Bread Au Gratin

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Shakespeare asked ‘what’s in a name?’ I am sure he would change his mind if he saw today’s world. The name makes so much of a difference. Even regular simple things are enhanced by a fancy name. Our curiosity is piqued, our temptations increase and we get that impulse to buy the fancy stuff just to see what the fuss is all about. Similarly when I heard the name of this dish on Venkatesh Baht’s show, I conjured up very droolworthy images in my head and wanted to try it immediately. Fortunately for me, the recipe is simple and I could rustle it up quickly.

On the show, he went on to make white sauce and sauté veggies and mix them and stuff them in the bread. I was lucky that I had some leftover pasta that I made for my daughter the previous day. I used that as the stuffing and finished the entire dish in a flash. So here goes –

Serves 2-3

WHAT WE NEED

Bread slices                                      6

Leftover pasta                                 1/2- 3/4 cup

Cheddar cheese, grated               5 tbsp

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 250C
  • Cut off the edges of all the bread slices
  • Use a cookie cutter or small cup and cut a round shape at the centre of 3 of the bread slices such that it has a hole in the middle
  • Place one such slice on top of a regular bread slice and make 3 such pairs of bread slices
  • Fill each pair with the pasta till the hole in the top slice of the bread is full
  • Top generously with grated cheese
  • Bake for 6-7 minutes and broil for 3-4 minutes till the cheese starts to turn golden brown
  • Slice them into two and serve warm with ketchup
  • Enjoy!

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016


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Anything Goes Burger

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There are days when you need to make something but don’t have the ingredients. This recipe is for those days. Want a burger but don’t have much to make a patty? Pick anything and everything in your fridge and pantry and ta da! Your burger is ready. My original plan was to make a lentil burger but I used up part of the lentils for another dish and I did not have enough to make this one. So I improvised and pulled out stuff that needed to be used and got this one ready.

This burger has some one eyed peas, boiled potato leftover from my potato burger, cornflour paste from my paneer burger, deep fried papad because only one was left and it would otherwise create a fight in the house as to who would have it, boiled carrots leftover from what I made for my daughter, one bread slice, leftover coriander and chilly paste. I am sure most or similar items would be available at home all the time. Trust me these make a good combination. So here goes –

Makes 1 Burger

WHAT WE NEED

One eyed peas, soaked and boiled                               4 tbsp

Potato, medium sized, boiled                                       1

Carrot, small, boiled                                                        1/2 -1

Deep fried papad                                                               1

Cornflour paste                                                                1 tsp

Red chilly powder                                                             1/4 tsp

Coriander leaves-green chilly paste                          1/2 tsp

Powdered oats                                                                   1 tbsp

Bread slice, powdered                                                     1

Burger bun                                                                         1

Salt

Tomato slices                                                                    1-2

Onion slices                                                                       1

Mayonnaise                                                                       1-2 tbsp

Oil for shallow frying

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mash the peas and potato nicely so as to ensure no lumps are left
  • Crush the papad into smallest bits so that it is easy to mix with the rest of the ingredients
  • Mix all the ingredients, except for the burger bun and oil to make a patty dough
  • Shape the dough to form a patty as wide as the palm of your hand and set aside
  • Heat a pan and add some oil
  • Once the oil is hot, add the patty and fry till both sides are golden brown
  • Slice the burger bun horizontally into two and toast it, if you like
  • Spread the mayonnaise over the lower half of the bun
  • Place the patty over it and then place the tomato and onion slices on top of the patty
  • Place the top half of the bun over the onion slices
  • Serve with ketchup
  • Enjoy!

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.

Butterly delicious puff pastry

There is a right time and a wrong time for everything. Somethings happen at the exact moment they should and others at the exact moment that they should not. I recently started practising a healthier lifestyle, as in not as healthy as it needs to be but healthier than I have done before. So my prime motive was to reimagine and recreate most recipes to suit my healthier goals. I did succeed almost all the time. But then I came across this recipe which just could not be altered but was so good that I could not resist. Damn you recipe!

So here goes –

INGREDIENTS

Plain flour             200 gms

Unsalted butter    100 gms

Salt                          4 gms

Sugar                       4 gms

Water                   85-100 ml

If you do not have a weighing scale, then just use the recipe in the same proportion i.e. 1 cup flour would need 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 tsp sugar and salt each. I am guessing that should work.

DIRECTIONS

Sift the flour and mix it with sugar and salt.

Add water and knead it into a soft dough. Add 5 gms of butter to the dough and mix well.

Refrigerate it for half hour.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it into a thin long rectangular sheet.

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Take 45 gms of butter and apply it to 3/4 of the sheet. Take care not to apply it to the ends of the dough sheet.

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Fold the dough sheet as shown below.

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Refrigerate for half hour in a plate dusted with dough. If you want, you can cover the plate with a cling film else you can leave it as is.

Remove from the refrigerator and roll the dough into a thin rectangular sheet. This needs to be done carefully so as to ensure the butter does not come out of the dough. Apply the balance 50 gms butter and fold it the same way as shown above.

Refrigerate it for half hour again. Remove the dough after half hour and roll it into a sheet carefully. This time we do not need to add any butter but we need to fold the sheet in the same way as shown above.

Refrigerate for 40 minutes.

Remove the dough and roll it out into a thin rectangular sheet.

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Cut out the corners so as to make it into a good shaped rectangle. You can use a pizza cutter if you have or the plain old knife would do.

If you are cutting with the knife then don’t drag the knife across the dough. Just position it and keep it pressed. Lift the knife and position and press at the next part of the dough.

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There are various ways to make the puff pastry. It can either be plain or stuffed. It can be done in various shapes and sizes. I tried out the following ones. You can let your imagination and Google search run wild and come up with various shapes and designs.

I cut the dough into 4 parts. For the first pastry, I used a small cup to make two circles in the dough.

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I put some filling on one of the circles and closed it with the other.

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I used a fork to press down the dough to stick to the bottom part. It gives the pastry a good design as well.

For the second pastry, I made a simple big cirle, stuffed it with some filling and folded it into two making it a semi circled pastry.

The third and fourth pastries were to be square ones. I had a square cup which I used to cut the dough in shape.

For the third pastry, I cut the dough into a square and stuffed it with filling and folded it along the diagonal making it a triangular pastry.

For the fourth pastry, I used the square cup to cut 2 squares, one within the other.

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Just fold the outer square as shown below –

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You can fill this with jam or cream or any other savory filling.

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So, my four pastries were ready!!!

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I also added the balance dough, which were left over from the borders of all this shaping business. I made them into small rolls and put them on the baking tray.

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Then I brushed all the pastries with some milk just before I put them in to bake.

Bake at 200C for 25-30 minutes till the top gets a nice brown colour.

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See the layers in the puff pastry thanks to all that folding and rolling out the dough!

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The filling can be any mix of vegetables or jam or cream. I used the previous day’s leftover vegetables as a filling.

If you find a way to make this recipe healthy, please drop a line here!

Happy Baking!