Potato Salad

Potato Salad3America’s independence day is around the corner and one of our family favorites for 4th of July celebrations is potato salad. I usually use Russet potatoes for my salad but this time I experimented with Yukon gold potatoes instead. I’m happy to report that I really liked the flavor and texture it added to my otherwise simple recipe. The smoked paprika also added great depth of flavor. Try it and let me know if you feel the same as I do.

Happy 4th of July.

Potato Salad
12 medium Yukon gold potatoes (about 3 lbs)
5 eggs
6 cornichons (small pickled gherkins), chopped
3 whole green onions, chopped (use white and light green parts only)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1¼ cups mayonnaise
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon black pepper

Wash and boil potatoes in salted water until they are tender when tested with a fork. Drain, cool, peel and chop into bite sized cubes.

Place the eggs in a pot and cover them with cold water. Once the water comes to a boil, cover the pot with a lid and turn off the heat. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Cool, peel and chop them into bite size pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, eggs, cornichons, green onion and celery. Add mayonnaise, salt, paprika, and black pepper. Gently stir so that it coats the potatoes, eggs and other ingredients evenly. Refrigerate for at least three hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Tuna Cutlets

Tuna Cutlet3Tuna cutlets used to be a popular item on my menu several years ago. I made some over the weekend so I thought I would share my recipe with you. The list of ingredients may look daunting but this recipe is a keeper and you will be happy you tried it. Sometimes I add a handful of chopped walnuts into the mix and it adds a great crunch to the cutlet.

You can use these cutlets as a side dish, an appetizer, or a snack. I have used them in sandwiches with a chipolte mayonnaise spread or cilantro and mint chutney. I’ve also eaten them just rolled up with some chopped onions in a naan or paratha. Eat them any way you please!

Tuna Cutlets
3 7oz cans (I used white tuna in water)
2 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
2 cups finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
6 finely chopped green chillies, optional
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon pepper powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
Salt
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ cup all purpose flour
3 eggs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Oil for seasoning and shallow frying

Drain and flake the tuna using a fork. Set aside.

Heat a non stick pan over medium high heat. Add three tablespoons of oil and when it shimmers add the chopped onion and fry until the onions turn light brown. Add ginger, garlic, and green chillies. Sauté for two minutes. Turn the heat to low and add the chilli powder, pepper, turmeric, garam masala and two teaspoons of salt. Sauté for a minute and then add the tuna. Fry until the pieces of tuna turn light brown. Add chopped cilantro and lemon juice and turn off the heat. Let the tuna mixture cool for 10-15 minutes and then add the mashed potato. Mix well with a potato masher. At this point you might want to taste to see if you need more salt. Form the cutlets into whatever shape you desire.

Arrange the breading ingredients in an assembly-line fashion. First, in a shallow dish season flour with ¼ teaspoon salt. In another shallow dish, whisk eggs with one tablespoon water and ¼ teaspoon salt. In a third shallow dish put the panko bread crumbs. Working with one piece at a time, dredge both sides of the cutlet in the flour, knocking off the excess. Then dip both sides of floured cutlet in the egg mixture. Finally, coat both sides of the cutlet with panko bread crumbs.

Set a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and pour in enough oil for shallow frying, about one and a half inches. When the oil is hot, about five minutes, add the cutlets. Fry them in batches rather than over crowding the skillet. Fry the cutlets until golden brown on both sides. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined tray. These cutlets can be served with a cilantro and mint chutney. The recipe for the cilantro and mint chutney can be found at the bottom of the Bangalore Vadais post.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffee cake6I hope all of you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! My daughter-in-law, Dharti, graduated with a Masters in Psychology so our family and friends celebrated all weekend. The blueberry coffee cake was part of brunch on Monday morning and one of my toughest food critics, my son, said this was his new favorite cake. I hope it will become one of your favorites too.

Here’s a quick tip before you dive in: Dust the blueberries with flour before you fold them into the cake and also when you scatter them on top. This keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the cake while it bakes.

Blueberry Coffee Cake
Adapted from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook

For the Cake
2 cups flour plus 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup fresh blueberries

For the Topping
½ cup fresh blueberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.

