Thursday, September 25, 2008

BAKED DISHES

‘Baked Dish’ – This very term reminds us of continental cuisine. There is no denying that it is a very “Western” concept, but it has started making headway into Indian homes and that too at breakneck speed. The reason for the growing popularity of baked dishes could be attributed among other things to the excitement-seeking palates of today’s youngsters, or to their desire to cook exotic dishes quickly and easily!

I know that the word ‘bake’ would immediately have conjured up the image of aromatic cakes, cookies, breads and pies, which delight the sweet tooth, but I have broken away from the stereotype and focused on savoury meal-time baked dishes, which involve everyday bakes, quick bakes, party fare, and quiches and pies.

I am sure you would have encountered the common baked dishes such as Vegetable Au Gratin and Baked Macaroni sometime in your life. Exciting though they are, the repertoire of baked dishes is in no way limited to these. Different cuisines have their own versions of bakes dishes. For example, the Mexicans have enchiladas, Italians have lasagne, and the French have the famous au gratin!

Here, I have recorded a lot of traditional all-time favourite recipes and presented various new recipes. Hope you enjoy this latest offering of mine, and may you bake your way to everybody’s heart, through their stomach!

Minty Baked Potatoes
MINTY BAKED POTATOES

Preparation Time: 10 minutes. Cooking Time: Nil. Serves 4.
Baking Temperature: 200C (400F). Baking Time: 30 minutes.

For the baked potatoes
4 large parboiled potatoes
Oil for brushing
Salt to taste

To be mixed into a corn filling
¾ cup boiled American corn
½ cup grated cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

For the mint sauce
½ cup cream
2 tbsp curds (dahi)
4 tbsp mint leaves (phudina)
Salt and pepper to taste

Other ingredients
¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese

For the baked potatoes
1.Brush the potatoes with oil. Sprinkle with salt.
2.Wrap in an aluminium foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C (400°F) for 10 minutes.
3.Cool slightly and cut each baked potato horizontally into two halves.
4.Scoop the potatoes from the insides to make a hollow. Keep aside.
For the mint sauce
1.Beat the cream until thick.
2.Add the curds, mint leaves, salt and pepper and mix well. Keep aside.

How to proceed
1.Fill each potato half with 2 tbsp of the corn filling.
2.Place the potato halves in a greased baking dish and pour 1½ tbsp of the mint sauce on each halve evenly.
3.Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C (400F) for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Baked Mushroom Macaroni

BAKED MUSHROOM MACARONI

Preparation Time: 10 minutes. Cooking Time: 20 minutes. Serves 4
Baking Temperature: 200C (400F) Baking Time: 15 minutes

2 cups boiled macaroni

For the vegetable layer
½ cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped coloured capsicum (red and yellow)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup sliced mushrooms (khumbh)
2 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp chopped olives
2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

To be mixed for the mushroom sauce
¼ cup readymade mushroom soup powder
1½ cup water

Other ingredients
¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese
Butter for greasing

For the vegetable layer
1.Heat the butter in a pan, add the onions and sauté till they turn translucent.
2.Add the capsicum, tomatoes and mushrooms and sauté for another 2 minutes.
3.Add the oregano, olives, salt, pepper and mix well. Keep aside.

How to proceed
1.Arrange the macaroni on the bottom of a greased baking dish.
2.Spread the vegetable layer on top of the pasta, and pour the mushroom sauce on top.
3.Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C (400F) for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Mediterranean Vegetable Pie

MEDITERRANEAN VEGETABLE PIE

Preparation Time: 20 minutes. Cooking Time: 40 minutes. Makes 1 pie (6”).
Baking Temperature: 200°C (400°F). Baking Time: 20 to 40 minutes.

¼ cup basic tomato sauce, given below
¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese

For the short crust pastry {makes 1 pastry (6”)}
¾ cup plain flour (maida)
¼ cup butter
2 pinches salt

For the topping
½ cup sliced brinjal (baingan / eggplant)
½ cup sliced yellow capsicum
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp finely chopped garlic (lehsun)
2 tsp oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the short crust pastry
1.Sieve the flour. Add the butter and salt and rub in with your fingertips.
2.Add about 1 tbsp of ice-cold water to make a dough
3.Roll out the dough to about 3 mm. thickness.
4.Arrange the rolled out dough in a greased 150 mm. (6”) diameter pie dish.
5.Press the dough into pie dish and prick with a fork on the bottom and sides.
6.Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C (400°F) for 15 minutes.
7.Do not remove from pie dish. Use as required.

For the topping
1.Heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic and sauté for ½ minute.
2.Add the brinjal and yellow capsicum and sundried tomatoes and cook till half done.
3.Add the salt and pepper, mix well and keep aside.

How to proceed
1.Spread the basic tomato sauce over the short crust pastry.
2.Arrange the brinjal, yellow capsicum and sundried tomatoes on 1/3 part of the pastry individually.
3.Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C (400F) for 10 to 15 minutes.

Baked Pasta Shells

BAKED PASTA SHELLS

Preparation time: 25 minutes. Cooking Time: Nil. Serves 4.
Baking Temperature: 200C (400F). Baking Time: 15 minutes.

12 boiled big shell pasta
1½ cups basic tomato sauce, given below
Salt and pepper to taste

To be combined as a filling
1 cup grated paneer (cottage cheese)
1 cup blanched and chopped spinach (palak)
Salt and pepper to taste

Other ingredients
¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese
Butter for greasing

1.Place each shell pasta on a 200 mm. (8") diameter greased baking dish.
2.Fill each shell pasta with 2 tbsp of the mixture.
3.Pour the tomato sauce on top of the shell pastas evenly.
4.Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C (400F) for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

BASIC TOMATO SAUCE

Preparation Time: 10 minutes. Cooking Time: 20 minutes. Makes approx. 1 cup.

4 large tomatoes
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp cream
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

1.Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water.
2.Peel, cut into quarters and deseed the tomatoes.
3.Chop them finely and keep the tomato pulp aside.
4.Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and garlic sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
5.Add the tomatoes, tomato ketchup and salt and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
6.Add the cream and oregano and mix well.
7.Use as required.

Handy Tip: You can make the sauce in advance in large quantities by multiplying the above recipe and refrigerate until required.

4 comments:

Rush said...

i tried the baked pasta shells and it came out just fanta-fabulous!!!

thnks so much tarlaji, i am a freuqnt visitor to ur blog and have added ur blog in my homepage as a must visit!!

Rohhan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jayashree said...

Thank You for the easy to make and delicious Recipe

gc said...

thank you so much!!!
dishes are lovely...am tryin them for my bday~~~ :)