Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Baked Potato Stacks


Potatoes is one of the most versatile ingredients that can be made in multiple ways. Whether it is in a curry or in a snack, potato makes everything a little more tasty! For a while I have been meaning to make this appetizer or snack called potato stacks. Finally I made them today and poting them right away!



The ingredients required for this dish are simply potatoes, olive oil and seasoning of choice. I used a simple mixture of garlic powder, oregano and salt for seasoning. If you like, adding fresh herbs is a great idea too. To make the dish one needs to slice potatoes into equal size slices. While most slicers work for it, I used my new Briefton's latest device. The entire thing is pretty neat. It comes with a plastic holder at the bottom to catch all the slices. And the best part is that the device can chop, slice, dice and blend. There are different blades, one each for slice, julienne, grate and finely chop. There are two sets of blades to chop and puree. Plus, the chopping or juicing requires no power! It works on a pull mechanism by a cord!! Really cool thing to have at home. I love the fact that it has compartments, such that I can puree two different fruits at one time! Get yours here





Back to the recipe, this one takes hardly any preparation time and tastes super awesome. The whole thing is so simple that kids and help make it too! While I made it with potatoes, sweet potatoes and zucchini would be a great alternative too. This food is perfect for all the parties in the upcoming holiday season. Do try this at home and share how it turned out for you!



Ingredients

Potatoes 2 medium
Olive Oil 1/4 cup
Dried Oregano 1 tsp
Garlic Powder 1 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Basil Leaves to top


Method

In a bowl mix the oil with oregano, garlic powder and salt. Set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 375 F/ 210 C. Line a muffin pan with non stick spray. Peel the potatoes and using a slicer or a sharp knife, slice the potatoes to slices. Place them in water till all the slices are made. 



Remove the slices from water and put them all into the seasoned oil. Place about 6-8 slices in each muffin cavity. brush some more oil and place the pan in the oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes till the potatoes are crisp. Remove, top with shredded basil and enjoy warm. I served them with a dip made by mixing equal parts of yogurt and mayonnaise with a tsp of Sriracha Sauce. 






Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Carrot Cake with Carrot Caviar

Blogging Marathon #68 Week 5 Day 2
Theme: Desserts
Dish: Carrot Cake with Carrot Caviar 

After an Indian dessert yesterday, today it is time for a family favorite recipe that I tweaked a little. Carrot cake, a cake full of shredded carrot is one of our favorite cakes. While we generally enjoy it as a breakfast or evening tea time snack, seldom do we frost it with cream cheese or cream. 


This time around, I went one step further and converted it to a dessert by adding some carrot jelly, vanilla ice cream and carrot caviar. I have been meaning to make the caviar since a long time. Finally I made it for this recipe. The entire dessert has three parts; the cake itself, the caviar and the ice cream. I bought the ice cream and made the remaining two components. 


For the cake, there are few ingredients. While the ingredients and method looks just like any other cake, the proportions are really important here. This is because of the massive amount of carrot used in the recipe. As the carrot cooks, it releases water. So if the liquids in the cake are too much, it will not bake to a hard cake. It will keep wobbling and fall apart when removed. The carrots I used were not very sweet. Depending on how sweet the carrot are, adjust the amount of sugar. Adding cinnamon is optional, but highly recommended as it imparts a great flavor!


Coming to the caviar, the ingredients are just three. I juiced two carrots and added remaining water to get the required juice. Agar agar is available in most Asian stores in powder form and strand. The powder is easier to measure so I prefer that. This same recipe can be used to make caviar of any liquid, ranging from balsamic vinegar for salads to fruit juices for deserts. Together with the carrot jelly, vanilla ice cream and the carrot cake, the dessert is perfect for all carrot lovers! 


Ingredients

For the Cake (Adapted from here)
All purpose Flour 2 cups
Carrots 2 cups, shredded
Sugar 1 1/4 cup
Yogurt 2 tbsp
Buttermilk 1 cup (can be made by mixing 1 tsp vinegar and 1 cup milk)
Oil 1 cup
Baking Powder 1 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda 1 tsp
Cinnamon Powder 2 tsp
Salt a pinch


For the Carrot Caviar (Adapted from here)

Carrot Juice 1/2 cup
Sugar 1 tbsp
Agar Agar Powder 2 grams
Olive oil or any Neutral Oil 1 cup

Vanilla Ice cream as required


Method

For the Cake

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray either a 9 inch round pan or a 9*4 bread pan with oil or non stick spray. Alternatively, line the pan with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients, i.e. Allpurpose flour, salt, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Cinnamon Powder. 

In another bowl mix oil and sugar. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat till well combined. Then, add yogurt and beat again. Pour half the dry ingredients into this and half the buttermilk. Mix and add the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk. Then, add the shredded carrot and combine. 

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and place in the centre rack. Bake for 40-45 minutes till the cake does not wobble and a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the cake. 

Remove and cool on a wire rack. This cake tastes great warm or cool. To cool, refrigerate it for an hour or so.



For the Carrot Caviar

Place the oil in a tall glass. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a pan heat the carrot juice and sugar. Once it comes to a boil, add the agar agar powder. Mix well and let the powder dissolve completely. Turn down the heat and cool the mixture a little. 

Transfer the mixture to a squeeze bottle or dropper. Remove the oil from the refrigerator and keep a spoon ready. Start dropping balls of carrot agar agar mixture into the oil and keep moving them away from the centre with a spoon. 

I had some juice left and had enough caviar. So I poured the remaining carrot juice into round molds and made carrot jelly.

To remove the caviar, pour the oil with all the caviar into a sieve. Wash the caviar with water and the oil can be reused for cooking as it is clean. Store the caviar in an airtight container till ready to use.

To assemble the Dessert

I made the cake in a bread pan. Cut the cake into parts. Place one part on the plate, top with Vanilla Ice Cream and carrot caviar. Add the carrot jelly and serve immediately.