Friday, October 30, 2009

Time-Out ...vacationing in India

Hardly have any time to post any blog...The reason???? well, I am vacationing in India..Been here since 11th oct now. I have eaten so many good things right now. PLan to write about them..Very soon. Till then see ya..

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Grilled Chicken Sandwich...ciabatta bread and grilled veggies too.

Sandwiches are a great fav at our place. My little duckie calls them as "sammich". He doesnt eat the entire sandwich but just the most interesting part in it- chicken or tomatoes as the case may be. My hubby S loves them. He loves to watch tv/surf the internet while eating his sandwich or two. And praising me on my culinary skills at the same time. Making sandwiches is really easy for me but the key part is, to eat it as soon as assembled. I mean, who likes a soggy, falling apart kind of sandwich??? The best side dish with a sandwich? A soup or a salad or just a bag of chips. My perfect way to eat a sandwich is a hot soup on a cold day or a light salad on a summery day and always a bag of chips. Ever tried laying crispy chips in middle of sandwich and then eating it??? It tastes great.
The above sandwich is a grilled chicken sandwich. I grilled chicken breasts in oven with marinade of olive oil, salt, pepper and a mix of dried basil and italian herbs. At the same time, I roasted few veggies- onions, red bell pepper and tomatoes. I used green salad as a healthy base for my ciabatta bread. Now something about this bread. This bread can be grilled little in oven with olive oil drizzled on it and then eaten as a sandwich or just make a sandwich as it is. Be careful while grilling ciabatta bread though, a little too much time turns it into a teethfalling-extra crispy-extra hard kind of bread. I hated it the first time I made it. Got it right on the second try though.
1 pack ciabatta bread - I got mine from Jewel bakery.
1 chicken breast- cut into strips
Marinade ingredients:
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp italian herb mix I used mccormick mix
1 tomato, washed and sliced
1 red onion sliced
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
greens-mix of spinach arugula, romaine or whatever suits you
part skim mozzarella cheese
my sandwich dressing:
I used Italian dressing, mustard, heinz ketchup and little hot sauce. eyeballed all the ingredients for 1 Tbs each. added little olive oil and salt/pepper/dried basil. then added 1/4 cup each of ketchup and italian dressing to give it a sweet-creamy taste with a little sourness.
It doesnt matter if any of the ingredients are missing. The easiest thing is to play around with them and pick a taste that suits you.

Preheat oven to 350F. Slice horizontally through the ciabatta bread if not already sliced. Brush the inside of both sides with olive oil and sprinkle little dried basil on it. Grill just the lower halves of sandwich bread in the oven per instructions on the packet. Keep an eye on them all the time because the tend to crisp quickly. Marinate chicken with marinade ingredients. Keep aside for 15 ,mins. Mix the veggies with the chicken and grill till meat is cooked. Let it cool for 5 mins. In mean time, take the upper halves of sandwich bread and on the inside layer the cheese, grill till the cheese melts Get your bread base ready. Layer the lower half of the bread with salad greens, Then add the meat and the roasted veggies to it. Then Drizzle or apply liberally the dressing. Put together the ttwo halves of bread and enjoy with a bag of chips or as it is.

Friday, October 2, 2009

My sponge cake disaster

So, yesterday I decided to bake a cake. And that too not just any cake, a Pineapple cream Sponge Cake mind you. I planned this cake a week ago, got all the ingredients and got mentally prepared for the big day. Duckie was sleeping, so instead of me taking an afternoon nap, I rolled back my sleeves and got to work.
Now the main reason I was baking this cake was simple: my dear husband S challenged me. We had a great Pineapple Cream Sponge Cake at someone's birthday. I can still remember the taste. The cake was light and had great grain texture and was very moist. Absolutely great pineapple flavor and gorgeous whipped cream layering. I admit I had two pieces. Greedy of me :). Secretly, I liked it so much that I really want to bake my own cake for duckie's birthday in december.
Forward few weeks to the baking day. Measured out all the ingredients, got the oven ready, cut out the parchment paper to layer the pan, crossed my fingers and said a little prayer and then started my baking. The recipe I had uses 5 eggs together instead of seperating them. The same quantity of flour and sugar, a little vanilla essence and a little pineapple juice. So there I was, whipping the eggs together with sugar and then when I added the essence, the mixture gave out. It just flattened on me. i didnot realize at that time, but after some research I did. Anyways I was merrily whipping, mixing and folding my mixture. Put the gorgeous colored mixture in the pan and baked it for 30 mins. :) Then it went all downhill from there. My poor cake remained liquidy inside, got burnt outside, had horrible, terrible sugar-grainy coarse texture outside and smelled disgustingly eggy.
So. All in all. My first experiment with sponge cake fell flat. but I am not one to give up. I am going on a hiatus to India, but I will be back. With a vengence.