Garlic Bread

Instead of smearing the garlic butter on individual slices of bread, I decided to opt for something fancier.  So I made mini bread sticks.  I couldn’t bring myself to do it on a regular big bread stick, because I like the cute factor that an individual stick has.  I had no idea how my mother makes her garlic butter, but apparently it’s different and I will have to write her way down some time soon.

Bread dough
1/2 cup olive oil
12 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup parsely, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon zatar
Cheese, for sprinkling

Make the bread dough as instructed in the provided link. Once risen, measure out each portion to 4 oz and shape into logs. Place onto a baking sheet, brush the surface with a beaten egg, and let rise for another 25 minutes. Bake at 350 F until golden brown.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan, and add the garlic, parsely and spices.  Over medium saute, saute for a few minutes.  Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.  Using an immersion blender, blend until somewhat smooth.

Slice the bread just until the knife is about to reach the end and then stop. Smear a generous amount of the garlic butter in between the slices. Cover with foil and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the cheese over the top, and broil for another 2 minutes, watching it carefully so that it does not burn.


Focaccia Bread

Inspired by the piece in the LA Times by Nancy Silverton about focaccia, my mother decided to make it.  She crushed up garlic into a paste and smeared it on, along with pesto sauce, a sprinkling of cayenne pepper flakes, cubes of mozzarella, and of course a generous amount of thickly sliced red bell peppers.

Read the article and make it yourself.  You’ll be sure to enjoy it! 🙂


6 oz flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon butter/ghee
4 oz water
4 oz milk

In a deep dish, place flour, baking powder, baking powder, cumin, and butter.  In a small pan, bring water and milk to a boil.  Gradually pour some of the liquid into the flour mixture, and with a spoon stir together to make a rough mass.  Gather the dough together with your fingers, and if it is too dry add more of the liquid as necessary.  Knead to form a smooth and silky dough.  Leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Roll out dough to 1/8″ thickness, and with a round cutter, cut out puris.

In a deep saucepan, fill oil about halfway and heat up the oil over medium-high heat.  Once it is hot, put in a puri and with the tip of the spoon, lightly press it under the oil.  Be careful not to press too hard, or you will puncture the puri and oil will enter, preventing it from puffing up.

Once it has puffed up, turn it over and remove it after about 20-30 seconds into a colander.  Place on a plate lined with a paper towel.

Flat Pasta

Roll the pasta dough out thin.  Fold in half, and using a pizza cutter, slice into strips to make flat noodles.

Bring some water to boil in a pot with a teaspoon of salt, and toss the noodles in.

Pour in a pretty bowl, add some white sauce, some pesto for color and good health, and garnish with some chopped oregano.

Gosh.  How nice and flat.

Mince Pinwheel

As you’re looking through this recipe, you might wonder how I’m calling my squares a pinwheels.  Wheels are circles.  I know that.  I skipped a step while making this, and did not think it was really necessary wrap the cloth tightly around the roll or to secure the ends with a tie.  I suffered the consequences.  Well, not really suffered.  I wasn’t serving Chef Ramsay or anybody else “special.”  “Just” my brother, who worries more about taste than presentation.  But lesson learned, because I personally would have liked circles more.

If you’re not using leftover mince meat curry or kebabs, just braise some meat with seasoning and toss it in as filling.

5 oz Pasta dough
8 oz Kheema Curry
1/4 bell pepper, diced
1 egg, beaten
Muslin cloth Continue reading

Won Ton Pasta Dough

I’ve always had hesitation towards making pasta dough, because whenever I look at the pictures of the steps they look like they could be a lot of a work.  Making the dough, rolling it out thin, running it through the pasta maker, laying it out, cutting it, filling it, boiling it.  How can that not paint a scary image in your head?  Be honest!  In any case, I’m not one to argue with my mother, because she has a point: it is uninspiring to simply make macaroni and cheese every single time.  I love macaroni and cheese.  A lot. But I have to at least know how to some fancy shmanzy stuff, right?  This was certainly fancy shmanzy yet very easy, and I might just try to keep up with simply making my own pasta mostly from now.  Except for macaroni, obviously.  We’ll see.

8 oz all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup water

In a deep dish, make a well with the flour and salt, pouring the egg and some of the water in the middle.

Stir the ingredients together and form into a dough. Add water as necessary just to make a rough dough.

Run the dough through the mince meat attachment of a stand mixer to make it smooth, so that you don’t have to do much work.  If you don’t have a mince meat attachment, you will have to knead the dough until smooth.

Let dough relax, in a plastic bag or in a dish covered with plastic wrap, for about 15 minutes before rolling out.

Recipe courtesy of Time Life: The Good Cook Series on Pasta

Jelly Doughnuts

Take 1 oz of bread dough and 1/2 teaspoon jam of your preference.  Place jam on dough and pinch edges to seal and form into balls.  Let rise, then deep fry!  Sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy.

If you’re filling with meat, make sure you keep away from jam ones.  Even meat eaters would be grossed out to bite into a doughnut and find meat instead of sweet and lovely jam.

Kheema Rolls

I dislike leftovers.  What’s nice is when you freshen a leftover up and turn into something spiffy.  Something so spiffy that might lure a non-meat person into wanting to grab it, because well, when there’s meat inside a roll, how is one to know?  That’s the magic of a meat roll.

8 oz bread dough
6 oz kheema curry
1 oz mozzarella cheese
1 egg yolk, beaten
Sesame seeds

Divide dough into 1 ounce pieces and flatten slightly.

Mix together kheema curry and cheese.  Spread mixture evenly on the pieces of dough.  Seal, meeting the edges together and shape into a ball.

Glaze the rolls with egg, and sprinkle sesame seeds. Let the rolls rest until they have risen, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350°F (175°C), until rolls are nicely golden.

Kheema Pizza

12 oz bread dough
6 oz marinara sauce
6 oz kheema curry
4 oz mozzarella cheese
4 oz cheddar cheese
Red and green bell peppers

Make bread dough, following the recipe provided in the link or your own recipe.  If using the recipe provided, omit potato, as it makes the dough too soft and you’ll want a crisp crust.

Dust surface with cornmeal and roll dough out to a thin 16″ circle.  Place dough on the pizza pan.

Spread sauce evenly, followed by the kheema curry.  Top it off with cheese, bell peppers and olives.

Bake at 350°F (175°C), until cheese is slightly golden, about 20 minutes.