Cooking | Mushrooms and Onion Scapes Soup … cooking in season #soup #vegetarian #healthy

“Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.”
Auguste Escoffier

Mushroom and Onion Scape Soup Mushrooms and Onion Scapes Soup … for the soul! I was completely mesmerised by the onion scapes I bought at the local bazaar. I love this fantastic season. Each time I step into the overflowing fruit and vegetable shop, I rediscover seasonal produce from last year. That day two large bunches of scapes stared at me, and again, shouting my name out LOUD!

Mushroom and Onion Scape Soup How could I resist it? I asked the guy for a few stalks, and he packed the whole bunch off with me. Said, “Take the whole bunch. I know you’ll do something with it. All yours!!” Seriously, they are beautiful. I put some in a milk-jug and they began opening into the most beautiful flowers a while later.

onion scapesWasn’t very sure what I’d with so many, but knew how pretty they would look in a vase! Sometimes the real beauty of nature comes from flowers like these. I love them! A discussion with Man Friday followed where he declared these were garlic scapes. A nibble later, I figured they were definitely more oniony than garlicky. 

Mushroom and Onion Scape Soup 550 Mushroom and Onion Scape Soup I had mushroom soup on my mind that morning. With the weather nippy all over again, soups offer the ultimate comfort; a healthy option, even better. This one is simple, uses staple pantry ingredients, and can go gluten free too.

Mushroom and Onion Scape SoupIn the past I have made it with mushrooms, potato and a generous amount of fresh coriander. The base is often milk and some vegetable stock as I usually have a large jar of homemade stock in the fridge. When I feel indulgent, you can find me pouring in some low fat cream too! Oh and often walnuts to add texture…

Mushroom and Onion Scape Soup Some onion scapes needed a more handy alternative to sitting in the milk jug as it was rather full. The soup offered the perfect destination. As I said, you can pretty much play around with the ingredients. Is fun!

Mushroom and Onion Scape Soup I did something else with the soup too that night. I was making breaded chicken fillets for the kids. Instead of doing the normal egg, flour and breadcrumbs coating assembly line, I sneaked some soup into a bowl. Dunked the Italian seasoning marinated breast fillets first into soup, then into wholewheat home made breadcrumbs, and shallow fried the fillets.

Mushroom and Onion Scape Soup While the son enjoyed his in burgers, the ‘constantly on a diet’ daughter ate crumb fried fillets with char grilled broccoli. The son came back to say these were the best tasting burgers ever! “Really nice Mama!” Must have been the soup!! Soup has been the call this  winter! Loads of it.

Handi cookingSo what’s your favourite comfort or soul food in winter? Do you make soup from scratch? I did an amazing Smokey Roasted Tomato Soup {pictured above} for a client I am developing recipes for. Heard the other day that a friend was making pumpkin and peanut butter soup. I was completely intrigued. I guess it’s time to explore more soups as winter is still here.

Handi cookingAnd before I scoot, it’s time to announce the winner {s} of the Nirlep giveaway on my blog. A 1000 apologies for the delay, but I was travelling a little bit, and now the elder teen has her board exams. Between driving her up and down, and feeding her ‘comfort food’ on demand 24 X 7, there seems to be little time to blog!

Handi cooking Food however is always cooked in the PAB household, so the handi has been put to good use. I am really happy to have received it for review because I didn’t know what I was missing! The Nirlep handi is very very versatile indeed. From cooking pasta until al dente to making pasta and pizza sauces, to numerous rounds of steamed bathua leaves or chenopodium{or lamb’s quarter}of bathua ka raita, to delicious stir fried chicken mince, then meatballs too, I have seriously used it a lot!

Nirlep Anodized Cookware

I am thrilled to offer one as a giveaway that was announced when I reviewed the utensil.  The winner of the Ebony Handi is Swapna Mickey. Since we had a load on entries, Nirlep offered to send Nirlep Cookware to two more participants. They are Reeta Skeeter and Manjeet Kaur. Congratulations ladies and thank you so much for joining the giveaway {and for waiting so patiently}. Will mail you shortly.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Frozen Dessert | Mango Sorbet … Taste of Yellow for Barbara!

“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot; others transform a yellow spot into the sun.”

