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Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Magic of a refilled Egg… Exquisite Egg Supremo

Hard boiled eggs deviled with Black Sesame, Red Onion, Coriander leaves, Tomato, Green chili, Egg yolk and Lime served on garlic bread- this is how snacks become more fun than main course

 So may it be afternoon, or evening or let’s say any time of the day, if you have the time to boil some eggs, this dish is almost there on your plate, and it screams healthy. There is such a need for recipes in our lives that is a balance of health n taste n this recipe exactly fits in there. Now according to me egg is the most versatile ingredient in the kitchen, thousand of things can be created out of it, starting from a simple omelette to a poached egg to French toast to a salad to a soufflé to cake n mousse to an ice cream…it’s a real long list. So when I say the magic of egg, it all starts with cracking an egg- before or after cooking.

Egg is a real wonder food, a powerhouse of nutrition- like if I have to compare it metaphorically it is the superman in the world of food or should I say superwomen! But you get it. Eggs have all the essential amino acids that we need which means it is bursting with protein n choline n vitamins n minerals….what more you can possibly ask for? Think about it.

I am in utter love with eggs right from the beginning, a simple omelette can make me feel all right in a bad day, it still thrills me…god knows why? Right from my childhood I have been eating eggs as egg curry- combined with tomatoes, potatoes, aubergine, onion and then fried egg with sunny side up and omelette, dumplings, egg rolls, egg-noodles, in ice creams and cakes and now after all these years I have eggs as scrambled eggs, soufflé, crème brulee, floating island, sauce hollandaise, pan cakes, soufflé omelette- I don’t think I can actually remember all of them now.

 I developed this recipe in the Foodush kitchen as part of our menu in Gurgaon, a wonderful kitchen and it was loved and wanted by everyone who tasted it. I bring together elements like roasted black sesame seed, lots of fresh coriander leaves, red onion, tomatoes, green chili in this recipe, the eggs are hard boiled, then separated, after that I mixed the egg yolk with pan fried red onion, green chilies, coriander leaves, roasted black sesame seed, finishing off with freshly tossed tomato chunks and freshly squeezed lime juice. After I devil the egg whites with this mixture I make them sit on a round piece of garlic bread topped with a crispy lettuce with a dollop of mayo mixed with mustard.

 If you want to make it very healthy skip the bread and the mayo, eat the eggs just like that or wrap each egg half with a crispy lettuce n eat up. Another option will be to mix a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil with the egg yolk mixture, it will boost them with the fresh olive flavor and make it more smooth n wet.

Now it is time for the recipe.

For The Recipe:  you will need
Eggs-3, hard boiled n yolk separated
Red onion-1 medium, chopped
Fresh coriander leaves n stalks- 7 tbsp, finely chopped
Black pepper- ½ tsp
Black sesame seed- 2 tbsp heaped
Green chili- 2 finely sliced
Butter- 1 tbsp+ ½ tbsp
Vegetable oil-1 tbsp
Tomato- 1 ripe, chopped into squares
Pink rock salt- 2 pinch
Lime- 1 medium

For serving on bread:
Garlic bread- 6 roundish slices, 1 bread for one half of egg
Lettuce (Green Leaf/ Iceberg) – 6 medium leafs, washed n kept in cold water for half an hour
Mayo- 6 tbsp mixed with 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
Mustard paste/sauce- 1 tbsp
Black pepper- to taste

