Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Flank Steak, Roasted Pasilla Pepper and Sharp Cheddar Cheese Panini

I love Pam’s blog “For The Love of Cooking”. I have tried her Strawberry and Banana Muffins and they were delicious! She has posted several sandwich/Panini recipes on her blog. One day my hubby happened to see this Panini recipe in my reader and asked me why don’t you make this? He loves steak…so I tried it; the recipe was really simple and easy to make. The only thing is while Pam made this Panini with her left over Carne Asada, I made the Carne Asada to make this Panini. It was really delicious and I have already tried this twice. Thank you Pam for the recipe.

Flank Steak, Roasted Pasilla Pepper and Sharp Cheddar Cheese Panini
Adapted from here

Flank steak (preferably carne asada, recipe follows)
2 slices of whole wheat sour dough bread (I used brown toast bread)
3 pasilla peppers, roasted (I used Capsicum)
Sharp cheddar cheese
Frank's Red Hot Sauce
I aso used some caramelized onions too.

Roast the Peppers:

  • Clean the pasilla peppers/ Capscumand carefully slit them down the center. Gently remove the seeds from the inside of the pepper. Line a baking sheet with tin foil then place the pepper on top.
  • Broil until peppers are blackened on all sides. Transfer the peppers to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the blackened skin and stem gently. Slice into strips.

Prepare the sandwich:

  • Preheat your panini grill or a large skillet over medium heat. Mix a few tablespoons of mayonnaise with a few teaspoons of Frank's Red Hot Sauce; taste and add more hot sauce if desired.
  • Spread the mayonnaise mixture on each slice of bread.
  • Next add the slices of flank steak then roasted pasilla peppers/capscium, caramilised onions and finally the sharp cheddar cheese; top the sandwich with the other slice of bread and place on the panini maker then cook for 5 minutes.
  • If you are using a skillet, cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until it's golden brown.
  • Slice and serve with extra mayonnaise sauce on the side.
  • Enjoy.

Carne Asada
Carne asada is a roasted beef dish, literally meaning "roasted meat." The dish mainly consists of pieces or thin cuts of beef (e.g. flank steak, skirt steak), sometimes marinated, sometimes lightly salted or rubbed with salt, pepper and/or spices, and then grilled. It can be eaten alone, with side dishes, chopped and eaten as tacos, or chopped and used as filler for tortas, burritos, etc. It is commonly accompanied with guacamole, salsa, beans, and grilled scallions and tortillas. (Source Wikipedia).

Carne Asada Marinade:
Adapted from here.
1 1/2 - 2 lbs of flank steak
1/3 cup vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp oregano
2 limes, juiced
4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • In a gallon size Ziploc bag, combine all ingredients with flank steak and mix really well. Let marinate for at least 6 hours - overnight if you can.
  • Grill steak until desired degree of doneness. Let sit for at least 5-10minutes. Once the meat has cooled, slice across grain into small chunks.

I forgot to take a picture of Carne Asada..will upload photo next time :)

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Monday, 24 May 2010

Peach, Mango and Strawberry Cobbler

Recipe slightly adapted from here.
Fruit Base:
4 Peaches
2 Mangoes
½ cup Strawberries, fresh/frozen
1/2 tsp Lime juice
3 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Corn flour
¼ tsp ground Cinnamon

Biscuit Dough:
¾ cup All purpose flour
2 tbsp Ragi/ Finger millet/ Panjapul flour (optional)
2 tbsp Sugar
¾ tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2-3 tbsp milk

  • Dip the peaches into a large pot of boiling water for about 30 - 60 seconds, depending on the ripeness of the peaches. Transfer the fruit to a large bowl of ice water (this stops the cooking process). The skins should now slip easily off the peaches. Cut the peaches in half, remove the stones, and cut the fruit into thick wedges. Peel and thickly slice mangoes and slice strawberries also.
  • Combine fruits in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, corn flour, and ground cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture over the fruits and toss gently to combine.
  • Transfer to deep pie/ baking dish. Place the baking dish on a larger baking sheet to catch any drips.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven.

Biscuit Dough:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together both the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
  • Add the milk to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Do not over mix.
  • Knead dough gently on a lightly floured surface.
  • Roll or pat the dough into a circle that is about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick.
  • Cut the dough into desired shape with a cookie cutter(I used a star cookie cutter).
  • Gently place the stars/ rounds on top of the fruit.
  • Brush the tops of the biscuits with a little cream.
  • Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the fruit is bubbly and the biscuits are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into a biscuit comes out clean. (If the biscuits are getting too brown during baking, and before the fruit is bubbling, cover loosely with a piece of foil.)
  • Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.
  • Serve plain or with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
  • Refrigerate leftovers and reheat before serving.
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Monday, 17 May 2010


How to make Kerala Palappam

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Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Tawa Nan ~ Indian Leavened Bread!


