Thursday, 24 November 2016

Rainbow Rice


The other day I discovered chicken chorizo in the supermarket, imported from Sri Lanka. The round sausages looked plump, orange and appetizing. I felt my stomach grumble. Remember: If you want to lose weight or shop on a budget, don’t go shopping with an empty stomach.

On an impulse, I bought the vacuum-sealed, frozen packet and deposited it in my freezer.

There it remained for a few weeks while I pondered the question: What do I do with chicken chorizo?

Originally, I had planned to turn them into a condiment for pasta, fried with spring onions and garlic.

A few days ago however, I felt more like combining them with rice. I had just bought some beautiful, red rice from Goa. In my fridge I had some wonderfully crisp bell peppers and carrots. I added some fresh prawns to counteract the chemically treated chorizo with some healthy proteins and omega-3 fatty acids.

So I set out to prepare my rainbow rice, a hearty, spicy dinner that delivers a wealth of nutrition and some not so healthy stuff – but then: We live only once!

If you want to prepare a vegetarian version of this dish, just omit the chorizo and the prawns and add some vegetables and/or cheese of your choice.

Wishing you happy cooking, always!

Kornelia Santoro with family


Rainbow Rice

Rainbow Rice
Ingredients:
(for 4 servings)


  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 2 chorizo sausages
  • 500 grams peeled prawns
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 spring onions
  • 4 big garlic cloves
  • 3 cm ginger root
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce

Method:

At first you have to boil the rice. Rinse the Goan red rice well under flowing water. Then drain it and place it with double the amount of water and a teaspoon of salt into a pressure cooker. I boil the rice for 15 minutes after the first whistle and open the pressure cooker as soon as possible, to let all the steam escape. 
blanched prawnsDevein the prawns and blanch them: Bring about half a litre of water with a teaspoon of salt to a rolling boil and throw the prawns into the salt water. When it starts boiling again, leave the prawns for 10 seconds, then drain them and keep them aside. If you want to make sure they are not overcooked, place the drained prawns into a bowl of ice water. Honestly, I just drain them.

Boiling the prawns for 10 seconds ensures that you kill Salmonella and other harmful bacteria. I always blanch prawns for fried rice to be sure that they are properly cooked.
prepared ingredientsNow it is time to clean the vegetables. Prepare all the vegetables before starting to stir fry the rice. Clean and crush the garlic cloves. Clean and grate the ginger root. Wash the spring onions and chop them. Peel the carrots and grate them roughly. Wash the bell peppers and cut them into small pieces. Halve the chorizo sausages lengthwise and then slice them.
stir-fryingYou can start to stir-fry, when all the ingredients are prepped. Heat the olive oil in a wok. While stirring constantly, add the spring onions, the garlic and the ginger. After one minute incorporate the chorizo. Fry these ingredients for three minutes while stirring constantly. The chorizo should start to melt its fatty bits and pieces.

Now add the carrots and then the rice in several batches. Make sure, you mix everything well. Season the rice with the different sauces and try. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste. If you like your dishes spicy, you might want to add some chopped chillies together with the spring onions at the beginning of the stir frying.
finishing with prawnsIn the end combine the chopped bell peppers and the prawns and serve immediately. I do not fry the bell peppers because I want to preserve their high content of vitamin C and their crispiness.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Cooking for Happiness

Kornelia Santoro






Dear all,
 













my book launch turned into a nice party celebrating delicious food.

You can buy my book online:

In the USA 
In Canada
In the UK
In India
launching the book
Here we present the book (from left) Debasri Rakshit, Odette Mascarenhas, yours truly, Aakritee Bhandari Sinh.

After the book launch many people called me and asked me where they can buy my book.

For various reasons, it is not available in Panjim in Goa, only at Literati in Calangute. However, you can easily order it on Amazon here. In India, cash on delivery is not a problem so you do not have to use your credit or debit card online.

The media have treated my book nicely, a big thank you to all the journalists.

Here are a few links if you are interested:
India Today
Mid-Day
Scroll In
The Navhind Times
IANS
Goan Observer
Crowd at the book launch
People were listening, while I was chatting with Odette and Aakritee about the food that makes us happy and the stuff that you should never put into your mouth.

