Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spaghetti Alio Olio with a side of Onion Straws - Surprise Recipe Swap

In last few weeks have been an absolute blur for us. We'll soon be moving from Mumbai where both my husband and I were born and brought up to Sydney, Australia. We were so excited when our paperwork came through and since then things in our home have been absolutely crazy. With travel arrangements, shopping, packing and selling off things we're not taking, I've hardly had any time to focus on cooking. This month I was assigned Jackie's blog Rediscovering Lost Arts From Our Mothers. This blog was new to me and I was thrilled to see the ideology behind it. I agree with Jackie all the way, there's so much we're missing out on in the form of tradition, practices and culture all because of the convenience of today's world, where were always in a hurry, short of time and running. You should stop by Jackie's space and check it out, she's got loads of recipes on canning, smoking, preserves and wonderful home cooked goodness.

To my absolute delight, that not all she has. Even though I didn't have much time, I managed to make 2 recipes from her blog using stuff that I had in the pantry. I've always wanted to try Spaghetti Alio Olio after watching David Rocco make it on his cooking show. This seemed like the perfect opportunity since Jackie has a version of it on her blog and while I was going through her space, I noticed a post on Onion straws. Like her I love me some onion. Whether is onion rings, sauteed onions, onions in a salad or these onion fritters, I love cooking with onion and enjoy eating it in its many different forms too. I was intrigued by her recipe and it seemed simple and quick enough for me to try. Both these dishes came together so quickly and can I tell you, they were both yummy. The spaghetti was simple but so flavorful. I loved it. The onions straws, may I add, was an absolute hit. I had a hard time keeping my husband away from it long enough to get pictures. There are crisp, delicious and very addictive. They'd be a fantastic addition to some grilled or roasted meat, but I think they make for some very yummy party munchies too. The only thing I'd do differently next time is use larger onions. These ones were rather small so the onion straws don't particularly look like straws, but were delicious nevertheless. In all I was very happy with the way both recipes turned out. Thanks Jackie, for introducing me to these yummy treats. The only changes I made was I used fresh coriander instead of parsley since that is what I had on hand and I upped the garlic content. I love garlic and if you don't please remember to cut down on the quantities mentioned.

Spaghetti Alio Olio

1/2 lb. spaghetti
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/2-1 tsp. red pepper flakes, to taste
2 tbsp. fresh coriander, chopped (Original recipe calls for parsley)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Boil the spaghetti till its al dente and drain. (You may want to reserve some of the boiling liquid and add a little back if you feel that the spaghetti has dried up when adding the herbs - I didn't need to)

In a small pan, add the oil and butter and the garlic and saute for a few seconds on medium low heat till the garlic releases flavor and aroma. Add the red pepper flakes and pepper and saute for a few seconds more. Make sure the garlic doesn't brown, else its burnt and will be slightly bitter.

Add this back to the pasta and place on the stove for a little while on low heat. Toss the pasta well and make sure the oil and herbs are evenly distributed.

Add the chopped coriander and toss well. Serve hot.

Onion Straws

2 onions, finely sliced
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup all purpose flour
Salt, to taste
Crushed black pepper, to taste
Red chilly powder, to taste
Oil for deep frying

Peel and slice the onions and soak it in the buttermilk.

Heat the oil for deep frying.

In the meanwhile, add the salt, pepper and red chilly powder to your flour and mix well.

Shake off the excess buttermilk from the resulting onion straws and dredge it in the flour mix.

Carefully place it in the oil and deep fry till golden brown and beautifully crispy.


Thank you Jutta (Hungry Little Girl) for hosting this fun event month after month. Its been a blast. If you'd like to join in on the fun, click here.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Switching over to Bloglovin'

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There's been talk that Google reader wont be available for too long. In the event of that happening, I wouldn't want to or want anyone else to lose track of the blogs they are following.

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Thank you for your continued support and don't forget to stop by again.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

SRC: Nutty Chocolate Granola

This month my SRC partner was Aly of Cooking in Stilletos. Now isn't that an interesting name. Keeping with the theme is the tagline - Making the leap from Louboutin to Le Creuset. Aly comes across as a fun girl and with a blog name like that, this was no surprise! She's in Philadelphia and owes her earliest culinary experiences and memories to her grandfather who she lovingly refers to as Bampa. When you go on over, and you really should, be ready to treat yourself to a variety of yummy treats - both sweet and savory. Like me, Aly seems to be a Nigella Lawson fan. You will find quite a few of her recipes on Aly's blog.

Now I just couldn't let a coincidence like that go to waste. So when I was going through her blog and came across her post on Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Peanut Granola, I knew I had found my recipe for this month. My husband and I love granola, but in Mumbai, its becoming increasingly hard to purchase good granola. Some of the brands we used to enjoy a few years ago have simply deteriorated in quality to such an extent that I have stopped buying it altogether. That's where this recipe comes in. It just called out my name :)

This granola was so quick to put together. While it is in the oven, just as an added bonus, your house will smell divine. The list of ingredients is impressive and while I wouldn't have changed a thing, I had to substitute  the nuts and fruit in the list for ones that I have on hand. I'm trying to use up ingredients in my pantry and trying to not purchase stuff that I can do without. Why? Well that's a good question and stay tuned to know why. I have news to share with you and I'll do it soon, but I don't want that to hijack this post. This granola sure deserves a post of its own. I love that way it tastes with the cocoa and the cinnamon and you'll get a little chewiness, a little crunch, just perfect for a granola. I have found myself a great recipe for homemade granola. Thanks Aly!

Here's a snapshot of the tray before it went into the oven -

And here's what it looks like after it comes out. Remember to add the cranberries and raisins once it has cooled down. Glorious breakfast goodness, isn't it. Without any further delay, lets get to the recipe. I halved the recipe and you will find the quantities I used here along with the substitutions I made. For a look at the original recipe, click here.

Nutty Chocolate Granola

1/4 cup good quality cocoa
2 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup chopped cashew nuts
1/3 cup applesauce (I used homemade applesauce, recipe to follow soon)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 160ÂșC.

Mix all the ingredients, except the raisins and cranberries in a large bowl.

Spread the mix onto a foil lined baking sheet.

Bake for 45 minutes, stirring the mixture every 15-20 minutes or so.

Allow it to cool. Add the raisins and the dried cranberries and mix to distribute well.

Store in an airtight container.