I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I take life and things around me for granted; my work, people around me, people I really care about, and of course, my cooking. My next planned post after a very efficient Sunday was to be with my pretty pretty, newly found cupcake cases (I had been desperately looking to find nice-looking, good quality and inexpensive cupcake wrappers all over!). However, this was not to be.
George Kneller said, ‘To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.’
So, on Ak’s insistence for the quickie ( and I mean the post of course), and because of the beautiful photographs that he took despite my hesitancy to document this, here I am, writing about a very average, very tired and no time, hardly any ingredients available- Sunday dinner. This was a meal literally, made out of nothing in the fridge. The menu was decided on the basis of 2 key ingredients that were available and then the rest just happened. Each of the recipes, as a matter of fact, has one or two elements missing and hence, has been replaced with something similar and on occasion, even contradictory. Hence, for the convenience of anyone who may want to try any one of the recipes, I have posted the originals.
Quickie: Soup, Salad and Cheese Toast
The ‘Thai’ Manchow Soup ( the actually recipe is the real manchow soup)
1 Ltr Water
1 Teaspoon oil
2 Maggi Vegetarian Cubes or vegetarian stock cubes
3-4 cloves Finely chopped Garlic
¼ Finely Chopped Cabbage
3 Finely Chopped Spring Onions
1 Finely Chopped Green Chilli
Finely Chopped Coriander (since I didn’t have coriander, I replaced it with Lemon grass and hence the thai flavor)
1 Tablespoon corn flour, mixed in 2 tablespoons water
Salt and Pepper to taste
p.s The original recipe also calls for ½ tsp Finely chopped Ginger (Ak doesn’t eat ginger and therefore, I skip it) and 1 or 2 finely chopped carrots.
Heat the ginger/garlic in the oil for just about 30-40 seconds and add the water and the stock cubes. Let the water come to a boil, and add salt/pepper/lemongrass and cornflour mixture. Let it cook on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes till the cornflour thickens the soup a bit. Add the cabbage, spring onions and coriander, and cook for about 2-3 minutes (the vegetables must not get cooked too much or else they would get soggy). Serve instantly.
The stock can always be prepared in advance with the vegetables being added just before serving and bringing it to a boil. Coriander must also be added only at the end once it stops cooking.
The Cherry Mozzarella Salad – meets the peppers
150- 200g of Cherry Mozzarella or Boccioni cheese
1 Big Tomato- chopped into medium size pieces (Cherry Tomatoes are definitely preferred)
1 Green Pepper Thinly Sliced (innovation on the lack of availability of rocket/basil)
1 Yellow Pepper Thinly Sliced (innovation on the lack of availability of rocket/basil and to add colour!)
Dried Basil/ Rocket if available (Fresh is preferred)
For the Dressing,
4 cloves Finely chopped Garlic
4- 5 Tablespoons of Olive Oil (I prefer to use flavoured Olive Oil)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Now this one is extremely complicated. Mix the ingredients of the dressing separately.
In a bowl, put in all the cut up vegetables and cheese and add the dressing. Mix well, chill for a while in the fridge and serve.
Cheesy Pizza Toast
Last and definitely the least of the items, but a family favourite: The Cheesy pizza Toast
Cheese (Regular Mozzarella/Pizza cheese or any other available cheese)
Toppings: Chopped onions/ Capsicum/ Olives/Ham/Salami/Tomatoes etc. etc.
Dried oregano seasoning/mixed herbs seasoning
Slice a French loaf/ Garlic Bread or just regular bread into slices or smaller pieces. Coat it with a layer of puree and Grate or top with some mozzarella cheese or any other pizza cheese to cover the bread. Add the toppings and finish with the seasoning. Grill at about 180 degrees C in a preheated oven till the cheese melts or the bread starts turning slightly brown.
Here's to hopefully some creativity in the future!