Posts Tagged ‘Cilantro’

A Quick and Easy Dinner

This week seems to be one of those weeks where I am on a cooking spree. And since I am actually pretty busy, the dishes are going to be very quick ones with few ingredients. Perfect for a busy weekday night! Since I had some of the sausages left over from last night, I decided to make a Frittata with some sweet potatoes and sausages. It takes about 15-20 mins of preparation time and then about 40-45 minutes in the oven. So it does not actually need much of your actual time.

The colors in the dish are very eye-catching, green from the cilantro, orange from the sweet potatoes, yellow from the eggs and a rich brown from the sausage. I am amazed by the orange color of the sweet potatoes, back in India the sweet potatoes are not orange, they are a pale yellow. But I love the orange sweet potatoes, they add so much color to any dish.

Since I do not have much time, these posts are going to be to the point, without much ado. This serves 2-3 persons, 2 if this is all you are serving and 3 if there are some sides.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 medium/large sweet potato (diced)
  2. 2 sausages (I used chicken sausages) – diced into the same size as the sweet potato
  3. 1 cup chopped cilantro
  4. 4-5 green onions (chopped)
  5. 3 eggs
  6. 2 tbsp milk / 1 tbsp cream
  7. 1 cup chopped cilantro (coriander)
  8. 1 tsp red chili flakes
  9. 1/2 tsp powdered black pepper (add more or less to taste)
  10. 2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
  11. salt to taste
  12. 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the red chili flakes.
  • Pre heat the oven to 350 F.
  • Toss in the diced sausages and green onions and let the sausages brown.
  • Once the sausage has browned add the sweet potato and salt and cook for about 5-10 minutes till the sweet potato start softening.
  • In the meanwhile beat the eggs lightly in a bowl, then add the cilantro and the cream/milk and beat.
  • Once the sweet potatoes start softening add the egg mixture.
  • Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top and transfer the pan into the oven.
  • Let the Frittata bake in the oven for about 35-45 mins or till the Frittata is cooked through.

Loved the dish, hope you too love it. It’s easy to make and does not require much of your time. Once the dish is in the oven, you are free to do whatever else you need to. Therefore a perfect weekday dinner. Enjoy!

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The Second of a Trilogy

So as promised in my post a few days back, here is the second recipe that I came up with for the shrimp. I guess there are some things from your roots you are rarely able to get away from. Like my love for black pepper. My family is originally from a town called Tellicherry in Kerala. And it’s famous for its black pepper. I never realized that the black pepper from back home was sold at a premium here in the US. You find Tellicherry black pepper in gourmet aisles. And to think of it, my grandma’s home in Tellicherry had a pepper tree that I barely remember. Well I do remember it but I guess it’s only when you can no more see it every summer vacation that you miss it. I really miss those month-long summer vacations in Kerala. My cousins and I have some pretty awesome memories from those long past days.

Anyways to get back to my shrimp recipe, I love pepper and I love using it in most of my recipes rather than chilli powder. I love the spicy hotness black pepper leaves behind in your throat. So if you are not one who loves black pepper, just hold back on the amount you put in. But you may miss out on the essential taste of this dish if you put too less of it. I used sweet sake and pepper as two main ingredients because the final taste that this dish leaves behind is the sweetness of the sake and the hotness of the black pepper. And to add to it, it a pretty quick to make recipe. It took me about half hour to make it, specially since I had deveined, tail off shrimp at home.

I used about 30-40 medium-sized shrimp and it served about 2-3 persons for a very filling meal.

Ingredients:

  1. 30 – 40 medium-sized shrimp / prawns
  2. 1 sprig curry leaves
  3. 1 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  4. 18-20 green onions (white part chopped, green part cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
  5. 2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
  6. 2 green chillies, chopped (use more or less depending on how spicy you want the dish, you also skip this entirely and add just the black pepper powder)
  7. 3 teaspoons garlic paste
  8. 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (use normal soy sauce of low sodium is unavailable)
  9. 1 tablespoon spicy schezuan stir fry sauce (you could skip this entirely, I have made it with and without this sauce and both versions taste great)
  10. 1/2 cup sweet sake (you could substitute this with some sort of sweet cooking wine)
  11. 1 – 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock / water
  12. 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  13. 1/2 – 1 cup chopped coriander / cilantro
  14. 2 teaspoons olive oil (you could substitute this with vegetable / canola oil)

Directions:

