Sausage Jambalaya

 

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Jambalaya !! Does that name ring a bell? If it does not ,then do not worry .Just note it down as an incredibly easy to make  one pot  recipe ,that will save  your  precious energy on a weekday and rather  impress  your guests if cooked as part of a dinner party menu.Jambalaya is a French word that literally means ‘jumbled’. This is a rice dish with a great mix of strong flavor and textures.I got to taste this wonderful rice dish at a friend’s place.I was so impressed ,that soon I had to try out my own take on the recipe.Jambalaya  is a Creole dish of Spanish and French influence and is very similar to the Spanish paella.Meat  in the form of chicken or pork sausage are the common ingredients for

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the traditional  non vegetarian take on the dish,but I believe dodging out on the meaty ingredients won’t do this incredibly spicy and flavorsome dish much harm. Nutrella or tofu can be wonderful vegetarian  substitutes for this dish . The ‘holy trinity’ of this dish are bell peppers,onion and celery.Red,yellow,green and pink! I am a sucker for natural color in food.I believe if the food looks naturally beautiful,half the battle is over.I cooked and created a stock

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of the vegetables and sausage,added the raw rice and then let it cook in those flavors till done.I added the seasonings and the tomato puree towards the end ,to give it a nice sour-spicy effect,but you are free to add it while cooking the vegetables and the meat.The best part of the dish is that it’s extremely versatile,so you are free to choose and  swap your protein,chicken, prawns,sausage,tofu and so on or even customize the heat in the dish according to your taste buds.Feel free to put your own stamp!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 1 onion,diced
  • 3 ribs celery,chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper,cored and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper,cored and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper,cored and diced
  • 1-2 green chili or jalapeno peppers,seeded and finely chopped (depending on taste)
  • 5 cloves garlic,mined
  • 2 lb pork sausage ,sliced in rounds
  • 80 gm pureed tomato
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4th teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt,to taste
  • 1 and 1/2 cup rice of your choice
  • 3 cups stock or warm water
  • 2 table spoon of spice mix of a teaspoon each of ground black pepper,red pepper flakes,dried oregano,cumin powder powder,coriander,dried thyme,paprika powder- all crushed and mixed together
  • a handful of parsley,finely chopped (optional)

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Method:

  • Heat 3 tablespoon oil in a large deep vessel at medium heat.
  • Add bay leaf and  minced garlic,saute for a while.
  • Add onion, bell pepper and celery.Cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft.
  • Add the sausage slices,combine with the vegetables by stirring .
  • When the sausage changes color to,add the rice.
  • Add the spice mix and the pureed tomato.Give it a good stirring to mix and combine all the ingredients well.
  • Add the stock or water,reduce heat to medium.Cover it , let it simmer and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is well cooked,stirring  in between to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Check and adjust the seasonings
  • When the extra moisture has evaporated  you can add your choice of a hot sauce if you prefer to have really spicy and hot Jambalaya.
  • Remove from heat and garnish it with chopped parsley.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!
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One-pot Skillet Sausage Pasta

”One-pot” meals  are probably the best ever discoveries in the history of weeknight  dinners.Fast,filling with minimum washing up to do.Just a few handy ingredients,a chopping board ,a knife, a skillet and a spatula is all that you require.And  if you are just like me , and prefer minimum effort for maximum result,quick dinners on weeknights with just a skillet for washing in the sink  then this is the perfect recipe for you.

There’s something so satisfying about chucking all the ingredients into one-pot and leaving them to meld into something uber-delicious,full of flavor and yet within 400 calories!!

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We love sausages,be it chicken ,pork or a humble vegetarian version.So  sometime I put them in pasta,sometime in rice or simply fried to the accompaniment  of our favorite salad, or some rustic garlic bread. In short they are my key to quick fancy mid-week meals.In this recipe I have used the spicy smoked variety,which perfectly paired with other flavors and textures in the recipe.

