitchen
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes - 15#s, small
  • Onion - 1, small, fine diced
  • Red Ripe Tomato - 1, large
  • Cracked Pepper - 1 tsp or 10 grinds of pepper mill
  • Unsweetened 100% Orange Juice -  1/4 cup
  • Green Peas - 1/4 cup, frozen
  • Olive Oil - 3 tbsp
  • Salt of taste
  • Halve the potatoes and boil until its almost cooked
  • Cool and peel the skin. Roughly chop them into big chunks. Set aside.
  • In a skillet, add 3 tbsp of oil and add the fine diced onion. Once browned, add the diced tomatoes and cook until it loses shape, stirring frequently.
  • Add the potatoes along with cracked pepper and salt.
  • Sprinkle the orange juice and let the potatoes absorb it completely.
  • Throw in the green peas and stir for 4-5 minutes and check for taste. 
  • Add more salt or pepper, if needed and stir gently.
  • Switch off the stove and move potatoes to a serving bowl.
  • Serve with rice, pork,steak,roti etc 
Note: If you find the dish too sweet, add a few grinds of cracked pepper for a spice kick

    Monday, March 29, 2010

    And the Winner is..

    Today marks my 6-month milestone of jubilant journey on the splendid trial called "Blogosphere".How cool is that? Before I go to the announcement I want to take a look back and recount about certain posts that are extra special and worth mentioning:
    Okay, time has come to announce the lucky winner of the Giveaway that ended a few hours ago.  I thank everyone for participating in this awesome giveaway sponsored by Counter Stools(division of AllBarStools, part of the CSNStores online shopping mall) and making it a roaring success. If not for your enthusiasm and support, it wouldn't have been possible.My sincere thanks to all the participants and my heartfelt apology to all my buddies outside of US and Canada. When I do a personal giveaway I will make sure everyone is included. Location no bar, I promise!

    Winner was chosen randomly(and Impartially) using old-school Raffle method.
    1. Each participant(based on commenting, commenting and following, newly following since the Giveaway Announcement) from US and Canada was assigned a number.
    2. Each # goes thrice if the participant happens to be a follower.
    The person assigned that number in my list is Joanne of Joanne-Eats Well With Others. Congratulations dear! You are very lucky - You get to give and gifted to get.Lady Luck is certainly with you in this aspect. Dear, mail me your choice and shipping address to I will forward it to the member of the Promoteam.
    To all others, better luck next time. Please stop by her spot to congratulate her on winning this giveaway and while you are at it, check the giveaway that is happening at her blog.

    Now before you leave,a few of my favorites(Adapted,Created,Replicated) that I recommend my dear readers to try:

    Saturday, March 27, 2010

    GastronomicGallivant: Maharashtrian "Sugar N Spice" Stuffed Eggplants With Gold Potatoes

    Even if one isn't familiar with Maharashtra, I am sure they would be with its capital Mumbai, the bustling cosmopolitan city in India. This dish has origins from that area. What is so different about this dish? It uses brown sugar as one of the main ingredient. If you are a fan of dishes that are sweet and savory then this is your cup of tea..ahem, your plate of chow. Addicted to stuffed eggplants like me? For varities and other vairations, check here, here and here.
    This dish tastes heavenly when served with Ghee Rice, Grapefruit rice, lime rice, Roti or Plain Rice.This along with Eggplants In Kadai Gravy go to "Cooking for Coriander Seeds" held @ Food for 7 stages of life, brainchild of Priya of Priya's Easy N tasty.

    • Green Striped Baby Eggplants -  8#s, cleaned, quartered with crown intact
    • Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes - 8#s, halved with skin-on
    • Yellow Onion - 2, medium, roughly chopped
    • Grated Coconut - 2/3 cup
    • Cashews - 4 tbsp
    • Peppercorns - 1 tsp
    • Brown Sugar - 1 tbsp (Reduce this to 1 tsp for a spicier side dish)
    • Dried red chilli - 2
    • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
    • Tamarind - marble-sized, soaked in warm water
    • Garlic - 3 cloves
    • Ginger - 1/4 inch
    • Coriander Seeds - 2 tbsp
    • Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
    • Olive oil - 5 tbsp
    • Salt for taste
    • In a skillet, heat 2 tbsp of oil, add garlic, onions, red chilli, peppercorns, turmeric powder and ginger.
    • Saute until the onion is browned.Add the Cashews, grated coconut and saute further till the cashews are browned.
    • Cool the mixture.
    • In the same skillet, add a tbsp of oil and brown the halved potatoes until the are browned slightly.Set aside.
    • To a blender add the cooled mixture and mix in the brown sugar, tamarind and a little salt. Grind to a fine paste with very little water. 
    • Imp: Check for taste. Add more cracked pepper or salt IF needed.
    • Stuff the eggplants with the ground mixture. Roll the potatoes in some of the mixture and transfer the vegetable to the skillet. 
    • Pour the remaining mixture over the veggie and add a little water.
    • Cook the vegetables on a medium flame until the mixture thickens to a gravy and the eggplants are cooked.
    • Serve with Ghee Rice, Grapefruit rice, lime rice, Roti or Plain Rice.

