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!
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.
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.”
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.
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.