Monday, December 10, 2012

Tangy n Garlicky Roasted Mushrooms

This is I think the easiest of all the mushroom recipes i have tried so far and also my new favourite one.

I think even less that 5 minutes you need with ingredients and rest is done by the oven. The best part is the aroma of garlicky butter, the tangy taste added by lemon juice, light  e.v. oil and the parsley call you to dig  bread in juice to soak up all it goodness.

So, the first time i prepared it, when my sisters in law’s parents in laws were visiting us and i wanted to make starter which doesn't take my time yet delicious and filling! So, i stumbled upon this recipe on

Gotten everything ready before they arrived and popped them into the hot oven, while they settled had ready to eat.. The aroma had already penetrated the air making us hungry! Well, i didn't expect that seriously... Frankly, for me, the aroma from butter and garlic can beat any essential oils I use. 

They were dissappearing before i could photographed them.

500 gms  mushrooms such as cremini or white, halved lengthwise if large
1 tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive/vegetable  oil
1 1/2 tbsp salted/ Unsalted butter, cut into pieces  Add pinch of Salt incase using Unsalted Butter
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/8 tsp pepper


Preheat oven to 220 °C with rack in middle. Toss mushrooms with capers, garlic, oil in a 1 1/2- to 2-qt shallow baking dish. Top with butter and roast, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and golden and bubbly garlic sauce forms below, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve immediately, with crusty bread on the side for swiping up the juices.

I used white button mushrooms

Popped in everything at one go but i suggest to add lemon juice later as suggested in the method

Dip the bread in the juices! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Roasted Tomatoes & Basil Soup

I had been thinking to try the Roasted Tomato Soup for very long time. Actually I used to go to Soup Spoon quite often, when i lived in Singapore, just to have this soup.  I remember with one particular friend, we always to met at The Soup Spoon:). And ever since then I wanted to try making it at home.

The other day The Pastry Chef, whom I follow on FB had posted Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce with Herbs. Which reminded me of the Soup I had been wanting to try. So, that evening instead of Pasta Sauce i tried Soup. Which came of quite well. It tasted exactly as i had expected.

Tomatoes,Chopped carrot, basil leaves (tucked under the tomatoes, so that they don't burn. A very useful tip given by The Pastry Chef.), Garlic.. pealed and smashed by the knife, olive oil and topped with some Salt and Black Pepper.

I generally add carrots to hot tomato soups to add little sweetness to it.

Roasted the tomatoes for 20 Minutes at 180 degrees C.

Churned the Tomatoes with hand blender. Strained the mixture, added little warm water and cream to bring to the right consistency and and boiled.

6 Tomatoes
1/2 Carrot (choped)
few leaves  Basil
2-3 Cloves Garlic
2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp Sugar
1/2 Cup Cream/ Milk (optional)
Warm Water/ Stock to adjust the consistency of the soup.

1. Roast the Tomatoes, Carrots, Basil Leaves ( Tuck them under the tomatoes to prevent them from burning), Garlic and Salt and Pepper at 180 degrees C for 20 Min. or until the skin of started blistered and skin is getting separated.

2. Remove from oven and peel the tomatoes ( discard the skin).

3. Churn the roasted tomatoes  and others ingredients and strain the mixture.

4. Boil the strained mixture. Add sugar, cream/ milk and warm water to adjust the consistency of the soup.

I garnished the soup with fresh Basil leaves.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Ruchi, (My Only Indian friend here in Rotterdam) pinged me over the chat and suggested a restaurant called Izkaya a Pan Asian restaurant and bar at lijnbaan, which she wanted to visit for its experience. From the name I guessed, it would be a Japanese restaurant so went on their website to check for the veg. options.

Well, the restaurant does offer quite a unique experience to order food and interaction with staff etc. There is a digital menu on your table. You don't have to wait for the waiter to come and take your order. The tables are normal but over each of them there are dedicated projectors hanging from the ceiling. On the right side of the table you have a small round mouse pad; your table becomes the screen. There is menu bar which has the options for drink, food, dessert, other fun stuff (which includes games, change the table background (tablecloth), call taxi or check how to reach to your next destination, see your meal being prepared in kitchen through the webcam and at the end the bill can be requested).

