Fresh herbs, Cheese and Jalapeno bread – Eggless, No-Knead and Super Delicious!

Fresh herbs, Cheese and Jalapeno bread – Eggless, No-Knead and Super Delicious!

It’s a beautiful day in NC. The sun has given us a bit of respite and the weather seems to bring in the summer showers. The sky is filled with pregnant clouds – that’s how I visualize it. New life begins with showers 🙂 And my Hibiscus, the yellow one bloomed cheerily. The patio is filled with pots bursting with life – and my pride and joy of herbs and more. The fresh herbs beckon me to do something in the early hours of today- especially as my angels ( sometimes troublesome 3’s ) are fast asleep and I have this morning hour to myself.

Just myself and a cup of ginger chai.

Just myself, a cup of ginger chai and a humming bird.

Just myself , a cup of ginger chai, a humming bird and a curious brown breasted rabbit !

Oh the wonders !

And I walk in to the kitchen to see the remains of the pantry cleaning. Hmm I still have a few cupful’s of the self rising APF. What do I do? I bake of course 🙂

 Snipping away the fresh herbs , gives me an idea. As is always the case, a bit of this and a bit of that goes into this effort and creation.. The result is beautiful!

 An absolutely fragrant and moist loaf of rustic cheese and herbs bread baked to near golden perfection, filled with goodness of fresh herbs and spiced with jalapeños and pepper, flax seed laden and oh so irresistible ! Try this one, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

Pointers :

  • Self rising flour is All purpose flour with baking powder and salt in it. So this recipe omits salt.
  • I used a mix of grated Cheddar cheese, Habanero and Mexican cheese blend. Already loaded with salt, hence no extra salt was added in this recipe.
  • No eggs in this recipe. But you can substitute the flax seed mix I used for 2 eggs.
  • No egg wash too, Instead, I chose milk and butter wash and broiled it for 550 for 3 min.
  • The baking was at 350 for 50 min. Please keep an eye on your oven . I would recommend tenting it with an aluminum foil at the 30 min interval and bake it further.
  • I gave  the bread the milk and butter wash and then did the tenting ,baking and broiling.

Bakes : One 9 by 5 inch loaf

 Ingredients:

  • Self rising flour APF : 2.25 cups
  • Baking soda : 1/2 tsp
  • Shredded mix of cheddar , habenaro, pepperjack and mexican cheese blend : 1 cup
  • Fresh or Preserved Japaleno slices : chopped, 1/4 cup
  • Fresh herbs mix : 1 cup
  • Butter milk : 1.25 cups
  • 2 Tbsp flax seed + 6 Tbsp warm water : ground ( substitute for 2 eggs)
  • Olive oil : 3 Tbsp
  • Red pepper flakes : 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder : 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
  • 2 Tsp of milk + 1 tsp of butter for wash if desired

 Method:

  • Pre heat the oven to 350℉.
  • Spray a loaf pan with grease and flour it as well to prevent sticking of the bread.
  • Sift the APF self rising flour and baking soda together and set aside in a wide bowl.
  • To this add the dry seasonings and spices you are using as well the 3/4 of the fresh chopped herbs and stir it in.
  • Now add in the grated cheese and stir it in as well.
  • Add in the  3 tbsp. oil and run your flingers through the dough to distribute it.
  • In a coffee grinder  or spice grinder , first make a meal out of the flax seeds – grind as finely as possible. Then add about 6 Tbsps. of warm water and blend it together to get a thick creamy mix.
  • Add the flax seed mix and butter milk together , homogenize and then add it to the  dry mix to and stir it in well.
  • The dough is going to be a shaggy dough !
  • Empty it in to the prepped bread pan, add in the remaining herbs mix on the top.
  • Bake it for 350℉  for 45- 52 min. After the first 30 min or so, loosely tent an aluminum foil on top of your baking pan . This will help the bread to bake more evenly.
  • Gently wash the top with a mix of milk and butter if desired at this stage.
  • Finally broil it at 550 ℉ for 2 min or so to finish off with a nice brown color.
  • Cool it out in the pan for a few min and then gently remove it from the pan to let it cool on a wire rack.
  • Once cool, slice and serve with a dollop of butter or just like that!
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Tomato, Onion and Carrot Chutney – Simple,Quick and Awesome!