    Friday, March 26, 2010

    RecipeReplica:Jello Stained-Glass Shards

    This variation of jello dessert doesn't have to be restricted to kids and hospital-patients. The colors and flavors coming from different jello is a treat to both the eyeballs and the taste-buds. I came to know this recipe from 4thSenseCooking, a blog that is full of artistic, simple and straight-forward recipes that I have come to love.What is the 4th Sense??  Taste, which is one amongst the 6 senses a human has. So the name roughly translates to Tasty cooking. Nithya of 4thSenseCooking says that this recipe of hers is an adapted version from another blog, The Food Librarian who in turn adapted it from someone else. The way this recipe is propagating its sure to become a popular guilt-free treat if it hasn't already.
    • Jello - 1 1/2 tbsp each of Lime, Grape, Raspberry, Blueberry and Peach Flavors
    • Evaporated Milk - 1, 5 oz can
    • Gelatin - 1 Envelope of Knox Brand
    • Hot Water
    • Cold Water 
    • 1/4-cup Measuring cup (Wherever I mention cup, this is the cup I would be using, Cup = 1/4 Measuring Cup)
      • Jello: Dissolve each flavored jello in 2/3rd cup of hot water. Once the jello dissolves, add 2/3rd cup of cold water. Repeat for all flavors. Move them into individual cups and refrigerate overnight.
      • Roughly chop the jello into cubes and add then to a 9 X 11 inch pan. Doesn't have to be perfect cubes since they are Shards after all.
      • In a separate bowl, add the unflavored gelatin and dissolve it in 1/2 cup of cold water. Once the gelatin blooms, add 1 cup of cold water. Cool the mixture. Add the 5 oz evaporated milk and pour this into the pan with cubed Jello.
      • Refrigerate it overnight and cut it different shapes resembling a glass-shard.
       Makes ~ 12 uneven shards
      • It is important that the Jello cubes are firm for making precise cubes.
      • Recipe downsized to match our family needs. :)

      Thursday, March 25, 2010

      Herbed Vegan Fried Rice

      This is an aromatic eye-catching and super easy-to-make rice mildly flavored with Cilantro and very few spices. This can be a standalone dish or eaten with any choice of sides - Stuffed Eggplants, Lebanese Eggplants, Navratan Curry, Flambeed Bell Pepper Curry or even better with Celery Root Remoulade.
      • Basmati Rice - 2 cups
      • Cashews - 1/4 cup
      • Carrots - 1/4 cup, sliced
      • Zucchini - 1/4 cup, frozen
      • Potato - 1 cup, cubed with skin-on
      • Green Peas - 1/4 cup, fresh or frozen
      • Lima Beans - 1/4 cup, frozen
      • Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
      • Cloves - 2
      • Bay Leaf - 1
      • Olive Oil - 5 tbsp
      For Grinding:
      • Garlic - 3 large cloves, roughly chopped
      • Onion - 1, medium, roughly chopped
      • Green Chilli or Serrano pepper - 1-2
      • Ginger - 1/2 inch
      • Peppercorns - 1/2 tsp
      • Cilantro - 1 bunch, small (~2 cups when chopped)
      • Coconut - 1/4 cup, shredded, fresh or frozen
      • In a skillet, add a tbsp of oil and add the grinding ingredients one by one till peppercorns and fry for a good 7-10 minutes on a low flame.
      • Switch off the stove and add the cilantro and coconut to the skillet.
      • Cool and grind all of them to a fine paste. Set aside.
      • Soak the cleaned basmati rice for 20 minutes.
      • In the same skillet add 1/2 tbsp of oil and brown the cashews.Set aside.
      • In a deep thick-bottomed wide skillet, heat the remaining oil and add the clove, bay leaf and fennel seeds.
      • Throw in the potatoes, carrot and fry until the potatoes are slightly browned.
      • Add the other vegetables - Lima beans, Peas, Zucchini and browned cashews and finally the rice.
      • Fry for 4-5 minutes in low flame.
      • Pour the ground paste, stir gently and add 3 cups of water.
      • Cook on medium flame with closed lid for 7-10 minutes.
      • Sprinkle little more water if necessary.
      • Serve hot with any side-dish choice.
      Makes 3-4 medium-portioned servings.


      Wednesday, March 24, 2010

      GastronomicGallivant: Tuscan Pot Pie( With Macaroni N Mozzarella)

      Although this Tuscan-Style Pot Pie is adapted from TLC Online, this is my take on it. The minute I saw this, I road tasted with "all" vegetarian filling last week.Loved this Tuscan-style shortcut version(that uses refrigerated crescent-rolls dough on the top) so much that I made it again with new ingredients -Meat, Mac,Mozzarella Cheese and Broccoli-Rabe to make it a one-pot wonder. It is a very pleasant alternative to the Savory Pot Pie that I usually do make. Me, my hubby and my little boy polished the entire thing at one sitting. Recipe can be made all-veg or meat-veg with just one ingredient change. Enjoy!
      • 8 oz Refrigerated Crescent Dinner-Rolls - 1
      • Broccoli Rabe or any bitter-greens - 1/2 bunch, trimmed, cleaned and chopped
      • Pinto beans - 1/2 cup, cooked or canned
      • Macaroni - 2/3 cup, cooked
      • Mozzarella Cheese - 1/2 cup
      • Finely Chopped Mushrooms - 1 cup (OR) Lean Ground Turkey/Pork/Chicken - 1 cup
      • Tart Apple - 1/4 cup, grated (optional)
      • Pasta Sauce - 2 tbsp
      • Dry Red Chilli - 1, crumbled (OR) Red Pepper Flakes 
      • Cracked Pepper - 1/2 tsp
      • Salt for taste
      • Garlic - 2, cloves, minced
      • Onion - 1/2, medium, fine diced
      • Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
      • Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
      • Oven proof 8-inch cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet
      • In a wide skillet, heat the olive oil and add fennel seeds, garlic, onions and saute until the onions are browned.
      • In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and add the bitter greens. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Drain and plate it on a paper-towel lined plate. Boiling bitter greens lessens bitterness.
      • Add the mushrooms or ground-meat and saute for 5 minutes.
      • Throw in the Broccoli Rabe, Pasta to the skillet.
      • Sprinkle Salt, Pepper, Pepper flakes and stir gently.
      • Switch off the stove and add beans, pasta,mozzarella cheese and grated apples if using.
      • Cool the mixture partially.
      • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
      • Transfer the mixture to the 8 inch oven-proof skillet and tightly pack it with a spatula.
      • Unroll the dinner-rolls dough and arrange it on the top of the pan so the points meet at the center.
      • Bake on the top rack for 12 minutes and cool prior to serving.
      Makes 4-6 servings.


