Tag Archives: mushroom

Mozzo Centrale – for homey food

Mozzo Centrale
Mozzo Centrale

I have been frequenting this quaint neighbourhood on Umm Al Sheif that lies spot in the middle of Jumeirah. This stretch has about 5 restaurants shoulder-to-shoulder and is my favourite place to sit down with a book and not get distracted by the hustle-bustle around.

OMG! Loaded Stuffy French Toast
Mozzo Centrale

Of all Mozzo Centrale is my favourite. A cozy, laid-back Italian ristorante, Mozzo Centrale has introduced extended breakfast timings until 6PM on weekends. And the menu sure is appetizing. The Salmon Benny (eggs benedict over salmon), Chilli Al (eggs and bacon in brioche bun) and the Lobster Benny are some favourites to pick from. The fully loaded French Toast is not be missed at Mozzo Centrale.

Mushroom Bruschetta
Mozzo Centrale

However, my eating partner-in-crime and I decided to go by the menu. I ordered a big bowl of pumpkin soup that was the kinds that blankets you on a chilly night. We followed that with the away-from-the-traditional mushroom bruschetta. I am partial to mushrooms and when they have parmesan on them, I don’t judge them, I eat them!

Tagliatelle Alfredo
Mozzo Centrale

For the mains, we ordered for Gnocchi Al Forno and Tagliatelle Alfredo. When warm morsels of flavourful Italian food goes down your gullet, you know life is good. The portions were excellent and more than fills you. Ask for extra parmesan if you like to load up your plate with cheesy goodness.

We had to skip dessert. These are times I wished I had a portable stomach or an extendable one!

Angel Berry Triffle
Mozzo Centrale – on my next-to-eat list!

Nonetheless, Mozzo Centrale is doing things right, in a silent way. I guess saying “the test of the pudding is in its taste” sure goes a long way.

 

 

#BurpAndBelch meter: 3.5 burps

#5WordFoodReview: Have To Try Full Menu

Mozzo Centrale Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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SUFRA Sunny Saturdays

Sufra Sunny Saturdays
Sufra Sunny Saturdays

It takes courage to do things low-key in Dubai. The minimalist and quiet restaurant Sufra at the newly opened Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights on Oud Metha Road is the newest entrant on the Dubai weekend brunch scene.

Sufra at Hyatt Regency DCH
Sufra at Hyatt Regency DCH

Sufra is a warm, destination restaurant offering Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine along with a few Indian culinary offerings as well. Sufra means table cloth in Arabic and hence the focus on the region’s cuisine.

This September, Sufra launched a late brunch that allows guests to relax, and eat heartily. And it is called Sufra Sunny Saturday!

Apart from the food that is available at the stations, the brunch menu features eggs cooked your way along with the traditional eggs benedict, steak and hash. If you are an egg-lover, this is the menu that will warm your heart with the golden yolks and supple albumen.

Eggs Benedict - every egg is cooked to eggs-act standars
Eggs Benedict – every egg is cooked to eggs-act standards

I got talking to the chef who told me their egg story. Each egg is cooked for 1 hour 45 minutes in a controlled temperature that ensures that each and every egg is cooked to perfection, with the right yolk consistency, in case you like to gravy your dish with yolks. And so, when I delicately forked into the eggs benedict that was served in a saucepan, it was oozy yet supple. And it took me to egg-heaven!

Sliders - order chicken or beef
Sliders – order chicken or beef

Talk to the staff. They know the food on the menu and are good with their suggestions. Like the peachy, coconutty mocktail that was so good that I asked for seconds. You will also see chefs, walking over, table to table, to serve shawarmas and sliders. this slider was a tender beef patty with handsome dollop of caramelised onions. This is stuff that Saturdays are made of!

Grab the Crab Cake
Grab the Crab Cake

Special mention of this small but memorable crab cake. It was divine. You can taste the crab meat and also savour the flavouring. Do not be shy and ask for another one if you felt the first ‘disappeared’ too quickly!

Mushroom Toast with Poached Egg
Mushroom Toast with Poached Egg

Since I hadn’t had my fill of eggs, I ordered the mushroom toast, served with an egg on top. Poached to perfection. Especially when the yolk seeps over the caramelised mushrooms, you know, life is good.
20150912_141223Call up Sufra, reserve a table and eat a hearty brunch. Be it perennial favourites like Waldorf salad or Baba Ganouj, or trying out their brunch menu, you will be delighted with the quality and taste of food on your table.

