Peach Cobbler | Baking


Summertime is not just about Mangoes and Water Melons, it is also all about stone fruits from cherries, to apricots, to plums and my favourite Peaches 🙂



The juicy sweet fruit is typical of summers and always always remind me of the mountains. So with peaches in abundance at home nothing better than creating a dessert. Peach Cobbler !! Yes finally and that too in my cast iron skillet. Yes I’m showing off !! One look at it, and you’ll agree it is a thing to show off !! Ever since I started blogging and cooking I saw a lot of recipes being cooked in a cast iron skillet. I wanted it forever. A few months back a friend coming from US was kind enough to carry it for me (inspite all the weight of the skillet) all the way from there, but I got a chance to use it only now 🙂




So coming back to the Peach Cobbler, a cobbler is a dish usually consisting of a fruit as a filling with a crumbly topping. It can be baked in a skillet or any oven proof dish. I’ve made my cobbler in my cast iron skillet, you could also use a pyrex. If not baking in a skillet, please see the notes at the end of the recipe.


Ingredients


For the filling:


1 kg Fresh Peaches, Peeled and sliced

3/4 cup sugar

3 Tbsp Cornflour

3/4 cup butter



For the crumble:

1 cup all purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 cup Sugar

1 cup Milk

4-5, 1″ cubes of butter



Directions

1. Preheat oven to 180 degree C.

2. Wash and peel the peaches. Slice them. 

3. Sprinkle the sliced peaches with sugar and cornflour and set aside.

4. In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and sugar. Whisk well. 

5. Now add milk to the flour-sugar mix.

6. Place the skillet on the flame, and melt the butter in it. Add the sliced peaches. Mix well.

7. Now add the flour-sugar-milk mix to the skillet and stir till well combined. 

8. Now transfer the skillet into the oven. Top with the cubes of butter and let it take for 45 minutes to an hour.

9. Remove from the oven. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.







Note: 
1. If you are not baking in a skillet, just melt the butter in a pan, pour into your baking dish, add the peaches and pour over the flour-milk mix in it and set it to bake.

2. Peach Cobbler can also be made with canned peaches. For those times when you crave a peach cobbler when these beauties are not in season. Though fresh peaches are any day better.

Happy Baking !!

Condiment Series | Chef Saby creates 2 amazing Dips for us | Smoked Mango Dip and Roasted Watermelon Dip

Day 31



Yes one more to go….surprise !!! I’ve had an awesome series and to mark the end of these wonderful 30 days, my friend Chef Sabyasachi Gorai agreed to create two dips especially for this series. 


Sabyasachi Gorai better known as Chef Saby amongst friends and patrons is one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. Not only is he a Chef Extraordinaire` he’s also an amazing human being !! 🙂 

 Had it not been the knife, it would have been the paint brush, for what difference does it make when you are a born artist !! He has many accolades to his credit, including winning a national award for the ‘Best Chef of India’. He was the Director of the Kitchens of restaurants like Olive Qutub, Olive Beach, Ai- The Japanese Restaurant !! He also started the Olive Culinary Academy.


Today Chef Saby is associated with various restaurants like Amreli at the Hotel Diplomat, Soda Bottle Openerwala and Drool Waffles to name a few. He’s a man who believes in giving back to the earth. He believes in indigenous products and makes food as natural as possible. His trip in life is farm to restaurant for cooking with the freshest possible produce. 

I met Chef Saby the other day at Amreli over lunch and he created magic for me in his kitchen !! 
With the season of fresh, refreshing fruits in the air, he created two dips Smoked Mango Dip and Roasted Watermelon dip. I’m sharing both the recipes here:

Smoked Mango Dip


Ingredients

2 ripe Mangoes
2 raw Mangoes
200 ml or 1 cup Coconut Milk
2-3 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 pieces of Star Anise
3 Dried, slightly fried Whole Red Chillies
1/2 tsp Black Salt


Chef at work, creating magic !!