      Tuesday, March 23, 2010

      Conquer Cancer Cups and A dedication

      This post comes with A DEDICATION -- Dedication to all people who lost their lives battling cancer, like my Paternal Grandpa and his sister and to all people who survived it, like my mom's bosom buddy who lost her bosoms to cancer but certainly not her spirit and joy for living.
      Why did I call this cups "Conquer Cancer" Cups? Because the filling is made with five of the top ten foods that exhibit strong anti-cancerous properties, as believed by scientists and researchers -- Apple, Broccoli,Garlic, Spinach, Tomato.
      Have these powerful appetizers with a cup of  Tea, also a powerful anti-cancer food.
      • Apple - In addition to their antioxidant benefits, apples contain the plant chemical quercetin, which has been shown to reduce lung cancer risk and slow the growth of prostate cancer cells.
      • Broccoli - A cruciferous vegetable rich in anti-flavonoids which is believed to prevent the growth of precancerous polyps that can lead to colon cancer.
      • Garlic - Garlic has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer of the stomach, esophagus, and breast. Mince garlic 10 minutes before cooking to increase its cancer fighting potential.
      • Spinach - Spinach is known as the "gold standard" of green leafy vegetables. Packed with lutein and vitamin E, both powerful antioxidants, spinach helps ward off cancer of the liver, ovaries, colon, and prostate.
      • Tomato - Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a plant chemical that has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate, ovarian, and cervical cancer. Tomato products, such as spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, and ketchup are particularly concentrated sources
      For more info check here and here.

      **Sending this as an entry to Eat Your Words 2010 challenge jointly hosted by Savor theThyme and Tangled Noodle**
      • Apple - 1/2 granny smith, fine diced
      • Broccoli - 8 florets, fine diced
      • Garlic - 3, big cloves, minced or grated
      • Roma Tomatoes - 2, seeds removed and diced
      • Spinach - 1 1/2 cups, torn and finely chopped
      • Mozzarella cheese - 1/2 cup, shredded
      • Puff Pastry sheet - 1, thawed 
      • Onion - 1, small, diced
      • Olive oil - 2 tbsp
      • Salt for taste
      • Cracked pepper - for taste
      • In a skillet, heat the olive oil and add the minced garlic, onions and saute until the onion is browned.
      • Add broccoli, tomatoes, salt, pepper and cook just until the tomatoes start shrinking and loses the raw smell.
      • Add the spinach and fry until it wilts.
      • Switch off the stove and add the apples. Let the mixture to cool.
      • Cut the thawed puff pastry at the folds into 3 sections.
      • Further cut each section into 4 rectangles.
      • Press each rectangle gently  into the wells of a mini-muffin pan to form a small cup.
      • Divide the mixture into 12 portions and spoon them into the cups.
      • Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.
      • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the cheese melts and a puff pastry is browned on the top and edges.
      • Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
      • Small strips were cut from each section to make the alphabets.
      • The filling transforms from simply good to simply splendid after baking.

      Monday, March 22, 2010

      GastronomicGallivant: Lebanese Stuffed Eggplants With PineNuts N Raisins

      When my parents visited me a couple of weeks ago, they b(r)ought me plenty of baby eggplants along with a boatload of vegetables. Normally I stuff the eggplants in the same way that I know, either with dry gravy or kadai gravy.But this time I decided to try a Lebanese version(with pine nuts and raisins) that I have been wanting to for quite sometime after I saw it in the Gourmet magazine last year. I was so sad when Conde' Nast decided to close this wonderful magazine after 70 years.Boohoo.I was/am a big fan of the magazine and now even more so after trying this recipe from its August 09 edition. The recipe in the magazine uses lamb and nuts but I tried a vegetarian version with plenty of changes and it was such a big hit in the house.Scroll down to see the recipe.
      • Baby Eggplants - 15#s
      • Olive Oil - 4 tbsp
      For the Stuffing:
      • Onion - 1, small
      • Long Grain Rice - 1/2 cup, cooked
      • Pine Nuts - 3 tbsp
      • Pinto Beans - 7 oz( about half a can), roughly smashed  [or] Ground Lamb - 1/4 cup
      • Cracked Pepper - 1/2 tsp
      • Salt - a dash
      • Raisins - 2 tbsp
      For the Gravy:
      • Onion - 1, big, roughly chopped
      • Roma Tomatoes - 3, very ripe, roughly chopped
      • Ginger - 1/2 inch
      • Cilantro - 1/4 cup chopped
      • Garlic - 2, cloves, fine diced
      • Dry Red Chilli - 2 [or] Red Pepper Flakes, as needed
      • Dry roast the pine nuts and set aside.
      • Gravy: In a deep skillet, heat a tbsp of oil and saute the garlic, onions,Red chilli and ginger until the onions are browned. Add the tomatoes and fry until they lose the raw smell. Switch off the stove and add the chopped cilantro. Grind and set aside.
      • Cut a small portion of the eggplants at the bottom. Hollow out the eggplants using apple corer leaving the crown intact.
      • Don't discard the insides of the eggplants. Dice finely using a food processor and add it to the stuffing ingredients.
      • Stuffing: Heat a tbsp of oil in the same skillet and add the ingredients under the "Stuffing" one by one in the same order except the nuts and raisins, along with the diced insides of the eggplant. (If using Lamb, saute until the lamb is partially cooked.)
      • Switch off stove,add the raisins and the pinenuts. Cool the mixture.
      • Stuff the cooled mixture into the hollowed eggplants.
      • Heat the remaining oil in the skillet and add the stuffed eggplants. Fry them gently taking care not to squish the stuffing for a couple of minutes.
      • Pour the ground gravy and cook with lid on for 45 minutes or so.
      • Serve hot with flavored rice,Fried Rice,plain rice or even by itself. 

      Thursday, March 18, 2010

      Pesto Pasta and A Prize (Yes, A GIVEAWAY -- Giveaway **Closed**)

      March 29th officially marks six months of my ACTIVE blogging journey. And what a journey it is! I have come to know brilliant folks from all around the world,their splendid posts, all working towards a common goal - sharing something they are passionate about - cooking! While I was pondering about how to make my half-year milestone special,the PromoTeam from Counter Stools have come to the rescue.

