Nimi's Culinary Ventures

A .com munching on Empanadas ;)!

Baking, Breads, flour, Non-veg, Snacks | November 12, 2012 | By

I have been working on posting on my .com for the past days.This post for basically to be put up on my blog but it lagged from all the way from September to November.As its said that ‘better late than never’..heres my post on Emapanada Gallegas.

Empanada is a basically stuffed bread that’ s been baked or fried out .The roots of Empanadas lie in Spain & Portugal…though there are many variations in many countries.This post is dedicated to the DB challenge for September.Thanks to Patri for the awesome recipe.:)

Empanada Gallega

For the crust:

Ingredients

5-1/3 cups  bread flour
2 cups  of lukewarm water (about 85°F/30ºC), approximately
1 tablespoon fresh yeast
2 teaspoons  salt
4 tablespoons  oil
1 large egg, for egg wash

Sift the flour into a big bowl and make a well in the middle. Rub the yeast in with your fingers.In a small bowl, mix the water and the salt.Now, using your fingers or a wooden spoon, start adding the water and mixing it with the flour-yeast mixture. Keep on working with your fingers or spoon until you have added enough water and all the flour has been incorporated and you have a messy ball of dough.On a clean counter top, knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes.Clean and oil the big bowl you used for mixing and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover it with a napkin or piece of linen and keep it in a warm, drought-free place for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.Once risen, turn the dough back into a floured counter and cut it in half. Cover one half with the napkin to prevent drying.Spread the other half of the dough using a rolling pin. You can use a piece of wax paper over the counter, it will make it easier to move the dough around. Depending on the shape of your oven pan or cookie sheet, you will make a rectangle or a round.Now, the thinness of the dough will depend on your choice of filling and how much bread you like in every bite. For your first time, make it about 3mm thin (about 1/10th of an inch) and then adjust from that in the next ones you make.

For the filling:

3 medium sized Onions chopped

1 tbsp of ginger & Garlic chopped

5 green chillies finely chopped

2 cup of cooked shredded chicken

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsps of black pepper powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

curry leaves chopped

coriander leaves chopped

In a pan pour about 2 tbsps of oil,saute the ginger & garlic with the chopped onions till translucent.Add in the green chillies,and stir for a few minutes.Now add in the powders& chicken .drizzle oil on the sides of the pan stir fry the chicken mix with salt.Add 1/2 tsp of garam masala, coriander & curry leaves  before turning of the flame.

Assembling

If you haven’t used wax paper, either lightly flour or line with wax paper your pan or tray.Cover the base and sides with the dough. Using the rolling pin or a knife, cut the extra dough.Place the filling, making sure it is cold and that all the base is covered. Using a hot filling will make the bottom layer of the empanada become soggy. Be careful to avoid adding too much oil from the filling, try to make it as “dry” as possible.Start preheating your oven to moderate 350°F/180ºC/gas mark 4.Take the other half of the dough and spread it out to the same or less thinness of the base. You can use a piece of wax paper for this too. Take into account that this “top” dough needs to be smaller around than the bottom, as it only needs to cover the filling.If not using wax paper, move carefully the top to cover the filling. If using wax paper, transfer the dough, turn upside down, cover the filling and gently peel off the wax paper.Using your fingers, join bottom and top dough, when you have gone all the way around, start pinching top and bottom together with your thumb and index finger and turning them half way in, that way you end up with a rope-like border.When you are finished, make a 1 inch hole in the middle of the top layer. This will help hot air exit the empanada while it’s baking without breaking the cover.Using a fork, prick the top layer or, using scissors, make snips that go all the way through the top layer.In a small bowl, beat an egg and add a tbsp of cold water. With the pastry brush, paint the top of the empanada with the egg wash. Place the empanada in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Check that the bottom part is done.

 

I made different shapes of empanadas..and loved simply baking them..Hope u too enjoy this Empanada Ride!

Oats and Coconut cookies to sweeten a happy moment!

