Sep 30, 2012

Grilled whole Mackerel with Lemon, Thyme and Red chilli flakes!

Grilled fish, that has been on my must-try list for grilling, ever since we bought our new gas grill. Finally last week I got a chance to try it out and I was very happy with the results. I grilled a 3lb Mackerel whole :-) , well Manish just happened to get one from Whole Foods without cutting it into smaller pieces, so I thought why not?!! I took these snaps in the evening around 7pm, so they look quite dull.

Found a really simple recipe here and I had all the ingredients at hand and adapted it a bit more to suit our taste. I was initially a bit skeptical about grilling fish by wrapping it in foil and just pouring the marinade over the fish without actually marinating it. But if the foil is wrapped such that the marinade does not drip out much, it retains all the flavors and results in a flaky, moist and delicious grilled fish :-)
The fish was so flavorful and flaky and the lemon wedges tasted like pickle. Manish literally ate up all the lemon wedges too. Though I had rubbed some red chilli powder on the fish and also added red chilli flakes in the marinade, it did not make the fish very spicy. I guess the lemon juice sort of gave a good balance between tangy and mild spicy, such that even my 15 month old could eat the fish.

Grilled whole Mackerel with Lemon, Thyme and Red chilli flakes
 You'll Need
Whole Mackerel - 3lb (Cleaned , I removed the head and tail)
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Finely grated fresh lemon zest - 1 whole lemon
Fresh lemon juice - 1 whole lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil - 3/4 to 1 cup
Dried Thyme or Orgenao - 1 tsp
Red Chilli Flakes - 2 tsp
Coarsely ground black pepper - 2 tsp (optional)
Lemon slices - 6-7 (1/4 inch thick)
Salt - to taste

1. Mix together the red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Cut deep slits into the fish at 1 inch intervals and rub the whole fish with this dry spice mix , making sure that the spice gets rubbed inside the slits as well and keep aside.
2. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Taste test to make sure the marinade is flavorful. (make sure not to add too much salt as the fish is already rubbed with some salt)
3. Preheat your grill, and in the meantime cut out 2 large foil wraps (the foil wraps should be larger than your fish) and place 3 lemon wedges on the foil and place the fish carefully over these wedges. Again place 3 or more lemon wedges over the fish.
4. Arrange the foil such that it forms a dish like appearance and pour the marinade over the fish. Slightly lift the fish allowing some marinade to coat the bottom of the fish.
5. Completely wrap the fish carefully making sure that the marinade does not seep out. Place the fish over a lightly oiled grill and grill for 15 minutes. Using tongs, turn the fish over and again grill for another 15 minutes. (Some oil may drip out at this point, which is fine)

6. Transfer fish to a large platter using 2 metal spatulas or tongs. Let it sit for sometime before opening. Serve hot :-)

I'm sure this recipe can even be tried for Baked Fish. Here's some good tips on how to Oven bake a fish.
Very soon we were just left with this :-)
So give this a try. Its a change from our usual fish preparations and the taste is unique and really delicious.

Btw, if anyone is wondering if we ate the fish with strawberries (as shown in the pic), let me just say, all the strawberries were eaten by my strawberry loverboy - lil Manav. He simply loves the fruit and will eat it with anything. So fish and strawberries for him :-)

See you soon!!


Sep 27, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Cookies....with Walnuts and Chocolate chips!!

These cookies are by far my absolute favorite! The moment I saw this cookie on the Tasty Kitchen Blog, I knew I would be definitely trying this one out. I had plenty of zucchini at home, mainly bought for a grilled zucchini recipe experiment, but finally it made way into these cookies ;-)
I made these cookies twice in a single week, thats how much we loved them. First I made them without the nuts and chocolate chips, so that Lil Appu could enjoy them as well. Next I made a batch for a Bake Sale in my office, where I did the actual recipe with all the nuts and choco-chip goodness and they sold off in a jiffy!
I served these cookies to our neighbor's little girl and she ate 3 of them in one go, without even drinking her milk. Not to mention how much my little fella loves them, I had sent him a cookie (without the nuts and choco chips) for snack time at his daycare and his teacher has written 'He ate ALL his cookie' :-D Big SMILE!!!
Here's a sneek-peek of how the two batches I made look from inside. Both were equally good!
Its a soft, brownie or cake like cookie with a lovely cinnamony chocolate flavor and lots of walnuts and chocolate chips , mmmmmm all my favorite stuff , and the zucchini is the hidden ingredient here. I'll bet you, no one, not even you , would realize there is zucchini in these cookies. The whole house smelled amazing while they were baking, which I did hint to my readers on my facebook page ;-)
I loved the cracked up crunchy and puffy exterior and really soft fudgy interior....are you still reading?? High time you started making them :-)
I followed the recipe almost exactly, but the only modification I did was to add 1cup All-purpose flour and quarter cup Whole wheat flour, to get the best of both words ;-) and I added a whole grated zucchini , which was a little more than the 1cup measure as per the recipe. No regrets, they came out great!