The procedure of this recipe is fairly easy.Saute your favorite sausage with some garlic and onion .Then add your choice of vegetables,pasta,chicken broth(or water) and seasons.Add some cheese from the top and you are good to go!! Cooking time is less than 15 minutes!!

 

Ingredients :

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lb smoked spicy pork sausage,sliced (or any other non vegetarian or vegetarian sausage of your choice)

1 cup diced onion

3-4 cloves of garlic,finely chopped

2 cup chicken broth( or warm water)

1  tablespoon red chili flakes

8 oz any dry pasta(  any small variety of your choice)

Salt and pepper,to taste

1/2 cup  shredded Cheddar or Mozzarella Cheese

1/2 cup green peas

1 cup ,green beans

Basil leaves,a few  for garnish

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 Instructions :

  • Add olive oil to the skillet ,over medium high heat.
  • Add onion,saute a bit and add the sliced sausages,cook until light brown.Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the vegetables(peas and beans), pasta,chicken broth or warm water,seasonings,chili flakes.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil,reduce heat to low and simmer till the pasta is tender and cooked.
  • Turn off the heat and transfer to the serving dish.
  • Sprinkle cheese from the top ,put basil leaves from the top  and serve.
  • Makes about 4 servings.

 

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How To Roast Whole Chicken

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If you are part of the Bong Appetite family you know it by now, I am on an undeclared hibernation mode. Life in general keeping me little busy and bit pre occupied  with few other things which require immediate attention. But that does not mean that Bong Appetite is completely out of my mind. The Facebook page , gets it’s share of my inputs now and then. But yes, I take the blame of not being regular anymore. Hopefully this ”break term” will not be an everlasting one and I will be  back soon  with a bang and a bag full of recipes.

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Winter is here, so my kitchen is buzzing with the oven alarm  quite frequently, with roasts and casserole pots retaining the heat and warmth of the kitchen. It was just another weekend in December.  With temperature going as low as zero degree ,I decided to make our selves a whole chicken roast, that would suit the  cold weather and our palate equally well. The roast dinner, required little bit of preplanning and ground work like bringing the chicken to room temperature, cleaning and preparing it for roasting. Once done I served the chicken with roasted vegetables and a gravy sauce. The outcome was  extremely mouth watering  and aromatic with smells of fresh herbs. The result was definitely worth all the effort put together.

 

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Ingredients for the stuffing

1 onion,peeled and finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh sage (or any other herb of your choice),finely chopped

White bread crumbs : 80gm

Sunflower oil: 1tbsp

1 egg,beaten

Salt and pepper ,to taste

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Instructions

  • Heat the wok,put the oil,sweat the onions till transluscent  but soft.
  • Add bread crumbs  to the onions,mix it and season it well.
  • Take off the flame, add the egg and combine it well.
  • Roll the mixture into stuffing balls
  • Put the balls in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree Celcius for about 30 minutes,till they change colour to golden brown.
  • Take the balls out of the oven ,let them cool down little bit before stuffing.

 

Tips and tricks for making the perfect crispy roast  chicken

  • Take the chicken out the fridge and keep it outside ,to allow it to come down to the room temperature from chilled  temperature.This will allow the chicken to be evenly cooked and roasted.
  • Remove  the giblets, clean the chicken, rinse thoroughly and pat it dry to remove all the extra moisture.
  • This chicken roast when done in micro oven convection grill mode or  OTG or  conventional oven  will give more or less the same result. However, in each case, the oven needs to be preheated  to the required temperature.
  • However, it is important to note that the cooking time in each oven varies,hence the temperature can be well adjusted  and bit altered according to the oven you are using.
  • Do not drain the juice of the chicken left in the pan, as that is rich in flavour and can be used in  making the gravy sauce.
  • One of the main secret to have a brown  top crispy skin grilled chicken is to start cooking with a dry skin chicken and end up with a dry skin chicken as well.  For this it is important to bring the chicken to room temperature from a chilled state and pat it dry completely with paper towels. This will ensure uniform cooking. It is also necessary to allow sufficient air circulation. Thus using a shallow roasting pan and rack that hold the chicken well above the edge of the pan is important.
  • I started roasting at a bit higher temperature of 220 degrees for the first 45 minutes and then went  down to 180 degrees to   allow  slow cooking. Towards the end I increased the temperature again to allow the top skin to become crispy . I also gave additional 20 minutes for the chicken to seat in the warm enclosed oven after I turned off the oven. This allowed the chicken to retain it’s crackling top by not getting suddenly enclosed to a much cooler temperature outside.
  • The cooking time will also largely depend on the size of the chicken. Larger bird will take more time to cook. It’s  important to keep a constant eye on the chicken when its nearing doneness and not leave it completely unattended.

