Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pesto Crusted Salmon

Servings: 4

  • Salmon - 1.5 - 2 lb (750 gm) cut into 4, 2.5 inch wide fillets
  • Pesto* - 5-6 tbsp or as much is needed to coat the fillets
  • Chili powder - 1 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste (pesto will be salty)

  • Pesto:
  • Basil - 2 cup
  • Parmesan Cheese - 1/2 cup
  • Pine nuts - 1/2 cup, lightly toasted
  • Olive oil - 1/2 cup
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1 tsp, freshly ground
  • 1. For the pesto, blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until coarsely ground. You can keep it refrigerated up to 3 weeks in a jar or sealed container.
  • 2. In a bowl, mix in the pesto with the chili powder, salt and pepper. Place the salmon fillets on a cutting board or a flat surface. Spread the pesto evenly on the fillets, flip and spread some more on the other side. Let it marinate for minimum of 1 hour, maximum of 4 hours (in which case, in the fridge).
  • 3. Heat your stove top grill on high, spray some olive oil on it. Grill the pesto covered salmon fillets for 2-3 min on each side. Remove and put it on a plate. Cover with a piece of foil and let it rest for 5-10 min before serving. This will keep the fish super moist and fully cooked through.
  • 4. Serve on a bed of wild or fruity rice and a side of vegetables. Bon Appétit!
* If you do not wish to go through the trouble of making home-made pesto, you can also use your favourite store bought kind.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pasta Cakes

Servings: 2 - 4

  • Macaroni Pasta - 2 cups (raw)
  • Eggs - 2
  • Cold Milk - 1/2 cup
  • Plain flour - 1 cup
  • Corn starch - 1 tbsp
  • Salt & pepper - taste
  • Parsley - 1/2 cup, chopped
  • 1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions in salted water. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • 2. In a bowl, beat in all the other ingredients together. Once the macaroni is cooled down, toss them in with the egg mixture.
  • 3. Take a small non-stick frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil, add one scoop full of the macaroni mixture. Flatten it around the frying pan like a pancake for even distribution. Cover and cook for 3-4 min on medium heat.
  • 4. After 3 min, turn it over. You will know when its ready to turn, when the edges crisp up as shown in the photo.
  • 5. After flipping it cook for 4-5 min on the other side, till it crisps up and all the egg-flour batter has cooked through. Do this for the rest of the mixture. The recipe yields 4 cakes (1 inch thick).
  • 6. Serve immediately, as it is or with a side of grilled fish or meat. Bon Appétit!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sweet & Chili Sauteed Asparagus

Servings: 4


  • Asparagus - 1 lb (450 gm), cut into 1.5 inch long pc
  • Honey - 1/2 cup
  • Chili sauce - 2 tbsp
  • Garlic clove - 1, minced
  • Melted Butter - 4 tbsp
  • Salt & pepper - to taste
  • 1. Prepare the asparagus, by cutting off the hard edge, and then chopping them into 1.5 inch long pieces. Rinse and set aside.
  • 2. Heat a non-stick wok, add the butter and garlic. Saute to infuse the fragrances.
  • 3. Add the asparagus to the pan and salt & pepper. Saute on high heat for 4- 5 min, until tender but still bright green and crunchy.
  • 4. In a bowl, mix in the honey and the chili sauce. Add this to the asparagus. Saute for 1-2 more min. Turn the heat off.
  • 5. Serve over pasta or any grilled meat or fish.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Honey Glazed Chili Chicken

Servings: 4

  • Chicken breasts - 4, boneless and skinless
  • Honey - 1 cup
  • Apple cider vinegar - 1/2 cup
  • Chili powder - 2 -3 tsp (depending on heat preference)
  • Salt - 2 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1 tsp
  • Chili flakes - 1 tsp
  • 1. Mix all the ingredients in a seal able bowl. Marinate the chicken breasts in the marinade for 24 hours, refrigerated, or minimum of 2 hours.
  • 2. On the day of cooking, take the chicken out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before cooking.
  • 3. Heat your indoor stove-top grill on high, spray it with some olive oil spray. Add the chicken and spray some more oil on the chicken breasts. Cook for 3-5 min on each side, until cooked through. The trick is to cook it on high heat, over a short period of time. If you like, you can also use the marinade to glaze the chicken breasts while its cooking.
  • 4. Remove and let it rest on a cutting board for 5-8 min. Slice them diagonally and serve on a bed of veggies or pasta.
* If you want you can use your out-door BBQ for grilling the chickens.
**If you do not have a stove-top indoor grill, you can also use the broiler and just broil the chicken breasts.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spicy Chicken Korma

