Recipe – Broccoli and Cauliflower Mac’N’Cheese

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 60 minutes

Serves: 4 to 6 people

Broccoli and cauliflower mac’n’cheese is considered as a winter-warming comfort food. It is a great side dish, but is also equally good by itself.

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Ingredients

Macaroni – 250 grams

Cauliflower split into florets – 1

Broccoli split into florets – 1

Cold milk – 700 milliliters

Butter – 50 grams (keep some extra quantity for greasing purposes)

Plain flour – 50 grams

Wholegrain mustard – 1 teaspoon

A pinch of nutmeg

Grated cheddar cheese – 200 grams

Preparation

Fill a cooking pot that is large enough to contain the cooked pasta, cauliflower, broccoli with water and bring it to boil on a stove at high heat. Add macaroni and continue cooking for 12 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets into the pot 5 minutes prior to the pasta getting completely cooked. Add the cauliflower florets two minutes later. Cook for about 3 more minutes and then drain the water. Keep the pot aside.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/180 degrees Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 6. Grease an ovenproof baking dish of size 25 cm (L) × 25 cm (W) × 5 cm (D). Pour the milk into a saucepan and keep it on the stove at medium heat. Whisk after adding flour and butter until the mixture attains a steady simmer. Continue to cook till the sauce becomes thick.

Now, add three-quarters of the cheese, a pinch of nutmeg and the wholegrain mustard. Season using ground black pepper and salt. Mix thoroughly until the cheese melts. The cheese sauce can now be poured over the macaroni, broccoli and cauliflower. Mix thoroughly.

Transfer the contents from the pot on to the baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese that is left and keep it in the oven for about 25 minutes or till the top turns to golden color and the sauce bubbles up the sides. The baking dish can now be removed from the oven and allowed to cool down a little before serving.

Recipe – Chicken Curry

Here is a recipe for an easy-to-make chicken curry that is flavored with cardamom, mace, turmeric and coriander seeds. It is one of the ways in which you can use up the leftover chicken roast. Preparation and cooking times are 20 minutes and 40 minutes, respectively. It serves four people.

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Ingredients

Mace – 3 blades

Green cardamom – 9

Black cardamom – 6

Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon

Vegetable oil – 4 tablespoons

2 onions finely sliced

Bay leaves – 3

Cloves – 10

Chilli powder – half a teaspoon

Ground turmeric – half a teaspoon

4 Finely chopped galic cloves

3 cm fresh ginger piece grated

Chopped canned tomatoes – 800 grams

Double cream – 50 milliliters

Cooked chicken cut into bite-sized pieces – 500 grams

Coriander leaves freshly chopped – One handful

Preparation

Toast the mace, coriander seeds and cardamom pods gently in a large frying pan over medium to low heat for about one minute so to get their flavors and aromas released. Transfer the spices into a mortar and using the pestle pound to break them.

Pour the oil into the frying pan and keep the stove at medium heat. Cook the onions, stirring frequently, until they become soft but not brown. Now add the bay leaves, toasted spices, cloves, turmeric, chilli powder, garlic as well as ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Stir only occasionally.

Add the canned tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium to low heat for about 10 minutes. Remove the frying pan from the stove and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Transfer the contents of the pan into a food processor. Whiz until it becomes smooth.

Put the sauce on to the frying pan and add the cream and the chicken pieces. Bring the mix to a gentle simmer and maintain the heat for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top of the curry and serve with naan bread or basmati rice.

Recipe – Chicken Tikka Masala

This tasty Indian dish is a favorite among diners as it uses cream and garlic in plenty.

Preparation time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4 to 6 people

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Ingredients

Chicken Tikka

Boneless, skinless chicken (breasts or thighs) cut into pieces of size 2.5 cm – 675 grams

Lemon juice – 3 tablespoons

Peeled and grated ginger root – 1 tablespoon

Cloves of garlic crushed or finely grated – 2

Ground cumin – 1 teaspoon

Paprika – 1 teaspoon

Chilli powder – Three-fourth of a teaspoon

Whipping cream – 6 tablespoons

Garam masala – half of a teaspoon

Sunflower oil – 3 tablespoons

For Masala

Sunflower oil – 4 tablespoons

Finely sliced onions – 140 grams

Peeled, finely grated root ginger – 1 tablespoon

Crushed garlic cloves – 5 to 6

Ground coriander – 1 tablespoon

Turmeric – half a teaspoon

Chilli powder – Three-fourth of a teaspoon

Paprika – 2 teaspoon

Yogurt – 4 tablespoons

Peeled and finely chopped medium sized tomatoes – 2

Chicken stock – 350 milliliters

Garam masala – Quarter teaspoon

Coriander leaves – 4 tablespoons

Preparation

In a bowl, take the chicken pieces and rub them with the lemon juice and one-and-a-quarter teaspoon of salt. Poke pieces of chicken lightly with the knife tip and again rub in the seasoning. Allow it to marinate for about 20 minutes.

