Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tastey Boy meets Kitchen, or when Fat Sister learns to play the arduous role of Sous Chef

I think I saw a few fluttering, flying pigs outside the window last night—for the first time in nearly 5 years, hubby, a.k.a. Tastey Boy, voluntarily cooked me supper! The sight of him in an apron wielding my Wusthof chef’s knife alone sent my heart aflutter. The resulting meal makes me hope that it will not be a one-time affair.

The whole enterprise was set-off by a cookbook which I happened to bring home from work a few weeks ago. I am loath to plug one of my employer’s publications (all you readers know how strictly I enforce the separation of church and state), but this puppy yielded a miracle last night and should be gratefully acknowledged.

The tome-of-wonder is Food Network Magazine Great Easy Meals. It’s a commercial, colourful, easy-to-use cookbook, which I snobbishly dismissed for being chock-full of pedestrian recipes for the semi-homemade brigade. Well, I was forced to eat a big slice of humble pie yesterday and should give credit where it is due. It is the perfect tool to encourage any kitchen-averse spouse to peruse recipes, plan a meal, shop for groceries, cook and lay a table. So who cares if the recipes are not ground-breaking in the Momofuku vein—they are fuss-free and low on intimidating ingredients and techniques. Most importantly, he turned on the stove while I watched my favourite guilty pleasure on TV with a lovely glass of Assyrtiko. And for the record, I love taking orders from the Executive Chef; well perhaps, every so often!

Garlic Roasted Chicken (pg. 130) 

Roasted Asparagus (pg. 341)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Apple Rosemary Turnovers with Honey

I made these turnovers as a surprise Valentine’s Day breakfast for hubby. Needless to say the golden brown mounds of sweet, baked apple goodness had the desired effect on my honey—enough said!

1 large Apple, about 8-10 oz [225gm] (peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice)
4 tbsp Honey
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fresh Rosemary (minced)
1/8 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground Cardamom
1 tbsp Flour
pinch Salt
1 egg (lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry or phyllo dough (thawed)
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. 
  2. In a bowl, combine the apple, honey, vanilla, rosemary, nutmeg, cardamom, flour and salt. Set aside.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, unfold the sheet of puff pastry. Trim pastry to a 16- x 8-inch rectangle. Cut the sheet into eight 4- x 4-inch pieces.
  4. Place a generous spoonful of the apple mixture in the center of each square, leaving at least 3/4-inches around all sides. Using a pastry brush, gently apply a coat of the beaten egg to the exposed border of the pastry.
  5. Fold each piece to form a triangle. Seal the edges with the tines of a fork, or pinch with two fingers. Brush the tops of the turnovers with more of the egg wash. Slice a few small slits on the top of the turnovers to allow steam to escape. 
  6. Place the turnovers on a lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. 
[Makes 8 turnovers]

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spiced Turkey Burgers with Feta

Blame the parsley—or rather the lack of it—for this recipe! I always make my turkey burgers seasoned simply with salt, black pepper, garlic, onion and chopped parsley. But when I went to mix the ground meat last night, I found that I was out of fresh parsley and had only cilantro in the fridge. So that herb substitution inspired me to bolster the cilantro flavour with ground coriander, ginger and lemon juice. The resulting burger was fragrant and juicy and the melting feta added the perfect creamy finish.


For the burgers: 
2 lbs [1 kg] ground Turkey (combination of dark and white meat)
½ small Onion (finely chopped)
4 cloves Garlic (minced)
1 tbsp Ginger (minced)
1 tbsp ground Coriander
½ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
¼ tsp Chilli powder
Salt (to taste)
¼ cup Cilantro (finely chopped)
Juice of half a lemon

1 tbsp vegetable oil
8 oz [225 gms] Feta cheese (crumbled)
6 round buns (cut in half and lightly toasted)

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the burgers in a large bowl. Form meat into six patties, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30-45 mins. You can make this up to a day in advance and store the patties in the fridge. 
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a grill-pan or non-stick skillet. Add turkey patties and sear on each side for about 4 mins. Alternately, you can also grill the patties over direct heat on a gas or charcoal grill. 
  3. Set the broiler in the oven to medium. Sprinkle a generous amount of crumbled feta cheese on each burger and cook in the top rack of the oven for 2 mins, or until the cheese starts to melt. 
  4. Place burger on the bun and serve immediately.

© Copyright 2012 Shubhani Sarkar