Spaghetti Bolognese - Cheats recipe

Spaghetti bolognese 01

This version of my Spaghetti Bolognese is made from ingredients that are in your refrigerator and pantry, its a simple, quick and flavourful recipe especially for a last minute meal. Last night I wasn’t in the mood to take too much trouble making anything from scratch, I went through my fridge and found 2 key ingredients that inspired me to make a quick last minute dinner. Of course you can tweak this to your taste but simpler the better, hope you enjoy it, I know I did!

Pappardelle Aglio Olio with Mushrooms

Pappardelle Aglio Olio

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For my vegetarian readers that love Italian food, this one’s for you. A simple and flavour packed dish you can make in 15-minutes at home. I have tried this with Pappardelle however you can use Tagliatelle, Fettuccine, Linguine or Spaghetti, basically any long pasta you have in your pantry. All of the ingredients are store bought, which means the cooking is minimal, no need to make any sauces from scratch or pasta for that matter. Hope you enjoy this quick meal, I know I do!

Cheese and Spinach Ravioli

Cheese and Spinach Ravioli

This is one of the simplest ravioli dishes you’ll ever make, all you need is a shopping bag, trip to the supermarket, a little bit of time and patience. All the ingredients are store bought and assembled, of course there is cooking involved, otherwise there’d be no fun. I make this quite often at home especially if we’re entertaining guests, they love it and so do we. A true Italian cook would never make this dish the way I’m going to teach you, but believe me its worth the lack of effort of rolling out the pasta. Yet another flavour packed vegetarian dish for my readers.

Royal China - Restaurant Review

Royal China India, situated at Turner Road in the Mumbai suburb of Bandra west has been acclaimed to be one of the better Chinese restaurants in the city, so I decided to finally patronize the place again due to a previous unpleasant experience. The restaurant itself is very tastefully done, formal dining place settings on the tables, wooden partitions that are aesthetically designed with oriental nuances, defused lighting and a gentle murmur of the dinner crowd. The restaurant was quite filled up yet we managed to get a table without a reservation which was a pleasant surprise, much to our delight.

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The waiting staff was more than courteous and quickly ushered us to a choice of tables on the mezzanine near the bar. The restaurant has three levels, the main floor, the sub floor; ideal for larger groups and the mezzanine. The ambient temperature was perfect and there was a subtle yet appetizing aroma in the air, not overpowering but enticing; we were confident this was going to be a good dining experience. The four menu’s were placed in front of each of use; one for Dim sum's, another for the mains, the bar menu and an iPad?! So after a long gander, irony, at the large menu, we came to the realization there weren’t too many good vegetarian options for the two out of the three of us. Mind you at first glance there seemed to be a lot of choices which immediately turned to disappointment; let me explain why!

The appetizers had 8-10 choices of which most were deep fried. And the fish, meat and poultry options seemed rather tiresome with unnecessary large amounts of generic starters one would find in most restaurants. Conceptually they are combining traditional and contemporary elements of Cantonese cuisine; I beg to differ! On toast, burnt garlic, salt and pepper and lettuce wraps seemed to dominate the theme of the appetizers.

Anyway we decided to order the ‘Silken Tofu with burnt Garlic’ and as expected it was quite bland, mind you, I have lived in Singapore and unlike my previous self, I am not looking for everything with chilli, if I may say so myself; I do have a discerning pallet and appreciate subtle tastes as much as the large blend of spice typically used in our Indian cuisine, but the lack of seasoning is inexcusable. However the quality of Tofu was very good, so it made up for the lack of taste. So with out too much fuss we poured ourselves a glass of a beautiful medium bodied dry white wine; 2011 Viognier. It may not have been the best pairing with the food, nonetheless it was very tasty. 
 
Viognier 2011 White IMG_2819 IMG_2821IMG_2823


We also ordered the ‘Vegetarian Dumpling’, the ‘Prawn Dumpling’ and much to my delight ‘Vegetarian Cheung Fun’. I can find no reason to critique these dishes as the chef has mastered the dumpling dough, the filling and the cook time. Its simply fantastic; this would hold a candle to any of the best restaurants in Asia, personally I would go back to this restaurant just for the dumplings, it may burn a hole in my pocket, costing in excess of Rs. 400 (including taxes) for three dumplings, this is not a cheap place. While we enjoyed the appetizers, wine and conversation, we graciously asked the waiter to leave us alone as we wanted to indulge in a long dinner experience, and they obliged, much to our delight! Because the last time we were here it seemed like an “Udipi” experience, where we we rushed, orders were served even before we finished our first course and the bill was presented to us without asking for it. But kudos to the management for keeping the waiting staff in check and improving our service experience.

