Saturday, April 21, 2007

Italian Asian American Fusion

Cooking is my passion.......not to the extent yet that I would be happy to accept that as a profession...but almost that!! Thanks to the food network channel, this passion is kept ever expanding and delightful......The only other time I turn my TV on is to watch Espn...Go Heat!! And that is the only time I probably don't think of cooking!!

So here I was on a boring afternoon at work trying to think of a recipe I hadn't tried yet which could whet my appetite (These days I am really bored of eating pasta, burgers, pizzas, chinese food....anything cheesy greasy.... strict no no!!) I mean, I don't mind using any ingredients that go into these foods but the final product should taste altogetherly different. So, simply said, I wanted to use a pizza dough, pizza sauce and cheese and turn it into a pizza which wouldn't taste like pizza. Hehehe.....funny isn't it?

And hello....... I came up with this super rich recipe that turned out to be simply yummo....

Here it goes:

Rosy Lemony Spicy Vermicelli---

1 cup milk
3 tbs all purpose flour
2 tbs butter
4 tbs parmesan cheese
1/2 tbs red chilli flakes
1/4 tbs fresh chopped rosemary
1/4 tbs fresh chopped lemon thyme
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp butter
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
1 scallion thinly sliced
1 tbs asian spicy grilling sauce
Vermicelli (You can use spaghetti but I prefer the thinner vermicelli for this recipe!)
Firm tofu

1. Melt 2 tbs of butter in a sauce pan and add the all purpose flour to this. Let this cook for 4-5 minutes so that the sauce doesn't taste powdery.
2. Slowly add the milk to this mixture stiring continuously. As this starts to thicken up, add the chopped rosemary, lemon thyme, red chilli flakes and salt. Continue stiring until another 5-7 minutes. Add the cheese and mix well.
3. Grill the tofu in a pan with some oil or butter.
4. In a pasta pot, cook the vermicelli until al dente stage. (I usually use some oil and salt while cooking pasta).
5. While the pasta is cooking, in a seperate pan, lightly stir the red onions and spring onions over some butter. Add the asian spicy grilling sauce to this mixture and continue stirring.
6. Drain all the water from the pasta. (Reserve 1 big spoonful of the cooking water to use later).
7. Add the vermicelli to the onions and mix well with the pasta water. Add the tofu.

To Serve:
In a plate, serve the pasta and pour the sauce over it. Decorate with a sprig of rosemary. Serve with lemonade on a hot summer afternoon or with any light wine for dinner.

Meat lovers can easily alter the recipe and fit in chicken, beef or pork in place of tofu. Try using mushrooms, tomatoes etc. for a different taste.

Oh, by the way, today I completed planting my kitchen garden for the summer. I am growing two different varieties of tomatoes and green peppers in vegetables. In my herb garden, I have cilantro, mustard, rosemary, lemon thyme and possibly green chilly!! Also, our flower garden will soon be blooming with petunias and violas....I can't wait to watch them grow!!

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