Paratha

Paratha

Paratha is a bread that accompanies Indian dishes that resembles a tortilla. Paratha can be made plain or may have spices kneaded into the dough.

 

 

 

 

 

Serve with Permjit’s Chicken CurryRaitaSpiced Rice

Serves 10-12 Paratha

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups wheat flour (wheat flour may be softened (OR may substitute 1 1/2 cups wheat flour and 1 cup white flour.)
  • ¾ c cold water

Heat a tortilla pan over medium heat.

In a large bowl add ingredients together to make a soft, but slightly sticky, dough mass. Break pieces of dough off the size of tennis balls (for smaller Paratha use golf ball size dough pieces).

Knead dough until soft but slightly sticky.

Flatten and roll into a circular disk with a thickness of a dime.

Roll out dough until thin as a coin.

Place dough disk onto hot pan and allow to cook about 1 minute per side, until slightly brown or toasted. Air pockets will appear and may even become pillow like if left on the heat. Remove and place into a basket to keep warm. Repeat cooking instruction until completed.

Place dough onto heated pan to quickly fry Paratha

Permjit’s Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry

Curry, a general name that sends most salivary glands into over drive.   This recipe has journeyed from India, Africa, America and Europe delighting the taste buds of many and providing dietary medicinal benefits as well. The following curry sauce is easy to do.  Follow the directions to achieve a tasty dish just by simply layering in the flavors.

Two important tricks to making this recipe are:  1. Keep 2 cups of water on hand to slow down cooking . 2. Constantly stir to prevent food from overcooking.  Serves 6

  • 2 onions finely minced (emulsified)
  • 1/2 c.  oil (may use:  sunflower, vegetable, canola, peanut , or olive)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Roasted Cumin (may warm cumin in a dry pan over low heat for 1 minute)
  • 2 cups water (to be used in small amounts through out cooking)
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger
  • 4 Green Chilies diced (may add 2 more chilies for a spicy flavor)
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic (5 Garlic Cloves)
  • ¼ c yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2/3 c Tomato Sauce
  • 5 lb’s( or 2 kilo) cubed chicken
  • ½ c Cilantro
  • 1 ½  tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Saffron or Tumeric
  • 2 tsp Fenugreek (or Methi Sookhi)
  • 1 tsp Cumin

Begin by peeling and then mincing 2 onions add 1/4 cup water to emulsify the onions.

Over medium heat, add oil to a large pan along with onions, cumin and bay leaves. Allow ingredients to saute` for 8 minutes until brown, stirring constantly as to not burn! Next, stir in 1/2 cup water to slow down cooking and prevent onion from burning.

Combine ginger into onion base and allow to cook for 2 minutes constantly stirring. Blend in Chiles and Garlic saute` for 1 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup water.

Incorporate the cubed chicken breasts  into onion and spice base, the chicken is white after 5 minutes.

Add in the Yogurt, Tomato Paste and Tomato Sauce always stirring for about 5 minutes.

Lastly stir in one at a time, cilantro, salt, saffron/turmeric, Fenugreek, Cumin add in rest of water (about 1 cup of water.) Allow all flavors to simmer together for about 2 minutes.  DONE!!!

Serve with Paratha bread,Spiced RiceRaita

Path

You are What You Eat! Improving Your Skin…

How are you aging compared to others in your age group? A question that we do not easily hide from, as the lines on our face tell a story of  our experiences, happiness, defeat’s and triumph’s!

Our own collagen production slows down as we age, drooping and sagging on our body starts to appear. Expensive cream’s are bought and applied early in the morning and late at night with hopes that their magic will work and turn back the hands of time.  While it’s true that moisturizer’s can help reduce the velocity of water loss from our skin, beware of cream’s that indicate a topical collagen to reduce aging.  Research shows that certain cream’s can promote aging, as their collagen droplets are too big to be absorbed by the skin.  Instead, what we should be doing is eating our way to a healthier and younger body, so that our skin is receiving  a proper combination of nutrients to promote collagen synthesis through both animal and plant foods.

