Sunday, April 21, 2013

Beetroot Caramelised Onion Crostini. And frozen food from The Temperamental Cook



A couple of years ago when I insisted I wanted to buy another fridge with a large freezer section, the  husband thought I was bananas. We have a perfectly good fridge, so why would you want to change that, he'd asked me repeatedly. But my mind was made up. I was certain that a bigger freezer would save me a lot of time and I'd be quite the champ at juggling home, work and family.

After all I'd learnt from the best. My grandmother could rustle up a gourmet meal from the contents of the freezer in a jiffy. She'd have fried paneer, blanched spinach, frozen diced mangoes, pieces of coconut, loaves of bread, jackfruit from when they were in season, mashed potatoes and plenty of meat in the freezer. And trust me, it didn't fit into one freezer, we always had two.

Now that I finally have my big fridge and small fridge, and two freezers that come with it, you have to see just how stuffed my freezers are. I've got a shelf filled with berries, fruits such a mangoes, chikoos and even overripe banana. I have got a shelf filled with cocoas from different part of the world, spices from the south, coffee powders and a drawer filled with meats some marinated and others in various cuts.

What I don't keep so much of are ready-to-eat things. Maybe a bunch of potato bites and some chicken nuggets incase of emergency but I'm a big fan of fresh food. So when Srishthi Handa of The Temperamental Chef sent me a couple of her ready-to-eat things to try, I was quite excited especially since I was told that I could deep fry, shallow fry and even bake the goodies.


She sent me these three beautiful frozen almost ready-to eat - Beet and Walnut Bites, Spinach Bolts and Balinese Bean bites. I did them all three ways and had results which were pretty much sealed the deal for me.


Spinach Bolts: A sort of a spanakopita, where filo pastry meets spinach and ricotta shaped like cigars. Obviously with bits of garlic and herbs



Deep fried: Frying these bolts was a disaster. They drank too much oil, and the pastry was almost falling apart. The garlic tasted almost raw and was a total no-no for me.
Shallow fried: The filling remained quite cool, not cold and the pastry crisped up a bit too much. And while they flavours were a little more mellow, I would still refrain from doing the bolts this way.
Baking: This worked the best for the Spinach bolts. The pastry crisped beautifully with just some oil sprayed in. The garlic mellowed beautifully really enhancing the spinach filling. This way was a total winner for me.


Beet and Walnut bites: A lovely combination of beetroot and walnut that remains moist no matter how its done.




Deep fried: The bites retained a bit too much oil for my liking. They did not  retain their shape as much as I'd have liked to
Shallow fried: I used  non-stick pan to shallow fry the bites. I felt that this experience retained the shape and the bits of walnuts came in the mouth, giving the bite the texture it deserved
Baking: The nuttiness of the walnuts and the mellowness of the beets really developed while baking. The bites remained moist despite baking them.


Balinese Bean Bites: A mixture of beans and lentils and corn that make these bites quite a delicious mouthful.





Deep fried: These bites retained too much oil but tasted the best amongst the three when deep fried. Served with some mint chutney they'll taste deadly
Shallow fried: I think of the three ways, this worked the best on these bites. The nuttiness from the lentil made it quit be amazing and I'd recommend these be served shallow-fried instead of any other way.
Baking: While the baked patty was good, I felt it dried out a bit too much and became almost flakey.

Verdict: Bake the Spinach bolts, bake the beet and walnut bites but shallow fry the Balinese Bean Bites

But of the three my favourite was the Beet and Walnut bites. They were just wonderful and so I knew I had to make something from it. I decided to make a crostini with caramelised onions and goatcheese which offset the sweetness of the beets beautifully. Texturally, the contrast worked very well too




Beet and walnut bites crostini with caramelised onions and goat cheese

Ingredients

1/2 a loaf of baguette
6 Beet and walnut bites
6 tsp Caramelised Onion Jam (click here for recipe)
12 tsps goat cheese shards
Pepper and Salt to taste

Directions

1. Slice the loaf of baguette into  6 pieces 1-inch diagonal.
2. Spread caramelised onion jam onto each slice of baguette
3. Shallow fry the beet and walnut bite and crumble each on top of the caramelised onions
4. Top with 2 tsps of goat cheese shards on each slice. Season with salt and pepper
5. Broil at 180 degree centigrade for 7 minutes just before serving
Yenjaayyy.

Oh and I'm also announcing the winner of the Urban Dazzle - Cookaroo giveaway. But first, I am super sorry I haven't been able to announce the winners earlier, I haven't had the time to update the blog. So without further ado, the winner of the beautiful fruit plates is Padmajha PJ.

Padmajha please email me your address within 48 hours so that your present can be sent to you asap.

3 comments:

  1. this looks like an easy crostini..provided i got my onion jam right!!!


    i think having two fridges is absolutely neccessary!!....but i dont have the space!!

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com/

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  2. I very rarely try anything from ready to eat meals.. these 3 dishes which you have mentioned look very interesting though.

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  3. I love a good crostini ... simple and sweet! I think 3 fridges are necessary. Just told the hub this morning - he thought I had lost it!!

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