Directions


1. Roast the raw mangoes in a tandoor. (If you do not have a tandoor,  roast them in your oven at the highest temperature).
2. Slice the ripe mangoes, sprinkle some brown sugar, and using a kitchen torch caramelise the sugar and the mangoes. Now scoop out the mangoes both ripe and raw into a bowl.
3. Take a frying pan (if you have a small tadka / tempering pan that would be ideal), pour 1 tbsp oil and heat. Add the cumin seeds and the star anise. Once the spices splutter, pour over the coconut milk.
4. Take a blender, put the both types of mangoes, tempered coconut milk, red chillies and the black salt. Bitz  to a smooth creamy consistency.
5. Transfer in a serving dish and serve. 

This dip beautifully complements Prawns or any other sea foods. Though ofcourse you can have it the way you like !!


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Roasted Watermelon Dip



Ingredients

400g of cut Watermelon or say about a quarter of the watermelon, cut into large cubes and seeds removed.

4-5 Green chillies

2 inch piece of Ginger cut into juliennes

200 g Feta Cheese

100 g Hung Curd 

Directions

1. Thread the watermelon cubes and the chillies onto skewers.

2. On a flame grill roast the watermelon along with chillies, keep turning it around and basting it with some olive oil. 

3. Once the watermelon is roasted, remove from fire and let it cool down.

4. Take a blended, put the watermelon pieces, green chiliies, ginger and salt. Blitz to a liquid consistency. 

5. Take a pan, and pour the liquidized watermelon, add 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder and let it cook. We need to reduce it a bit and thicken the consistency.

6. Whisk together the feta and hung curd to a smooth consistency, add the watermelon reduction and mix well. Adjust seasoning if required.

7. Transfer in a serving dish.

This is a very delicately flavoured dip and goes best with crudites or fresh salad. 




Thank you Chef Saby !! It was a wonderful afternoon some amazing food at Amreli and than you so much for taking time out and creating two absolutely wonderful dips especially for my 30days30dips Series !! Cheers !!



Happy Dipping !!





Condiment Series | Cheesy Beer Dip | Dip

Day 29


When I read about this dip, I thought it was unusual, though very simple. I often cook with wine but have never used beer for cooking. Yes I’ve heard and had the beer batter fried fish and I love it but have never cooked myself. So I wanted to give this a shot.

I love all the ingredients including my beer so this has to be a yummm dip !! The name says it all; but but but, it’s not something I want in my fridge all the time. It is perfect for those days when you want a sinful gooey cheese rush ! On days when it’s raining and you are home, tucked in bed with your favourite book or a movie or when you want to impress your guests at a party !! (it makes quickly and easily and you can make lots and lots of it.)  


I told a friend about it and her instant reaction was “oh the boys will be very happy” !! 🙂 Why only the boys I’d be happy too. 🙂

The beer and cheese blend in beautifully and the beer adds a mild malty sweetness to the dip . It has a hint of the fermented fragrance. Enjoy it with a french baguette or bread sticks or even crudites. 

The original recipe had asked for a lot more cheese but I did not have the guts to add so much of it so I have reduced the quantity. You can of course add as much more as you like. 

Cheesy Beer Dip


Ingredients

2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Flour
¾ cup milk, divided
½ cup beer (beer of your choice)
1 tsp English Mustard
¼ tsp Salt
A pinch of sweet paprika (plus more for garnish)
150g Processed Cheese (the original recipe asked for 300g of cheese)

Directions:
1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter. Whisk in the flour.

2. Take the pan off of the heat, once the aroma rises, whisk in 2 tablespoons of the milk until smooth.

3. Then whisk in 2 more tablespoons. Add ¼ cup of the milk and whisk that until smooth followed by the final ¼ cup of milk. All this needs to be done quickly and make sure there are no lumps formed.

4. Stir in the beer, mustard, paprika and salt. Return the pan to medium heat and stir until thick and bubbling, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Add the cheese and continue to whisk. Once blended in, adjust the seasoning.


6. Transfer in serving dish and garnish with sweet paprika.



Happy Dipping !!


Condiment Series | Ranch Dip | Dip

Day 13



Ranch Dip, inspired by the infamous Ranch Salad Dressing !!
Typically Ranch dip is a mix of buttermilk with mayonnaise and a herb mix. I altered this recipe a bit. I reduced the quantity of mayonnaise and added hung curd and buttermilk !! It tastes awesome and is a healthier version of the classic !!


Like I said yesterday Mayonnaise is the mother dip…. add different things and get new dips 😉 !!