Sweet Lime Salad - BBC Good Food India

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Sweet lime, jalapeƱo and mint salad in pani puri shells. This is quite a nice summer salad: light, tangy and fruity. As a readers contribution I pimped if for the June edition of the BBC Good Food India magazine. The original recipe and my tweaks feature on page 6 of the magazine, given below is my recipe of the same, hope you like it, enjoy!

Chicken Penne Pesto

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This has to be one of the simplest pasta recipes, all you need is store bought ingredients out of a jar or a packet and voila dinner is ready in a jiffy. Kids love this too and you can encourage them to make it with you, just make sure they’re safe. You can substitute the chicken with shrimp, fish, lobster, calamari or mussels too and use any short pasta. I sincerely hope you try this at home, enjoy! Image courtesy Getty Image

Pork Chops with sweet and sour peppers

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This a Gordon Ramsay original recipe which I had to try and share, its simply divine, simple and an awesome meal. I strongly recommend you try this and maybe serve it with country loaf or baguette and compound butter, perhaps a potato rosti or hash browns maybe even mash, just to add starch to the meal. Wilted greens will go well with this too. This does not need a gravy or sauce as its quite moist and the peppers add to a beautiful texture. I sincerely hope you try this recipe soon, enjoy! Image courtesy Getty Image

Chicken Chasseur

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Chicken Chasseur
This classic French recipe is not as complicated as it seems. Sauce chasseur, sometimes called "hunter's sauce", is a simple or compound brown sauce used in French cuisine. It is typically made using demi-glace or an espagnole sauce as a base, and often includes mushrooms and shallots. It may also include tomatoes and a finishing of fine herbs. This recipe has all of these ingredients and its very easy to make, just ensure you have your mise en place done, enjoy!
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Chicken Parmesan


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Chicken Parmesan
Parmesan-crusted chicken breast served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, julienne vegetables, herb pan sauce. Whew that’s a long title, but quite self explanatory, this is delicious summer dish, packed with flavour and quite easy to make once you have your mise en place done.  Hope you try this one, enjoy!
Image courtesy Getty Image

Southern Fried Chicken


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Southern Fried Chicken
 Southern fried chicken is a staple Sunday dinner is most of the southern parts of the US of A, hence the name. No this is not the recipe for KFC, this is my version and I mostly cook this in the oven to avoid the extra fat by deep frying it, hence the skin is necessary because it keeps the meat moist and tastes oh so delicious. You’re going to love this recipe, enjoy!

Jerk Chicken



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Jerk Chicken

Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. The term jerk is said to come from the word charqui, a Spanish term of Quechua origin for jerked or dried meat, which eventually became jerky in English. traditionally this is to be cooked over a coal fire, we’re going to adapt this to a regular kitchen, its spicy and yummy and I’m sure you’re going to love it.

Baked Herbed Chicken


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Baked Herbed Chicken
Baked herbed chicken with root veggies is a beautiful, simple and delicious dish to make for the whole family, especially for working moms that come back from work, run the house and cook dinner at night. The reason why I’m saying that is because the prep time for the dish is very low, the remaining is cook the time in the oven and its very healthy too. Give this one a try I’m sure you’re going to love it.

Veggie Burger


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Veggie Burger

This flavor packed veggie burger is quite fantastic, its healthy, tasty and frankly I wouldn’t mind having this once in a while instead of the beef burger. There are so many recipes on the internet but I have designed this burger with flavors that I like, hope you like this recipe, enjoy!

Chicken Burger


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Chicken Burger

This recipe is for the health conscious folks who want to steer clear from red meat or that don’t eat red meat, I’m using low fat mayo, whole wheat buns to make it lower in calories. The trick is to keep the burger tender, normally chicken burgers are tough, and you want to pack in as much as flavor as possible as chicken takes on flavors very well. Hope you like this recipe, enjoy!

