Thursday, November 9, 2017

Garlic Parmesan Knots

Garlic and cheese is such a perfect match. Combine that with some home-made bread dough and you can never complain again!


I can't believe we are speeding through November and will soon be at the end of 2017! This year has been full of good food, lovely friends and LOTS of parties for us. Now that the year is slowly inching towards closure, we are getting ready to celebrate the remaining months planning and having a few awesome Holiday parties.

When it comes to Holiday parties, I am always trying to set a menu that everyone would enjoy and not complain of it being boring, too spicy or too bland or repetitive. Yes I agree Cranberry and Sweet Potato HAS to be on the menu, but I find it fun to mix and match them with some easy Holiday sides.


Lately I made a few...or maybe MANY variations of Garlic Bread as a side. From Cream Cheese Stuffed Garlic Rolls and Garlic Cheese Bread Bombs to Garlic Herb Wreath Bread and Hasselback Garlic Cheese Breads, there are many more Garlic Bread variations on the blog. But for the longest time I have been thinking of adding Garlic Parmesan Knots to the listing. Finally, with Stella® Parmesan Cheese I decided to make them over the weekend and I am sharing them today. 

What is a party without a cake and what is garlic bread without cheese?? I LOVE the way Parmesan pairs so well with any kind of garlic breads. I bought a block of Stella® Parmesan Cheese and it was just as I had wanted as an accompaniment to my garlic knots. 


Guess what's more!! Stella® Cheese is hosting the Taste of Authenticity Recipe Contest now through January 12th, 2018. During this time, we invite you to submit original recipes featuring Stella® Cheese for a chance to win up to $3,000. Click here for more details. 

Coming back to the recipe, I plan to make these as a side for my Holiday Dinner. For trying it, I made this lot and they turned out so good; we made them our weekend dinner with a side of marinara sauce. The star ingredient in this recipe is the garlic and it pays to buy some really good garlic for the recipe. Besides, the cheese I used was Parmesan, but I sprinkled some Stella® Aged Asiago Cheese on a few knots and they tasted just as good! 


So pick a cheese of your choice, make these knots have a great Holiday season! Don't forget to enter the Taste of Authenticity recipe contest here with your wonderful cheese creations! 


Ingredients

All purpose Flour 3 cups
Instant Dry Yeast 2 1/4 tsp (1 sachet)
Warm Water 1 cup
Unsalted Butter 5 tbsp
Garlic 3-4 cloves, minced
Dried Oregano 1 tsp
Stella® Parmesan Cheese 4-5 inches block
Salt 2 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp
Parsley few leaves


Method

In a cup of warm water (105-110F) add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar. Mix well and add yeast. Mix and let it stand for 10-15 minutes; till it blooms to double.

In the base of a stand mixer or a large bowl mix together flour, 3 tbsp room temperature butter, half the garlic, dried oregano and bloomed yeast. Also add some shredded Stella® Parmesan Cheese

Using a dough hook or with your hand make a soft and smooth dough, incorporating all the garlic and cheese. 

Place the dough in a bowl and apply some oil/butter on top. Rest covered for an hour till it rises to double. 

Meanwhile, mix together garlic, butter and finely chopped parsley leaves. 


Once the dough has doubled, remove and divide it into 4 parts. Using each part roll it into a log of about an inch thickness. Cut the log into 6-8 equal parts. 

Using each part make a knot and tuck in the edges. Place on a baking tray leaving a couple of inches between them. Lay covered for an hour, till they rise.

Preheat oven to 400F/ 200C. Brush some garlic butter on all the knots and bake for 15-16 minutes, till the tops are golden brown and the breads sound hollow when tapped. 

Remove from oven, brush some more garlic butter on top and sprinkle Stella® Parmesan Cheese on them. Serve with a side of marinara sauce.



Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Vegetarian Puff Pastry Tart

Looking for a quick and yummy recipe for an appetizer or snack? You need this Vegetarian Puff Pastry Tart for sure!



Holidays are almost here and it is time to start working on a menu for Holiday dinners. When thinking of recipes for the Holiday season, I like to use ingredients that are easy to find, recipes that come together quickly and ones that will be LOVED by kids and adults alike. 

First up, is this super easy tart that is full of vegetables, cheese and yet super quick to make. From start to finish it takes under 30 minutes to make this tart and it tastes amazing as an appetizer or snack. 


