Tag Archives: sauce

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

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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!