Fan mail Fan mail !!

Received this from our friend Jen !! or “chutki” as we call her in our household.. 🙂 (and yes, there is a story behind it)
Dear Freaky Curry,
Thank you for hosting Apps and Cocktails!  If it’s possible, I had more fun at this class than at the first one I went to!  What a great idea for a class!!  
I appreciate that you make the class environment so warm and inviting that a non-cooker like me feels comfortable asking any question, no matter how basic.  The hands on approach makes it easy to learn and I love all the random tips you throw in!  The notecards are a great idea to jot them all down.
Thanks again for being an excellent host and teacher!  🙂
Jen
Thanks Jen for the kind words. We love having you !! BTW : You do make the best guac I know of 🙂
Love !!

Vegetarian Delights cooking class

        

What a fun weekend we all had..         

Special thanks to Joel who took all these amazing pictures !! He is awesome with the camera .. He makes my food look so much better..:)

He is a big fan of Freaky Curry and a well wisher. Thanks Joel !!

Our “vegetarian” class

This was our first ever all vegetarian cooking class and what a great turnout !!

We started a bit early and I was surprised to see all of our “students” ready to go as they arrived !!

We also had Ted bring bagels for us !! A lot of bagels.. 🙂

I made some green juice (spinach, kiwi, pear and watermelon) which I shared with all.

There were some skeptic sips but they all turned to second servings pretty soon which is always good 🙂

We all got settled in with our bagels (lotsa bagels !)  coffee and green juice and got right to work !
Went over the menu as usual and talked about the motivation behind it.

A moment of truth here: I really spent a lot of time on this menu. Like more than the usual amount.

Reasons:


1. It was all vegetarian.. We in America still see vegetarianism as being something different. Something exotic and something as a “pop trend”. It’s like when you think of the word, people think you wear hemp skirts and do yoga all the time. When we talk to people about being a vegetarian, it’s almost seen as an unnatural thing but in fact did you know that vegetarianism is rather common than you would think. Anyway, so I wanted the menu to reflect that, we weren’t doing anything radically different but something very natural.

2. To create vegetarian entrees and not sides which they normally are,  can be a difficult task. I wanted to make sure that the dish had enough starch, proteins and enough “everything” to satisfy the taste buds and our dietary needs.

3. I had carnivores coming to the class !! ha-ha.. well some of them.. I had a “tame the lion and make him eat grass” kind of a deal going on 🙂

So anyway, this was the menu for the class. 

Masala Chole (chickpeas) sliders with mint yogurt sauce and pickled red onions. 
To serve 2-3
1 Cup of cooked chickpeas (Drained and rinsed if using canned product)
2 Carrots peeled, washed and roughly chopped
1 medium white onion peeled and roughly chopped
2 Tbsp cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
Pulse all the above in a food processor till a paste is formed. Look below for the texture. It’ll be a little gritty but all the ingredients should be incorporated well. 
Eric was in charge of the food processor !! He did a great job !! 
Adding homemade garam masala to our chole/chickpeas mixture
Season with salt, pepper and all spice (Garam masala) according to your preference. 
If the mixture is a little too soggy, add a Tbsp or two of cornstarch and mix well. 
Make patties (like burgers) and shallow fry in a pan on medium heat in some OO (about 3-4 Tbsp). Cook for almost 3-4 minutes on one side and flip . Cook the second side the same way. 
You might/will have to add more oil and cook the rest of the patties that way. Let the oil heat before you add more patties. If you add them in cold oil, they’ll get soggy and won’t have the crispy exterior. 
Drain on paper towels. 

Pickled red onions

2 Large red onions (peeled and sliced thin)
1/4-1/2 cup of your choice of vinegar (Preference: White vinegar, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar)
1/2 Tbsp of whole peppercorns (Black or pink or both)
Touch of salt and sugar

Cover the onions with water in a shallow pan. Cook the onions for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat till semi soft. (All we are doing is removing the “raw” smell and the bite from the onions.)

Drain the water and add the vinegar to the onions. Add the seasonings. Cook for another 5-6 minutes.
Let it rest and bring the onions to room temperature. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill in the fridge before serving. These can last in the fridge for about 2-3 weeks. 