I made several recipes using Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheet in the past. This Holiday season I decided to make a simple appetizer that is a family favorite. We LOVE our home-made pizzas and are always on a lookout for new recipes that combine classic pizzas with something offbeat. 

From switching the base to Puff Pastry, bread slices or lavash, adding new toppings, sprinkling cottage cheese instead of cheese; we love to innovate recipes and make something different each time. 



Yesterday I made a tart using Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheet and some vegetables that I had in the refrigerator. I added very little mozzarella cheese to the tart to keep it simple and not very heavy. The result was a perfect dish that was gobbled by us in minutes. 

If you are looking for something that is easy and quick, you need to head straight to the recipe and make it for the Holiday Season. Looking for more? Head to this page and get #InspiredbyPuff



Variations

I used the vegetables I had in my refrigerator. However, if you like, add in zucchini, broccoli, colored peppers, artichoke hearts, pineapple and so on. Plus, if you would rather have something with a pesto base or a alfredo sauce, you can swap out the marinara for that. And last, if you want pizza pockets instead of a large one, just divide the Puff Pastry into squares, add the toppings and fold it over. 


Ingredients



Marinara Sauce of your choice (homemade or store bought) 1/2 cup
Vegetables (I used onion, pepper, tomato, olives, jalapeno and corn) 1 cup
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese 1/4 cup
Oregano 1 tsp
Chilli Flakes 1 tsp


Method

Thaw the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheet to room temperature. Open the sheet and place on a baking tray. Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C. 

Using a fork pierce the sheet leaving an inch on all sides. This prevents the sheet from rising in the center. 

Spread the marinara sauce and place vegetables of your choice. Sprinkle cheese on top and also add oregano and chilli flakes. 

Place the baking tray in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, till the base is crisp and the cheese melts. 

Remove and serve with some marinara on the side. 



Sunday, November 5, 2017

Roasted Pumpkin Apple Soup

A Vegan friendly soup full of Pumpkin and Apples. You definitely need this delicious soup through the cold Fall and Winter! 


Soups are such a great way to get vegetables onto the table. Plus, they make perfect meals through Fall and Winter. And when a soup recipe like this comes up, you cannot ask for more! Wondering why? This recipe is one of the simplest soups I make at home. The recipe involves only three steps; roast, boil and enjoy! No major add-ins, no cream and certainly no exotic ingredients!

Pumpkin Soup is a popular Fall Soup. But just pumpkin tends to get bland sometimes. What if you can take it a notch higher by a simple addition? Yes, you need this recipe if you are a Fall soup fanatic like me! Whenever I am making a soup at home, I like to add-in stuff that I find in my refrigerator. A couple of years ago I added a couple of pieces of apples from the refrigerator to my squash soup. Since then, this recipe has been a family favorite and I add the apple on purpose now!


At first one thinks why apple in soup! But once you have had a soup with roasted apple, you know exactly why! The apple gives the soup a distinct flavor, freshness and sweetness. It also helps mask the flavor of pumpkin for those who do not like it. And last, it is PERFECT for anything fall!

This soup is perfect for dinner and makes a great recipe to freeze as well. Just dump all the ingredients onto a tray and roast them; puree it and boil with some spices. Freeze the whole thing or serve with a side of bread immediately. We enjoyed it with some dried apple slices and pumpkin seeds for taste and texture. They make awesome toppings for the otherwise smooth soup.


How to make Roasted Pumpkin Apple Soup? 

If you are still wondering how to make this yummy soup, think no further; head straight to THIS recipe to get it all! 



Looking for more Fall Pumpkin favorites? Try these:

Friday, October 27, 2017

Hasselback Garlic Cheese Breads



Garlic Bread gets a makeover with this Hasselback Garlic Cheese Bread. Perfect appetizer or snack, this comes together in under 15 minutes! 



The Holiday season is coming up and I can't wait to get started with the parties! From Spooky Halloween to Friendsgiving and finally Thanksgiving; every dinner calls for something special from start to finish. Yet, the dishes should be PERFECT to make in a few minutes and taste perfect even after a few hours of making.

Our Holiday parties start this weekend and the first one will have this recipe for my friends. Garlic bread, a favorite amongst folks of all ages, gets a new form with this recipe. The ingredients are just like any other garlic bread, but the BEST part here is the Pepperidge Farm Stone Baked Artisan Rolls




These Stone Baked Artisan Rolls have an amazing crust and super soft inside. The first time I bought these, I gobbled a couple slathered with butter. Then, I started to think how I want to make an appetizer using them! 