#BacktoBasics

Superfast, Super quick , Super delish and uses ingredients most often found in your pantry . The best part about this is the fact that it is so versatile and has a burst of flavors all in one. You can keep the consistency thick enough to make it into a sandwich spread, or add a dollop on your burger when grilling. Or thin it out a bit and it become the most awesome chutney for Idli, Dosa(i), Adai, Upma .. You name it! Slightly vary the flavor and you have a super hit dip on your hands for those multi grain chips.. Oh! you can let your imagination run wild. But trust me, this is one chutney you will not regret to add to your list of must- do’s or repertoire.

 Ingredients:

  • Channa Dal or skinned peanuts : 1 Tbsp
  • tamarind paste : 1/2 tsp
  • Onion : 1 big , Chopped fine
  • Tomato: 1 big Chopped fine
  • Carrots: 1 big, peeled, Chopped fine
  • Cilantro : 1/4 cup, Chopped fine
  • Mint: 1/4 cup ,Chopped fine
  • Oil: 2 tsp
  • Green chilies : 2
  • Red Bydagi chilies : 2
  • Salt : 1 tsp

Method:

  • In a skillet, heat one tsp of oil and fry the channa dal or peanuts if using to golden brown.
  • Also add in the red Bydagi chilies and fry them.  Next add in the green chilies to fry it a bit more.
  • Scoop it all out in a plate to cool it down a bit.
  • Add in one more tsp of oil in the same skillet and fry the onions, tomatoes and carrots in the  sequential order. Take care to ensure these are nicely cooked/sautĂ©ed.
  • Turn off the flame and add in the chopped cilantro and mint and stir it in. The residential heat in the pan is enough to slightly wither the greens and take the edge of the raw nature of it.
  • Scoop this out on a second plate to cool the contents.
  • In a blender, dry grind the channa dal  or peanuts with the red chilies initially into a dry rough grind. Next add in the green chilies, tamarind paste, sautĂ©ed veggies and salt and blend very well without water.
  • Add in a few tablespoons of water to thin out according to need , but ensure it is given a final whirl in the blender before use.
  • That’s it! Simple and ready for a multitude of uses.

Notes:

  • Don’t’ have channa dal or peanuts? Try using split urad dal or  almonds. Works like a charm and don’t be shy to experiment a bit.
  • Don’t have red Bydagi chiles?Add in a tsp of kashmiri mirch powder or simply exclude it from the recipe.
  • Mint and cilantro can be mutually exclusive in this recipe or added with a bit of sweet basil and you have a completely different flavor.
  • Add in sautĂ©ed ginger and introduce a new variation to this.Want to add garlic? Yes yes you may do so, but ensure again it is sautĂ©ed very well.
  • Uses: sandwich spread, relish, topping, accompaniment to dosas, idli, rotis, upma and more, dip for multi grain chips and crackers, veggie dips.
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Chilled Sweet Corn Salad – Refreshing!

#30days30salads

 

Day 4 dawns with a sunny and bright disposition.. Hitting 90’s weather and it is still officially spring in NC. Unofficially though it’s like we rolled out of winter with bare cursory knock into spring and right into summer! It’s time for chilled salads, popsicles and fruit treats!

A trip to the grocery yielded much of the bounty but I was so tempted to bring in these sweet white corn. Oh, they looked just perfect !

And todays lunch called for cold, crunchy nutritious salad.

 

Minimal ingredients, low effort , awesome satisfaction..

Chilled Sweet Corn Salad Ingredients: 

  • Sweet white/ golden Corn ears: 4
  • English seedless cucumber : 1( finely chopped)
  • Sweet baby carrots : 8( finely chopped)
  • Mint leaves : A handful ( finely chopped)
  • Cilantro : A handful ( finely chopped)

 Dressing:

  • Lemon : 1-2 ( juiced)
  • Black Pepper : 1/2 tsp
  • Salt : 1/4 tsp
  • Honey : 1/2 tsp(optional)
  • Paprika Flakes : 1/4 tsp (optional)

Preparing the corn:

  • In a huge saucepan , boil enough water so you can dunk in the shucked corn ears.
  • Boil it in this water, say for about 5 min. The corn ears are al dente and tender , and not mushy or over cooked.
  • Drain and cool for about 2-3 min.
  • Slice of the kernels.

 Preparing the Dressing:

Combine all the ingredients in the dressing category and whisk it lightly together.

Preparing the salad:

  • Combine the sliced kernels of corn(make sure they are separated well and you don’t have any big clumps), cucumbers, carrots and toss it in gently with the mint and cilantro.
  • Refrigerate  for an hour or so.
  • Just before serving , add in the dressing and toss it gently.

 

This is one extremely refreshing salad and you can introduce a ton of variations to this.

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