(Yet Another) Foodie

food experiences in this lifetime ...

Quail Eggs FTW

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Quail eggs. Nom nom nom … by Sandip Bhattacharya

Spotted some Quail eggs in M. K. Retail the other day, and thought I would try it out. Tasty, but did not seem very different to my palate from hen eggs though.

Will try some other variations maybe, like this nice one with soft-boiled eggs with Potato galette (recipe).

Quail eggs seem to be a common part of South East and East Asian street food, as well as gourmet delicacies in continental cooking like the photo above.

But wife still looks at me like she has seen a monster when she catches me looking at these wee eggs hungrily.

(Image from Wikipedia)

Home Made Mozzarella

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DSC_1735 by Ree Drummond / The Pioneer Woman

Pioneer woman makes mozzarella!

The Pioneer woman blogs about making fresh mozzarella at home. Looks pretty doable!

The Buddha’s Hand!

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Buddha’s hand citron by wonderferret

Buddha’s hand

Doesn’t this look like an octopus hanging off a tree?

This fruit is called Buddha’s hand and is more formally known as Citrus medica (var. sarcodactylis). I actually found out about this strange looking fruit in this entry of one of my favourite cartoon strips – a Knight’s Life.

Originally, from north east india and China, it is used in Western cooking for it’s lemon like zest.

According to this post on LA times,

The appeal here is all in the highly aromatic rind: The fingers of the fruit can deliver eight times the surface area for zest compared with other citrus.

Where can one use it? A knowledgeable person in the post explains:

“Anything you can use lemon peel for, you can use this,” she said. “It has multiple culinary uses, savory and sweet. It pairs well with lavender and basil. In a creme brulee or the crust of a cream pie, it’s exquisite.”

Home Cooking: Banana Muffins

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Home made banana muffins by Sandip Bhattacharya

Home baked Banana muffins

Nowadays, this is how overripe bananas at our home end up. This is probably one of the easiest fool-proof recipe to make. You can use the same batter for either banana muffins or a banana cake. The tried and tested recipe follows.

Recipe

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/3 cup melted butter or oil (I use olive oil, i.e. regular olive oil, not extra-virgin)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cup maida (all-purpose flour)
  • 1 pinch cinnamon, optional
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt

Steps

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 175 degrees centigrade for 15 minutes. You can use this time to prepare the batter. Time it such that the oven is ready by the time the batter is made. The batter should be put in the oven as soon as it is ready. Keeping the batter lying around once it is made, will waste all the leavening effect that is the centerpiece of baking.
  2. Grease and dust your baking pan if you are making a cake. Line the muffin cups with paper liners if you are using them or else oil and dust them.
  3. To start making the batter, use a fork or potato masher for mashing up the bananas.
  4. Pour the oil/butter into the bananas, stir and mix them together.
  5. Add the sugar, beaten egg, vanilla essence and mix again. Add the pinch of cinnamon, if you want and mix again.
  6. Now prepare the dry ingredients. Use a large bowl, put in the maida.
  7. Add the salt to the maida and mix it well.
  8. Take a stock of the situation at this point. Is the oven ready? The next two steps will take about 2-3 minutes. If the oven is going to take longer to heat, you can pause at this moment and wait.
  9. Put the baking soda into the liquid batter and mix properly. At this point the baking soda will start reacting with the bananas and start producing the leavening effect by releasing gases.
  10. Make a hole in the middle of the bowl containing maida and pour the liquid batter into it. Use a spatula and slowly fold the dry maida into the liquid and just make it all wet. Don’t mix too much. Just ensure that most of the maida is wet. A few dry spots here and there is ok.
  11. Pour the entire mixture into the cake pan, or if you are making muffins, start spooning them into the muffin cups. Don’t fill up the muffin cups more than half of their depth. These muffins rise well.
  12. Bake at 175 degrees centigrade. Bake for one hour if making a cake. Bake for 20 minutes if you are making muffins. These bake well in convection ovens. If your OTG doesn’t have a fan, see if your microwave has a convection mode with fan and use that instead. Use simple convection mode in microwave. Don’t try those fancy combo convection+microwave modes.
  13. As soon as the baking is done, take them out of the oven. Take the cake out of its can after about 5 minutes and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. If cooking muffins, take out the muffins after a few minutes and cool them. The would be ready to eat within 10-15 minutes of taking out.

Butter Paper (Wax Paper) vs Parchment Paper

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Now that is why my last attempt to bake Focaccia on butter paper (what wax paper is called around here) was such a disaster. I need to find if parchment paper is found in Indian stores.

The main difference between waxed paper and parchment paper is their respective coatings. Parchment paper is coated with silicone to give it a nonstick, heat-resistant surface, whereas waxed paper is coated with a wax such as soybean or paraffin.

Waxed paper is not meant for use in the oven—the wax coating on it will melt if the paper is exposed to direct heat.

Reference: chow.com

Kobe’s Sizzlers, Koramangala

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My last experience with Kobe’s at Garuda mall was not good at all. I never visited it again for five years while Sikandar, next to it at the mall has been a regular stop whenever we were at the mall.

Tonight, on our weekend eat out dinner, we decided to try out Kobe’s new outlet at koramangala. Was packed by 9pm when we reached. I tried the chicken satellite (photo above) . It looks way messy and cheesy but I actually didn’t think it was bad but I have had better at Tangerine, Indiranagar.

Cafe Max, Indiranagar

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Cafe Max at Max Mueller bhavan, CMH road, Indiranagar has some really interesting European food.

In the picture, Italian chicken escalope in the foreground and chicken salad at the back.

Making Homemade Mayo Using a Hand Blender

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I have always dreamt of making mayonnaise at home, but got put off by the almost clinical requirements to make one. Blend yolk, drizzle oil drop-by-drop, let it settle, whisk-and-pause, etc. etc.

So I was pleasantly surprised to find this video on youtube which dispensed with all those requirements and make mayo using the most unconventional method possble. He just puts all the ingredients in a certain order in what looks like a small glass and blends to magically create the mayo.