Monday, March 26, 2007

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

When I first found out about the AFAM event, I knew at once which fruit I was waiting for. That's right pineapple, so I could make the pineapple upside down cake! I had bookmarked the original recipe from the Betty Crocker Webpage and finally got round to making it! Without much ado, here is the recipe.

1/4cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 can (8 oz) pineapple slices, drained, cut in half
1/3 cup chopped pecans
8-9 Maraschino cherries
1.5 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk or water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Pre-Heat Oven to 350°F.
Put butter in a 9 inch round baking dish and melt it in the oven.
Remove dish and melted butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar (as evenly as you can)
Arrange the pineapple pieces and place a cherry in the center of each pineapple. Drop the chopped pecans in all the spaces left. I ran out of pecans so it looks somewhat scantily covered. Do feel free to be very generous with the pecans, it will only make it taste better.
In a large bowl mix the remaining ingredients well (to form the cake batter)
Bake 35-40 minutes till the cake is done.
Remove from oven and immediately turn the cake upside down to remove from baking dish (so the pineapple side is on the top).

While on the blog patrol, I found another recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake posted by Trupti. See her version here.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Achaari Chicken

Eureka - I finally got it! I formulated "SJ's law of JFI participation". It goes somewhat like this… the more I use a JFI ingredient in my daily cooking, the more likely I am to miss the deadline for the event. Potatoes, I had like a dozen recipes I planned to make. So easy… and I missed the deadline completely. Tomatoes, again something I use in so many of my daily dishes and again here I am, it almost slipped my mind. But no, this time I decided to make something and post it well in advance. Well… ahem.. errrr, the reason also had a little to do with the fact that I started to cook chicken and then realized I was out of onions, so I had to improvise.

Anyway, I had a lot of tomatoes and some Shaan achar masala handy and came up with this delicious recipe. I don’t usually use the ready masalas for non vegetarian cooking, but I do keep some ready spices handy for times when I am in a rush or feel plain lazy. My family's spice (as in chilly) toleration is somewhat low, if you can handle the heat I'd recommend sticking to the instructions at the back of the packet (at least for the Shaan brand of masala), I needed to make some changes to use less masala and add some other stuff.

~1.5 pound chicken
1 tsp nigella seeds (kalonji)
1 tsp saunf (fennel seeds)
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 green chilly (or more if you'd like)
4-5 large tomatoes (chopped very fine or pureed)
1 cup yogurt
~ 1/3 packet Shaan Achaar Gosht masala

Add some oil and fry the , kalonji, saunf, green chilly, garlic for a few minutes.
Add ginger and chicken and "bhuno" for a few minutes.
I was in a hurry and did not fry till the chicken pieces were browned. If you do this, it will taste even better.
Add, tomatoes, yogurt and a little (maybe 3/4 or 1 cup) water. Add the Shaan masala now. Cover and cook on low heat till meat is cooked and gravy is as think as you want. I like a little gravy to drown my rice or rotis in. You could add less water than I did and have a thicker gravy.
Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!
This is my entry for JFI-Tomato hosted by RP.

Warning: The masala itself has salt, so usually you won't need to add salt. I added less masala than the recipe called for since it also makes the dish very hot (as in "jhaal" or spicy), so I added some salt as needed and added a little more tomatoes than the original recipe.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Decadent Pecan Pie

I don't remember where I had pecan pie for the first time, but I do remember it was served piping hot with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side and it was divine! Since pecan pie with vanilla ice cream has been a favorite dessert of mine. I make it often when I have friends over for dinner and it is a favorite of my friend V. In fact whenever we have a potluck and I ask what I should bring, my friend V pipes up with "Pecan Pie". For her baby shower I asked what do you feel like eating and pat came the reply "Pecan Pie"! It makes me very happy because it is a VERY easy dessert to prepare if you have ingredients at hand - more so since I use a store bought pie crust. In fact I am having second thoughts about posting this because now all my friends who are impressed with the pie will come to know how easy it really is :-)

1 9-inch pie crust (unbaked)
3 eggs
1 cup Karo Corn syrup (I use the dark variety but the light one would be just fine)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar (original recipe calls for 1 cup, but I find it gets too sweet)
1 cup chopped pecans + about 3/4 cup whole pecans for decoration on top.

Mix all ingredients except the whole pecans well by hand.
Pour into the pie crust.

Arrange the whole pecans in concentric circles on top (or in any manner you like).
Bake at 350° F for about 50 min or till the center is firm. You could insert a toothpick in the center to check if it done.

I didn’t have any ice cream at home when I made this and tried it with some whipped cream. That tasted really good too.


Monday, March 5, 2007

No to Plagiarization

See more details of here and here. Thanks to Sandeepa for the image used here.