Tag Archives: chicken

Grilled Chicken w Greens Cherry Tomatoes & Haloumi

Grilled Chicken on Greens, Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes and Grilled Haloumi
Grilled Chicken on Greens, Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes and Grilled Haloumi

This started out as an ambitious plan to rustle up dinner like I see Jamie Oliver do. Inspiration aside, it was the trepidation to get it absolutely right that got me completely involved in this dish that I (unimaginatively) call Grilled Chicken on a bed of Greens, Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes with Grilled Haloumi. I am sure the name would run off the page if featured on a menu. This is how it all went.

 

For the grilled chicken:

    • 1 chicken breast, halved
    • Rosemary and Thyme for the rub
    • Salt and Pepper for seasoning

 

For the Greens

    • 1 box of greens (or choose rocket leaves, lettuce of different hues)
    • 1 box or 250 grams of cherry tomatoes (quarter them up)
    • 200 grams of mushrooms (I used the ordinary white button mushrooms)
    • 2 pods of garlic, chopped
    • 4 slices of fresh Haloumi Cheese (grilled)
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • Olive oil
    • Salt and pepper for seasoning

 

In a large salad bowl, flip over the box of greens and roughly tear the leaves up a bit. Throw in the quartered cherry tomatoes. Lightly saute the finely sliced mushrooms in butter and garlic. Cool them a bit before tossing them in the bowl. Squeeze a juice of a lemon all over. Add in some extra virgin olive oil. Throw in a dash of salt and pepper to season. Use your hands to mix it all up and keep ready.

Heat a skillet nice and hot. Drizzle in a spot of olive oil. Add in the chicken. While the chicken gets grilled, put the slice of haloumi cheese. While the criss-cross mark of the grill looks pleasing on the haloumi skin, keep in mind that over cooking or heating the cheese will make it rubbery and chewy. Flip them over. Check on the chicken too. That was just to show how good a multi-tasking cook I can be. The chicken will take about 6-7 minutes to get done. Take them off the heat and rest them for a few minutes. Meanwhile, start the plating.

Make a generous bed of greens. Make sure that you can see the cherry tomatoes and mushrooms; adds to the treat visually. Place a slice of grilled chicken on top. Add in a couple of slices of the grilled haloumi. Et violà!

Bon appétit! 

Wifey rating: 5 burps!

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Killer Broccoli at Grand Hyatt

There is something mysterious about the broccoli. The effect  begins with its spelling. It sounds like new villain in town! It could sound like a new Italian music composer! Some may build a connection with secret agent 007! But there is a connection that IZ, the authentic tandoori restaurant in Grand Hyatt, has established and an irrefutably delicious connection at that! And that is their signature dish – grilled broccoli!

IZ is perhaps Grand Hyatt, Garhoud, Dubai’s best kept secret. They serve the most delectable north Indian fare without the sensational fanfare that other restaurants deploy. I love the setting – partially inside, surrounded in dark woody hues and outside seating beside a roaring fountain. Why I say ‘best kept secret’ is because of its location. You could miss it, unless you can smell the ‘tandoori’ air just around it.

So, sitting down for a lunch meeting at IZ, was a very happy and special moment. Conversations alternated between food to business. The very pleasant PR Manager Leenu graciously hosted me and my colleague as we sat to discuss the imminent launch of IZ Brunch. And of all things included, she presented me with a plate of grilled broccoli.

Killer Broccoli at IZ, Grand Hyatt
Killer Broccoli at IZ, Grand Hyatt

I brandished my fork and knife and dumped 2 florets on my plate. I know broccoli. I know how they taste. I use them myself, regularly. I cut down a decent part of the floret and popped it in my mouth. And after that, my vocabulary got drastically changed. So did our conversation!

I havent tasted broccoli that sensational! Perfectly cooked. Tender yet crunchy. And from deep within, came a buttery taste that complimented the florets so beautifully. Broccoli overtook the table. Broccoli beat the chicken and salmon. Shamelessly, I pulled in the last floret on the plate, lest it gets taken away by the smiling and efficient IZ staff. I requested Leenu to call the chef over. Chef Aftab is a very humble man. I conveyed that if anybody can make broccoli taste this sensational, then that person must be a very capable chef! I have also managed to convince them to teach me how to grill broccoli to perfection and part with the recipe. And I will not be able to share it on this blog.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Order the grilled broccoli. You will learn to love your green veggies.
  • Order the grilled broccoli. You will revel in the taste.
  • Order the grilled broccoli. They are on the brunch menu. Yayy!
  • Order the grilled broccoli. They can only be beaten by their signature mushrooms.
  • Order the grilled broccoli. I strongly recommend  it.

PS: I am negotiating with Grand staff and Leenu to rename the broccoli as Killer Brocs! I am putting my weight to that!

Brunch at IZ the tandoori restaurant at Grand Hyatt launches early May 2014. Watch this space for more.

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!

Chicken a-la TheCalmDev

I have never really blogged about the food I make. I never aimed for having a food blog. I usually try to replicate my mom’s recipes, since she is a superlative cook or I look up stuff on the net and add a dash of me as the recipe progresses on the burner. But since today I made something totally unscripted and by the grace of the gourmet god, it turned out pretty awesome did I decide (read dare) to publish it in my blog.

