Monthly Archives: September 2013

Malaysian Curry Paste Pasta

Malaysian Curry Paste Pasta

Malaysian Curry Paste Pasta

I have made pasta for a couple of years now, but it is always just with plain flour. I finally decided to branch out and try a flavored pasta. I did go to my favorite Italian cookbook – The Silver Spoon. It is such a wonderful read, not to mention that the recipes come out really well. The standard ratio to make pasta is either one egg per 100 gms of flour and that is good for one person. Of course, I should mention that I always make extra – leftovers are so great!.

I was trying to think of what to flavor my pasta with and then saw that I had the red curry Malaysian spice paste and decided I would try to make it. It looked beautiful drying on the rack with the little flecks of chili in the pasta strands. I made a simple olive oil and fresh basil sauce to go with it. The whole outcome was simple marvelous as you could taste the spice notes of the curry paste and the basil complimented it wonderfully. I would say that having a pasta machine makes the rolling out of the sheets and cutting it really easy.

I cam across this website via thekitchn.com that has a lot of variations on just plain pasta. The picture speaks volumes. The meal itself starts off great when there is color around. I would think the Indian festival of Holi should incorporate colored pasta as a food end to splashing of color :-).

Malaysian Curry Paste Pasta

Malaysian Curry Paste Pasta

Ingredients

Serves 4 with generous portions

Preparation time : 

  • 3.5 cups plain flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons Red Curry Paste
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Method

I use my trusty KitchenAid mixer. I put the flour in and make a well in the center. Beat the eggs slightly and then pour them into the center of the well. Start with the beater blade to incorporate the flour and eggs. Once they have incorporated switch to the dough hook. At this point add the red curry paste, olive oil and sea salt. Knead until the dough comes together and gives to a little pressure. Add the water a tablespoon at a time only if your dough is dry and is not holding together.

If you are doing this without a kitchen aid mixer. Clean your counter top. Make a mound of the flour and then make a well in the center. Put the lightly beaten eggs in the center and then using a stirring motion start to combine the flour. Once you have done this then start to knead the dough adding the curry paste, oil and salt. Add the water as needed to make a dough that gives to a little pressure.

Roll the dough out into a log and cut it  up into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and then cover them with a clean kitchen towel. Let them rest for about 10 minutes.

Rolling the dough

1. Set your roller at the widest (on the kitchenaid it is #1). Flatten the first ball and feed it into the pasta roller. Once it is rolled out fold it into thirds, with the two outer flaps overlapping. rotate by 90 degrees and feed it into the roller again. Repeat 5 times which should get your sheet of pasta pretty even and smooth. Do not worry if the pasta sheet is not a perfect rectangle.

2. Reduce the setting on the pasta roller (#2 on kitchenaid). Feed the pasta sheet through this setting. If you find your dough sticky, just dust on a little flour on it. Reduce the setting on the pasta roller and repeat. I went down to #4 setting as I was making fettuccine.

3. Change the pasta roller for the fettuccine cutter (if you do not have one then just cut it with a pizza cutter on a cutting board). Hang the pasta to dry on a pasta drying rack or a clean broom handle balanced between two chairs.

4. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough balls. Let the pasta dry for about 10-12 minutes.

5. Bring 2 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Put your pasta in and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the pasta leaving a little of the cooking water behind. This helps the sauce that you are making adhere to it.

I made a simple olive oil, basil and sun-dried tomato sauce to go with it.

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Mango Parfaits

Mango Parfait

Mango Parfait

I actually made these for a friend while she was visiting. It has been a long and busy summer and I was just back logged at writing and updating my blog.

Spring is (was :-)) in the air here and with it heralds the Mango season. Growing up I used to wait for the mango season where we would get the big baskets filled with Alphonso mangoes. We would be allowed to eat one after lunch and one after dinner and then we would try to convince someone to give us more than one. The reason we were denied more was because they supposedly increase the heat in one’s body.

Mangoes come in so many varieties and sizes, there is one that is called Bishop’s mango. I was most enthralled when I first saw it because it was almost twice the size of a regular mango – and as a child you just think ‘Oh I am actually eating more than one of my quota in a sitting’. However, I was very disappointed in the taste of that particular variety. In Goa, you get a variety that is called Mancurad (not sure of the spelling). They are quite small but oh so delicious. Here in the US my favorites are the Altufo and Kent varieties.

