Protein Overload : Green Beans and Chicken

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Are proteins from vegetarian or animal sources better. The answer is, cook them both together.

This is a super quick recipe but it depends on the stringiness of the beans. If you checked before you bought them, then this recipe should take no more than 15 mins of total work.

You need:

  • Two chicken legs and thighs with deep slits on them.
  • Half a kilo of beans cut into one cm long pieces.
  • 2 teaspoons of red chilly powder.
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander powder.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
  • 2 teaspoons of ginger-garlic paste.

Heat oil. Fry the ginger garlic paste in it for a minute. Add the turmeric and red chilly powder. Mix well. In a minute of two the oil will separate. Add the coriander powder and it will become a thick paste. A minute later add the chicken and coat it thoroughly with this paste. Cook for about 5-6 mins. As the chicken cooks, the masala will stick all of the base of the pan. Add beans slowly. Like a fistful at a time. Use the moisture they release to deglaze the pan. When all the beans have been added to the pan and its been almost deglazed use some water and clean the spoon into the pan. There must be a little less than a cm of water in the pan.

Cook covered on low heat for 15 mins. Open and dry it up.

Super Fresh Lemongrass Fish

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It can’t get simpler than this!

You need:

  • A fish that can be baked comfortably like Pomfret, preferably weighing between 300-500 gms.
  • ¬†Lemongrass about 2 tablespoons after chopping into small pieces.
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic.
  • 2 green chilies.
  • Two tablespoons of softened butter.

Wash and pat dry the fish. Make slits about a centimeter apart. Pulverize the lemongrass, garlic, chilies  and some salt in a mixie. Massage it into the fish and try and fill it inside every slit. Let the fish marinate in this fragrant mix for at least 15-20 minutes.

Wrap foil on a baking tray.  Rub one tablespoon of butter on the foil. It should be in shape and size of the fish. Place the fish on top of this butter. Rub the remaining butter on the top of the fish.

Place tray in a preheated oven and grill for 30 mins at 180C.

Chicken, Aubergine with Crackling Basil

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You need:

  • Salted Chicken Breast.
  • 1 large Aubergine.
  • 2 tablespoons of Rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon of Paprika.
  • Basil Leaves
  • Butter
  • Vegetable Oil.

The prep works starts before you freeze your chicken after getting it home. Rub some salt and a little turmeric(optional). When the chicken waits in the fridge, this will work its way into the flesh.

Thaw the chicken and wash off the salt. Pat it dry. Completely dry. There should be no moisture or wetness in it.

Combine rice flour and paprika. Rub this all over the chicken breast. It must be dry to the touch with no wet spots.

Heat a teaspoon or two of oil in a heavy pan. When its hot, lay down the chicken. Add butter on the sides. Let the butter melt and find its way around the chicken. Let it cook on medium heat till the color has changed in at least 75% of the chicken. Flip it over. After 3-4 mions, use a thermometer to check. If its 65C+ immediately remove and let the chicken rest.

Rub the rice+paprika on cut pieces of the aubergine.

In the left over butter in the pan, add a little more. Saute basil leaves in this. In about two three mins they would have made the butter very fragrant. Remove the leaves and keep them with the resting chicken breast. In this fragrant butter add the coated aubergine slices. Cook on low to medium heat flipping maybe once or twice. Till the aubergine has softened and cooked thru.

Enjoy a super star meal.

 

Sous Vide at Home

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Sous Vide is a french cooking technique that has received a lot of attention. I don’t have a sous vide machine at home. Nor have I experienced this technique before. But ever since I saw a couple of videos, I was hooked.

Finally took the plunge and am simply amazed by it. Its finger licking good.

You need:

  • About 500 grams of meat with bone. I used the neck, but its much more convenient to use the shanks.
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 3 green chilies chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic paste.
  • Some julienne’s of ginger.
  • Cling film or a large zip lock bag.

Combine all the ingredients and rub it on the meat. If you have pets at home, they will love to nibble on the left over bones. My cats loved the nooks and corners of the neck piece.

If using a zip lock bag, place the meat inside and squeeze out as much air as possible. Use clips to suspend it in water for cooking.

If like me you don’t have a large zip lock bag, use cling film. Place the meat inside and roll it up. You may need two or three wraps to get it fully covered. Then finally make a sling and tie up the long ends. Suspend from a wooden spatula and use a tea cup to provide adequate tension to prevent rolling.

The meat packet must be fully covered in water. Let it cook on the lowest heat setting. If you have a thermometer check the temperature every 20-30 mins. If it crosses 80C, remove a cup of hot water and add two cups of cold water. See to it that the temperature is in the 70C-80C range. The reason for using meat instead of chicken is to not worry about overcooking.

Two hours of this simmering and the meat is fully cooked. Remove and carefully unwrap. Do not waste any of the liquids that are collected inside. Save them.

Sear the meat in a hot pan. Slice and serve with any sauteed greens. Drizzle the saved juices before serving.

 

Grilled Chicken Wings

I reached home with chicken wings and found this bottle of mustard waiting on the table.

Quickly decided that one should not question destiny and it was meant to be.

You need:

  • A healed tablespoon of mustard.
  • A tablespoon of Paprika.
  • Chicken wings with skin.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Rub everything on the wings and let them marinate for at least 30 mins.

The key to juicy wings is in the temperature. Get a pan to high heat. Place the wings with skin side down. Let them sizzle for a few seconds. Reduce the heat and cook them covered. Ten minutes later, turn them around and continue cooking covered on low heat.

The wings are almost cooked. Now use the curved part of the pan to make maximum contact with the skin and move to higher heat. Use your spatula to push the skin into the pan.

Let the wings rest for at least five-six minutes after removing from the pan. This will allow them to settle down and reabsorb some of the juices.

Enjoy.

Radish (Mooli) with Kheema

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You need:

  • Three Radishes or Mooli. Chop the stems with the leaves. Finely grate the roots.
  • Minced Mutton about 300 gms.
  • Two chopped Green chilies
  • A tablespoon of Ginger+Garlic paste.
  • Turmeric and coriander powder, as per taste.
  • Preferably Mustard oil but you can use any oil.

Heat oil and saute the green chilies for a minute or two. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry it till the raw smell is gone. Now add the kheema and saute till its dry and starts to glaze the pan. Add turmeric, salt and coriander powder. Mix well.

Add the chopped stems leaves and use their moisture to deglaze the pan.

Pressure cook for one whistle. When pressure is released add the grated radish. Switch to high heat and see to it that the pan is fully deglazed. Do not overcook. The grated radish will not have any nasty smell normally associated with radishes.

In fact this dish will keep your cooking radishes a secret from your neighbors.

Enjoy with rotis or rice.

Paprika Prawns

You need:

  • Prawns, with or without shells.
  • A tablespoon of Cumin: toasted and smashed.
  • A couple of garlic cloves, chopped fine.
  • A tablespoon of Paprika powder.
  • Olive oil.

Combine all ingredients and let them marinate at room temperature for at least fifteen minutes.

Drizzle olive oil in a pan. The pan must be large enough to accommodate all the prawns without stacking them on top of each other.

They cook really fast. So take care.