Add ginger, garlic, paprika, cumin, chilli powder, garam masala and whipping cream. Mix the ingredients well and refrigerate for about 6 to 8 hours in a closed vessel. You can leave it in the refrigerator for a longer period also.

To prepare the masala, pour the sunflower oil on to a large, non-stick pan with lid. Put the pan on the stove, setting a medium to high heat. Add onions when the oil becomes hot and stir till they become brown in color. This takes about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and continue frying for a minute.

Now add turmeric, coriander, paprika and chilli powder and stir for 10 seconds. Add one tablespoon of yogurt and continue stirring till it gets absorbed. Pour the remaining yogurt, one tablespoon at a time.

Fry the tomatoes form about 3 to 4 minutes or till they become pulpy. Add a quarter teaspoon of salt and the stock and bring it to a simmer. Put the lid on the pan and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes at low heat till the sauce turns thick.

Add coriander leaves, garam masala and salt to taste. Preheat the grill at its highest setting. Thread the chicken pieces onto 2 to 4 skewers (preferably, flat ones that look like swords). Apply 3 tablespoons of oil and place the skewers on a shallow baking tray in such as way that the chicken pieces do not have any contact with the tray. Place the tray at a distance of about 13 cm from the heat source. Grill each side for about 6 minutes.

Once the chicken skewers get cooked, heat the sauce once again and fold in the chicken. Immediately serve the dish.

Recipe – Chocolate Cupcakes

You can make these delicious chocolate cupcakes in about an hour. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare, 25 minutes to cook and 15 minutes to cool them before serving. You get about 12 chocolate cupcakes with the quantities of ingredients mentioned in this recipe. The impressive chocolate cupcakes are simple to make and everyone in the family will definitely enjoy them.

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Ingredients

Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon

Milk – 220 milliliters

Plain flour – 220 grams

Cocoa powder – 60 grams

Bicarbonate of soda – 1 teaspoon

Butter – 110 grams at room temperature

Caster sugar – 250 grams

Instant coffee – 1 teaspoon dissolved in 1 tablespoon of hot water

Eggs – 2 large

Dark chocolate chips – 120 grams

For the Icing

Dark chocolate – 260 grams

Salt – 1 teaspoon

Caster sugar – 3 tablespoon

Soured cream – 300 milliliters

For decoration – Chocolate curls or cigarillos

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius or 160 degrees Fahrenheit or Gas Mark 4. On a 12-hole cupcake tin, place paper cupcake holders. Preferably, use gold cases as they help to create an impressive appearance.

 

Mix lemon juice and milk and keep it aside. Then sift the cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and flour together and mix them in a large bowl. In another bowl, whip butter with half the quantity of sugar till it becomes light and fluffy.

Beat eggs and dissolved coffee together and add the mixture along with the remaining sugar into the batter. At a time take one-third of the flour mixture and one-third of soured milk and beat them together, alternating the flour mixture and soured milk so as to get an evenly mixed cake batter.

Transfer the cake batter into the paper cases and bake for about 20 minutes till they become firm and springy when touched. Make sure that the skewer remains clean when inserted at the center of the cupcake. Leave the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool down.

For making the icing, take a heatproof bowl and melt the chocolate over a pan containing simmering water. After it melts, whisk it with salt, soured cream and sugar. Once the mixture thickens up to icing consistency, allow it to cool for 15 minutes. You can now decorate each cupcake with the icing and a single chocolate shard.

Recipe – Chocolate Mousse Cake

All you need to prepare this delicious chocolate mousse cake are dark chocolate, butter, eggs, and a little bit of sugar.  The preparation time required is just 15 minutes and the cooking time is approximately 30 minutes. With the quantities mentioned in this recipe, it will be sufficient to serve as many as 8 people.

chocolate mousse cake

Chocolate Mousse Cake – Ingredients

Dark Chocolate: 300 grams; either broken into pieces or alternatively you can use dark chocolate drops

Butter: a healthy portion of 150 grams

Eggs: 5

Caster Sugar: 50 grams

Cocoa Powder: for dusting

Chocolate Mousse Cake – Preparation

The first step in preparing the chocolate mousse cake is preheating the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/160 degrees Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 4. Then line a spring-from or loose-bottomed cake tin’s base (approximately 20 centimeters diameter) with a baking parchment disc and grease its sides using butter.