      Counter Stools(a division of AllBarStools), an online shopping haven for all stools ever imaginable, is a branch of CSN Stores network, a humongous online shopping mall with 200+ online stores, that stocks and sells almost every household item, has generously decided to help me in doing a giveaway. WOOOHOOO!AllBarStools has Free Shipping on plenty of products with competitive prices and an ongoing 15% OFF(Promocode: BarStool15) on purchases more than $349 dollars. Something to keep in mind if you plan on furnishing/re-modeling your kitchen/bars. Do check these incredible Counter Stools to see just what I am talking about.

      **My My, What a Hot and Happening Week for me. When Life gives you lemons, you may make lemonade but I shall make Lemon Meringue Pie or die trying to make one. :). When Open Book, a sassy Londoner, of My Kitchen Antics gave me a wonderful opportunity to do a guest post at her spot  I readily agreed. Do check  my "Curried "Where's The Meat" Veggie-Pea Stew. While you are at it, spread some love and give her your loyal support. She may be relatively new to the blogging world but her posts scream "Seasoned"** 

      Now to the Contest:
      All I have to do is is this: 1.Select a few choice items from their site/from one of the network's sites and 2.Pick a lucky winner from US or Canada for them to ship ONE incredible prize(the winner's choice). How Sweet! I am a firm believer that some of the best things in life are 'indeed' free. If you believe the same too, here is your chance to win one of the exciting choices offered here- Winerack, Bar Stool, Le Crueset Baking Pans, Mortar&Pestle etc etc.Scroll down and check all the links for an eyeful.

      Please read the following Rules carefully:-
      **Contest is only for people who RESIDE in US or Canada**

      Rules for the Giveaway:
      • Become a Follower of "Pan Gravy Kadai Curry"(Followers will be entered thrice in the contest. Yup,triple your chances of winning by becoming a follower).
      • Leave a comment on THIS post:-- Mention your location(US or Canada) and if you are a former/new follower.
      • Highly Desired but NOT Compulsory:--Tweet or mention about this incredible giveaway in your latest post.
      So what are you all waiting for? Hurry up,check these incredible choices and get down to business my dears.
      **The lucky winner will be announced on March 29th**
      Then the winner gets to pick ONE incredible choice from the following fourteen choices: 
      1. Winsome Basics 6 Bottle Wine Rack - 99619 ($47.99)
      2. Winsome Saddle Seat 24" Counter Stool in Walnut - 94084 ($42.99)
      3. French Home Gourmet LaRochere 7 Ounce Wine Glass in Versailles Motif (Set of 6) - 6316.01 ($40.99)
      4. Demeyere Resto 3.5 Quart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl ($36.95)
      5. Certified International Hot Tamale Ice Cream Bowls (Set of 4) - 14275 ($36.50)
      6. Granite Fieling "David" Mortar and Pestle Set ($35.00)
      7. Hamilton Beach Classic Chrome 2 slice toaster ($34.99)
      8. Le Creuset 9" Square Baking Dish with Bonus 5" Baking Dish in Caribbean - PG071523-17($34.95)
      9. EuroQuest 11-inch Oval Baking Patterned Pan ($33.00)
      10. Ittala Origo Black Bowl ($30.00) 
      11. Pfaltzgraff Sedona 10" Tortilla Warmer - 025398442768($29.99)
      12. Euroquest 8 oz Standard Coffee Mug - Pattern DU60 - 872-DU6, Set of 2($29.00)
      13. Corelle Bamboo Leaf 12 piece Bowl Set ($27.99)
      14. Lenox Dinnerware Meadow Yellow Butterly Cup and Sauce Set of 2($25.90)
      PS:Thanks in advance for letting me know about broken links.
        Now onto the recipe of Spinach Pesto Pasta(This makes its way to the 6th Mediterranean cooking event held at Tobias cooks.):

        • Angel hair Pasta (Spaghetti) - For 2-3 People, Cooked as per package directions
        For the Pesto Sauce:
        • Spinach - 3 cups, leaves torn
        • Pine Nuts - 3tbsp + 1/2 tbsp, toasted
        • Grated Parmesan Cheese - 1/2 cup
        • Good Quality Olive Oil - 1/3 cup
        • Garlic - 2, medium cloves
        • Salt for taste
        • Blend all the ingredients under "the sauce" in a food processor.
        • Mix it with the cooked pasta and garnish with a Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts.
        Makes ~2-3 Servings.


        Monday, March 15, 2010

        RecipeReplica: Oven-Roasted Minty Drumsticks

        For this post of "RecipeReplica" I hopped to fellow blogger Sarah's awesome blog "!Vazhayila!" which translates to "Plaintain Leaf". So what is so special about a Plaintain Leaf? In most parts of India(Specifically South) and parts of Malaysia, food is served on Plaintain Leaf on auspicious days, like during weddings and such.
        One might wonder what the benefit of eating on this leaf is? Eating hot food on the leaf absorbs the unique flavor of the leaf and makes its a relishing experience.It is also considered hygienic since its an organic use-once-only bio-degradable plate of sorts and believed to also have some medicinal values.I love the fact she has named her blog with such a wonderful and meaningful name and also the fact that its full of fabulous traditional recipes. One among many recipes that caught my eye was her Oven-Roasted Minty Game hens. I went with drumsticks since I didn't have Game hens in stock.
        • Chicken Drumsticks - 5
        For the Mint Rub:
        • Chopped Fresh Mint - 2 tbsp
        • Garlic Cloves - 2, big
        • Ginger - 1/2 inch, chopped
        • Cracked pepper - 1 1/2 tsp (or less)
        • Paprika or Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
        • Lime Juice - 1 1/2 tbsp
        • Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
        • Clean the drumsticks,pat dry and put deep slits.Keep the skin on.
        • In a blender/Food processor, blend all the ingredients under "For the Rub" to a smooth paste.
        • Important: Check for taste. Add more spice or salt IF needed.
        • In a Ziploc plastic bag, add the ground mixture, chicken drumsticks and marinate overnight.
        • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
        • On a greased baking dish with RIM, lay the drumsticks upright, flesh side down and bake for 40 minutes.
        • Crank the heat to 400 degrees, discard the fat and bake for 20 more minutes until the skin is browned evenly on all sides.
        • Rest the chicken for 10 minutes and move to a serving plate and garnish with finely chopped mint leaves.
        • Serve immediately.

