Thursday, February 4, 2021

Chicken Cutlet





My kids started to follow my blog for recipes now and it makes me so happy that my recipe repertoire is finally benefiting them.  I realized that many of my common recipes that we make more often at home is not on the blog.  One among them is Cutlet.  I have an old recipe of fish cutlet on the blog, but rest of them are not there.  So many easy and quick recipes are still not on the blog yet.  Hoping to post them soon, so that it can benefit others too.




I always find no time to style and shoot snacks because, everyone will be waiting patiently for me to finish up shooting the snacks.   Seeing them patiently waiting makes me speed up the photoshoot and serve them the snacks.  




This is a spicy cutlet, but we love it that way.  Growing up we always had fish cutlet and beef cutlets.  But cutlet filling is so versatile that you can use both meat or vegetarian options for it.  I have a detailed fool proof recipe for this cutlet.  If you have never made cutlets before, you can try this recipe and let me know how it turns for you.  Do tag #flavzcorner on Instagram if you try this recipe.


Yields - 20 medium size cutlets

Ingredients

For the chicken

1.5 lb - chicken breast

1/2 tsp - turmeric powder

1 tsp - pepper powder

3/4 tsp - salt

1/2 cup - water

Other Ingredients

5 cloves - garlic

1 inch - ginger

4 - medium hot green chili

1 - small onion chopped

2 - small potatoes 

1/2 tsp - garam masala

1/2 tsp - pepper powder

1/2 tsp - mustard seeds

2 sprigs - curry leaves torn into small pieces

3 tbsp - oil

Salt to taste

Oil for deep frying

Coating Ingredients

3-4 cups - bread crumbs

2 - egg whites

1/2 tsp - corn starch

1/2 tsp - all purpose flour

Directions:

  • Add all the ingredients listed under the 'Chicken' to a nonstick pan and cover it and cook on low to medium heat till all the water is absorbed and the chicken is fully cooked.  Set it aside to cool.  Pulse the cooked chicken in a food processor/blender to get a coarse mix.
  • Meantime wash the potatoes well and cut the potatoes into half.  Either pressure cook the potatoes with water just to cover the potatoes till one whistle blows.  Or you can cook the potatoes in a sauce pan with water just to cover the potatoes till its cooked.  Let the potatoes cool for a bit.  Peel them and mash the potatoes while they are warm.
  • Pulse ginger, garlic and green chili in the food processor/blender till its chopped well.
  • Splutter the mustard seeds in 3 tbsp of oil in a non stick pan.  Add the chopped onions and saut√© for a minute.  Add the chopped garlic, ginger and chili and cook till the raw smell is gone.  Add the chicken, pepper powder and garam masala to it and mix well.  Finally add the mashed potatoes, chopped curry leaves and adjust the salt.   Mix everything well.  Let the mixture come to room temperature.
  • Roll the chicken mixture in to 20 equal size balls and then flatten them within your palms.
  • Whisk egg whites, corn starch and flour in a bowl till everything is mixed well.  
  • In a plate, add 1 cup of bread crumbs.  Dip the prepared cutlet mix in the egg white coating and roll in the bread crumbs.  Add bread crumbs into the plate as required and coat rest of the cutlets.
  • Add oil in a wok/kadai to deep fry the cutlets.  Heat the oil on high heat.  Add cutlets to the oil.  Lower the heat to medium low after a 30 seconds.  Cook the cutlets for 2 -3 minutes on each side till golden brown.  Remove the cutlets from the oil.  Increase the heat to high and add the cutlets and fry the rest of the cutlets by increasing and decreasing the heat as before.
  • Serve the cutlets with ketchup or sliced onions, rubbed with salt & vinegar or fresh salsa.
Notes:
  • Use a small pan or kadai for frying to avoid wastage of lot of oil.  I use a cast iron wok to fry snacks.  It helps to maintain the heat.
  • Make sure to use a measuring spoon to take the measurements if you are trying cutlets for the first time.
  • This is a spicy cutlet.  Adjust the seasoning per your taste.  
  • If the oil is not hot enough, the cutlets will absorb lot of oil.  So adjust the heat after each batch of cutlets are fried.
  • Make sure not to over crowd the pan with cutlets while frying.  Overcrowding will result in uneven cooking of cutlets.
  • Adding corn starch and all purpose flour to the egg whites helps the cutlet with a stable coating that will not break. 
  • If you don't have bread crumbs, you can pulse 6-8 slices of bread in a food processor till you get a course powder.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper powder to it and use it instead of bread crumbs for coating the cutlets.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Concord Grape Syrup/Grape Squash



How many of you remember growing up enjoying the cold drinks made out of the fruit syrup also known as SQUASH?  The Kissan brand was very popular during my childhood days.  The mango, lemon and pineapple flavors were our favorite.  My mom would always make some kind of fruit syrup depending on the availability of the fruits.  I think it was a common drink in many homes at that time that was served to the guests, before the intervention of TANG.  Since it was just as easy as mixing the syrup with water and add few pieces of ice, we used to fix our own cold drinks whenever we wanted.  So Mom had to store a bottle of squash in a safe place so that it could be served when the guest comes...lol.




