Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Savoury Baked Casseroles


Think baking and the dishes that come to mind are often cakes, cookies and sweet things. Casseroles are a traditional method of winter cooking in many parts of the world including France and the Southern States parts of the USA like Texas and Mississippi. Casseroles, are so named because of the dish they are baked in and are basically dishes that are assembled and the baked in the oven. They usually consist of ingredients such as meat, chopped vegetables, starchy binders such as flour, rice, tortillas, potatoes or pasta cheese all flavoured with herb and spices. Sometimes liquid in the form of stock, wine, beer gin, cider, or vegetable juice may also be added after assembling the dish. Casseroles aim at getting all the food groups in one dish and may be served as a main course or a side dish, often in the vessel in which they were cooked. Casseroles are usually cooked slowly in the oven, often uncovered.

Spicy Lasagna 2 ways a la Natures Basket                                                                                           
Ingredients
12 lasagna sheets
Ina Parmans Cheese sauce (or white sauce from recipe below)
1 portion either Spicy Mince or Vegetarian filling (recipes below)
or ½ cup Mozarella grated
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

For Spicy Mince filling
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
Whole spices - 1 bay leaf, 3 cloves, 8 Peppercorns
1 large onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp red chilli flakes
1 tbsp oregano
200 g Lamb or chicken mince + 100g smoked bacon, chopped fine (optional) OR 300g Mince.
500ml bottle ready tomato Pasta sauce
1 Salt to taste
½ tsp Garam masala to finish

Spicy Vegetarian filling
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 green chillies chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp Keya green or white pepper corns freshly crushed
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 carrots, diced fine
2 green bell peppers, chopped fine
2 small zucchini, diced fine
1 head fresh broccoli, cut into tiny florets (dice stems fine)
1 cube riso gallo organic veg stock
250 ml ready tomato Pasta sauce
1 Salt to taste

White sauce
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp Olive oil/Butter
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Method:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
To make Spicy Mince Filling - Heat oil in a pan add the garlic, whole spices, chilli flakes and oregano. Saute for 30 seconds. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes. A mince and saute for 10 minutes or until mince has let out juices and dried up. Stir in Pasta sauce and mix well. Cook till oil seperates. Add a little water if the mixture is too dry. Set aside.
To make Spicy Vegetarian Filling - To make Vegetarian Filling - Heat oil in a pan add the chillies, garlic, pepper and oregano. Sauter for 1 min add carrots, onions, bell peppers and zucchini and Stock cube. Saute for 6-7 minutes till soft and tender. Stir in tomato pasta sauce. And cook till oil rises to the top. Stir in Broccoli (the heat is enough to cook the broccoli). Set aside.

To make White sauce - Combine all the ingredients and place in a medium saucepan. Whisk well until well blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes, or until thick, stirring constantly. (Mixture should resemble pancake batter)

To assemble Lasagna - Soak 12 lasagna pasta sheets in hot water for 15 minutes. Grease a 9X13 baking pan or casserole with a little butter or olive oil. (or adjust layers according to your pan.)  Spread 1/3 of either the spicy vegetable or spicy mince filling on the bottom of the pan. Place 6 of the softened Lasagna sheets over the filling. Top with half of the white sauce over the layer of pasta sheets. Spread 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese over the white sauce layer. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella layer. Spread 1/3 of either the Spice vegetable or Spicy mince filling over the cheese layer. Lay out the remaining 6 softened pasta sheets. Spread the remaining  white sauce over pasta layer. Spread the rest of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over white sauce, saving a little of the cheese for the top of the lasagna. Put the last 1/3 filling over the cheeses. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven at 180 degress Centigrade for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 15-20 till cheese on top is nicely browned. Cool for approximately 10 minutes before serving.


Also you can buy white butter online from Natures Basket store at best prices!! 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Nature's Basket Events

Here is a schedule of our events in the month of November and December


City
Store
Venue
Date
Tie up Chef/Outlet
Topic
Delhi
Def Col
Def Col
24-Nov
Olive Bar & kitchen- Chef Noel & Chef Dhruv
Bakes
Pune

Boat Club/ Aundh

Dhole Patil road

24-Nov

Courtyard Marriott Pune City Centre - Chef Gurunathan
Bakes

Bglr

Indra Nagar

Indra Nagar

24-Nov

Rushina

Bakes
Hyd

Banjara Hills

Banjara Hills

25-Nov

Rushina

Bakes
Gurgaon

DT Mega mall

DT Mega mall

26-Nov

Flip Bistro-Chef Mahesh
Bakes
Pune
Boat Club/ Aundh
Courtyard by Marriott
1-Dec
Courtyard Marriott Pune  City Centre - Chef Gurunathan    
Bakes