Vitamin C is required to improve skin elasticity and slow aging!

Collagen is  not only skin deep, it is a fiber found within connective tissue through out the body including:  skin,  tendons, ligaments, teeth, bones and organs.  Collagen’s main job is to protect  tissue and provide the body with support. These unique fibers are made from protein and have large amounts hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine. Both of these amino acids must be present for development of all types of collagen and are needed to provide the appropriate amount of strength and flexibility.

A good food source of proline from animal is Egg Whites. Wheat Germ is a high quality plant proline.  Fish has an abundance of animal lysine, while legumes (especially peanuts), nuts and seeds are a strong source of plant lysine.

The key macro-nutrient Vitamin C  needs to be present, in order to convert  proline into hydroxyproline and lysine into hydroxylysine (both amino acids present in the collagen form).  While most plants foods are full of vitamin C, eat those fruits and vegetables with bright colors, for a total of 5 a day to keep replenishing this water soluble vitamin. (Enjoy an additional 4 servings of Green Vegetables  per day.)

From time to time collagen damage may occur from diseases. Garlic is food that improves collagen damage and has two principle sulfur nutrients: an amino acid taurine and lipoid acid, giving garlic the unique ability to support damaged collagen fibers.

Lastly, consume foods from two categories of phytonutrients: catechins and anthocyanidins. Research shows that catechins found in Green Tea have been shown to help prevent breakdown of collagen. While anthocyanidins are found in red-blue Berries and Fruits (cherries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries) which help the collagen fibers link together and strengthen the connective tissue, providing you with healthy skin that keeps you from premature aging.

By:  Kim Crocker

References:

Leslie CA, Conte JM, Hayes KC, et al. A Fish Oil Diet Reduces the Severity of Collagen Induced Arthritis After Onset of the Disease. Clin Exp Immunol. 1998;73(2):328-32.

Mirhadi SA, Singh S, Gupta PP. Effect of Garlic Supplementation to Atherogenic Diet on Collagen Biosynthesis in Various Tissues of Rabbits. Indian Heart J.1990;42(2):99-104.

Nandhini TA, Thirunavukkarasu V, Ravichandran MK, et al. Taurine Prevents Fructose-Diet Induced Collagen Abnormalities in Rat Skin. J Diabetes Complications.2005;19(5):305-11.

Thirunavukkarasu V, Nandhini, Anuradha CV. Fructose Diet-Induced Skin Collagen Abnormalities Are Prevented by Lipoic Acid. Exp Diabesity Res. 2004;5,(4):237-44.

Bloomenkrantz N, Asboe-Hansen G. Effect of (+) catechin on connective tissue. Scand J Rheumatol. 1978;7:55-60.

Han B, Jaurequi J, Tang BW, Nimni ME. Proanthocyanidin: a Natural Crosslinking Reagent for Stabilizing Collagen Matrices. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2003;65(1): 118-24.

Southern Italian Lasagna

Delicious Italian Lasagna commonly served in Southern Italy. Buon Appetito!

Lasagna in an hour!

1 Carrot’s diced
1 Celery stalks diced
1/2 Onion diced
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1/2 pound ground meat
2 28 ounces tomato sauce (unseasoned)
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 cups Mozzarella Cheese (shredded) 250 g freshly cut Mozzarella
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 box Barilla Lasagna

*Optional: Consider enhancing your Lasagna providing a slight creamy taste and reducing the tomato flavor.
Additional foods that will make your dining experience more tasty:
1 hard boiled egg. Peeled sliced and added into a layer of the lasagna.
6 slices. ham Place ham slices into lasagna and reduce salt granule’s by 1/2 tsp.
6-10 Basil Leaves or (1/2 tsp dried basil) Steps up the meaning of Party!

