Beat the Heat

Written by Meena Agarwal on August 9th, 2006 | 21 Comments


Spicy Pepper Mushrooms

Beat the Heat

Just when I was done sulking about the rains that swept my weekend picnic plans away, out comes the Sun and makes me run to the nearest shelter!

The sweltering heat and the unwelcome humidity has led us wanting to shed skin and drown in a cold pool somewhere. but horror of horrors, neither am I an amphibian, nor am I able to grow new epidermal layers! So the only choice we have is to fight it, fight it with that we have. And what is it I have, that you ask? I’m glad you did! It’s none other than the star of every show around here. Yes dears, it’s spicy, and it’s a definite killer of the heat waves!

I really have no idea why, but just as it gets real hot outside, I begin to crave more and more heat in my food as well. They say, heat kills heat, and I’m a firm believer of that!

Making something spicy enough was the easy task. Deciding what it was that was going to take on the avatar, was the test. I picked up a batch of lovely fresh mushrooms over the weekend, and was pondering on what I could do with t. I’ve always loved mushrooms. But getting Hubby Dear to enjoy it even half as much as I do, always challenged me. We are one of those couple who go out for pizza and say, ‘mushrooms on one half, NO mushrooms on the other’! So even though I somehow accepted that Hubby Dear might not be thrilled with the idea of coming home to a plate of mushrooms for dinner, I was determined to make him beg for more!

Long story short, we can now both enjoy mushrooms over glasses of chilled water! I guess sharing a mushroom pizza would have to wait a while!

SPICY PEPPER MUSHROOMS


Prep time: 10 min, Cooking time: 10 min | Serves: 2      

  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp green onion, chopped
  •  
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp light cooking oil
  • 1 tsp pur sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • HEAT oils in a non-stick pan and saute chopped green chillies, ginger and garlic till fragrant. Add chopped onions and fry till lightly brown.

    ADD mushrooms, and stir-fry till they begin to cook and lose moisture.

    ADD salt, pepper, and soya sauce and cook for a minute.

    GARNISH with chopped green onions and serve along-side fried rice or noodles.



    Pantry Essentials

    Written by Meena Agarwal on August 4th, 2006 | 3 Comments


    Spagetti with Meat Sauce

    Pantry Essentials

    It’s been hot, and I think I’m melting! I could’ve sworn I was an inch taller just two weeks ago!!Thank goodness for the rain Gods, it’s been much cooler the past two days. At last, I can actually enter my beloved kitchen, without getting cooked myself. Although I enjoy making elaborate meals and spending precious time creating culinary art, there are times when I just want to come home and not take more than a few minutes to whip up a delicious yet wholesome meal.

    It is often at such times when i find retreat in my always over-stocked pantry. I love my pantry, and I sincerely believe that if I happen to have an unexpected emergency at hand, I’ll most probably be very well prepared to cook up a meal for 10 people using just the contents from it. I always make sure my shelves are well stocked with a variety of pasta, flour, canned beans, sauces and quick eats.

    I always loved grocery shopping, which only added to my pantry stock. I love the feeling of losing myself in the aisles with the variety of oils, sauces and international fares. Learning to grocery shop the right way is an acquired art. It takes brain power and perfect precision, to buy things in just the right amount to stock a pantry. There were times when I would find myself staring at 5 cans of tuna, each with an expiry daye well passed.

    It took time, and a lot of practice, but I learnt. I now have a perfect pantry to help me build my meals each day. And at times like tonight, when all I want is a quick fix and hours in front of the TV, my pantry is what I can count on!

    SPAGETTI WITH MEAT SAUCE


    Prep time: 10 min, Cooking time: 20 min | Serves: 4     

  • 2 handfuls of spagetti, boiled according to boxed instruction
  • 1 pound ground meat (I used chicken)
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  •  
  • 1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • handful of basil leaves, cut into ribbons
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • a pinch of dried oregano
  • a pinch of dried parsley
  • SAUTE ground meat with chopped garlic and onions in hot oil till browned. 

    SEASON with salt, parsley and oregano, and add sauce. Cook for 3-5 minutes till it comes to a slight boil, and add basil leaves.

    STIR in spagetti and serve warm with a side of fresh baked garlic bread.