Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Weber Charcoal Grill, winter time images. [ Black and White Wednesday #115 ]

This week for Black and White Wednesday I am submitting image of  snow covered  Weber's Charcoal Grill. Last week we had 2-3 inches of snow in Cary, temperatures were too cold  so snow stayed around for 3-4 days, as a result schools were closed for four days. I took few snow images around home, Grill was  covered with fluffy snow. It was a beautiful natural contrast of black and white so thought of sending this image to BWW #115 to Siri who is hosting this week at Cooking with Siri. Susan of  The Well Seasoned Cook, is a founder of this event. Now Cinzia of Cindystar looks after admin duties for this event. Next BWW event #116, February 12th 2014 -Valentine's Day edition will be hosted by Lynne of cafelynnylu. For all  rules and future event details please check Cinzia's Post.

It has been a long time since I grilled something with  my weber's portable grill, as temperatures warm up I will get back to grilling. Scroll down to view more images of the grill taken during snow and fall season. I was collecting beautiful fall color leaves of sweet gum/ Liquid amber tree. Black grill lid was perfect background to spread  leaves and capture images. Check earlier  recipe post on grilled shrimp and mushrooms using Weber's charcoal grill.

Charcoal Grill covered  with snow. (Cary snow fall on 28th January, 2014)

Black and White Wednesday Event #115

Sweet Gum / Liquid Amber fall  leaves.
Images taken on 09/02/2013

Patio and Grill lid covered with snow - Image taken on 29th January 2014.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fall season inspired Spicy Cluster Beans stir fry. [Black and White Wednesday #113]

I cooked this cluster bean stir fry  on one beautiful fall morning  in November. This was weather inspired simple stir fry with sauteed onions, spiced with whole and crushed black peppers. Red wine vinegar and Honey was used to bring sweet and sour taste. Addition of mini colored peppers made nice color contrast over bright green pre-boiled  sliced Cluster beans/ Gavar. This simple recipe can be adapted for several other vegetable stir fries.

I am submitting this image to Black and White Wednesday #113, January 22nd 2014, which will be hosted by Susan of  The Well Seasoned Cook, who is also a founder of this event. Now Cinzia of Cindystar looks after admin duties for this event. Next BWW event #114, January 29th 2014 will be hosted by Simona of briciole. For all  rules and future event details please check Cinzia's Post.

Black and White Wednesday Event #113

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Carrot-Coconut-Sesame Burfi flavored with Saffron & cardamom. [Indian sweet recipe for Makar Sankranti Festival.]

On this auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti,  I convey my  best new year wishes to all my readers, followers and visitors.Wishing you all a very Healthy, Happy and Peaceful 2014. Thank you so much for regularly visiting my blog. I am quite late to make my first blog post this year, hoping to share more recipes this year.   I start this year with a recipe of  Sesame-Carrot-Coconut Burfi/Vadi. One of the traditional Makar Sankrant sweet/ Vadi is made with Sesame and Coconut,  I gave a little twist by adding fresh carrots. This sweet is prepared without ghee, I have used honey but if that is skipped this is good Vegan festive sweet.

 Ingredients :
  • 1.5 Cup - whole sesame unpolished (powdered)
  • 2 Cups - grated carrots (slightly heaping cups)
  • 1 Cup - fresh grated coconut
  • 2 Tb.spoon - Honey ( for vegan burfi you may skip honey.)
  • 2 Tb.spoon - Extra virgin Olive oil + 1 Tb.spoon for greasing.
  • 3 tiny pinches - of saffron threads
  • 1/2 T.spoon - cardamom powder. (coarse ground seeds from 4-5 cardamoms.)
  • 3/4 Cups - water to cook carrots
  • For sugar Syrup - 1 heaping cup granulated sugar + 3/4 cup water.

Carrot, Coconut, Powdered Sesame, Sugar, Cardamom powder.

Grated carrots

Method of preparing Carrot+Coconut+Sesame Vadi/Burfi :
  1. Clean carrots by slightly chopping out stems and bottom ends, peel off thin skin layer with potato peeler. If using organic carrots, retain the skin. Rinse under water, pat dry. Grate carrots, keep it aside.
  2. Grind 1.5 cups white unpolished sesame seeds to a coarse powder. Do this in few batches with short pulses to retain dry texture.
  3. In a heavy gauge 4 quart pot moderately heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, add grated carrots, saute for three minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Pour in 3/4 cup water, half quantity of cardamom powder continue to saute for around 10 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Next add sesame powder, mix well, saute for 5-6 minutes over medium heat, stirring often.
  5. Add fresh grated coconut, 2 tbsp honey and remaining cardamom powder, saute for 2-3 minutes. Shut off the heat, let  pot rest until sugar syrup is done. (Sugar syrup can be prepared ahead of time.)
  6. Heat 3/4 cup water in a small pot, stir in 3 tiny pinches of saffron threads. Once water starts to boil add one heaping cup sugar. Allow to steadily boil  over medium high heat for 7-8 minutes. Do stir at frequent intervals, shut down, allow to cool for six seven minutes.
  7. Pour sugar syrup over  coconut-sesame-carrot mixture. On heat back, Mix well, keep stirring until sugar syrup is evaporated and thick mass is formed. This stirring stage is quite laborous, do it by switching  heat from medium high to medium low. Once bottom of the mixture starts developing light color patch shut off the heat. Quickly scoop it over olive oil greased baking sheet or plate. Flatten and shape it with stainless steel spatula and knife. Pat  Burfi mass from sides to form neat 1 inch thick square. Allow to cool  for 3-4 minutes, using a knife cut  into desired size/shape Burfi pieces. Smooth out cracks and uneven edges by patting around burfi squares with  butter knife. Scroll down to check few images  of cooking steps captured while preparing Burfi/Vadi.

Initial frying stage.

Prepared sugar syrup.

After adding sugar syrup, consistency of mixture  loosens.

Mixture turns into solid mass, time to spread mixture over plate.

Scooping out solid burfi mass over greased cookie sheet.

Finely square shaped burfi mixture.

Carrot-Coconut-Sesame Burfi squares.

Uneven edges can be shaped into perfect squares using butter knife.

Happy Makar Sankranti!!

Carrot-Coconut-Sesame Burfi.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Spices for Christmas Cake...Black and White Wednesday #110

I  will be baking a cake for Christmas with four spices, Cinnamon, Star anise, Cardamom and Nagkeshar. I plan to  keep it gluten free by replacing all purpose flour with  few multi grain flours. Following whole spices image I am sending to Cinzia for Black and White Wednesday #110, Next BWW event  #111, January 8th 2014, will be hosted by Lynne at Cafe Lynnylu. For future event hosting schedule refer Cinzia's post. Susan from Well Seasoned Cook has  founded this event.

Star Anise, Cardamom, Nagkeshar and Cinnamon sticks.

Black and White Wednesday
 Event #110