This is my take on a French dish inspired by Jaques Pepin the legendary French Chef whom I respect and admire a lot. I have been wanting to make this dish for quite some time now and finally found the time and a great recipe for a mouth watering carrot puree.
So here goes:
For Carrot & Potato Puree:
2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon melted butter/ olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For poached egg:
2 teaspoons white vinegar
salt to taste
1/2 slice of Brioche bun toasted in olive oil or butter
Preparation of Potato Carrot Puree:
Add the chopped carrots and potatoes in a pot of salted boiling water and cook for about 30 minutes till they turn soft. Then transfer the cooked carrots and potatoes to a food processor. Add mayonnaise, salt, turmeric, ground cumin, garlic powder, curry powder and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle olive oil or butter and process for 20- 30 seconds until creamy.
Preparation of Poached Egg:
First bring water in a saucepan to almost boiling. If the water is already boiling, lower the heat until it is no longer boiling. At this point, you can add one or two teaspoons of vinegar to the water, if you want. The vinegar will help the egg whites to come together more easily.
Crack an egg into a small cup, then place the cup near the surface of the hot water and gently slide the egg into the water. With a spoon, nudge the egg whites closer to their yolks. This will help the egg whites hold together.
Turn off the heat. Cover. Let sit for 4 minutes, until the egg whites are cooked.
Lift eggs out of pan with a slotted spoon.
Take a plate and using a spoon place the carrot potato puree in the middle and spread to form a circle. Then place the poached egg on top of the carrot potato puree and the toasted brioche bun on top with some cilantro as garnish.
Last weekend, I was at this brunch place in Montclair, New Jersey- Absolutely fabulous and I was thrilled to see their Vegan and Vegetarian selections on the menu.
After pondering over an extensive menu:) and the indecisive person that I am esp when it comes to food- I decided to try their Vegetarian Chickpea burger with baked Sweet Potato Fries. I must tell you this that during my stay at Double Tree in L A prior to filming Master Chef, I happened to order their Vegetarian burger made of chickpeas and it was falling apart/ crumbling to say the least and dry!!!!
This one that I tried at Montclair was phenomenal!!!! Moist, crisp, dense and came with onion, tomato, sprouts:) and pickle!
OK now, I was also thinking of coming up with a bunch of dishes with Tempeh and have been experimenting in my kitchen. Suddenly, after we finish brunch, I run across the street to WHOLE FOODS and my husband thinks I have lost it as always 🙂 I grab an organic slab of 5 GRAIN TEMPEH. Now many of you may wonder what TEMPEH is?
TEMPEH is made of natural culturing process with organic grains like soybeans, brown rice, millet, barley, rye, apple cider vinegar and tempeh culture (typically Rhisopus oligosporus)LOL (thats my inner Microbiologist speaking out). It is low in calories and a great substitute to meat due to its HIGH PROTEIN content. Tempeh originated in Indonesia and has a distinctive nutty taste and nougat-like textured.
The thing about TEMPEH I have learnt over the past few months is that it easily absorbs the flavors of the other foods with which it is cooked making it adaptable to many types of dishes. I tried substituting TEMPEH with the Indian Cottage Cheese that I use in my traditional Curry and it turned out delicious!!!
According to my research- the soy protein in tempeh tends to lower cholesterol levels, while consuming protein from animal sources tends to raise them, since they also include saturated fat and cholesterol.
I can go on and on about health benefits and effect of TEMPEH on cholesterol ………After 3 days of trips to the park with kids, I decided to take a break today and cook up something with the Tempeh that I had picked at Whole Foods. I decide to make an awesome burger with TEMPEH. I love beets and so decided to use a beet sauce and bake some squash chips to go with my burger. The key is to season my tempeh with a bunch of my toasted spices and to use a binding agent !! The binding agent that I used in this case was CHICK PEAS and it turned out beautiful. I could use potatoes but chose to give Chick peas a shot! I use olive oil and use fresh GRAY SQUASH from my Farmers Market to bake some chips to go with my TEMPEH burger:)
We have almost no family here in the US, meaning my parents, cousins, relatives, in laws live back in India. But I must say this: what we do have are friends whom we have made along these years, some of whom have turned into family and are very special to us!
So I invited a special couple who are like family to us for lunch on July 4th. I decided to make something different that they would enjoy too! The last time we had them I made this traditional Indian flat bread with Indian Cottage Cheese Curry and Lentil Soup and so forth. This time, I put a lot of thought into the menu.
We started with a chilled Lemonade drink topped with some cumin and “chaat” mix! My husband decided to take this up since he is very good at it:)
For starters, we planned on making a pesto which is made of basil and pistachios. I came across some fresh corn at my Farmers Market and decided to pick some a few days back. So why not use the corn to go with the pesto!!!!!
I grilled some fresh corn in the grill till I saw beautiful char marks on them and then sprinkled some salt, pepper, cayenne and a squeeze of lemon for acidity!
Then, I take a knife and cut off the corn into a bowl and mix my pesto thats filling up the room with its fragrance:)
My husband had also gotten this Crostini bread from the store so we cut slices and serve my “Corn Pesto on top of my Crostini”
Now for the main course! For a very long time, I have been looking to find whats called as King Mushrooms. I have a blog friend Tim and we exchange comments and feedback on our posts and he had mentioned to me that “King Mushrooms” were very flavorful. I had finally picked some from the Farmers Market and was contemplating on making a dish with these gorgeous looking King Shrooms!
So I decided to roast some garlic with these mushrooms in a pan and to place them on what I call a “Beet Carrot Puree”. I love the color that you get when you puree some beets and carrots!!! Its phenomenal and tasty too. The key here is to counter balance the sweetness by the beetroot- and this I accomplished by roasting some garlic (and I mean a good amount of garlic cloves)with some cayenne, salt, cumin, coriander and lemon pepper. Then I blend this roasted garlic infused with my spices along with the carrots and the beets. The cayenne and the spices in the garlic render some heat which knocks out the sweetness of the beets and the carrots and balance them in such a beautiful way!
“Our family” who was visiting us yesterday also wanted to taste my Baked Cauliflower dish. Every single time I make this dish, I always try to make it different, change up ingredients a little bit to see how it turns out! So this time, I made “Baked Cauliflower with Caramelized Onions, Pistachios in a Yogurt Cilantro Basil Sauce”
I baked the cauliflower with my special blend of Indian spices in then oven along with the pistachios. I caramelized some onions and garlic and plated it along with my baked cauliflower!
We also prepared some “Quinoa with Onions, Tomatoes, Jalapeno’s, Slivered Almonds and topped with Pomegranates” that went really well with both my dishes and my guests were introduced to something new that they have promised to learn and cook once they go back.
They simply loved everything and my day was fulfilled and efforts paid off by the smiles that lit up their faces topped with some absolutely wonderful conversation around the table!!!
I hope that you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed making them for special people close to heart!