For the Cake
Sift two cups of flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy. It will take about two minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. Turn the mixer to low speed, add one-third of the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Then beat in half of the milk. Add half of the remaining flour, beating until incorporated and then add the remaining half cup of milk. Finally add the remaining flour and beat until incorporated.

Toss the blueberries in a small bowl with half a teaspoon of flour. Make sure that the blueberries are coated with flour before you gently fold them into the batter. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and make the topping.

For the Topping
Toss the blueberries with the remaining half teaspoon of flour and scatter them over the top of the batter. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the batter. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then cut and arrange them on a cake platter. They taste heavenly when eaten warm.

Bombay Toast with Yoghurt Topping and Strawberry Jam

Bombay Toast5The smell of Bombay Toast wafting up from the kitchen is a delightful memory that I have from my childhood. Thick slices of white bread from Kayani bakery, dipped in a batter of eggs, sugar and milk and shallow fried in Amul butter – yum!

Well, here is a bumped up version that I recently made for brunch with two of my friends. The yoghurt topping is easy to make and goes well with pancakes and waffles too. My homemade strawberry jam added a touch of color to this composition. Enjoy!

Bombay Toast with Yoghurt and Strawberry Topping
8 eggs
1½ cups half-and-half or milk
1 teaspoon orange zest
½ teaspoon vanilla
1½ tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
1 large loaf challah or brioche bread, cut into ¾ inch slices
Vegetable oil and butter for shallow frying

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set it aside. Whisk eggs, half-and-half, orange zest, vanilla, honey, and salt in a large, wide-mouth bowl. Soak two or three slices of bread, at a time, in the egg mixture for two minutes on one side. Turn them over and soak the other side for two minutes.

Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Add one tablespoon oil and one tablespoon butter. When the butter melts, gently add the soaked slices of bread. Cook for two to three minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Fry the remaining soaked slices of bread, adding oil and butter as needed. Place the prepared Bombay toast on the sheet pan and keep them warm in the oven until ready to serve. Serve with maple syrup, yoghurt topping and jam of your choice.

Yoghurt Topping
1 cup yoghurt
½ cup cool whip
¼ cup maple syrup

Whisk the yoghurt, cool whip and maple syrup in a small bowl until creamy and smooth. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Banana Fritters

Banana Fritters

I got the idea of making banana fritters when I ate beignets at Founding Farmers in Washington, D.C. I added the ripe banana just to give it a hint of banana flavor. I served my fritters sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, but if you are adventurous you could serve it with chocolate or caramel sauce.

Banana Fritters
2 eggs
1 teaspoon oil
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons sugar
1¼ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 very ripe mashed banana
Oil for deep frying
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Beat eggs, oil, milk, vanilla and sugar. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add to egg mixture and beat until the batter is smooth. Stir in the mashed banana.

Heat oil for deep frying in a wok over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Drop tablespoonfuls of the batter gently into the oil. Fry until both sides are lightly golden brown. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar while the fritters are still warm. Serve immediately.

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry pancakes3There’s nothing like waking up to pancakes on a Sunday. I wish I could have them more than once a week. I must admit that, for many years, my pancakes were made from a box of Bisquick. This morning, I made some blueberry pancakes from scratch, thanks to the crew from America’s Test Kitchen. And they are simply amazing!

My family knows I love cookbooks so when they visit me they often bring me books. My nephew, Bobby, and his wife, Anna, visited recently from New York and they brought me, The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook – 2001-2013. Thanks, kids, I love the book. The blueberry pancake recipe that I share with you today is adapted from this book. So, get in the kitchen and give this recipe a try. I promise, you will not go back to making pancakes from a box!

Blueberry Pancakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup fresh blueberries

Place the blueberries in a mesh strainer and wash them gently by running cold water over them. Dry the blueberries on a paper towel lined plate.

In a medium bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Whisk the egg, melted and cooled butter, and buttermilk until combined. Make a small well in the center of the dry flour mixture; pour the milk mixture and whisk very gently until just combined. Don’t over-mix.

Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat; add 1 teaspoon of oil and turn the pan to coat the entire surface. Pour ¼ cup of the batter onto three spots on the pan; sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the blueberries over each pancake. Cook until large bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake. About two minutes. Turn the pancake’s and cook until golden brown on the other side. Make the rest of the pancakes in the same manner. These pancakes taste best topped with butter and dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Yummy!