Proud to smell like curry: Roasted Potatoes and Yams

I am always paranoid; do my friends think I smell like curry? I am bound to smell like the food I cook especially when it emanates a strong aroma. So last week at the movie theater, when a friend asked me, “Did you have Indian food for dinner?” I almost died of embarrassment. Instead of running out of the theater, I looked at my friend straight in the eye and said, “That’s right, I just finished cooking the most amazing Aloo Gobi.” He replied “Wow! Can I come over and have some?” For just that one minute, I felt proud. Yes, I smell like curry.

Anyways, the next day I decided to take a break from cooking Indian food. I opted to roast the potatoes and yams that were in my pantry. At first my instinct was to cook Potato Patties or Salmon Masala Cakes, but my new dish was a refreshing change in flavor.

Roasted Potatoes and Yams
1 large yam
1 large potato
1 ½ tbsp of Roasted Garlic & Peppers Club House seasoning
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp of olive oil
salt to taste

garnish
lemon wedge
chopped coriander

1. Peel the potato and yam and then cut them into small pieces of the same size. Ensure that the pieces are same size, else you will end up with a combination of under and over cooked pieces.
2. Set your oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking tray with aluminum foil. Ensure you have a baking tray big enough that you are able to spread the vegetables in one layer. If the vegetables overlap, they will end up steaming and not crisp up.
3. Toss all ingredients in a bowl, and mix them well. Pour the tossed potato-yam mixture onto the baking tray and spread them around.
4. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes.

A trip to St John’s, NL: Rocket Bakery

A few months after we moved to St John’s, NL from Vancouver, the local newspapers were filled with stories about a local eatery, Auntie Crae’s, closing down. Rumor on the street was that a new bakery was opening in its place. A few weeks later unknowingly I walked into the new Rocket bakery to get a cup coffee and ended up spending hours there.

During a recent visit to Rocket Bakery, I was looking for the bathroom and somehow ended up in Kelly Mansell’s office. Kelly introduced herself as a part owner and I couldn’t stop myself from asking how it all began. Turns out she moved from downtown Toronto to St John’s, just to open Rocket. She has been a part of Comrags, Toronto based women’s clothing label, and has worked on projects such as Pepsi’s Junos/Refresh. I am glad I got to connect with Kelly as she is a vibrant entrepreneur and is full of ideas to take Rocket to a whole new level.

Menu: Rocket Bakery offers in house made soups, salads, sandwiches, jams, and baked goods ranging from breads to cakes. They also have an espresso bar served by a barista who even creates latte art. Arvind’s favorite Rocket food is the pulled pork sandwich.

Price: I got a spicy tomato & black bean soup and a chocolate covered profiterole for $11.80.

Taste: Even though I am not a big fan of cream filled pastries, I loved the profiterole. Rocket’s profiteroles are filled with pastry cream, which tasted like a cross between whipped cream and custard. The tomato soup was served with a cheesy slice of baguette. The soup was hot, spicy, and hearty. I’ll definitely have both of these again.

Size: After devouring the soup, I found the profiterole was too much for me. I made the mistake of taking the rest of profiterole home… As Arvind got to it before I did.

My verdict: Rocket Bakery is where taste of home cooking meets modern heritage style. I will definitely go back to Rocket Bakery to eat healthy meals, buy local bread, and enjoy fresh flowers on each table.

Guest Post for Savour the Senses: Coriander Chili Chutney

My mom introduced me to her kitchen through washing dishes. Mom needed help and at 6 years of age I needed a reason to play with water. Slowly I graduated to cooking in my mom’s kitchen. Even then, when I would cook, mom would conveniently take care of the cleaning. Once I moved out I realized it takes a lot more to run a kitchen. My biggest challenge is to use ingredients that are about to go bad, without having to make a grocery trip. One such ingredient is coriander as it wilts soon. Thanks to Kosha now I know how to make quick Coriander Chili Chutney before my coriander starts to wilt. My mom would be so proud!

Last week Jenny from Savour the Senses kindly invited me to write a guest post. This was my first invitation to do so and I felt honored!! Hop over to Jenny’s blog for the Coriander Chili Chutney recipe.

Chips in Greens: Corn Tortilla Bacon Salad

I feel guilty eating chips in bed. So when I came across this brunch salad with tortilla chips, I jumped out of bed. Brunch salad you ask? That’s what Jamie Oliver calls this salad. Why else would I be eating chips in bed.

Anyways back to the salad, when I made this for the first time, I was really apprehensive of the flavors and how things would come together. After tasting it I fell in love with the crunch of the tortilla chips, the salt of the bacon, and the sweet of the corn.

Corn Tortilla Bacon Salad – serves 4
adopted from Jamie Magazine
2 sweet corn cobs
2 ripe avocadoes
4 strips of bacon
2 baby lettuce
100g of spinach
30g of tortilla chips
2 tbsp of olive oil

dressing
2 tbsp plain yogurt
2 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, leaves picked
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp of virgin olive oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste

1. Place a pan or a griddle with a lid, over medium – high heat and pour olive oil into it.
2. Place corn cobs onto the pan and cover it with the lid. The corn will blacken at the point of contact so turn it around every minute or so until it’s cooked all the way around.
3. Cut the avocado in half and pit it.
4. A few minutes before the corn is ready, place the avocado skin side up onto the pan. In a couple of minutes the avocado will char.
5. Remove the avocado and the corn from the griddle.
6. Add the bacon to the pan and cook it until it’s crisp.
7. Run a knife down the sides of the corn to slice off the kernels.
8. Rip the bacon into small pieces.
9. Mix all the dressing ingredients together.
10. Toss all the salad ingredients together in a bowl and drizzle with salad dressing.

My verdict: If you grill the bacon, avocado, and corn the night before, this is a quick recipe for work mornings.