Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Kilimanjaro

A long, long time ago, there was a 28 before 28 post. And no. 12 said "Buy, clean and cook an entire fish (I hate fish. I am petrified of fish. I have never touched an uncooked fish and have hardly eaten cooked fish. Hence, I really have no idea what to do with fish!)."

Now, fish and I have a complicated relationship. In the order of things, of all the things I would be most scared of doing, I would rate "holding a snake as no. 1 and "cleaning fish" as no. 2. Skydiving would be no. 50 I think. Swimming with the sharks and fighting shooting someone would be somewhere in between. 

I still have not cleaned fish, but I bought shelled shrimp (I thought I would ease into the fish territory by starting with seafood) and I cooked it! I'm telling you. This is my Kilimanjaro. Not my Everest, but very, very close. 



The shrimp was fabulous. I made it following this recipe by Five and Spice, and this is what I did:

Ingredients: 

1/2 kg large shrimp shelled and cleaned (there were about 30)
1 tsp paprika (the original calls for sweet paprika and I didn't have any with me.
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed herbs (Mine is a mix of rosemary, thyme, marjoram, basil, and oregano,and traces of celery and mustard. I reckon that you can use any of these herbs or a combination of them.)
zest from half a lemon
a glug of olive oil
4 shallots minced
6 cloves of garlic minced
juice of 1 lemon
3  tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brandy


Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the paprika, pepper, salt, herbs, and lemon zest. Mix well and let it marinate. 


Heat the olive oil in a frying pan (not nonstick). Add the shallots and the garlic, followed by the lemon juice and the Worcestershire sauce. Fry till light brown (about 5 minutes). Add the prawns and saute until they turn pink (about 3 minutes).





Now is the fun part. Pour in the alcohol with a ladle, light it up with a long matchstick, and let it burn. Eventually it dies out. 





That's it! Serve with bread, butter, and a green salad. 


:)  


This dish was yum; the plate was totally licked clean! The original calls for 5 tbsp of butter and even without it, it was awesome. 


And yeah. I'm never gonna be a food photographer, that's for sure. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Panorma

This is something that I learnt during my photography class a couple of months ago. I've been wanting to post this really simple but awesome photshop tutorial on Panorma Photography, but I've been looking for the perfect "panorma" since then.


Enter my living room.


You know how sometimes some things are right under your nose, but you don't appreciate them because you take them for granted. Well, this is not one of those instances.


About 270 degree of my living room. 
My living room is no place for a panorama shot, or for any kind of shots for that matter. Except for close up shots of a certain part of the key hole. But necessity is the mother of invention and I need to post these pictures now and show you how to do this!

Ok, let's go. 


Stand at any point. Anywhere. Click a picture. Turn a bit and take a picture of the portion to the right/left, making sure that there is some area on the side of both pictures that are the same, i.e., the pictures should overlap.Continue doing this until you cover the area you wish to cover. You can shoot even a full 360 degrees if you wish.


Open up Photoshop and then open all these pictures.


The method by which the panorama is created is called photo stitching. In Photoshop, this technique is called Photomerge. Photomerge can be started from the File menu (File > Automate > Photomerge). What happens is that Photoshop arranges and matches the edge details of successive pictures and what you end up with is an extremely long composite image. It's quite ingenious, really, as are all things Photoshop.


Flatten and crop the image because the edges will be ragged. 


Aaaaaand you're done. 


Now you're all set to take on the Brooklyn Bridge or the Hudson River or the view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower. :)

For a very detailed tutorial and a lot of trouble shooting information, please go here. This is the official Photoshop website, and its helped me out on so many instances; a good emergency website to keep handy. 


A gentle reminder to my father: If you don't come to Bombay soon, this is all you're going to see of my house. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bang Bang

Zooey Deschanel makes me want to get bangs. 

Does she make you feel the same?

Pinned Image

zooey

And on a completely unrelated note, listen to this.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Pain Perdu?

After I started working, Thom and I have become the kind of couple who sprawls on the couch and watches Game of Thrones marathons over the weekend. My former energy and lust for life have been taken over by a kind of languidness that is emanating from the deepest part of my being. Do you feel me?

And then I cook. {Last weekend I made beef pickle}This weekend, I neither went out nor cooked. I slept. While Thom watched Game of Thrones. And it made me feel deeply unproductive. And tired. And lazy. And listless. And dull. And... Ok done. 

And that is why I made French Toast. 

It is quick. It is easy. And it's taste proves that good things are not hard to come by. 

Now there are as many recipes for French Toast as there are types of bread. As there are stars in the sky. As there are strands of hair on my husband's head. More than the strands of hair on my head, because I'm growing bald by the day.

Maybe that's why none of my gazillion  recipe books have a recipe on French Toast. But the Internet. The Internet is a maze with French Toast recipes around each corner. The Pioneer Woman's got a very smart suggestion: use only egg yolks. She is a smart and wily one, that pioneer. Joanna from A Cup of Jo has a "The best x you'll ever have, and Miss. James of Bleubird Vintage has written a post on French Toast. Deb of Smitten Kitchen has written about a very, very appealing Creme Brulee French Toast, which I want to try  out desperately. Molly has a very standard recipe on Orangette. And then there's Slate, which will tell you how you're doing it wrong. Now that's a fitting end to your French Toast saga if there ever is one!

And as for what I did, here is my recipe. This is my healthy French Toast that still tastes awesome. This is what you need?




3  eggs
150 ml milk
1/4 cup of caster sugar
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
8 slices of whole wheat bread
oil

Whisk the first six ingredients. Place a non-stick pan on medium heat and anoint it with a little oil. I used a smidgeon of olive oil.  Soak the bread slices in the egg mixture one at a time, making sure that it is soaked through but not breaking apart. This is the tricky bit.  

When the pan is hot, place the slices on the pan and let it cook until the under side is golden; about 2 min. Turn over. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Oooops.Wrong forum. Repeat the cooking process.

I like to make a few like this and a few with jam in it. All you need to do is make jam sandwiches, dip them, and fry them.

And you know what the French Toast of my fantasy is like? They are Elvis-style, with peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiched between fat slices of bread, French toasted, and doused in maple syrup. Yum!!!!

And arguing for the flip side of the coin, don't let anyone tell you that you need butter to toast the bread. Olive oil French toasted my wholewheat bread just fine, merci beaucoup!