COOKING PASTA

Quick pasta meals 10 ways

1. FRESH TOMATO

Mix 6 to 7 seeded and diced ripe tomatoes with 1 clove crushed garlic, 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Variations: Add 250 grams of grated fresh mozzarella or 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest.

Pasta: tagliatelle

2. PRIMAVERA

Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a deep pan, saute 1 cup chopped carrots and one minced garlic clove over medium heat. Add 2 cups cherry tomatoes and saute for another 30 seconds. Add 1 cup chicken stock, bring to boil and add 250 grams asparagus, cut into 2.5cm lengths, and 250 grams frozen peas. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add to pasta with 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil.

Pasta: cavatappi

3. THREE-CHEESE

To hot, drained pasta, add 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 3/4 cup grated Emmental, Gruyere or Edam and the same amount of mozzarella or fontina. Add 125 grams of butter cut into small pieces. Toss well to coat, adding 1/2 cup of pasta water to loosen if needed. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Pasta: tortellini or elbows

10 ways to cook pasta
spaghetti

4. LEMON ARTICHOKE PESTO

Place 1/4 cup coriander, 2 medium garlic cloves, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 cup walnuts, 1/3 cups each canola oil and extra-virgin olive oil, and salt into a food processor. Pulse until smooth, then pour into a large bowl. Gently break up artichokes from one small jar and stir into pasta. Top with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

Pasta: vermicelli

5. TOMATO, ONION AND MUSHROOM

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large deep pan over medium heat and add 1 cup chopped onion, cooking until translucent, about 5 minutes. Cut 4 tomatoes in wedges and add them along with 2 cups sliced button mushrooms, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Sauce will reduce and thicken. Stir in 1/4 cup fresh basil and season with salt and pepper.

Pasta: wholemeal penne or elbows

6. QUICK CHICKEN ALFREDO

Melt 125 grams butter in a medium, nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add 250ml thickened cream and 2 teaspoons minced garlic, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups milk while whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in 170 grams grated Parmesan and 1 teaspoon white pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly. Thin with milk if cooked too long. Toss with hot pasta and diced white meat of a takeaway BBQ chicken. You might likes this article on how to cook chicken

Pasta: vermicelli

7. LEMONY SCALLOP

Heat 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a deep pan and cook scallops for about 1 minute, until firm and white. Pour over drained hot pasta in a large serving bowl, squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over all and season with salt and white pepper. Stir gently to combine. Then scatter Parmesan cheese and chopped flat-leaf parsley over dish.

Pasta: linguine

8. WHITE WINE, MUSHROOM AND CREAM

Saute 250 grams sliced mushrooms with 2 small minced garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add 1/4 cup white wine and cook until just evaporated. Stir in 1/2 cup cream and heat gently until thick. Season with salt and pepper. Combine with pasta and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Pasta: tagliatelle, vermicelli or pappardelle

9. SAUTEED GARLIC AND BROCCOLI

Heat 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepan and add 3 minced garlic cloves, cooking until garlic turns golden. Add 3 cups broccoli florets and 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, cook for a couple of minutes, then add 1/2 cup chicken stock and 1/2 cup cream. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Pasta: rigatoni, macaroni or shells

10. PRAWN

Heat 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a deep pan. Add 500 grams peeled and de-veined prawn and cook through; remove with slotted spoon and set aside. To remaining oil in pan, add 4 large, minced garlic cloves, some red-pepper flakes and about 1/2 cup white wine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute, then add 75 grams butter in pieces. Return prawn and heat briefly. Mix with pasta and garnish with chopped parsley.

 

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The Crispiest Fries…

French fries

A soggy fry is a sad fry. In fact, it probably shouldn’t even be called a “fry.” Make sure the next time you cook a batch they’re crispy—really crispy.

As I mentioned in my last blog, for recipes you have Google..

For techniques lets get busy… I am assuming you know what fries are made of.. if not Google it…

Simple and easy rules:

Choice of potatoes, make sure they are large not so new, and not so sweet. Higher the starch, higher the darkness to them sweeter they are.

