The last few months were a little crazy for us. Work, the commute, the rains, and the Commonwealth Games. Bang in the middle of all this, came our decision to move to a different country. Work had become more hectic all of a sudden. The unprecedented rains caused traffic snarls that transformed my otherwise 2 hour commute back into a 6 hour commute. The roads caved in for most part. To add to the trauma, the Commonwealth Games meant that one lane in the already congested roads of Delhi was to be cordoned off. Then came the final blow. Our domestic help was asked to leave for a month and return after the games.
My project 365 came to an absolute standstill and this blog saw months go by with just one (and even no) post. There are several factors that have helped revive this blog. The most important of them all is Vitamin T. I am unemployed after more than 11 years of working continuously. I have plenty of time on my hands. I'm based in a truly global city and that means that I have access to plenty of ingredients that I'd have considered exotic earlier. I also have access to the Food Network channel (which I seem to watch almost all the time). I get new ideas and more importantly, I am reminded of my love for cooking.
This week started with Amma's birthday and I wanted to celebrate it here. I had several ideas and I also wanted to clean up the (really small) fridge that I have here. I got the idea for savoury waffles from a show on TLC. I combined that idea with a dish I'd eaten many years ago in Chennai: Crepes with Sauteed Mushrooms and Cream Sauce. I decided on savoury butternut squash waffles with and a mushroom cream sauce. I also made a Mini Caprese Salad, sticking to the original recipe for most part and adding a cucumber to the cherry tomatoes.
Butternut Squash Waffles
3/4 cup Butternut Squash (peeled, diced, cooked and drained)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Chilli Flakes
1/2 cup Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)
Salt to taste
Beat the egg in a bowl. Add the butternut squash and beat until the mixture is well blended. Add the other ingredients and beat for a minute or so. (If the mixture is too thick, you could add a little milk.)
Heat the waffle iron and pour the batter onto it. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Mushroom Cream Sauce
1/2 cup Mushrooms, sliced
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp each of Basil and Parsley
1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes
1 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Flour
3/4 cup Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a pan and add the chopped onions and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the parsley, basil and chilli flakes. Add the flour to the mushroom mixture and pour the milk into this after the flour has fried for 2-3 minutes. Mix well and allow the mixture to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the waffles on a plate and pour the mushroom sauce over the waffles. Dig in. Restaurant style fancy dining guaranteed at home with not much effort. Belated Happy Birthday Amma. I can't wait to cook this for you when you visit.