Frederick Noronha uploaded these two videos to Youtube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmHHQaG6t80
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cDkMsUCR_k
talking about Happiness
After the talk I was busy signing books while the guests were partying thanks to wine from Fratelli.
signing books
At this point, I would like to thank everybody who contributed to the book launch, especially Rashi Bhambri from HarperCollins and Anjali Dar SenGupta who always takes diligently care that I do not commit horrible plunders in the English language.

A big thank you also to the generous sponsors of the book launch, Sunaparanta, Fratelli and HarperCollins!
sponsorssponsors

Sesame-Flaxseed-Crackers

Kornelia Santoro






Dear all,
 

Losing weight seems to be one of the hardest achievements these days. Whenever I want to lose weight, I make these crackers.

Losing weight can be easy, when you eat the right things. That means food that keeps your blood sugar levels balanced and your insulin levels low.

During periods of losing weight, I eat only whole-wheat pasta and whole-wheat bread. Often I substitute bread with my crackers.
 
Happy belly, happy mind, happy weight

These crackers not only taste great, thanks to the flax and sesame seeds they are very nutritious and keep your digestion going. A happy, well-working belly also improves your mood. If you want a healthy snack, serve them with the spicy salsa described below.

For lunch, I love them with any kind of pate. Especially hummus goes well with them.

Please tell me about your experiences with losing weight. I am happy to listen and learn.

Wishing you happy cooking, always!

Kornelia Santoro with family
 

Crackers for easy weight loss

Crackers with salsa
Ingredients (for 16 servings):
  • 5 cups diabetic or whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil or cold pressed coconut oil
  • 1 cup yoghurt (curd)
  • 100 grams flax seeds
  • 100 grams sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • water
Method:
flaxseeds

Grind the flaxseeds in a blender. They are easier to digest when they are ground.
kneading dough
Put all the dry ingredients into a big bowl and mix them well with a spoon. Then add the oil, the curd and enough cold water to make smooth dough. Knead the dough well for at least 5 minutes. 
Kneading dough with hands
I always use a hand mixer first and then my hands. Consider this exercise; kneading works out the muscles in your arms. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before rolling it out.
cut crackers
You can bake the crackers on a cookie sheet or in any pie form. I take big, stainless steel plates which I also use for making pizza.

Dust your work surface with flour. Take some dough and roll it out as thinly as possible in the shape you require. Put the dough on the cookie sheet, pie form or plate and score lines with a sharp knife or a round pizza cutter.

These lines help to break the crackers after baking. The above given amount is enough to cover 4 cookie sheets or 6 stainless steel plates with 30 cm (12 inches) diameter.
 crackers
These lines help to break the crackers after baking. The above given amount is enough to cover 4 cookie sheets or 6 stainless steel plates with 30 cm (12 inches) diameter.
 

Spicy Salsa Recipe

Ingredients (for 4 servings):
 
  • 4 big, red tomatoes
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper
  • 4 fresh, green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • salt
  • freshly grated pepper
  • any kind of herb you like

Method:

It is important to use only red and soft tomatoes for this recipe. Put the tomatoes for 1 minute into a pot of boiling water. Let them cool down, remove the skin, the seeds and any white pieces from the stalk.

Cut the flesh into small cubes and put them into a bowl. Remove the stalk and the seeds from the bell peppers, cut the flesh into small cubes and add them to the bowl.

Slice the green chilies open and remove the seeds. Cut them into small pieces and add to the bowl.
Wash the herbs, chop finely and add to the bowl.

Add the sugar, the vinegar and the oil and salt and pepper according to your taste. Mix everything well. Let the salsa marinate at least 1 hour in the fridge before serving.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Easy ice-creams and sorbets

Dear all,

Few things refresh as well as ice-cream melting in the mouth. At the moment, all people in India are suffering from the crushing pre-monsoon heat – if you ever thought about making your own sorbets and ice-creams, now is the time to try.

However – to really succeed you need an ice-cream maker. These machines can be bought for a relatively modest amount. They consist of a container with thick walls, that needs to stay in the freezer for at least 24 hours. Then it is fitted with a kind of paddle that churns the ice-cream or sorbet while freezing it.
ice-cream maker
An ice-cream maker is so important because ice-cream needs to feel smooth in the mouth. I do not believe that you can achieve the same smoothness with crushing the ice crystals by hand. Our palates are highly sensitive and can feel big ice crystals.