        Sunday, March 14, 2010

        GastronomicGallivant: Irish Lamb Stew

        Brutal wind gusts and incessant rain most part of the weekend has pushed me into making a big batch of spicy lamb stew to ward off the chill that I could feel in my bones.With St.Patrick's day just a couple of days away, I decided on making an authentic Irish Lamb Stew. The latest edition of Costco Connection magazine came to the rescue with, you guessed it, Irish Lamb Stew recipe by Illinois based food columnist Kathleen Furore. According to her, Irish Stew should be very thick and creamy and not swimming in juice.I modified the recipe a bit by marinating the lamb in Yogurt and pepper overnight(The Lactic acid in the Yogurt acts as a natural meat tenderizer),included certain ingredients, added a little bit of curry powder to jazz it up and ended up with a thick stew that I had with Couscous.Well, with the additions I made, I ruined the authenticity but not the taste. So here goes the recipe:
        • Lamb - 1 pound
        • Potatoes - 2, large, cut into chunks with skin-on
        • Carrots - 2, medium, skinned and sliced
        • Shallot - 1, small, fine diced
        • Red Pearl Onions - 12#s, skinned
        • Thyme - 1/2 tsp
        • Parsley - 1 tbsp, for garnish
        • Curry Powder - 1 tbsp
        • Cracked Pepper - 1 1/2 tsp
        • Salt for taste
        • All purpose flour - for dredging
        • Yogurt - 1 tbsp
        • Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
        • Cut the lamb into fairly large chunks and marinate overnight in a tbsp of yogurt and 1/2 tsp of cracked pepper.
        • Pressure cook the lamb until its 80% cooked. Drain the excess fat and set it aside.
        • Heat Olive oil in a deep skillet and add the minced garlic and shallots.
        • Dredge the lamb in all-purpose flour and add it to the pan.
        • Add the carrots, potatoes, pearl onions, thyme, pepper powder and salt.
        • Saute until the meat, veggies are browned.
        • Add the reserved fat(from pressure cooking the lamb) and some water and simmer for an hour, checking periodically for an hour.
        • Serve the stew hot with crusty bread, or even top a couscous.
        • No Pressure cooker? No Problem. Use a slow cooker and eliminate the second step all together.

          Friday, March 12, 2010

          Carrot Halwa -- Sticky Pudding

          People who have been reading my blog regularly would have come across the variations I have tried and posted. There were posts on chocolate-sweetbread pudding, Almond Stovetop pudding, Runny Carrot Pudding, Pasta Pudding N Bulgur Pudding, and even a Fake Sweet English Pudding. Is there no end to this pudding mania, you might wonder. I am sorry. I won't get over my affinity for them because they taste oh-so-divine. Yes, I go weak in the knees at the sight of that decadent dessert.
          A Sticky Pudding which is commonly known as "Halwa" is widespread in India, Pakistan, Turkey, Middle-east, and South-eastern Europe. Its made sticky with numerous ingredients but for this recipe I am sticking with lots of sugar, clarified butter,sweetened condensed milk and of course carrots.Sending this as an entry to "BSI: Carrots" hosted by Joanne@Eats Well with Others.

          • Carrots - 4, finely grated using the smallest eye of the box-grater
          • Sweetened Condensed Milk - 3/4 can (of Nestle Carnation)
          • Milk - 2 cups
          • Roughly Smashed Cashews and Raisins - a handful each
          • Clarified Butter(Ghee) - 6 tbsp
          • Cardamom Powder - 1/2 tsp
          • Sugar - 3 tbsp ( less or more per preference)
          • In a small, thick bottomed pan, add the carrots along with the milk. Cook the carrots until the milk is almost evaporated.
          • Add the condensed milk to the carrot and keep stirring until its slightly thickened for about 15-20 minutes.
          • Add the sugar and re-thicken the mixture.
          • In a separate pan, add the clarified butter and saute the nuts until they are browned. Throw the raisins and saute for a few seconds.
          • Sprinkle the sauteed butter-y nuts and raisins into the carrot mixture.Stir until the mixture thickens.
          • Important: Check for taste, and add more sugar if needed.
          • Serve hot or cold.
          Note: Butter may be used instead of Clarified Butter.
            Makes 4 small servings or 2 large servings


            Thursday, March 11, 2010

            Pulled Chicken Noodle Soup and An Award

            Last week I had a bad case of the sniffles and sore throat. This soup came to the rescue as always. Everyone has their own version of this famous "keep-the-flu-at-bay" soup and this one is mine.Sip the soup and feel the burn! Don't restrict the soup to just when you are feeling under the weather. It can be had anytime of year too.
            • Moist, Cooked and Pulled(Shredded) Chicken- 1 1/2 cup
            • Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
            • Onion - 1, small, diced
            • Homemade Chicken Stock - 4 cups 
            • Bay Leaf - 1
            • Frozen peas - 1/4 cup
            • Cooked Noodles/Pasta - 1/2 cup
            • Cracked pepper - 1 tsp or more
            • Salt for taste
            • In a stock pot, heat a tbsp of oil and add the minced garlic cloves, bay leaf, onions.
            • Saute the mixture until the onion browns, add the shredded chicken and peas.
            • Pour 4 cups of the homemade stock and sprinkle the pepper and salt.
            • Bring to a boil and throw in the cooked noodles.
            • Switch off the stove and pour the soup into serving bowls.
            • Serve hot by itself or with some crackers on top.
            Makes ~ 3 large bowls of soup.

            Sending this as an entry to Presto Pasta Nights # 154, hosted @ Kirsten's blog. 


