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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chutney Sanwich and Kettle Potato Chips with Sea salt and Cayenne Pepper




























This is going to be last post before I fly to India for a month to take care of my parents. I will sign off for a month then will return to blogging in April. Thank you to all of my loyal subscribers and readers.

It has been almost 9 months since I started this blog. This blog is like a child that I created, nourished it and now watching it grow. I must say it has been a true pleasure sharing my recipes with all of you.

Please be patient while I am gone for a month. I promise, I will be back with more.

Here is my favorite Sandwich. I love it !! so much so that I am going to take with me for snack during my layover in Newark, while I wait for my connection to India.

This sandwich is adapted from British Origin and traditionally is called Cucumber tea sandwich.

Because of English influence on Indian culture, in India, cucumber sandwiches are popular during cricket matches and weekend picnics. The Indian variant is flavored with green chutney, and sometimes contains slices of boiled potatoes.

As the thinness of the bread is a point of pride in the kitchen, a dense-textured white Pullman loaf is cut with a wide-bladed knife, which guides the cut; daylight should pass through the resulting fine pores. The peel of the cucumber is either removed or scored lengthwise with a fork before the cucumber is sliced. The slices of bread are carefully buttered all the way to the edges in the thinnest coating, which is only to protect the bread from becoming damp with cucumber juice, and the slices of cucumber, which have been sprinkles with salt and lemon juice, are placed in the sandwich just before serving in order to prevent the sandwich from becoming damp enough to moisten the eater's fingers. The crusts of the bread are cut away cleanly and the sandwich sliced diagonally twice, creating four small triangular tea sandwiches.

The traditional cucumber sandwich is of British origin. Modern variants (largely of American origin) exist, involving cream cheese, chopped dill or spices, brown bread, salmon, and even bread with crusts left intact. One specific American variant includes benedictine, a green soft spread based on cucumbers and cream cheese.

Cucumber sandwiches are most often served for a light snack or at afternoon tea, a formal light meal served at four in the afternoon or early evening before the main supper. In addition, cucumber sandwiches are supposed to be served in the tea break at club cricket matches in England.


Because of cucumber's cooling nature, cucumber sandwiches are often eaten in the summer months or in warmer climates, such as in parts of India. Indian Airlines used to serve cucumber sandwiches as part of its usual vegetarian in flight meal in short-haul domestic flights.

Combination of potato chips and this cucumber chutney sandwich reminds me of movie nights in India. Yes !! Believe it or not they do serve this in the movie theaters. In Mumbai many street vendors sell these by road side.

I am going to give you three versions. First without taking the crust off the bread, another one is with toasted bread (this is how my husband likes it) and another fancy British version where the crusts of the bread are cut away cleanly and the sandwich sliced diagonally twice, creating four small triangular tea sandwiches. (well I was not that fancy, I just sliced it once to make two triangles as shown in pics)

This time I served it with spicy Kettle style Potato chips sprinkled with Cayenne Pepper powder and some left over Asparagus soup.


You will need following:


* You favorite bread slices. For myself I used sour dough bread slices as the taste of sourdough bread is closest to what I used to have in India, and for my husband who likes it toasted I used Italian bread slices.

* Coriander Chutney (recipe on this blog under condiment/sauce category)

* Butter or Cream cheese at room temp (for spread)

* 1 English cucumber thinly sliced

* 2 boiled potatoes and thinly sliced

* 2 Red ripe tomatoes thinly sliced

* 1 red onion thinly sliced

* 1/4 head of Lettuce diced (optional)

* Chat masala or just plain salt and pepper


For Chips you will need:

* Kettle style Potato chips with sea salt

* Cayenne pepper powder to taste



Method:


* Take two slices of bread.

* You can either toast the bread slices or just use them as they are or you can trim the crust off of them.

* Spread thin layer of butter or cream cheese on both slices.

* Spread layer of chutney on both slices.

* Place tomatoes, cucumber, potatoes, slices of onion and Lettuce if desired.