While browsing through each dish or drink the picture and description appears which makes it so easy to understand what to expect.

Since it was our first visit, most of the time while ordering, we spent in exploring the stuff, which was lot of fun.

For drinks Ruchi and Hugo ordered a Japanese soft drink, Astrid had ordered Ice tea, Hubby had order Plum Sake and I ordered Nomi tea (which I later found out that it was the name of brand of tea and out of the box given to me with different flavours, I chose Orange Spice and White tea).

And then the first dish arrived- Chicken Yakitori! and rice on the side, which was ordered by Astrid. Being vegetarian i only tried the rice which were so aromatic and tasty. I could just have only rice.

The second dish arrived on our table was Salmon Sashmi, a stater ordered by Hugo. It was Salmon on the seaweed salad. As per him it was out of the world!

Third dish belonged to Ruchi, which was fish curry with rice. she loved it.

Then arrived the Grilled Green Asparagus Salad with Poached egg and Curry Mayonnaise, which was ordered by my hubby. Oh My God, I loved the wasabi added to the dressing.. It was just Yum!

And my order- Veg. Potato soup. It was presented very nicely with a soup dish having veggies and a scoop of light cream cheese and soup was given in a jar separately to be poured over cream cheese and veggies. Soup was very light. cream cheese added a unique taste and body to the soup. I enjoyed it.

Since Astrid and Ruchi had ordered their main couse in the forst course only so Hugo, Naren and me continued ordering!

For the next course Hugo had ordered Hotstone Beef Tenderloin ( beef tenderloin marinated in black been sauce served with eggplant in vintage vinegar) and rice on the side. The dish was a wonderful visual treat and as per Hugo it was equally tasty as well!

Naren had ordered Small Sushi platter ( 3 pieces each of Nilgiri and Maki Sushi with soy sauce and wasabi); According to him, this was the best sushi he had eaten so far. He could taste the fish unlike at other places where rice dominate. I am sure next time he is gonna order only Sushi there.

My second order was Moyashi Itame ( Stir fry with bean sprout, shiitake, ginger, chilli pepper, green asparagus and basmati rice) which was quite tasty as well.

For desert, Hugo ordered Lemon Parfait, which again he loved it and Hubby n i had shared Chocolate Mouse with Cherries, the mouse was good but there were alot cherries which neither I nor my hubby enjoyed.

We liked the experience and loved the food! but they only have three veg. options, i had the them all of them. I would only got for the salad again for sure :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Frambozen Cream! a.k.a Raspberries cream

Raspberries are called Frambozen in Dutch.

I saw the pack of raspberries puree at Albert Heijn in the chill section. the puree is made of fresh raspberries with no sugar and preservatives added. There was a buy one get one free promotion on it. So I just grabbed it. But then thought, what would i do with 2? but i bought them anyway!

I had initially picked one up to add in Cream Cheese Frosting for the cupcakes.

A friend after having cup cake, asked for just more of frosting in a bowl if i had in left over. And she just loved it. So i thought this could be the a dessert in itself.

I thought that it would be quite fattening as well. Then i thought to use hung curd instead of cream cheese.

I hung curd for 2 hours in Muslin cloth to get the waterless creamy texture while whipping it!

So here is how i made it.


1 packet Frombozen puree (You may puree at home also).

Hung Curd ( I used 250Gm Greek curd tub, strained the water using muslin cloth and twisted the clothe to take out as much water i could and hung it over the sink for 2 hours)

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp cream

fresh raspberries. (chop half of them)


  1. In a deep pan, Boil the raspberries puree and dissolve the sugar it in. Let it cool.
  2. Whip the hung curd and cream together.
  3. add the puree mixture into this bowl and mix it well.
  4. add the chopped raspberries and mix.
  5. chill it for at least an hour.

Garnish with remaining raspberries before serving!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


First time, I tasted Tapenade at an Italian Restaurant called Sartoria in New Delhi and bought some for home as well.
Then here in Netherlands, its given as an accompaniment when you order bread basket along with herbs and garlic butter.

