Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tomato and Basil Sauce



I'm keeping this short and sweet, for what's there to write about yet another tomato sauce. Except I just had to make sure you know about this one - first spotted on Shaheen's blog - and a strong contender to replace my favorite pizza and pasta sauce.

It's easy too. You plonk 5-6 tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for a minute, then put them in an ice bath. This should make the tomato skins easy to peel off and you can then cube them, minus the seeds. Also chop a small onion and peel & mince a couple of garlic cloves. Heat a tbsp of olive oil, add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the minced garlic, wait a few seconds then add the tomatoes and salt. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, mashing it a little as you go but leave your sauce chunky.

Chop a handful of basil leaves and add to the sauce towards the end. I've so far used this to make lasagne, and I'm going to blend what remains to give me a smoother sauce for pizza tonight.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Indigo Challenge : A flower, a fruit, a cheese

Indigo menu says:
Grilled Artichokes, Kafir Lime Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella Coriander Pesto




When I first read the dish's name, I saw these three distinct components. And try as I could, they didn't work for me as one salad. Each one brilliant on its own, yet flavors too sharp and strong to mingle. A delightful plate of mezze though!

To your left : petals off an artichoke heart. The artichokes came straight off a bottle. It was Jamie Oliver's artichokes in oil - I think I missed the "in oil" part when I bought it but it went against my ideas of the artichokes' flavor. So I washed the hearts in several changes of water, then left them to sizzle on a hot grill for a few seconds.

In the middle : a tomato chopped into cubes, then marinated with a couple of finely sliced kafir lime leaves, a tsp of lemon juice, another tsp of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

And finally, to your right : fresh buffalo mozarella (yes, you can buy it here!) cubed and mixed with coriander pesto. To make the pesto, grind 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves torn from the stems with 2 tbsp walnuts, a tbsp of olive oil and a hearty pinch of salt.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Which Cinnamon Roll?



I have a guilty secret. Every saturday evening, I trek down to Bandra to buy Cinnamon Rolls at Theobroma. Soft, bready, filled with sugar and cinnamon and raisins, they are my gold standard of cinnamon rolls. But the problem is that Bandra is an hour's drive away and most of the time, Theobroma has sold all it's cinnamon rolls by the time I get there.

Then Cinnabon opened and I thought : great! these guys will never run out of cinnamon rolls. Except I tried it once and thought it was horrible - the center was cakey, and the frosting too thick and too sweet.

Finally, I decided to make my own cinnamon rolls. I turned to pioneer woman, and found rolls so easy to make and so good I never need to go to Theobroma again. Pioneer Woman's recipe makes a lot of rolls, so I divided it by a 6th. I stuck pretty close to whatever she suggests apart from this one change.

My frosting isn't as interesting though - its just a mix of sugar, vanilla and milk - I eyeballed the quantities to give me a runny yet thick paste and poured it on the rolls.

Now why are you still here. You probably have all the ingredients you need at home. Just go make these and give them out to friends - you just might become the most popular person in town tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Now this is cheating...

I've just barely managed to find ingredients for the next dish on the Indigo menu. And guess what, they have revamped their website and it now boasts an entirely different menu. With no mention of the artichoke and cherry tomato salad I was halfway in the process of making.

Indigo does change it's menu frequently so I knew this was coming sometime. And I like the new menu better - it's even got a listing of their desserts. So the challenge is back on.

This one has 27 vegetarian dishes and the speed at which I am going, collecting all those exotic ingredients Indigo dishes seem to require, it might be at least six months before we make them all. And who knows when Indigo changes the menu again.

So I am laying down new rules. No matter what menu Rahul and Malini Akerkar come up with next, this is the menu you are getting on Bombay Foodie. And since we did the old soups already, the soups on this one will have to wait....let's say a long, long time. First course coming up instead.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

300 Posts and Counting

Wow! Is it really the 300th post on Bombay Foodie. Already!

As is traditional on every 100 post interval, I present a new wishlist. First a report card : 31 things to do on my previous wishlist; 9 done. Which means that 22 make an appearance again and this one's got 9 brand new things to bring the total back to 31. So here goes, and I promise I will aim for a higher score next time round:

1. Eat at Alinea.

2. Delve into the alchemy of food. Create something, anything that qualifies as molecular gastronomy.

3. Make fresh pasta.

4. Taste blood oranges.

5. Cook with rhubarb.

6. Make mango pickle like mom.

7. Eat a Meyer lemon.

8. Make S'Mores.

9. Buy blue cornmeal.

10. Try Ethiopian cuisine.

11. Taste Gucchhi (morels).

12. Cook with Rice Paper.

13. Make Vienese Fingers.

14. Make souffle.

15. Taste Absinthe.

16. Make Blinis.

17. Make dolmas.

18. Taste fried halloumi.

19. Make a flambe dish.

20. Make fondue (cheese or chocolate?).

21. Taste fiddleheads.

22. Make khandvi.

23. Make madeleines.

24. Learn to temper chocolate.

25. Make caramel candies.

26. Make puff pastry cream rolls.

27. Perfect cinnamon buns.

28. Make crisp almond cookie I ate at global fusion.

29. Bake a Japanese light cheesecake.

30. Make a double crust pie and a lattice pie.

31. Make Irish cream lookalike at home.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Life of a Critic

This month, our book club reads Garlic and Sapphires. The story of Ruth Reichl, back when she was the food critic for New York Times, is funny yet poignant and touching. With the power to make or break a restaurant, the likes of Ruth, Frank Bruni and of course the currently reigning Sam Sifton have to deploy every method to remain anonymous when they go visit a target.


Ruth Reichl turned to elaborate makeup and disguises to make sure she got her readers an objective review. But her ability to get into the character also changed her, affecting her view of the world. The book offers a glimpse into the life of a food critic (and isn't that every foodie's dream) but it also takes you a little closer to understanding the very charming Ruth.

Another great thing about the book; there's a recipe after every chapter, something to go with every new avatar Ruth takes on. From the array of recipes, I picked Risotto Primavera, an adaptation of lobster risotto from Le Cirque.




It's basically rice sauteed in butter, cooked with some mushroom stock, peppers, asparagus and peas then topped with cheese. Or rather, this is the version from someone too lazy to write a recipe. Send me a mail if you need it and I promise I'd type it out.

In the meantime, let me tell you about next month's book. We are reading Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman. Do let me know if you would like to read it with us and I'd send you more details.