I have been trying to update my food court since last month and the moment to write out came today.It was a total hectic month with my kids down with sickness and the happy moment was a write up  on me in a magazine called FWD LIFE(march 2012 issue).Heres the link to the online issue of the magazine(page 58)http://www.fwdlife.in/emagazine/march2012.html

To celebrate this how about a cookie recipe?Its a very rich  Oats and Coconut  cookie recipe for my foodies to munch on..:D
Coconut and Oats Cookies
 
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of dessicated coconut
1 cup of Cornflakes
2 cups of oats
780gms of sugar
1/2 kg of margarine
50 ml of honey
100ml milk(hot)
20g baking soda
3g baking powder
1 1/2 tsp of vanill aesssence
25g of glucose powder
25g of milk powder
1/2 cup of broken cashew nuts
Preheat oven to 170degree Celsius.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
In an other bowl mix margarine, sugar,honey till well blended.
Stir baking soda into the hot milk and blend it with the  margarine mix.Fold in the
dry ingredients  and make small balls.
Place them on  a baking tray and bake for about 25 minutes.
Let them cool and store in an airtight container.
Munch on your healthy cookies!

A scoop of vanilla with Chocolate nd Coffee..

Baking, cakes, Desserts, flour | November 13, 2011 | By

Here in Munnar the winter is on its way with misty evenings and quite chill nights.So how have all of u been?Although 6 days late I really wanted to post in this months Sweet punch.If you love chocolate and coffee like me this recipe is a real knock out and to top all this you can have the tang of vanilla with ice cream.
So hop on to the recipe with a scoopy scoop..

Saucy Coffee and Chocolate Pudding

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cocoa
Pinch  of salt
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
½ cup milk
1 egg, beaten
50g almonds , chopped

For the topping

½ cup brown sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
1 cup strong black coffee
 Preheat oven to 180°C.  Sift together dry ingredients. Stir through butter, milk, egg and hazelnuts until well combined. Spoon batter into 4 ramekins. Sprinkle over brown sugar and cocoa then pour over coffee but do not stir. Bake for 20 minutes. Dust with cocoa powder or cinnamon and sugar; serve with vanilla ice cream.
So happy saucy bakin;)!

Buttery Croissants ..perfect with your morning Coffee!

Baking, Breads, flour | October 1, 2011 | By



Croissants have always fascinated me..there were times when I used to think that if I would ever be able to make them at home.This flaky buttery beauty is quite time consuming ..but you are sure to forget them in taste.Thanks to Sarah for choosing ‘Croissants ‘ for September’s DB challenge!I loved trying it and tasting it whole heartedly!










Croissants




1¼ teaspoon  of dry-active yeast
3 tablespoons  warm water (less than 100°F/38°C)
1 teaspoon  sugar
1 3/4 cups of strong plain flour
2 teaspoons  sugar
1½ teaspoon  salt
½ cup  milk
2 tablespoons oil
½ cup chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg, for egg wash