So that's how I developed its taste.

Tapenade's original recipe contains anchovies but being a veg. I made it my way. Also they use Kalamata Olives but what i get here are not pitted ones, so big hassle there. I just used pitted black olives and they are easily available as well.

First time when i made it I added only black olives and next time I added green ones as well. Which I just made yesterday. But my fav. is only black olives one!

In churner goes Black Olives and Capers
Then Garlic, Lemon juice (little bit) and semi sun dried tomatoes (few slices), 2-3 tbsp olive oil and dash or salt.

I keep on checking the taste in between and to adjust the quantity of ingredients to my taste.

Here it is! i love it with bread. That day i had roasted bread it went awesome with it!

This is how I eat in most of the morning. Spread tapenade over toasted bread slices, place cheese slice ( I like Cheddar ) sprinkle some chili flakes and herbs ...
Sometimes I fill in the bell peppers or tomato or cucumber to make veg sandwich.

The one with Green olives. I added little bit of chili flakes and instead of only garlic added mixture of ground garlic, parsley and olive oil(which I had in my refrigerator, I use it to make garlic bread).

Next time i shall try making it only with green olives.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Grilled Chicken with White Wine Sauce

In many cookery shows, I had seen recipes using white wine, but never gave much attention to them, as they were mainly non veg. Though I am a vegetarian, I cook chicken for my hubby (story here). A friend had gifted us with a bottle of nice white wine, when he had visited us last Saturday. It was indeed a great wine and though we drank most of it we were still left with 1/2 cup of wine. So thought of using it in my cooking.

I generally cook chicken on special occasions or when somebody is visiting us, but this time I cooked for the sake of experimenting with white wine. I read couple of recipes on few website and on youtube And the one I got convinced to adapt from was Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu with White Wine and Lemon Cream Sauce.

The base of the recipe is same but I included some and excluded some ingredients according to our taste. I excluded Ham as hubby doesn’t like it and added milk, mushrooms, chilli flakes, Master food’s Italian Herbs and Mixed Spice. I also cooked the grilled chicken in the sauce for a minute instead of just pouring the sauce over the grilled chicken.

2 Chicken Breasts
2 tsp Honey
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Olive oil
2 Cheese slice ( i used Gouda with paprika)
Salt and Pepper
2-3 mushroom, sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp Butter
1 tsp Oil
Zest of ½ lemon
½ lemon
½ cup white wine
½ cup milk
½ cream
Salt, Pepper, Chilli Flakes, Italian Herbs and Mixed Spice.


  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
  2. Slice the chicken breast from the side to open it, but don’t cut till the end.
  3. Brush both the opened sides of the chicken breasts with oil, honey and Dijon mustard.
  4. Place the chicken slice. I had a wedge of 100gms Paprika Gouda cheese, so i put the cheese shavings on both side.
  5. Sprinkle the salt and pepper and fold the both sides of the chicken breasts back to the original shape.
  6. Brush the outer side of the chicken breast with oil and grill it in the oven for 20-15 minutes or until it turns white and grill marks appear and change the side first after 15 minutes.

  1. Heat oil in a pan add butter.
  2. Add onion and sauté till it turn pink and then add mushrooms and cook it on medium heat.
  3. Add lemon zest, mix. Add lemon juice, mix and White wine , simmer it till it liquid remains half.
  4. Add milk and cream and cook it until slightly thick but don’t let it boil.
  5. Sprinkle Salt, Pepper, Chilli Flakes, Italian Herbs and Mixed Spice and Mix.
Finally add the cheese grilled chicken to the sauce and let it cook it sauce for a minute. You may slice the chicken if you want to and then add it to the sauce. I added the whole breast.

Plate the chicken breast and pour the remaining sauce over it.

Serve it hot with baguette.