Pune
Boat Club/ Aundh
Aundh   
      8-Dec
Courtyard Marriott Pune City Centre - Chef Gurunathan      
Cakes
Gurgaon
DT Mega mall
DT Mega mall
10-Dec
Flip Bistro-Chef Mahesh
Cakes
Pune
Boat Club/ Aundh
Courtyard by Marriott
15-Dec
Courtyard Marriott Pune City Centre - Chef Gurunathan      
Cakes
Hyd
Banjara Hills         
Banjara Hills
16-Dec
Kishi Arora
Cakes
Bglr
Indra Nagar
Indra Nagar
17-Dec
Kishi Arora
Cakes
Mum
Thane
Thane
17-Dec  
Rushina 
Cakes
Mum
Kandivali
Kandivali
17-Dec
Chef Ujjwal Shetty
Cakes
Delhi
Def Col  
Def Col  
22-Dec
Olive Bar & kitchen-
Chef Noel & Chef Dhruv
Cakes
Delhi
GK II
GK II
22-Dec
Kishi Arora
Cakes

Cakes and Bakes Festival at Nature's Basket




The Natures Basket Cakes and Bakes festival kicks off today! Just as the first nip of winter is in the 
air in Mumbai today! Even though the thermometer may not reflect it yet, in some parts of India,
November comes with the promise of cooler weather and the Christmas around the corner. It is
the season for baking. Baking is about the joy of taking turning plain and boring ingredients; eggs, flour, 
butter and making them into something lush and amazing. And Baking can be very satisfying. 
Requiring one to put in the effort of beating, whipping and mixing, but watching the cake slowly 
cook and darken to a beautiful gold is incredibly gratifying.
And Baking need not be saved for Festive dishes alone. It can also provide an apt solution for 
everyday cooking. It is a very healthy cooking medium that can provide quick and healthy solutions 
to daily cooking as well as for festive occasions. Think spice infused savoury casseroles and melty 
cheesy baked Pastas. Baking is so appropriate to the season, but needn't all be rich and heavy. 
Roasting and Grilling of meats have proved to be healthier ways of cooking. All of these simple 
treats added a little homey comfort after a long gruelling day at school or at the computer.
And to make things even more delicious there are a number of specials on baking products through 
this month. Make maximum use of your oven and use our wonderful easy to use ingredients to make 
the perfect dishes. Join us to savour some freshly baked treats this season.
We have also lined up a series of fabulous interactions with our consultants Rushina Munshaw 

Ghildiyal and Kishi Arora and chefs from superlative restaurants such as Flip Bistro, Olive Bar &
Kitchen, Courtyard Marriott Pune and the Taj Deccan in Hyderabad. Do come and take full 
advantage of the opportunity to learn from them. And to support all of this inspiration we are sending
your way, we have been working hard to stock up our shelves with ingredients to play with in the 
season of baking. Whether you are a novice baker or an expert, whether you like savoury bakes or
sweet cakes, whatever you are looking for, from ready pastas like lasagne and cannelloni, ready 
rolled phyllo pastry to all sorts of filling ideas for all of these including baking sauces, ready quiche 
shells waiting for savoury and sweet filling and a little grilling, ready cake and puddings, icing, 
decorative sprinkles, baking molds for you to celebrate the season with. And our patrons with 
special dietary requirements need not feel deprived; we also offer alternative flours (gluten free flour)
and fats like olive oil butter and egg replacer for vegans.  You will find everything you need to make 
daily and festive meals delicious and interesting! Pop the cork on a robust red wine, add a green 
salad to the table and enjoy the warmth of aromatic spices that will keep the nip of cold evenings at 
bay!
Baking is an exact science to a certain extent but one can go wrong if one is not careful. Here are 
a few tips to ensuring Baking Success from our Natures Basket Consultant Rushina Munshaw 
Ghildiyal who will be demonstrating some delicious recipes in Bangalore and Hyderabad this week. 
Want to learn more? Come and meet her!

# 1: Read the recipe. Ensure you have all of the ingredients you need and walk yourself through 

the recipe instructions. This will alert you to any timing issues.
Step 2: Assemble the ingredients according to your recipe, measuring them out and laying them in 

order of requirement.
Step 3: Assemble the pans and utensils you will need, including cooling racks and parchment or 

waxed paper, if the recipe calls for them.
Step 4: As you measure ingredients like flour, salt, milk, etc. out of the packages, ensure you put

the packages away.
Step 5: Prepare and measure out ingredients that need chopping, toasting, peeling, grating, zesting,

etc.
Step 6: Reread recipe.
Step 7: Adjust oven shelves, prepare pans and preheat your oven.
Step 8: Combine ingredients according to recipe instructions.
Step 9: Place baked goods in oven. Set timer.
Step 10: Clean up the kitchen while food bakes.