Friday, October 30, 2015

Spinach Peas and Potato Quiche with Homemade Ricotta

    For this month’s Baking partner challenge the recipe chosen was Quiche. I made my own Ricotta cheese to make this quiche. I wanted to make eggless quiche so didn’t use the custard filling- skipped the egg.

  Quiche is a savoury open – faced pastry crust with a filling of savoury custard with cheese , meat , seafood and / or vegetables. Quiche can be served hot or cold. It is part of French cuisine but is also popular in other countries , particularly as party food.

  Quiche originated in France , it is considered a classic French dish. Quiche has a pastry crust and a filling of  eggs and milk or cream which when baked becomes a custard.. It can be made with vegetables , meat and seafood.
   The flavour is derived from the filling and the type of cheese used. They can be had both cold or warm, though I found them best when warmed.

       Pie pan is first lined with pastry crust, that is blindbaked, and then followed by cheese, filling, custard and finally topped by cheese. The custard filling is heavy cream whisked with eggs. Ratio of cream and eggs is 2:1 (ie for every 1⁄2 cup of cream, you should add 1⁄4 cup of whisked egg). After baking, quiche gives out an aromatic smell throughout the place and was very light and fluffy when tasted.

  I made the ricotta cheese four days before and made the quiche day before yesterday.

For pastry crust :
This buttery dough needs to be refrigerated for at least two hours or overnight, so better to prepare them the day before baking.
         150 grams of all purpose flour
          Half tsp of salt
         85 grams of unsalted butter, cut into tiny cubes
         2 tbsp of cold water
First, cut the butter into tiny cubes and refrigerate them.
In an dry bowl, combine flour and salt.

Mix them. Add in butter cubes and rub through the butter so that it is dispersed in flour. Alternatively, you can do this in food processor also

Now add in cold water, little by little. Slowly, start combining the dough along with water.
An soft dough should be formed. There might be few clumps around here and there

But each clump, should hold its shape when pressed, and not fall together. This is an passing test for an crust dough.
Cling wrap and refrigerate for minimum of two hours or overnight. This will help in moisture getting evenly distributed throughout the dough. If kept frozen, they can be used till an month.
Next day, remove the dough from refrigerator and let them sit under room temperature for 1520 minutes.
Either you can roll them by dusting the surface with flour, or by sandwiching them in between two baking sheets. I sandwiched them with my silicon mat and baking sheet and rolled into an 9 inch circle.
   After rolling, remove the baking sheet and turn the silicon mat upside down over the greased pie pan.
Adjust the dough and press them down the pie pan, so that they cover the base and sides.

Prick them throughout the base and sides with an fork. Pricking will help in nonraising of the dough during baking. Refrigerate this set up for fifteen to twenty minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven for 200 degree Celsius.
After refrigeration , cover them with baking sheet and add some dried pulses, I used  Black chickpea . These weights push down the crust and prevents uneven rising. You can use raw rice as weight also, but these baking weights are inedible after blind bake, since they are exposed to such an higher temperature. But, of course you can stock them up and reuse for blind baking.
Bake these for twenty minutes, later on remove the chickpea and sheet and bake for another fifteen minutes till the base turns brown. You should be able to see the crust has left the edges of the ring.
Now our crust is ready for filling to go
For filling :
Spinach leaves – 10
Green Peas  -  3 tbs
Potato – 1
Butter – 1 tsp
Garlic – 2 cloves
Onion - 1
Cumin seeds – a pinch
Chilli powder – ½ tsp
Coriander powder – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste

For Custard :
Ricotta Cheese -  75 g
Fresh cream – ½ cup
Corn flour – 2 tbs
All purpose flour – ½ tsp

  Chop the spinach and potato.
 Chop the garlic and onion.
Melt butter in a pan , add the cumin and let it splutter.
Add in the chopped onion and garlic , sauté for a minute.
Add the chopped potatoes and spinach sauté for five minutes.
Add in the green peas and required salt.
Add the chilli and coriander powder and sauté till raw smell leaves and the potato are half done.
Let it cool.

 As I homemade the ricotta cheese , I just crumbled it.
For the custard filling as I skipped egg , instead I dry roasted the corn flour and  all purpose flour separately till the colour of the flour turns lightly.
 In a bowl , add the cream and whisk , to this add the corn flour and all purpose flour  , half of the cheese and whisk again.
 If needed can add extra salt and chilli powder to this mixture.

