When it comes to the context of the Indian cuisine, you will certainly get a lot of variety served up on your platter. Though it is more of a general notion that Indian cuisine is a spicy and hot affair! Yet there are certain other varieties that are there which believe in using not so fiery spices and make for a delicious affair.
There are times when you just need a comforting dish to make your troubles go away albeit temporarily. This classic American dish does double duty as comfort food and a creative way to use leftover chicken. This recipe is from Real Simple, Meals Made Easy but you can adjust the ingredients and cooking time as necessary.
1 stick unsalted butter (7 tablespoons)
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves o 2 teaspoons dried thyme
4 carrots, chopped
1 10-ounce (approximately 280 grams) button mushrooms, stems trimmed and caps quartered
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 store-bought rotisserie chicken (or leftovers), meat shredded
1 package frozen peas
1 store-bought piecrust
How to make it
Heat oven to 425° F (220° C). Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, slowly add the flour and cook for 3 minutes. Still whisking, slowly add the broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, thyme, mushrooms and carrots and cook form 5 minutes more. Transfer to a baking dish. Add the chicken and the peas and toss. Roll out the piecrust; lay it on top of the baking dish, tucking any dough that hangs over the edges. Cut two slits in the crust. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° (175° C) until the filling starts to bubble, 25 minutes more.
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Last week Caterina, PocketCultures contributor from Italy, wrote about some things she found strange when she lived in England. As an English person who has spent a lot of time in Italy (I am married to an Italian!) I thought it would be fun to look at it the other way round – things I did not expect when I visited Italy.
Italian food is famous in many countries around the world, and one of the most famous Italian dishes in Britain is Spaghetti Bolognese. Or so I thought. It turns out in Italy each sauce is normally combined with a particular shape of pasta – spaghetti with clams, penne with arrabiata (spicy tomato), … Bolognese sauce, or ragu as it’s usually called in Italy, is rarely served with spaghetti.
And whilst we’re on the topic of food, let’s talk about breakfast. The typical Italian breakfast in a bar is a cappuccino with a ‘pasta’ – a croissant, doughnut or other pastry. As Caterina wrote, it’s very different to the traditional breakfast served in British cafes. At home Italians might eat biscuits, or even a piece of cake, to go with their coffee. I have to admit I was surprised – In England we might eat a couple of biscuits mid-afternoon, but only as a treat, and definitely not as a meal.
There is no doubt, in Italy, all parts of the peninsula, coffee is not only a good morning wish, but has gradually become part of a specific ritual: every Italian, since childhood, remembers the memory of the perfume of fresh-made (yet hot) coffee. But coffee for Italian people is not only part of the culture, there are many good reasons someone takes coffee or could invite you to have it together.
Firstly, having one is a sort of a no-strings date: if the boy or the girl you like asks you for such a break, it does not necessarily mean they have an interest in you. Yet, coffee is something informal but could be seen as a way of approaching the person you are interested in without seeming too involved, as the coffee break does not last long (Italian coffee is served in a little cup called tazzina) and this limited time may allow you to talk and get to know each other. That is why a coffee is a nice idea for a first date in Italy with someone, or for example for simply getting to know an Italian friend that you previously met on the web. Remember that if after coffee a dinner is what you are asked for, you are on your way to love (at least hopefully).
A submarino, submarine, consists of a tall glass of hot milk, a bar of chocolate para taza (drinking chocolate) and a long spoon. It’s delicious and fun to make.
The other day, we were in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a couple of friends from the US. My husband ordered a submarino. One of our friends wanted to know what that was, we told him and he proceeded to order one. He enjoyed it so much that they bought chocolate para taza to make submarinos at home in the US.
When you order a submarino at a cafe, the waiter will bring you hot milk in a tall glass and a bar of chocolate. You unwrap the chocolate, drop it in the milk and stir. As the chocolate melts, the milk changes colour and voila! your drink is ready. Make sure to spoon out the bits of semi-melted chocolate that sink to the bottom.
The submarino is usually accompanied by medialunas (the sweeter and denser local type of croissants) or facturas - especially churros- . It’s perfect for wintry days, or whenever you need something comforting.
There is even a brand of chocolate that makes bars in the shape of a submarine! How much fun is that!