1. Begin by placing the eggs in a small deep saucepan and cover them with water, then put them on low flame, let the water come to a boil which will take about 10 min on low heat, you can increase the flame after 4 minutes so that the water come to a quick boil, as the water comes to a boil, switch off the heat and leave the eggs in the water for 7 minutes. At the end of time drain them and cool them with new batches of cold water. When cold peel them, slice them lengthwise and carefully take out the yolks keeping the egg white shell intact.
2. Place a frying pan on medium low heat and add the black sesame seeds, shake the pan as you roast them on a low heat, they will take about 3-4 minutes, shake them every 30 sec, when done take them off the pan.
3. Place the same frying pan on medium heat and place 1 tbsp butter n 1 tsp oil in it, as the butter melts add the chopped red onion along with the green chili and chopped coriander stalks and half of the leaves, reduce the flame to low n soften them slowly over a time of 5-7 minutes, we just want to soften them, so don’t brown them, take the pan off the heat in between if heat is high in your hob, when the onions have softened, season with black pepper, salt, pinch of pink rock salt and add the chopped tomato n half of the remaining coriander leaves. Mix well and give it 2 minutes, after that put the flame off, add the remaining coriander leaves and remaining butter and mix.
4. Put the egg yolks and all the contents from the frying pan together onto a plate and add the roasted black sesame seed and begin smashing the egg yolks with the back of a fork, mix all of them until it is well mixed, now squeeze half of the lime juice in the mixture n mix, taste, if you feel you need more add the other half, I normally squeeze a whole lime into the mixture so that it is on the tangy side. Finally taste and adjust the salt. Then make small balls from the mixture by rolling onto your palm and place each ball onto each egg white shells to refill them.
5. Mix the mayo with the tomato ketchup and mustard sauce/paste and freshly ground black pepper, then shake off excess water from the lettuce leaves, pat dry, place a little dollop of mayo onto each bread slice, smear it over the surface, then place one lettuce leaf over each bread slice, place another dollop of mustard mayo on top of lettuce. Then carefully place each half of egg white shell onto each bread slice and we are ready to serve.

So there it is, egg-supremo is all ready for you, deviled eggs with the goodness of eggs, black sesame, coriander leaves n lime. Share them with everyone around you and see what a crowd pleaser it is, enjoy every bite of it slowly, so now I am gonna say Bon appétit.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

2 Mousse madness, Nalen Gurr n Dark Chocolate Rum n other stories…

Two Amazing Egg less Mousse recipes, minimum ingredients, maximum flavor: Nalen Gurr Mousse, Dark Chocolate with Red Rum Mousse for the Valentine’s day n Saraswati Pujo

Winter days call for food that makes you warm, even if they are cold in temperature themselves and even if they are desert and sweet they will make you warm n cozy in the course of enjoying them. So when I think of winter I think of rum, especially the dark red rum, complex in flavor, almost like a candy with a lot of depth and its affinity with dark chocolate, yes that’s magical n sexy n yet subtle. So they come together in my mousse, hugging each other and dissolving into the whipped cream as I go beating the cream.

Yes the mousse is literally very simple, it is only made with whipping cream n dark chocolate n red rum and Nalen Gurr- Date-Palm Jaggery available in the eastern part of India, in the land of Bengal, only in the winter season and this is liquid gold in my food dictionary.

You can make a mousse with the combination of stiffly beaten egg-whites and whipping cream also, in that case the mousse becomes even lighter n airy as the beaten egg whites bring even more trapped air bubbles into the mousse, I decided to make them eggless this time because the people for whom I made preferred it without eggs. But let it not make you think that the eggless mousse will not melt you as you eat them-they will. They are not as light as it would be with eggs but still they are deliciously light n smooth, singing with the flavors of Nalen Gurr n Dark chocolate n rum.

A mousse literally describes the texture of a food, a food item that includes air bubbles trapped inside it to produce a light and airy texture is a mousse, they can be both sweet n savory. Now depending on the techniques of including the air bubbles into the mousse the final result can be light n fluffy while some can be thick n creamy n denser. The mousse I made is very creamy n thick, whereas if you add egg-whites to them they will be even more airy.

A savory mousse can be flavored with a vegetable or fish or eggs, cheese, herbs. We can attain the light texture by using egg-whites, beating them to get the light n fluffy or cream; sometimes gelatin can be used in stabilizing the foam.

The taste of the Nalen Gurr mousse is absolutely delish, the molten jaggery just dissolves in the cream n unifies itself; it has such a satisfactory sensation attached to it. Like I said Nalen Gurr is a jaggery which is made from the sap of the date-palm trees in the region of Bengal, when the simmering sap thickens at the end of preparing it, it has a flavor unmatched by anything, there is nothing quite like it, liquid gold I tell you.