Pablo Picasso

Mango Sorbet It’s raining summer desserts at home.  The mango crop has been fantastic {as has been the peach harvest}.  How better to celebrate this luscious fruit than with David Lebovitz!  The man is genius, and his Mango Sorbet an absolute  winner! The Perfect Scoop is a favorite on my shelf; indispensable for ice cream lovers. Remember the Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream? Droolicious stuff!Mango SorbetI’ve had this Mango Sorbet in my drafts for a bit. Then suddenly this week things took a turn for the worse … the power grid collapsed, not once but  twice! 12 hours without electricity, then back, then gone again for 4 hours! Just when we kind of resurrected, the second collapse came by, 14 hours this time! While newspapers and TV channels were crying themselves hoarse about the worlds biggest black out, 600 million folk without power, all I could think about was “my mango sorbet”!Mango SorbetIt was a good lesson in preparedness for the future that awaits the generations to come. As kids we’ve lived different times, a country traditionally having exposed its people to frequent power cuts, so it was no big deal as power would go off all the time. Add to it black outs during the Indo Pak war in 1971. Brown paper darkened the windows, jets flew low over the town, sirens echoed over the city, trenches were ready and waiting. No power and no back up … and it didn’t bother us!Mango SorbetCut to now! The power goes off and the inverter cuts in. Instant solution and the kids barely even notice. The grid failure was different however! They learnt a new lesson … when the national grip trips, NO ONE knows when the power will be back! And another yummy one … grid failure is time for smoothies, ice cream, loads of food cooked non stop by a mother who cannot see food wasted!Dark chocolate mousse Remember my frozen cherries I mentioned in the Fresh Cherry Quark Cheesecake Pie post? Ho hum… since they threatened not to be frozen for long, they were hurriedly cooked with balsamic vinegar and made to top a delicious dessert to fill these gorgeous Urban Dazzle glasses. Resulthappy family who didn’t complain about power cuts! Recipe to be posted next …Mango SorbetThe mango sorbet is light, refreshing, delicious and screams summer! It’s also my tribute to a beautiful lady – Barbara of Winos & Foodie who was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and sadly lost her battle recently. I was fortunate to meet her virtually on and off over her Yellow events; she was a fighter all the way! Monthly Mingle is the brainchild of the lovely Meeta @ Whats For Lunch Honey, and this month it celebrates Barbara’s spirit at the wonderful Jeanne @ Cook Sister. So positive, so full of energy, great sense of humour, always ready to share her experiences, Barbara held the food blogger world in awe, her love touching a lot of us. For years she successfully ran the Taste of yellow blog event. Of late, I had met her over Thermomix recipes after I bought one. RIP sweet Barbara … you were and are an inspiration to all of us!

{I am linking a few other yellow posts I did recently to this months Monthly Mingle}

Macaron à la Peaches et Crème Rustic Peach ‘n Plum Summer Galette  Fresh Peach Brown Streusel Coffee Cake

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking| Lions,Tigers … oh my! Going Dutch Crunch Bread or Tijgerbrood with Daring Bakers

“Bread is the king of the table and all else is merely the court that surrounds the king. The countries are the soup, the meat, the vegetables, the salad… but bread is king.”
Louis Bromfield

Dutch Crunch Bread | TijgerbroodI have never seen a bread prettier than this one and I have never been so elated baking bread, something I do quite often. This month Daring Bakers led us straight into the wild, ,or rather the wild side of bread baking. The challenge was to bake Dutch Crunch Bread or Tijgerbrood. I was exhilarated when mine began to crackle, roar and ‘tiger up’ in the oven.Dutch Crunch Bread

Sara and Erica of Baking JDs were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!

Dutch Crunch Bread or TijgerbroodTechnically, Dutch Crunch doesn’t refer to the type of bread, but rather the topping that is spread over the bread before baking. In Dutch it’s called Tijgerbrood or “tiger bread” after the tiger-like shell on the bread when it comes out of the oven. The final product has a delightful sweet crunch to it that makes it perfect for a sandwich roll. Dutch Crunch Bread or TijgerbroodThis recipe for the Dutch Crunch topping came from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible; an adaptation of a recipe found on Baking Bites. The bread is a common option at sandwich shops all over the Bay Area and is often one of the first breads to run out. Dutch Crunch Bread or TijgerbroodThis has to be the prettiest bread I have ever made; one of the most satisfying too. Quite a show stopper. If ‘we first eat with our eyes‘ holds meaning for you, make this bread. You can taste it before you even bite into it! Something that looks this pretty and exciting MUST taste good!Dutch Crunch Bread or Tijgerbrood

Tiger bread (also sold as Dutch crunch in the USA, tijgerbrood or tijgerbol in Netherlands) is the commercial name for a loaf of bread which has a unique mottled crust. The bread is generally made with sesame oil and with a pattern baked into the top made by painting rice paste onto the surface prior to baking. The paste dries and cracks during the baking process. The rice paste crust also gives the bread a distinctive flavour. It has a crusty exterior, but is soft inside.Dutch Crunch Bread or TijgerbroodOn 31 January 2012, the UK grocery chain Sainsbury’s renamed the product “giraffe bread” after a letter written by a three-year-old named Lily Robinson, suggesting the alternative name, went viral. Sainsbury’s stated that “In response to overwhelming customer feedback that our tiger bread has more resemblance to a giraffe, from today we will be changing our tiger bread to giraffe bread”.

 Dutch Crunch Bread or TijgerbroodIt was certainly a charming end result. I waited with baited breath to see if I managed to get animal prints on my bread; lady luck was with me. The characteristic cracks showed up soon, and then the crust got coloured to perfection. Things like this define the joy of being a Daring Baker. Each month throws up a promising challenge, one that I await with eagerness, almost an impatience.Dutch Crunch Bread or Tijgerbrood The challenge really had me intrigued, unsure and a bit rattled too after reading much discussion on the forum. I made a meal of it pretty early in the month, around Holi, the Indian festival of colour. That might explain why the ‘now threatening to be quite terrible teen‘ looks so colourful, and the pooch happy as always! {The colours’ off now … }HoliThe second part of the challenge was to use it in a sandwich. For the filling I did chicken paillards marinated in a chimichurri sauce, a sauce which is believed to have originated in Argentina. My sis from Houston recently got me a bag of dried chimichurri which I used. Its a great tasting marinade. Dutch Crunch Bread or TijgerbroodIn the sandwich also went some quick pickled cucumbers that I made the night before, and some fresh iceberg from my little garden. On the side was a colourful fresh salad – cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, ground cherries, white grapes, lettuce and spring onions {whatever I found in the fridge basically}, tossed in a light fruity vinaigrette.

Thank you Sara and Erica of Baking JDs for a breathtaking challenge. Thank you and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!! Do stop by here to see the other bakers prowl the jungle!

 

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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