19 January 2012

Caramelized Broccoli!

This is broccoli roasted at a high temperature for a while. Essentially what happens is that over time broccoli get caramalized and with added salt and pepper taste like a sinful snack, which its totally not :) Try it - you'll see what I mean.

Whole head of broccoli broken into bite sized florets
1 minced garlic
Generous serving of olive oil
Kosher salt and ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg.
  2. If you soak to wash your broccoli - make sure you dry it well.
  3. Spread the broccoli on a baking sheet, douse it with olive oil, mix in the garlic, salt and pepper.
  4. Roast for 20 - 25 mins or until broccoli is bright green and crunchy.
  5. I usually thrown in green/red pepper strips as well - they cook to the same effect.

17 January 2012

Chicken with wild mushrooms

I often come back to this recipe especially since morels always seem to within reach here in Seattle :) and it makes a impressive dinner party dish.

Serves 4

2 legs, skin on
2 thighs, skin on
Salt and ground pepper
4 tbsps butter
1.5 cups of morel mushrooms (I have used dried porcini and morel mix as well, just soak in warm water for 30mins)
1/2 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Use a non-stick skillet that is large enough to contain all 4 pieces in a single layer. Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces, skin side down and cook until the skin turns light brown (about 5-7 mins on each side). Transfer the chicken out of the skillet and discard the butter-fat mix.

  • Add the chicken back into the pan along with the sherry, mushrooms and salt to taste. Cover and simmer gently for about 20 mins. Don't overcook the chicken and check a couple of times to make sure that the liquid hasn't evaporated. Add water as needed.
  • Transfer the chicken into a platter and cover with a foil tent.
  • Add cream to the mushrooms-sherry mix and simmer for 5 mins.

  • Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve with crusty bread.

07 January 2012

Butternut Squash and Basil Lasagna

My friend, Aparna, made this delicious lasagna for a dinner party last month. I was absolutely bowled over by the flavors and unique ingredients!

From Giada de Laurentiis' recipe with some modifications. I made the basil sauce by following the steps from Deb's smitten kitchen recipe.

For the Squash puree:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb butternut squash, I bought the cut and cubed one from Trader Joe's
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water

For the Basil Sauce:
2 tbsp butter
3tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
Pinch nutmeg
3/4 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
Red chilli flakes, to taste

12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

In a heavy skillet, pour a turn of olive oil and add the butternut squash to it. Add salt, pepper to taste, and coat all the squash. Add the 1/4 cup of water, and cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes till tender. Mash coarsely with a masher or put it into a food processor to puree.

For the basil white sauce, in a pan melt 2 tbsp of the butter and add the flour. Stir constantly till the raw smell of the flour disappears, about 2 mins. Make sure to stir so that flour does not brown. Now add the hot milk and stir (best with a whisk) till the mixture begins to boil. Boil till the mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt, nutmeg and red pepper flakes. Transfer half of this sauce to a blender and add 3/4 cup of basil leaves, and blend until smooth. Transfer this basil mix to the remainder of the white sauce to mix evenly.

Preheat oven to 375F. In a baking dish, grease sides generously and start layering your lasagna. Start with a layer of the basil sauce, a layer of the no-boil lasagna noodles, and then a layer of the squash mixture. Sprinkle a little cheese onto the squash layer (I did not put any cheese except on the top to brown). Layer this way until you end with a last layer of squash. Reserve 1/4 cup basil sauce to drizzle over the top along with some Parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 375F for 40 minutes.

Serve with a salad!