Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sofritas (Chipotle Sofritas) & Burrito Bowl - Make it @home

Its kind of cloudy here from yesterday, light rain too which made everything look beautiful and clear, I always write about rain when it rains here :)

One thing that I want while it rains is some spicy & flavorful food which makes me
the happiest person on earth :)
This time I was inspired to cook some "Mexican food" so tried making these while I had this song played throughout.

Enjoy !
"Get Lucky"   by Pharrelle Williams & Nile Rodgers

Thanks to "Chipotle" for providing such a luscious meal, a remarkably nutritious and healthy food that they serve. For those who are unfamiliar, " Chipotle"  is a fast food chain in USA serving Mexican inspired food, the word "Chipotle" otherwise means "smoked Chili"
This is one place that my NA would cheer every time when asked where she would like to dine,
there introduction of a new protein dish called the "Sofritas" which is made with "Tofu" brought even more happiness and satisfaction for the vegetarian's here asI perceive that it isn't easy for the vegetarians to survive in this country.
Though there are many options for'em to choose from, with the mixed culture and cuisines of the immigrants here, most if it are not heightened to a level of approval as anything made with "Tofu".
Mushroom's , different varieties of Cheese , Sprouts and Lentil's are the other main options.

Since I made these, we had "Burrito Bowl" for dinner, which is mixed layers of  rice , sauteed vegetable's , beans, Sofritas (or any meat)  , Salsa (Mexican style Sauce) topped with Sour cream ,cheese and Guacamole / Avocado in a bowl,
we dig into it to enjoy the mixture of different flavor's & texture that different ingredients in it donates.

Here are the main ingredients for making "Sofritas"

Slightly adapted from yupitsvegan.com


Tofu (Extra Firm) - 1 Packet
Any Vegetable Oil - 2 to 4 Tbsp (I used Canola Oil)
I don't have a gas burner so tried to burn the Jalapeno in the coil
& it din't work   :(

For Gravy/ Sauce 

* Jalapeno / Mexican Pepper - 1 or 2
 (may directly show it to fire to burn the outside
then remove its skin or else roast or grill it to brown its skin )
* Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce - 2 to 4 no's
* Adobo sauce(From the tin) - 2 Tbsp
* Salsa - 3 Tbsp
* Garlic - 3 cloves finely chopped
* Cilantro/Coriander Leaves - 1/4 cup chopped
* White Onion - 1 medium chopped
* Vinegar - 1 Tbsp (I used Apple Cider) or else use fresh lime Juice
* Tabasco Sauce - 1 tbsp (Optional)
* Tomato Sauce - 1 Tbsp
* Sugar - 1 tsp(add as per your preference)
*  Salt to taste.

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce is one thing which you might be confused, its available in any Mexican store or search for it in the aisle for sauces in any grocery store.

Chipotle / Pepper in Adobo sauce

For spice blend (Adapted from yupitsvegan.com)
(or else use store bought Mexican Spice blend powder) 

Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp 
Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp (adjust as per your taste) 
Dried Oregano Leaves - 2 tsp 
Sugar - 2 tsp  


Prepare the Spice blend (if not using store bought)

* Dry roast all the spices (do not add sugar while roasting) ,keep in medium to low heat , roast until you start to smell the spices (may take 2 to 3 minutes) Grind this along with the sugar and keep aside, may store extra in any air tight containers. 

Prepare Tofu 

*  Cover Tofu with a kitchen towel and keep for 5 to 10 minutes and pat'em dry before cutting in to big pieces. Heat 1 tbsp Oil in a pan , shallow fry chunks of Tofu for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
Remove from oil and finely chop'em or use your hands to crumble it. Keep aside.

Prepare the Gravy/Sauce 

* Heat the rest of the oil in the same pan, add finely chopped garlic first followed by onion and the Jalapenos chopped.
Saute for 3 to 5 minutes until everything looks cooked , then add chopped chipotle in adobo sauce

* Pour 1/4 to 1/2  cup water to this and the chopped cilantro/Coriander Leaves, allow to boil.
 Add then the crumbled tofu, add Salsa,Tomato sauce,Vinegar or lime juice & 1 tbsp of the Spice blend powder.
Add Tabasco Sauce(if using) & Salt for seasoning , allow the gravy/sauce to get thickened a bit. 