Here is Dharmesh (our newbie and a religious follower of FC !! and a great friend) understanding the concept of why we are cooking the onions just a bit instead of browning them for the pickle.

Mint yogurt sauce (Mint raita)

1/2 cup of plain yogurt (Plain, unflavored, homemade or Greek yogurt will work best)
2-3 Tbsp of mint leaves chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the above and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving. 
To assemble the sliders, I always toast little Hawaiian rolls or potato rolls with a touch of butter. Sandwich a chickpeas patty in the bread and use the yogurt sauce as mayo/spread. Top with the pickled red onions. 

Erin approves!!

 Quinoa and lentils pilaf topped with tangy feta

To serve 3-4 
1 Cup of raw quinoa
2 cloves of garlic smashed
1 cup of mixed veggies (Zucchini, onions, peppers, carrots)
1.5 – 2 cups of broth (Water will work as well)
1 Cup of cooked lentils 
( Rinse and drain the lentils and boil in 3 cups of water with a couple of bay leaves and cloves to add some flavor. Season with salt.)
2- 3 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped
1/2 cup of feta chopped in small chunks
1/2 cup of roasted corn (optional)
Salt and pepper
Sautee the garlic in about a Tbsp of OO for a couple of minutes in a shallow pan. Add the veggies and stir for another couple of minutes. Add the quinoa and stir. Add about 1.5 cups of broth (or water) and cover the pan. Season with salt and pepper. You can add more broth if you like the quinoa a little softer and less granular. Cook for about 12-15 minutes till the grains grow little “tails”  🙂
Remove from heat and let it rest. 
Layer the quinoa and the lentils in a serving dish. Garnish with the roasted corn, parsely and feta. 
Serve warm, at room temperature or cold !! 
Perfect as an entree or a side dish. 


Poblano stuffed with rice, beans and queso fresco
 served with avocado sour cream and mango salsa

 “Sweet looking” spicy Poblano peppers 
\
Found these in the farmers market the other day and I fell in love !! Beautiful, shiny, dark green and oh so succulent looking.. They have some heat but they taste almost smoky when baked or grilled. DELISH !!

Here is Sakshi cutting the peppers with gloves on !! Smart woman 🙂 We love her spirit in class !!

Removing the seeds and the ribs from the peppers help reduce the heat a lot. Using gloves is recommended. (Personal experience) 🙂 Wash in cold water and wipe clean with paper towels after.. 
Filling: (Enough for 2-3 big sized peppers)
1 cup of cooked white/ brown/ wild rice
1 cup of cooked black beans (Drained and rinsed if using canned product)
1/2 cup of chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1/2 cup of chopped red onions
2 cloves of garlic smashed
1/2 cup of queso fresco crumbled
smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the above and stuff the peppers. Use gloves or a spoon. Top with some more queso fresco and arrange in a baking dish lightly sprayed with OO. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes till the skin on the peppers wilt down a bit. 
Top with monterey jack cheese and baked another 5 minutes till the cheese melts if you like the ooyee gooyee feeling !! 
Serve warm with mango salsa and the avocado sour cream.
Mango Salsa
1 Cup of mango chopped (without the seed)
1 Avocado chopped ( no seed please ;))
2 Tbsp cilantro chopped
1/2 medium white onion chopped
Juice of half a lime
Salt and pepper
Mix all the above and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 
You can also serve this with chips or as topping on tacos, sandwiches and burgers !!

Avocado Sour Cream
1 cup of sour cream
1 avocado (Remove the seed please)
Juice of a lime
Salt and pepper
Mash all the above and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 
You can also serve this with chips or as topping on tacos, sandwiches and burgers !!

What a fun class !!!

Ami and Mallory catching up 😉 Love these ladies !! They are a treat to cook with



Our another newbie ! Shilpa deep in thought over some stuffed Poblano peppers 😉


This class was definitely for her !! She had been trying to attend our classes for sooo long but due to life and family commitments, she couldn’t. So glad she came !!


Special thanks to all our friends who came out and cooked with me !! Love love love you guys !! 

