Tuesday, March 27, 2012

CPK Tostada

Though I have never been a big fan of pizza, I am always up for 'CPK Tostada'. For last five years, we both have become addicted to CPK Tostada. We go there often and order this same dish without even looking at the menu. It is so yummy that so far I have never paid close attention to its ingredients. The only thing that got registered about this dish was that it was Mexican version of Pizza. 

Generally, I avoid outside food as much as possible. So during my last visit, I had a close look and was thrilled to figure out how simple it was to try at home. Almost all ingredients are handy and with store bought pizza crust, it's a job of minutes! 

Mine was extensively home made as I used Rajma in place of canned beans. Even I made salsa and chips at home. Preparation Time and Cooking Time shown below do not include time to prepare chips and salsa. 

Makes 6 medium pizza 
Preparation Time: 20 Minute + soaking time for beans * 
Cooking Time: 45 Minute  

* Can be replaced with canned re-fried beans. 

1 cup kidney beans 
1 tsp taco seasoning 
1 tsp olive oil 
1/2 tsp cumin seeds 
1 clove of garlic, minced 
 6 pc pizza crust 
Sour cream per taste 
2 cup cold salsa ** 
1 cup shredded lettuce 
1 cup diced tomato 
3/4 cup Mexican blend cheese 
Tortilla chips *** 

** Do not boil tomato and do not add corn kernels 

*** Use ready chips or fried/baked tortilla. I had neither of them so I mixed equal quantity of plain flour and corn flour, added salt and enough oil to sieve the flour. Rolled into thin strips, deep fried them and sprinkled with taco seasoning. 

1. Soak beans for 6-8 hours and pressure cook them with salt 
2. Heat olive oil, add minced garlic, cumin seeds, taco seasoning and cooked beans 
3. Lightly mash beans with fork or potato masher, add little water if required 
4. Brush pizza crust with olive oil and bake at 350 F for 5-7 minute until it turns light brown and crispy 
5. Spread sour cream, salsa and beans mixture. Top it with cheese and bake again until cheese is melted 
6. Add toppings of lettuce, tomato and tortilla chips 
7. Serve hot with salsa and/or sour cream

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Corn Palak Sandwich w/ Roasted Pepper

Sometimes I think I can almost survive on sandwiches. When I think about light, healthy and quick meal, sandwich is the first dish that comes to my mind. The best part is, mostly ingredients are handy and it does not need any pre-preparation. It is not fried (so quite healthy) and with salad or soup, it makes a complete meal.  

I love to play with stuffing as well as bread to create different varieties. And my latest crush is whole wheat thin sandwich breads. Though I love sandwich, I am not a big fan of consuming bread more than once a week. But I just fell in love with these high fiber, gluten-free with less than 100 calorie thins. It gives you freedom to have sandwich more often. I tried them in alu-mutter sandwich, burger and now in this recipe. I still have some left which I am thinking of trying in Dabeli!

I make sure to prepare palak-paneer sandwich whenever I buy a big bag of spinach. But this time, I wanted to try something different using spinach as main ingredient for sandwich. As I love combination of corn and spinach, I added corn. And roasted red pepper were just perfect to throw in some tempting color. 

For this recipe I used mini thins and these little bites look so cute. Though we had hot and fresh sandwich, I believe even cold (instead of cheddar, use sliced cheese) will equally taste good. 

Makes 8 sandwiches 
Preparation Time: 15 Minute 
Cooking Time: 45 Minute 

8 pc whole wheat sandwich thins 
3 cup finely chopped spinach 
1/2 cup sweet corn kernel 
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped 
1/4 cup red pepper, diced 
1/8 cup green pepper, diced 
1/2 tsp tomato paste 
2 tsp olive oil 
1/2 cup shredded cheddar 
Salt and Pepper 

To prepare sandwich:
8 thick slice of tomato 
Butter spread 
Olive oil 

1. Roast both green and red pepper with 1 tsp olive oil and keep them aside 
2. Heat remaining 1 tsp oil and add onion 
3. When onions turn translucent, add corn and spinach 
4. Add salt and pepper and cook it uncovered for 10-15 minute until spinach is soft and tender
5. Add roasted pepper and tomato paste 
6. Cook for another 5 minute and turn off the heat, let it cool down for a while 

How to prepare sandwich:
1. Pre-heat oven at 350 F 
2. Spread butter on one slice, fill in spinach stuff, spread cheese and cover with another slice 
3. Brush olive oil on top slice and bake for 10 minute until cheese is melted 
4. Put it on broil for 5 minute until bread slice turns out golden brown and crispy 
5. Serve hot with ketchup 

My Notes:
1. Instead of cheddar, feta or mozzarella cheese would taste better 
2. Instead of tomato, slice of boiled potato can be used
3. Same stuffing can be used to make rolls

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kesar-Pista Kulfi

Finally I am back to my blog after indeed a long pause. Little over 3 months of vacation in India has made me a bit lazy as far as blogging goes. In fact, not only blogging, but luxurious treatment on dining table twice a day by mom has made me lazy cook too :) Either I am too tired to cook something new or too bored to plate and take a picture. But finally I made something that was motivational enough to compel me write. 

As a part of birthday celebration of two most important men in life - my brother and husband, I decided to make Kulfi at home. And circumstances could not be better. 'Coming soon' expiry dates on packets of milk powder and condensed milk were forcing me to use them :D 

I was prepared for flop-show but final dish came out just perfect! I am happy that now I have another quick fix in dessert category.

Makes 8 Kulfis
Preparation Time: 5 Minute 
Cooking Time: 45 Minute + cooling & freezing time 

1 14 oz can of condensed milk (About 2 cup) 
5 cup whole mile 
1/2 cup milk powder 
1/2 tsp cardamom powder 
10-12 strands of saffron 
1/2 cup sliced pistachio 

1. Mix condensed milk, milk powder and milk 
2. Heat this mixture on low-medium flame in a thick-bottom pan 
3. Soak saffron in 1tsp warm milk 
4. Bring mixture to boil until it thickens, stirring continuously (It took about 40 minute) 
5. Turn off the heat and add saffron, pistachio and cardamom powder 
6. Let it cool down completely, fill kulfi molds and freeze until it become solid (For at least 4-6 hour) 

P.S. - I did not have kulfi molds so instead I used paper cups and surprising it became very easy to unmold using paring knife. Also, next time I am planning to use 4 cup milk + 1 cup heavy cream for rich and creamy texture.