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Sunday, January 16, 2011

A STARTER + A TAKEAWAY , THE NIGELLA L WAY

Its the party season , and actually its always a party season aint it , different times for different pals , the world over!
And then there's the very wonderful Nigella Lawson , loved the world over , one of the first shows i saw on TLC , was Nigella L , and it was on Nigella Lawsons show that i discovered and fell in loveee with the Kitchen aid!
Precious...

Wanted to be a part of a Nigella group for awhile now , so when i stumbled , very happily on Sarah's blog and saw the announcement of Forever Nigella , i was in...

I am loving the banner , her hubby's done for her , aint it super cute....Thannnk u Sarah , for bringing together Forever Nigella.
 Since this month is Seasonal sensations , we are truly spoilt for choice , arent we?




There are lodsa recipes of NL ,that rock for Seasonal sensations , but i want to aim at 2 areas , quick staters and takeaways ...or giveaways....

Lemme beign with Starters for starts , since its the season , we almost have lodsa food at hand and know when to expect guests , but what we really need to be prepared for is pals who drop by inbetween , which i love , and always wanna whip up something quick so we can sit and chat and if u have a kitchen island , then perfect.

And to begin with i have this wonderful recipe from Nigella Kitchen, Recipe for chicken wings on Pg416 a very wonderful book , its like having Nigella with u in the Kitchen , oh i can almost see her smiling the warmth spreading thru...
 And why i like it for the Season is i always have more than a few savory snacks or quick bites at hand , a welcome change loved by all during this season of desserts ,cookies and cake + i love having something non traditional , yeah this i always do at Christmas , and its a wonderful treat to all.
 Now i can give u the recipe coz i tweaked it a bit , but only coz i want less heat , and had a request for an  indian chicken, jus as i set making this , so have incorporated onion, ,tomato purre and fennel and caraway seeds, all ground fine, into the recipe , having said that , i think and assure u , that Nigella's recipe ,without my additions rocks too.
+i didn have red peppers , and so wanted to try this , so subbed in for green peppers , ie capsicum.

+ adding some potatoes to the lot ,adds another bite , served with Rocket leaves , i know not why , but i somehow associate rocket leaves with Nigella , when i say rocket leaves , the first thought that comes to my mind is ,Nigella:-)


Why i chose this recipe for this month, is that if u have this or any of the recipes below , marinated and frozen , ur are ready for a party anytime , at short notice , never caught unawares.+ u can make a quick stater as well as a main dish with this single marinade , always a plus point.

Aint that the perfect formula for Seasonal sensations , coz u are ever relaxed , u totally enjoy the season and its CHristmassy enough to make it here too , though now my heart sings of all the lovee in the air.

Dont let the process put u off, it might seem lengthy , buts that only coz i have put step by step pics, this one is pretty fast to put together.
Begin with 1 tbh of fennel seeds , love the mildly Indian flavor they add...
And then with a tbh of caraway seeds , exquisite...
Turmeric powder ,adds a deep color , though this is optional coz i add saffron to it too...
All u need to do is grind everything with some garlic oil, tomato puree..
and lime juice ...
and marinate the chicken in this paste...

with some saffron , soaked in warm water added to it....

U can freeze it after this , or proceed to cook , 2 ways...


First way , is a curry , where u heat some oil in pot , and add garlic , onion and green peppers..
And while the aromas , fill the air , sprinkle some sugar and salt ...stir fry to brown a bit and then toss in some halved baby potatoes..
 lastly add the mushrooms and chicken with Marinade, yogurt ,check seasoning and simmer till cooked.
Love adding cottage cheese to this.


Now as per the Nigella recipe , u bake it ,and i pan grilled it here, oh so good!
The pan grilled chicken with parboiled and  pan grilled baby potatoes and rocket leaves...
I did add some gravy from the cooked chicken to the pan while , pan grilling the chicken too..
Marinade of the Chicken
1 chicken breast , sliced or cubed{double or triple the recipe easily}
Grind the following to a paste
2 red kashmiri chillies , de- seeded and halved
1/2 green pepper/ capsicum ,chopped
7 cms piece , fresh ginger
sea salt /garlic salt to taste
juice of 1 lime
2 tbh garlic or veg oil { even 4 tbh is fine}
1 tbh fennel seeds
1 tbh caraway seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder {optional}
2 small onions
2 small ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato puree /sauce

Grind to a paste and marinate the chopped chicken, proceed as above:-)

Here is a  Crispy fried salt and pepper Calamari  , thats sooo quick to put by , all u need is some Calamari in the freezer.
From the moment u receive that call that somebody is dropping by to , they walking in , this can be done and set in mini bowls/cocoktails glasses.
And not to forget how deliciously delightful every bite is.
oh these are absolutley elicicous and crunchy and they did stay crunchy awhile and with a little dollop of sour cream dressing or ketchup or a squeeze of lime juice or on their own they rock....
PINK PICANTE PRAWNS


These are really soooo good and quickkk  , and can be grilled too...Prefect whether u wanna toss them quickly in a pan or place them on the outdoor grill....


Takeaways , Giveaways are an integral part of the season , be it Christmas , Easter , Valentines or any other.
There's always Satin to be cut ,ribbons to be curled and baskets to be lined and filled with home packed goodies.

I say this coz i always prefer to make little hampers ,to wine bottles or flowers.


I like a little hamper ,whether its a takeaway for the guest who's visiting or whether we are over for a dinner and one of the things i always love to add to the basket is a jar of Vanilla Sugar.
 Not to say that Lavender sugar aint good , but Vanilla is an all time fav and never fails to light up the face and eyes of the receiver.

So here is some Vanilla Sugar , the Nigella Lawson way from Nigella Chrismtas , its a book that every body Must have .....

The book itself is sooo Christmacy , with Reds , Greens , golds and white , brought together to a melee of beauty...
 And enough of Snow flakes for a wonderfully while Christmas...

And the red bordered ''Main Event'' section rocks .... oh everything does and the recipes here ,will see u all thru the year i assure...


So lets begin with the Vanilla sugar , shall we , by setting the scene , the seasonal way , here there's a sprinkling of Christmas as well as Valentines , u chose...
And ofcourse u need beans , the best u can ...
 And some nice shiny ,snowy Castor sugar....How lovely is that...
And some nice canning or any pretty Jars , i lovee Leifheit canning jars , made in Germany and really sturdy + pretty...and u can dress them up too...
And i used 2 whole beans instead of 1 , but then i am know to make Vanilla sugar with 20 beans and more:-)
Nigella says to cut them inbetween and chop into 3 , i did into 2 , not for any reason , but jus thought i could poke them around the sugar.
 See...doesnt that already look pretty.... drop them into the sugar ....
And then add some more sugar...
Thats about it , now all u need to do is seal and prettify the jar ...


Any cut fabric or red shiny foil paper works well , if its a fabric with little hearts that u have , it will be fine for Christmas as well as Valentines ...
 Whatever looks festive is fine...u can even decorate the jar later...
U need to keep these for atleast a week before u give it away to the lucky one...or many of them....

More on Forever Nigella , well there are wonderful prizes too and there's Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella  ,who's going to be around too , its sooo natural to have her at Forever Nigella .

So ramble on ,on ur take on the monthly theme, and win away:-)