Servings: 4-6

  • Chicken - 1 whole(1.5 kg), cut into small pieces
  • Potatoes - 2, skinned & quartered
  • Onions - 1 med, thinly sliced
  • Green Chillies - 3-5 (depending on heat preference)
  • Full cream milk - 2-3 cups
  • Ghee/ clarified butter - 1/2 cup
  • Cumin powder - 2/3 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1.5 tsp
  • Nutmeg powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Sugar - 2 tbsp
  • Whole black pepper corns - 1 tsp
  • Whole Cardamon - 5-6 pcs
  • Whole cloves - 5-6 pcs
  • Dried bay leaf - 2 med pcs
  • Cinnamon stick - 2 inch pc
  • 1. In a bowl, toss the chicken pieces with salt and black pepper. Let it marinate for half hour.
  • 2. In a non-stick pot, heat some ghee/butter, brown the chicken pieces in batches to avoid it being stewed in its own juices. Remove, set aside.
  • 3. Add 3 tbsp of oil to the pan and heat. Add the bayleaf, cardamons, cloves, cinnamon and whole pepper corns. Saute till they pop.
  • 4. Add the onions and 1/2 tsp of salt. Saute till the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and ginger. Saute for 1-2 min till the aroma fills up your kitchen.
  • 5. Add half cup of water to the onions and add the cumin, coriander and nutmeg powder. Saute till the water evaporates a bit. Return the chicken pieces to the pot. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat to med, and simmer for 15 min, stirring occasionally to avoid any burns at the bottom. Do not add any water, the chicken will cook it its own juices.
  • 6. Meanwhile, beat the milk with the sugar, set aside. After the 15 min mark, add the milk to the chicken. Lower the heat to low-med. Add the green chilies, cover and simmer for about 25-30 min, stirring occasionally to avoid any lumping at the bottom of the pot. If the gravy seems to thicken too quickly then add 1/2 cup of hot water to the gravy.
  • 7. While the chicken is simmering, prepare the potatoes. In a microwavable bowl, place the quartered potatoes, with half cup of water and 1/2 tsp of salt. Cover and microwave for 3-4 min, or until the potatoes are half cooked. Drain.
  • 8. In a non-stick pan, heat 2 tbsp of butter, and add the potatoes and 1 tsp of sugar. Fry them till they are cooked through and crispy on the outside. Remove and set aside.
  • 9. Check the chicken to see whether the gravy has thickened or not, to your desired level. I like it quite thick. Do not stir the curry vigorously as that will break the chicken pieces. Add the potatoes to the pot. Stir to combine. Turn the heat off.
  • 10. Serve the chicken korma with plain white or flavoured rice.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cream of Chicken Macaroni Soup

Servings: 4

  • Macaroni - 2 cups (raw)
  • Cream of chicken condensed soup - 2 cans
  • Chicken breast fillet - 1, boneless, cubed
  • Sweet peas - 1 cup
  • Carrot - 1 cup, chopped
  • Onion - 1 med, chopped
  • Black pepper - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste (the canned soup will be salty)
  • Garlic powder - 1 tsp
  • Jalapeno - 1 , chopped
  • Parmesan Cheese - 1/2 cup (optional)
  • Curly parsley - 1/2 cup, chopped (optional)

  • 1. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions, drain and set aside.
  • 2. Chop and prepare the veggies, set aside.
  • 3. In a large non-stick pot, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Add the chopped up chicken cubes, onion, garlic powder, black pepper and a pinch of salt. Saute on high heat for 3-5 min.
  • 4. Add the chopped up veggies. Saute on high heat for 2-3 min till the veggies have softened a bit.
  • 5. Lower the heat to medium. Add the 2 cans of the condensed soup with 3 cups of hot water. Stir to combine. Simmer on medium heat for 8 - 10 min, uncovered, until the soup thickens a bit. Remember to stir in occasionally to avoid any lumps at the bottom.
  • 6. Stir in the cooked macaroni. Stir to combine. Check for seasoning, if required add some more black pepper and salt. Check the soup for your desired consistency off thickness. I like it quite thick rather than runny. Stir in the parsley and turn the heat off and let it rest for 10 min before serving
  • 7. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Shami Kebab

