Large Potatoes – 2
Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt & Pepper – to taste
Topping – Chili Paste + Garlic Mayo Sauce
Butter & Salt & Pepper
Sour Cream with Herbs
Pre-heat oven to 200 C. Wash and scrub the potatoes and then rub with olive oil. Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap each potato in aluminium foil and place on the oven grill directly (middle shelf). Bake for 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the potatoes meets no resistance. Slice the potato down the center and fluff the insides of each potato with a fork. Top with garlic mayo mixed with chili sauce.
And I am back …. I was busy travelling due to office work for about a week, first to Lahore and then to Singapore; was initially really excited about the travel because I was like great, once I get done with the official work, I will be able to do some sightseeing and probably try out new cuisines and get ingredients in the meanwhile. But what wishful thinking that turned out to be; thanks to the weird temperature change in Karachi, I fell sick which basically majorly ruined the domestic travel, and ensured that I was so tired and sleepy for the Singapore travel that it was all I could do to maintain my energy level for the training that I was attending. Once I was back in the city, all my friends are like so how was the trip? It must have been so much fun, but honestly, while the trip wasn’t boring or anything, but with office work from 9:00 – 6:00 pm combined with after work socialization from 6:30 – 10:30 is definitely not a relaxing trip. I am really glad I have this weekend to recuperate and also get back to my blogging and cooking/baking schedule.
To start off, one of my favorite recipes – Baked New York Cheesecake. I love baking desserts, and I have experimented a lot and keep trying out new things, but I have never tried cheesecake because cream cheese is usually so expensive that I was always worried about something going wrong and all that cheese going to waste. Finally managed to get some cream cheese on sale and made this a few weeks ago and it was just one of the best desserts ever. So easy to make, and the taste was just so much better than what you get at a store. All that you need is some sauce to drizzle over the cheesecake to make it even more delicious.
New York Cheese Cake
Ingredients for Crust:
15 graham crackers, crushed (Substitute McVites Digestive biscuits in Pakistan)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Ingredients for Filling:
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (It has to be softened, so before adding the sugar, mash it up with a fork; it becomes softer and creamier and its easier to add the sugar and beat both ingredients together) – the best brand is Philadelphia cream cheese, but Kiri can be substituted though the flavor will be slightly different
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 cup sour cream (substitute 1 cup greek yoghurt or strain yoghurt in a muslin cloth till water is drained and yogurt is thick)
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Note: The above quantity makes a lot of cheesecake filling, and it can easily be halved to make two separate cheesecakes, or one medium sized cheesecake.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan. Put two layers of aluminium foil around the bottom spring foam pan in order to ensure there is no leakage.
2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of spring form pan. These can be pre-baked for 5-10 minutes for a crisper crust.
3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust. Don’t over-beat otherwise it might crack.
4. Pour water in a roasting pan and make sure it is big enough to put the springfoam pan inside. Put the cheesecake batter in the water bath and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 1 to 2 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours until serving.
Even though I am a big fan of Chinese food, I rarely make it since it just requires too much of effort; from the variety of dishes needed, to the vegetable cutting to the actual frying. It’s just much more simpler to order from outside especially with the rise in affordable delivery places in Karachi which offer both Desi & Authentic Chinese based on the craving at the moment. This is the first time I made Chicken Chili Dry, basically because I had about 200 grams of chicken left over that I needed to finish and this was the recommendation I got. Since it was only 3 people at home that day, I thought it would be like a nice side-dish.
Simple & easy to make, probably will add a few chili seeds next time, since it wasn’t so spicy; more vegetables could be added but the beauty of the dish is keeping it simple with just 1-2 veggies in small quantities to give it some crunch and yet retain the authentic Chili Chicken flavor.
Chicken Chili Dry
(Enough for 2 people)
Chicken boneless sliced – 200 grams
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Soya Sauce – 1/2 tbsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Corn Flour – 1 tbsp
Beaten Egg – 1/3rd
Vinegar – 1/4 tsp
Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Soya sauce – 2 tbsp
Chopped ginger 1 tbsp
Oil 2 tbsp