Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Red Curry Talapia in Foil Packets

I made many yummy things this past semester, that I never really got the time to post about. I just got a new camera, so I need to post the last few food pictures I took with my old camera. This is the first of the set.
This was a quick weeknight dinner, red curry talapia in foil packets with a harissa grilled cheese.
I am not the best at measuring things and whatnot, so my recipes are an after the fact approximation of what I did. None the less this was a super simple quick meal.

Red Curry Talapia
2 talapia fillets cut down the middle
2 tbs red curry paste
2 tbs light coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Mix the red curry paste, coconut milk and the lime. Spread the mixture eveanly on both sides of the 4 fish pieces. Place in big piece of foil loosely wrap it up leaving room for stream. Bake for 15 mins. Serve on top of leafy green of your choice, I used a spring mix.
Use the drippings from the fish to dress the salad.

Harissa is a traditional Mediterranean spicy condiment made from tomatoes and peppers can be used as a spread or a dip. I spread some on a slice of sprouted grain bread and put some part-skim mozzarella on the other slice and grilled it up while my fish was baking.

The combination was odd but satisfying. I hope you enjoy it :)


Saturday, April 7, 2012

One Year Later....An exciting new project with whiskey.

Second year seems to have driven me into the ground, but Step is fast approaching and with it stress I find myself seeking the calming haven of my kitchen. Today what I am about to share with you is a throwback to something I enjoyed doing as an undergrad and I have been meaning to pick it up again for a while...infusing spirits. In the past I have worked primarily with clear liquors with mild flavors, some of my favorites include basil and lime infused gin, mint infused rum and cranberry and orange infused vodka. This time I wanted to try something new, ginger and honey infused whiskey. I grew up in an Indian household where no dinner party was complete without the pouring of the Black Label. My pallet thus is no stranger to whiskey, but I know that whiskey has many layers of flavor so an infusion would have to be well thought out. The plan then was to purchase a cheap bottle of mild whiskey, after some research I went with Canadian Mist an affordable $10 for  a fifth.  
I made 2 small batches with different quantities of ginger and honey. The first the one in the honey jar on the right was about 4 tbs of honey and 2 1/4 inch slices of peeled ginger which was about an inch in diameter. this was the sweeter more honey version the second version had more ginger. The second version, the bottle on the left was 4 slices of ginger to 2 tbs of honey.
To each I then added about 1/3 of the bottle of whiskey. Then close tight and shake till the honey gets incorporated. After that refrigerate for 3-4 days shaking the bottles 3 to 4 times each day. I tasted on day 3 and felt it needed more time and on day 4 they were where I wanted them to be, you will need to taste because the duration of each batch can vary. On day 4 I felt they were ready.
The last step to the process was filtering them. in order to get all the little fibers from the ginger out I used a coffee filter over a tea strainer and let it sit. In the end I personally prefer the more gingery infusion, but both were a significant improvement on the original whiskey. The infusions were good on their own but also really good with a splash of club soda, which made a drink quite reminiscent of a whiskey with ginger beer.
Alas, as it is an exam weekend my neuro notes beckon I must bid you adieu.
Happy Infusing!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lunch in 10 minutes or less

Hello, so I know I haven't updated in ages. It has been a very hectic semester, there was barely anytime for me to cook let alone blog during neuro :(. It is over now and thankfully I survived....yay!
Returning to the matter at hand though, I have been cooking quite a bit since neuro ended. I have not been taking as many pictures as I would have liked, so this semester probably will not end with as long a list of pics of the yummy things I made.
This past week I have had the pleasure though of cooking almost every night. It has been mainly to relive my stress and despite the fact that it was often in lieu of actually studying, cooking has been great for me. Food really does make my world a happier place. I have been on a bit of a fish kick lately, it is healthy, lean and it cooks in a flash.
So last night I made fish stew with tomatoes, some mini farfelle pasta, chicken broth. tilapia, a boiled egg and a whole slew of spices.Oh and of course all the remaining bits of veggies in open bags in my freezer.