This is a cheater's version of Shami Kebab. What I mean by that is, it tastes like Shami kebab, but the methods I used for making the kebab is far away from the actual way of making it. I have found the original process of making the kebab (which involves cooking the meat and split chickpeas together with spices, then mashing them, and then making into balls and frying them) involves too much work and takes too long. My version is fast and tasty with crispy kebab on the outside and a soft moist inside. I have used the same ingredients, except using whole split chickpeas (which need to be cooked) I used split chickpea flour (or ground up split chickpea) and instead of using cooked meat I used raw minced beef.

Servings: 6

  • Minced Beef - 1 lb(450 gm), at least 85% lean meat, the more the better
  • Chickpea flour - 1- 2 cups
  • Onion - 1 med, finely chopped
  • Garlic cloves - 2, minced
  • ginger root - 1 cm pc, finely grated
  • Green chilies - 3-4, finely chopped
  • Egg - 1
  • Whole coriander seeds - 1 tsp, crushed
  • Whole cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp, crushed
  • Black pepper corns - 1/2 tsp, crushed
  • Chili flakes - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp (or to taste)
  • Cloves - 3-4 pc
  • Cardamons - 2-3 pc
  • Cinnamon stick - 1/2 inch long pc
  • 1. Lightly pan roast the cardamons, cloves and cinnamon together and ground them to a fine powder. Pan roast the cumin and coriander seeds and the black pepper corns, till fragrant. Crush them with the back of a heavy pan. Do not ground these, as the specks of the spices adds a texture to the kebabs.
  • 2. In a bowl beat in the egg, add the onions, chilies, garlic, ginger, all the ground up and crushed up dry spices, chili flakes and salt.
  • 3. Slowly, with a fork, mix in the minced beef with the egg mixture. It will still be quite gooey in texture.
  • 4. Now, carefully mix in the chickpea flour 1 tbsp at a time, so that you can control how much is needed. Do this until the beef reaches a doughy consistency, so that you can form them into round shaped disk. Make about 12 1/2 cm thick disks or less or more depending on the size of the kebabs you want.
  • 5. Fry them till brown and crispy. Remove and drain them on a paper towel off any excess oil. Serve immediately.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Beef & Potato Cakes

Servings: makes 12 cakes

  • Potato - 3 lrg, boiled and mashed
  • Minced Beef - 1 lb (450 gm)
  • Onion - 1 med, finely chopped
  • Green Chilies - 2. finely chopped
  • Parsley - 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste - 1/2 tsp
  • Chili powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Egg - 1- 2, beaten with a pinch of salt & black pepper
  • 1. Peel and boil the potatoes and mash them until smooth. However, make sure it is not too moist. If so, then put it in the microwave, uncovered and cook for 2-3 min on high, this will remove any excess moisture and create a fluffy mashed potato. Set aside to cool down.
  • 2. In a pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil, add the minced beef, onions, garlic, ginger, salt and the chili powder. Saute on high heat for about 5-10 min, until the meat has changed colour to brown and crisped a bit. Remove and let it cool. If it seems too fatty, then use a paper towel to absorb any excess fat from the cooked beef.
  • 3. Once the meat and potato has cooled down, mix them together with the chopped green chilies and parsley. Form into oval shaped patties. The recipe yields about 12 patties. However, you can make more or less depending on the size you choose.
  • 4. In a flat non-stick pan, heat oil for deep frying on med heat. Dip the cakes in to the beaten egg mixture and fry them till golden brown. Drain them on a paper towel off any oil.
  • 5. Serve immediately with your choice of sauce or dip or even as it is.
* I also like to use this cakes in a sandwich. Just use simple sandwich bread, nicely toasted, a slice of lettuce, a layer of the beef & potato cake topped with just ketchup. Yum!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Chicken Chowmein Salad

Servings : 4

  • Chowmein Noddles - 4 cups
  • Chicken breast fillet - 2, cut into cubes
  • Vine tomatoes - 2, cubed
  • Onion - 1 med, chopped
  • Jalapeno - 2, sliced
  • Olive oil - for cooking
  • Salt & pepper - to taste
  • Chicken Bouillon powder - 2 tbsp