Now, melt the butter and chocolate together in a heatproof bowl that by keeping it in a saucepan containing simmering water. After the butter and chocolate melt, take them away from the heat and leave them aside.

The next step is to mix the sugar and eggs together in a separate bowl by making use of either an electric mixer or a handheld electric beater. You need to whisk the mixture for at least 7 to 10 minutes or till the mixture forms a pale, light mousse.

Now, fold the chocolate and butter mixture into the eggs and sugar mixture till they are thoroughly mixed.  Then pour the mixture into the greased tin. Bake the mixture for about 20 to 22 minutes or till the cake becomes almost set.

Allow the chocolate Mousse Cake to cool down completely inside the tin itself. After the cake has cooled down completely, remove it, dust it with cocoa powder, slice it into pieces and serve.

Recipe – Lamb Curry

You will definitely enjoy and relish this delicious lamb curry. The slow cooked lamb curry made with sweet and spicy flavorings is a great dinner item. The preparation time is 20 minutes and the cooking time is 2 hours and 30 minutes. You can serve four people.

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Ingredients

Leg of lamb or lean lamb shoulder cut into cubes of 1 inch/2.5cm – 450 grams

Oil – 2 tablespoons

Peeled and sliced red onion – 1

Peeled and crushed or finely chopped garlic clove – 1

Peeled and grated or finely chopped fresh ginger – 1 piece of 2.5 cm size

Turmeric – 1 teaspoon

Garam masala – 3 tablespoons

Canned tomatoes chopped – 400 grams

Lamb stock – 200 ml

Green chillies – 3

Peeled and cut sweet potatoes – 1 small

Juice from half of a lemon

Chopped coriander leaves – 1 large handful

Black mustard seeds for garnishing

Preparation

Heat half the quantity of the oil in a sufficiently large non-stick pan and in batches brown the lamb for about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the lamb pieces into a heatproof casserole dish of 1.2 liters capacity. Pour the remaining oil into the non-stick pan and cook the onion, ginger, garlic and spices together for about 3 to 4 minutes until they become golden brown in color. Transfer all the contents into the casserole dish.

Add tomatoes, chillies and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for about two-and-a- half hours, keeping the casserole closed. Occasionally, check if the lamb has become tender and give it a stir. You can season it, if required.

About 20 minutes ahead of the completing of the cooking time, add the sweet potato pieces and lime juice. Garnishing can be done with the coriander leaves and the black mustard seeds. Serve the dish with basmati rice or a selection of Indian breads such as naan, roti, etc.

Recipe – Mojito Cupcakes

Mojito cupcakes are a great addition to any party dessert menu. You just need about 30 minutes to prepare the ingredients and 20 minutes to bake them. The ingredient quantities mentioned in this recipe will be sufficient to make approximately 24 mojito cupcakes.

mojito

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

Soft, unsalted butter – 250 grams

Caster sugar – 250 grams

Eggs – 4

Self-raising flour – 250 grams

For the frosting

Soft, unsalted butter – 250 grams

Icing sugar – 550 grams

For Flavoring the Mojito

White rum – 75 milliliters

Soft, light brown sugar – 2 tablespoons

Juice of 2 limes

Mint leaves for decoration

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, 160 degrees Fahrenheit or Gas Mark 4. Mix butter and sugar in a mixer till it becomes fluffy and then add the four eggs, one at a time. Now, add the flour and thoroughly mix it with the other ingredients. The cake mix can now be poured into the cupcake cases. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes till the cupcakes become firm and springy to touch. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and leave them to cool down.

After the cupcakes have cooled down, use a pastry brush to apply white rum on the top surface of each cupcake. Do it twice so that the rum soaks into the cakes. Now, brush the top surface of the cakes with fresh lime. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the cupcakes.

To prepare the frosting, thoroughly mix 500 grams of icing sugar with butter. Add the remaining lime juice and rum. Blend for about 3 minutes. If the mixture is very runny, add 50 grams of icing sugar. The frosting can be poured on top of the cold sponges using a spoon or piped with a piping bag and nozzle. Decorate with a sprig of mint and a slice of lime.

Recipe – Panna Cotta With Fruits or Berries

Panna cotta is a dessert recipe which is very healthy as it contains only lesser amount of sugar as well as calories when compared with its typical creamy version. It takes just 5 minutes to prepare the mix for panna cotta. The cooking time is about 20 minutes, but you need give about three hours for it to set properly. The ingredient quantities mentioned for this will be sufficient for serving four people.   