I've tried to provide step wise pictures, because I really want you to make them. I got almost 30 - 35 cookies with this recipe. I scooped out teaspoon measured dough for each cookie, but it was big enough.

Chocolate Zucchini Cookies Recipe
You'll need
Whole Wheat Flour Or All Purpose Flour - 1¼ cup
Baking Soda - 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon - 2 teaspoons
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - ½ cup
Unsalted Butter, Softened - 5 Tablespoons
Vanilla Extract - 1 teaspoon
Brown Sugar - ½ cup
White Cane Sugar - ½ cup (I used regular white sugar)
Whole Egg - 1
Shredded/Grated Zucchini - 1 cup  (finely grated is better)
Confectioner's (powdered) Sugar (for rolling the Dough in) - 1 cup
Walnuts, Chopped - ½ cup
Semi-sweet (or Dark) Chocolate Chips - 1 cup

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. In a bowl, whisk or sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder . Set aside.
3. In another large mixing bowl combine the butter, vanilla extract and sugars. Use a stand or hand mixer to mix until creamy. (I used my hand mixer and later used a spoon to mix well)
4. Add the egg and grated zucchini and mix just until combined.
5. Pour in the flour mixture , little at a time and mix just until combined.
6. Add the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips (optional), mix to integrate into dough.
7. Sprinkle confectioner’s (powdered) sugar on a plate/bowl so you can roll the balls of cookie dough in the sugar. Roll the dough into balls and roll them in the sugar if desired.
8. Space cookie dough evenly on a parchment-lined or lightly oiled cookie sheet. .
 9. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes
10. Transfer the cookies onto a cookie rack for them to cool down, else they may sweat and get soggy.
Helpful Suggestions:
1. The Zucchini can be grated very finely or just shredded  in thicker strips. Both ways , the texture of the cookies remains the same.
2. It would be best to shred the zucchini and leave the plate or board titling a bit (almost at a  45degree angle), so that any excess water from the zucchini drains off, this enables the dough to be less watery. (But do not squeeze the water out from the zucchini)
3. I used a teaspoon to scoop out the dough and roll in the powdered sugar. The cookie puffs up really well. If you want a larger cookie, use a tablespoon measure scoop.

Now wasn't that just easy....In less than an hour , beautiful cookies are ready and the house smells awesome! Here's one for you, a nice big soft and yummy cookie! 
Now how many of you thought my hand looks really huge and chubby ?? ;-) I kept my hand too close to the camera I guess....Oh well ;-)  See you next time with another lovely recipe!!

Sending this post to the evnt:
1. Cookie Party hosted by Shema of Lifescoops


Sep 19, 2012

Rose Lemonade...a ruby colored, rose flavored lemonade!!!

I'm so happy to share my very first Drink/Juice recipe on 'MED' , short for Manju's Eating Delights ;-) !!

This is a really quick and simple lemonade drink...Rose lemonade, sounds familiar or new? ;-)
Well Manish just loves rose flavored drinks (Rose milk, Ruhafza etc) and he has to always grab a bottle of Rose syrup that we get in our Indian stores and he makes the drink himself.
According to his mom when he was a little boy, he would only drink his milk if it was pink...LOL.....thank god he doesn't want Pink milk anymore ;-P

Rose syrup is just a really really sweet Rose water and sugar concentrate. Smells and tastes like Roses I must say ! The syrup is red colored, that's how this lemonade looks red. Rose syrup can also be used for flavoring or topping as a sauce over several other desserts, like Icecreams,Cheesecake, Cake, Puddings etc.
But , I,  on the other hand, hate anything Rose flavored , but I do love all kinds of lemonade...
It was my sister-in-law who suggested to add some lemon juice in the drink. And it definitely did do wonders to the taste. It definitely tasted like a Rose flavored lemonade. Hey, I'm not complaining anymore!

