When BlogAdda announced that I have been shortlisted for BlogAdda’s #CreateFearlessly activity in association with Hamilton Beach and that I would receive the “Party Planner” to use and review, I was constantly thinking about the various recipes that I can try using Hamilton’s Stainless Steel Hand Blender (59769-IN) and a Countertop Oven with Convection & Rotisserie (31103-IN). To read more about my whole experience, right from unboxing to putting the above products in use, to plan a small party, just check this link!
So the menu for our small party was inspired from the popular dishes of various cuisines like Arabic, American , Spanish, Mexican and Italian but with a desi touch.
Paneer Tikka Shawarma – grilled Cottage cheese marinated in spiced up yogurt sauce, rolled in home made pita bread
Fresh green Salad with grilled cheese and vegetables in barbecue sauce.
Gazpacho soup with added Indian flavors
Coriander and basil pesto with cashew-nuts and hung curd with a hint of mint powder
Paneer Tikka Pizza
Mint flavored Nachos (store brought) with homemade roasted bellpepper-tomato- raw mango salsa
Let’s check the recipes one by one…..
- 150 gms fresh Paneer (Cottage cheese) cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup Hung Curd
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 tbsp Red chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Tandoori masala (Optional)
- 1/2 tsp Kitchen King masla
- 1/4 tsp Chaat masala
- 1/2 tsp Kasoori Methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves)
- 1/2 tsp or more Garam Masala Powder
- 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- Salt as per taste
- Some butter /oil to brush
Method to make Paneer Tikka
- Mix all the ingredients in hung curd except paneer, to make a thick paste. Add paneer cubes and mix gently. Keep refrigerated for few hours (or even overnight).
- I used the metal skewers provided with HB oven and arranged the paneer pieces on it. If you do not have metal skewers, then you can use wooden toothpicks or skewers, but only after soaking them in water for at least 30 min (or else the wood may catch fire). Brush some butter or oil over paneer cubes
- Using the grill mode of HB oven, I grilled the paneer cubes for 3 minutes on one side and 3 minutes after flipping the side (brushed again with oil). You might need more or less time depending on your oven. The tikkas came out soft and supple with slight charred effect.
To make Pita bread: (Makes 4, each approx. 7 inch in diameter)
- 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 3/4th cup warm water
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Add yeast to warm water along with sugar. Let the mixture froth (might take around 10-20 minutes).
- Take 1 cup maida and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour in a large bowl and add the frothy yeast mixture.
- Mix and start kneading the flour, adding some quantity of remaining 1/4 cup maida intermittently to ease out the kneading process. Mix salt in 1 tbsp olive oil and add it to the dough. Keep kneading the flour till soft, using more water if dough is tight or using bit of more flour if dough is gooey. This might take anywhere between 8-12 minutes.
- Grease the bowl and coat the dough with some olive oil. Place the dough in bowl and cover the bowl with cling film and leave it aside in some warm place. After around an hour or so, the dough will almost double in volume.
- Now punch the dough to deflate it and divide the dough into 4 portions. Roll each portion to form a smooth ball. Flatten slightly and let it rest for 10-20 minutes (keep them covered).
- Gently roll each portion till approximately 7 inch in diameter. Preheat the OTG for 10-15 minutes. Make sure to preheat your baking tray along with oven.
Place the pita bread/ breads, on hot tray and bake in preheated oven at 225 degree C for 3-5 minutes. I waited for the brown spots to appear but the wait resulted in slightly hard pita breads. The bread was softer, with perfect brown spots, when I cooked it on griddle. Keep the bread covered with kitchen cloth till further use.
- To make Shawarma , just take a pita bread, spread potato garlic sauce or tahini sauce (I used Indian style pesto sauce), fresh, sliced or chopped vegetables like blanched broccoli, cucumber, Jalapeno, lettuce, cabbage etc, season with some spice powders (I used chaat masala and red chili flakes), add some pieces of paneer tikka and roll to make a wrap. Instead of shawarma you can make a pocket in Pita bread and stuff it with above ingredients.
