Ricotta on Toast with Grilled Pear and Orange Caramel
It’s too long a title for something so simple. I’ve always wondered what ricotta tasted like. Yes, I’ve had them at nice cafes but it’s a distant memory and let’s just say I wanted to make some. From cooking shows to books, they all tell you how easy it is to make ricotta. Although, there are many Italians who I see refuting the commonly found recipe of ricotta. The recipe asks you to make it out of milk or a mixture of milk and cream. But I’ve also read that ricotta is traditionally made from the whey collected after the milk solids are separated. Phew.
My latest chef crush has to be Yotam Ottolenghi. He isn’t just a good chef who celebrates food but also comes across as someone who’s warm and friendly. I discovered him on Twitter, actually. His food pictures always make me happy. He gives a vibrant new life to vegetables and heroes them in most of his dishes. I happened to stalk his recipes on The Guardian, where he’s a regular contributor, and found that all his recipes are quite simple and easy. And I stumbled on one breakfast recipe that caught my attention.
Sunday pancakes are the best thing about weekends. But last weekend I made the savoury kind. With cheese. And topped with a poached egg. It looked damn cute and tasted damn good. What’s not to like? Cheese, runny egg and spicy sriracha. With my hot cuppa it was the perfect breakfast. If poaching eggs scare you, welcome to my world. I can’t get it to look like a perfect quenelle. But I do have my little trick that saves the day and gives me a poached egg, slightly disfigured nevertheless.
I’m reaaalllyyy not into hipster breakfasts like this but sometimes you want something cold, sweet and light. Particularly during summers that make your face melt. I just have chia seeds with me thanks to an old friend who bought it, never used it and left it at my place. I tried chia pudding once and didn’t quite come around to liking it. I wasn’t a fan of the texture for the most part. But yesterday I thought I’d do a breakfast parfait, because that’s one of my favourite summer breakfasts. And I thought some chia might be good in there. It looks pretty, doesn’t it?
It all sounds too familiar, no? Masala cheese bhurji meets savoury French toast, I suppose. There’s no background story for this one. It was simply the result of me being my laziest self on a Sunday morning. Since I’d made a sweet French toast for breakfast the previous day, I wanted something savoury for Sunday. But French toast is so easy and quick that I just didn’t want to make anything else. So the masala cheese version of it happened. Simply whisk eggs and milk, add chillies and garam masala and follow the usual steps required for French toast. Once it’s off the pan and on your plate, grate cheese on it and see how great it tastes!
French toast ✓
Cream cheese ✓
All of the above came together for a fantastic Sunday breakfast. Strawberries are in season and I got myself a box of these ruby beauties. I have baked with strawberries before, but prefer them ‘un-baked’. Why lose them in cake batter when you can eat them fresh? So I just whipped some cream cheese with fresh cream and folded some berries into it. Then cut open a bun half way and spread the cream cheese mixture into it. A dip in eggy milk and on to the pan to become French toast. Simple!
About these pancakes. No, they aren’t totally guilt free or completely healthy. But they are definitely healthier than regular pancakes. For starters, most of the base is oatmeal and there’s no sugar of any kind in them. I’m not including the syrup you see in the pictures. These are also made with buttermilk and just one egg. Apple puree goes into the batter giving the pancakes a lovely brown colour.
Apple pie is one my favourite ‘comfort’ desserts. It’s hard to resist a slice when the aroma of caramelized apples and cinnamon waft through the room. I was going to make a simple apple smoothie but with a touch of cinnamon and addition of caramelized apples, this smoothie reminded me of an apple pie. I add banana to this for some body in the smoothie. There’s no refined sugar, but only a dash of honey. It makes for a great breakfast on the go.
My previous post was about bacon and onion jam. The one following it had to be something I made with the bacon jam, right? It’s a good old grilled cheese, of course. This is when carbs and fat hangout together to give you a piece of heaven. The bacon sandwich is just right with its saltiness from bacon and sweetness from the onions. I used regular cheese slices you get in the market. But if you have good cheddar or even mozzarella, your sandwiches would be even better. Alternately, you could just toast bread and top it with the jam and place the cheese just on top, broil it in the oven for 3-4 mins or till cheese has melted over the jam.
After my ginger cookies became such a hit with friends and colleagues (and at home as well), I wanted to try my hands on muffins with ginger. The original plan was to make them with caramelized apples, but I switched to bananas at the last moment. I have other plans with the apples. Now there is a plethora of recipes online for pretty much any baked goodie you can think about. I found plenty of recipes gingerbread muffins. But what I saw was the proportions were varied, particularly the flour. Some asked for 3 cups, a few for 2 1/2 and some others just 2. Moreover, they all asked for milk and molasses to be added. I didn’t have either.