I present here two of my favourite concoctions: Nutella ice-cream and sweet lime sorbet. Ice-cream can be divided into two categories: milk- or cream-based and fruit-based. Whereas Nutella ice-cream obviously belongs to the first category, sweet lime sorbet is a typical example of the second. Sorbet is an icy mixture of blended fruit or fruit juice and sugar syrup.

What about the eggs?


Traditional ice-cream is made with a custard base containing eggs. Honestly, I never understood what the eggs are doing in the ice-cream. It does not need to rise and it does not need to stick together – the main two functions of eggs in cooking.

To keep it simple: You can make any ice-cream or sorbet by mixing the tasty stuff – be it melted chocolate or pureed fruit – with sugar syrup. For ice-cream add plenty of cream. Just forget about the eggs. I never bothered and nobody every complained.

For the ultimate easy sorbet you can even use cooled fruit juice and pour it into your chilled ice-cream maker. In a few minutes you have fabulous sorbet.

By the way, granita is simply sorbet served in a glass with a straw. While the sorbet is melting, you suck this delicious, ice cold juice.

Wishing you happy cooking, always!

Kornelia Santoro with family
 

Nutella Ice-Cream


Nutella ice-cream

Ingredients:
(for 750 ml)

  •  400 ml cream (2 packets 200 ml each)
  •  250 grams Nutella
Method:
 

Pour the cream into a sufficiently big container with a tight closing lid. Add the Nutella and stir everything together. Close the container and place into the fridge for 24 hours. Keep your ice-cream cylinder in the freezer for at least 24 hours as well.
Take the Nutella mix from the fridge and give it a good stir to liquefy the thick cream. Churn the ice-cream as described in the directions for the ice-cream maker.
churning ice-cream
Pour the ice-cream into a container, close with the lid and place into the freezer.
 

Sweet Lime Sorbet

sweet lime sorbet
Ingredients:
(for 750 ml)

  • 400 ml sweet lime juice
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 cup sugar
Method:
Squeeze the juice from fresh sweet limes. It is impossible to say how many fruits you will need. I always buy two dozens sweet limes and squeeze away – you need some patience and perseverance for this work. Put a sieve over a sufficiently big container and squeeze over the sieve so you don’t have any seeds in your sorbet.

Place the sugar and the water into a pot and heat it until the sugar dissolves. Let it simmer on low flame for a few minutes until the mixture has reached a syrupy consistency.
sugar syrup
When the syrup has cooled down, mix it with the fresh lime juice. Close the container and place it in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Remember to keep the cylinder of the ice-cream machine in the freezer. Fill the liquid sorbet into your ice-cream maker and proceed as usual. Take the frozen sorbet from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving.
granita
For Granita, place the sorbet into a glass und stick a straw into it.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Pasta with Tuna - easy dinner solution

Dear all,




Everybody needs a collection of easy recipes that can be prepared with minimal shopping and effort. One of my go-to recipes for days, when I need an almost instant dinner, is pasta with tuna. This recipe not only tastes nice, it can be thrown together in twenty minutes – if you have the tomato sauce ready. I always cook big pots of tomato sauce and freeze them for emergencies.

You can also use readymade tomato sauce for this dish. Just cut up some good tuna, heat it up with the tomato sauce, boil your pasta and voilĂ ! Dinner is served.

Tuna delivers precious omega-3 fatty acids, but you should not eat tuna from a tin too often. All tinned foods contains bisphenol A (BPA). Experts still argue if small amounts of BPA are dangerous or not. I throw a dice here and state: Once in a while we can afford to eat tinned food.

Whenever I can, I buy organic produce but everything today is polluted. Our bodies have to cope with pollution. I would not recommend eating tins daily, but once in a while our bodies should be able to deal with them.


Wishing you happy cooking, always!

