Spinach Goat Cheese Guiche

Next time you are drooling over a sweet chocolate tart or quiche in the window of a bakery, think of me saying “You can make it at home!”. This quiche dough is one of the basic pastry doughs you learn in cooking school. Add a little sugar and the savoury dough becomes sweet. Add a little cocoa powder and sweet becomes chocolate. Remember to have the butter and eggs absolutely chilled! And you can replace the filling with anything you want!

Looking for recipes click here http://www.foodfood.com/recipes/spinach-goat-cheese-guiche/

Chocolate Cupcakes

One of the things Esha loves and has aced while cooking is a Fondant au Chocolat or Molten Lava Cake. Baking is one of those activities that fills your house with the most amazing smells and its something you can do with kids (especially licking the batter bowl once its done!) Buy little cupcake wrappers and fill the batter straight into them for a professional look.

Looking for recipes click here http://www.foodfood.com/recipes/chocolate-cupcakes/

Saffola Masala Oats Veggie Twist Corn Bhel

My mum used to make this for us all the time! Birthday parties, picnics, school lunches…. its easy to make and easy to carry. Plus, with the corn, its also healthier than a normal bhel. We always have imli chutney in our freezer to whip up a chaat picnic when no one feels like cooking!

Looking for recipes click here http://www.foodfood.com/recipes/saffola-masala-oats-veggie-twist-corn-bhel/

I’m a Rainbow Too!

I don’t know how to write about Esha without it sounding like a “My Best Friend” essay they give you to write in school. We met when we were eight years old. We did NOT become friends right away. And even now we fight like cats & dogs because we know we can be brutally honest with each other. That’s why even during our worst fights I know that we will grow old together. Esha has been in the spotlight all her life and might come across as reserved, even shy in public. But there is another Esha who treats her friends like sisters, who will call me from anywhere in the world if Bob Marley’s “Sun is shining” is playing or if there is a beautiful full moon (we used to sit on my terrace every full moon night and act like loonies) and who is much funnier than she thinks.
We both got married in the same year and it is so fun to see someone who was actually scared of turning on the gas turn into a inventive and experimental cook! She even makes fish & chicken for Bharat and her Goan curry is one of the best I have ever tried.
The best way to start cooking is to cook for someone special in your life, because you want to make them something delicious & soul- satisfying, whether its your best friend from school or your husband.

Spinach & Goat Cheese Quiche

Next time you are drooling over a sweet chocolate tart or quiche in the window of a bakery, think of me saying “You can make it at home!”. This quiche dough is one of the basic pastry doughs you learn in cooking school. Add a little sugar and the savoury dough becomes sweet. Add a little cocoa powder and sweet becomes chocolate. Remember to have the butter and eggs absolutely chilled! And you can replace the filling with anything you want!

Chocolate Cupcakes

One of the things Esha loves and has aced while cooking is a Fondant au Chocolat or Molten Lava Cake. Baking is one of those activities that fills your house with the most amazing smells and its something you can do with kids (especially licking the batter bowl once its done!) Buy little cupcake wrappers and fill the batter straight into them for a professional look.

Corn Bhel

My mum used to make this for us all the time! Birthday parties, picnics, school lunches…. its easy to make and easy to carry. Plus, with the corn, its also healthier than a normal bhel. We always have imli chutney in our freezer to whip up a chaat picnic when no one feels like cooking!

 

 

 

Mozzarella Cheese

Ingredients:

4 L buffalo milk
1/8 teaspoon liquid microbial rennet
1/8 teaspoon Thermo B lactobacillus culture
1/2 teaspoon salt
This will make 800 gm of mozzarella

Preparation Method:

  1. Bring milk temperature to 36ºC. Add culture and stir in. Leave undisturbed for two hours.
  2. Dilute the rennet in 1/4 cup of cool, distilled water. Add to the milk after the two hours have elapsed. Stir in an up-and-down manner.
  3. After half an hour, the milk will coagulate into a gelatinous mass. Make vertical cuts separated by 1 inch. Follow that by horizontal cuts separated by 1 inch. This will create 1 inch cubes of curds with a pale yellow liquid, known as whey, appearing through the cuts. Stir a little and slowly raise the temperature over half an hour to 40ºC.
  4. The curds would have firmed up by now. Remove them and place in a colander. Dip the colander back in the whey and try to maintain the temperature of the whey at 40ºC. Flip the curd mass every half an hour. It will begin to come together into a solid.
  5. If using a pH meter, wait till pH of curds drops to 5.1. At that pH the curds are ready to be moulded into mozzarella cheese. If you don’t have a pH meter, after about three hours since moving curds into colander, tear out a small piece of curd and place in near-boiling water. Remove after 20 seconds and try to pull it apart. If it stretches without tearing, the curds are ready to be moulded into mozzarella cheese.
  6. Heat 4 litters of water, with the 1/2 tsp salt, to 85ºC. Cut the curd mass into small chunks, roughly 1 inch cubes. Pour the hot water over the curds and with a wooden spoon stir the curds. They will melt and form a uniform molten sheet. Stretch the sheet till it appears smooth and shiny. Using your hands, take a good portion of the sheet and quickly roll into a ball, tearing it at the bottom. The molten sheet of cheese is hot, so use gloves or have a cold water bath close to you, to save your skin! Make balls and sear them in cold water to form a nice firm skin.