Here goes the recipe:

The Ranch Dip

Ingredients

For the Ranch Mix


2 tbsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried chives
1 tsp salt

For The Dip

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup Hung curd
1/3 cup Buttermilk


Directions:
Whisk all ingredients together until blended. 

If you want a more finely-ground seasoning mix, you can pulse the mixture in a food processor until it reaches your desired consistency (I did this).

Whisk together the mayonnaise, hung curd and buttermilk. Add salt and pepper and now 1 tbsp of the ranch herb mix. Whisk till well blended together.

Let it chill in the refrigerator for about an hour and serve. 
You can store the remaining herb mix in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Happy Dipping !!

Condiment Series | Homemade Mayonnaise | Dip

Day 12


It is called the mother of all dips. Yes today I share the recipe of homemade Mayonnaise !
Homemade mayo is the best thing that can happen to anyone who loves mayonnaise. Since this is homemade with natural ingredients and preservative-free, keep in mind that the shelf life may not be as long as the store bought mayonnaise which is surely full of stabilizers and preservatives.

This should not worry you though, because it is the simplest thing to make. It takes precisely seven minutes to make this much quantity. 
You need to be careful while adding the oil as the slower you pour it better it emulsifies. To see mayo being made is almost magical !!

Here I’ve made this recipe with my regular cooking oil, you could however use olive oil if you like and also use mustard oil. If using mustard oil, remember to omit the mustard that is added separately in this recipe.

Mayonnaise can be eaten as it is …..use it with burgers, fries, soup sticks or add different herbs and other ingredients to change its flavour. No wonder it is called the mother of all dips as it beautifully adapts to various different flavours and tastes great on its own too.

Also if you want to omit mustard altogether you can do that as well. That will give you a pure white mayo unlike this creamy looking dip.

Homemade Mayonnaise

Ingredients

2 egg yolks (free range and very fresh eggs)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard (I used Frenchie’s Mustard)
1 tsp salt
3 cloves of garlic crushed (optional. I added)
a pinch or 2 of sugar
black pepper 

500ml / 2 cups of oil (it can be olive oil, or your regular cooking oil)


Directions

1. In the food processor briefly blend the eggs, vinegar, lemon, garlic, sugar and mustard.
2. With the processor still running, slowly add the oil in a slow thin stream until it has all emulsified.
3. Check the taste and add the salt and pepper.

Store in a jar and refrigerate. 

Notes:
– This is a basic mayonnaise recipe. You can add different herbs and spices and change the flavour as you like.
– Store in refrigerator only. 
– You could replace red wine vinegar with regular white vinegar as well.


Condiment Series | The Italian Pesto | Dip\Sauce

Day 11


Pesto  – The Fragrant Italian Sauce !! 

Pesto is one of the earliest sauces / dips I started making. It is my absolute personal favourite and my ‘go to’ sauce everytime I’m in a fix, so when in doubt, use pesto !!
The woody fragrance of pine nuts blending with the sweetness of basil is a marriage made in heaven.


It is a light fresh sauce perfect for summer that can not only be used in pastas, but also salads. It also makes for an interesting dip / topping.
Bless the Italian Nonnas to have invented this !!



‘Pesto’ is a generic term used for anything that is made by pounding and originally was made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan, though today there are various versions of pesto, made with many different ingredients.

While traditionally Pesto does contain Parmesan, I do not add it in my version of the recipe. Since I use so much of Pesto, I always try to do away with cheese wherever I can, though I’d suggest you should add to the recipe, especially if you are making this for the first time.


Pesto



Ingredients

100g Basil leaves 

1/2 cup Pine nuts

5 cloves of garlic.

1/2 cup grated Parmesan (optional. add it if you are making it for the first time.)


4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste





Directions

1. In a food processor, add all ingredients besides the olive oil. Process on low till all ingredients blend in well. 

2. Increase the processor speed to high and dribble oil in a thin stream. 

3. Scrape down the sides of the food processor jar and transfer the pesto in a jar. Use immediately or refrigerate.

felice martellante !


Condiment Series | Moong Hummus with Burnt Chillies | Dip

Day 10



While I love my daals (lentils), Green Gram was never a favourite. Rather I always seem to shy away from it and my mother would always be after my case for running away from the green moong, listing down all its health benefits in one breath…every single time !!