Kornelia Santoro with family

 

Pasta with Tuna

pasta with tuna
Ingredients:
(for 4 servings)

  • 1 tin tuna in brine
  • 1 can of Italian tomatoes or 2 packets tomato puree or 1 glass Italian tomatoes
  • 1 bundle spring onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 beetroot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 packet Italian pasta (500 gm)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Method:
chopped vegetables

Clean and cut spring onions, crush garlic, grate carrot and beetroot and slice the celery. I chop all the vegetables in a blender, then place them into a pot and add the tomatoes.
Kornelia Santoro

Bring to a boil. Simmer for at least 15 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Season the sauce with salt and pepper according to taste. Open the tin and flake tuna. Mix it with the sauce.
farfalle cooking

For the pasta, bring a big pot with water to a boil.When the pasta water is boiling, add salt and pasta and cook the pasta as long as indicated on the packet. Drain the pasta, combine it with sauce and serve immediately.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Crispy Skin on Fish Filet


Fish filet with crispy skin
You can crisp up the skin of almost any fish filet. When I feel ambitious, I filet the fish at home. You need a sharp knife and a bit of technique. Chop off the head and clean the belly. Slice along the backbone and remove the first filet by sliding the knife under it, starting from the tail. Then flip the fish and remove the second filet.
how to filet a fish
Ingredients:
(for 4 servings)
  • 4 fish filets around 250 gm each
  • 8 tbsp peanut oil (or any other oil with a high smoking point)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Method:

There are some rules to obey to achieve really crispy fish skin:
 
  • You have to dry it as much as possible.
  • You need a pan with a heavy bottom so you can get a hot, even temperature.
  • You have to press down the fish filets when they hit the pan because they contract and curve upwards. The full skin needs to make contact with the bottom of the pan in order to fry properly.
fish on kitchen towels
Put oil in a pan with a heavy bottom. Don’t use non-stick pans. If filets are big, use two pans or fry batches. Set fire to medium-high on a big ring. Season both sides of filet with salt and pepper just before you start frying.
Put oil in a pan with a heavy bottom. Don’t use non-stick pans. If filets are big, use two pans or fry batches. Set fire to medium-high on a big ring. Season both sides of filet with salt and pepper just before you frying.
Have a spatula ready. As soon as filets hit pan, they curl upwards. Keep pressing down so the full skin makes contact evenly. Don’t flip the filets. The Fish is done when you see brown skin around the outer edges. Most of the flesh should have turned white.
fish with crispy skin



Now turn the filets and give them one minute on the flesh side. Serve with the crispy skin up; otherwise juices will turn skin soggy.






 

Seafood: The best Source for Omega-3

fish and omega-3 capsules
Scientists keep exploring the enormous impact of omega-3 on our brain. It not only prevents heart disease, it also makes our neurons fire faster und alleviates depression. This substance originates at the bottom of the food chain in the leaves of plants and a variety of green algae. Omega-3 found in plants like flax seeds and walnuts is called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Animals convert ALA into EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), vital for our heart and brains. Humans also convert ALA, but they do a rather poor job.
In times past, eating farm-fed animals gave us a lot of omega-3. If you can, buy meat from grass fed animals because. If you want to ensure you get enough of the good omega-3, fish is your best source – it accumulates in the fatty tissues.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Friday, 11 March 2016

Easter Eggs between heaven and hell

 Chocolate Easter egg with dark and white chocolate

Ingredients (for 27 Easter eggs):
 
  • 1,5 kilogram dark chocolate
  • 250 grams cocoa beans
  • 500 grams white chocolate
  • 150 grams desiccated coconut flakes
  • 300 millilitres cream
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 100 millilitres espresso coffee
  • Easter egg moulds
  • cling film
  • aluminium foil

Method:

The first task is roasting and shelling the cocoa beans. Place them into a big pan and roast them for about ten minutes over slow fire. They come roasted but they are a lot easier to shell after you roast them one more time. When you hear a slight crackling from the shells, they are done. Let them cool down a bit, then shell the cocoa beans and chop them. This requires quite a bit of patience.
 Cocoa beans
Chop the dark chocolate and place it into a pot together with 5 tablespoons butter and 200 milliliters cream. Insert the pot into a slightly bigger pot, which holds some water. Put this double boiler over a small fire and wait until the chocolate has melted. Stir it well to combine all the ingredients, then add 2 tablespoons vanilla extract and the coffee and stir again. Finally add the chopped cocoa beans and stir again.Double boiler with chocolate

Prepare another double boiler like described above for the white chocolate. Chop the white chocolate, place it into the smaller pot and add 100 milliliters cream and 2 tablespoons butter. Put the double boiler over a low fire until the chocolate has melted. Then add 1-tablespoon vanilla extract and the coconut flakes and stir until everything is combined well.