My husband loved it!! i had served him both the breasts but as they were too heavy he could eat only one, and soI froze the other!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Planned a surprise bday party for my husband, thankfully i pulled the surprise very successfully. Of course, his friends helped me in keeping the surprise and engaged him, while i was preparing for the party. It was a drinks party with snacks . Since the time was 7 pm onward.. i had to make substantially filling snacks, which could substitute dinner. I chose to make Caprese Skewers, Caponata with Toasted Garlic Bread, Hummus, Salsa and bought Aioli, Toasted thin bread. Later, served Chicken Tikka and Chicken Skewers (in south asian sauces marinate) and Falafel in Pita Bread Pockets and for dessert i made Chocolate cupcakes with Raspberry Cream Cheese topping. I was happy with party, firstly, because hubby was really surprise to see his friends home and with little decoration for the party, and secondly, that all the food got over by the end of the party and i didn't have make space in the refrigerator for the leftovers!

While, i was searching for recipes for the party, i came across Caponata on a website called Italian food forever. In my earlier parties, I had already served diff. bruchesttas, but at the same time i wanted to serve something with bread. So then, i chose to make this. It requires quite a bit of cooking, and since it was surprise party, i couldn't have cooked in front of him, so i cooked after midnight, when hubby was deep asleep.

Caponata, is a tomato based eggplant spread, with celery, onion, capers and Olives ... Its a great side dish too ..I took the leftover once as a side dish to a all girls dinner, it was a hit and once i used as Pasta sauce.. Whichever way i have used, its been hit!

This can be made in advance and freeze it!

You can try using either green or black olives. I chose black olives in the recipe and used balsamic vinegar instead of wine vinegar.

1 Medium long Eggplant
2 Teaspoons Salt
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
3 Small Onions, Chopped
2-3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Stalks Celery, Chopped
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Olives,Chopped
1/4 Cup Capers
1/4 Cup Fresh Chopped Parsley
1/4 Cup Wine Vinegar ( i used Balsamic vinegar)
Salt & Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

To Serve: Garlic Toast


1. Peel the eggplants, and cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces.
2. Put in a colander, sprinkle with the salt and leave 30 minutes.
3. In a large pan, add a few tablespoons of the oil, and when hot add the onions, and cook until soft.
4. Add the celery and garlic, and cook 5 minutes.

5. Add the tomatoes and cook an additional 10 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick.

6. Rinse the salt from the eggplant and pat dry.

7. Add the rest of the oil into a frying pan and once it is hot, add the diced eggplant.

8. Cook until the eggplant is tender and turning golden brown.

9. Add the eggplant to the tomato mixture with the rest of the ingredients, and cook on low for another 15 minutes.
10. Check the seasonings and let come to room temperature before serving.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mushroom Soup

Well, Its winter time in Rotterdam and all i crave for is soup every evening. Back in India as i mentioned in my posts before that mom used to prepare almost every evening. i had trained my maids with various recipes.

this is the first time i ever made mushroom soup. i have bought pumpkin also, shall try making pumpkin soup tomorrow... So i googled for cream of mushroom soup. read several recipes. the one which seemed more promising to the taste i was looking for was

All the ingredients were at home, so life is easy, i don't have to look out for any ingredients out in such winter... yeah!!!
I changed was the source of the stock used in the recipe. being veg. I substituted the chicken stock as mentioned in the recipe with veg stock. I had put milk instead of cream, so of course the consistency differed, and added 1 tbsp of cream in the end. My soup was little less thick as compared to what the recipe suggests.

And also, had 250 gms of mushrooms as against the recipe states the measurement of ingredients as per 500Gms of mushroom, so i halved the measurement of other ingredients accordingly!

250 gms regular white mushrooms, cleaned, quartered or sliced
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp minced shallots
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 cups Milk
3/4 veg. stock ( i used maggie stock cubes)
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp water
1 tbsp cream
Minced parsley for garnish


1 In a food processor, coarsely chop mushrooms and lemon juice.

2 Melt butter in (4-5 quart) sauce pan and lightly sauté shallots on medium heat. Add mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf, sauté over moderate heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the liquid that is released from the mushrooms disappears.

3 Add salt, pepper, milk and stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

4 Add cornstarch and simmer for 10 minutes and cream, stirring constantly.

Correct seasoning and add more lemon juice to taste.