So finally here I am, with a win win situation…. she can’t complaint, and now neither can I. Green Gram Hummus doesn’t taste anything like the way green gram daal does. It is creamy and full of flavour and super healthy !!



Now that I’ve been making various types of hummus, I realise that a hummus-n-pita with some relish type of breakfast is one of the most satiating breakfasts and I seem to be gorging on these atleast 3 times a week. I love it !!

Oh by the way May 13 was International Hummus Day !! 🙂
Though for my most days can be hummus days.



Moong Hummus with Burnt Chillies



Ingredients


2 cups cooked Green Gram

1 tsp Tahini

3 Cloves Garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt to taste 

2 tbsp Olive Oil


For Tempering

1 Tsp Chilli flakes

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Oregano



Directions

1. Blitz in a food processor, all the ingredients besides the ones for tempering.

2. Once a smooth creamy texture is achieved, transfer in a serving dish.

3. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, add chilli flakes and just when they are about to burn, add the oregano and remove from flame. Pour over the hummus. 

4. Give it a light stir and serve.


Happy Hummus Days !!

Shepherd’s Pie | Savoury Baking

July is special.
It’s my birthday and it’s KJ’s birthday too !!! So on KJ’s birthday it was a cozy evening with great company, good music and some comforting food. The spread included Chicken Stroganoff, some homemade Dinner Rolls, Aubergine Parmesiana, Greek Orzo Salad and Shepherd’s Pie. And of course Chocolate Truffle Cake for dessert.

To my surprise the star of the spread turned out to be the Shepherd’s Pie while the chocolate truffle was a close contender :-))

Shepherd’s Pie – a great British classic is a little different from other meat pies. Also known as Cottage Pie, it is a pastry less or base-less pie.
While lamb mince is used in the classic English Shepherd’s Pie, in parts of America beef mince is also used to make this pie.

The top layer of the pie is a golden crust of mashed potatoes. 🙂
It’s just the thing you want on a wet rainy night with some warm dinner rolls. The perfect comfort food. It’s juicy, its scrumptious and its easy to cook. It wins hearts 🙂

Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

500g Lamb Mince
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 stalks of Celery – chopped finely
1 large Onion
2 Carrots – diced finely
1 clove of Garlic
400ml of Tomato Puree
Worcestershire Sauce
Fresh or dried Thyme
Fresh or dried Rosemary
300 ml of Chicken Stalk
Salt to taste
Nutmeg

For the crust
8-10 boiled Potatoes
1 Egg
150 ml of Milk
1 tbsp Butter
Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Heat oil in a deep pan.

2. Add the onions and garlic and saute` till they sweat.

3. Now add the celery and carrots and saute` further for 5 minutes.

4. Add the mince to the sauted onions-garlic-celery-carrot. Stir and mix well to break down the mince and to make sure there are no lumps. Soon you will see the meat will start leaving its own water. Keep frying till the water dries out. This may take upto 15-20 minutes. As the water starts drying out, the mince will ooze its own fat. Keep roasting the mince in its own fat. You should be able to hear a crackle, that’s when the meat and onions start to caramelise a bit. This is important because this is what imparts the flavour. Carry on roasting….As Marco Pierre White says give it that extra 7-10 minutes of roasting.  Here the technique is more important than the recipe. You can always adjust the proportions of the ingredients as per your liking.

5. Add the worcestershire sauce. Mix well.

6. Add the tomato puree. Mix well and let it cook while stirring continuously for about 5 minutes.

7. Add the chicken stock.

8. Season with salt and grate one nutmeg. Also add the rosemary and thyme. Give it s good stir and cook on simmer till the consistency is a bit liquidy but not runny. And not not dry as well.

9. While the mince is cooking on sim, prepare the potatoes. In a food processor, add the potatoes, egg, milk, cheese and salt to taste. Give it a good whisk.

10. Remove the mince from the flame and let it cool a bit.

11. Transfer in a ceramic or glass pie dish. Smoothen the top and layer with with the mash potatoes and dot it with butter ( for a nice golden crust).

12. Bake in a preheated oven at about 220 degree C for about 20-30 minutes till the crust gets a lovely golden brown.

13. Serve warm with breads of your choice.

Happy Cooking !!