Yesterday we had Sujatha, Mahi and their daughter Sumi over for lunch. Since Chris and Ami were free I asked them to join too; it was a nice afternoon. As always, good company deserves good food and I hope I did some justice. Since it was Sunday I didn't want to rush around in the kitchen and panic, so I decided to make a fairly simple meal. I made sundried tomato and pesto chicken and chicken and egg rolls. I made some of the same french bread that I posted a few days ago to go with the chicken. For desert I was thinking about little Sumi who's 3 years old and I wanted to make something she would enjoy since the lunch was directed more towards the adults. The dessert I finally chose to make were my simple and easy orange and vanilla cupcakes. I believe everyone enjoyed themselves; I really hoped they did.
Today I made the dough for sugar cookies and at the same time I made some coconut burfi. As kids, Etta (my brother) and me used to wait for Amma to make her coconut burfi because it was so good. Acha is a huge fan of coconut and he used to chomp down on these lovely, crunchy sweet meats! I had to change Amma's recipe a bit because the coconut is not freshly grated like it is back at home, so it didn't have all the nice oils and cream that it usually would have. So, I had to add a little bit of butter to get the juices out, but I think it tasted almost as good as my Amma's.
Today, I also decided to clear out my pantry. I was getting sick of the clips on my bags of masalas and flour. So, I cleared everything out and put them into boxes. I kind of went crazy with the label maker and made a label for every single box. Some of them like the masalas had to be labeled, but then there were obvious spices like cinnamon sticks and elaichi pods, that really did not need to be labeled since they were in clear boxes; so sue me! I'm telling you, the label maker is the best thing in the whole world, after cotton candy!
So, anyway here are the recipes:
Sundried tomatoes and pesto chicken:
Preparation time: 1 hour and 30 minutes; It doesn't really take 1 hour if you think about it because as 1 hour is the time taken for the chicken to marinate, so I'd say you can marinate it even overnight or a few hours before the party and pop it into the oven as your guests come in. (Safu this is for you, since you asked for preparation times; thanks for the advice!!)
- 5 pieces of thinly sliced chicken breast (washed and cleaned)
- 1 and a 1/2 cups of sundried tomatoes; if you don't have any use a cup and a half of thick tomato puree
- 2 cups of basil
- 5-6 cloves of garlic
- salt to taste
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 cups of diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of walnuts
To add potato wedges to the recipe:
- Roll about 4 medium sized potatoes that have been chopped into wedges in 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2-3 tbsps of soya sauce, 1 tbsp of honey and a few chilli flakes.
- Pop that in the oven for about 20 minutes. It can cook on the side with your chicken and you can add it when you serve your chicken.
- Grind the garlic, salt, sundried tomatoes (or tomato puree), basil, olive oil with about 2-3 tbsps of water.
- Roll the chicken around with the paste in a large bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Place the pieces of chicken flat into a greased ceramic or glass dish and add the diced tomatoes over the chicken.
- Sprinkle with walnuts and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius for 15-25 minutes till the chicken has cooked well.
- Serve with crumbled goat cheese or a garnish of walnuts and basil leaves.
Preparation time: 20 minutes (well, this was because I had pre-boiled chicken breasts and boiled eggs ready, but if you have to boil them it would probably take about 15 minutes longer)
- About 2 grilled or boiled chicken breasts.
- eggs (boiled and shelled)
- 4 tbsps of honey mustard or regular mustard
- 2 tomatoes (finely chopped)
- 1 large onion (finely chopped)
- 1 cup of celery sticks (finely chopped; If you don't have celery sticks, don't worry, just use bell peppers)
- 1 cup of capsicum (finely chopped)
- 3-4 tbsps of chopped green chillies and coriander
- 3-4 tbsps of mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup of cheese spread
- About 4-5 large tortilla wraps or you could use large chapatis or maida rotis, the kind you use for kaati rolls.
- 1/2 cup of raisins and pomegranate seeds
- Place the chicken, the eggs, in a food processor and grind it up together till you get a coarse grain.
- Add the mayo, mustard, vegetables and cheese spread. Blend well.
- You can play around with the ingredients and add sauces that would blend well with the flavours as you go along. You can add nuts, cream cheese or taboulli to the recipe. Feel free to make it your own.
- Spread the paste onto your wrap and make a roll out of it.
- Chop into horizontal sections.
- Sprinkle raisins and pomegranate seeds as a garnish.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups of grated coconut
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 2 tsps of ground cardamom
- 4 tbsps of milk
- Mix the sugar and the coconut in a large pan over medium heat.
- Once the sugar and coconut start to melt into together, add the cardamom, milk and butter.
- Stir well till the consistency thickens. You may add a bit of food colouring to brighten things up. Amma used to do it from time to time. I used natural pink.
- Spoon the mixture into a well greased pan and use the back of your spoon to even out the surface.
- You can add almonds if you want, to garnish the burfi.
- Cut into bite size pieces.