The beautiful color came from the turmeric added to the chicken, that got a bit of cloudy creaminess from dissolving the boiled egg yolk in the broth. The smells were predominantly of cloves and cumin with a bit of heat from garam masala. The fish marinated with just a bit of lemon juice was added thinly sliced about a minute before I turned the heat off and cooked to perfection. It was warm and satisfying on a cold rainy day.

Now to the promised lunch that was made in under 10 minutes.

It is steamed fish that is packed the night before completely raw with a marinade and veggies and cooked in the microwave the next day at school.

Things you will need:
-frozen veggies whatever you like, I like this broccoli, corn and red pepper blend
-your favorite spices to go on fish, this can be as simple as lemon and dill or as intense as my grandmother's kala masala, that I personally love.
- tilapia fillet sliced thin
-chicken broth/ water, though I prefer the broth for steaming
-lemon or lime juice

This is pretty simple, you will need enough chicken broth and lime juice to equal a quarter cup. I like the 50/50 ratio of lime juice to broth, but for most people that is a bit on the sour end. Then spread out your thinly sliced (about 0.5 cm thick) talapia and add a bit of salt and half of your spice blend over all the slices. Add the rest of your spice blend to your broth juice mix. Lay the fish down on the bottom of your container add the frozen veggies and pour the broth over it all. The next day at work or school microwave with the lid on just slightly vented for 2-3 minutes depending on how you like your fish and the power of your microwave.
Remove and enjoy!
It is super healthy and has almost no fat the way it is and I like this mix on its own but you can also combine it with the carb of your choice.

Goodnight alas, I must return to  my studies once again.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Food From the First Semester

Pictures from a few of the many dishes that graced my kitchen this semester.
 Banana chocolate parfait with soy ganache mouse. A great study snack.
 Veg. stir fry with penne. A "I had no time to go grocery shopping and this is what I have in my fridge that is about to go bad" meal. I have a lot of those lately.
 Artichoke hearts, olives, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes.........mmmmmmmmmmmmm........ and how could I of all people forget the cheese-fresh mozzarella.
 Lobster ravioli with mushrooms and spinach in a white wine sauce.
 Gnocchi in a fiery creamy tomato sauce with zucchini and mushrooms, with freshly grated parmesan.
 Gnocchi and zucchini in a creamy pesto with a fresh crisp cucumber salad on the side to balance the flavors.
 Pasta with a deconstructed greek salad.
 I set the table all pretty :)
 Spicy tandoori fish with penne in a lemon and spinach sauce.
 Grilled tomatoes!!!!
 Shrimp pasta with fresh baby spinach salad.
 Couscous with asparagus, shrimp and corn in a curry sauce.
Swedish salmon dinner in salad form: smoked salmon, fresh cranberries, lettuce, with a honey mustard dill dressing.

Dress Up

So, I am procrastinating right now. For a few weeks I have been wondering about how real this is all becoming. Each day I take yet another step big or small in fulfilling a dream I have had since before I can remember. I recall often playing doctor as a child and though I eventually stopped playing the dreams still followed me. By the dark of the night in the few hours I slept I was transformed simultaneously, into my five year old self as well as the adult I still hope to grow up to be, stethoscope around my neck in a long white coat with Dr. in front of my name and the two coveted letters MD after it. I still have those dreams, but now for the past two months I have dawned my short white coat and started to do the things I used to do when playing doctor as a child. The first time I walked into a room with my white coat on I felt odd to say the least. It was as if I was five again giddy with excitement to be playing doctor, this time though it was even better then when I was five because the patients were real people and not my stuffed animals. Each time since then I have been waiting till the time I walk into a patients room and not feel like a child playing dress up, wondering when this will feel real, but then I wonder if I lost that excitement would I still have the potential to be the type of doctor I want to be.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Not yo mama's grilled cheese:)

