Tag Archives: basil

Brunch Fit For Superheroes

Superhero Brunch at Mazina
Superhero Brunch at Mazina

My friend asked, “Why is this brunch on a Saturday?”

“Because all other brunches in Dubai happen on a Friday.”

The Bat behind the Bar
The Bat behind the Bar

And with this attitude, Mazina, the multi-cuisine restaurant at Address Dubai Marina hosted the first Superhero Brunch on a Saturday. Lovely meeting Spidergirl, who greeted us and deposited us in the safe hands of Ironman who welcomed us in. Spiderman was stuck to a corner as he wished us a healthy appetite. Man of Steel whizzed past with a serving tray as Batman smiled making a drink behind the bar! This is like having a lavish brunch while in Comicon!

Make Your Own Salad
Make Your Own Salad

Our smiling hostess took us from counter-to-counter, highlighting various cuisines and taste profiles. Started out healthy from the salad corner, where you could tuck into prepared salads or make your own with greens and condiments provided. The basil pesto and horseradish relish was to my liking.

The seafood counter had fresh prawns, mussels and king crabs that sat next to the sushi counter.

I moved on the “Jamon Jamon” counter – loading up on parma ham and smoked ham along. Went beautifully with creamy and hard cheese, walnuts, pine nuts, date compote and crackers.

Ideally I should have stopped after this. But Supergirl flew along and chatted us up. I headed to the South Asian counter. The chef prepared a simple Peking Duck roll with shredded cucumbers and leeks over a sweet sauce. Those that want to bunk the duck could have mushrooms and bokchoy, dimsums of all varieties and satays of choice. Try the mango fish with a melon ball on top. One could marry it!

Story in Pictures
Story in Pictures

I had to skip the roast counter that had smoked turkey and made a beeline for the dessert. Fondant fountains welcomes us but I went straight for the toffee pudding. Must confess that I have had better, but the mango chocolate mousse and other desserts could heal up a love-lorn heart.

#BurpAndBelch meter : 5 buuuurps

#5WordFoodReview : You Need A Superhero Appetite!

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TheCalmDev and a friend were invited for the Superhero Brunch at Mazina in Dubai Address Marina.

Mazina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Bruschetta

BurpAndBelch Bruschetta
BurpAndBelch Bruschetta

Not the greatest of things to make and then announce it to the universe (via social media) but that child-like joy of getting something right the first time, with an itsy-bitsy twist to it; then it would be a shame to curb the surging heart. This is to the handsome bruschetta!

Picked up a good quality French baguette (with this, Italian purists would want to puree me) and cut those into roundels. Gave all those a good glug of good quality olive oil, a good lick of garlic and grilled them off lightly, to just heighten the crunch of the crusty bread.

Meanwhile, chopped some fine tomatoes. The trick is to get slightly thick tomatoes, maybe 2 notches lower than the ‘beef’ variety. I usually pick up tomatoes judging them on their suppleness and skin. Add a dash of cracked pepper and a light dust of oregano. I skipped the salt. Just wanted to focus on the mild flavours. Spooned the tomatoes over the bread and added finely chopped dil over them. I decided to forgo basil and use dil instead and it worked just fine for me.

With a perfect bruschetta, you realise that there is nothing that a good tomato cannot do!

Buon apetito!

Can’t Go Wrong With PIZZA!

I confess liking pizza to a fault. I do not agree with the size markings of a restaurant, as my skills have helped me demolish large pizzas without any discomfort or seeking out digestive aids.

So, when the zucchinis in my fridge cried out that I had forgotten them, I decided to put them on a pizza. This is the first time I made pizza at home.

First Hand Experiment: Pizza
First Hand Experiment: Pizza

Careful not to dent my confidence, I picked up some pizza base and ladled out a spicy tomato mix. Home-made sauces work better, I feel, as one can spice them up the way you want. I added in some grated mozarella before loading up the veggies.

The zucchinis were happily laid out after a light dry grill on the skillet. A few slices of sweet potato, lightly grilled filled in empty spaces. A yellow bell pepper genially sat in on the base with them. I introduced some fresh brown mushrooms to them all. As one can see in the picture, there is a pile of veggies. Cracked on some black pepper and oregano. And then, I popped the three pizzas in the oven for about 15-17 minutes. I continually check on the food and estimate their readiness relying only on my eyes.