I wanted to make something that would be great to serve to friends without the hassle of dividing, cutting or separating. These mini rolls are perfect for one person. And the ingredients needed to make this quick appetizer are easily available in any pantry.

Besides, these breads can be made ahead of time and freeze really well. To serve, just heat them in the oven for 4-5 minutes and you have a perfect appetizer ready to go! Plus, your friends will LOVE that. The day I first made these with pizza, we almost skipped the pizza and made another lot of this bread. The package has EIGHT rolls, and we were out in no time! 



I guess I should make a bigger lot next time and in case of leftovers, freeze the remaining for our next meal. The frozen breads can be heated in a few minutes in the oven and served. The breads taste best when warm, but we loved them at room temperature too. 


Variations

I made Garlic butter version of this. If you would like to make it without garlic, just use spiced butter and make it the same way. Besides, if you have a preference of cheese, use that instead of the Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheese. Lastly, if you like it HOT, add some minced jalapeno to the butter. It makes the bread super yum! 




So wait no further; head out to your closest store and grab a package of Pepperidge Farm Stone Baked Artisan Rolls and make this today! These rolls are AMAZING as sides for all you Holiday entrees too. They taste awesome with some warm butter! 


Pin for Later


Ingredients

Unsalted Butter 1/4 cup
Garlic 4-5 cloves, minced
Dried/Fresh Oregano 1 tsp
Chilli Flakes 1 tsp
Shredded Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheese 1/4 cup
Parsley a few stalks



Method

In a bowl melt the unsalted butter. Add in minced garlic, oregano and chilli flakes. Mix well and set aside.

Place a Pepperidge Farm Stone Baked Artisan Roll on the cutting board. Using a sharp knife make slits on the bread but ensure that it does not cut all the way. 

Using a spoon, add some garlic butter in the cracks. Also add some shredded cheese there.

Preheat oven to 400 F/ 210 C. Place the breads in the preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes; till the cheese melts and begins to ooze out. 

Remove and serve warm with some parsley leaves on top and marinara sauce on the side. 





Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Pesarattu Upma | Green Moong Dal Dosa

Green Lentil Crepes stuffed with Semolina Upma; this Pesarattu Upma recipe is a winner for breakfast or dinner!


Diwali just went by and we celebrated to our heart's content. From sweets and savory snacks to delicious meals and desserts; we had it all. Now with the festival behind us, we are back to eating regular meals that are still yummy but healthier.

While I was in India, my mom made protein rich pancakes; green Moong Dal dosa really often. Not just dosas, the batter was also used to make fritters, idlis and dhoklas. I always loved it and thought that the dish was a Gujarati delicacy. 

When I moved to US, I saw a dish Pesarattu Upma on the menu of many South Indian restaurants. I never understood what the dish was, until I saw someone order it in front of me at a restaurant. I could not believe that he was handed out a plate with green moong dal dosa stuffed with upma. 


The combination looked pretty with all the chutneys that were served and I looked up online to find that this is actually a very popular combination from Southern India. So I tried it the next time I visited the restaurant and then replicated it at home. We LOVED how it came together so well, the crisp dosa and the soft upma together with gunpowder chutney and coconut chutney made a perfect meal. 

Since then, I always make Upma whenever I make these crepes. Besides, if I have made Moong dal fritters or idli one day, I use the remaining batter to make these dosas with upma for breakfast. Served with either tea or coffee, it makes a protein rich breakfast that is delicious too! 


This dosa is one of the easiest types; needs no fermentation, is made from just one grain so no hassle of proportions and quick soaking time. Whenever you need some meal in a jiffy, just keep the batter ready a few hours in advance or refrigerate it up to two days. Beyond that the batter starts to smell so avoid keeping it for too long. 

Plus, these crepes are FULL of protein and can be made with minimum oil. If using a nonstick tava, there is no need to use oil in the dosa. The only oil that comes in is from the upma. 


Variations

While I made these crepes with a filling, these green dal dosa taste awesome without any filling too. Besides, if you like you can stuff them with grated paneer or mixed vegetables too. 

If you want a variation, use the same batter to make savory pancakes. Just lay them out thick and cook covered for a little extra time. Add some gunpowder chutney and chopped onions on top. It tastes really good. 