  • Heat the oil in a wide bottomed sauce pan. Once hot, add the mustard seeds.
  • Once the seeds start to sputter add the curry leaves and green chilli and stir for a few seconds.
  • Next add the white part of the green onions and stir fry for a couple of minutes, till it softens.
  • Then add the green part of the green onions and stir for a few minutes till it has softened.
  • Next add the garlic paste and fry till the raw smell of garlic and gone. This would take a couple of minutes at the most.
  • Now add the soya sauce, the spicy schezuan stir fry sauce (if using) and the sweet sake and bring to a simmer.
  • Next add the shrimp to this sauce and let it cook. If you want a dry dish without any gravy, do not add the vegetable stock / water.
  • But if you would like a dish with more gravy in it, add the vegetable stock/water depending on how much sauce you would like.
  • Once the shrimp has almost cooked, add the black pepper and the coriander / cilantro leaves and stir it. Let cook for a couple of minutes and take it off the heat.

I served this with some bread, but you can serve it as an appetizer if you reduce the gravy or with rice if you increase the sauce by adding more of the vegetable stock / water. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as Amit and I did. I have made it a couple of times now and this is one recipe that’s quick and easy to make. And I still have the third of the trilogy to post, which I will very soon.

 

And I just realized that this post is right on time for St. Patrick’s day and what a coincidence that the dish is Shrimp in GREEN sauce!!! So Happy St. Patrick’s day to everyone. Have fun, be safe and don’t drink and drive!

Time for some Shrimp

With Christmas all done a couple of days back and the new year just around the corner, I was overwhelmed with all the sweets I have been eating. I really needed something spicy and non-holiday like to just give my taste buds a break from all the sweets. So what do I do? I end up making shrimp, my all time favorite. I wanted something which had a hint of tanginess, a little sweet and a lot of spices. It’s difficult to find a recipe which looks delicious, tastes awesome and meets all your taste bud requirements, all at the same time. The only way I was going to be able to make something like that was if I were to come up with a recipe myself. And that’s what I did, and I called it “Sweet and Spicy coriander Shrimp”. I warn you, this is a really spicy recipe. I would recommend using only half the quantity of red chili powder and green chillies if you are not very fond of spicy food. The best accompaniment for this recipe would be rice and I hate plain rice so thought of making some sort of a simple fried rice. That’s how I came up with the Garlic Chive Rice. It’s quick and easy to make and compliments well with the sweet and spicy flavors of the shrimp curry. That recipe is listed in the next blog post (Will post a link right here once I finish writing it up). The shrimp curry takes about 45 minutes to prepare recipe from start to finish and serves 2-3 persons. Amit and I finished almost all of it though.

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 lb shrimp
  2. 1/2 onion (finely chopped)
  3. 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  4. 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  5. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  6. 1 tsp coriander powder
  7. 1/2 tsp lime juice
  8. 5 cloves garlic
  9. 8-9 almonds
  10. 2 tsp chopped cashew
  11. 1/2″ ginger
  12. 3 green chili (you can increase or decrease this depending on how spicy you want the dish to be. I used some thai peppers and they were really spicy)
  13. 1 cup chopped coriander
  14. 2 tsp tamarind paste
  15. 2-4 tsp olive oil
  16. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  17. 1/2 cup water
  18. salt to taste

Directions:

  • Soak the almonds and cashew in warm water for about 5 minutes.
  • Marinate the shrimp with the coriander powder, 1/4 tsp salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder and the lime juice for about 30 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile prepare the masala paste.
  • Grind the garlic, almonds, cashew, ginger, green chili, and coriander to a smooth paste. Add water to get a smooth consistency.
  • Heat 2 tsps of oil in a flat bottomed saucepan and add the mustard seeds.
  • Once the mustard seeds sputter add the onion.
  • Fry the onions on a medium flame till the edges are light brown. Now add the marinated shrimp and mix the onions and the shrimp together.
  • Fry the shrimp for about 5-10 minutes till it turns a pink.
  • Now add the masala paste along with 1/2 cup of water and bring to boil.
  • Now add the brown sugar and let the curry simmer for a few more minutes till the shrimp have been cooked. (Do not overcook the shrimp, as they will turn rubbery).

This curry goes well with rice. I served this with some Garlic Chive Rice. Again, I would like to warn you that please be careful with the number of green chilies you add. Since you are making a paste of the green chilies, it does turn spicy with a small number of chilies.

The spices and the brown sugar give this dish a very interesting flavor. The first thing you taste is the sweetness of the dish and then towards the end, the spices take over. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.