For a good dark chocolate mousse you need a real good chocolate, the better the chocolate you have the better the mousse will be, I used the one with 50% cocoa content, you can use 70% for an intense dark chocolate experience.

There are so many whipping creams in the market, some are dairy-based while some are soy based, you can use whatever you love, it is only up to you, some of the creams are previously sweetened and flavored with vanilla, if you are using that cream remember that the gurr is sweet itself, so the resulting mousse can be too sweet, in that case adjust the proportion of the gurr in the recipe.

So now I will take you to a sweet n cozy n warm winter evening, I’ll give you the recipe.

For The Recipe:  You will need

For the Nalen-Gurr Mousse:
Nalen-Gurr- 100 gm, grated or broken into small chunks
Water- ½ cup
Salt- a pinch
Whipping cream- 250-300 ml
Lemon/lime juice- 3-4 drops

For the Dark chocolate Rum Mousse:
Dark Chocolate – 150 gm, grated or broken into small pieces
Red Rum- 3 tbsp
Salt- a pinch
Milk (full fat) or cream- 100 ml
Icing sugar-50 gm (if you whipping cream is pre-sweetened then skip sugar)

1. Begin by melting the gurr, for that place the broken or grated gurr in a wok or frying pan or saucepan and add the water, let the flame be on a medium, with a wooden spatula stir the mixture, the gurr will melt in 3-4 minutes, then the mixture will come to a simmer, let it simmer on a low heat now for 4/6 minutes and it will thicken slightly, you will see the whole mixture is filled with bubbles, put the flame off, add a pinch of salt and drops of lime n mix well,  let it come to room temperature.

2. Melt the dark chocolate in a bain-marie, make sure that the water is not touching the bowl of chocolate, stir the chocolate as it begins to melt, when all the chocolate has melted give it a good mix. Warm the cream or milk slightly, make sure that the milk/cream is not cold when you add it to the hot liquid chocolate , add the slightly warm milk/cream  and mix to a smooth consistency, then add the red rum and pinch of salt into it, mix again. Let it come to a room temperature.

3. For whipping the cream, if you are using a dairy based cream, then freeze the bowl into which the cream will be whipped along with the wire-whisk or pedal attachment of your stand mixer, in case you are gonna whip with your hands, open your hands from the elbow and freeze them too……NOOOO! Really! If you are using soy based whipping cream you might skip this part. One important thing is you are using a whipping cream which was frozen to a solid block in your freezer; you have to take it out n keep in your refrigerator for 12 -16hours at least, until it becomes liquid again. So now simply pour the cream in a big airy glass or metal bowl and whisk with either wire whisk, or electric hand whisk or like I did I whipped it all with my hands which took me 15 minutes of solid whisking, gosh I do believe in hard work!
If your cream is not previously sweetened, then you have to add icing sugar to the cream at the stage when the cream begins to transform from soft peaks to more stable peaks. You can always check by tasting if you want your whipped cream to be more sweet or not and you can adjust.

4. With a spatula draw a line over the whipping cream dividing it into two equal portions for the two mousse, then take one third from one portion and beat is vigorously into the chocolate rum mixture to lighten it up. Then add half of the remaining cream and fold it gently into the lightened chocolate mixture, do it by moving the spatula outwards and upwards beginning from the side of the bowl to the centre and rotate the bowl by one quarter with each fold. So in four fold you will rotate the bowl completely, work lightly and then add the remaining cream into the chocolate mixture and fold until combined.

5. Repeat the same process with the gurr. Now you can simply put them into beautiful small glasses or cups by spoon or you can put them in a piping bag and pipe them into small glasses, do whatever you feel like , then place them in the refrigerator to chill for a good 4 hours, yes they will taste better when cold.

So now take them out, sprinkle them with some grated chocolate for the chocolate mousse and for the Nalen Gurr mousse drizzle them with some liquid gurr, gosh look at them! Beautiful! Aren’t they? Delicious! Aren’t they? Now you must share them with everyone around, they keep well in the fridge, so save some for future good times, I know you will make them soon again, and guess what? Bon appétit.