            This award comes to me from Love2Cook-Malaysia and Spicy Lounge with some conditions. I am honored that these 2 wonderful bloggers thought of me to pass it on to.
            Rules in a nutshell: Thank the giver, display the award and brag about it, say 10 new things about yourself and pass it forward to 10 people -

            People who didn't have enough of me after reading this can proceed here:

            Who Am I? Not a very interesting/intriguing person,really. But you may beg to differ. :)
            1. I was a Lacto-Vegetarian till 17 years. My initiation to eating meat was fast and furious with people practically threatening to shove it down my throat if I don't wipe the plate clean. I despised that bully tactics yet I am so very thankful to "them" for broadening my range of consumption much to the disappointment of my mom. As much as I love to try new things, I draw a line when it comes to eating blood pudding, endangered species, snake soups, toad legs and organ meats etc etc.
            2. I try not to hate anyone or anything of God's creations. Yet I find it very very difficult to love reptiles and certain bugs..they give me the creeps.
            3. I don't believe in zodiac signs and what they predict but I can't help but notice that I seem to depict most of the traits true to my sign - Scorpio!
            4. I have come to realize that amongst the many shades of love, "Baby Love" is the best love. My son is the beat of my heart and pulse of my vein. Sounds very dramatic, but very true.
            5. I have a color preference that is all over the place - love almost all shades of red, pitch black, beige white, charcoal grey and metallics. 
            6. I am of the opinion that the best view to be had is the bird's eye view. What I wouldn't give to be a bird, to soar in the sky with the wind beneath my wings. I know what you are thinking. Skydiving isn't for me.
            7. I have a weakness for scarves, shoes(Read Red Shoes), shades, bags,jewelery, Le Crueset /All-Clad Pots and Pans, Spode Cups and Mugs as much as the next girl and not necessarily in the same order.
            8. I love phrases, proverbs, poems and idioms..a lot. My 2 most favorite phrases of all times are: 
              1. Time is the school in which we learn, time is the fire in which we all burn - Delmore Schwartz 
                Be the change you want to see in this world - Mahatma Gandhi 
            9. I love day-dreaming about a lottery win that will take me to all the "101 places I want to see before I die".Not very productive but certainly brightens my spirit.
            10. I am a girl who firmly believes in culinary therapy as much as retail therapy.
            I am passing this on to 20 people. No rules, just a token of appreciation:
            Bo, Ushnish, Tina, Sarah, AskKuku, Rachana, Cicily, Sook, 3 Hungry Tummies, Radhika, Fimere, Sanjana, Nithu Bala, Mia

            New wonderful blogs I recently discovered and are award-worthy:
            Kristy Gourmet, Dakshin- Meena, Ruchi, Pearlyn,Foodie With a Little Thyme, Fresh Local And Best

            Wednesday, March 10, 2010

            Savory Paniyaram(Rice-Battered Ball Pancakes)

            Hmm, what are these spherical things,some of you might wonder.Paniyaram or Ball Pancakes to South Indians are what Aebleskiver is to the Dutch and Norwegians. It comes in various forms - Sweet, Stuffed or Savory. A very basic paniyaram is made with fermented seasoned rice batter and served hot with peanut chutney. For someone who grew up eating this often, a deprivation period of more than a month would result in withdrawal symptoms.This along with Rice Hoppers and Chutney Powder makes its way to the Combo Event @ Foodelicious.

            Note: For Step-by-Step to make this recipe, follow a similar recipe here
            • Rice Batter - 4 cups
            • Red Onion - 1, small, finely diced
            • Curry Leaves - 1 stalk, finely chopped
            • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
            • Split Chickpea - 1 tbsp
            • Red pepper flakes - 1 tsp or green chillies - 2, chopped
            • Oil - 2 tbsp
            For the Rice Batter:
            • Parboiled Rice - 2 cups
            • Black gram - 1/2 cup
            • Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
              • Soak all the ingredients under "Rice Batter" overnight.
              • Grind the soaked mixture the following day to a smooth batter in a high performance blender or wet grinder and let it the mixture ferment overnight in a warm place.
              • Add salt to the batter and whip it with a little water to a consistency that is not too thick or runny.
              • In a skillet, add a tbsp of oil and add the mustard seeds. When they start to crackle, add split chickpea and saute for a minute or two until they turn light brown. 
              • Add chopped curry leaves, onions, Green chillies or pepper flakes.
              • Saute until onions are browned.
              • Add the sauteed mixture to the fermented batter and mix gently.
              • Grease the wells of the puff pan and fill them up with the batter.
              • Using the wooden stick(that comes with the pan), flip the spheres and let cook for 2-3 minutes per side.
              • Serve hot with peanut chutney!

                  Tuesday, March 9, 2010

                  RecipeReplica: Spiced Beet N Cocoa Muffins

                  This is my egg-less variation of Singing Chef's Beet N Cocoa Muffins that I made over the weekend for my Mom who came for a visit and who also happens to be a staunch Lacto-Vegetarian.Obviously she was pleased with my effort and the outcome of this endeavor.This makes its way to "Tried and Tasted" event, brainchild of Zlamushka,of Burnt Mouth, hosted @ Dil Se and to the Bake-off Event@ Versatile Kitchen.

                  • All-purpose Flour - 1 cup
                  • Whole Wheat Flour - 1/3 cup
                  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder -  1/3 cup
                  • Sugar -  1/2 cup or more if desired
                  • Finely Grated Beet - 1 cup
                  • Baking powder - 3 tsp
                  • Olive Oil - 1/2 cup
                  • Partly Skimmed Milk - 1 cup + 4 tbsp
                  • Cinnamon Powder - 1/2 tsp
                  • All-spice - 1/2 tsp
                  • Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
                  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
                  • Sift both the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder in a bowl.Sprinkle salt, ground cinnamon, all-spice and sugar. Mix to evenly incorporate.
                  • Combine milk, oil, vanilla extract in another bowl. 
                  • Throw flour in 2-3 batches and whisk gently.
                  • Add the grated beet to the mixture and mix but not over mix.
                  • Grease the wells of muffin pan with oil.
                  • Distribute the mixture and bake on the top rack for 25-30 minutes.
                  Makes 6 big-headed muffins


