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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tortilla soup with a twist

Cold Minnesota winters always see me making warm, comforting and filling soups. Usually, the ingredients are whatever is in the fridge or pantry - thus saving me from making a trip on treacherous roads. Though we are now blissfully enjoying the summer sun while it lasts, we know what's coming soon. This soup is popular at Mexican restaurants and is one that I made last winter, with an Indian twist.


What you need :

Tortillas - 4, cut into wedges to resemble tortilla chips. This is where the twist I mentioned comes into play. I used leftover rotis instead of tortillas.
Red kidney beans - 1 can (Can be substituted with black beans)
Frozen green peas - 1/4 cup
Carrot - 1
Tomato - 2
Celery - 1/4 cup, chopped
Red onion - 1, chopped fine
Butter/oil - 2 tbsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Soup seasoning - to taste
Salt & pepper - to taste

Spread the roti wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, keeping a close watch so that you can stop baking once they start to harden and brown. Another way to do this is to spread some oil on a frying pan and then roasting the roti pieces over a slow flame until they are crisp on both sides. Set this aside.

In a large saucepan, heat butter/oil. Add the onions and saute till they start to turn translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes, and carrots and saute till tomatoes become soft and mushy. Add in the rest of the ingredients (except seasoning) along with 4 cups of water. Since most of the ingredients I have used are canned or frozen, it doesn't take much time for the soup to come together. Let it boil for 10-12 minutes on a medium flame. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Add in soup seasoning. Use a potato masher or a ladle to mash some of the ingredients to give the soup some thickness. If you want to, you can use a hand blender or a regular blender too, for a smoother soup, but I like this soup chunky.
To serve, put some of the tortilla strips in a bowl. Pour the soup on top of it and then top it with more tortilla strips.

This is my third post for Week 2 of BM#78 under the theme Oceanic Cuisine - dishes from countries that are bordered by two or more oceans.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM# 78

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Nachos

A Mexican dish which is very popular , nachos in its most basic form, consists of tortilla chips topped with lots of melted cheese. To this basic form, you can add ingredients of your choice like black beans, roasted corn, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapenos and onions. No matter what ingredients you choose to add, this snack is a crowd pleaser. Here is my version of this dish.


What you need:

Tortilla chips
Black beans - 1 can
Red onion - 1 small, chopped
Corn - 1/2 cup
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Salt
Grated cheese - a generous amount

Spread the tortilla chips in a single layer on a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, combine the drained beans, onion, corn, cumin powder and salt. Mix well. Spread this mixture evenly over the chips. Top with grated cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until the cheese melts.
Serve with guacamole, sour cream and salsa on the side.

This is my second post for Week 2 of BM#78 under the theme Oceanic Cuisine - dishes from countries that are bordered by two or more oceans.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM# 78

Monday, July 10, 2017

Pineapple fried rice

When I lived in Chennai, I used to love the Thai food restaurant - Benjarong. I am not sure if the restaurant is still around, but the taste and the presentation of their pineapple fried rice is something that I remember fondly. A mildly spiced rice served in the shell of a pineapple - this is how the dish was brought to the table at the restaurant. I've tried to recreate this dish (not the presentation part of it, though) from memory and I think I've come fairly close to the original.


What you need:
Rice - 1 cup, cooked and
 cooled (I used regular raw rice, cooked with 2.5 cups of water)
Oil - 2 tbsp.
Green chilli - 3 or 4, slit lengthwise
Garlic - 3 cloves, chopped
Ginger - a one inch piece, julienned
Onion - 1, chopped fine
Carrot - 1, chopped fine
Pineapple - 3/4 cup
Green onion - 3, chopped fine
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp.
Red chilli sauce - 1 tbsp.
Salt
Cashew & Groundnuts

Heat oil in a pan. Add the chillies, ginger and garlic. Saute for a minute. Add cashew, groundnuts and saute till reddish. Stir in the chopped onion and carrot. Saute over a medium flame until the carrots are cooked, yet crunchy. Now add the pineapple and heat till they start to brown slightly. Stir in the sauces. Increase the flame to high and quickly stir everything together. Add the chopped green onion. Stir to combine. Lower the heat and add the cooked, cooled rice and salt. Mix everything together.
Serve hot.

This is my first post for Week 2 of BM#78 under the theme Oceanic Cuisine - dishes from countries that are bordered by two or more oceans.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM# 78