1. Mix the yeast, warm water, and first teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Leave aside for the yeast and sugar to dissolve and the yeast to foam up a little.
2. Measure out the other ingredients
3. Heat the milk until tepid (either in the microwave or a saucepan), and dissolve in the salt and remaining sugar
4. Place the flour in a large bowl.
5. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and milk mixture to the flour
6. Mix all the ingredients together using the rubber spatula, just until all the flour is incorporated
7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and let it rest a minute while you wash out the bowl
8. Knead the dough eight to ten times only. It’s a little difficult to explain, but essentially involves smacking the dough on the counter (lots of fun if you are mad at someone) and removing it from the counter using the pastry scraper.
9. Place the dough back in the bowl, and place the bowl in the plastic bag
10. Leave the bowl at approximately 75°F/24°C for three hours, or until the dough has tripled in size.
11. After the dough has tripled in size, remove it gently from the bowl, pulling it away from the sides of the bowl with your fingertips.
12. Place the dough on a lightly floured board or countertop, and use your hands to press it out into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches (20cm by 30cm).
13. Fold the dough rectangle in three, like a letter (fold the top third down, and then the bottom third up)
14. Place the dough letter back in the bowl, and the bowl back in the plastic bag.
15. Leave the dough to rise for another 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. This second rise can be done overnight in the fridge 
16. Place the double-risen dough onto a plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the plate in the fridge while you prepare the butter.
17. Once the dough has doubled, it’s time to incorporate the butter
18. Place the block of chilled butter on a chopping board.
19. Using the rolling pin, beat the butter down a little, till it is quite flat.
20. Use the heel of your hand to continue to spread the butter until it is smooth. You want the butter to stay cool, but spread easily.
21. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured board or counter. Let it rest for a minute or two.
22. Spread the dough using your hands into a rectangle about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
23. Remove the butter from the board, and place it on the top half of the dough rectangle
24. Spread the butter all across the top two-thirds of the dough rectangle, but keep it ¼ inch (6 mm) across from all the edges.  Fold the top third of the dough down, and the bottom third of the dough up.
26. Turn the dough package 90 degrees, so that the top flap is to your right (like a book).
27. Roll out the dough package (gently, so you don’t push the butter out of the dough) until it is again about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
28. Again, fold the top third down and the bottom third up.
29. Wrap the dough package in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 2 hours. 
30. After two hours have passed, take the dough out of the fridge and place it again on the lightly floured board or counter.
31. Tap the dough with the rolling pin, to deflate it a little
32. Let the dough rest for 8 to 10 minutes
33. Roll the dough package out till it is 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
34. Fold in three, as before
35. Turn 90 degrees, and roll out again to 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
36. Fold in three for the last time, wrap in plastic, and return the dough package to the fridge for two more hours (or overnight, with something heavy on top to stop it from rising)
37. It’s now time to cut the dough and shape the croissants
38. First, lightly butter your baking sheet so that it is ready
39. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for ten minutes on the lightly floured board or counter
40. Roll the dough out into a 20 by 5 inch rectangle (51 cm by 12½ cm).
41. Cut the dough into two rectangles (each 10 by 5 inches (25½ cm by 12½ cm)) 
42. Place one of the rectangles in the fridge, to keep the butter cold
43. Roll the second rectangle out until it is 15 by 5 inches (38 cm by 12½ cm).
44. Cut the rectangle into three squares (each 5 by 5 inches (12½ cm by 12½ cm))
45. Place two of the squares in the fridge
46. The remaining square may have shrunk up a little bit in the meantime. Roll it out again till it is nearly square
47. Cut the square diagonally into two triangles.
48. Stretch the triangle out a little, so it is not a right-angle triangle, but more of an isosceles
49. Starting at the wide end, roll the triangle up towards the point, and curve into a crescent shape.
50. Place the unbaked croissant on the baking sheet
51. Repeat the process with the remaining squares of dough, creating 12 croissants in total.
52. Leave the tray of croissants, covered lightly with plastic wrap, to rise for 1 hour
53. Preheat the oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
54. Mix the egg with a teaspoon of water
55. Spread the egg wash across the tops of the croissants. 
56. Put the croissants in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are browned nicely
57. Take the croissants out of the oven, and place them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

Hopin u all will enjoy making Croissants!

Fruity choco muffins with a punch!

Baking, cakes, flour, veg | August 8, 2011 | By

Hi foodies..I’m back after my holiday break.July has been a month with heavy rains in Munnar.The holidays fly by with ease and I’m all over again in my busy bee schedule. Today’s  post goes out to the Sweet punch team.The recipe for this month sought out for strawberries..but the sad prt was that I couldnt get hold of any to pop into my batter.So I thought of giving it a bit of twist.If you love a fruit blast for your kids heres one Banana Apple choco muffins..

