Bacon Salad with Chicken Balls

My new ‘thing’ are Salads. It was very recently that I picked up two books by Jamie Oliver, since then the only argument in my head is, is he cool or super cool? ‘Jamie does…’… hello the Naked Chef! Flipping through the easy-make-at-home salads, I was totally inspired to try out something in my kitchen as well and getting my brother to have some veggies 🙂 The Dish that inspired me to cook up my own easy salad was ‘best chorizo and tomato salad in the world’. Well sad that I couldn’t find the right chorizo so I resorted to bacons and chickens.
200 gms bacon
200 gms boiled boneless chicken
2 large juicy tomatoes
½ a large zucchini
200 gms of purple cabbage
100 gms spring onions
5 pods of garlic
100 gms mushroom
Olive oil, butter and salt and pepper to taste
For the meat balls, first in a hot pan add 1 tbl spoon of butter. Now add the chopped garlic pods and wait until they turn golden. To it add the boiled chicken pieces and shallow fry them, add salt and pepper per your taste. After the edges turn a little golden brown, take them off from the pan and mince them in a blender into a thick consistency to be able form small balls. Keep aside.

Now, heat the pan again with some olive oil in it. Now, add the chopped mushrooms, zucchini (thin and long slices) and chopped spring onions. Be careful not to fry them for long as they are would become too limp to be in a crunchy salad. When it softens after a minute or two’s cooking, keep aside. Also, simultaneously throw in your bacon slices into you hot pan and let them cook in their own fat.

We are now pretty much done with the preparations; we just have to throw in all the ingredients into your favorite salad bowl and toss it at the dining table. In a large bowl, add the chopped purple cabbage, spirals of tomatoes, shallow fried spring onions, zucchini and mushrooms, fried bacon and the chicken balls. Season it with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Your salad is ready 🙂
Suggestions: You could enjoy your salad with a side of rustic bread with Garlic cloves rubbed onto it. Also, some good cheese along with it, does the trick.

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Purple Cinnamon’s BBQ night

Barbeque night has been on our to-do list for a while now, but we never got around doing anything about it until last weekend. Our shopping list was pretty easy to memorize.
How cool are we? Very.

What we wanted to do was pretty basic and simple. Marinated chicken for the BBQ, grilled/sautéed sausages, pineapple and water melon salad, vegetable skewers, alcohol and friends of course. We started with the marinade for the chicken which just happened on the spur of the moment. Ginger paste, garlic paste, chilli powder (for heat), paprika (for color), vinegar, salt and sugar. Basically whatever was within an arm’s reach. Coat every piece of chicken with the marinade generously and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours.

For the salad, we just tore up some lettuce, tossed in cubes of watermelon and pineapple along with the dressing which was just some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. A few good additions would be feta cheese, plum tomatoes and olives.
It was time to bring out the grill to the balcony. The men got to work and made fire, so to speak. It took a while but it was a splendid success. Thank you boys and Upasana.

Before we forget, the do-it-yourself (we have only one set of hands!) welcome drink ‘Mojito’ was also a hit. All we did was point out where we’d arranged the necessary ingredients and off they went. Mint leaves, lemon slices, 7 up/sprite, ice cubes and fresh cherries (for decorative purposes, but no harm if consumed).

We got the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator and carefully arranged it on the literally smokin’ hot grill. It would’ve taken not more than 5 minutes of grilling on each side. The result: char grilled succulent boneless pieces of chicken oozing out the flavors from the marinade and cooked to tender perfection.
It’s safe to say that the highlight of the night were the Bacon Wrapped Prawns grilled to glorious perfection. We will be ever so grateful to Karthik Shetty for giving us the absolute pleasure of savoring this divine creation of his.
Vegetarians, we care for you too. We had the Veggie Skewer going on with plum tomatoes, pineapple and raw mango. This was delightfully surprising since the meat lovers also leaned in for a nibble or two. Upasana too decided to go for seconds! So yep, bit of a revelation when it comes to bbqed raw mangoes.

