Roasted Chicken with Rosemary

Roasted Chicken with Rosemary

I have been crazy busy with work and unfortunately haven’t had time to post for a while. Strangely, this does seem to be the best time to be posting this though, when Delhi is slightly chilly and roasted chicken sounds good again! This is super easy and super delicious, and once you try this, you will probably be roasting chicken this way every Saturday. A piece of advice: make sure you have a really REALLY robust rosemary bush or you use store bought rosemary else you might end up stripping your rosemary bush dry, as I did. Tragic.

R.I.P. Rosie. You served us well.  

You will need:

  • Chicken: 1 kg.
  • Onions: 2 large
  • Garlic: 5-6 cloves
  • Rosemary: 3-4 sprigs
  • Red chilli: 1-2
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoon
  • Freshly ground pepper: a sprinkle
  • Salt

 Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius.

Cut the onion in quarters and use a pestle to smash the garlic cloves. Slice the chilli.

Rub the chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper and leaves from one sprig of rosemary.

On a foil lined tray, arrange the chicken, onions and garlic and tuck the other two sprigs of rosemary between the chicken pieces.

Roast for 40 minutes, turning at 25 minutes.

Oh and another thing, this tastes pretty good straight from the fridge at 3 a.m. too.

Roasted rosemary chickenDSC04942

Cherry Clafoutis

It is fantastic to work in a law firm surrounded by a bunch of people who have incredible faith in my culinary mastery. For several months, a friend at work tried to convince me to bake a clafoutis, knowing fully well my obsession with stone fruit would push to me do it. I spent a lot of time checking out pictures and recipes on the internet and it looked so simple and so pretty that I had to try it out. It turned out to be gloriously fulfilling too.

 You will need:

  • Cherries: 200 gms (stoned or whole)
  • Sugar: 1 tablespoon + ¾ cup
  • Water: 1 tablespoon
  • Flour: ¾ cup
  • Eggs: 3
  • Milk: 1 and ½ cups
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • Baking power: ½ teaspoon
  • Vanilla extract: ½ teaspoon
  • Icing sugar: for dusting
  • Butter: for greasing tin

Preheat the oven to 160 degree Celsius.

In a heavy bottomed pan, add the cherries, water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. On low heat, let it simmer for five minutes and keep aside.

In a food processor (or use a mixing bowl), beat the eggs and the milk together. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and vanilla extract and mix well.

Grease a round tin with butter.

Pour the cherries into the tin and pour the batter gently over the cherries.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the top starts to brown.

Dust with icing sugar and serve hot or cold.

Coming Up! Cherry Clafoutis

Stone Fruit Upside Down Cake

I love stone fruit! Peaches, plums, apricots and cherries, i love them all!! The incredible flavours, the vibrant colours, what’s not to love? I of course end up buying far more than one can humanly consume and it breaks my heart to see them go to waste. So last week I decided to use all the excess fruit and bake a cake. The result – moist and delicious!

You will need:

  • Butter: 1 cup and for greasing tin
  • Icing sugar: 1 cup and 4 tablespoons
  • Eggs: 2
  • Flour: 1 and 3/4cups
  • Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt a pinch
  • Ginger juice: 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon
  • Milk: 1 cup
  • Plums and peaches: 2 each (sliced)
  • Grated ginger: 1/2 teaspoon

Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius.

Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder and keep aside.

In a food processor, mix 1 cup sugar and the butter until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well.

Add half the sifted flour and half the milk and continue to mix. Add the rest and mix well.

Add the lemon juice and ginger juice and mix into the batter.

Grease a round cake tin with butter.

Arrange the peach and plum slices to cover the entire bottom of the tin. Sprinkle the 4 tablespoons of sugar and the grated ginger to coat the fruit well.

Pour the batter gently into the tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool the cake completely in the tin.

Invert carefully on a plate.

Stone Fruit Upside Down Cake

Caramel and Cashew Cookies

Contrary to popular belief, cookies are fairly easy to make. An easy sweet fix, these caramel and cashew cookies turned out to be moist and extremely satisfying!