* When the sauce/Gravy looks thick enough , switch off the heat and sprinkle sugar (use more sugar if you want it less spicy) , also add some more chopped cilantro/Coriander leaves chopped before serving. 

 Serve with Cilantro Rice / or Plain Rice or Tortillas. 

Making Burrito Bowl 

* Spoon-in some white rice or Mexican style Cilantro Rice first to a bowl. Top these with some sauteed/caramelized onions and bell peppers. 


* Top these with some cooked Beans (Black or Pinto Beans)

* Top these with the Sofritas (or else with any meat) , sprinkle chopped Cilantro/Coriander leaves over.

* Spread some salsa and Sour cream over, add cheese and Guacamole/Avocado mashed if your like(I didn't use) & Serve.

Enjoy a scrumptious meal ! 

Click the link below for a similar Mexican dish.
 Chicken Burritos and Re-fried Beans 


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Irish Tea Cake

Since its St. Patrick's feast today, I made something special to do with the Irish specialty.
St. Paddy's day being a cultural and religious festival on the death anniversary of Saint Patrick - the foremost patron Saint of Ireland.

A shamrock shake was what I intended to make initially, as its what is special during this day, available in many of the stores like the McDonald's, but then I thought to try it from the store itself today :)
Have to make hubby read this before we go out in the evening ;)

Can't wait to try it....
Hope I will  :(

Shamrock is a young sprig of Clover, which is used as a symbol of Ireland

I don't think this Clover leaf has anything to do with this Shake other than the green color, 
but Mint leaves are often included.

Anyways I made this Irish Tea Cake and I must write that its a must try Tea cake recipe, 
it came out super tasty and moist, like a modified Cheese Cake or else may call it an offspring of a cake & Cheese cake when married ;) 
 I know I am crazy :D 

Adapted from www.recipetips.com 


All Purpose flour - 1 and 3/4 cup 
Baking Powder - 1 and 1/4 tsp 
Salt - 1/4 tsp 

Butter (in room temperature) - 3/4 cup 
Sugar - 1 cup 
Eggs - 2 
Vanilla essence - 2 tsp 
Buttermilk - 1/4 cup 
Raisins  - 1/2 cup to 1 cup (as per your preference) 
Cream Cheese (In room temperature) - little less than 1/2 a cup 

Powdered sugar & Berries to decorate - (Optional) 


* Preheat the oven to 350 Degree F. Line a 9 inch round baking dish with a foil or parchment paper, grease the same with butter or use a non stick spray and keep aside. 
(Its better to line the dish with a parchment paper as this cake is super moist and soft hence tend to stick to the bottom) 

* Sift together flour + Baking powder + salt. Take 1/4 cup of this sifted flour and mix it with the Raisins to completely coat them. keep both the sifted flour mixture and Flour - Raisin mixture aside. 

* In a bowl beat butter and sugar till softened, add in eggs one at a time, beat till well combined and looks light yellow in color. 

* Add vanilla essence & cream cheese, continue beating till well blended, then add in, the sifted flour mixture & Buttermilk alternately, until all'em are mixed in. Use then a spatula to combine.

* Sprinkle the Raisin + Flour mixture to the batter and slowly mix the batter using the spatula. 

* Pour this to the prepared baking dish and bake in 350 preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean & the sides starts to look lightly brown. 

* Allow to cool and sprinkle powdered sugar on top, decorate with berries (optional) and serve. 

Happy that I could click before everything fell, as this piece of cake was too soft to hold that strawberry.


Notes :
          * It is good to line the baking dish with a parchment paper or foil then grease it with butter or         non stick spray as it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan, this cake being extra soft and moist. 

          * May reduce the baking temperature to 325 Degree F and bake it for a longer period 
( 1 hour - 1 and 1/2 hour's ) as given in the original recipe. 

