Saturday, January 06, 2007

Sesame Wasabe crusted Tuna

There is this real quaint family owned restaurant near where we live. It almost looks like a run down old outhouse till you catch a glimpse of the sign fighting nested creepers and vines that reads in cartoon letters akin to fallen tree trunks, Amano's. Having been there a few times before hubby highly recommended it, although he warned that sometimes they run out of food, but whatever they do have is usually very good. With that in mind, we parked and walked in, albeit a little apprehensive about the stability of the edifice. Inside, we were greeted by warm orange and yellow decor belying the southwestern landscaping outside and taking on the feel of a little Italian bistro. Lucky for us that day, they hadn't run out of any food. Not that I would mind even if they had, I can never make up my mind and a dearth would only help making my decision easier. Nonetheless, I'd settled on their fish dish, the exact name of which escapes me, but it was basically wasabi and sesame crusted tuna, which almost tasted like sushi. For best results and to make it sushi-ish, tuna should be eaten rare but you can cook it for longer if you really really want (or have) to.

You will need:

1- 8 oz Ahi Tuna steak (enough to feed 2)

1 tsp of wasabi (less if you can't handle it)

1 tsp Vegetable oil

1 tsp Kikkoman soy sauce

1/2 cup of roasted or black sesame seeds

Salt to taste


Rinse the tuna steak and slice into 2 halves. In a bowl mix vegetable oil, soy sauce and wasabi to get a homogenized mixture. Dip the tuna halves into soy-wasabi mixture and then coat generously with sesame seeds. Wrap each half in foil and throw on a grill preheated to high for about 5 minutes on each side. Unwrap, slice and serve over salad or with sushi rice and gari.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Cumin-Mustard Crusted Baby Potatoes

I've come to the realization that I know more potato recipes than can possibly be healthy. But what the hell, I'm Indian (conveniently blame my roots) and we love our starch-- Atkins wouldn't survive a second in our society. A Telugu roommate from college used to make this HOT stir fry. The right way to eat this, is to press open the crusty coating of each baby potato till the fluffy cottony insides burst out and then, mush it into rice (more starch, naturally) drowned in Rasam. Rasam is this tangy, tempered soup made of pepper, tamarind, and tomatoes. My mom makes the best Tomato Rasam, ever and I really should get the recipe at some point, but for now I cheat and use MTR's ready made mix. Back to the potatoes, it obviously isnt compulsory to have Rasam, these potatoes make a nice side to just about any meal, Indian or not, what does not go well with pomme de terre...hellllooo! :)

You will need:

1lb baby potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp chilli powder (or less depending on taste)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Cilantro for garnish


Pour oil into pan on high heat. Quickly add mustard and cumin seeds and heat till they start and finish popping. Reduce to medium heat. Add chilli powder, immediately followed by the potatoes. Sprinkle salt and toss potatoes around till they are golden brown. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Molten Chocolate Lava cake

Just plain chocolate does nothing for me. The most exclusive, decadent creamy, filled droplets of truffle heaven could beckon less. But starchy, gooey, chocolate goodness in forms of brownies, double chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chunk cookies (Clear Flour bakery in Boston, miss you!), cake, yuuuummmmm.
Well, if truffles are heaven this recipe is just pure sin. And if you make sure you dont overcook it, you will have a deliciously perfect viscous end to a special dinner.

You will need:

5 large eggs, plus 5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces
1 3/4 stick of butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus extra for dusting
8 ramekins, buttered


Preheat oven to 350 F.
Beat eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl (with an electric hand held mixer) till pale yellow (approx 10-15 mins).
Put chocolate and butter on top of a double boiler set over simmering NOT boiling water. Melt gently, stirring frequently. Remove the top pan with chocolate from heat. Add small amount of egg and sugar mixture, mix well till completely incorporated. Add the rest of egg mixture and mix well. Sift flour and cocoa into bowl and gently fold it in to chocolate and egg mixture until just mixed.
Stand the prepared ramekins in a roasting pan to stabilize them and spoon mixture into them. Mixture should be just below the rim.
Bake on middle shelf for 10-12 mins (if on higher altitude 17 mins). A simple test is that the top of the ramekins should be just firm. Avoid over cooking.
Run a round bladed knife around the inside of each ramekin to loosen the desserts, then carefully turn them out onto individual plates. Dust with cocoa powder and serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2006, in a nutshell

I need to catch up on my food blogging soon, I have loads of pictures and recipes that are itching their upload. But 2006, filled with evenly distributed mini explosions of unanticipated changes, deserves an apt postlude. So in the true spirit of Bridget Jones, here goes:


1 perfect 25th birthday.
1 amazing dream school Phd offer.

1 not so dreamy, long dying relationship buried.
1 loss of a best friend.

1 all expense paid NYC trip.
1 very expensive India trip.

1 and only living grandmother lost.
1 helpless fortnight lying by her death bed.

1 responsible, steadfast, non-commitment-phobe man.
1 proposal in one month.
1 PhD deferral.
1 engagement.
1 wedding.
3 inherited nephews.
2 inherited dogs.

1 massive cross country move.
1 huuuuge home (>1 bdrm).
1 whole lifestyle change.

1 activities buddy.
1 grand canyon hike.

1 major career change decision.
1 whole year ahead.