Wednesday 25 March 2015

Gout De France - Good France at Cafe Swiss, Swissotel

Swissotel Kolkata Neotia Vista presented Gout De France - Good France at Cafe Swiss on 18th March 2015, presenting the best of French Gastronomic delicacies curated by Executive Chef Pranay Kumar Singh.

The buffet spread with the likes of Smoked Salmon and Avocado Verrine, the irresistible French Onion Soup, the legendary Lobster and  Seafood Thermidor, Asparagus and Ham Ballotin, Chicken Fricasse, Wild Camambert with wild mushroom, Vegetable Tian, Ratatouille were more than enough to drag people out of their current ongoing Cricket World Cup fever and crash on to the Good France celebration.

The traditional French Onion Soup was incredible with beef stock and flavours of sorted onions.

The Gigot D'Agneau  was another exceptional dish with lamb which was marinated a day before and slow cooked in fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme at a low temperature for an extended period of time, giving the dish the softness and robust flavours.

Seafood Thermidor as always remains my all time favourite. Seafood baked in white sauce and cheese combination leaves me mesmerized every time.

The dessert section was equally exotic with French delicacies like Opera pastry, Mini Eclairs with chocolate hazelnut filling, Classic Charlotte Cake in mango flavour, Creme brulee, Cherry Clafoutis, Apple Tarte Tatin etc.

Since pictures speak more than a thousand word, we captured a gist of the evening that is posted below. Of course for a culinary sedation one has to make a bee line at Cafe Swiss.

We at Kolkata Food Bloggers thank the Swissotel and their team for their kind invitation at the Good France celebration.

Starters and Salads

Vegetarian spread

Non Vegetarian spread

The Dessert section part 1

and part 2 

The specially plated Creme Brulee for us

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Kesari Kheer

Desserts have always been a part of our daily meals when I was growing up, especially the milk based ones. Being a Sikh, milk has always been present in surplus in our house. I have memories of going along with my Grandmother, my Beji, to the milkman or gwala who would milk the buffaloes in front of us and give us fresh milk. From drinking milk as it is to using it in endless desserts, Beji would ensure her family is fed well with milk along with other things. I guess, there is just some connection with milk and being a Punjabi
Kheer is one of the most common milk based desserts found in most households irrespective of the region. Known with different names, the simple preparation of rice cooked in milk is called payesh in Bengal and is called payasam in the Southern states. Adorned with dry fruits and saffron threads, a simple kheer is made special for occasions. 
With Holi round the corner, I was reminded of this simple kheer preparation that has been part of my growing years. 

Ingredients : For 3-4 servings
  • 500 ml full cream milk
  • 1/2 cup rice (I used Gobindbhog)
  • 1/2 cup or less sugar (according to your taste)
  • cardamom powder
  • saffron threads
  • almonds
  • pista
Procedure : 
Wash and soak rice for half an hour.
Take milk in a heavy bottomed vessel and bring it to a boil.
Add the washed and soaked rice to the milk.
Lower the heat and allow the milk and rice to cook for about 45 minutes or till it thickens to the required consistency. Keep stirring in between.
Meanwhile soak saffron threads in little warm milk. 
Add sugar to the milk-rice mixture and mix well. Adjust sugar to your liking.
Adding sugar will make your kheer a little thin so cook till it thickens again. 
Remove from heat and stir in the saffron threads and cardamom powder.
Allow to cool and garnish with chopped almonds and pista. 
Serve chilled. 

Happy Holi


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