                  Monday, March 8, 2010

                  Bitter Gourd, Pinto Beans and Raisin Patty Sliders

                  If there is a dish that comes close to defining/representing who I am, its got to be this one. A bittersweet "curried" patty ensconced in an acceptably all-right "burger". Hmm, what does that mean? A person who is almost always sweet yet laced with an iota of bitterness who also happens to be a melting pot of bi-cultural principles and outlook. That is what. These mini-burgers, also called as "sliders" are easy to make and fun to eat.  The inspiration to make sliders comes from being a fan of a burger joint in NYC called POP Burger that caters dot-sized burgers.FYI, bitter gourd/bitter melon is not for everyone. It is certainly an acquired taste that many "fail to acquire". True to its name its bitter(the bitterness mellows when fried) but hey its very good for diabetics and everyone else in general.Don't like the idea? Well, patties can also be made with 1.ChickPea, Oat N Oat bran, 2.Barley and ChickPea, 3.Beet,RedBean and SweetPea.

                  • Bitter Gourd/Bitter Melon - 4, small, Pitted and fine diced
                  • Pinto Beans - 2 cans, 15.5 ounces each, drained and smashed
                  • Onion - 1, small, diced
                  • Carrot - 1, small, fine diced
                  • Raisins - a handful
                  • Curry Powder - 1/2 tsp
                  • Pepper - 1/2 tsp, cracked
                  • Salt for taste
                  • Tomato - 1, sliced
                  • Avocado - 1/2, sliced
                  • Olive Oil - 4 tbsp
                  • Mini-Burger buns - 12 or make your buns using multi-grain bread and cookie-cutters
                  • In a wide skillet, add 2 tbsp of oil and fry the diced gourd with little cracked pepper until it is browned.Remove from heat and set aside.
                  • In a bowl, add the roughly smashed beans, diced onions, pepper, salt, curry powder, carrot and cooled gourd.
                  • Mix gently and shape into 12 even-sized patties.
                  • Heat the remaining oil in the pan and cook the patties 3-4 minutes per side on a low flame.
                  • Assemble them on buns with tomato or avocado slices on top and enjoy!
                  Makes 12 sliders

                  • The patties are soft and delicate since no binder like egg was used. Care should be taken to not crumble when flipping them to cook.
                  Other Bitter Food Ideas:

                    Friday, March 5, 2010

                    Gastronomic Gallivant: Ligurian Shrimp Stew

                    Introducing "Gastronomic Gallivant", The Cuisine of the World. Hmm, why a new tag?Because I love love love to travel abroad, explore beautiful places, observe charming customs and taste the exotic cuisines but more important duties shackle my wanderlust. However, it won't curb me from traveling places from my kitchen. The recipes under this tag will be from different countries that are indicative of a country or pertaining to a certain region of a country(Read Boston Baked Beans, Swiss Muesli, French Palmiers, South Indian Mini Meals) with my signature all over it.
                     The first post with this tag is the "Ligurian Shrimp Stew". Last year I was lucky enough to visit Liguria region,North-Western Italy. Awed by its rugged beauty, I fell in love with Cinque Terre(Check my 100th post:Cinque Terre) and its surrounding areas. While I was there, I had this incredible fish stew that was made with the local dry white wine(also called Cinque Terre) sauce, fell in love with it. Last week when I saw Chef Giada make a variant of this on TV,it brought back wonderful memories and  I just had to try it right away, but with Shrimp! So here it is: 
                    • Shrimp - 15#s, cleaned
                    • Onion - 1, medium, diced
                    • Carrots - 1, medium, julienned
                    • Garlic - 2, cloves, minced
                    • Bay leaf - 1
                    • Peppercorns - 1 1/2 tsp, coarsely ground
                    • Canned Crushed Tomatoes - 1 cup
                    • White wine - 1 cup (Broth may be substituted for non-alcoholic version)
                    • Dry red chilli - 1, crumbled or Pepper flakes - 1/2 tsp 
                    • Olive oil - 2-3 tbsp
                    • Parsley - for garnish
                    • Season the shrimp with a pepper, salt and set aside.
                    • In a stock pot, warm 3 tbsp of oil and add the bay leaf, minced garlic,diced onions and the carrots.Saute until the onions are browned.
                    • Add the white wine/broth and the crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
                    • When the mixture starts to thicken, add shrimp, salt and cook for 5-8 minutes until the shrimp is cooked.
                    • Check for taste and add more pepper/salt if needed.
                    • Discard the bay leaf and divide the stew in serving bowl. 
                    • Garnish with Parsley.
                    • Serve steaming hot with crusty bread/rolls.
                    Makes ~ 3 servings.

                    Sending this to the "Tiffin Box" event held @ Food for 7 stages of life, co-hosted by Cook Like a Bong.