You will need:

  • Sugar: 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Milk: 1/2 cup
  • Condensed milk or heavy cream: 3 tablespoons
  • Butter: 100 gms.
  • Eggs: 2
  • Cashews: 1/2 cup (roughly chopped)
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Flour: 3 cups
  • Baking powder: 1 and 1/2 teaspoons
  • Butter for greasing
  • Water: 4 tablespoons

Preheat the oven at 160 degrees celsius for 10 minutes.

Heat the milk and condensed milk or cream in a saucepan, bring to a boil and keep aside.

In a separate saucepan, put the sugar and the water to boil. Stir to ensure that it does not burn. Caramelize the sugar until it turns dark brown. Remove from heat and add the milk, stirring constantly to avoid any lumps. The caramel should form a thick smooth sauce.

In a bowl add the butter and the caramel sauce. Add the eggs one at time stirring constantly.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to ensure that the dough does not form any lumps. Add the cashews and mix it in.

In a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper or aluminium foil, place tablespoons of the dough ensuring at least 2 inches of space between them.

Bake at 160 degree celsius for 20 minutes.

Makes about 24.

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Spicy Sausages with Fusilli

Italians may balk as what we pass of as pasta, but since it is so versatile and so easy to make your own, it is one of my favourite things to cook when I don’t have much time in the kitchen.

Sausages are quite readily available in India these days. I used homemade green chilli spiced sausages sold in a grocery store nearby. You can use any brand of sausages that are available. Prasuma is an Indian brand which has pretty good spicy sausages. You can also use chorizo sausages, a type of cured Spanish sausages that are also available.

My five year old niece and her mother  were visiting from Philadelphia, and I was totally unprepared for it. They finally reached my home close to midnight after a rather long journey and I hadn’t even made dinner. I whipped up an easy pasta dish clueless about what five year olds like to eat. Then she told me, that I made the best pasta EVER! Of course, for her, I had replaced the sausage with sliced smoked chicken breast (also a good choice if you don’t like spicy sausages).

You will need: 

  • Any type of pasta that you prefer ( I used fusilli): 400 gms. (You can use whole wheat if you like)
  • Spicy pork sausages: 200 gms. Red bell pepper: 1 large
  • Yellow bell pepper: 1 large
  • Tomato: 1 large
  • Broccoli: half a head (Only if you didn’t eat your greens for the day. If you don’t love broccoli, you can skip this)
  • Light cream: 100 ml. Olive oil: 3 tablespoons
  • Garlic cloves: 4
  • Oregano and parsley: for seasoning (Fresh, finely chopped is best, but dried will also do just fine)
  • Salt: to taste and a tablespoon to add while boiling the pasta
  • Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • Parmesan cheese: grated (to sprinkle on top)

Fill a large pan (of approximately 5 liters capacity) ¾ with water and bring it to a boil. Add the fusilli and cook until soft but not squishy. Al dente is the best way (when it’s just about cooked and just the centre is still slightly undercooked).

Start off by cutting the bell peppers and the tomato in approximately one cm. thick juliennes. Cut the broccoli in tiny florets. Cut the spicy sausages  in thick slices and keep aside. Finely chop the garlic.

In a wok, add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté for about two minutes on medium heat (ensure that the garlic does not burn) until you can smell the garlic. Add the bell peppers, the tomato, the broccoli and the sausages and sauté on low heat without covering the pan for about eight to ten minutes. Add the pasta and toss everything together on medium heat, for about two minutes.

Remove from heat and add the cream to bind the pasta and the veggies together. Add salt, pepper, parsley and oregano to season and ook for another minute on low heat.

Serve hot with a (generous) sprinkle of parmesan.

Notes:

  • Ensure that the cream is not cold but at room temperature when you add it.
  • For extra heat, add dried red chilli flakes while sautéing the garlic.
  • For the health conscious, replace the cream with 4 tablespoons of reserved pasta water.
  • Add a dash of extra virgin olive oil before serving.