Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Picnic at the park with hot boiled peanuts

Drive through any southern US state and you are bound to see road side boiled peanuts stands with home made signboards announcing their ware in creative spelling: hot Bolld P-nuts. An all time favorite southern snack, these hot spicy peanuts bring people together in a close circle around the big burbling pot. I had always wanted to get a taste of this southern tradition, and luckily one evening last winter we saw a man selling “haat baald Peanuts” from his pickup van in Wal-Mart parking lot. ‘ya’ll want more’ he had said as he handed me a bag, and he was right. Later that evening hubby and I had such fun eating them, biting on their tough skin first to open them, popping in the plumb nuts and slurping the salty juice in the shells. Last weekend we got a bag of raw shelled peanuts from the local farmer’s market, and decided to make our own.

We combed through sites to get a recipe, and finally built one taking tips from here and there. Almost all the recipes suggested boiling the peanuts for two to three hours, some even said eight hours of boiling. What’s a pressure cooker for? We asked and decided to go ahead with our pressure cooked peanuts. The nuts were soft and filled up their shells, and the juice spicy enough to satisfy our Indian taste buds; it was another evening of slurp, slurp, slurp. A cold sweet drink, and your favorite comics will be perfect companions to these salty nuts.

Peanuts, raw: 2 lb
Salt : 1 cup
Crushed dry red chili: 1 tablespoon

Wash the peanuts thoroughly, and soak them in warm water for an hour or two. Put them in the pressure cooker with the salt and chilies, cover with enough water, close the lid, and cook on high heat for three to four whistles. Reduce the heat to low, and let it cook for an hour. Have them while they are hot.

This is what I am taking to Meena’s picnic in the park, so rollup your sleeves , set aside your table manners and get ready to slurp:)

Friday, May 19, 2006

No guilt, no mess, full of flavors, fibres and fun

Say that fast, full of flavors flibers and flun, full of favors flibers and flan.

Roasted salmon fillets :
Think omega 3 fatty acids, or simply think taste.
Marinate the fillets in your favourite seasonings for twenty minutes. I used lime juice-crushed green chilli-cilantro paste – ginger-garlic paste – salt for a fillet , and lime juice-red chilli powder-turmeric-ginger-garlic paste and salt for the other. Smear a teaspoon of oil on both sides, and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cook the fish in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes, turning once half way through, broil each side for five minutes to get the fish nicely browned.
...and you know that everytime you see wild salmons offered at a reasonable price, you have to grab them, right?

Oven roasted vegetables:

I used broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, cauliflower, a few slices of red onion and a clove of garlic. Don’t panic about the garlic, once roasted it loses its pungent smell and tastes slightly sweet and nutty, amazing transformation eh , it’s like putting the garlic in Calvin’s transmogrifrier.(yeah been reading too much comics lately)
Pre heat oven to 400F.
Drizzle one or two teaspoons of olive oil over the vegetables, add a dash of salt, toss to coat, spread on a baking sheet and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. I like to add the broccolis and cauliflowers some 20 minutes later, as they take much less time to cook. Enjoy the slightly caramelized vegetables with flavor filled salmon, and pat yourself for being so good to your body.