  • Dressing:
  • Ketchup - 2 tbsp
  • Vinegar - 1 tsp
  • Black pepper - to taste
  • 1. Cut the chicken in cubes, in a bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the chicken bouillon powder and black pepper. Let it marinade for 1/2 hour.
  • 2. In a pan heat 2 tbsp of olive till smoking hot. Add the chicken pieces and saute on high heat till they are cooked through and brown and crispy on the edges. Remove and set aside.
  • 3. Add 2 more tbsp of oil to the pan. Heat. Add the onions and salt. Saute till they are translucent. Add the the tomatoes and jalapeno. Saute for 1 -2 min, till the jalapeno has softened a little.
  • 4. Return the chicken cubes to the pan. Stir to combine.
  • 5. In a bowl mix in the ketchup, vinegar and black pepper. Pour this over the chicken. toss to combine. Turn the heat off.
  • 6. Add the crispy chowmein noodles. Toss every thing together. Serve immediately, otherwise the noddles will get soggy.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pan Seared Salmon with Sauteed Beans

Servings: 4

  • Salmon fillets - 1 lb (450 gm)
  • Green beans - 1/2 lb (250 gm), cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Onions - 1 lrg, sliced lengthwise
  • Salt - to taste
  • Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Sweet-chili sauce - 1 tsp
  • Garlic clove - 1, minced
  • Coarse Mustard sauce - 1 tsp
  • 1. Cut the salmon into 1.5 inch wide pieces. In a bowl mix in 1/2 tsp of salt, pepper and the chili powder. Coat the fillets evenly with the spice rub and let it rest for 1/2 hour.
  • 2. In a non-stick pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil, till smoking hot. Add the salmon and sear for 2-3 min on each wide. Remove and let it rest on a plate. You are not looking for a completely cooked salmon. It will finish cooking from the heat absorbed while resting.
  • 3. Meanwhile, heat 2 more tbsp of oil in the pan. Add the onions and beans and garlic. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind the mustard sauce will be salty. Saute on high heat for 4-5, till the beans get bright green in colour.
  • 4. In a bowl, mix in the mustard, and chili sauce with 1 tbsp of water. Pour this over the beans and onions. Stir to combine. Saute for 2-3 more min. Return the Salmon fillets to the beans. Toss every thing together.
  • 5. Serve as it is or with a side of salad or plain rice.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pita Pockets

Servings: 2

  • Pita Pockets - 3 whole, cut in half to make half-circle pockets
  • Minced Beef - 1 lb (450 gms)
  • Cabbage - 2 cups, chopped
  • Soy sauce - 4 tbsp
  • Black pepper - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Onion - 1 med, chopped
  • Garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Provolone cheese - 1/2 cup, shredded

  • For the Salsa:
  • Avocado - 1, chopped
  • Roma tomatoes - 1 chopped
  • Red onion - 1/2 small, chopped
  • Jalapeno - 1 chopped
  • Italian Parsley - 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Salt & pepper - to taste
  • 1. In a non-stick pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil, add the chopped onions. Saute for few min till the onions are translucent.
  • 2. Add the beef, garlic, black pepper, coriander powder and soy sauce. Saute till the meat has changed colour to brown.
  • 3. Add the cabbage. Saute on med heat for 5 - 10 min till cabbage have softened and changed colour. Turn the heat off, set aside.
  • 4. Chop up the ingredients for the salsa. Gently toss together, other wise it will mush up and turn in guacamole.
  • 5. Toast the pita pockets. Fill them up with a generous portion of the beef cabbage filling. Then top it with the salsa and cheese. Serve.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Garlic-Parmesan Asparagus

Servings: 4

  • Asparagus - 1.5 lb (700 gms)
  • Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup, grated
  • Garlic cloves - 3-4 minced
  • Butter - 4 tbsp
  • Black pepper - to taste
  • 1. Cut the bottom harder part of the asparagus spears off, rinse and blanch them in salty water for 2-3 min. Immediately remove from the hot water and plunge them in ice-water. Drain and set aside.
  • 2. In a non-stick wok, heat the butter till melted and fragrant.
  • 3. Add the minced garlic, saute for a min. Add the asparagus spears and pepper. Saute on high heat for 1-2 min. The asparagus should still be crunchy and bright green.
  • 4. Add the Parmesan cheese, stir to combine. Turn the heat off.
  • 5. Serve immediately, as a side, with grilled fish or meat.