What came out was a crisp, biscuit-y pizza base with soft,  fragrant veggies. Threw on some chopped olives and parmesan cheese dust. I think I will have to introduce some red peppers and basil to make it more pleasing to the eye, to satisfy the photographer in me. But the pizzas certainly did the trick in making for a happy dinner. In case anybody is wondering, the wife had one and I gobbled the other two!

Before I sign off, here’s something to chew on:

“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”
Yogi Berra

Pasta Disasta!

Pastas are a favourite at home, so much so that my almost 2 year-old loves to squish them! This recipe that I am about to share is a disaster averted, or maybe so I think. At the outset, I invite severe criticism and genteel suggestions from chefs, epicures and foodies alike.

Favourite Pasta-time
Favourite Pasta-time

I picked up a bottle of tomato-basil pesto. And so dinner was buck wheat pasta with sautéed mushrooms and bell peppers in tomato – basil pesto.

I set to my task at hand. Wear apron. Put on some music. Didn’t have wine at home, so had to make-do with some juice. And then, put some salted water to boil. In another pan, heated some olive oil, added some crushed garlic and started  sautéing some white mushrooms. Just as they started softening up, tossed in the diced bell peppers and gave it a good stir.

Put in the buck wheat pasta into the boiling water. Buck wheat pasta cooks faster than durum wheat pasta. So keep a check on how long you boil. It usually gets done in about 7 minutes. Drain. Cool off in ice water.

Meanwhile, the mushrooms were getting along well with the bell peppers and were ready to be downed in the pesto sauce. I opened the bottle and realised (my folly) that the bottle I picked up was not tomato-basil pesto but tomato garlic relish. It was too late to react to my shopping-shelf folly! And so I whooped the contents into the pan and gave it a nice stir. Topped on some seasoning of salt and pepper and a dash of oregano and tried to bring it all together. Then I added the pasta to the pot and tossed it all together so most of the pasta got coated.

I plated my dreaded pasta dinner, placed some green olives and heaped up a generous shaving of parmesan cheese.

My wife is perhaps the most non-fussy eater on earth. She tucked into her plate of dinner like a boarding student takes to home food. When I asked her how it tasted, she said it was just about ok.

I wiped the sweat of my brow. Took a big forkful in. Had it not been for the mushrooms and bell peppers, it would have been the biggest pasta disaster.

On my #Burp&Belch meter, I’d give 2 burps to it (out of 5)!

Grilled Chicken with Pesto

#HomeChef #GrilledChicken
#HomeChef #GrilledChicken

This recipe was the result of what I could rustle up for wife and I without having to order anything from the local grocery. Here’s how it goes:

  • 1 chicken breast: marinate with salt and pepper and oregano flakes on one side
  • 2 table-spoon olive oil for grilling
  • 400 grams of veggies (anything you want to eat with your meat). I chose peas, carrots and broccoli.
  • 4 table spoons of pesto. I chose classic basil pesto. Cannot think beyond that, honestly.
  • Seasoning

Procedure:
Heat the skillet / griddle pan on high flame. Add olive oil and let it smoke. Meanwhile, lightly beat the chicken breast to a consistent thickness. With the griddle all ready, add in the chicken breast. Prepare to go high on the decibel as the pan screams and smokes out.

Bring water to a boil and blanch the vegetables. Add some salt. Carrots take more time. Peas don’t. Broccoli needs some careful handling to keep the colour in tact. Once blanched, put them in cold water, specially the broccoli to stop the cooking and keep up colour.

Check on the chicken. Grill each side for about 5-6 minutes. Watching food as it cooks is a very satisfying activity. Once the chicken is done, take it off the pan and let it rest for about 5 – 7 minutes.

Lightly saute the vegetables in olive oil (with a small smatter of butter). Season it. Keep aside.

Grilled Chicken with Pesto
Grilled Chicken with Pesto

Now for the plating. Bed up the plate with the sautéed vegetables. Place the grilled chicken on top. Spoon some pesto sauce on the chicken. You may want to dust some parmesan cheese on top. Add a grilled lemon by the side. Tuck in! And don’t forget to squeeze that lemon – you will not believe how wonderful the juice will taste with the veggies!

Bon appetit!