Wednesday, November 26, 2014

alabama pecan pie

thanksgiving is upon us!

we have two invitations to dinner tomorrow. the first one is at the mccarthy's in the afternoon and she asked us to bring the wine and desserts. her husband wanted pecan pie and i love pecan pies but have never made one. so here's my first attempt at baking a pecan pie. the recipe is from her husband's aunt.

1 cup white Karo corn syrup
1 tbsp butter
1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Method: Mix all the ingredients together and combine well with beater. Pour filling in an uncooked pie shell and bake slowly - 1 hour at 300 degrees.

looks good and fingers crossed - it tastes good tomorrow.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

slow-cooker beef stew.

even though fall continues to evade us, i couldn't wait any longer to simmer this gorgeous stew on a sunday afternoon. i cooked it on low for 8 hours and it was perfect. i served it with pureed potatoes mashed with butter and milk.


here's the how-to-do:

heat pan till very hot. melt butter. season beef stew meat with salt and pepper liberally. sear meat and (all the goodly juices) throw into a slow cooker with one can of diced tomatoes, baby carrots, (frozen) pearl onions, a generous splash of red wine, a heaping spoonful of minced garlic, plenty of beef stock, several splashes of Worcestershire sauce, a couple of bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste and a teeny, tiny pinch of thyme.

garnish with fresh parsley.

this was amaz-ing. so good that we ate it for dinner three nights straight.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

beer cheddar potato soup.

slow cooker recipe: 

I just kind of eye balled the ingredients.

-diced potatoes
-diced celery
-diced baby carrots
-diced red onions
-minced garlic
-1 cup milk
-1 bottle beer
-a generous pat of butter
-freshly ground pepper
-bay leaf
-Worcestershire sauce
-pinch of salt
-chicken stock
-dash of Dijon mustard

cook on low for 6 hours. puree with an immersion blender. garnish with bacon bits and chopped chives.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cherry cake.


1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 whole egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup cherries, roughly chopped

I love cherries. Along with mangoes and lychees and pineapples, they are my favorite fruit. Every time summer rolls around, I buy a huge bag of cherries from the super market and usually they rot before I have a chance to eat through them. This means it's usually a race against time to find an easy recipe to use them up before they go bad. I decided on this delicious recipe from the Pioneer Woman's website and tweaked it.


--Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
--Butter a square baking dish.
--Cream sugar and butter; add egg and combine.
--Add flour, baking powder, and salt to the mixing bowl and then pour in the milk.
--Add cherries and chopped walnuts (I pulsed it for a couple of seconds on my food processor) and mix gently. Or you could run your mixer over it one last night resulting in a glorious purple batter that resembles black currant ice cream.
--Pour batter into buttered pan and smooth out the surface. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

khichudi/begun bhaja

This is one of my absolute favorite comfort foods. When I think of ghar ka khana, this is what I miss the most. To be best eaten on rainy Sunday afternoons. Rice cooked in one pot with yellow lentils served with crispy fried eggplants. Or a fried egg.

Ingredients for the khichudi:
--Ghee (clarified butter)
--Cumin Seeds
--Bay leaves
--Dried red chilies
--Ginger paste
--Moong dal 
--Jasmine rice
--Green peas

Ingredients for the begun bhaja:
--Eggplant (cut into thin slices) 


Lightly roast the moong dal on a heated pan. Be careful so as to not burn the lentils. They should be toasted and just on the verge of turning brown. Transfer the lentils into a bowl and wash the beans in cold water.

In a big pot, melt one tablespoon of ghee. Or a little bit more. Throw in a pinch of cumin seeds, a couple of dried red chillies and bay leaves, and a bit of ginger paste. Fry for a minute or so. Add the washed moong beans and the jasmine rice. Pour 3-4 cups of water and cover the pot with a lid. Set to simmer. 

(I used about 1/4 cup of rice and 1/4 cup of moong beans. This will result in more than enough servings - enough to last me at least 3-4 meals. Sadly enough, Mr. Sachinky who usually loves everything I make refuses to eat this for dinner. Oh well, more for me, I guess.)

Add salt and sugar to taste. More than a pinch of turmeric for the distinctive yellow color. My mother doesn't usually add potatoes but I had baby potatoes at hand and figured what the hell. Add boiler onions (or red onion cut into large chunks), diced tomatoes, and peas (if using frozen peas, wait till the khichudi is almost done).

You might have to add a cup or two more of water till it achieves the level of consistency. Mushy is what you're aiming for. Keep an eye on it - you don't want it to burn. It might look like baby food but tastes far from it. I promise. Serve with a dollop of ghee on top. Nothing better than the sight of ghee melting into rivulets on a steaming pile of khichudi. 

The eggplants are mad easy, yo. Slice into thin rounds (back home, it's usually cut into really thick rounds but I was hungry and didn't want to wait long enough for them to cook. Also, if you cut them really thick it takes longer to cook which turns the eggplant almost black. I prefer the lightly fried ones). Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sugar. On a plate, put out some flour and press the eggplant rounds into the flour to get a nice coating. Heat oil in a pan and cook the eggplants for a couple of minutes on both sides to get a nice, brown crispy exterior. 

Just typing this up makes me want to heat up a second helping!

Comfort food.