Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Oven chronicles :)


Its been more than 1.5 years since I have come to US. In this long time, every house we've lived in has had an oven (yes, here they come with the house/apartment). And I've never once taken a proper look at it, except for using it to store potatoes in one house ;-) :-D. I was determined that I'd never be one of those who bake their own cakes, biscuits, etc. But curiosity has slowly but surely killed the cat ;-). I started thinking seriously about it some weeks ago. I even got a ready-made veggie pizza and some ready-made samosas which have to be baked, for the initial oven experimentation. Never got around to actually doing it until this weekend :).

I always thought the oven operation would be complicated, maybe the older ones were. But most of the houses here have the most recent models which are not very difficult to operate at all. This I discovered only when I sat and read through the manual :-p. It was as simple as pressing 3 buttons for some previously-wayyy-out-of-understanding-concept called "Pre-heating" :-D and just keeping what needs to be baked inside the oven next for whatever specified time :). Ok that understood, it was time for my first "experiment" :-D.

The oven came with baking pans, so there was no need to buy those. But I did need some oven mitts and aluminium foil. There was aluminium foil left over from our barbeque (vegetatian ofcourse :-D), "experiment" last summer (we enjoyed roasted corn and home-made veggie burgers on the barbeque actually :). Oh, I forgot I could have written a post on that! What a waste! Well, maybe next summer ;-) :-D), so again only thing required was the mitts. But they weren't really necessary for the first time. Any thick cloth to handle the hot baking pans was ok and so the experiment proceeded :).

The first trial was nothing complex and I decided to go with the ready-made samosas I had gotten from the Indian store. I set the oven for preheating and covered the baking pan with aluminium foil. Arranged the samosas on it and put the pan into the oven after the pre-heating was done. After about 15 mins of baking, took the pan out, turned over the samosas and put it in again for 15 more mins of baking. Everything worked fine and the first experiment results were declared successful when the samosas turned out to be delicious. My hubby declared that they could be a bit more roasted, a point which was duely noted :-D. Anyways, I can't really take the credit for making them, but sure for baking them :-D. All this happened with only one itsy-bitsy-miniscule burn on one of my fingers which happened when I was trying to turn over the samosas and mistaken scraped a part of the hot oven. And nope, its definitely not something serious.

Ok, so I was ready to go to the next level immediately. I confess to missing the Indian bakery items here in US, a lot. So yesterday, we went shopping and got a few things required for Veg puffs. I actually made aalu palya (potato curry) puffs and I took the recipe for puff making from here (I made my own potato onion peas curry and I am not going to bore you with the recipe here ;-) :-D). So we bought mitts and Puff Pastry sheets. Puff pastry sheets are actually flour rolled into a sheet in layers (thats one wonderful advantage in US, you get almost anything you want here :-D). And I did everything according to the recipe - thawed the puff pastry sheet, rolled and cut it to 9 equal pieces (not exactly equal, but who cares :-p), made and then cooled my aalu palya, put the palya in the sheet pieces, sealed them, preheated the oven, got the pan ready with the aluminium foil, arranged the puffs on the pan, baked them for 15 min, turned them over and baked again for 15 more minutes. Only one mistake happened in this whole procedure, I didn't seal the puffs properly with water (a point to be noted for next time :-D), but this only meant the palya peeked out of the puffs a little and no way spoiled the taste.

So voila here are the puffs :-D.




Shown are only 4, as the other 5 were gulumed (consumed :-D) by us as soon as they were cool enough to bite into, which was plenty hot, believe me ;-) :-D. They came out really tasty, almost as tasty as the ones available in Bangalore bakeries, little less oily and I'm quite proud of myself. Though puffs might be a very easy and most common thing baked by many people here in US or in India, I'm still happy with myself because I tried something new and it came out good.

The success of the 2nd level of baking, as defined by me :-D, has inspired me to try many further things. I'm already looking at aalu palya buns, khaara biscuits and many more repeats of different kinds of curry puffs :). Moreover baking is really easy and hardly takes any effort :). So, I'm sure that this is the beginning of a new beautiful relationship :).

11 Comments:


geethamh retorted...

wahare wah looks nice .....


Chitra retorted...

I am glad you got to enjoy the puffs. They look yum. :)


Deeps retorted...

Mom, :)).

Chitra, Thats a compliment coming from a cook herself :). Thanks :).


Arz000n retorted...

When I moved to UK like couple of months back and rented this furnished apt, ma first reaction afta looking at this oven thingy was, "WHOA!! am not gonna use it anyway" :)))

Then one day thought I'll try it out some chicken in it....dunno wht exactly I was planning to do....but in the end everything was a mess...

afta that incident...neva experimented again...and I dont think I eva will :P

Kudos to you for those yummmmyyy puffsss :))


Archana retorted...

Those puffs look yummmmmmmy :-))!

Oh, I have been an avid oven user since the day I landed in the USA - my first roomie here used to be an enthusiastic baker/cook, so oven was taken for granted as a much used part of the kitchen :-)!


Orchid retorted...

deepthi,
I have a confession to make....I blog hopped here sometime abck and have been reading your posts regularly but usually leave silently with a nod or a smile. Your posts are sooo down to earth and straight from the heart. Couldn't just be a ghost reader on this one, I tried the puffs and mine turned out pretty darn good too and hubby was impressed ;) So, thank you! I will be back to read more...you seem like the girl next door and please take that as a compliment.


Deeps retorted...

Arjun, hehehe :)). Maybe you ought to check out chicken in oven recipes first :-D. Since I'm a vegetarian, I don't have chicken problems :-D.

Archana, hmmm I'm only now discovering the possibilities. Have already tried biscuits, croissants and bread toast :-D.

Orchid, really nice to have you comment :). Welcome to my blog :)). Hmm how come these hubbies don't ever try anything? :-p ;-). They get to enjoy what we toiled for hours over :-D.


mommyof2 retorted...

yum yum;-)


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