Showing posts with label Recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipe. Show all posts

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Adding Smiles - How I turned a frown upside down!

As a Mom, I am very particular of the food my daughter eats. And I refrain her from snacking on food that is served in restaurants as the hygiene, nutritive value, freshness and oil used is questionable. Also, with the gamut of stomach-related illnesses around the corner, my level of protection in her food choices has quadrupled.

And thus I have made it a habit to make nutritious home food more delicious for my little one and the rest of my family.
On afternoon, just the other day, my nephew brought home burger and fries from a local restaurant. Looking at her cousin snacking on the greasy burger, my little one pestered me to give her the same. I refused, and tried to distract her, but alas! but kids will be kids and she threw a fit. Somehow I managed to calm her down to her nap.

It was then I recalled the website of McCain India I had visited earlier, that an idea popped to my mind. I rushed out to get a McCain Smiles pack, some egg-less mayonnaise, a head of lettuce, burger buns and cheese slices. I was going to make a yummy vegetarian potato McSmiley Burger.

Following are the step by step instructions:

McCain Smiles
McCain Smiles
McCain Smiles are mashed potato goodness into the shape of smiles. 

Open the McCain Smiles pack, prepare them by following the instructions on the pack. I deep fried them. You can cook them in the convection oven as well.
When I opened the pack, I assumed the frozen pack needs to be defrosted, but to my surprise, the pack specifically mentioned does not required to be defrosted. That saves time.

The McCain Smiles getting ready in no time.
As I popped the smiles in the kadai with heated oil, I was glad that they did not splutter the oil out. I waited till they were evenly golden brown on both sides. And then the smiles were ready within 3 minutes!

McCain Smiles fried
Look at them smiling!
I whipped up an easy peasy burger spread:

For the Burger Mayonnaise:
Take 1-2 tbsp of egg-less mayonnaise
Add a 1sp of olive oil to it.
Add a pinch of pepper & salt each.
Add 1 tsp of tomato sauce.
You can add finely chopped coriander.

Assembling the McSmiley Burger
Assembling the McSmiley Burger:

Now I cut the burger bun in half.
Buttered both sides of the bun. You can even toast them.
To one side I added few torn leaves of lettuce,
Over the lettuce I spread the burger mayonnaise I made.
On that, add cucumber slices, tomato slices and onion ringlets.

On top of this arrangement add the smiles.
Then add a slice of cheese.
Top it with some more burger spread or lettuce if you wish and add the other half of the bun on top.
And voila!

McSmiley Burger
The McSmiley Burger
And with this yummy smiley snack on the plate, my little one's frown turned upside down! All smiles as she bit into my McCain tasty and magical creation. And in my daughter's smile reflected my big smile as I basked in the glory of my creation, thanks to McCain!
More so, my nephew came up to me and demanded this colourful version of his favorite snack. And I was glad to be adding more smiles to snack time.

Before you dismiss it as an unhealthy snack, take a look at it's nutritional content, with more details <here for a pack of 100g McCain Smiles.

Well known for the art of snacking, McCain has brought a wide variety of snacks for the Indian Platter. Their website has many creative recipes to suit the Indian palate and many dips to just snack away. 


Watch this video for another recipe using the McCain Smiles.

About Brand McCain: 

McCain Foods (India) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of McCain Foods Limited in Canada. Since 1998, McCain has been engaged in agriculture R & D and in development of frozen food market in India and subcontinent countries. Not only are McCain products used by leading fast food chains, hotels, restaurants, catering companies but are also very popular for in-home consumption.

Do try my recipe and let me know how you added a smile with this snack!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My recipe for an Italian escapade

A decade ago, the only Italian food I knew of was 'Pizza'. I used to junk on Pizzas so much that Italy was the destination I craved to visit (And still is).

Gradually, I was introduced to 'the brother of pizzas', the pasta. Usually, to Indians, pasta is what one eats at a pizza place as a starter. At some point, I too believed the same. But as I was educated to the world of Italian cuisine, thanks to my dear husband, I was now well acquainted with the types of pastas, the types of sauces, the flavour combinations, the cheeses and was proud to have the knowledge to distinguish between a lasagna and a ravioli.

And then one fine day, Del Monte came along with their flavourful contest - Del Monte: Blog Your Way to Italy- on creating an original recipe of their Pasta to win an all expenses paid Italian escapade. (I bet some of you reading this, did not know Del Monte beyond their ketchup. You're welcome :P)

Thoroughly eggcited, I signed up. A few days alter, as promised, I received a packet of Del Monte's Durum Wheat Premium Chifferi Rigati Pasta, all carefully packed with a printed letter. My gastronomical adoration for pasta knows no bounds, but I needed to get my creative juices flowing in in creating an original recipe.

My ticket to Italy :D

So I sought some expert guidance (yes, from my hubby) on creating pasta with some subtle Indian flavours for those who cannot have a lot of spice (the elderly and young children).

So sample a taste of Gauri's original recipe, with step by step instructions:

Chifferi Rigati with Saffron and Garlic

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 15 minutes


About 250 gms Del Monte's Chifferi Rigati Pasta
1 Zucchini cut into bite sized pieces
1 Yellow Bell pepper cut into bite sized pieces
1 Broccoli cut in florets
1/2 Onion finely chopped
7-8 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3-4 tsps of Oil (Olive oil is best)
1-2 tsps Oregano flakes
Salt as per taste

For the White Sauce:
7-8 Strands of saffron
1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
200 ml Milk
2 tsps Butter
2-3 tsps Refined flour (Maida)

For Garnish:
Grated Mozzarella cheese


  • In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook till al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander and add a tbsp of oil. Set aside.

What I really adored is the thoughtful little hack Del Monte has adapted on their pasta packets with a reclosable safety seal, to seal back your pasta packet for the next use.

  • In another pot, bring water to a boil. Add the veggies till cooked. Drain in a colander and pour cold water over the veggies to retain their crunch and lively colour. Set aside.
Blanched zucchini

Blanched Broccoli

You can also add mushrooms, red bell pepper and other veggies if desired.

  • In a thick bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and add the cornflour little by little. Beat vigorously using a whisk. 

  • Reduce the heat, and gradually add in about 150ml of the milk till there are no lumps. Take off the heat and let it cool.
  • Warm the remaining milk in a microwave for 5-10 seconds and then add the saffron strands; soak the saffron, till it dissipates the rich colour and aroma. Add this to the other milk mix.

  • Once this mix cools a little, add the kashmiri red chilli powder and add salt as per taste and strain.

  • Heat the oil in a wide saucepan. On high heat saute the garlic for 1-2 minutes. Toss in the onions till translucent. Add the veggies, and saute for a few minutes.
  • On low heat, add in the sauce gradually mixing in with the veggies. Mix well. The combine with the cooked Del Monte pasta.

  • Sprinkle the oregano flakes. Serve hot with a garnish of grated cheese and garlic bread sides.

And then served it to all in my family. And I basked in the reflected joy in their content faces!
And in Italian as they say,"Bellissimo!" sums up my experience!

That's my pasta story, lemme know your thoughts!

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