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Vegetables in Spinach Sauce

15 Oct

 

Sometimes I miss those days while I was in England to study. I went with all the preconcieved notions about the britishers being snoot and England not being so friendly country to be in. But still I made the decision to go there rather than any other country.  To be really honest, while I lived there I actually fell in love with country. I found it a bit similar to India.

The weather, the food and their accent were the most delightful things. India’s quite diverse in its food culture, Britain is nowhere close but I was still impressed with the diversity they had. Mostly there are more of migrated foreign residents so the restaurant variety was pleasing to see from Thai, Chinese, Portuguese, Lebanese to Korean, American, Japanese etc. Food and the people around always bring warmth. I wonder why Britain is considered to be one of the rude countries or not very friendly. My experience there has always been overwhelming. I love their accent, it’s somewhat like India that the dialect and accent varies as you go from north to south.  The people are certainly very helpful and also speak a very polite language.

Weather being the most unpredictable was fun to see. The summers were warm and lots of sunshine, an ideal time to hit the beach. On the contrast the winters were dark and gloomy with very little sunshine. However, the fall was usually unpredictable sometimes rainy, sometimes sunny and moments of chilliness. So often we would get drenched in the rain or catch the chilly winds while walking back home. After all that walk in the most unpredictable weather, nothing could beat a home cooked meal.

So I often made a bake which wasn’t too difficult and also quick. I visited my aunt while I was studying there and she used to make the most amazing bakes. My fondness for bakes grew even more. The best she made was a cauliflower and cheese bake. There is alot of creative bakes you can make with alot of combinations of the vegetables. Either  you can put all the vegetables or can make specific bake such as broccoli and potato bake, or corns in spinach sauce, or mushroom, corn and zucchini bake. What I mean to tell you is that you can do experiments with all sort of things.

There has been a desire to make a nice creamy spinach sauce. I looked around a few recipes but honestly I followed my instincts. When I actually made this recipe I realized my mum used to make chicken balls in spinach sauce which tasted really yum. Maybe it wasn’t a replicate but the bake turned out to be good too.

So, at first I washed the spinach thoroughly and shredded it nicely and kept it aside for a while so the water drains out completely.

spinach bake

Then, putting a teaspoon of oil in the pan, I put the spinach and cooked on a low flame. I let it wilt. Then, let it cool down and churned it in the grinder. Dont worry about the quantity it will now seem the half of you had initially taken but it is enough to give it a great taste and colour to the dish.

spinach bake

Meanwhile, I put some butter with refined flour and some milk to make white sauce.

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Seasoning is essential in the white sauce, and then put the pureed spinach in the sauce. Let it boil.

spinach bake

Stir stir stir!!

spinach bake

Throw the peas!!

spinach bake

 

Add corns  to the sauce. Then simmer for 2  minutes carefully keeping in mind the thick consistency. Mix well and keep aside.

spinach bake

 

Sauté the carrots and beans.

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spinach bake

Boil the potatoes and keep aside.

spinach bake

Now grease an oven proof baking dish.

spinach bake

Put the potatoes as the bed for the vegetables,

spinach bake

now add the sautéed vegetables, carrots and beans.

spinach bake

Pour the spinach sauce

spinach bake

and garnish with cheese.

spinach bake

Throw in the preheated oven 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes.

spinach bake

Eat Hot tastes delicious with garlic bread!!

Ingredients:

1 cup shredded spinach, nicely washed

2 cups milk

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp refined flour

2 boiled potatoes

½ cup corns

½ cup peas

1 cup beans chopped

1 carrot chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

2 cubes grated cheese

 

Method:

  1. Wash the spinach and drain it well. Pat dry with a kitchen towel. Heat a tsp of vegetable/ canola oil and put in the spinach and let it wilt. Add the garlic.
  2. Cool the spinach and grind it in the mixer. Keep aside.
  3. Heat butter in a pan, add the flour and the milk. Season it with salt and pepper. Let it boil.
  4. Add the spinach. Mix it nicely.
  5. Add the corns and the peas. Stir and remove from heat.
  6. Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius. Boil potatoes and keep aside.
  7. Sautee carrots and beans. Keep aside.
  8. Grease an oven proof baking dish.
  9. Lay the potatoes in the dish, then put a layer of beans and carrots.
  10. Pour the spinach sauce.
  11. Put some grated cheese and put in the oven at 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes.

 

spinach bake

 

 

 

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Chicken Stronganoff

19 Jul

When my husband and I first met, the first  things which we discussed about our liking about FOOD. Yes, this was of a major concern (hehe!). Somehow our tastes are actually very similar. We love to try out new stuff and still we have our favorites which we have regular schedules to eat. To be honest, our similar tastes during our courtship, then our honeymoon really got us going (haha!). It is soo funny that food has such a major role to play.

JS’s (my husband) reactions are always worth noticing when he just loves something while he is eating. While we go on holiday, the most important for both of us is to try out the cuisine of that place. Food really holds on to the big part of our holiday. Not necessarily we enjoy restaurant food but also love munching and hogging to the street food. If we really like something out, it is a must try at home with our kitchen experiments.

This chicken is mostly cooked by mum and everyone just loves it! Somehow, I really relish the combination of mushrooms and chicken in any dish. Being a non-vegetarian, I am always attracted to meat more than the vegetables. So whenever I find a combination of chicken and vegetables, I am always driven to cook and eat.

It tastes delicious as chicken cubes simmered in tomato-cream sauce with mushrooms. Usually we love it with cheesy garlic bread but it goes well with steamed rice too.

Serves: 4

3 boneless chicken breast (400 gm)-cut into 1/2″ cubes

1 capsicum-chopped

3/4 cup cream

2-3 tbsp cheese spread

3 tbsp butter

1 small onion-finely chopped

100- 150 gm mushrooms- each cut into 2 pieces

3-4 flakes crushed garlic

1/2 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp tomato sauce

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp  salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp red chilli powder

1 tbsp flour

Method:

  1. Whip cream and cheese spread well so that there are no lumps and is smooth. Keep aside.
  2. Sprinkle some salt, chili powder, and pepper over the chicken. Keep aside.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp butter in a pan and add onions. Cook till light golden. Add Mushrooms, cook for a minute. Remove the onions and mushrooms from the pan.
  4. To the same pan, add 1 tbsp butter, add chicken pieces and stir fry till golden brown. Cook covered for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add garlic, tomato puree, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce. Mix well for 2 minutes.
  6. Add flour. Mix.
  7. Reduce heat, take the pan off the heat. Add cream and cheese spread mixture, stirring continuously. Mix well.
  8. Return the pan to the heat, add chopped capsicum. Heat on very low flame gently for about 1 minute and remove just before it starts to boil. Serve with garlic bread or steamed rice.
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