September 30, 2014

Russian Honey Cake -- Medovik (with Eggless Custard Filling)

For this month's International Cooking Challenge, Saras @ Saras Yummy Bites is taking us to the world's largest country in the world, Russia. Russia's cuisine is very diverse just like the country and she gave us 3 traditional recipes to choose from. I picked this irresistible Russian Honey Cake from the list.
Russian Honey Cake -- Medovik (with Eggless Custard Filling)
I made it as a part of my Russian meal I did earlier this month. This honey cake is very different from any cake I've ever made. The cake part is not a cake after all, it is basically rolled out dough that is baked in the oven to make somewhat like thin pancakes. These thin cakes are then layered with creamy custard filling and then chilled to make a delicious cake.

Zimbabwe -- Dobi (Spinach & Tomato with Peanut Butter sauce)

BM# 44: A-Z Cooking Series -- Around the World in 30 days
Country: Z for Zimbabwe
Dish: Dobi (Spinach & Tomato with Peanut Butter sauce)
We are moving on to the last and final letter Z and we are going to Zimbabwe today. Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between Zambezi & Limpopo rivers.
Zimbabwean cuisine is much like the other African countries. They rely on a few staple foods. Cornmeal is used to make porridge called sadza or isitshwala and is usually served with meat and vegetables. Rice, pasta and potato based foods also make up part of Zimbabwean cuisine. A local favorite is rice cooked with peanut butter that is served with thick gravy, mixed vegetables and meat.
Zimbabwe -- Dobi (Spinach & Tomato with Peanut Butter sauce)

September 29, 2014

Yemen -- Carrot Rice

BM# 44: A-Z Cooking Series -- Around the World in 30 days
Country: Y for Yemen
Dish: Yemeni Carrot Rice
Today we are going to Yemen, an Arab country in Southwest Asia. We are only a day way from our final destination tomorrow and I can't believe how fast the month passed.
The first dish I made for Yemen was a colossal failure -- the first and last failure in my entire A-Z International series. I was quite upset since I planned to make it at the very end and didn't have enough time to remake it. So I picked a very quick and simple (no-fail) recipe for Yemeni Carrot rice from the blog Queen of Sheba. This is an awesome Yemeni food blog that has a ton of authentic Yemeni recipes.
Yemeni Carrot Rice

September 27, 2014

Spicy Mexican Home Fries

I'm not sure how authentic these home fries are, but I believe Bobby Flay knows what he's doing. So I went with it and made these for the Mexican brunch. These fried potatoes are crispy, spicy and delicious.
Spicy Mexican Home Fries

Spicy Mexican Home Fries
Recipe adapted from here.
Spicy Home Fries:
IngredientsServes 2~3
Potatoes - 2 medium, boiled and chopped
Onion -1 medium, chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Jalapeno pepper - 1 small, chopped
Ancho chile powder - 1tsp (adjust as per spice preference)
Lime zest - 1tsp
Salt & Pepper - to taste

Method:
  • Heat 1tbsp oil in a cast iron skillet or a heavy bottom nonstick pan on medium flame. Add onions and jalapeno, cook till the onions are translucent.
  • Add garlic and chili powder and salt. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Next add the boiled and chopped potatoes. Lightly mash the potatoes with the back of the spoon and cook undisturbed until the potatoes get nice and crusty.
  • Mix and cook till all the potatoes form a crust. Add salt, pepper and lime zest. Mix well and serve immediately.
Spicy Mexican Home Fries
Check the complete Mexican brunch here
Signature

Virgin Sangrita

Bobby Flay's Sangrita had tequila in it, but I made a virgin version of it. It has just about all the tastes in it -- it's spicy, tangy, salty and sweet. I made just 2 servings, both for me. I was hoping to drink the second glass later, but my 2 year old really liked it and drank more than half from the second glass.
Virgin Sangrita
The recipe calls for tomato juice, but I didn't want to buy a whole bottle just for ½cup in this recipe. So I made my own tomato juice using tomato paste. This juice tastes much better than the bottled tomato juice because it doesn't have any added salt or sugar.

Xalapa (Mexico) -- Vegetarian Mexican Brunch (Huevos Rancheros with Black beans)

BM# 44: A-Z Cooking Series -- Around the World in 30 days
Country: X for Xalapa -- Mexico
Dish: Vegetarian Mexican Brunch -- Black bean Huevos Rancheros, Spicy Home Fries & Sangrita
Today we are going to Xalapa, Mexico. Technically ther are no countries starting with X, so as a group it was decided that we pick a place that starts with X and then make a dish from that place or the country it belongs to. 'X' is the only alphabet that I didn't have a country or dish planned. First I decided to a place in Spain, but then I didn't want to miss the opportunity to cook from my favorite Mexican cuisine, so ended up with Xalapa, Mexico.
Another factor that made me want to do Mexican is Bobby Flay's Mexican brunch that he made on Cooking Channel. Every he made looked so good that I wanted to recreate the whole meal at home. Huevos Rancheros has been on my to-make list forever, so this gave me an opportunity to try it.
Xalapa (Mexico) -- Vegetarian Mexican Brunch
Huevos Rancheros or 'rancher's eggs' is a popular breakfast dish that has eggs and is traditionally served on rural Mexican farms. This dish consists of fried eggs served over fried corn tortillas and topped with tomato-chili sauce.

September 26, 2014

Coconut Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas

I wanted to make coconut rice for the third day of navrathri, but I wanted it to be simple and be a complete meal because I was lazy to make a side dish. The coconut rice recipe I already had on the blog has some prior preparations needed which I was in no mood to do. I asked my mom for a quick recipe and she gave me this easy recipe to make.
Coconut Rice with Fresh Pigeon Peas
I added some protein to the rice itself in the form of fresh pigeon peas and peanuts. It turned out to be a simple, filling and healthy meal. I love dishes that are simple and with not too many conflicting flavors. This coconut rice fits the bill because it is packed with coconut flavor in the form of coconut milk, grated coconut and coconut oil (use coconut oil, only if you like strong coconut flavor). 

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