[philiptellis] I love food, and I like writing about food. Follow me as I follow my nose, seeking out gastronomic delicacies wherever I find myself


Friday, December 31, 2004

Macaroons (Cashew and Coconut)

Update 2: Tried the same recipe with Almond Slivers and Pine nuts and they work just as well.

MacroonsThis Christmas, my dad taught me to make Macroons. They're surprisingly simple and quick to prepare and require very little practice. Here's the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 250gm powdered sugar
  • 125gm broken cashew nuts
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • white of one egg (and perhaps a tad more)
  • 1tsp vanilla essence

10 step procedure:

  1. Mix the sugar and baking powder, and pass through a strainer to get rid of lumps. Break all lumps into powder. It has to be really powdery. Strain twice.
  2. Pour into a bowl, add vanilla essence, and the white of one egg.
  3. Mix all egg and sugar is a single mass, thick, but flowing.
  4. If the mixture is too dry, add one more teaspoon of egg white.
  5. Add cashew nuts, mix again.
  6. Take a baking dish, place butter paper on the base, and sprinkle powder sugar to cover it completely
  7. Drop 1tsp blobs at equal intervals on the butter paper, leaving space for expansion.
  8. Put into a preheated oven at 165°C for 5-7 minutes until it starts to turn brown.
  9. Take the dish out, turn it around, and put it back in for another 5-7 minutes.
  10. Take dish out, cool, and remove macroons from the butter paper, ready to eat.
NOTE: Do not beat up the albumen (egg white). Pour it in as it comes out off the egg.

Also known as Macaroons.

Other macroon recipes:

Coconut Macroons
Coconut Macroons
Almond Macroons

Update:
I did try coconut macroons, but my attempt flopped. Dad tried it while I was away, and his came out really well. Here's his recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 grated coconut (not dessicated) - should not be moist
  • one egg
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • nuts or raisins if desired

10 step procedure:

  1. Mix the sugar and self raising flour, and pass through a strainer to get rid of lumps. Break all lumps into powder. It has to be really powdery. Strain twice.
  2. Pour into a bowl, add vanilla essence
  3. Beat up the egg thoroughly, and add it to the mixture.
  4. Mix all egg and sugar is a single mass, thick, but flowing.
  5. Add coconut, mix lightly (the coconut will leak moisture if you get too rough)
  6. Add nuts and raisins if desired
  7. Take a baking dish, place butter paper on the base, and sprinkle powder sugar to cover it completely
  8. Drop 1tsp blobs at equal intervals on the butter paper, leaving space for expansion.
  9. Put into a preheated oven at 130°C for 20 minutes until it starts to turn brown.
  10. Take dish out, cool, and remove macroons from the butter paper, ready to eat.
Note the differences: full egg, beat up, 130°C, 20 mins

Sunday, September 26, 2004

La gastronomie française

Que mangent les Français ? Que boivent-ils ? Le petit déjeuner, le déjeuner, le dîner, la vie quotidienne, les occasions spéciales... Quels sont les différents plats auxquels ils s'intéressent ? C'est un sujet qui m'intrigue beaucoup. J'ai donc posé ces questions à mes amis sur l'internet. J'ai aussi trouvé des sites avec des recettes françaises. Cet article est une compilation des réponses des internautes.

Le petit déjeuner

Les Français sont un peu étranges. Pour le petit déjeuner, ils mangent : des tartines, des brioches, des croissants, des baguettes avec du beurre, de la confiture, et des pains au chocolat. Je ai trouvé un peu bizarre cette coutume de manger du chocolat pour le petit déjeuner, mais pour eux, peut-être est-ce normal.

Le petit déjeuner est un petit repas et les gens ne mangent pas trop pour ce repas du matin.

Ils prennent le petit déjeuner en buvant du café, du chocolat ou du thé, mais le thé est plus rare. Il y en a aussi qui boivent du jus d'orange.

Dans les cafés, un petit déjeuner typique est constitué d'une boisson chaude, d'un croissant et d'un jus d'orange.

On mange le petit déjeuner après s'être levé.

Le déjeuner

C'est le repas le plus solide de la journée.

Pour le déjeuner, ils mangent des baguettes, du pâté ou une salade, du poisson, des saucisses, du poulet ou une autre sorte de viande, des légumes ou des féculents, un laitage (comme du fromage ou du yaourt), un peu de vin, et du pain.

L'ordre des plats est important. D'abord, l'entrée, puis un plat principal (viande/poisson/oeuf + légumes), en finissant avec le fromage et/ou un dessert.

Le déjeuner est pris entre 12h et 13h ou entre 15h et 16h. Ça dépend de la région.

Le dîner

Le dîner surtout permet de se réunir tous ensemble. C'est vraiment le repas familial de référence. On le prend souvent en regardant le journal télévisé de 20h.

Il n'y a pas beaucoup de différences entre le repas de midi et celui du soir. Ça consiste en viande, soupe ou poulet. Le dîner est moins copieux que le déjeuner.