 

 

Ingredients for the Chicken Roast

10-12 cloves of garlic

3 table spoon olive oil

1 lemon, halved

50 gm. butter

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme

2-3 shallots

salt and pepper,to taste

1 whole chicken of 1.5oo kg ,preferably organic   (rinsed  and patted dry with giblets  removed)

 

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Method

  • Preheat  the oven to 220C.
  • In a food processor ,pulse 6 garlic,1 tbsp. olive oil, salt ,pepper,lemon juice of half a lemon, until they form a coarse paste.
  • Smother  this mixture over chicken and under the  skin, covering the breast and thighs of the chicken.Place half of the paste under the skin,directly on meat of breast and thighs.
  • Spread the entire exterior  surface of the chicken with the remaining paste
  • Season the  chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Add one lemon half and rosemary or thyme sprigs to inside of chicken.
  • Stuff the chicken with the stuffing balls, shallots,remaining garlics and a small butter cube.
  • Rub the chicken well with the remaining butter  and olive oil.
  • Put the chicken in the oven in a roasting pan ,with the chicken loosely covered by a foil. This will allow the chicken to cook in its own moisture.
  • Roast with the foil cover for  about 45 minutes at 220 degree Celsius.
  • After 45 minutes, remove the foil cover and let the chicken roast thoroughly.
  • Occasionally take out the chicken and   brush the chicken  with its own juice with a silicon cooking brush .
  • Let it roast, by reducing the temperature  for another 45 minutes at 180C/320-350F/Gas 3-4 or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked  and piping hot ,with  no pink colour remaining.
  • When almost done, towards the end increase the temperature to 220 degrees .As that will   ensure a crispy brown top. However, keep an   eye on the chicken to avoid it burning.
  • The juices should run clear when the deepest part of the flesh, specially around the  thighs is pierced with a thin skewer.
  • When done, turn off the oven and let the chicken seat in the enclosed warm oven for another 20 minutes.
  • Check for doneness, remove the chicken  from the oven and then carve.
  • Serve the carved chicken with gravy sauce and  roasted vegetables of your choice.

 

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Sauce/Gravy:

2 tbsp. of chicken  juices from the roasting pan

2 shallots

2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary

juice of 1 lemon

1 cup chicken stock

2tbsp butter

 

Method

  •  Sauté shallots in olive oil till translucent.
  • Add the chicken juice from the roasting pan.
  • Add 2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary,juice of lemon.
  • Add chicken stock cubes or reserved  chicken stock.
  • Let the sauce reduce for about 5 minutes,then  stir in the butter.
  • Combine and  mix well.
  • When well incorporated, take it off the stove and serve.
  • Enjoy!!

 

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Goan Prawn Pulao / Arroz Com Camarao de Goa

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There are very few dishes which work out equally good on super hectic work nights as well as during the special supper on a more relaxed weekend.This Goan prawn pulao is one such star dish.The amazing aroma of fresh prawns and Indian whole spices will never fail you.It is one such easy to make one pot meal,that  is favorite of all prawn lovers.This dish is  versatile in the sense,you can incorporate your choice of vegetables along with the prawns to make it a perfect no fuss balanced diet.Light,nutritious and filling .What else do you want for a perfect meal ?If that’s  not enough,then let me tell you,it is time saving too.