Use a mandolin to get even sized evenly cooked fries.

Another  trick is to blanch the fries in water, then freeze them, which allows more of the potato’s moisture to escape, thus producing a crispier fry.

And generally speaking,  fry the French fries twice — once at a lower temperature to cook the inside of the fry,

Freeze them,,,

And then a second time at a higher temperature to brown the exterior.
As you can see, there’s a lot of steps involved &  there is no short cut 😉

Now, this shouldn’t discourage you from trying to make French fries. But it should give you an idea of why restaurant fries tend to be more crispy. However, if you use the proper technique, you can still definitely make delicious, crispy French fries at home.

PS:

  • Potatoes must be cold in order to make amazing fries
  • If you want to pre-soak the potatoes to get rid of starch, sometimes it’s fun to dump a ton of salt into ice water to make them extra salty
  • Fried fries hate water. Keep them in a paper bag after you cook them and they will stay crispier longer. (But only for a few minutes usually.)
  • The more regular the volume of the potato cuts are, the more evenly they will cook
  • Unrefined peanut oil has a smoke point of 162°C. Refined is 230°C
  • A heavy sauce pan will have a more even temperature.P
  • The oil temperature will drop a bunch when you add the fries. A thermometer will help you to keep a consistent temperature.

PPS: These are pointers and not necessarily in any order. I want you to understand the procedure and the concept of the food you are handling and its desired outcome for which the above pointers..

PPPS: Adding chopped garlic and parsley to fries with your salt creates another magic

Now use your instincts and let the magic begin…

Manav Paul now runs catering to fine events in Delhi Goa & Mumbai. He can also be reached on +

MiXStudio does modern Indian European and Asian cuisines

A hikers guide to tech & food!

modernist-cuisine

It’s been a while.. I’ve been thinking I should write.. What time better than now! Some suggested, some motivated, but no one criticised, so thank you all and I have started…

What should I write?..

Well for those who know me, it better be food or technology and for that matter anything and everything I love.. There is one thing common between all of them. That commonness is the love & passion for things I take into my hands.

If that had to be running a restaurant in Goa and having some of my role model chefs arriving unannounced to try (me) out 😉 Or just figuring out that a proof of concept done 5 years ago having a positive impact on everyday life.

Hence it was only the love or passion, not the qualifications, experience, academics or anything one expected you to have to dabble with technology or food. Two brilliant realities that are a part our daily lives but yet so different. Both involve art science and can have different result if the love is missing..

I am not exponentially capable, it was just the love of it…

Passion is the drunkenness of the mind!

So what do I blog for on technology: Just like anybody else, I will disseminate my opinions!

My love & hate for Mac & Android, my verdict on who should doom & who should live… Why Facebook has a new feature and why Windows still wants to compete in a space it never did well (the Internet) and maybe why this grossly huge animal called Google needs another disruptive technology to keep monopoly in check… Why is cloud computing, social marketing, data messaging so big and why is the world changing a bit faster than we realise…

Naah no more lame recipes, for that there is Google! I demonstrated techniques, some that worked some that failed, now that I am a bit away from cooking the brains a bit rusty.. But nothing just about nothing can stop me from cooking or writing or experimenting… As they say there is no love purer than the love for food.

When it comes to food, technology is changing this game too! Food is looked at a science more then an art and vice versa… the perfect blend wins… Its no more magic in hands but precision of measuring grams and Celsius, humidity… Though most of the times its the gut feel of instincts that tells me the fine line of what to omit and how much creativity to add.

I will stick to pointers that can improvise a general hobbyist turn into a better chef! I will do all what it takes to make everyone do what they love and not get trapped in some lame ass job and think my life sucks as I did few years ago…

This world needs happy people.. there is just about enough and everything of the rest.

Besides Life it too short for average food, may all average places perish one day.. May all those who love win!

May this inspire you in many different and better ways than you can imagine..

Manav Paul

Www.MiXStudio.in

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