Thursday, 22 October 2009

A quote after my own heart

"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy." -Kahlil Gibran

 Courtesy: Shahida Baji - Thanks sis :)

Rahat's Stone Oven

I watched this on the cooking program of Chef Rahat, and thought to try it out because it just looked too easy to be true. But, hats off to the woman - the result is amazing. Here my experiment with it:

I used leftover dough from my pizza dough. Formed small balls, and placed in a small greased form. For teh stone oven, I used a simple small pot with lid and some plain garden stones. Washed them, put them in the pot, covered it and let it gather steam. Once it was really hot, I placed the form inside, covered with lid and put heavy thing on it, to hold it. It took me around 30 minutes to bake.. but the end result is really worth it. DO give it a try..




... YES! they really DID get that golden crisp top in that oven!

Pizzzzzzzzzaaaaaaa

I have so many pizza dough experiments.. this is another one. The crust will be as u like it.. thin and crispy, or thick and pan-like... worth the millions of calories that go with it :) This is a simple chicken pizza.. u can of course top with anything u like.. 

This is what u need:
For the dough:

2 tsp yeast - instant
200 - 225 ml warm water
2 tbls olive oil
3 cups flour
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt

Do this:

1- make a dough by mixing all ingredients together. Since this dough uses instant yeast, there is no need for yeast frothing and all that. Just dump it all in.. use lesser water to start with and only add more if the dough is too dry. You want a soft and slightly sticky dough.. However, DO knead for at least 10 minuts, if not more. The better the dough is kneaded, the better ur pizza will be




2- cover and let it rise at least an hour... or until doubled in size, whatever comes first




For the sauce:

Mix together a cup of tomato paste with tomato puree. Add half a tsp of white pepper, salt each and 1 crushed clove of garlic

For the topping:

I had grilled chicken in the fridge. Heat some olive oil, add the chicken, half a tsp salt, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp coriander powder. Mix and saute. Add a chopped paprika, some olives, onion if you like. Let it roast a bit and set aside.

Cheese:

I use a combination of Cheddar, Mozzarella and Gouda. Grate all, mix together, add 1 tsp of olive oil and a sprinkle of oregano. This makes the cheese juicy and doesn't let it dry out while baking.




Assemble:

1- flatten out the dough on a baking tray with ur hands. If u want a crisp base, roll it with a rolling pin. If you want it thick, flatten with hands and dont use the pin




2- flatten as good as it goes and let it rest for 10 minutes. That will make the dough easier to pull more. Pull out some more and push up the sides to form a crust.




3- put the tray in preheated hot oven for 10 minutes

4- remove, lather with tomato sauce, spread the chicken, lather cheese... brush the sides with some olive oil and sprinkle some semolina on it... SOME... not too much :)


 


5- bake in HOT HOT oven, until the cheese is golden and the crust crispy....


Chocolate Chip Cookies

Again, one of those biscuits that really make ur day.. with a cup of coffee.. or tea.. or cold milk.. yummmmmm :)

This is what you need:

1 pack of chocolate chips
2 and 1/4 cup flour, or 320 gms
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature or 170 gms
3/4 cup white sugar, or 150 gms
3/4 cup brown sugar, or 100 gms
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla sugar
1 level tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 - 3 tbls cold milk


Do this:

1- cream together the butter with the sugar



2- add eggs, one by one, adding vanilla in between




3- sift together flour, soda and salt and add to the egg mix.. just blending in




4- add the choco bits and around 2 tbls cold milk. Do add the milk, it changes the texture of the cookies and u will note the difference.. I forgot to take a pic at this stage :)

5- drop spoon fulls on wax paper lined baking sheets and bake in preheated oven, for 12 minutes, or until golden below and light golden on top. They will spread out and become larger, so do give some space in between





6- enjoy :)



Buttery Shortbread

DONT make these, if you're trying to loose weight .. because one is not enough, and the more you eat, the more the weighing machine will complain :))

This is what you need:

1 cup or 227 gms butter, at room temperature
1 cup or 200 gms sugar
2 and half cups, or 350 gms flour
2 tsp vanilla sugar

Do this:

1- melt the butter on LOW heat, until just melted

2- add to sugar and beat really well




3- add vanilla and flour, and just mix in, with a spatula.. even if it does look a bit wet, dont add more flour as this will not give u the crumbly texture




4- pat into two forms, of any shape, and flatten evenly. With a sharp knife, cut serving pieces, but dont separate them. This is just so u have an approximate line, when u cut after baking




5- bake in preheated oven, for 15 minutes or less - u want the top to be golden and the base to be just browning..




6- remove from oven and cut immediately - if u let them cool down before, they will break. So cut the squares or shapes that u want and let them cool down for at least 10 minutes, before u lift them out and put them on a wire rack


7- store in airtight jar, far away from your reach... just look at them and sigh :))