                    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

                    Pasta Pudding, Bulgur Pudding - 2-Way, Have it Your Way

                    Why the double treat?  I just won my first "Winner Badge" for "Semi-Homemade" cooking with an Indian Spin@Rahin's blog Lazzat. Ergo, I felt like treating you all with some pudding creations from my kitchen.I may be a new follower of Rahin's blog but I have taken a liking to her Coconut-Raspberry Jam Cookies.
                       The puddings in the post are so simple and straight-forward to make that you don't have to be a rocket scientist.My mom makes this often with Semolina(Vermicelli)/Rice/Orzo pasta, Cracked Wheat instead of Bulgur (Wiki: Bulgur is a quick-cooking form of whole wheat that has been cleaned, parboiled, dried, ground into particles and sifted into distinct sizes) and we call it "Payasam".
                    Other Puddings that you might be tempted to try:
                    For the Pasta Pudding(With Fresh Strawberries,Cashews and Raisins):
                    • Cooked Tiny Bow-tie Pasta - 3/4 cup (Pasta should be cooked without salt)
                    • Partly skimmed milk - 3 1/2 cups (For a creamier version use whole milk)
                    • Cardamom Pods - 3#s, smashed and shells removed
                    • Fresh Strawberries - 4, 3 diced, 1 for garnish
                    • Cashews - 6#s, roughly broken
                    • Raisins - a few
                    • Butter - 1 tbsp 
                    • Sugar - 3 tbsp or more
                    For the Bulgur Wheat Pudding:
                    • Cooked Bulgur - 3/4 cup
                    • Jaggery(Unrefined Brown Sugar) - 3/4 cup 
                    • Milk - 4 cups
                    • Cardamom Powder - 1/2 tsp
                    • Halved Cashews + Raisins - 1/4 cup
                    • Butter - 1 tbsp
                    For the Pasta Pudding:
                    • In a thick bottomed pan, add a tbsp of butter and add the cashews. A minute later, add the raisins and fry until the cashews are browned. Set aside.
                    • In the same pan, add the milk and heat it on a low flame. Add the sugar slowly and stir continuously until it is completely dissolved.
                    • Throw in the cooked pasta and keep stirring until a desired consistency is reached.
                    • Sprinkle the fried nuts/raisins, coarsely powdered cardamom seeds and switch off the stove.
                    • Stir in the fresh chopped berries and serve warm or cold.
                    For the Bulgur Pudding:
                    • In a thick bottomed pan, add a tbsp of butter and add the cashews. A minute later, add the raisins and fry until the cashews are browned. Set aside.
                    • In the same pan, add the milk and heat it on a low flame. Add the brown sugar slowly and stir continuously until it is completely dissolved.
                    • Add the cooked Bulgur and check for taste. Add more sugar if needed.
                    • Sprinkle the fried nuts/raisins, cardamom powder and switch off the stove.
                    • Serve warm or chilled. Tastes good either way.
                    • Couscous, Cracked Wheat can be substituted instead of Bulgur.
                    • Chopped Bananas may be added to the Bulgur Pudding to enhance the taste.

                    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

                    RecipeReplica:Sensational Mushroom Fry

                    This recipe is from a fellow blogger who certainly takes charge of the kitchen, which is "purportedly" a woman's domain. Don't all women love a man who can cook?Ushnish, posts authentic Indian, honest-to-goodness, detailed recipes with witty tales that makes all his posts an interesting read.At the end of every post he has a nice shot of everyday flowers, wild flowers, never-before-seen flowers that just brings a smile on my face. Very thoughtful and original! He also happens to be the first person who tried my Twilight Drink and continuously praises me for posting it. He is at the moment temporarily unretired, stationed in Italy and missing his family and a kitchen. I have picked one of his simple,yet sensational Mushroom fry recipe to post as a way of cheering him up.Click here to see more of his mouthwatering recipes.

                    • Button Mushroom - 20#s, medium-sized,  cleaned and thinly chopped
                    • Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
                    • Coarsely Cracked Pepper - 1/2 tsp
                    • Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
                    • Green Chilli/Serrano - 2, vertically slit (optional)
                    • Salt
                    • In a skillet, warm the olive oil and season it with cumin seeds.
                    • Add the mushrooms and green chilli(if using) and saute gently but continuosly until the mushrooms are coated evenly with oil. 
                    • Sprinkle the salt and pepper. Gently mix. 
                    • Lid the skillet once the mushrooms start generating steam. Cook on a medium flame for 5-7 minutes.
                    • Stir continuously till moisture is evaporated and mushrooms are dry.
                    • Serve with baked fish, hot rice or as a stuffing for pita.
                    This beautiful "Blogger Friend Loyalty Award" was passed on to me by Simply.Food, a hub of "simple", yet sensational vegetarian recipes. Many Thanks dear.
                    I would like to pass this on to Ushnish and every other blogger buddy/follower. Please accept it.


                    Monday, March 1, 2010

                    Puff Pastry Pillows

                    If I was a poet, I would write an ode to Frozen Puff Pastry..It would start with something like this- "How many ways I love to bake thee, let me count the ways.." Not very original but very apt, no?Aren't frozen Puff Pastry one of the great culinary invention ever? They come very handy to make an endless list of Appetizers, Dessert and what not. This time I decided to make Puff Pastry Pillows/Tex-Mex Pillows. Filling can be all-veg or veg-meat combo.Your choice.Scroll down for the yummy-licious recipe for both choices!
                    • Puff pastry Sheet - 1, thawed 25-30 minutes prior to rolling out
                    • Black Bean - 1/4 cup, cooked(I used canned beans)
                    • Roasted Peppers - 1/4 cup, fine diced
                    • Green Peas - 1/4 cup 
                    • Onions - 1/2, small, fine diced 
                    • Garlic, 2, cloves, minced
                    • Cheddar Cheese Singles - 1, diced
                    • Cracked Pepper - 1/2 tsp or more
                    • Salt for taste
                    • Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
                    • Choice of Meat or Vegetarian Ingredient
                    For the Meat Filling:
                    • Ground Chicken or Turkey - 1/4 cup( I used Turkey for this recipe)
                    For the Vegetarian Filling:
                    • Shredded Carrot - 1/4 cup
                    For Egg Wash: Optional
                    • Egg white - 1
                    • In a skillet, heat 2tbsp of oil and add minced garlic, onions. Saute until the onion is browned.
                    • Add Choice of ground turkey or shredded carrot to the skillet, black bean, roasted peppers,green peas, cracked pepper and salt. Lid the pan and cook for 5 minutes until the mixture is cooked but dry.
                    • Switch off the stove and add the diced cheese cubes. Stir gently and set aside.
                    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
                    • Dust a large work surface with flour and roll out the thawed puff pastry gently. Cut them into 3 strips along the folds.
                    • Halve each strips into further into 4 rectangles. That should result into 12 rectangles.
                    • Spoon the filling on 6 rectangles leaving an inch of border all around. Wet the edges and place a rectangle-puff pastry sheet on top of them.
                    • Seal the edges with a fork to make 6 pillows. 
                    • Transfer the pillows carefully to a greased cookie sheet.Poke the top of the pillows with a knife-tip to make a small vent.
                    • Optional Step: Give an egg wash to the top of each pillows.
                    • Bake for ~25 minutes until they are browned and serve warm.
                    Makes 6 puff pastry pillows