Banana Apple Choco Muffins


1/2 cup unsaltedbutter, melted
2eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanillaextract

2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup of apple cut into bite sized pieces
2 1/4 cups all-purposeflour
3/4 cup light brownsugar
1 1/2 teaspoonsbaking powder

1/4 teaspoonbaking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup choco chips
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Place a rack in the center of the oven. Line a muffin pan with paper liners .

In a small saucepan melt the butter. Let it  cool to room temperature.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract,milk and mashed banana. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.  
In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gently fold in the choco chips and apple pieces coated with flour. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined. Do not over mix the batter . 
Divide the batter into muffin cups and  bake them  until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 to25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 



Hopin u all will enjoy this Muffin break!:D

Khara Biscuits for ICC!

I’m so happy that Srivalli chose Khara biscuits of Iyengar bakery(Karnataka special) as this months ICC.If you are looking for something to munch of  with a hot cup of tea when its raining..this biscuit is perfect with the spice of chillies and the aroma of cilantro.The best part is that these cookies can be stored in airtight containers for about 4 days.

My husband was quite addicted to these biscuits..guess its bcz he craves masala biscuits…:)

Here’s the recipe
Iyengar bakery Khara biscuit


2 cups of all purpose flour
1/3 cup softened butter
5-6 green chilies chopped
4 tsp sugar
1tsp salt
coriander leaves/cilantro a few twigs chopped
2-3 tbsp yogurt(i used 4 tbsp yogurt)

Preheat oven to 160 degree
Prepare the baking tray with an aluminium foil sheet smeared by a few drops of vegetable oil/cooking spray.
Whisk the flour and salt together in a bowl.
In an other bowl beat the sugar and butter till creamy.Now add in the yogurt.
Mix in the flour(you will have to use your hands ) and incorporate well to make a dough.
Do not use too much of pressure.
Roll the dough into 1/4 inch thickness and cut out round shapes with a cookie cutter.
Line them in the prepared tray and bake for about 18-20 minutes.
If you want more crispier biscuits you can bake for a few for minutes.
Cool them on a wire rack and transfer into airtight containers.

Happy Munchhing..!

Wheat Almond Cookies for this months Sweet Punch!

This months punch ..Wheat Almond Cookies.. was chosen by Ria  from Manjula’s Kitchen .If you are in a mood to bake out cookies super quick and simple this is the best recipe.My modifications to the recipe was that I added almond meal to the dough  in lieu to the sliced almonds and topped the cookies with almonds.I did lessen the sugar to about 3 tbsps.

Here’s the recipe for this crunchy delight..

EGGLESS WHEAT ALMOND COOKIES

1 cup Whole wheat flour
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp elaichi coarsely powdered
1/2 cup Butter
2 tbsp milk

  • Preheat the oven to 360 degrees farenheit.
  • In a bowl mix flour,sugar,salt,sliced almonds and cardamom powder.
  • Add soft butter and milk to the mix and knead it into a soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into 24 equal parts and roll them into balls.
  • Press each ball between palms tp half inch thickness and place them on cookie sheets about an inch apart.
  • Bake for 18 mins till light brown.
  • Let cookies cool for about 2 to 3 mins before taking them off the cookie sheets

Store the cookies in an airtight container and ..MUNCH on 🙂

Christmas n Cakes!

Uncategorized | December 25, 2010 | By

Wish you all A Merry Christmas,
May the Joys of the season
Fill your heart with goodwill and cheer.
May the chimes of Christmas glory
Add up more shine and spread
Smiles across the miles,
To-day & In the New Year
.
Merry to all of u out there…bet everyone of you are enjoying your Christmas.After Dum Aloo there where other recipes that I had to post..but thought I’ll set this post aside for the cake orders that I did for this Christmas.My sons were really enjoying their winter holidays with cakes.The Christmas father on top of our tree was a  small paper  craft of my son…(It was a cut and paste activity in a Children’s magazine).
  
