Saturday, July 28, 2007

Artichokes - Genovese style - from Food TV

My love for artichokes is blind :-) Why blind? Because, I can't decide what I love about them. May be its the after taste or may be its their ability to absorb other flavors while their own flavor stands out. Being so smitten about artichokes, how can I pass on a recipe that is shown by Giada De Laurentis on her Everyday Italian show. In this recipe, the artichokes are trimmed, stuffed with sauteed mushroom mixture and then cooked whole in white wine. She cuts the intensity of wine with a cup of water. I've followed the recipe for most part, except, I have not used prosciutto. I've substituted the meaty flavor by using baby Portabello mushrooms than regular white button mushrooms. The result was, very delicious!! Once done, its was fun eating it. Best thing to eat while watching movie! Oh, yeah!
But, making it takes some patience and time. Check the recipe out and you'll know. But, the reward was worth the effort.

For people familiar with Indian food, Artichokes resemble a little in taste with drumsticks, but Artichokes has more complex flavor than drumsticks. The similarity also extends how these are eaten. Artichoke leaves can be chewed just like drumsticks.

What you Need to make this superb dish
4 good quality fresh artichokes
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb baby bello mushrooms, chopped
1 medium sized onion, chopped finely
4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 tsp dry parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups drinking quality white wine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Note: Using drinking quality white wine enhances the flavor of artichokes.
Prep Work:
Trim Artichokes by cutting top off. And trim the leaves by snipping the top half of the edge.

  • Heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil in a skillet at medium-high heat. Add garlic before the oil gets heated. Once the oil is hot enough, add onions and parsley saute for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until they are golden brown in color, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, keep aside and let it cool.
  • Once cooled, add grated Parmesan, salt and pepper, mix well. Keep aside.
  • Pull apart the leaves gently and stuff mushroom mixture between the leaves.
  • Once all the artichokes are stuffed, place them in a wide, heavy bottomed, high-sided saucepan. The artichokes should sit tightly so that they would not fall apart once cooked.

  • Pour wine and water (not on top of the artichokes, but, in the gap between them). Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil over them. Cover and bring it to boil on a medium-high heat. Once comes to boil, reduce the heat to 'low' and let it simmer for 45-50 minutes or until the artichoke leaves are tender.
  • Serve while they are still hot.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Punjabi Kichdi - Rice and Mung lentil preparation, Punjabi style

Garden bounty

Fruits of backyard gardening:

Ullikaram - (Spicy onion paste)

This is a simple, pungent and delicious preparation that takes less than a two minutes to make, that too it uses only four ingredients! But the usage options are endless. This paste can be used to make 'Karam Dosa' (lentil and rice crepe smeared with spicy paste), can be added to 'igurus' (Andhra dry curries), can be mixed in roti or parantha dough or simply served with rice with heated sesame oil or smear on a slice of bread while making sandwich or burger.

What you need to make this paste:
1 medium sized onion
1.5 tbsp good quality spicy red chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste

Peel onion and chop roughly. Place all ingredients in food processor and process to a coarse paste. Use immediately or store in air-tight container in refrigerator. Keeps well for a week if refrigerated.