Veggie Pot Pie


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This recipe is very similar to the Chicken Pot Pie with one main difference, there’s no chicken in this dish, however I have added quite a few textures and flavors to take this dish up a notch. It’s a meal by itself, I would recommend having this with a light green salad that’s crunchy with a tangy Italian vinaigrette and maybe a nice dry Chenin Blanc to wash down the palette. Hope you like this recipe, enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie

This is yet another comfort food that I love to make at home. It’s quite simple and easy as long as you have pre-made/store bought shortcrust pastry and puff pastry, this is a walk in the park. A complete meal by itself, personally I prefer to start off with a light leafy salad like a Greek Salad or Panzanella without the chickpea, you don’t want to fill up to much and yet get your daily quota of greens. Hope you like this recipe, enjoy! 

Shortcrust Pastry

Shortcrust pastry is a type of pastry often used for the base of a tart, quiche or pie. It does not puff up during baking because it usually contains no leavening agent. It is possible to make shortcrust pastry with self-raising flour, however. Shortcrust pastry can be used to make both sweet and savory pies such as apple pie, quiche, lemon meringue or chicken pie. It is based on a "half-fat-to-flour" ratio (by weight). Fat (lard, shortening, butter or full-fat margarine) is rubbed into plain flour to create a loose mixture that is then bound using a small amount of ice water, rolled out, then shaped and placed to create the top or bottom of a flan or pie. You can also make it using 1:2 i.e. Fat:Flour as given in this recipe. Source: Wikipedia

Beef Pot Pie

This has to be my favorite pie in the world, I mean who doesn’t love pie! It’s a whole meal by itself, great if you’re running low on energy and especially great if you have a hankering for something delicious, then you’ve come to the right place. This recipe involves making a short crust pastry, most people are afraid of doing that, hence restaurants charge you large sums of money for making simple things. Hope you try this recipe, enjoy!

Shepherds Pie


The Shepherds Pie or Cottage Pie is basically a pie made with leftover meat covered with mash potatoes. Historically it was made with mash potato as the shell, leftover roasted meat and the top covered with mash again. Where’s the fun in that? This recipe is a typical English version of its Irish counterpart, I make it regularly at home, my wife loves it to bits. Its a great family meal served with country bread and green salad, you can make these in ramekins too for individual portions for a small dinner party. Hope you like this recipe, enjoy!

Thai Beef Burger

This recipe is my version of the Thai Beef Salad, but I’ve added my own twist to it and made it into a burger. It’s a wonder versions of this haven’t popped up on menu’s around the world, its spicy, tangy and oh so tasty. I’ve combined a few elements from popular Thai dishes to make this a unique burger experience. It has all the elements you’d expect from a burger but the taste of Asia, I hope you like this recipe, enjoy!

Som Tum

 

Som Tum or Som Tam is the most famous salad out of South East Asia, there are different versions of this in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the one we’re making today is Thai style. It combines the five basic flavours, sour, spicy, salty, savoury and sweet, all the elements bring out these flavours brilliantly. The Thai recipes vary according to regions, some use dried shrimp while others use salted crab meat, in this version we’re going to use dried shrimp. I’m sure you’re going to like this, enjoy!

Spicy Indian Burger

I’ve designed this burger keeping in mind the strong pallets we Indian’s have and its inspired from the famous Galauti Kebab. It’s spice, tangy and oh so tasty, I bet if you like Indian food you’re going to love it. The assembly is a typical burger but the elements are keeping with the typical ingredients you would find while eating kebabs however I’ve tweaked this to suit my style, I haven’t clicked any good photographs of this one, but will do so shortly. Hope you like this recipe, enjoy.

PBC Cocktail

 

Clock 5 Mins / Winking smile Easy / Martini glass Serves 2

PBC – The pomegranate, basil and cranberry cocktail. I had this at a friend’s party some time back and loved it, so I decided to make this my own by tweaking it as usual. Its light, refreshing, perfect for a hot summer day and so easy to make. You can omit the alcohol and it makes for a refreshing summer drink too, but I like the alcohol in it! Although the name suggests most of the ingredients, there are a few more that need to be added to bring out the flavours.

Chicken Salad Sandwich






















Clock 10-Mins / Winking smile Easy /  Plate Serves 10

A chicken salad is the one thing that should be in everyone’s refrigerator, it’s easy, lasts a couple of days and makes a perfect snack or meal in minutes. The health conscious may deem this to be unhealthy but you can use low fat mayonnaise, egg-less soy mayo, so personally I love having this in my house. The whole idea of this salad is using leftover chicken, especially from a roast. There are many ways to making a chicken salad, this one’s mine so I hope you like it, enjoy!

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