Le dessert

Je ne connais pas beaucoup de desserts de France, mais quelqu'un m'a dit que les clafoutis aux cerises sont assez délicieux. J'ai trouvé cette recette, qui met l'eau à la bouche. Il y a aussi d'autres desserts comme les cerises en vin rouge, qui contiennent beaucoup de fruits méditerranéens.

Le fromage

Un exposé sur la gastronomie française n'est pas complet sans parler des fromages et des vins. Il y a plus de 500 variétés de fromage en France. Le Roquefort, appelé le roi des fromages, est un des plus fameux. Les autres sont le Valençay, le Comté, le Brie, et oui, le Camembert.

Le vin

Les vins les plus réputés sont ceux des régions de Bordeaux et de Bourgogne. Ceux d'Alsace et du Val de Loire qui sont blanc et sec m'intéressent. Et qui ne connaît pas le Champagne ?

Différentes régions, différentes cuisines

Dans le Sud-est, du côté de Marseille et Nice, c'est de la cuisine méditerranéenne. Beaucoup d'huile d'olive et aussi du poisson parce que la région est près de la mer. La spécialité de Marseille, c'est la bouillabaisse, une soupe de poissons qui doit cuire très longtemps.

Un peu au nord, il y a Lyon, dont les spécialités sont assez axées sur la charcuterie, avec en particulier l'andouillette (une saucisse à base de tripes) et la rosette (un gros saucisson).

À l'est, dans la Savoie, les plus grandes spécialités sont à base de fromage : fondue au fromage, raclette, tartiflette.

Une des viandes les plus utilisées dans la cuisine du sud-ouest est le canard. Pour la cuisson là-bas, on utilise très souvent la graisse d'oie ou de canard.

En plein centre de la France, est situé Auvergne, une région plutôt montagneuse et paysanne où l'on aime les plats qui les tiennent chaud en hiver ; avec par exemple la potée ou l'aligot.

En Bretagne, les spécialités sont les galettes et les crêpes. Les crêpes bretonnes sont de grande taille, et la pâte est très fine ; elles sont cuites sur une grande plaque ronde.

À Paris, il n'y a pas de spécialité, mais il y a des gens de tout le pays, et ils viennent avec leur cuisine. Pour goûter les différentes cuisines, il ne faut pas faire une tour de France. On peut également rester à Paris.

De nos jours, beaucoup de gens qui travaillent n'ont pas le temps de manger. Ils prennent des sandwiches ou bien achètent leurs repas chez MacDo. Il y a aussi les cuisines d'autres parties du monde comme l'Asie, le proche Orient et aussi l'Afrique du nord.

Je voudrais bien aller en France pour goûter les spécialités de ce pays.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Sushi

Yes, I had sushi for dinner tonight. Dinner lasted several hours, and came in many courses.

We went to a not 100% traditional Japanese restaurant. Had to sit cross legged on the floor. The first dish was octopus and prawns. They might have been boiled - I'm not sure, but was quite palatable. The sauces were also good. They serve a single platter for every table of four, and we occupied four tables. This was accompanied with a kind of seafood porridge/thick soup, and a bowl of salad.

Just as the octopus and prawns got over, a vessel of boiling water was brought in, and cockles/coquiles in it. You can sip of the water with your spoon, or pick out the cockles from the shells using your chopsticks.

While that was still boiling, a pan of mushrooms and gingerly seeds (til) was brought in. It was similar to the pan on which sizzlers are served. The musrooms were finished in quicktime.

The next dish was crabcake - or some kind of seafood pie with macaroni and cheese.

After that came this plate with 4 balls of noodles and some seafood curry in the centre.

In the meantime we got in some local wine made of Korean Plums. The Korean word is Soljungmae IIRC. It's quite sweetish - tastes like almonds almost, and has 4 plums at the bottom we later made martinis out of the wine.

The next dish was the first course of sushi. A large platter with balls made of grated white radish and green leaves surrounding it. The raw fish was placed on the balls, about 4 slices per ball. In the centre were two other types of fish, all raw. You eat it with the sauce that you have in front of you. Pick it up with the chopsticks, dip it into the sauce and eat it.

How did it taste? Quite a bit like the sauce actually. Texture wise it was halfway between crunchy and rubberry. I liked it, not sure how well I'll digest it though.

After we were done with the fish, they brought in some more shell fish, this time all raw. I could not identify any of it, but I think one of them was oyster. These weren't completely to my liking, but I tried one of each type just to be sure.

Once we were through with that, they brought in fried eel. This was the first time I'd eaten eel, and it was quite tasty.

It's quite hard to find out what I'm eating because my friends know the Korean word for the dish, but not everyone knows the English word. In most cases they describe it to me and I try and figure out what it is then someone says, "Yes", because he's heard it called that before, and I know that I'm right. Otherwise I can only guess.

The last dish was a surprise, and what made the restaurant not 100% Japanese. Rice and vegetables with fish eggs, and Kimchi. The rice-veg-fish eggs combo was served in a bowl placed on a sizzler platter. Yes it was good. There was some seafood soup that accompanied that, but it wasn't very good and no one had more than a taste of it.

After all that we went down to a second restaurant for a couple of beers. In India when you go out for alcohol you generally get some kind of chatna like channa or fried moong or masala papad with it. In Korea you get fruit and popcorn. All kinds of fruit.