To make this parfait, I used Kesar mango pulp, which is easily available at any Indian grocery store. I made this a couple of times and it has received rave reviews. It is very easy to make, its a three layered dessert and you can be creative and change any of the layers or layer it the way you want to.

Ingredients

Serves 8 (4-5oz serving size)

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter,  melted
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup mango pulp
  • 1/4 cup jam (costco pomegranate raspberry jam)
  • 3 tablespoon water

Method

Stir the  butter into the graham cracker crumbs until they have all be moistened. Divide the moistened crumbs amongst the containers.

Whip the cream until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar and whip to incorporate till soft peaks form. You can test the soft peaks when you lift the beater and the peak gently folds over. Add the mango pulp and fold. Divide the mango whipped cream.

Put the jam and water into a small pot and heat, stirring constantly until the jam has broken up and the water and jam have reached an even consistency. Let it cool and then divide it amongst the containers.

Its that simple.


Strawberry Jam Cakes

Strawberry Jam Cakes

Strawberry Jam Cakes

These came about as I wanted to make something sweet for a late boozy brunch that a friend of mine was throwing. It is a recipe from the Tea Time magazine that I get. It’s really a tea time cake but I added a liberal brushing of port wine to the cake to go with the boozy brunch theme. I am sure that Tea time aficionados will not disapprove at all.

I do remember going to the Winter garden for High tea in London at the hotel where I stayed. We had the most delicious cakes and sandwiches served on a three-tiered stand. I did not drink much tea, but happily ate the sandwiches and cakes. When we ate everything on the first stand they refilled it but with their choices not with ours – much to our disappointment. If you ever are in London – a High tea is simply a must.

But back from my tea time digression, these are not really challenging to make. They are however simply delicious. The original recipe called for a 17×12 baking pan. I used my 9×13 inch pan. I guess the difference was the cutting out of a double height of the cake and then splitting it into two. However, as long as the sides look good the tops get covered with icing so there were no worries about it.

The little cakes did get rave reviews for brunch and then I took a few of the left overs to work the next day where they were also happily eaten. I was initially going to try to make cake pops of the remaining discards but then smooshed them all into a small container, doused it with port and then topped it with the icing. This stayed a little longer and seemed get even tastier as time went along.

Ingredients

Makes 12 mini cakes

Cakes

  • 2 cups flour sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Red food color (Americolor red)
  • Port Wine (or liqueur of your choosing)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

Icing

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • Red food color (Americolor)

Method

For the Cakes

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and line a 9×13 inch baking with parchment paper and set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar with the paddle blade in your mixer until light and fluffy. Add the jam and one egg. Beat until incorporated. Then add the next egg beat until incorporated and repeat for the last egg. (I use the kitchen aid scraper blade which scrapes the sides of the bowl as it beats so I do not need to scrape the bowl, if you do not have this attachment then you should scrape the bowl between egg additions). Add the vanilla extract and 6 drops of food coloring (You can add more or less depending on how strong a pink you want).

Now add a third of the flour mixture into the batter, beat on slow to incorporate. Then add half the buttermilk, beat to incorporate. Repeat ending with adding the last third of the flour mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Put it in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Do the toothpick test – insert a toothpick into the center of the pan and it should come out clean or with just a few crumbs sticking to it. Then your cake is done.

Remove the pan and rest it on a wire rack until it has cooled. Wrap the cake in cling film and put it in the freezer for about an hour.

Using a 1.5 inch round cutter, cut circles from the cake. I got 12 cakes. Split the cakes with bread knife using a sawing motion. Do this gently. Make sure you keep your pieces together. Brush each bottom with the port wine (You can use any wine you like) using a pastry brush. I was very liberal with the brushing. Pipe the frosting on top. Place the upper round on top of the frosting, brush again with wine and pipe more frosting on top of the 2nd round. Refrigerate the rounds. About a half hour  before you are ready to eat take them out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.

For the Icing

Beat cream cheese, butter, jam, vanilla extract and confectioners sugar until incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy. Add food coloring to desired color and beat until combined. I used 5 drops of red food coloring here. Place in piping bag with a star tip. You are ready to pipe.