Brie wrapped in Phyllo

Brie is a cheese that I tasted and learned of very recently. I heard of this at work when my colleagues brought a Cheese plate with crackers, fruits and honey. Well, I know the Cheese plate but never did I question the names of the cheeses or the perfect pairings to go with each one. I always gulped them down! What really fascinated me about Brie was how it was served. The lady who got the Cheese Plate also mentioned about baking brie in Phyllo with any of the fruit preserves. With little help from the internet and not knowing what to expect, I baked Brie in a Phyllo dough. The Cheese slightly oozed out of the dough which was perfect with crackers. Once cooled down, the wheel can be cut into wedges and served as well.

1 lb Brie Cheese wheel
6 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1/4 cup Apricot Preserves
2 tbsps Sliced Almonds, toasted (Optional)
4 tbsps melted butter

  • Preheat the oven to 375F
  • While working with a sheet place a moist paper towel on the rest of them to prevent them from drying.
  • Place a sheet on a flat surface and brush with melted butter
  • Place another sheet on the buttered one
  • Evenly smooth it out
  • Butter the sheet and continue to layer until all the 6 sheets have been used
  • *If the butter solidifies, microwave it for a couple of minutes
  • Remove any outside rind
  • Place the Brie Wheel on top
  • Spoon the apricot preserves and the almonds if using.
  • Gently cover the Brie wheel with the phyllo
  • Bake it in the oven for about 15 min
  • Serve it with crackers or fruit wedges


Nutella Cookies

Nutella is a favorite in my household. The little one and I can lick from the jar without any second thoughts. These cookies have a mild bitter taste and are not all that sweet. Perfect for treats. I skipped the Hazelnut Extract and did not garnish with Hazelnuts.

Recipe: Adapted from Vegetarian Times
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
 1/2 tsp baking soda
 1/4 tsp salt
 1 cup Nutella, plus more for frosting cookies
 4 oz unsalted butter, softened
 3/4 cup brown sugar
 1 large egg

  • Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl
  • Set it aside
  • In another bowl, beat Nutella and butter until smooth 
  • Beat in the brown sugar and egg until well combined
  • Add the flour slowly and continue beating till IT FORMS A DOUGH
  • Transfer it to a plastic wrap and make the dough into a 2 inch diameter log
  • Wrap it and chill for 2 hours at least or can be chilled overnight
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  • Slice the log into a 1/4 inch thick sliced
  • Bake for about 11 min until the cookies are firm and dry
  • Trasnfer them to a wire rack
  • Let them cool
  • Frost each cookie with Nutella

Sweet Potato Casserole

Thanksgiving or not, this dish is worthy a trip. One of my ex-colleagues makes a seriously tasty Sweet Potato Casserole. She is from Alabama and I feel it comes as a second nature to her to make these casseroles. It was when I never tasted her Casserole that everyone were extolling her dish and of course, once I ate, it became abundantly clear why they were raving so much. It is one to remember. This is my take on the dish.

4 sweet potatoes
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 cup Butter
1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
2 Tbsps Butter
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Pecans, Chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 375F
  • Boil the sweet potatoes for about 10 min just till tender
  • Drain the water and with a masher, mash the sweet potatoes to a coarse puree
  • Combine Sweet Potatoes, Butter, Cinnamon and Nutmeg
  • Pour it in a pie dish and bake it for 25 min
  • Combine All purpose flour, Light Brown Sugar, Butter, Cinnamon and Pecans
  • Remove the Sweet Potatoes mixture and spoon the mixture on top
  • Bake for about 10 min or so until the topping is brown

Mint Raitha

Cucumber is one of my favorite vegetables that I snack on.Seasoned with salt, black pepper and a dash of lemon juice, this vegetable typically fills my hunger pangs.
Pureed mint is stirred into beaten yogurt spiced with Cumin, Coriander and Paprika powders.Add the Cucumber pieces for crunch!

2 cups Yogurt
1/2 cucumber, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/4 tsp Cumin Powder
1/4 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Paprika
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Salt to taste
  • Puree the fresh chopped mint leaves with as little water as possible
  • Whisk the yogurt making sure that it is smooth with no lumps
  • Pour the pureed mint paste
  • Stir in the cumin, Coriander powders and Paprika
  • Toss Cucumber pieces and green chillies in a bowl along with salt until well combined
  • Pour the mint-yogurt into the Cucumber-chilli bowl.
  • Mix well
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Serve it with Pulao

Vegetable Pot Pie

This is a perfect one pot meal. Typically, I make it in a pie dish but for a change, I decided to make it in individual ramekins which turned out to be neat.