We had watermelon, yellow melon, canteloupe, kiwi fruit, banana, apple, plums, cherry tomatoes (In Korea tomatoes are exclusively fruits), and oranges. The fruits here are huge... seriously huge. I have never seen fruits this size anywhere in India.

Anyway, we left the beer place around 10pm, and headed back. Now off to sleep.

To break from the rule, today was a rainy day. The first rainy week day I've experienced here in Korea. Apparently the rain is acidic so everyone has an umbrella.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Lunch Thai-m

Today's lunch was at a Thai restaurant in the POSCO building. POSCO is to Asia what TISCO is to India (irrelevant fact). Anyway, if you're Managalorean (and Rohan D'Sa and I have been exchanging several of these Mangi related posts), then you'll be able to identify with thai food. The currys are very similar, and yes, there is meat in them.

As usual, rice was served in a separate bowl to each person. Everything else was placed in the centre of the table. Yellow prawn gravy - and the prawns are quite large (no, not jumbo tiger prawns) - made with a generous dash of coconut milk I'm sure, was placed at the centre, along with some kind of chilly beef (with seriously huge red and green chillys cut into thin slices). There was also prawn fried rice, and some kind of meat fried in batter - I did not ask what it was.

The food was tasty. I managed to eat it all with my chopsticks. The most interesting thing was that even the Thai restaurants in Korea serve Kimchi.

As is true with most restaurants here (and in the US too), coke, fanta, etc., come with unlimited refills.

The restaurant was quite a walk away, and we sort of digested the food on the way back. I practiced reading the names of all the restaurants on the way.

The Korean word for rice is Pap. The Thai word for the same is Pad. Quite different from Chawal, and cooked slightly differently too.

Dinner cooked on the table

Yesterday we went for dinner to a restaurant in the Hyundai dept store building. It was on the 9th floor. Had the same veg dish that we'd had on Wednesday, but this time with a fried egg on the top. The others had a kind of meat-noodle soup.

They bring this large steel bowl with a plain soup - looks like clear brown water. This is placed on a flame in the centre of the table. They then add vegetables and spices (the standard ginger-garlic paste). Then the meat is added, and finally the noodles. I guess each is added based on how much time it takes to cook. The meat is really thin slices and red when they put it in, but brown when it comes out.

It is then served into bowls.

Once done, they add a bowl of rice into whatever soup remains in the steel bowl. That's mixed around, and then they add what looked like seaweed. Finally, an egg is broken into the mixture and mixed up with it. The egg had an orange shell, and I was told that it was a chicken's egg.

It's all mixed up and served into smaller bowls. The flame is still on throughout. It tastes good, although I think the seaweed has a funny taste - I can only describe the taste as "purple" - go figure (well, if you were to take LSD, then that taste would have caused you to see the colour purple all over (and I'm in no way telling people to go take LSD)).

It was quite an interesting dinner. On the side I've been amusing various koreans with my "hangul reading ability".

Lunch was at TGIF's. The standard TGIF fare.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Food in Bangalore

Is there any place in bangalore where I can get good non-veg food? Kheema Paav and stuf like that.

Went to Pizza Fort the other day, and ordered a fried chicken meal. Tip - don't have the chicken there. If it had any taste it would have been overpriced, but it didn't, so let's not even talk about the price.

Saturday's lunch was at this place at Brigade road called Kohinoor. I had veg kofta and Kerala paratha. Couldn't see the difference between that and other parathas. The Koftas were filling, but that's about it. Price wise, you get what you pay for. Recommendation - unless you're starving, walk on by (and if you're not on foot, well why the heck are you looking that way?)

Sunday dinner was at Hyderabadi Biryani on Richmond Road. Had Egg biryani there. Would have preferred trying Chicken or Mutton, but since I was the only person eating, I thought it would be too much. I think I should go there and try it out again. This place isn't for you if you're vegetarian, or if you're easily turned off by unhygienic looking places. I would also not recommend the water there, but YMMV.

Sometime last week, we visited a place called Santrupti or something like that. It's just off MG Road, take a left from Trinity Circle. Food was pretty good. A couple of the guys had thalis, I had a kind of Pulao, don't remember what I ordered for, but I think I got a Kashmiri pulao. Yathin had a chole batura... and the batura was huuuuge. Food was good IMO. The pulao would have fed two persons, and it was cheap. Recommended.

Swadistha is an Andhra place at Mittal Tower. Relatively cheap Andhra thali, reasonably spicy, so keep the curd rice for the end. Um, eat there, don't eat there. No loss.

Ullas - first floor, utility building, MG Road. Good south indian food, and only good food is south indian. Don't order anything north indian there. Masala dosa was good, but they're inconsistent with where they put the butter. Wada sambar was good too. Worth a try. Go there. Not too expensive. View from the window's not that great though.

The only other time I ate out was Thursday night at the office. We ordered parathas. I had two gobi (since I'd already had methi, and aloo on the two days before, and was going to have daal on the following sunday).

Umm, well, if anyone knows where I can get kheema paav, let me know.