Even my little guy gulped down half a glass , half of it dripping down his chweeeet little chin!!
The beautiful red color and flavor of rosy lemonade makes this a 'beautiful' and refreshing drink for any warm or windy day...Can you see through the drink, cool eh? ;-)
This is not even a recipe. Even a child could prepare this drink. The quantity of Rose Syrup you add totally depends on your taste preference.

Rose Lemonade
You'll need
Water - 4 glasses (use the same glass you would serve the drink in)
Rose Syrup - 3-4 tablespoons (use more if you prefer a stronger rose flavor)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice - 2 lemons (use more or less lemon juice as per taste preference)
Ice - as required
Fresh Lemon slices - for garnish

Just mix everything together and serve chilled!!! Easy peezy ;-)
Garnish your glass with Lemon slices if you wish.
(If using Rose Water, add 2-3tablespoon Rose water + 2-3 tblsp Sugar and make your own concentrate)
The Rose syrup is already sweet, so you need not add any sugar unless necessary. All the ice I added melted by the time I took these snaps...But you go ahead and add as much ice as you want.

Or mayb you could try blending the ice with the rose syrup+lemon juice and create a Rosy-Lemony Icee....hmmmm sounds interesting? Maybe I will try that next time!

Enjoy it however you want. Its definitely a refreshing and pretty looking drink, don't you think?  :-)


Sep 15, 2012

Blog Awards for me and you & little this-n-that about Me !!

“No matter how busy you are, you must take time to make the other person feel important.” 
- Mary Kay Ash

So let me start by expressing a big Thank You to all those who have thought my blog was worth receiving their precious awards. At the same time let me tell you I'm so sorry that I've never acknowledged them or posted them on my blog as I should have.
Everytime I get a new award I make sure I send a thank you note to the respective person and I save the award on a folder in my dsktop , thinking of posting it with my next post. But then my next post would be after another 2 -3 weeks and I rush up with a post of some recently made dish and I totally forget about the award. How stupid of me!!

But since past few weeks, I was determined to check out all my posts where I was given awards and ackowledge it where it should be. So here goes my friends, all the beautiful and encouraging awards I have gotten till date. I actually went back to the respective bloggers archive and dug them out again to make sure ;-)
And I'm going to share them with few fellow bloggers whom I feel deserves it , though everyone is an award winner in the blogging world. Kudos to us all !!!

So heres my long list of awards from where I left off, that I'm immensely proud to share . You also get to know a few details about Me , as thats a rule/condition for some of these awards. So keep reading till the end :-)

Starting with an  award shared so lovingly by Sonali pradhan of Only Fish recipes last year on Dec31st,2011. Best New Year's Eve Gift ever :-) Unfortunately I couldn't find the award , but Thank you so much nevertheless. 
My New Year 2012 also started with another beautiful set of awards given to me by the lovely Sangeetha of Spicy Treats on Jan 3rd,2012.

Ramona of Curry and Comfort shared the Fabulous Blog Award on Feb 8th , 2012. 

Again a set of beautiful awards shared by Sonali pradhan of Only Fish recipes on March 4th,2012

Deeps (Deepthi Rao) of Naughty Curry on March 7th,2012 shared the Versatile blogger award, which left me smiling loud and wide  :-D
The 3 rules of the award were:
Thank the person who awarded you & link back to their blog (which I did)
Share 5 things about yourself (which I will do shortly)
Pass the award to 5 other blogs you love (which I will do shortly) :-)

Vineetha of Fine Flavors on March 22,2012 shared another gorgeous looking Versatile blogger award
The rules for accepting this award were:
Add the awards to your blog. {Which I'm doing now ;-) }
Thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog. (I always do that first)
Share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself. (will share shortly)
Forward this award to your fellow bloggers and inform them with a comment on each of their blogs  (will share shortly)

A lovely blogger Poorni @ Easy and Homely Cookbook shared the Sunshine award on June 5th, 2012

Another new blogging friend Punitha of South India Food recipes on July 29,2012 shared a gorgeous looking Sunshine Blogger Award to all her blogging friends, how sweet of her :-)

And last but never the least, a gorgeous looking flower shaped 'Liebster Blog Award' shared by  Jopreet of Indian Kitchen on Aug 12th, 2012

So there you go my dear friends, I hope I have done justice to your efforts in giving me these awards , and who could me more proud than lil'ol me :-)

Ok, now coming to few of the rule categories for some of the awards, I have to mention few things about myself and I'm going to share a total of 12 things about Me, don't run away, pls pls stay to read :-)

1. I'm Manju Mohanan Nair, born on October 8th, in Saudi Arabia. I'm proud to say I stand 5'8" tall , which my mom was hopelessly worried about as I'm the tallest in my family and she kept thinking I would grow up to be a giant...sheesh, the problems that come with being the daughter of a devoted professional nurse!!! ;-)
2. I have lived in/studied in/visited the following countries: Saudi Arabia, Dubai, India, Mauritius and USA and hoping to see many more....

