Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Salmon with Lemon Butter Sauce

These days we are seeing lots of sunshine quite unlike of British summer, which makes us yearn for things which is so typical of summer that we are habitual of seeing in India, like chilling out with a cup of cold coffee or ice-cream sundaes or "mishti doi"etc and these  have become regular in our home. But then it’s not only about cooking, eating, drinking cold drinks, summer activities also includes going out in parks or having a nice picnic, now that I somehow can’t imagine myself doing that in typical Indian summer. Even though schools are still open and summer vacations haven’t yet started here, well actually it’s another week and we will be having school vacations here. And we all know once the school vacations starts all mothers across the globe, do become even more busier, making ferries to local library, parks and activity center, becomes almost a daily happening for them.

Sometimes, when kids do shift their attention, they do come up with great innovative things. These days loom bands have caught my daughter’s attention; apparently every kid these days seems to be hooked to it here, it is kind of a trend here. She is on a spree of making many bracelets out of it. She still has some left-over loom bands loops which incidentally, I hid it from her while she was away in the school. Now, she is up to the “lost loom bands project” kind of “Sally Bollywood” and had been searching the entire household. May be I will keep them as memento and gift her later on, once her interest grows out of it, just to have that surprise look on her face.

Now coming to this recipe which is as simple as it sounds. As you can see daffodils in the picture above, this was made in the month of March and was lying in drafts since then. But it’s good to be late than never, right. When you can get fresh –healthy fish and if a fish is salmon, and you add butter and lemon to it, you know how subtle flavors can be coming out from it. I always have liked the flavor of salmon. I just happen to add dried herbs for extra goodness, I was thinking of putting up dried parsley, as parsley is a great herb, extensively used in Mediterranean cooking, but I didn't had parsley, so used dried Italian herb which is what I got at that time, but to my surprise it turned out nice, since then I have made this many times and with dried Italian herb only. Garlic powder is included and so is red pepper powder, which gives bonus to the overall flavor without over-empowering the distinct flavor of the fish itself. If you don’t get salmon, shrimp or other white fish fillets can also be used in this place, replace butter with olive oil or may be any other oil like – corn oil, sunflower oil, to make it less saturated. But always remember our body does need butter as well, all it requires is moderate activity level to burn down that saturated fat, nothing less.

Just want to emphasize that all health foods might not be good for you, read here,  a striking story about a food blogger's eating disorders regarding  vegan foods.I highly advise consulting a nutritionist before you jump on to any sort of diet-plans or any type of drastic changes in your eating patterns.Remember loosing weight , also depends on how physically active you are, not just on what you eat.Sleep and rest is also necessary to restore lost stamina from your body.

Now to the recipe

Pan fried Salmon in Lemon-Butter sauce
Recipe requirements
3-4 salmon fillets
Half lemon, squeezed for the lemon juice
2 tbs of butter
¼ tsp of red pepper powder or as per taste or freshly crushed chilly flakes
½ tsp of garlic powder
¾ tsp of dried Italian herb powder
Salt as per taste
Clean and rub salt all over salmon fillets. Keep aside for half an hour. We do get salmon fish fillets here easily and 3 or 4 fish fillets weigh roughly 400-450 gms.
Now melt butter in a fry pan, add in salmon fillets, and skin side down first. Fry them about 4-5 mints. Flip the side and do another 3-4 mints depending on the cut of the fillets or the thickness of the  fillet . Fry till it’s no more pinkish in color. Take out and drain.
In that butter itself, add in dried Italian herb, red pepper powder, lemon juice and salt if required at low flame. If you are using salted butter, there is no need of adding extra salt. Add in salmon fillets.

Now cover the fry pan and let it cook further 8-10 mints or till salmon is cooked. Sometimes, I skip frying salmon fillets and mix all the ingredients and melt butter in a fry pan then add in salmon+spices+dried herb and let it cook well in it’s own juices, I must add, it turns out even more soft.
You can even grill the fish and prepare the sauce separately and then drizzle the prepared sauce all over the grilled salmon fish fillets.

Happy Cooking Friends

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Masala Baingan- Spiced Brinjal stir/fried recipe

For any tennis lovers, Wimbledon is like a pilgrimage and according to N Djokovic, the winning player himself– since he was 5 years old he always dreamt of playing in Wimbledon. And for us who are passive sporty enthusiast - read that’s me , visiting this place at least once, or just getting an opportunity to watch live match there, seems like an unreachable and distant dream/ “diba swopna” to be  precise.