Now prepare the Easter egg moulds. Cut pieces of cling film big enough to cover the inside of the moulds. They need to overhang a bit; the weight of the chocolate will Moulds with cling filmpush the cling film into the moulds. Place enough dark chocolate mix into the mould to cover the bottom. Gently push the chocolate down so it takes the shape of the mould. Be careful to leave some space for the white chocolate that comes on top.

Place the moulds in the freezer for about 15 minutes until the dark chocolate has hardened. Then take one half and spread enough white chocolate mix over it to make up the missing space. Place another half on top and press them well together. Place the full egg shape into the freezer again to set; five minutes or so should do the trick.Moulds with chocolate

Finally take out the eggs from the freezer and carefully remove the moulds and the cling film. Wrap the ready eggs into aluminium foil. Continue with this process until you have used up all the chocolate mix. I always make a lot of Easter eggs for family and friends, but it takes quite some time to process the described amount above. If you don’t feel like doing so much, just halve or quarter the amounts given. Enjoy!

When the chocolate splits

When melting chocolate, many things can go wrong. Most likely, at one point or other, you will fight with a mixture that has split. That means, the chocolate does not like the way you treat it and separates into oil and solids. This happened to me quite often and there are several ways of resurrecting a split chocolate mixture.

For me, two methods work quite well. Put the bowl with the split mixture into the fridge for about 15 minutes and take a deep breath. Then take an electric hand mixer and whip the mixture furiously. Many times this helps. If the chocolate still does not yield and holds on to its split form, try to add some extra cream and whip again. So far, I have managed to save every stubborn chocolate mix in one or both of these ways. Good luck!

Friday, 26 February 2016

Chlodnik, cold beetroot soup


Dear all,

Beetroot is an amazing vegetable: Its wonderful purple colour always amazes me when I touch it. Beetroots deliver a wealth of nutrition, taste sweet and can be cooked with ease. I love beetroot, but I generally stick to the easy way of turning it into a salad.

The other day, I watched a TV show about Polish food. The chef turned beetroots into a cold soup with the strange name chlodnik.

I thought this is a brillant idea, a kind of Polish gazpacho. So I set out to look for a recipe. Unfortunately, there are plenty of vastly diverging recipes. I decided to simplify and to restrain from strange ingredients like the brining liquid of pickles.

Unfortunately, for the original chlodnik horseradish seems to be a rather important ingredient. I could not find horseradish in my supermarket. They even were out of wasabi, the Japanese variety used for sushi. So I added some spice by ground chillie powder.

Although it is simple, it is amazing how refreshing it tastes. The beautiful pink colour of chlodnik makes it a great dish for a buffet. It is also a great starter for a dinner party because it tastes best after a night in the fridge.

Chlodnik, Polish Gazpacho


Chlodnik ready
Ingredients (for 4 servings)
 
  • 3 beetroots (about 500 grams)
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 ½ cups stock
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 cups curd (yoghurt)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • salt
  • chillie powder
  • chives
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream

Method:

Peel the beetroot and the potato and cut into small pieces to reduce the cooking time. Place them into a pressure cooker. Add the stock – vegetable or chicken stock will do – and ½ tablespoon salt and cook for 10 minutes after the first whistle. You can also cook the vegetables in a normal pot until tender. Let the vegetables cool down.
beetroot and potato cubes
Peel the cucumber and the onion. Halve the cucumber and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
halved cucumbers
Place the cucumber and the onion into a blender.
beetroot and cucumber in blender
Add the cool beetroots and potato cubes and the cooking liquid. Blend until rather smooth.
blended beetroot soup
Add the curd, the chillie powder and the lemon juice and blend again.  Adjust the seasoning according to your taste. You can replace the lemon juice with vinegar.
chlodnik with curd
For serving, place the soup into bowls; add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with chives. Some people prefer dill instead of chives, but it is difficult to find here in India. You can replace the sour cream with thick curd or cream cheese.