3. I hate to watch movies in a theatre...ya *gasp* ! I can never remember the story of a movie that I've watched in a theatre, I'd rather watch it at home where I can pause whenever I want , go to the loo whenever I want and eat whatever I like ,again, whenever I want ;-P

4. I like keeping myself busy, so even after working 8hrs daily, I come home planning to try out a new entree or bake a cake from scratch, take photographs , clear up some of it and later whine about how I have so much to do everyday and ask Manish to help me do the dishes ...hahhaha!!! Oh btw, I also have to feed my naughty 14month old, not an easy task in between all this :-)

5. I can be very stubborn about executing things a certain way and even if I ask around for ideas, I usually always go by my own instincts...some examples on my blog are My Valentines day dinner, My little boys B'day party, the dinners/lunches I host for my friends at home and several others not listed in the blog  :-) 

6. I never knew I could bake, but now all I do is think about what to bake next , thanks to few good friends and blogging ! My The baby shower Crib cake for example, I went crazy looking for ideas and techniques for almost a month before I made that cake!

7. I am a true-blue Chocoholic :-) Serve me a platter of desserts and I will go for anything which looks chocolatey brown or has chocolate chips in it :-) A cup of Hot Cocoa now and then literally pulled me through my pregnancy :-)

8. I get depressingly homesick during cold weathers, sounds weird ?? No idea why and I hate wearing sweaters. 

9. I love spending time with my little boy...but I go crazy if I have to look after him the whole day myself :-) I believe in 'division of  labour'...hahaha!!!

10. I have a hell lot of friends, but my weak point is that I never keep in contact with them, not on purpose, but just so happens! I hope to get back in touch with everyone again. Thank you God for Facebook and Twitter, atleast that way I can do some justice.

11. I post something on my blog, and from the very next minute, I keep checking at my Gmail or Facebook for comments/Likes. Its like an addiction, I won't stop checking until I'm dead tired or going to sleep, and when I wake up at midnight/early morning to feed my kid, I again check ;-)

12. Right now, I'm feeling quite weird that I've started all my above sentences with ' I ' , does it make me sound arrogant? ;-) and I cannot summarize myself in 12 hopefully I'll get more awards where I need to say more about myself ! ;-)

Hope you enjoyed knowing 'Me' a bit more!  :-)
Now to the exciting part of this post. Giving away some of the awards to my fellow blogging friends. 
Rules for accepting these awards:
1. Accept the award and leave a comment on my blog for your acceptance.
2. Post them on your blog and share some 5 facts about yourself.
3. Share the awards with at least 5 or more blogger buddies, Spread the joy my dear friends :-)

I want to share this 'Versatile Blogger Award' with :
2. Kankana of Sunshine and Smile
3. Ramona of Curry and Comfort
4. Gayathri of Gayathri's Cook Spot
5. Divya of Flavor Fiesta

I want to share this 'Cutest Blog Award' with :
1. Julie of Erivum Puliyum
2. Vineetha of Ruchi 
3. Shema of LifeScoops
4. Shirley of Enriching your kid 
5. Non stick, Nutty and Sous chef of SweetToothCraving

“Liebster” is German for “favorite”. So this  “favorite blog award” is awarded to:
1. Namitha of Collaborative Curry
2. Deepa of Hamaree Rasoi 
3. Sonali of Only Fish Recipes
4. Sayantani of A Homemaker's Diary
5. Anu of Hot Pot Cooking

This gorgeous 'Sunshine Blogger Award' is awarded to:
1. Sangeetha of Spicy Treats
2. Rashida of Inherited Recipes
3. Puja of US Masala
4. Aarthi of YummyTummy
5. Priya of Priya's Now serving

I seriously want to share more awards with everyone but lets start with this much for now :-) and keep waiting for more, shall we!! 

Have a good weekend guys, I have to work though :-( but hard works will pay off someday right? Maybe I'll get a comp off for the weekend work, so I'll keep wishing for that to happen  :-)

Take care and stay tuned, Manju's Eating Delights is gonna be brimmed with recipes and activities over the next few weeks, so keep waiting for whats coming up next on my facebook page here!!!