Yes, it is, while we visited Wimbledon this Saturday, we never realized someday this can be real.We didn’t know, what will be unfolding for us there. It was raining, and pouring when we got off from our train in Southfields station, so we waited and waited till the rain slowed up slightly, making us comfortable enough to walk up to the venue. Somewhere I happened to read” if you wish ardently for things to happen, the entire cosmos conspires to accomplish your wish”. And it looks like things were falling to happen accordingly that day.
As we queued up outside the main entrance gate, chattering with a noble steward/helper there, about our chances of getting in, we had a faint hope that we might get inside. But, still not sure if we would be lucky enough to watch live matches there as it’s was wet all over there, so leave alone catching up final of men’s doubles match in centre court there.And did I add that tickets are not that easily available for final matches either. Dear husband thought, we should give it a try to get re-sale tickets to the centre courts, and it looks like even God was on a generous mood that day to accomplish our wish. We did finally get our tickets to get inside the centre court and when we placed ourselves there comfortably, we were happy to be part of the ongoing men’s double final match. From then onwards it was an exciting men’s double final match.

Although I felt tired after watching the game just in to the third set, but I couldn’t tell that for dear husband for sure. While me and my daughter were feeling little tired and hungry, we thought to call it a day, a day to remember forever. Once we were home, we came to know about the winners and their 5 set final match game, which almost felt like a long saga to me stretched over 3 and half hours. But still there were people all over in the court, cheering them throughout that match.Someday, I will try to stick up to the end as well, as for time being just a feeling to be there, watching a match in Wimbledon and that too finals make me feel happy, somewhere in corner of my heart. Both these pictures are taken with my mobile, it’s not that cameras are not allowed, but I forgot to take our camera….

As for the recipe, I try to make brinjals in many ways, adding them in traditional Bengali shukto, chorchori,fish curry etc.But on a whole with the stalk intact, this “baigan” preparation- north Indian style dry stir/fry recipe has been our favourite.These brinjals, for strange reason don’t make us have any allergic reactions like itch etc, which I wont say for the big-fat eggplants. Small ones and particularly these slender-long ones, once they are cooked seemed to absorb more flavor as compared to the big chunky ones. The dry stir/fry goes well with any rotis or paratha; we made methi parathas and also a main dish of salmon-potato-tomato spicy-tangy semi-dry curry, even when having paratha or rotis,  we still crave for fish curry, now I can't take out my Bengali genes..........

We also made “aam doi” to bask in to the glory of mangoes this season that we are getting here, although very limited and not from India I guess. The pulp of mangoes are mixed in with the preparation for mishti doi , just another way of having and flavouring mishti doi.Mishti doi recipe is over here and more precise detailed aam doi recipe Here.I would suggest to use thick Greek-style doi for setting "aam doi"....

We have mangoes in this recipe as well, not ripened but the dried mango powder or aamchur powder which is famous for adding tanginess to any gravy or are a great souring agent. Dried mango powder or aamchur imparts a nice tangy touch to this stir/fry. I wished I had used purple onions in place of white ones as they seem to soak up the spices more, but white onion is what I had when I made this preparation.Here is how masala baigan north Indian style is made in our home.

Masala baingan/ Spiced Brinjal stir/fry recipe
Recipe requirements
8-10 long Brinjal/Eggplants
2 medium size onions
3-4 fat cloves of garlic
2 tsp of grated ginger
1 tsp of Shah Jeera powder/ or cumin powder
1 tsp of Lal mirch powder/red pepper powder
½ tsp of Deghi mirch powder
1 and ½ tsp of  Dhania powder/coriander powder
½ tsp of Amchur powder/dried mango powder
Namak swad anusar/ salt as per taste or ½ tsp of salt
3-4 tbs of mustard oil

Masala Baingan, Methi paratha, salmon -potato-tomato tangy semi dry curry..

Wash the brinjals and make cuts along the sides and then rotate it and have the cuts from other end, making it to open up a bit further down till the end of stalks, but still keeping the base of stalks untouched.Grate in garlic and ginger and chop finely onions and tomatoes.
Now marinate them with salt and turmeric powder. Leave it aside for sometimes.
Meanwhile heat up a fry pan, add in mustard oil, stir/fry ginger and garlic till they are charred well. Add in finely chopped onions. Keep on stir/fry till the onions shrink in size and add in salt also.
Now mix in all dry seasonings- red pepper powder+dried mango powder+cumin+coriander powder and Deghi mirch masala which I happen to use MDH brand.
Now add in finely chopped tomatoes, splash some water so that the spices don’t get stick up.
Add in marinated brinjals to it, mix in the spices well with the stir/fried onions, garlic and ginger. Put the flame to med-low and cover, cook the brinjals properly about 15-20 mints. Half way through open the cover and flip the sides to stir/fry other sides of brinjal.At this time if you see the masala has become way too much dry then splash some more water to it.

Once the brinjals have turned soft and it tends to release oil from the sides, switch off the flame and take it of. You can add some ghee at the end as well.

Happy Cooking Friends