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Ingredients

For making the panna cotta

Skimmed milk – 180 milliliters

Low-fat buttermilk – 180 milliliters

Powdered gelatine – one-and-a-quarter teaspoon

Calorie-free sweetener (For example, Truvia) – 15 grams

For the fresh berry medley

Quarter vanilla pods – seeds scraped out and split open

Calorie-free sweetener (For example, Truvia) – 9 grams

Raspberries – 65 grams

Blueberries – 75 grams

Quartered Strawberries – 75 grams

Instead of berries, you can also use seasonal fruits or a fruit that you like best.

Preparation

Take a small pot and pour the milk into it. Sprinkle gelatin over the milk, whisk and then leave it for about 3 minutes so that the gelatin becomes soft. Whisk once again with the sweetener. Warm up the mixture at medium heat on a stove till the gelatin melts. Take care not to boil the mixture. Take the pot off the stove and whisk it again with butter milk. Now, pour the mixture into four numbers of small ramekins. Place the ramekins in the refrigerator and leave them for about three hours.

Transfer the vanilla seeds and sweetener on to a small bowl and rub them between your fingers till they are properly blended. Now pour the mixture on to the berries and mix together for about a minute so that the berries are coated with the mixture and they start releasing their juices. Use a spoon to transfer equal portions of the berries along with their juice on top of the four panna cotta and serve.

Recipe – Smoked Haddock With Greens And Gnocchi

haddockSmoked haddock that is baked with greens and gnocchi delivers a great deal of flavors. It is easy to make and can be cooked fast like the modern fish pie.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Serves: 3 to 4 persons

Ingredients

Fresh gnocchi – 500 grams

2 small courgettes cut down the middle into two and chopped into crescents

Asparagus cut into lengths of 2 centimeters each – 200 grams

Full fat creme fraiche – 200 milliliters

Finely chopped dill – 1 tablespoon

Smoked haddock, skinned as well as cut into pieces of 2.5 centimeters size – 350 grams

Freshly grated parmesan – 4 tablespoons

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/180 degrees Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 6. Take a large heatproof pan and fill it with water. Place the pan on the stove at high heat so that the water boils quickly. Add gnocchi, asparagus and courgettes. Cook them for about 3 minutes and then drain the water.

Transfer the cooked vegetables and gnocchi to a pot and add dill and crème fraîche. Also, add the smoked haddock. Gently mix them till all of the ingredients are distributed evenly. Season with a little bit of salt and black pepper.

Sprinkle the parmesan and cook in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, keeping the pot covered. The vegetables should soften, but they should retain a little bit of bite.

Here are a few suggestions and tips that you can keep in mind when preparing this dish:

Keep everything ready and easily accessible prior to starting to cook this dish. This is because the dish is to be prepared quickly. For this recipe, avoid using reduced fat creme fraiche as it may split. If asparagus is not available, you can use broccoli in its place.

Recipe – Tomato And Basil Spaghettini

This is a very delicious vegetarian dish. It is not only easy to make this dish, but can also be done in a matter of minutes. It takes only 5 minutes to prepare the ingredients and the cooking time is just 15 minutes. The quantity of ingredients mentioned in this recipe will be sufficient to serve only one person. This vegetarian dish can be prepared in a jiffy with sweet cherry tomatoes. For garnishing, you can use the shredded basil leaves.

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Tomato and Basil Spaghettini – What Ingredients to Use

Vermicelli pasta or spaghettini – 100 grams

Olive oil – 2 tablespoons

1 garlic clove peeled and crushed

Chopped cherry tomatoes – 100 grams

5 basil leaves (shredded)

Ingredients For serving

5 basil leaves (shredded)

Olive oil (extra virgin) – 1 tablespoon

Tomato and Basil Spaghettini – How to Prepare

The first step is to fill up a large-sized saucepan with clean water and add salt to it. Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 5 to 6 minutes or until al dente. Then drain off the water. In the mean time, heat the olive oil in a separate saucepan that is small in size. Fry the garlic clove for about two minutes till it becomes soft. Take care to see that it does not become brown.

Add all the tomatoes and add a little bit of salt. Cook the tomatoes for a few minutes. Then, add a little amount of water and cook the tomatoes for a little more time. Continue cooking the tomatoes till they become soft and come to a saucy consistency. The next step is to add all the chopped basil.

Before serving the dish, stir the pasta with the sauce. Serve the tomato and basil spaghettini drizzling a little of the extra virgin olive oil and with a sprig of basil.