Beetroot Risotto: A humble attempt at my Restaurant Favourite

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My nephew celebrated his 21st Birthday at Cafe Zoe,in Mumbai a couple of weeks ago.The entire family was invited to a sit down lunch.Cafe Zoe is a cosy resto downtown and serves up a great European fare.It’s amongst my favorite places for lunch,more so as they make an absolutely beautiful Beetroot Risotto.My sister who hosted the lunch was keen that the menu be planned up ahead so as to avoid any confusion, as we were a large group.Grilled Fish in almond butter and Capers,Beef Tenderloin,Roasted chicken with pink peppercorns and Beet Risotto were our choice of mains.I was ever so happy see the Risotto feature on the menu and settled for just that.

So well, let’s say I’ve had  Risotto making on my mind since the lunch and have been reading some great blog posts and recipes too.I had promised the dear son that I would make some for his lunch this afternoon.Now I do  make a fairly decent one with Mushrooms and quite happy the way it turns out.I was just looking at a variation,so decided on a twist on the classic recipe by using some Beets.

I must say I was quite happy with the outcome.A humble attempt to replicate the one I normally indulge in at Cafe Zoe,none the less a delicious one.I’ve chosen to boil the beets and just puree them,all though you may even roast them and roughly grate them if you wish.I somehow felt that the route to a good Risotto was cumbersome and trying.How wrong have I been!The key really is just a little patience.It’s very important to toast the rice in the butter when you start off so that each grain gets warmed up and only then one could go ahead with glazing it with some wine.I’ve actually used some red wine in this recipe as I thought it would go well with the beets.

This is really a simple yet impressive meal and the beetroots lend a gorgeous colour and a hint of sweetness to the Risotto.The Parmesan shaving and drizzle add a hint of style making it quite eye-catching and an elegant presentation.This recipe is for keeps and I can’t wait to try it out again.

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Ingredients:

  • 320 grams Gallo Arborio rice
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 medium Onion chopped
  • 2-3 pods garlic (minced)
  • 2 small beetroot (boiled and pureed)
  • 40 grams butter
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • Freshly grated Parmesan shavings
  • 2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions till translucent.
  2. Then add in the minced garlic  and sauté further.
  3. Add the rice and let sauté till rice is transparent.
  4. Add in the wine and stir till it evaporates.
  5. Now keep adding spoonfuls of the stock and let it simmer on a slow flame.
  6. Do keep adding more stock as the stock is absorbed by the rice.
  7. When you have used about 2/3 rd the amount of stock,you may start adding the beetroot puree a little at a time.
  8. Continue adding the stock and bits of puree till  the rice is cooked al dente and is creamy in texture( approx. 20-25 minutes).Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Add the parmesan shaving and season with some salt if necessary.
  10. Drizzle with Avocado Oil.
  11. Garnish with Parmesan Shavings.
  12. Serve hot.

Zucchini Noodles: Loving My Spiralizer

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All right I may as well admit it.I’m an absolute and out right gadget freak.More specifically a Kitchen gadget freak.Travelling does that some how.An incessent and obsessive need to browse through home and kitchen stores,walk down endless aisles of supermarkets,on the look out for some kitchen gadget or house ware that would make cooking a lot more interesting.That, I do not have any more shelf space  is another story all together.Amongst the stuff that I’ve been amassing over the years are hordes of  Bakeware, Cookware,Gizmos and  various other kitchen memorabilia collected over numerous travels ,making the insides of my pantry  resemble a well stocked Kitchen-ware store.No,I’m not complaining,just overjoyed at my stash.After all having the right equipment makes all the difference.

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The Gnocchi gods must be smiling upon me: Potato Gnocchi with Garlic and Parsley

Watermark There’s a good reason when I say that the Gnocchi gods must be smiling upon me. There have been relentless attempts  at making a Potato Gnocchi in my kitchen. The compulsive behavior stemmed from a love for a good Gnocchi and numerous rounds of disasters ranging from a magnitude of 7.5 to 9 on the Gnocchi Richter scale. The first time around the potatoes were over cooked. The next time I just decided to mash them with a fork ,didn’t bother with  potato ricer  (despite having bought  one just for the Gnocchi making event) and had a lumpy mess. There were the eggless recipes which fell apart and  went straight into the trash can…and the list went on, too dense, undercooked, hard and so and so forth. Continue reading

Dinner Tonight or Lunch Tomorrow?

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On most weeknights I find myself frantically scurrying around the kitchen in order to put a healthy, flavorful yet simple meal on the table. This is especially so when I’ve had a series of cooking workshops through the day and insufficient left over for dinner. I term these as “Fright nights”! Let’s face it we all have these nights.
Well here is a great recipe for Spaghetti And Meatballs,pretty much a fuss free one to put together. I received a coupon from OBE  Organic Halalthe Australian Organic meat wholesalers of free range,organic and grass fed export beef.

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OBE Organic is 100% owned and operated by Australian organic farmers who are committed to the provision of high quality organic food products and the highest possible standard of food safety for the families of the world.Their meat products are available at Carrefour supermarkets in UAE.The OBE Organic group was founded in the early 1990s by a far-sighted group of Australian pastoral families which are continuing century-old family traditions. Today, OBE Organic is the world’s oldest, largest and most trustworthy producer of healthy and great-tasting organic beef.

I picked up some of the OBE Halal beef cubes and had the butcher mince them for me.The recipe to make these meat balls is fairly simple.I’ve gone ahead and baked mine as they turn out to be a healthier option,you could fry them if you like.Once formed the meatballs freeze well and could be stored upto a month.Well here you go,my “double time” recipe as I like to call it..As its a big hit at the dinner table or right into lunch boxes the next day.

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Recipe for Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams lean ground Beef
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Dash of Worchesshire sauce

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine all the above ingredients and mix well.
  2. Form the mixture into 10-12 small balls if using immediately else freeze them.
  3. Pre heat the oven to 200C. Lightly grease a baking tray and lay the meatballs on it.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes.
  5. Turn the meatballs over and bake further for 5-7 minutes or until brown.

For The Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 6-8 medium tomatoes (chopped roughly)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed chili flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh Basil and cherry tomatoes to garnish.

Directions:

  1. Heat a pan and add the olive oil.
  2. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute.
  3. Next add in the chopped tomatoes.
  4. Cook this well or until they don’t look raw anymore. You could add a little water to assist the cooking.
  5. Season with salt,pepper,oregano and chili flakes.
  6. Boil the Spaghetti according to package instructions.
  7. Add the sauce the meatballs  and mix well.
  8. Now add in the Spaghetti to the above sauce.
  9. Drizzle with Olive Oil and garnish with fresh basil and cherry tomatoes.