For assembly, take the blind baked pastry crust, and first sprinkle the ricotta cheese at the base.
This is followed by adding the spinach peas and potato  filling.
Pour in the whisked flour cream mixture , and finally top with remaining Ricotta cheese.

Bake them for thirty five minutes @ 200 * C or till the filling is firm.

It takes about two hours to cool down. 

    If you want to serve warm can serve . we had after two hours.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Indian Breads – Cookbook Review - Kela Paratha

         The review for the cook book Indian Breads by Dr. G. Padma Vijay which I received from Westland Publishers. This book is a comprehensive guide to traditional and Innovative  Indian Breads.

About the Author :
Dr. G. Padma Vijay was a regular freelance writer for the Diet file column in Femina as well as the Times of India . She  was a nutrition consultant for Femina’s cookery section and currently conducts workshops on diet and nutrition .

 She is the author of 101 Kerala delicacies  , Healthy Heart Diet Book , Diet for Diabetes and  The Anti – Ageing cookbook . Her A perfect cook book  for pregnant women and  nursing mothers won the  2011 Gourmand International cookbook award under the diet and nutrition category at the country level.

About the book :
  The front cover with plain roti was so eye catching.  The contents of the book occupies more than six pages.  There are more than hundred  Indian flatbreads both traditional and innovative recipes.
    The breads are under the sections
      Vegetarian Flatbreads
      Paratha with leafy vegetables
     Parathas with root vegetables
     Parathas with stem vegetables
     Parathas with herbs
     Parathas with dairy products
    Parathas with seeds and spices
   Lachha parathas
  Tandoori and Tava rotis
  Chappati  , Phulkas  , Theplas  , Puri  , Naan  , Kulchas and Parottas

    Flatbreads with rice flour , maize flour , barley flour , oat flour , rye flour , sorghum , and finger millet flour.

   Non – vegetarian flatbreads includes  egg ,  seafood , chicken and mutton flatbreads.

   Sweet flatbreads  like puran poli etc.

   Snack flatbreads include khakras  and Bhakris

Recipe I tried :

   There are so many recipes which I has to try …… I tried the kela paratha first . we all liked it a lot. It is the stuffing of the raw banana filling inside the wheat roti.





     As the picture above shows  the nutritive value for each paratha is published. It will be helpful to know how much calories we can have and plan ahead the number of parathas too....
    I would say this is book is must for each home as the flatbreads are common in every indian homes. Including vegetables and leafy vegetables in the flatbread  makes the bread healthy and delicious. 

    You can order the book from the Westland Limited or through other online stores and in bookstores..........

Disclaimer :
  The review were my own and this is not  a paid review.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Banana oats Bar #Homebakerschallenge

      For October  Oats recipes were choosen for the Home bakers challenge. I am posting after a long time for this challenge. 

  This is the easiest and healthy snack bar with only four ingredients. We all liked the oats bar with the crunchiness of the nuts and pieces of dates in every bite. It will be perfect snack for snack box to kids and even for adults.

 Adapted from :
Makes 9 squares.

Requirements :
2 large, very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional) 
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional) 
1/4 cup pitted, chopped dried dates 
1/4 cup chopped nuts — such as walnuts,  almonds , cashews
Grated nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)

Method :

     Preheat the oven to 180 * C / 350 * F and lightly grease a 9 X 9 inch square baking dish with butter.
 Chop the nuts used and  the pitted dates to small pieces.
    Peel the skin of the banana and mash well. Gets about 1 cup of the mashed banana. You can measure the mashed banana and use in the recipe.
    Stir in the vanilla essence and oats . Add  a pinch of salt to enhance sweetness.
  Stir in dates and nuts, so that all are combined well.

  Add the prepared mixture on the greased baking pan and pat evenly.
 Sprinkle the nutmeg / cinnamon powder on top.
 Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges just begin to crisp up.

Let it cool and cut into bars of desired size.

Banana oats bar are ready to be served.

The bars can be stored in room temperature for 5 days.

This recipe is been created for The Urban Spice and KitchenAid India Diwali Contest