* Sprinkle pinch of chat masala or just plain salt and pepper on the veggies.

* Sandwich both slices together and cut in to two triangles.


Best thing about this sandwich is that it can be used as light snack, appetizer or light lunch. You can omit any of the ingredient, if you don't have Chutney you can just serve it like the English serve it: just with butter and cucumbers.

I sprinkled loads of cayenne pepper on Kettle style potato chips for accompaniment with this sandwich and served it to my family with left over Asparagus soup (recipe on this blog under soups) for a light lunch.



Recipe by Surekha adapted from many recipes from family, friends and my mom of course who I am going to see very soon and can't wait to show her my blog to her..............Love you mom and dad :)




More recipes later....in April, Bye for now, my dear readers, subscribers and followers !!



Cucumber Sandwich description source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucumber_sandwich
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Asparagus Spinach Soup and Potato pocket Sandwiches













































Ingredients for Soup:



* 2 bunches of Asparagus



* 2 potatoes



* 1 large onion



* 4 cloves of garlic



* 1" piece of ginger peeled



* 4 cups of spinach



* Water to boil spinach



* 2 tables spoon olive oil



* 1 tables spoon of butter



* 1 tablespoon cumin powder



* 4 oz of cream cheese



* 1 can of evaporated milk



* Salt to taste



* 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper



* 2 cups of water






Method to make soup:



* Wash spinach and asparagus.



* Chop asparagus in 1-2 inch pieces.



* Chop onion, potatoes ginger and garlic.



* Boil spinach in water (do not cover the pan to preserve green color of spinach.



* When spinach leaves are tender and soft, turn the heat off and drain water.



* Heat oil and butter in a pan.



* Add chopped onions, potatoes, ginger and garlic.



* Add pinch of salt.



* Saute on medium heat until potatoes are tender and onions are light brown.



* Add asparagus and spinach.



* Cook until asparagus is tender.



* Add water, cumin powder, white pepper and salt to taste.



* Cook until water boils.



* Add cream cheese, stir and cook until cream cheese is melted.



* Use a hand blender to chop and grind all the ingredients to smooth consistency of soup.



* Add condensed milk and blend it again with hand blender.



* You may add more water to desired consistency.



* Cook until soup boils.



* Serve hot with your favorite sandwiches.



I made the potatoes pocket sandwiches in sandwich maker toaster as follows:





Ingredients for potato filling:




* 8 boiled potatoes chopped in cubes



* 8 oz of frozen peas thawed (I microwave the frozen peas for 2 min microwave
without adding and water to it)



* 1 Jalapeno (or 2 Serrano) pepper chopped



* 1 tables spoon of salt (or to taste)



* 2 tables spoon of coriander powder



* 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder



* 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder (or to taste)



* 1 teaspoon of Paprika powder



* 1 table spoon of mango powder (amchoor)



* 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala



* 2 tables spoon of vegetable cooking oil



* 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds



* 1/4 teaspoon of asafetida



* 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro leaves





To make sanwiches:




* Italian or Sour dough bread slices



* Olive oil



* You will need a sandwich maker toaster for this






Method to make filling:




* Add peas, chopped jalapenos, salt and all the spice powders to boiled and cubed potatoes.



* Heat oil in a pan.



* When oil is hot, add cumin seeds, when these splatter add asfetida.



* Add potatoes and peas with all the spice mixed in.



* Saute all the ingredients by gently turning them over with wooden spatula until all the spice are well incorporated.



* Turn the heat off and garnish with cilantro and mix well.




Method to make sandwiches:



* Heat the sandwich maker toaster.



* When this is heated, place slice of bread on each sandwich groove, with olive oil brushed on the bottom side.



* Place the 2 table spoon of filling on each bread.



* Top with another slice of bread and brush olive oil on top.



* Close the sandwich maker and cook until both side are golden brown.



* Take it out of toaster and cut in to two triangles.



* Serve hot with desired variety of sauce or Ketchup and with side of soup.







Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.
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