3 tbsp Butter
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 cup Button Mushrooms, chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
6-8 broccoli florets
2 tbsps all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Pine nuts, toasted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves
2 spring onion bunches, chopped
1 package of Puff Pastry sheets
1 egg, lightly beaten

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Spray 8 6-oz ramekins with Pam Or Crisco.Alternately, you can butter these with melted butter
  • Heat a tablespoon of butter in a pan
  • Add garlic and spring onions and cook for a minute
  • Add  sweet potato, carrot and mushrooms and cook till tender
  • Add bell pepper and broccoli; Cook for 4 minutes
  • Remove from the heat
  • Add the remaining butter in another pan
  • Add flour and stir it until the mixture thickened and is lightly golden
  • Add the milk and stir until the mixture is smooth
  • Add the Parmesan cheese, Feta Cheese, pine nuts and oregano 
  • Remove the sauce into a bowl

  • Combine vegetable mixture and sauce in a bowl
  • Add eggs and stir until combined.
  • Spoon into the ramekins equally and evenly.
  • Cut the puff pastry sheet wider slightly wider than the rim of the ramekin.
  • Brush the rim of the pastry with water
  • Place the pastry sheet over the top and press the edges to seal
  • Brush top with beaten egg
  • Mark two slits vertically on the top to let the steam out.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and puffed

My Life in France - Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme

"In the evening, I would approach the stove armed with lofty intentions, the Joy of Cooking or Gourmet magazine tucked under my arm, and little kitchen sense. My meals were satisfactory, but they took hours of laborious effort to produce. I'd usually plop something on the table by 10:00 p.m., have a few bites, and collapse into bed. Paul was unfailingly patient. But years later he'd admit to an interviewer: "Her first attempts were not altogether successful. … I was brave because I wanted to marry Julia. I trust I did not betray my point of view." (He did not.)"

Clueless in the Kitchen when she first got married at 34,she became an exceptional cook who then went on to leave an indelible mark in the Culinary world.'My life in France' written along with her husband's nephew Alex Prud'Homme can be summed up to be about the love affair of Julia Child and France.

"Oh la Belle France----without knowing it, I was already falling in love!"

The book is based on the letters and records that were kept over the years by Julia and Paul Child. She carries the reader through Streets of Paris and into the world of French food and cooking with wit and humor..

"This is a book about some of the things I have loved most in life: my husband, Paul Child, la belle France; and the many pleasures of cooking and eating," she writes. 

Considered very tall by any standards at 6 ft 2", she was fascinated by anything and everything French from the markets to patisseries to the unparalleled breads.She recounts her first meal at La Couronne in France - oysters served with rounds of pain de seigle ( a pale rye bread with a spread of unsalted butter), Sole Meunière, salad verte,paired with Pouilly-Fumé and fromage blanc with café filtre as 'absolute perfection' and 'the most exciting meal of her life'.

Her husband and a confidant, Paul Child staunchly stood by her through all the ups and downs. They shared a common passion- France.
She signed up for classes at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleau under the guidance of Chef Bugnard who she very much looked upto. She then founded a cooking school, Le Ecole Gourmettes,along with her 2 friends, Louisette and Simona.

Part II is about Mastering the art of French Cooking and her passion in making the book despite several hurdles that came along the way.Her arduous efforts behind "The Book" -'Mastering the art of French Cooking' are strikingly clear in her attention to detail and various attempts to get a dish right in order to not lose the integrity of the dish.The book was finally published by Knopf with Julia and Simona as Co Authors. Simona and Julia, however, had some differences and parted their ways.Simona went on to write her own recipe book, once again published by Knopf and Julia became widely popular as the host of the TV show The French Chef. Paul retired from the government and Paul and Julia moved from France to Cambridge, MA. Paul Child designed Julia's kitchen in Cambridge which now is a part of Smithsonian Institution.

"In all the years since that succulent meal. I have yet to lose the feelings of wonder and excitement that it inspired me. I can still almost taste it. And thinking back on it now reminds me that the pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite- toujours bon appétit!"

The book could have been condensed down a little bit. But all in all, the book is an inspiring and an enjoyable read.


This is a great recipe for leftover dosa batter.Done in a Paniyaram pan, this will serve as a delicious evening snack.

2 cups Dosa Batter
1/2 cup Chopped Onions
6 Curry leaves, chopped
1 tsp Chopped ginger
1/2 tsp Jeera/Cumin seeds
2 green chillies, finely chopped

Special Equipment
Paniyaram Pan
  • Combine the chopped onions, curry leaves and ginger in the dosa batter
  • Heat the paniyaram pan and drop a spoonful of batter into each hole
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 3 min
  • Cook on both sides till golden brown
  • Serve with Chutney
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...