Recipes up for Appetizers !!

Our menu

Carmelized onions and fig tarts topped with brie

To serve 4-6
Pre-made pastry sheets – 2
Fig jam – 6 oz
Brie – 4” chunk or ½ a small wheel
Egg wash
1 Egg
1 Tbsp of water
Mix the above and keep aside.
Carmelized onions
2 Onions sliced thin. (Use white or red onions for the sweetest flavor)
1 Tbsp of sugar
1 Tsp of salt
On medium high heat, cook the onions and the seasonings in an open pan with a Tbsp of OO. Keep stirring to avoid sticking and over browning the onions. The onions should take about 15-18 minutes to turn a golden brown color.  It may a take a little longer depending on how much water is in the onions so keep an eye out. It’ll take a moment for the onions to go from a perfect carmelized state to a browned state and then to burn J
For the tarts;
Thaw as per directions on the back of the container and roll the sheets out. Using a cookie cutter, cut into desired sizes of round or square shapes. Brush them with the egg wash and bake them for about 10-12 minutes as per the heat requirements suggested on the box.
Top each tart with a Tbsp of carmelized onion and a tsp of your favorite jam (Figs or raspberries go best). Season with salt and pepper. Top with a chunk of brie and bake further for 5-6 minutes.
Serve hot or at room temperature.
Scallion cheese and lox phyllo cups

 To serve 4-6
Pre-made thawed Phyllo cups (3-4 pieces per person)
(You will find these in your grocer’s freezer)
Filling
1 tub (8-10 Oz of plain light cream cheese at room temperature)
2-3 slices of smoked salmon (lox)- chopped fine
Finely Chopped scallions – 1-2 Tbsp
Fresh chopped chives – 2 Tbsp
Capers roughly chopped- 2 Tbsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the above and chill in the fridge for atleast an hr.
Bake the phyllo cups in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 7-9 minutes till they turn crisp.
Fill in a pastry bag or a zip lock bag and make a cone. Snip the edge off and fill the phyllo cups. 

Serve immediately.

Shrimp and lemongrass skewers


To serve 4-6
Medium to large Shrimps – 1 pound (3-4 pieces per person)
(De-veined and peeled, rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel.)
For the marinade
¾ -1 cup of coconut milk
2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
2 Tbsp of lemongrass paste
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne or red chili flakes if you dare 😉
Mix all the above ingredients.
Marinade the clean shrimp in the marinade above for at least 30 min. Thread the shrimps (with the tail on for presentation) on wet skewers. Grill the shrimps on high heat on a lightly greased stove top grill pan or on an outdoor grill for 2-3 minutes on each side (you can brush extra marinade while switching sides) till they turn pink and opaque. 
Dressing for the shrimp
OO – 4 Tbsp
Fresh chopped basil – 1 Tbsp
Fresh chopped cilantro – 1 Tbsp
Lemongrass paste- 1 Tsp
Juice of ½ a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Shake it all up and serve as a dipping sauce or drizzle on top of the shrimps before serving.

Cherry tomatoes stuffed with curried crab meat

To serve 4-6
Cherry tomatoes- about 3-4 per person
Hollow out the tomatoes by cutting a thin slice on top and using a small baby spoon to remove the flesh and seeds.
Crabmeat salad
Cooked Crabmeat – 8-10 oz (Your preference of lump or claw. Fresh cooked crabmeat  is encouraged but canned works too if available)
2-3 Tbsps of Mayonnaise (Use only enough to incorporate all of the crabmeat)
Fresh chopped parsley – 2 Tbsps
Juice of ½ a lemon
Curry powder – 1-2 Tsp (As per your taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the above and chill in the fridge for about an hr.
Fill the tomatoes with the crabmeat salad. Serve cold.


Recipes up for Breakfast in Bed !!