When we hauled a wagon load of concord grapes back in October, many recipes were in my mind and grape syrup/squash was one among them.  My kids had no clue what I was making with the grape puree.  Once I made it and fixed the cold drink for my kids, they loved it so much.  They reminded me of my childhood days when we used to enjoy the homemade cold drink.  I loved how the concord grape flavor got enhanced when we used some lemon juice with the drink.  Check out how we used this syrup to make the cold drinks.  I hope you will try this recipe when you get hold of some Concord grapes.





Yields - Three 33.3oz / 1.05 Quart/ 1 Liter bottles

Ingredients

8 cups - concord grapes

4 cups - sugar

3 cups - water

1/2 cup - lemon juice

Directions

  • Wash concord grapes thoroughly under running water and separate them from the stem.
  • Pulse the grapes with 3 cups of water in a blender.  Don't over blend it.
  • Strain the pulp and transfer the juice to a big pot.
  • Add 4 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup of lemon juice and boil the juice.
  • Let the juice boil for 5 minutes.  Turn off the flame and let the syrup cool down.
  • Transfer the grape syrup to sterilized bottles and store it in the refrigerator.


  • How to use the syrup

    Method 1
    1/4 cup - Concord syru
    1 tsp - lemon juice
    3/4 cup - water

    Method 2
    1/4 cup - Concord syrup
    3/4 cup - plain soda

    Method 3
    1/4 cup - Concord syrup
    1/2 cup - water
    1/4 cup - any carbonated lemon drink like Sprite/Mountain dew

    • Mix these together and add some ice cubes and enjoy!

    Thursday, January 14, 2021

    Berry Mascarpone Whipped Cream Cake


    Time flies so fast.  When we celebrate the birthdays of our kids each time, I wish they were young as babies. They seem to grow faster even before we realize.  Lockdown days have made us watch all the baby videos we recorded when they were young.  The super cute chubby babies have grown to young teens now.  Where did all the time go?




     I miss the days where we had lots of celebrations and their friends come over for the birthday party.  The boys never cared for birthday parties.  Its our daughter who likes her friends to come over and have a party and a cake.  But this year, we had to celebrate it just within the family.




    I baked a 3 tiered berry cake for her birthday.  She likes whipped cream fruity cakes.  So it was easy to decide what to bake for her.  Since there was no party I made this small 3 tiered 6'' cake.  This berry cake is moist and really delicious with the Mascarpone whipped cream frosting. If you like fruity cakes with light whipped frosting, this cake is for you.

    Yields - Three 6'' cakes

    Vanilla Cake

    1  1/2 cup - all purpose flour
    1  1/2 tsp - baking powder
    1/2 tsp - salt
    sugar - 3/4 cup

    3/4 cup - butter (1 stick + 1/2 a stick)
    3/4 cup - milk
    3 - eggs
    1 1/2 tsp - pure vanilla extract

    Berry Filling

    1 cup - mixed berries (strawberry, raspberry & blueberry)

    1/4 cup - granulated sugar

    1/4 cup - water

    1 tsp - corn starch

    Whipped Cream Mascarpone Frosting

    1 1/2 cup - cold heavy whipping cream (unsweetened)

    1 1/4 - powdered sugar

    8 oz - cold Mascarpone Cheese

    1 tsp - pure vanilla extract

    Vanilla Cakes

    Directions
    • Pre-heat the oven to 350 ° F.
    • Line three 6'' cake pan with parchment paper.
    • In a sauce pan, add milk and butter.  Warm it till the butter melts.  Turn off the flame.
    • Sift together flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
    • Beat the egg and sugar together to form a fluffy mix using a stand mixer or hand mixer.  If using stand  mixer, use the whisk attachment.
    • Gently fold in the flour mix into the wet ingredients till everything is mixed well.
    • Add the warm butter & milk mix into it.  Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
    • Divide the batter into the prepared pans.
    • Bake it for 25 - 30 minutes till a tooth pick comes out clean when tested.
    • Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
    Berry Filling

    Directions
    • Blend the mixed berries with 1/4 cup water.
    • Transfer the puree into a sauce pan.  Add the sugar and corn starch to it and let it come to a rolling boil.  Cook it for 2 more minutes till the puree thickens up.
    • Let the filling cool down completely.  Refrigerate the filling for at least 1hr.
    Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting

    Directions
    • Whip the heavy whipping cream with powdered sugar till soft peaks are attained.
    • Add the mascarpone cheese and vanilla extract to the whipped cream and whip it till sharp peaks are attained.  Once the mascarpone cheese is added, the frosting whips to sharp peaks faster.
    Assemble the Cake
    • Level the cakes by removing the bulged top part.
    • Apply some frosting on the cake stand and place one cake on it.
    • Spread a layer of the berry filling on the top of the cake.  
    • Apply a layer of whipped frosting on top of the berry filling.  I used a piping bag with round nozzle to do this step.
    • Place the second cake on top of it.  Repeat berry filling and whipped frosting layers on top of the second cake.
    • Now place the final cake and crumb coat with the frosting.
    • Decorate the cake with rest of the whipped frosting as you desire.
    • Top them with some fresh berries.
    • Refrigerate the cake till ready to serve.
    Notes
    • Over beating the whipped frosting will curdle the whipped cream.  So make sure to stop whipping once stiff peaks are formed after adding Mascarpone cheese.
    • Instead of 3 layered 6'' cake, you can divide the batter into two 8'' pans and bake the cake.
    • The mascarpone whipped cream frosting pipes well.  Make sure you used well chilled whipping cream and mascarpone cheese to make the frosting.



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