Sufra Sunny Saturdays priced at:

  • AED 205 including alcoholic beverages
  • AED 140 including soft beverages
  • AED 70 for children aged 6-12 years

For reservations, call +971 4 553 1272

#BurpAndBelch meter: 4.5

#5WordFoodReview: Focus Is On Food. Period.

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#BurpAndBelch is nominated for Best Asian Blogger for #MasalaAwards2015. To vote, log onto: masala.com/awards

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

Yum In The Tum Mushroom Sauce

Soul gravy. Enough said.
The gravy of anything keeps the soul of the dish. This dictum passed

Sai Talwalkar - chef-at-home
Sai Talwalkar – chef-at-home

the litmus, when our happy as a canary, crazy-cook friend Sai called me and wifey over for dinner. While all else on the dining table were flavourful, but my memory is fresh with the mushroom sauce that dripped my grilled chicken.

This is Sai’s Mushroom Gravy Recipe.
1. Mushrooms – white button mushrooms will do. The Italian brown ones taste better. Use both for a richer taste. 10-12 will be enough for 2 people.
2. Shallots – 3 tablespoons
3. Garlic – 2-3 cloves
3. All purpose flour –  2 teaspoons
4. Stock (veg or chicken) – 1 cup
5. Worcestershire sauce – 1/2 teaspoon
6. Seasoning – salt and pepper
7. Cream – 2 tablespoons
8. Mixed dry herbs
Slice up the mushrooms. Finely chop shallots.
Heat a healthy glug of olive oil and spoon in 1 teaspoon of butter. Add the shallots, saute till pink, add the garlic, add the mushrooms. Sai takes a bigg-ish pan to do this. Mushrooms will not brown well if crowded. Saute till cooked; meaning you get to eat a sliver from the pan! Season them with salt and pepper.
Now add the flour, basically to thicken the sauce. One needs to be careful here, as you do not want the sauce to be floury (does that term exist or we just made that up).  Let it coat the mushrooms well.
Mushroom GravyNow add the stock, it should be a little more than the final measure of sauce you need. Let it simmer till you reach the correct consistency then add the Worcestershire sauce and the herbs.
Add the cream. Switch off gas. Check seasoning. Keep warm or eat immediately.
Goes very well with steak / grilled chicken or salmon.
Truth be told, gravy is the soul of any dish. Try it.
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published on Masala Online on 25 Feb 2015: http://www.masala.com/recipe-of-the-week-mushroom-gravy-190082.html

It’s The SAUCE That Matters

Be it a story or food – it is the sauce that matters!

And finally, I found the courage and confidence to make mushroom pasta. I haven’t the courage to make pasta from dough-scratch but the sauce, I got! And the brilliant thing is that one needs just 4 ingredients to have this creamy, shining and delicious sauce.

So, here we go:

Button / white mushrooms        300 grams (usually boxed in supermarkets – can also use other varieties)

Onions (red)                             2 medium-sized

Rosemary                                   2 sprigs

Garlic                                            2 cloves

Cooking Cream                      150 ml

Salt and Pepper                      as you like ’em!

Prepping up for Mushroom Sauce!
Prepping up for Mushroom Sauce!

Sharpen up your knife and chop those red onions up finely. In case you are likely to cry a bucket, burn a candle before you start chopping. You will see the magic when you realise you are not welling up.

Slice up the mushrooms. Keep aside. For the rosemary, hold ’em from the top and pull down the leaves with your thumb and fore-finger like a smooth swipe. You get only the leaves. Chuck the stem. Finely chop them up.

Now, get your saucepan (the keyword is SAUCE) nice and hot with a drizzle of olive oil. Add in the onions and cook them till they are soft and pink. Add in the garlic then. This way, the garlic will not burn and the onions will not be undercooked.

When you see them sweating it out in the sauce pan, add in the rosemary, give it a good stir and stop a while to enjoy the aroma! Once you are suitably intoxicated, slide in the chopped mushrooms. Cook them through. The mushrooms will half-out in the heat and by then you would have coated them well. Time for the seasoning. That done, dunk in your cooking cream and mix well. In case you notice that the concoction is too thick, use some cooking stock or simply use the pasta-boiling-water to loosen it a bit.

It is now time for the pasta to take a dive into the delicious sauce. Drain them and put them straight in with the sauce. Mix well and ladle them on pasta plates. Top off with parmesan shavings!

Enjoy! And remember – the magic is in the sauce!

On my #Burp&Belch meter, I give it a shameless 5 burps (out of 5)! Modesty clearly doesn’t mix well with a good sauce!

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 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!