Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Prep

It is very surprising to me that Thanksgiving is becoming a more integral part of my life - it is home coming, especially with A in school and T not around. This means that it provides me a bigger excuse to cook with no holds barred and really enjoy the whole process. For me, the prep generally starts a day ahead, especially, because I want to get as many things out of the way before A gets here. A hot cup of chai, with some khichdi bhajiyas and my favorite playlist on the iPod make the cooking prep very very enjoyable.

Today's agenda involved prepping the chicken (yes, I do not like turkey and prefer chicken). The chicken this year is more Indian-style than it ever was with lots of tandoori masala and curd. Allowing it to marinate over night will let the flavor mature before it roasts tomorrow.

I also like making the dessert a day ahead to ensure that it comes out as it is supposed to and if it does not, it gives me enough time to redo or change my plan, because just imagine what would happen with a sub-par dessert :D. This year it is the Chocolate bourbon pecan pie, a recipe i have been wanting to try out since a couple of years but for some reason never got around to. And it has come out well...yipee!

Over the last couple of months a lot of food bloggers have been raving about the flavor of roasted garlic in mashed potatoes, so this time, I will experiment with the flavor, which called for roasting the garlic today - just butter and garlic in the oven - it does smell fabulous.

Can't wait to get to tomorrow .... Happy Thanksgiving folks!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If you have multiple blogs to write about different things that capture your interest, what would you do if either the topics sort of overlap or if you want to write about things that do not fall in any category? Just thinking.

Anyway, after realizing all of a sudden that I have not spent enough time cooking (or goofing off) I decided to finally use up all the veggies in my fridge, down to the last one. Unfortunately for me the only one in a substantial quantity was a brinjal or an egg plant - the one veggie I dislike the most! Well, when I was young, as a rule I hated all veggies, except maybe potatoes, but left to my own devices in the US, I had to eat whatever I could get my hands on and over the last few years I have tried and grudgingly admitted that I like most of them, except for the king of vegetables - the royal brinjal (remember the TV serial on Doordashan back home?). So finding one in my fridge I had to stick to my resolve of using it up. So I dumped it in the oven and decided to use it as my base. Now those of you who have tried making baingan ka bharta the non-traditional way (which is to not roast the brinjal over the fire but instead to use the oven) will know what the insides of the brinjal look like. I have never seen the outside of an alien, and definitely not the insides, but if I did, I bet it would resemble a roasted egg plant (see picture above).It could be the brains but I bet on the intestines.

Anyway, accompanying my extra terrestrial looking brinjal mush, was an orange capsicum that somehow escaped its fate of being a part of my halloween pepper biscuits and desperately cried 'now or never', a handful of frost bitten mixed veggies and some really sad mushrooms (another food item that I vehemently dislike - I cannot even call it a veggie, it is after all a fungus :D ). Well, with these lost and unwanted items in there, I must say that I did not expect much out of the dish (what can you expect from healthy stuff?) but it was surprisingly interesting and I had to document the procedure, which is why I came up with the dilemma in the first sentence.

I hope someday you have a fridge of veggies and want to go on a rampage to demolish all of them, maybe you can use my recipe then.
Enjoy cooking :D