Quick Bread – Zucchini Bread

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We had the children’s day celebration at our apartment complex for which they organised a drawing and colouring contest. Sounds good, right? But no. Parents were breathing down the necks of the little ones (read 8 to 10 year olds!) giving them detailed instructions on what they need to draw or the colour they need to use. My daughter made those sad puppy dog eyes making me feel like an ignorant negligent parent in contrast. I have been ranting ever since to all and sundry about how parents need to leave their kids alone to take their own decisions and make their own mistakes so that they can learn their own lessons. Then I found out that the kid whose mom gave the maximum instructions actually won the contest. Now I am in two minds – maybe I should have helped her afterall. She would not have been heartbroken about not winning. But then maybe this will help her deal with life better in the long run. Parenting is tough! Rant complete and I am feeling better already.

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Now on to the dish of the day. I luckily found zucchinis at the local supermarket much to my surprise. I grabbed it and simply had to make a zucchini bread. It turned out fabulous especially with all that cheese in it. Since it is a quick bread, I could eat some before the daughter was back from school and became competition. Yay!

I have begun to replace all purpose flour with wheat flour in most recipes except yeast bread where I think they make a significant difference to the airiness of the bread. In muffins, quick breads, etc. I can manage a reasonable amount of lightness to the dish with whole wheat flour. You could use all purpose flour in this dish just as the original recipe.

Adapted from here

Makes one 7″ loaf

WHAT WE NEED

Zucchini, grated                      3/4 cup

Whole wheat flour                 1 cup

Baking powder                        1 tsp

Baking soda                              1/4 tsp

Salt                                             1/2 tsp

Milk                                            1/2 cup

Apple cider vinegar                1 1/2 tsp

Egg                                              1

Olive Oil                                    1 1/2 tbsp

Cheddar cheese, grated         1/2 cup heaped

Mixed herbs                             2 tsp

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Grease and line a loaf tin with parchment paper
  • Squeeze the grated zucchini gently to release some liquid. I did not do it because I used whole wheat flour which absorbs more water and I did not want the bread to be dry. Squeeze out some liquid (around 2 tsp or so) if you are using all purpose flour.
  • In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together
  • In another bowl, combine the milk and vinegar. Any vinegar will do. I used apple cider vinegar
  • The milk will curdle a bit. Then add the egg and oil and mix well
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine ensuring no dry flour is left
  • Add the zucchini, cheese and mixed herbs and mix lightly
  • Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour
  • If the toothpick inserted comes clean, the bread is done
  • Cool it for 10-15 minutes in the loaf tin and then unmould it on to the wire rack to cool further
  • Once it is completely cooled, (around an hour) slice and serve
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, Cuisine of the USA.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

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Baked Spinach & Corn

 
I have seen and heard so much about baked spinach and corn but somehow I have never tried making it. I always end up making pasta with white sauce and forget about this wonderful combination.

So when my favorite chef on TV, Venkatesh Bhat showed his recipe I knew I had to make it.

So I made this recipe in two parts – one is the Bechamel Sauce and the other is this one.

  

So here goes –

Serves 2 and a cheese loving toddler

WHAT WE NEED

Boiled corn              1 cup

Water

Pinch of sugar

Olive oil                      1 tbsp

Spinach                      1 bunch

Garlic                          2 pods

Bechamel sauce       2 cups

Mixed dried herbs   2-3 tsp

Cherry tomatoes      6-8

Cheese                         Lots

WHAT TO DO

  • Boil water sufficient to immerse the spinach.
  • Once it is boiled, add the pinch of sugar
  • Once the sugar has melted, add the spinach such that it is completely immersed in the water.
  • Let it remain for 2-3 minutes. Then drain the water and pass the spinach under cold running water.
  • Squeeze the spinach and finely chop it and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a panama add finely chopped garlic to it
  • After the garlic attains a mild brown color, add the spinach and sauté for around 5 minutes
  • Remove the spinach and garlic from the pan.

   

  • Preheat the oven to 250C
  • In the same pan, pour the Bechamel sauce.
  • Once it’s warm, add the corn, spinach and garlic and mix well to combine
  • Add the requisite amount of salt and stir well.
  • After 4-5 minutes, transfer the  mixture to an oven safe dish
  • Sprinkle the mixed herbs and pepper ppwder.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes either whole or halved
  • Grate cheddar and mozzarella cheese and sprinkle generously on top
  • Bake for 7-8 minutes or until the cheese melts and attains a golden brown color. I baked for 5 minutes and then set the oven to broil for around 4 minutes.
  • Take it from the oven, drool, click some photos and enjoy with some bread!

   

NOTES

  1. You can also add fresh herbs, parsley, basil and pitted olives along with the cherry tomatoes.
  2. You can use as much or as less cheese as you want. You can use either cheddar or mozzarella or a mix of both. I used only cheddar.
  3. I used an 8*8 square dish. 

 

This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.