I dedicated the whole day yesterday to making kouign-amann (pronounced ‘queen-a-mahn’). This delectable pastry is a French specialty, more specifically, from Brittany. I knew it had to be a tough cookie to crack because of it’s many delicate, flaky layers. I came across a detailed step by step version of how to make kouign-amann in the 04/14 edition of the ‘Bon Appétit’ magazine. They had it down as a project and a project it is, given the amount of time you have to put in. It’s been at the back of my mind ever since and a recent article in the New Yorker about pastries made me want to dive into this project head long.
I’ve been following the 20-day online cooking school that’s going on at ‘The Kitchn.’ The lessons have been and full of useful information and tips on how to improve basic cooking skills. Even if you are an expert cook, these lessons serve as a refresher and reminder of why things are done the way they are in the kitchen.
So far, we’ve covered a wide range of subjects ranging from knife skills to cooking with varied ingredients such as tofu and tempeh, whole grains, etc. Today’s topic is related to boiling and simmering – those two terms that are perhaps the most commonly used ones in most recipes. One of the practice sessions mentioned in today’s lesson involves poaching an egg.
Festive season is in full swing in India at the moment with today being Diwali – the festival of lights. It’s a day when neighbours exchange sweet treats and snacks and kids gather together to light diyas and enjoy some firecrackers.
The one thing I remember about any festival is that it was a day when no meat, eggs or fish was consumed. All meals of the day would be strictly vegetarian. With that in mind and with the idea of a light lunch, I made this simple dish this afternoon – rice and red lentils cooked together with just a tiny amount of spice. This is my version of ‘khichdi’ or what the English know as ‘kedgeree’ – a popular comfort food.
I put together this quick pasta dish with leftovers from the refrigerator. The asparagus, prosciutto and ricotta creates just the right combination of flavours and textures to make this a comforting plate of food. You may replace the prosciutto with bacon or pancetta and the asparagus with say, cherry tomatoes. Similarly, you can leave out the ricotta and just use parmesan instead.
I made these last week for supper for two using the left over lamb from the first recipe in this series. It’s a simpler version of a pizza. Instead of laboring over pizza dough to create the base, you use store bought flatbread such as lavash. Top it with anything that suits your mood. Give it a whirl in the oven and serve it piping hot.