Hey so I have no pictures of this because I made it the day before yesterday during hour one of my 30 plus hour haul to study for this latest exam... needless to say it was my salvation in the hell of my own creation. So yes, the reason I needed to spend the weekend with a grand total of 5 hours of sleep over the course of 3 days was my fault. I choose to procrastinate. I chose to volunteer at Mamoday. Now I am choosing to deal. Thankfully my sleepless weekend did not go to waste I survived the exam and I did well enough. I know at this point you are wondering "When is she going to tell me about this bloody grilled cheese and stop talking about school?" I will now take the time to remind you that though this is mainly about food, because food is one of the big things that bring me joy in this world, I am also using this as a venue to chronicle my experiences through school and hopefully my fruitful and prosperous medical career. I am going to continue to stay off the grilled cheese topic for a bit so I suggest you skip ahead if that is all you wish to read about just that. So a part of why I got very little sleep was because I volunteered at Mamoday here at HUH. During Mamoday the cancer center here at the hospital gives free screening mammograms and clinical breast exams to women of the community. They invite some female medical students to go and volunteer and learn how to do a clinical breast exam and then actually DO them with the physicians. This is why I came to this school the clinical exposure, the patient interaction, the accessibility of all the residents. fellows, attendings. ect. at the hospital. So needless to say I had a blast at Mamoday, the doctors were super approachable and willing to teach and let me get involved, it reminded me of why I chose medical school because though in the back of my head it is always there it sometimes get buried behind the stress of learning the biochemical pathway for the digestion of alcohol. In the end Mamaoday was worth the time it took away from studying because it reaffirmed my desire to be here and moreover excel here. That was on saturday, it was that night that I first made the grilled cheese and it was so good I made it again for brunch on sun morning. The ingrediants were simply what I had lying around but they made for a delectable culinary experience, even though I dined with my most near and dear dining companions- my laptops and my notes:)
For each you will need:
2 slices of a sourdough baguette each sliced about 1/2cm thick at a bias so it is about 11cm long.
1/2 oz of reduced fat pepper jack cheese
3 thick slices of a plum tomatoe
1 slice of turkey bacon
6 pinches freshly ground black pepper, cumin, and coriander seeds
chili powder to taste
So first you heat a large nonstick pan and cook the bacon (no extra fat needed). Once the bacon is crispy remove from pan and blot with paper towel. On the same pan place the tomatoes where the bacon was on each tomatoe add a pinch each of freshly ground black pepper, cumin and coriander seeds, cook for about 45 sec and turn and do the same thing on the other side, place on the side. Put the bread in the same pan toast one side lightly then flip and pile on the cheese the bacon and the grilled tomatoes fold the slices and apply pressure with a spatula until the cheese is melted and the bread is nice and toasty.
I know it sounds like a long and drawn out process, but it really doesn't take more than 10 mins. They are not very large so for me one is about snack sized and two for a meal. I have also made it without the bacon they are amazing either way, though you will need to add a spritz of olive oil to your pan if you skip the bacon because otherwise the tomatoes will stick. I hope you enjoy them because I sure do :)
So I know I said no pics but it looks so empty so here's a pic of some sourdough:
Happy Eating!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Its been ages since I updated

So its been rather insane lately with getting sick and a ton of exams and quizzes with the end of the first unit and the beginning of this one.
I have been cooking alot though I have not taken picks of everything most of the stuff has been super fast and easy. Relevant recipes may come at a later date, but I rather doubt I will get around to it.
First we have a tandoori chicken panini with caramelized onions, spinach and brie on sourdough with a maple syrup crust on the outside.
So not the most beautiful pic in the world, but 'twas a delight for all the senses, and it took just about 5 mins to throw together. Food should speak to each and every one of your senses and set blissful firecrackers off in at least a few of them to be worth anything, esp. taste of course. The feel of it in your hand and mouth, the smell of it as you sit down in front of it and the crunch when you first bite into the perfectly toasted sandwich, all come into play in turning it into a delight to consume.
Next we have a super simple which cheddar and shells mac and cheese with broccoli and zucchini. A relatively unhealthy dish is made better and healthier with the addition of vibrant and nutritious veggies.

So this is all I have for now most of this food was made and, of course consumed about a month ago more will come soon perhaps even later this week from more recent meals.