Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Peach Tart

Peach TartI love the color 'Peach'. At one point, my wardrobe was overflowing with garments in every shade of peach, that my mom, dad and sis frowned when I reached for one more piece of clothing in Peach. Well, that was in the past. I have reached a state of balance when it comes to my love for Peach. :-)

About the fruit Peach, there is only one word which comes to my mind - luscious! Until now, I have not tried anything with peaches. From the farmer market's, they go straight to our stomachs, after a quick wash. But for Mansi's AFAM-Peach, I decided to make a tart. I found a very simple recipe in Food Network in Sandra Lee's Semi Homemade Cooking section and I adapted it.

Here it is:

Peach Tart:

Recipe Source: FoodNetwork

Recipe:

Puff Pastry Sheet - 1
Canned Peach halves - 1 can
Sugar - 1 Tbsp
Butter - 2 Tbsps
Milk - A couple of drops
Apricot or Peach Jam - 2 Tbsps

Thaw the puff pastry sheet as per the directions given on the Puff Pastry package. For Pepperidge Farms brand, the pastry sheet has to be thawed for 40 minutes.

While the pastry sheet is thawing, drain the liquid off the canned peaches and thin slicely lengthwise. Keep aside.

After thawing the sheet, unfold and place it on an ungreased baking sheet. Fold the edges on all four sides for a rim. Prick holes inside the rim to prevent the puff pastry from puffing up. We want the rim to puff up and form a border.

Next, arrange the peach slices on the pastry sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle sugar all over the fruit and dot with butter. Brush the rim with a couple of drops of milk. Now the tart needs to be baked.

Preheat the oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit and bake for about 15 to 20 mins or until golden brown.

While the tart is baking, microwave 2 tbsps of apricot or peach jam for about 30 seconds and keep aside. After the tart is baked, remove from oven and while it is still hot, brush the melted jam all over the tart.

Let it cool and enjoy! :-) The tart is very light and airy and would go well with a hot cup of tea.

Aatukkaal Soup/Paaya

Aatukkal Paaya
It has been quite a long time since I posted something new. It had been a very busy month, dotted with bouts of sickness. The cold weather which is slowly sneeking into this part of the world along with the flu virus, did give me quite a number of headaches. So, my expriments in the kitchen swayed from wild and wacky to bland and pure, in accordance to what my tastebuds craved. Wow, what a month it was! I feasted on plain steamed Basmati rice with steamed vegetables and loved the taste of it. The same could be said of pureed rice with buttermilk, and rice rawa porridge. Certainly bouts of sickness make me appreciate the taste and texture of food better.

Last week, on our grocery shopping I was shocked at the increase in rice prices. The rice variety in question being Sona Masoori. A little search threw me the news of ban on non-basmati rice varieties and also the news of the partial lift of the ban. News here: http://www.business-standard.com/common/storypage_c_online.php?leftnm=11&bKeyFlag=IN&autono=29218 Back to long grained rice in a short while, should I say?

On a sunny note, I found a particular brand of yogurt which gave me good homemade yogurt. I found Horizons Organic yogurt in Wegmans and I loved the texture and flavor of the yogurt I was able to make using it. Try it..You are sure to like it! :-)

On a side note, Padma of Padma's Kitchen sent me the Amish Friendship bread starter and I made a batch of bread. It turned out delicious. However I could not send the starter packages on time and hence have started the second batch. I will post on the Amish bread pretty soon.

Ok..enough of notes.. :-) Last week, for the first time, I made Aatukkal paaya which roughly translates to 'Goat Leg Soup'. Back home, my dad gets smoked goat legs from our local 'Baai' and mom pressure cooks them in water laced with turmeric and salt and keeps them in the fridge overnight. Here, I made the Paaya the same day.

Onto the recipe now:

Aatu Kaal Soup - Paaya:

Recipe Source: My mom

Goat Legs/Mutton Legs - 1 lb
Big Red onion - 1
Medium tomatoes -2
Curry Leaves - 10
Coriander - A fistful
Garlic flakes - 8
Chilli Powder - 1 Tsp
Coriander Seeds/Dhaniya - 2 Tbsp
Black Pepper /Milagu - 1 tsp
Turmeric - A pinch
Salt - As per taste
Oil - 1 Tbsp

Cook the mutton legs in water with turmeric and salt.

Fry Coriander seeds and black pepper in ghee and grind to a fine paste using a little water.

Crush the garlic flakes. Heat the oil and fry onions till light brown. Add the garlic d and fry till very light brown. Next add the tomatoes along with a little salt and chilli powder. Fry till the tomatoes turn mushy. Next add the goat legs along with the water it was cooked in. Let it thicken a bit. And then add the ground paste, curry leaves and coriander and cook till the gravy thickens.

Serve with steaming hot idlis, dosas, aappams or rice.

Note that my recipe does not use any cinnamon, cloves or other spices. The gravy derives its flavor only from coriander seeds and black pepper.

In Tamilnadu, Aatukaal Paaya is supposed to be good for recuperating patients and is a regular feature in their diet.

Check out another Aatukkaal Paya recipe at Joseph's Kitchen.