Maida (All purpose flour)-200gm
Atta (Wheat flour)-50gm
Milk-1/2 cup
Egg-1,lightly beaten with a fork
Yeast-1/4 tsp
Sugar-2 tsp
Salt- to taste

  • Dissolve yeast and sugar in the lukewarm milk and keep aside to rise for 10 minutes.
  • Combine maida, atta and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and rub in using your fingertips.
  • Make a dent in the centre and pour dissolved yeast- milk mixture and lightly beaten egg in that dent. Mix well into a soft dough adding water or milk if necessary.
  • Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place until the dough had risen to twice its size.
  • Knead the dough again and make even sized balls and roll into an oval shape.
  • Cook both sides on a tawa/skillet on a medium flame.
  • Brush both sides of Nan with butter or ghee and serve hot.

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Monday, 3 May 2010

Tiramisu ~ Heaven on a Dessert Plate!

I always wanted to make Tiramisu, but here in Kuwait we rarely get Mascarpone cheese and it is inevitably always highly priced. When I found the recipe for homemade mascarpone cheese on Vera’s blog I really wanted to make the mascarpone and Tiramisu at home, and so began the search for the perfect Tiramisu recipe. And in February when the Daring Bakers Challenge hosted by Deeba and Aparna was announced, I saw the entire blog sphere was filled with Tiramisu recipes. I knew I could trust Deeba’s recipe blindly as I had already tried several of her other recipes earlier and they were all really good. So when my brother visited last week I made Tiramisu for him and we all really liked it. So here is the Tiramisu recipe I tried from Deeba’s place.

Recipe source: Adapted from Deeba's Passionate About Baking blog originally from Carminantonio's Tiramisu from The Washington Post, July 11 2007)
This recipe makes 6 servings


For the zabaglione:
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar/50gms
1/4 cup/60ml Marsala wine (or port or coffee)
1/4 teaspoon/ 1.25ml vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
For the vanilla pastry cream:
1/4 cup/55gms sugar
1 tablespoon/8gms all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup/175ml whole milk
For the whipped cream:
1 cup/235ml chilled heavy cream(I used dream whip)
1/4 cup/55gms sugar
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
To assemble the tiramisu:
2 cups/470ml brewed espresso, warmed
1 teaspoon/5ml rum extract (optional)
1/2 cup/110gms sugar
1/3 cup/75gms mascarpone cheese
36 savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits (I only used 24 biscuits), I used store bought ones. 2 tablespoons/30gms unsweetened cocoa powder

For the zabaglione:

  • Heat water in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a pot with about an inch of water in it on the stove. Place a heat-proof bowl in the pot making sure the bottom does not touch the water.
  • In a large mixing bowl (or stainless steel mixing bowl), mix together the egg yolks, sugar, the Marsala (or espresso/ coffee), vanilla extract and lemon zest. Whisk together until the yolks are fully blended and the mixture looks smooth.
  • Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler or place your bowl over the pan/ pot with simmering water. Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes or until it resembles thick custard. It may bubble a bit as it reaches that consistency.
  • Let cool to room temperature and transfer the zabaglione to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the pastry cream:

  • Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.
  • Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling.
  • Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. (If you have a few lumps, don’t worry. You can push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer).
  • Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the whipped cream:

  • Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.

To assemble the tiramisu:

  • Have ready a rectangular serving dish (about 8" by 8" should do) or one of your choice.
    Mix together the warm espresso, rum extract and sugar in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.

Now to start assembling the Tiramisu.

  • Workings quickly, dip 12 of the ladyfingers in the sweetened espresso, about 1 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to the platter, placing them side by side in a single row. You may break a lady finger into two, if necessary, to ensure the base of your dish is completely covered.
  • Spoon one-third of the cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers, then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges.
  • Repeat to create 2 more layers, using 12 ladyfingers and the cream mixture for each layer. Clean any spilled cream mixture; cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.
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Sunday, 2 May 2010

Homemade Mascarpone Cheese

Recipe adapted from Vera's blog Baking Obsession

Makes about 12 oz

500 ml Whipping Cream, (36 %) pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream (I used Almarai's Premium Whipping Cream, a brand we get in Middle East)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice.
  • Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering.
  • Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating.
  • Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese or cottage cheese (Paneer) making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir.
  • Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time).
  • Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.
  • This creamy white cheese is suitable for making desserts and cake fillings!

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