The cake above was iced with special choco chunk icing and the cake was yellow butter cake.All models on the cake were edible and made from sugar craft.
The above cake was  for a person who had a craze for cars.This cake had strawberry filled icing in the center and the cake was yellow butter cake.The outer part of the cake was coated with choco chunk icing.Both my boys were quite excited with the car..and both wanted to be photographed with the cake…:D
The funniest part was the idea that my younger one gave me..”Amma..we’ll give the cake to the uncle and then lets go to his house to cut the cake…then I can play with the car topper :)..”
Hmm..not a bad idea Right? 😀
Wishing you all an advanced Happy New Year!

A bite into an Apple Crostata for this months DB!

Baking, Breads, Snacks, veg | November 27, 2010 | By

Its been quite sometime since I had joined the Daring Bakers..but somethin or the other would pop up when I get ready to post .Well this time at least I wanted to complete my challenge.This months challenge was chosen by  Simona of “Briocle”..a challenge with an Italian touch.Her idea was to introduce Pasta frolla to make wonderful Crostatas.My choice was Apple and Pastry cream Crostata.
To make Pasta Frolla

1/2 cup. minus 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar

1 and 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 stick [8 tablespoons ] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon 
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl


  1. Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
  4. Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
  5. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
  6. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
  7. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

To make Pastry Creme

500ml Milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
a vanilla pod
3 tbsp regular flour

 Pour milk into a pan add vanilla seeds and pod and warm to well below boiling point.In a bowl,beat eggs with sugar till mix is bubbly.Sift flour over the eggs and mix well.Pour the mix into a pan and set it to very low heat stirring every couple of minutes.When the froth on top dissapears, the creme starts getting thicker.Cook briefly for 1-2 mins and then remove the panfrom heat,remove the vanilla pod and let it cool in a water bath.Stir the creme to bring down the temperature and to prevent the forming of film over it.

For the Apple Topping

3 tbsp of Unsalted Butter
4-5 tbsp of granulated sugar
Apples sliced

In a pan heat the butter and stir in the sugar till it dissolves.Add the sliced apples and saute till they become soft.

Assembling the Crostata

  1. Heat the oven to 375ºF [190ºC/gas mark 5].
  2. Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.
  3. To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer.
  4. Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
  5. If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin’s width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.
  6. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.
  7. If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.
  8. Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.
  9. Prick the bottom of the dough in several places with a fork.
  10. Blind bake the dough in the oven for about 20- 25 minutes.
  11. Let the pasta frolla to cool completely.
  12. Spread the pastry creme on top of the dough and the apple toppings on top of it.
  13. You can use the reserved pasta frolla to decorate with strips or to cut out shapes on it.
  14. Now place the crostata in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes .

Let it cool before slicing.Serve with whipped cream.Hope u all be looking forth to try this out…:)




A late GOLDEN ONION QUICHE!

chicken, Non-veg, veg | September 13, 2010 | By

Hi foodies..its my late post for the “sweet punch” team.I have missed my blogging for the last two months.I couldn’t update mostly anything as I was quite packed with issues.Now the house maintenance is almost over and guess i can take a deep breath.But theres loads to be  organised…
Heres the recipe for the Golden Onion Quiche!

For the pastry
200g Flour
100g(frozen) Butter
1/4tsp baking powder
salt to taste
1 beaten egg
a few drops ice cold water

  Sieve the flour,salt and baking powder together.Grate in the butter and mix it with flour and mix well with your fingertips till it resembles coarse sand.Add in the beaten egg and water and gather it into a soft dough.Roll it out on a lightly floured surface and lift it up carefully and line the tin(u can use a tart pan or a round pan)tht you will be baking it in.Mak up sure the dough comes a little way up the sides,so that it can fold the filling.

For the filling:
1/2 cup of boiled and shredded chicken / paneer(i used paneer)
250g chopped onions
1 cup milk
100g cheese
3 beaten eggs
salt and pepper to taste
oil
  Heat oil and fry the chicken/paneer till it is golden brown.Add onions and fry till it is carmelised.Switch off the flame,add milk,cheese , beaten eggs, salt and pepper and mix well.Pour in to pastry case and bake for 25 minutes till golden brown.