Ingredients

Green Moong Dal 1 cup
Salt 1 tsp
Black Pepper Powder 1 tsp
Shredded Coconut 1/4 cup
Green Chilli 2-3
Ginger 1 inch piece
Onion 1/4 medium, diced
Oil as required
Upma as required (Recipe here)


Method

Wash and soak the green dal in 2 cups water. Let it soak for 4-5 hours. Once soaked, grind with salt, pepper, shredded coconut, green chilli and ginger. I ground it to a smooth paste. You can keep it little coarse if you like.

Add more water as required to get the dal mixture to a dosa batter consistency. 

Heat a tava and add 1/4 tsp oil (optional; no oil is required for non stick tava). Once hot, add a ladle of the mixture and spread to a round disc. Cook for 3-4 minutes, till the bottom is crisp. 

Add 3-4 tbsp of upma and a some chopped onions. Spread out the upma and fold the dosa. Serve with coconut chutney and gunpowder chutney. 



Saturday, October 14, 2017

Gujarati Sev | Fried Chickpea Noodles

Gujarati Sev, an addictive snack made from spiced Chickpea Flour is something you need this Diwali and beyond! Make it today with this no-fail recipe! 


I can barely believe we are so close to Diwali already. My favorite Indian festival, I love how everything is upbeat and full of enthusiasm through the festival! Firecrackers, rangoli, lamps, lanterns and LOTS of yummy food.

My best memories of Diwali recipes encompasses everything from Ladoos and Kaju Katli to Puris and the Diwali special Mathiya, Fafda and Chora Fali. These are traditional Gujarati recipes that we relish through Diwali and beyond. And mind you, they are ALL fried, but when it is festive time; you do not count calories right?


Along with all the regular snacks, my grandma made the best ever sev and gathiya ( a thicker version of sev). From the yellow non spicy version to garlic, mint and spicy kind; she made it all. And it was always the BEST! 

This year I decided to make it myself and asked my mother for the recipe. She quickly told me how to go about it and I tried it with a super small amount of dough. The result was awesome and I HAD to make another larger lot as this happens to be on my husband's favorites list! What seemed intimidating at first now looks at child's play and I am so glad my Mother in Law advised me to get a muruku press with me to US! 


Are you also like how I was? Think sev is something that should be bought off the shelf? You need to try this recipe once and I promise you will not regret! There are few things as satisfying as seeing strands of dough fall into the hot oil and bubble around to give perfect sev rounds. I have looked at them when my mother and grandma made it, and it is so good to see I can make them too! 

Coming to the recipe, there are very few points that need to be considered while making it. The most important thing to consider is that any add-in to the dough should be smaller than hole in the sev maker. Else, the dough will keep getting stuck and you will have to open up to de clog the hole. 

Adding a little oil to the dough makes it awesome to slip away into thin strands over the oil. Taste test a small amount before making the big batch. Any changes to the dough can be made if required. Add some flour it it is too thin and add some oil if the sev breaks while falling. 


Uses of Gujarati Sev

Apart from being a great snack by itself, we make a lot of uses of this sev. Mix it with roasted rice flakes (mamra) and make another savory snack, use it in bhel or other chaat recipes or make this famous Gujarati recipe Sev Tameta nu Shaak (a side dish for rotis made from sev and tomatoes with spices). The possibilities are endless, so make a LARGE lot of sev and use it for a week or more! 


Variations

I made a rather simple version of sev as I wanted to use it with mamra. But the variations that one can make are endless! Make naturally colored sev using turmeric, beet and spinach puree. Make Mint sev by adding powdered mint into the dough. Add chilli garlic paste to make garlic sev or get adventurous and add your favorite spice like oregano or basil to flavor the sev! 


Ingredients

Besan / Chickpea Flour 2 cups
Oil 3 tbsp
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Salt 1 tsp
Water 1/4-1/2 cup
Oil to fry



Method

In a bowl sieve besan with all other ingredients except oil and water. Mix everything well. 

Add in 3 tbsp oil and mix it in. Add 1/4 cup water and mix together to make a dough. 

Use more water if required to make a soft dough. Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.

Heat oil in a pan to fry the sev. Using a greased sev maker/ sancha add half the dough. 

Hold the sancha over the oil and twist it to drop sev in the pan. Keep moving the sancha to avoid sev from overlapping and sticking. Do not overcrowd the pan. 

Fry for a couple of minutes and flip. Fry again for a couple of minutes and remove on paper napkins/kitchen towel. 

Let the sev cool and then break it into small bits. The sev can be stored in an airtight container for 10-15 days.