If adding in the egg slices for additional protein: On high heat, place a sauce pan with 2 cups of water and uncooked egg. Allow to boil for 15 minutes.

In a separate large pan combine vegetables, meat and oil and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break to pieces the ground beef and to combine with vegetables. Add wine and cover for 5 minutes. Reduce to medium-low heat.  Add sauce, milk, water and salt.  Placing a wooden spoon on top of pan, place lid so that is slightly tilted which will allow for water vapor to escape. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Add basil leaves. Turn off stove and remove from heat.

Pre-heat oven to 350 F or 180 C.

In a 9×11 cake size pan add to bottom of pan 3-4 large ladles of sauce. Add 4 pasta sheets distributed side by side in pan. Add 2-3 ladles of  sauce to cover pasta. Place on a layer of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of parmesan (OPTIONAL: place egg slices all over sauce covered pasta.)
Add second layer of 4 pasta sheets distribute so they are side by side. Pour 2-3 ladles of  sauce to cover pasta. Place on a layer of 6 mozzarella slices. Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of parmesan (OPTIONAL: evenly distribute ham slices)
Add third layer of 4 pasta sheets distributed side by side in pan. Pour 2-3 ladles of  sauce to cover pasta. Place on a layer of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of parmesan.
Add fourth layer of 4 pasta sheets distributed side by side in pan. Pour 2-3 ladles of  sauce to cover pasta. Place on a layer of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle on 2-3 tablespoons of parmesan.

SECRET TRICK to ensure perfect lasagna! Look at the constructed lasagna in the baking pan. The sauce on the side of the lasagna should stop and not elevate past the side of the third pasta layer. There is sauce on the fourth layer with cheese; you are looking for about 1/4 inch of space between the fluid which stops at the third layer and does not rise to the last layer. It will be “soupy” if the sauce on the side of the lasagna completely evens out with the fourth layer.

Place in oven and allow to bake covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and allow lasagna to cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to sit and cool down for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.


Stuffed Clams or Mussels

Stuffed mussels or clams, open-faced or absorbed in tomato sauce makes for great finger foods.

A favorite seafood lovers dish.  You will serve this as an appetizer or part of the main course
using the sauce over fettucine or linguine pasta.  Have more fun with this dish by preparing it with a friend, child or spouse.

2 pounds (1 kilo) Mussels or Clams (bathe in a bowl of cold water for 1-2 hours in order for sand to be expelled from inside shells.)
1/2 cup water
Stuffing. Needed supply: 4 inch (10 cm) cut string for cooking string (cotton butchers twine). Will need about 20 pre-cut strings.
2 1/2 cups cubed bread (for stuffing)
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons parsley
1/2 tsp salt

Sauce
1 medium onion diced
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 28 ounces cans of unseasoned tomato sauce

Directions for expelling sand from shellfish.

Pre-soak clams or mussels for 2 hours in cold water so that they expel the sand from their shells.

Directions for making stuffed shellfish
Scrub the shells with a kitchen brush or metal scrubber (no soaps or detergent). It’s okay for some algae to still be attached to the shell.
Over medium heat, place a large pan and add 1/2 cup water with all the cleaned mussels or clams, cover pan and allow shells to open. About 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium size bowl add bread crumbs, egg, salt, garlic and parsley. Using a fork or your hands mix all ingredients together.

Turn off heat on the stove and reserve water in the pan by taking the opened mussels or clams one at a time from the pan. If some have not opened leave them in pan and cover with lid. They will continue to open.
Place one tablespoon of stuffing into each mussel or clam. With one hand close shell with seafood and stuffing inside. While with the other hand the string is wrapped two times around the closed shell and knotted, or bow-tied.