Cling wrap and store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Mozzarella Cheese Pizza

Ingredients:

1 kg flour
25 gm salt
20 gm fresh yeast + 100 ml water
30 ml oil
600 ml water

200 gm tomato pizza sauce
4 balls mozarella cheese
16 leaves fresh basil
Salt & pepper

Preparation Method:

  1. Put yeast into 100 ml luke warm water and let it ferment in a warm place. When bubbles appear it is ready to be used.
  2. In a large bowl, put flour, salt, yeast + water mixture. Add rest of the water and oil. Knead till it comes together and then put on a floured surface. Knead dough for at least 10-15 min till its very smooth and silky. Cover with plastic wrap or a cloth and let it rise for 1 hour.
  3. Take the risen dough and divide into 4 balls. Make the balls smooth and put in a tray, cover with cloth and let it rise again for 20 min.
  4. Flatten dough with your fingertips stretching the ends a bit. Roll out with a rolling pin and transfer onto baking tray. Put tomato sauce, cheese & which ever toppings you like! Bake for 8-10 min in a very hot oven (250 degrees).

QnA with Aditya Raghavan

Q.1) So you’re a physicist turned cheese maker… How and why?
A. I’ve always spent time in the kitchen. While working towards my doctorate in Physics, I saw my growth in the kitchen get stunted, which had since created a growing need of spending time around food. Cheese making requires a certain discipline and intuition that one easily inculcates from an academic lifestyle. It was a marriage made in heaven. Oh, and I REALLY REALLY like cheese!
Q.2) What’s the one place in the world that makes u feel sunny side up?
A. I generally have a sunny disposition, but I feel truly sunny side up on those Saturday mornings when I walk through the Old Strathcona Farmers Market in Edmonton, Canada.
Q.3) What was the one memorable moment in your life when you felt sunny side up
A. Back in December, I made a Caerphilly cheese with a mixture of buffalo and cow milks. Sixty days after making it, the euphoria I went through as I cut into the cheese and saw a natural fat marbling between the white buffalo fat and yellow cow fat, totally flipped the yolks out of me.
It was certainly the coolest cheese experiment I did.
Q.4) What’s your ideal sunny side up brunch recipe
A. A Stilton and Granny Smith Apple Eggs Benedict.

 

Q.5) How do u stay sunny side up?
A. I try to do something new and challenging every week.

Say Cheese

You could say cheese was written into my karma…. I married a guy from a cheese making village in Switzerland! My love story with cheese has seen different stages… kind of like a real love story…. first it was exciting to try lots of different flavours and textures. Then when my pallate developed, I began to understand what kind of cheese I really liked and why. It then matured into a full fledged relationship while I was studying in Paris. And the culmination point was, of course, in Christophe’s village at a cheese farm, watching the process and then learning how to make Mozarella at Acres Wild in Coonoor.
Aditya Raghavan is one of those guys who likes to know what lies at the heart of things. Maybe thats why he became a physicist. And maybe thats why he began to make cheese & bake bread. Its so amazing when people of my generation show an interest in ancient and traditional methods and actually start making cheese! Aditya and I are planning to start a Slow Food Convivium in Mumbai to try and keep alive these old school methods of food.

CHEESE SOUFFLE

Very Scary. Trust me. Especially when the Chef who is teaching you how to make them at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris tells you that the souffle can sometimes fall if someone talks to loudly near the oven. But the basic idea is simple! Whip in air into egg whites. Combine them gently with your mixture and DO NOT OPEN the oven door while they are cooking. Give it a try! You’ll be known as a masterchef in your house after that!

MOZZARELLA CHEESE

I actually went to learn how to make Mozzarella cheese at Mansoor Khan’s cheese farm in Coonoor. It was a super fun experience! Aditya Raghavan is a part of a new breed of Indians (check out The Cheese Collective) who are trying to do things from scratch- the proper way! You can order everything you need online, so why not make a weekend Sunny Side Up by making your own Mozzarella cheese!

MOZZARELLA CHEESE PIZZA

Pizza Dough is one of those no-brainer doughs. You don’t have to be delicate with it, you have to basically knead & knead & knead till it is really silky and soft. More muscle than brain. Ask your local bakery for some fresh yeast if you want to make it authentic but dry active yeast works just as well! And with your own homemade Mozzarella! La Dolce Vita!