Goa is known to be one of  the main hub of sea food in India.Situated in the western coast of India,along the shore of Arabian Sea,Goan cuisine includes,coconut milk,spices and rice apart from sea food as it’s main cooking ingredients.

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Apart from it’s original Hindu -traditional cooking form, the cuisine of Goa is largely influenced by Portuguese Colonization  of 400 years. Coming to Portuguese influence on  Goan style of cooking,it is  said that the Portuguese exhibited to the Indians the use of herbs,spices,tomatoes and chili in cooking.Prawn Balchao and Pork Vindaloo  are two famous examples,of such influence which has taken over Goan cuisine since the inception of the Portuguese colonization till the modern time.Thus Goan cuisine is a wonderful blend of east and west.

Coming to Goan Prawn Pulao or Arroz  Com Camarao de Goa,this dish like many other Goan recipe,bear resemblance to Portuguese style of cooking.Scented with the aroma of cinnamon,small  cardamom,clove, and marked by the meaty taste of the succulent prawns this  recipe is a welcome alternative to the regular pulao.

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Ingredients :

  • 200 gm prawn,whole,un-shelled,washed
  • 1 cup long grained rice
  •  white oil/ghee to cook
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 5-6 peppercorns
  • 2-3 small green cardamom
  • 3 teaspoon garlic,finely chopped
  • 1 medium  sized onion,finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric(1/2 teaspoon for marinating prawns and 1/2 teaspoon  for the pulao)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala powder
  • 2-3 green chili,finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes,halved
  • 1/4th cup  green peas
  • cilantro or parsley leaves ,a handful,finely chopped
  • 1 cup  coconut milk,thinned with 1 cup water
  • salt  to taste
  • sugar to taste

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Method:

  • Remove the heads and shells of the prawns,de-vein,wash,pat dry and keep aside.
  • Marinate the prawns with turmeric and salt.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil and fry the prawns till  golden pink.Take out prawns of  the frying pan and keep aside.
  • Add 1 tablespoon oil/ghee to the oil   in which prawns have been fried.
  • Heat the oil,and temper it with bay leaf,cinnamon,green cardamom(slightly crushed),cloves,peppercorn
  • Let the whole spices splutter and cook at low to medium flame.
  • After 1 minute,add the finely chopped garlic,saute till golden brown.
  • Add the chopped onions.
  • Sprinkle 1/4th teaspoon sugar,fry the onions till soft and golden for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add turmeric, red chili powder,cumin powder,coriander powder,garam masala powder .Saute for a minute or two.
  • Add  1 cup coconut milk thinned with 1 cup water.Stir well.Let the gravy come to a boil.At this stage add the fried prawns and salt to  taste and let the gravy thicken and come to a boil.
  • Once the gravy thickens,remove the prawns and keep aside.Prawns tends to get chewy and rubbery ,when overcooked,so it should be added to the pulao preferably in the last stage.
  • Add the green peas and  rice to the gravy,cover and cook(the ratio of rice to the coconut gravy  should be 1:2)
  • Add salt and sugar as per taste
  • Once the rice is almost done,add the prawns,chopped green chili and  1/2 tablespoon ghee
  • Adjust the salt and sugar content if required.Turn off the flame.Give it a standing time of  2-3 minute.
  • Transfer it to the serving bowl.
  • In a wok take 1/2 teaspoon oil.Heat it.Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves ,put them in the oil along with a handful  finely chopped parsley or cilantro leaves .Saute them slightly in  the oil for 1-2 minutes,at medium flame.
  • Garnish the pulao with the glazed cherry tomatoes.They will  add the perfect sweet-tangy taste to the spicy pulao rice.
  • Serve the pulao with raita or yogurt dip of your choice or savor it on it’s own.

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