Recent Concoctions

Past Concoctions

Concoctions Index

lazy weekend mornings

Weekdays come and go…and then come the weekends! I simply love them…and I’m sure so do you :) . Weekends make me so lazy; it’s like everything around me is in a slow motion. It’s nice not to wake up to a screaming alarm and rush to work but just take it easy, slouch on the couch, sipping on a cup of coffee and watching TV. While everything takes a backseat on weekend mornings, breakfast certainly does not!

Not sure if its that cup of coffee or my love for cooking, but I’m all charged up to get in my kitchen and whip up a ‘signature concoction’! Making breakfast or brunch on weekend mornings is something I look forward to. For me, it’s the perfect time for wallowing in some early morning cooking therapy! From simple oatmeal  to elegant breakfast bites, I do it all! Here are some of my simple and easy creations from lazy weekend mornings in the kitchen…

Vegetable Pattice

(Savory Puff Pastry Turnovers)

If I have to choose a favorite amongst all the breakfast dishes then puff pattice will be the ultimate one. I (and I’m sure my sister and brother too) have a special bond with the savory puff pastries. Growing up, we had them almost every Sunday morning for breakfast! On his way back from early morning walk, dad would swing by Santosh Bakery and bring home atleast a dozen of their out-of-the-world spicy veggie puff pastries.

Even today, when we go back home to Pune, we stick to our tradition and enjoy fresh baked  ”Santosh Bakery” pattice on Sunday mornings. It’s a pity they don’t sell them on any other day of the week and if you don’t get there early enough, you have to wait for another week before you can have them! I wish they open up a branch, here, in the bay area. Until then, I often enjoy the incredibly amazing flavors of their light and flaky spicy vegetable puff pattice on weekends, right here in my home away from home.

While I usually tend to make these veggie pastries for breakfast, I have tried some other variations by using meat kheema, mushroom kheema, sautéed spinach and paneer  or even leftover butter chicken to fill up the pastries and make afternoon snacks or appetizers.

Makes a dozen pastries

1 pkt (2 sheets) of frozen puff pastry (like Pepperidge Farm or Trader Joe’s), thawed

some flour, for laying the puff pastry on a surface

The Filling (Alternatively, use Kheema as filling)

2-3 medium-sized potatoes (Red or Yukon Gold recommended), boiled, peeled (optional)

1 small onion, diced

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup of peas, thawed if using frozen (optional)

1 medium carrot, shredded (optional)

1-2 tbsp oil (canola, sunflower, corn, vegetable)

1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai/mori)

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 pinch asafoetida (hing)

salt, to taste

1 tsp cayenne pepper/red chilli powder (optional – use 1/2 tsp if you prefer less heat)

1 tsp garam masala

fresh cilantro/coriander, finely chopped

Mash the boiled potatoes slightly, leaving them a little chunky.

Heat oil in a deep sauté pan or a small wok. Add mustard and cumin seeds along with the turmeric powder and pinch of asafoetida . When the seeds splutter, add the onion with ginger and garlic and sauté for a few of minutes till the onion is translucent.

Then add the chopped tomatoes with peas and carrots and mix well. Season with salt, cayenne pepper and garam masala and cook for 10-15 mins on medium low heat, stirring occassionally, till oil separates out.

Then add the mashed potatoes, mix well and adjust seasonings. Add a little water, if its too thick and cook covered for about 5 mins.

Remove from heat and mix in the cilantro. Let it cool a little bit.

Preheat oven to 425 deg F.

Lay the thawed puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 rectangular pieces, cutting along the 2 folds to make 3 long strips and then cutting each strip in half.

Place about 2 tbsp of the filling in the center of one side of each rectangular piece and then fold the other side over, pressing firmly making sure its completely sealed.

Bake in the oven for about 15-20 mins, until the pastry is golden brown. Make sure to place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Smoked Salmon and Egg Pizza

The idea of a having a pizza for breakfast sounds unconventionally wonderful, doesn’t it?! Here’s one inspired by Focaccia con pesce affumicato - a lightly charred flatbread with smoked fish, tomato, red onion, watercress & egg mimosa served at one of my favorite brunch places in NYC, Morandi. It’s hard to play favorites but there are a few more items on their menu that I absolutely love, like their very unusual - Uova in camicia (poached eggs over squash, mushrooms, artichokes & spinach) or their Pinza di pane (french toast made with italian brioche) or the simple Yogurt alla greca (sheep’s milk yogurt with nuts & berries)….I can go on and on but what has stayed with me by far is their foccacia. So, with store-bought pizza dough, smoked salmon and a hard boiled egg, I recreated those flavors and turned a classic pizza idea into something perfectly appropriate for the lazy weekend mornings :)

Makes 1 medium pizza

Pizza Crust

15oz. store-bought pizza dough or simple use 1 pack of Pillsbury Pizza Dough

Toppings

extra virgin olive oil , for drizzling on top of the flattened dough

1 egg, hard boiled, mashed (like you would do for egg salad)

1 tbsp capers, drained and roughly chopped

1/4 small red onion, sliced (alternatively, use 2-3 green onions)

2-3 sprigs of dill, minced, stems discarded (alternatively, use about 10-12 chives)

2-3 slices (about 1/2 packet) of smoked salmon, julienned

salt

freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 deg F.

Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/2-inch thick and transfer it to a pizza or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle salt and black pepper.

Bake on the bottom rack for about 15 minutes till the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and drizzle a little more olive oil, if needed. Spread the toppings evenly. Cut into pieces and serve immediately.

Indian-style Oatmeal Porridge

(Cumin-scented Savory Oatmeal)

While I have my usual – the maple brown sugar oatmeal almost everyday, making a savory version spiced with cumin and green chilies tadka does it for me on the weekends. This yummy idea comes from my friend, Fats, who would make it especially as a cure for my hangover in the morning after having way too much fun on girls’ night outs ;) . One spoonful of this warm and spicy porridge and I was in heaven!

Serves 1

about 1/2 cup or 1 packet of Original (plain) Quaker Instant Oatmeal

1 cup water (1:2 ratio for oatmeal:water)

1 small garlic clove, mashed, peeled and minced

1/4 inch length piece of ginger, skin scraped and minced

1-2 Thai/bird’s eye chilies (optional), thinly sliced with seeds

1 tbsp oil, canola/ vegetable/ sunflower

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

1 pinch asafoetida (hing)

salt, to taste

fresh cilantro/coriander, finely chopped for garnishing

In a small sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds along with the pinch of asafoetida . When the seeds splutter, add ginger, garlic and green chilies and fry for a min or so until fragrant. Add in the instant oatmeal, season with salt and stir fry for a couple of mins.

Pour in the water, mix well and continue on medium low heat till the oatmeal absorbs most water and cooks. Add more water if it tends to be too thick.

Transfer to a bowl and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot.

 

  • Server Rack in pune

    NetRack is worldwide manufactures of network components like Server Rack, Network rack, Lab Tables Manufacturers, Wall Mount Racks, Fiber Distribution Unit, Network Enclosures Manufacturers, Server Enclosures and Lab Tables etc. in India.

Featured Concoction



Stay Connected!

Join the Facebook Page for a lot of yummy ideas and get updates via Twitter, Email or RSS and stay connected with Signature Concoctions.