Ria's Collection: November 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013


Garlic, Onion & Poppy Seed Crackers
Iam a Daring Baker for the past 4 and a half years. And I have to admit that I have not been an active member for the past two. Even though I drool over every single challenge I quite didn't want to be challenged off of the time spent with Ian, which was what that kept me away from participating for the past months. I regret it every month,especially when the round up is posted. What creativity! What camaraderie! I am proud to be a part of it and I've baked so many things because of the group...Strudels,Cheesecakes,Bakewell Tart,Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cakes,Milano Cookies, Croquembouche,My Fair Lady Pudding...so so many stuff!
Garlic, Onion & Poppy Seed Crackers
This wonderful group was started by two ladies, Lis & Ivonne. Lis passed away a few days ago due to a heart attack. It shocked the Daring Baker's world. Having interacted with her in the past, when Jamie and myself hosted a challenge, I got to know Lis better. She was a lady with a big heart, ever ready to help.She will be missed.
Garlic, Onion & Poppy Seed Crackers
So we all got together and decided to do a tribute for Lis. A post on our food blogs or a post on Facebook/ Twitter/Instagram or maybe all of it! Some of them are planning to do a Pretzel post, which was the first post of the Daring Bakers,many many years ago. I decided to pull out one challenge from the many that I've missed participating in.There were so so many to chose but I am so pressed for time, this time, because we are travelling tonight.So in between all the packing & cooking for my Little Man,I did this. Trust me, it was a challenge pulling this off. My oven was working day and night. Cookies, cakes,crakers,breads...everything was popping in and out of it one after another.But I was determined to do it for Lis.
Garlic, Onion & Poppy Seed Crackers
This cracker is fantabulous. Are you an Onion lover? Do you find yourself picking up Sour Cream & Onion flavoured potato chips? Do you find yourself digging into that Caramelised Onion Dip? Do you? I do. I have to admit I love anything with onion in it and if there's some garlic too...I would be in paradise! I love the flavour and colour of red onions over all others but this time around I didn't have any so used the regular fat yellow onions that I had in my pantry.This recipe is from 'Menus from an Orchard Table'by Heidi Noble featured on Sarah's blog.

Garlic, Onion & Poppy Seed Crackers Makes about 6 dozen

1 cup pureed onion
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Blend the pureed onion,egg and oil to form a homogenous mixture. In a medium bowl, mix together rest of the ingredients and make a well in the centre. Pour the wet mixture into it and slowly stir to form a dough. Wrap and chill the dough for one hour. Roll it out paper thin in between two parchment sheets.Cut them into desired shapes and bake until evenly golden.It can take anywhere between 5-20 minutes at 350F depending on the thickness.It they are thicker,it will puff up like pitas. Cool completely before storing it.

Ian Vaava totally loved this! He was munching on one and he had another one ready in his other little hand.He loved dipping it into theCaramelised Onion dip I made to go along with the crackers. I also served it to our friends and Jobin and everyone had the same opinion...the crackers and dip is awesome!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

ARROZ CON POLLO for 5 years of food blogging!

Arroz Con Pollo
Ilove planning parties and of course planning it's menu!Once the menu is set, which is the most painstaking thing for me, I look forward to the cooking day.How I love that day! I try to cook something new, something different every time. I make sure I read most of the reviews before trying out a new recipe because of obvious reasons.That is exactly why I ask you dear readers to leave a review of the things you've tried out from here. It will help others for sure!
Arroz Con Pollo
This time, I chose to do a South American themed dinner when our friends came over.As always, I searched high and low for recipes that I've never tried...which does not mean I have tried almost all the recipes in the world! I have so much to try out,so much to learn...the world of cooking is so mighty and widespread.The world of food blogging makes it easier for me.
Arroz Con Pollo
Arroz Con Pollo. It is a Cuban chicken and rice dish flavoured with spices like oregano,bay leaves,cinnamon. It has lots of tomatoes in it which made me think whether it would be tangy. It wasn't. It just took the whole dish to another level. I totally loved this dish. The recipe calls for stirring the rice and chicken while it's cooking which is a no-no in my usual rice and chicken dishes because the chances of rice breaking up is very high. I guess this dish is meant to be stirred and nothing big happened. It gives you a mushy texture so do not expect every rice grain to be separate from each other, like our Biriyani's.
Arroz Con Pollo
Arroz Con Pollo
This food blog of mine turned 5 years,exactly a month ago. On October 10. It totally skipped my mind and I realised it only a few days later and I dont' think I need to mention how terrible I felt then. Of all the things, it's the 5th Blog Birthday and I forgot that! Mommy brains maybe? :-) So this celebratory recipe is from Gourmet,which I found via Deb.

Arroz Con Pollo
For the chicken:
3 large cloves of garlic
2 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoon dried oregano,crumbled
12 chicken thighs,skin & excess fat removed

For the rice:
3 ounce Chorizo,skin removed and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large bell pepper,chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
2 bay leaves
1 pound tomatoes,seeded and chopped
1 12 ounce bottle dark beer
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups long grain rice
1/4 cup roasted red pepper strips

For the chicken: Mince and mash garlic using 2 teaspoons of salt. Add that along with the remaining ingredients and marinate chicken for 1 hour.
For the rice: Add chorizo to a large 6-7 quart pot and saute on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes until it renders some fat. Add the onions, pepper & garlic to it and saute for 5 minutes. Add cumin, oregano,paprika and cook stirring for 1 minute. Add the marinated chicken and cook stirring occassionally for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes,beer,chicken stock & rice. Cover it with a round of parchment and place the lid over it. Cook for 20 minutes,stirring once or twice in between until the rice is done.Remove the bay leaves & paper. Garnish with red pepper strips and serve!

I asked Jobin to play some Latin music so that it would set the mood of the party just right. While the music played on in the background, we all munched on some Roasted Potatoes topped with Romesco Sauce (dee-licious!), Potato & Chorizo Empanadas (so so good!), Arroz Con Pollo (yum! yum!) & finished off the meal with a super decadent, delicious Chocoflan. Ian enjoyed the Empanadas the most as it was a finger food that he could enjoy while running around entertaining our guests :-)
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