Click the following link for a similar Sponge cake recipe in this blog 



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Garlic Bread From leftover Pizza Dough

Time to smell the Roses isn't that far I guess as its already mid of March.
Climate has been nice to the people in Salt Lake through out winter and last week was the best I think
Didn't bother the slight cold breeze in the evening when I went crazy to learn everything about tennis that same day, ended up in Neck sprain  :(
But that's not uncommon, at times I get super energetic to only end up feeling sick.
The same happened last summer, when myself and Soccer man decided to learn swimming of our own though he knew a bit about the same, we both took the challenge and started going for swimming everyday wholeheartedly.
Took YouTube lessons before we leave to practice without forgetting every step that the coach explained in the video, and one day I saw Soccer man swimming :(
Completed a lap without fail & I foresaw the even greater challenge awaiting me,when I saw his facial expressions each time he lifted his head to breath, a smile of achievement.
He made me take a video of him swimming to pass on to our friends and family and
once again I failed to answer him :(
I had no way other than to accept my failure,
but then I decided to learn it very soon , if possible the very next day itself,
tried my best every-way possible that day,
Loaded my super energetic mind with all - "I CAN" & " I WILL"
In water for almost 3 hours, continuing my trial to learn, but unfortunately the time was up for everyone to use the pool that day and I was forced to take a break.
The the next day I remember I had this heaviness of water in my head,
floating to the sides every time I tilt my head and that severe Head ache was even worse than any Migraine attack I ever had in my life,
anyways with that reason  I stopped going to the pool and I still haven't learned the breathing technique's while swimming :(

I regret , but I hope to learn it sometime :(

The problem is the fear of being sick as you know a women with a kid and responsibilities of a home doesn't often have the luxury of being lightly sick, like we used do while going to school, made use of that opportunity to get more attention & enjoy being pampered by our family.

My tongue urged to have something spicy, though something fried is what I prefer mostly,
Customizing my mind to avoid thinking about fried foods for least a month.
Garlic Bread is a wonderful snack to make, a super easy, flavorful snack,
liked by majority of people who tasted it.
Its super easy if you have some bread at home but this time I tried making the bread with the left over Pizza dough which I made last week. Have uploaded here some pic's of Garlic Bread made with French-bread too, as I make'em often.

For the Filling / Topping

Garlic - 10 no's crushed and finely chopped
Parsley - few springs chopped
Cilantro & Mint leaves- few springs chopped (Traditionally its not used, but I use it as it adds lot of flavor)
Crushed Pepper - 1/4 tsp or else use Green chili's chopped 2 to 4 no's (As per your preference)
Olive Oil - 1/3 cup or else use Butter.
Oregano dried - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Cheese - I used cheddar & Mozzarella grated (2 to 4 Tbsp Approx) may use more
Parmesan Cheese Powder - 1/4 cup
Salt to taste.
Extra Butter (if you like to spread on the bread)

Click here for Pizza Dough Recipe


While making these with Store bought bread, I haven't used any cheese as it tastes good even without it, but you may add it if you wish.

* Heat olive oil in a pan , add finely chopped garlic and saute these for a minute or 2

* Add salt, pepper or chopped green chili's (If using) ,switch off the heat, then add chopped leaves (Parsley ,Cilantro, Mint & Oregano -if using)

* Slice bread in to 1 inch thick pieces, spread Butter (if using) on one side of the bread first then spread 1 or 2 tsp of the garlic olive oil mix.

* Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese powder over each slices(if using)

* Arrange the bread slices one over the other, tightly pack the arranged bread with a foil sheet.

* Bake in 350 Preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve hot !

When making bread from dough, there isn't any cooking needed initially.
Just mix all the ingredients other than butter and cheese, keep aside.

* Preheat the Oven to 375 Degree F.

I used left over pizza dough, Click Here for Recipe
 Roll  the dough to 1/2 inch size thickness , spread half portion of the garlic -Olive oil mix over the top, fold this to half then slightly roll it to make the shape of the baking dish (in which you intend to bake) spread the other half of the garlic mixture over the dough.

 (May spread and fold again to get more layers's) 

*Line the baking pan with foil sheet, grease the same with some butter.
Keep the rolled and prepared dough in it, cover with a wet tissue and allow to rise for 20 to 40 minutes , until it rises a bit (Keep in warm place)

* Preheat the oven to 375 Degree F, Bake the bread uncovered for 20 minutes,
 take out the almost done bread , sprinkle grated cheese (Mozzarella , Cheddar) Parmesan Powder & Dried Oregano powder over (if using)

 Cover the dish with a foil (To avoid burning the top)  & Bake again.

* Continue baking for another 10 minutes or more (Until the sides turn lightly brown).

Slice n Serve Hot !

A wonderful snack to make , am sure you'll like it :)