In a large pan over medium heat, add onion and oil allow to saute for 4 minutes.
Slowly pass about 3/4 of the reserved water from the musssels into a bowl.  Stop the filtering process as any debris (sand) starts to float toward the sieve.  The debris will naturally be the last to float to the top. Discard the last bit of water.  Add the 3/4 filtered, reserved mussel/clam water to the pan with the sauteed onions and mussles.
Add all of the stuffed and tied clams or mussels with tomato sauce. Add 1/2 tsp salt to taste and allow to simmer in sauce for 20 minutes. Mussels will be served in a bowl, use fingers or fork and knife to remove string. The sauce may be added to cooked linguine or fettucine pasta. Top off with chopped parsley for presentation!

Calzone

Great for appetizers, lunches, picnics!!!
Handmade dough that can be baked or fried is listed at the half way point of the recipe. For baking only a store bought dough is an easy way to make Calzone without investing into the dough making, by simply substituting it with Pasta Sfoglia (2 Pastry Sheets) purchased from your local grocery store in the freezer or refrigerator departments.  Please scroll to “Home Made Dough” to follow original recipe.

Calzone
Serves 4-6
Preparation time 8 minutes, Baking time 15 minutes
Preheat oven to 400 F or 180 C.

On a clean baking sheet unroll first pastry sheet (may throw out parchment paper or place it on baking sheet with pastry sheet on top).  Add suggested fillings. Close sides of dough and place in oven for 20 minutes.

HOME MADE DOUGH: Follow this recipe for ultimate Calzone Dough La Focaccia Italiana

Pinch sides of dough to close the calzone. Place in oven to bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

FOR DEEP FRIED PANZEROTTI:  If deep frying, to make the Panzerotti, pour the contents of an entire bottle of Canola Oil into a deep pan and heat up on medium heat for 6 minutes. Carefully add the calzone/panzerotto to the oil, with a metal slotted spoon turn in oil for 3 minutes. When golden remove and place onto a paper towel to remove the oil, then onto a baking sheet and into a warmed oven (350 F) to keep them warm while making the other Panzerotti.

Suggested Fillings for calzone.

Ricotta and Spinach
250 g Ricotta
20 leaves spinach (washed and patted dry)
1 Egg slightly beaten
Combine all ingredients. With a spatula layer pastry sheet with filling. Unroll second pastry sheet and lay on top of ricotta filling.

Leeks and Dried Cranberries
4 Leeks thinly sliced and soaked in water. Carefully remove leek slices by hand from the water so that the dirt will collect in the bottom of the bowl.
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup milk
250 g mozzarella diced
4 Tbsp  choose any or all dried cranberries, raisins, dried apricots, or prunes, olives. (slice larger pieces)

After leaks have been washed, place into a large pan on medium heat and allow to with olive oil for 5 minutes then add milk and salt. Cook on stove top for about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour leeks into a colander to drain fluid. Return leeks to pan and add mozzarella, dried cranberries salt and pepper to taste.

Roll out dough about 1/2 cm thinkness.

Roll out first “Pastry Sheet” and place on to a baking sheet, layer with leek filling, then place second pastry sheet on top. Pinch the sides of the pastry  sheets together to close. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Tuna and Sundried Tomato’s
120 g Tuna from cans
2 eggs
1/4 onion peeled and diced
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes diced
1/4 cup walnuts
100 g mozzarella diced

Place pastry sheet on to a clean baking sheet. Combine all ingredients. Layer filling on to a pastry sheet. Place second pastry sheet on layered filling and pinch pastry sheet edges together to close. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Filling For Panzerotti

Combine sliced San Marzano (Whole Peeled) Tomatoes with Mozzarella, Oregano and place into center of dough, (juice from the tomatoes that come out of the side of the closed dough will result in hot oil splatter, be careful not to put an abundance!)  Carefully, close and place into hot oil.

Brown 3/4 cup sausage and 3/4 cup hamburger. Drain fat and cool for 10 minutes. Combine browned meat with 1 minced garlic and mozzarella. Place into center of dough, close well and add to hot oil.