To bring things to en end, we cleared the areas of the house wherever they lay suspect of barbequed meat or veggies there. Looking forward to hosting another party now…this time with more meat and drinks 

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our Pub dinner

Oyster Mushroom Mashed Potato

The Meal! with chilled Tuborg

Caramelized sausages

Pub food has always been a favorite with us. From spicy Buffalo wings to potato skins, we love anything that goes down well with a mug of chilled beer. And well, since summer is upon us, nothing better than a chilled pint of lager on a warm night with some pub like food to match. While we’re at it, there was some good music playing in the background while we were cooking up our pub fare. Ideas were plentiful but we narrowed it down to the basics. We didn’t want to slave in the kitchen coming up with something fancy and take too long burning a sweat. So we decided on, Chicken Bockwurst Slices with Caramelized Onions, Pan Roasted Ham, Butter Sautéed Shrimps and Garlic Dill Potato Mash. Not to forget the two pints of Tuborg 😉

Caramelized Bockwurst Slices:
Ingredients (serves 2 very hungry people)-
4 Chicken Bockwurst sliced
4 pods garlic finely chopped
1 large onion sliced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp Worcester sauce
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp fresh/dried mixed herbs
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Slice up the Bockwurst once defrosted. Heat the butter and olive oil in a non stick saucepan. Sauté the garlic and onions till they change color. Sprinkle the sugar and let the onions caramelize; this should take around 7-10 minutes. Now tip into the slices of the sausages and stir them around. Add the Balsamic Vinegar and the Worcester sauce along with the salt, pepper and herbs. Let the slice take on a nice char coat. Now take it off the heat and serve hot with beer on the side 😉
Butter tossed Shrimps:
200 gm shrimps
2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper for seasoning
It’s as simple as tossing the shrimps in butter, adding the seasoning and cooking it for 5-8 minutes or till the shrimps are cooked. Serve hot as appetizer or part of a platter.
Dill and Garlic Potato Mash
2 large potatoes
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp butter
Few twigs of dill
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Pressure cook the potatoes till cooked and soft enough to mash. Sauté the garlic in the butter and add to the potato mash. Add the dill, salt and pepper and mash it well enough so it’s smooth. Serve warm as a side or on a platter.
Presumably we didn’t take more than a half hour to put together this ‘pub platter’ of ours. We just put it all on one big plate, opened a couple of beers, clinked them and had a lovely evening watching some 30 Rock.
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Assamese Food Festival at Ants

ANTS stands for Action North-East Trust. This is’nt the first time Ants has phenomenally organized a North East special food festival. We have missed the prior ones, but this one, I wouldn’t have missed for anything else! K, P and I reached comfortably before the buffet commenced. I decided drape one of my favorite Kesa Paat Mekhelas. The café was packed with all the tables pre-booked and families queuing for their turns.

Though the menu was already announced on their FB page, I couldn’t wait to stuff my face with Mangshor Jhool and Aaloo Pitika. We were served with a welcome drink of Kordoi juice (starfruit juice). The baked Rohu Fish in Banana leaves was sort of a revelation for me as well. The flavor was surely subtle and hit the spot. But what topped it all was the mutton curry. It was a familiar. It was brilliant. My very favorite easy to cook household dish Bengana Poora (roasted egg plant) and Aaloo Pitika (mashed potato) tasted absolutely as a mother’s recipe. Another household flavor cooked to perfection was the Xaak and Kon Aaloo (spinach leaves and baby potatoes). The fish head curry (Murighonto) and the Masor Tenga (sour fish curry) did appeal to the guests who already aren’t familiar with the taste. Another dish that sold like hot cakes were the Pumpkin and Brinjal Pakoda. We ended the feast with Paayox (rice kheer). Sigh! Thanks Ants…Looking forward to the next feast.

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