Almond crusted French toast


To serve 2
Pumpernickel bread slices – 4
2 eggs
½ cup of milk
Cooking spray
1 Tbsp of butter
½- 3/4 cup of almond slices
Whisk eggs and milk together and pour in a shallow plate. Make a sandwich of 2 slices of bread and the about 2 Tbsp of the cherry compote. (Will yield two sandwiches). Dip in the egg mixture and then roll in the almonds on both sides.
Cook in a shallow pan with some cooking spray and half the Tbsp of butter on both sides. (for about 3-4 minutes on each side). Repeat for the second sandwich. Cut diagonally and serve with some cherry compote and egg custard for dipping.
Cherry ginger compote
1 pound of Bing cherries, rinsed and stems removed (deseeded if you have them)
1-2” of ginger root, skin peeled and smashed/grated
½ cup of sugar
In a deep pot, mix all the above ingredients. Add ½ cup of water and cook on medium heat for about 14-15 minutes till the cherries are soft and mashed up. Use a potato masher to “smoosh” the cherries. You may have to add more water as necessary. Try to keep the consistency almost jam like. Remove from heat when the sugar and the cherries have reduced to almost 1/3 the original volume.
Let cool. Pick the fruit stones with a spoon.
Vanilla egg custard
1/4 – 1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
2 egg yolks
2 Cups Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and milk in saucepan. Cook stirring constantly over medium heat until it simmers. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Temper the eggs with a little bit of the warm milk and then pour the eggs in to the saucepan. Reduce heat to low and cook 1 minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Chill

Spanish eggs with vegetable and chorizo hash
To Serve 3-4
Mexican chorizo sausage (soft) – 1 pound
4-6 eggs
Veggies for the Hash
Shallots – 1 medium diced fine
Any firm vegetables diced – 2-3 cups of use the below
Sweet potatoes – ½ cup diced
Potatoes – ½ cup diced
Bell peppers – ½ cup diced
Corn – boiled or roasted – ½ cup
Grape tomatoes – handful
1-2 cloves of garlic smashed
2-3 Tbsp of parsley and basil chopped
Brown sausage on medium heat till cooked for about 10-12 minutes. Drain the access fat. Reserve the sausage on the side.
Sautee shallots and garlic in a Tbsp of OO for 2-3 minutes till pink and limp. Add the veggies and cook on low- medium heat till the potatoes are cooked but still firm.
In a shallow baking and serving dish, layer the vegetables and the chorizo. Make 4-6 wells in the hash. Carefully break the eggs in the wells. Break the eggs closer to the pan so as not to splash the eggs everywhere.
Bake the dish in a pre heated oven at 350 degrees for 14-15 minutes till the eggs are set. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Garnish with the fresh herbs.
Chocolate painted bacon with sea salt and cayenne
To Serve 2
4-6 slices of thick cut bacon (skewered on BBQ sticks- optional)
Sea salt and cayenne pepper
Line a baking sheet with foil or use a grated shallow baking sheet. (This will help for all the drippings to fall into a pan while the bacon is baking)
Bake 4-6 strips of bacon in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 15-16 minutes.
Keep an eye on the bacon as it may burn if in the oven too long. The cooking time may vary a bit according to the thickness of the meat.
Take the cooked bacon out from the oven and pat in between paper towels to absorb access fat. Let cool at room temperature.
For chocolate paint
1.5 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp of butter/margarine/shortening
On a low heat, melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Alternatively, you can use a microwave. Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwaveable bowl at 30 seconds intervals. Use a spatula in between the cooking time to beat/melt the chocolate.  (Total cooking time about 2-3 minutes)
When chocolate is melted, take a pastry brush and “paint” the bacon.
Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and cayenne pepper (optional).
Let chill in the fridge till the chocolate sets.  (5-7minutes)
Pear-granate spritzer
To Serve 1
2 Oz. Of Pear juice
1 Oz of Pomegranate juice
Chilled Prosecco
½ Tbsp of Pomegranate seeds
In a tall glass, add the juices and the pomegranate seeds and stir. Top off with some chilled Prosecco. (About 2-3 Oz).
Serve chilled!

Next cooking class

Please note our next cooking class will be on April 14th from 9-11 AM. This class will focus on vegetarian dishes. We will be working with the likes of lentils, quinoa and ofcourse a lot of fresh veggies and herbs.

Can’t wait !! Check us out on Facebook and “like” us to get updates and news.