December 27, 2016 8:47:01 pm
With the year coming to an end, people are already gearing up for the most-awaited New Year’s Eve parties. If last year was a damp squib because you spent the whole time preparing for food in the kitchen, trying to present a nice spread, then make sure that this time you do things differently. No, we are not suggesting you get your hands on takeaways or order food from outside. The key lies in being smart about it and planning your schedule well. Prepare one main dish in advance, whatever is your speciality. Since it’s on the weekend, we don’t think it would be a major problem. For complimentary dishes, turn to these microwave recipes – they can be life saviours. End the last day of the year on a happy note.
To start you off, here are some recipes you can consider.
Microwave Sous-Vide Chicken, Steamed Root Vegetables with Veloute Sauce by Chef Subrata Debnath, Vivanta by Taj, Gurgaon
2 – Chicken Breast
2 sprigs – Fresh thyme
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
5g – Garlic
3g – Grain mustard
75g – Asparagus
75g – Carrot
5g – Refined flour
5g – Butter
1L – Chicken stock
* Massage the chicken breast with fresh thyme, salt, pepper and mustard. Allow it to rest for 20 mins.
* Wrap the chicken tightly in cling film.
* Place the wrapped chicken in a microwave-safe dish filled with water and cook it on low for 20-25 mins until juicy and tender.
* Poach the vegetables until cooked but crunchy, in the microwave.
* To prepare the sauce, make a light roux by mixing butter and flour in a non-stick pan over slow flame.
* Add the chicken stock and cook until the sauce thickens and turns velvety.
* Serve the sous-vide chicken with poached vegetables and the veloute sauce.
Mince Pie by Chef Sumalya Sarkar, The Gateway Resort Damdama Lake, Gurgaon
400g – Mixed dry fruit
150g – Sugar
50g – Softened butter
60ml – Brandy
10g – Lemon rind
10g – Orange rind
1 – Vanilla pod
10g – Mixed spices
2g – Nutmeg, finely crushed
2 – Eggs
350g – Flour
100g – Chilled butter
200g – Sugar
1 – Egg
10ml – Water
* To prepare the pastry, mix all the ingredients together and knead the dough well. Keep it in the chiller for two hours.
* After chilling the pastry dough, roll it into a pie mould and keep it aside.
* Mix all the ingredients for the filling, except for the eggs. Chop the dry fruits and add it to the mixture and finally add the eggs.
* Keep the filling in the pie mould and cover it with the pastry dough.
* Bake at 180 degree celsius for 20 mins.
Pea Soup with Ricotta Cheese by Chef Vaibhav Bhargava, Sheraton New Delhi Hotel
450g – Peas
100g – Onion
10g – Garlic
10g – Thyme leaves
800ml – Water
200g – Ricotta cheese
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1- Lemon zest
3ml – Truffle oil
* Use a mandolin to shave onion and garlic into thin pieces of equal size.
* Combine onion, garlic, peas, and water in a large microwave-safe container. Cover tightly with a plastic wrap.
* Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 10 -12 mins. When it’s cooked, use a knife to make a hole in the plastic wrap and allow the steam to escape. Take the bowl out and remove the wrap. Cool it done on a bowl of ice.
* Place thyme leaves in a blender and add the microwaved ingredients. Blend on high until you get a fine puree.
* Immediately pour it into a bowl and let it rest over an ice bowl for 15- 20 mins.
* Now, blend ricotta on low until smooth.
* Add a generous dollop of ricotta and sprinkle some lemon zest at the bottom of each serving dish. Pour soup over the garnishes and finish with truffle oil.
Fruit Cake by Chef Gunjan Khetarpal, Choko la
3 cups – Mixed dry fruits, including sultanas, seedless raisins, currents, orange peel, lemon peel, seedless dates, and apricots
1.5 cups – Dark rum
½ cup – Sugar
1 tbsp – Water
¼ cup – Warm water
2 cups – Plain flour
1¼ tsp – Baking powder
½ tsp – Baking soda
1 cup+ 2 tbsp – Sugar
250g (1 cup + 2 tbsp, approx) – Unsalted butter at room temperature
4 – Eggs at room temperature
2 tsp – Vanilla essence
1 tbsp – Apricot jam
For Spice powder
2 – Cloves
2 – Cardamom
A small piece of cinnamon
A small piece of nutmeg
For the caramel
* Combine sugar and water in a sauce pan and heat it until the sugar melts.
* When the colour of the melted sugar turns dark brown, remove the pan from the heat and add warm water to it. Be careful while doing so as the water tends to splash at this stage.
* Bring it back to heat and boil for 3-4 mins. Remove and let it cool. You can prepare the caramel in advance and refrigerate it if you want.
For the spice powder
* Grind all the spices with a pinch of sugar to a fine powder and keep it aside.
For the cake
* Preheat the oven at 180 degree celsius for 10-15 mins.
* Drain the water from the soaked fruits and keep it aside. Retain four tbsp from the drained liquor.
* Toss the drained fruits in 1-2 tbsp of flour. This will prevent the fruits from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
* Sift the plain flour with baking powder and baking soda.
* Powder the sugar and keep it aside.
* Separate the yolk and white of the eggs. Now, beat egg whites till soft peaks appear.
* Now, beat the egg yolks and add the softened butter to it. Continue beating it till it turns into a smooth paste.
* Gradually add the powdered sugar to the egg yolk mixture and beat it after each addition. When it becomes smooth add vanilla, cooled caramel and spice powder and beat it again.
* Add the sifted flour in two batches. Beat after each addition. Add jam and mix well.
* Fold in the beaten egg whites in two parts and combine till no white streaks are visible.
* Fold in the soaked fruits and four tbsp of retained liquor.
* Grease the baking dish and line with baking paper. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
* Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 mins or until the skewer inserted comes out clean.
Note: Soak the fruits much in advance. Doing it 1.5 months before baking is ideal.
Microwave Pudding by Chef Ruchit Harneja, The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi
500g – Mixed dry fruit
100g – Dates de-seeded
100g – Prunes de-seeded
150g – Butter
5 tsp – Bicarbonate of soda
1/3 cup – Brown sugar
2 – Eggs
1/2 cup – Marmalade
1/4 cup – Brandy (or golden syrup for an alcohol free version)
2 tsp – Mixed spice
1 tsp – Cinnamon
1/2 tsp – Nutmeg
1 cup – Plain wholemeal flour
1 cup – Self-raising wholemeal flour
Custard to serve
* Grease a microwave-safe pudding bowl with butter or spray canola oil until well greased.
* In another microwave-safe bowl, add the dry fruits, dates, prunes, butter and 1/2 cup of water.
* Microwave on high for two minutes or until butter has melted and the mixture is heated through.
* Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and keep it aside to cool.
* Add the sugar, eggs, marmalade, spices and sifted flours to the fruit mixture and fold until combined.
* Pour into the greased bowl and smoothen the top.
* Fold a piece of baking paper over the pudding and secure with string.
* Microwave on 30 degree celsius for 25 mins.
* Remove the baking paper and pour the brandy or golden syrup over the top.
* Let it rest for 15 mins before carefully pouring it out on a plate.
* Serve with custard.
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