Fresh Vegetable salad :
- Marinate paneer cubes, broccoli, diced onions and tomato, diced capsicum (Red, yellow, green) in barbecue sauce for 20-30 minutes.
- Either use skewer to arrange the veggies and grill or just place the marinated ingredients in a baking tray with some sauce and a tsp of oil and grill for 4-6 minutes or till slightly cooked.
- Remove from oven and put all the ingredients in a salad bowl and add other ingredients like sweet corn, lettuce, cucumber, baby spinach and cabbage (I used both green and purple cabbage). In a small bowl mix some salt, pepper, 1tbsp olive oil, chili flakes, lemon juice of 1/2 a lemon, mint leaves etc and give it a nice mix. Add this dressing to the salad and give it a good toss. Chill before serving.
Gazpacho soup with Indian Flavors: (Makes 6 shot glass servings)
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove of garlic
- Some black salt
- 1 tsp (less or more) lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp of red chilli powder (Adjust according to taste)
- 1-2 cubes of watermelon (2 inch each) ( optional )
- 2-3 mint leaves
- Some chaat masala to garnish
- Water or tomato juice if needed (depends upon the consistency of soup that is preferred)
- You can use the tomatoes as it is or blanch them to get a slight sweetish flavor of tomatoes.
- Mix all the ingredients in a blender and blitz till you are happy with the texture or consistency.
- I just dropped everything into the measuring cup that comes along the Hamilton Beach Hand blender and processed it, using blending stick, first on slow speed and then on higher, to make slightly mushy soup.
- Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- I just covered the measuring cup with the lid that is provided with blender, and refrigerated the soup for few hours before serving. So convenient!
Pesto with Desi touch (Yielded little more than one Ramekin)
- 30 gm Basil leaves
- Few Coriander leaves with stalk
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 Green chilli
- 6-8 Raw Cashew nuts, soaked for 6 hours
- 1-2 tsp Lemon juice
- 2 tsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Hung curd
- 1 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese
- A pinch or so of dry mint powder or 2-3 mint leaves
- Salt as per taste
- I started by pulverizing the garlic and soaked nuts using the Hamilton Beach hand blender. You can use a food processor or mortar pestle
- Add basil, coriander leaves, and green chili and blitz it to make a coarse mixture.
- Add lemon juice and olive oil (If possible add oil in a thin stream), salt, mint leaves (if using) and cheese and blend further to make a smoother chutney.
- Take out the pesto in a bowl and mix the hung curd and some mint powder and enjoy the creamy pesto slathered on bread or use it as pasta sauce. Could be used as a dip with chips or crunchy salad vegetable sticks.
Roasted bellpepper-tomato- raw mango salsa
- 2 firm red tomatoes
- 1/4 roasted red or green bell pepper
- 1 small onion
- 1 green chilli
- A slice of raw (unripe) mango (Kairi)
- Few fresh coriander leaves
- Salt as per taste
- Some lemon juice if needed
- Finely chop all the ingredients (except salt, of course) and mix in a bowl. Add salt and lemon juice (if needed).
- I needed mushy salsa (chunky sauce like) to go as a dip with nachos, hence I use HB blender on slow speed to make chunky salsa sauce.
Paneer Tikka Pizza
Made the pizza using this recipe and used marinated paneer ( Paneer Tikka) and other assorted vegetables as toppings.
Made an eggless chocolate cake using this recipe, sliced the cake horizontally into two, slathered a layer of whipped cream (instead of Mousse ), placed another layer on top of it and poured chocolate ganache sauce over it. Made some design using tooth pick and allowed the cake to refrigerate for a while before serving!
To sum it up, I was able to #Cookfearlessly using Hamilton Beach hand blender and Counter top Oven (OTG) and cook up a storm for the party ! Here is how I put the two appliances in use;
Used HB oven to bake Pita breads, grill cheese for paneer tikka, grilled vegetables for Barbecue salad, to bake the paneer tikka pizza and eggless chocolate cake .
The HB hand blender came handy to make Gazpacho soup, Salsa and Pesto
Once again, thanking the team of Blogadda and Hamilton Beach for the lovely appliances!