Chicken a la CalmDev

First of all, I did not have tomatoes at home. No puree either. Too lazy to go out to the grocery to get some, I decided to make chicken without any tomatoes. Here goes:

Chunk up the chicken breasts and marinate them in some fresh curd, with salt and pepper. I prefer the chicken chunks to be bite sized and not bigger.

Chop up 2 medium size onions.

Blanch some almonds. Chop them up roughly.

Use an entire bunch of coriander. Get them all finely chopped. Ah, love the smell of fresh coriander!

Take 3 pods of garlic and finely chop them. Take about an inch of ginger and do the same that you did with the garlic. Keep aside.

Now in a pan, heat up some oil; about 3 tablespoons. I usually work on eye-estimation. Throw in about 4-5 cloves. Remember to take off the heads. When the oil is infused with the cloves, put in a bay leaf. No panic, if you don’t have any at home. Then just do so without it. Throw in a small teaspoon of cummin seeds and see them spluttering. Add in 2 dried red chillies. Let the garlic and ginger say hello. Add in the chopped onions and allow it to introduce itself. Sweat them in the pan. I prefer the onions a little brownish pink, so keep stirring in and use your eyes. Add the almonds. Mix it well. Once done, and you will know that from the wonderful aroma, it is time for the masalas. One teaspoon of fenugreek powder and a half of cumin powder, if you don’t have the seeds. Do not add turmeric. One thing that I do not like about Indian food is the use of turmeric in just about everything. In about a minute, slide in the coriander. Let everything say hello to all else in the pan. And then add in the chicken and the marinade as well. Coat the chicken with the onion bed. Give it about a minute or so. Mix in some water; enough to cover the chicken, just about. A pinch of salt. Remember, you used salt while marinating the chicken, so go easy. Cover your pot and let it slow cook for 30 minutes.

Take off heat. Check gravy consistency. Check chicken if ready.

Spoon over some rice or pulao!

Bon appetit!

Ode to the Humble Kathi Roll

Most South Asians, especially from the sub-continent, will know the pleasure of sinking their teeth into a hot and juicy ‘kathi’ roll! It is a unique preparation that is something in the middle of a starter and main course. And while on the subject, this needs to stated that the best ‘kathi’ rolls are the ones that are made by the street-side vendors.

Let me into the simplicity of this humble ‘kathi’ roll. A toasted flatbread is the base. No inter-continental cousins like burritos can substitute the flatbread. In India and Pakistan, it is called ‘parantha’. So, while the flatbread is being toasted, an egg is beaten well with some salt and chilly. A splash of oil, throw in the egg emulsion and as soon as you see the egg firming up like an omelette, place the flatbread on the semi-liquid egg. Flip it over, a couple of times and take it off the heat. Chopped onions, salt, pepper, squeeze of lemon and chilly sauce rolled into the egg ‘kathi’ roll. That, my friend, is the quintessential ‘kathi’ roll.

Varieties are also available. Egg. Mutton. Chicken. Egg Mutton. Egg Chicken. Double Egg. Double Egg Chicken. Double Egg Mutton. Here, take the tissue and wipe that drool off. Oh, I haven’t mentioned any vegetarian options as they just simply don’t qualify as a ‘kathi’roll. Apologies, veggies.

I have seen enough of those being made. I can visually tell if a certain roll will be carry the right DNA of a Calcutta ‘kathi’ roll. I have tasted some delectable rolls on the roadsides of Kolkata and Delhi. I know the imposters as well. They never will see me as a repeat customer.

My search for that delicious ‘kathi’ roll took me to Shiraz Golden Restaurant. The name can be a little misleading – it has nothing to do with the Iranian city, or wine. Shiraz in Bur Dubai serves Awadhi food – food that was native to the royal kitchens of the Nawabs of Awadh or Oudh during the British Raj in India, specially during the life and times of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah.  Well, the man certainly had good taste in food. No wonder that those recipes are now a hand-me-down reality for food buffs like me. Shiraz originally opened up in Calcutta, India’s gourmet capital. This is their second and first international outlet.

I need to clarify, that I work on a simple principle when it comes to food. If the simple can me made in a lip-smacking way then the exotic dishes are worthy of a try. And a Kolkata food joint needs to be taste-tested by asking for the ‘kathi’ roll.

As I hungrily tore off the tissue, I could tell that this ‘kathi’ certainly was rich with promise. The first bite in it certified that it was a thorough-bred ‘kathi’ roll. Ah! The pleasure of the crumbly exterior that holds a fluffy egg; wafting with the smell of the green chilly and chilly sauce.

Shiraz certainly passed the ‘kathi’ roll test. And now, for over a year, I have been a regular and a loyal customer; using it as a venue to catch up with friends. And whatever be ordered from the menu – be it the Awadhi biryani, or chicken chaap or the mutton rezala, it all starts with the ‘kathi’ roll!

5 burps on the Burp-o-meter!