Here's a little update of the recipes that I have been trying from fellow bloggers...
1. Dahi Vada without the deep-frying from Red Chillies: I have come to the conclusion that my snacking habit is an incurable one, and now I try to stock up on healthier snacking options in a desperate attempt to stop the potato-chip binges. I have to say that the appey pan has come to the rescue time and again by offering a lower-fat version of so many favorite foods (koftas, dumplings for vegetable manchurian etc.). I had been wondering about using the appey pan for making dahi vadas when I saw the delicious results on "red chillies". Last week, I tried it myself, using my usual recipe and only cooking the vada in the appey pan instead of frying it. I was very happy with the results. Of course, the vadas were not as fluffy as when deep-fried but once they were soaked in the spiced yogurt, they worked just fine. A stash of dahi vadas in the fridge is going to be a regular feature in my home, come summer.
2. Fried Rice with Brussels Sprouts from Thyme for Cooking: A simple and hearty weeknight meal. We love brussels sprouts and when quickly pan-fried this way, they retain great texture and readily take on a crispy golden-brown coat. Cooking the rice in stock instead of in water resulted in such heightened flavor in fried rice! This few-ingredient nutritious recipe is a keeper.
3. Maple-Poached Pears from The Perfect Pantry: This year, I have decided to start a small tradition for all the times when we have company over for dinner- to include some raw vegetables and some fruit as part of the meal. This is just a small way for me to ensure a well-balanced meal while the focus is on menus that are tasty and crowd-pleasing. To this end, I tried doing something I rarely do: cooking with fruit. I did follow Lydia's recipe for poaching but did not make the sauce (so I never needed the last three ingredients in her recipe). Instead I served the poached pears with some store-bought vanilla ice cream and a piece of buttercrunch candy. Cobbled together as it was, the dessert worked well! The ice cream is actually quite unnecessary because the meltingly luscious pears are a superb treat just by themselves- the subtle maple and lemon flavors permeate through beautifully. Now that I know the basic technique for poaching fruit, I hope to poach the pears in red wine (it dyes them a gorgeous jewel-red), and perhaps with different flavors like ginger, cardamom or saffron. On some special occasion, I hope to use the poached pears to make this classic French dessert: Poires Belle-Hélène.
and finally, a sweet treat for the eyes: have you seen the cutest cupcakes EVER? (a must-see for knitters and crafters, especially).
A few days ago, a very sweet person sent along a package with prezzies for me and Dalu. Manasi, your rasam powder is fragrant and phenomenal! St. Louis is bone-achingly cold right now and your spicy Bangalore rasam is the only thing standing between me and the winter blues :)
Lest you think we have raised a dog with a sass mouth and no manners, Dale wants to say something:
Check back tomorrow (same time, same place) for an easy-breezy recipe to make these delicious morsels: