As I am sure you guys are aware, Vruchi and I have had a pretty big year. We left our apartment in Sydney, moved countries and started a new life in London, looking to travel and explore as many cities as possible. One thing that ended up taking a back seat as a result of this has been the food section of 100 autumns. It is not because we haven’t been cooking or trying new recipes but we both struggled to give this section meaning, compared to our travel section. But then it hit us, we travel around all these cities and try all these amazing foods, but we never do anything more than just take photos. So we have decided that this section of the blog will be about capturing that one dish in each city that captured our hearts and represented that city for us. As we visit each city, we note down a signature dish and then endeavour to try making this dish at home. Some of the dishes we will nail. Most, we probably won’t. But one thing is for sure, we will take lots of photos and share many laughs along the way. We began with Rome, the first city we visited since moving to London. For us, nothing signifies Rome more than classic Roman pizza. We decided to make the base itself from scratch. After spending the morning preparing the dough, we left it to set throughout the afternoon. In the evening, we called our good friends Neeraj and Deepti who helped us with our toppings. We capped of the night with a movie and some homemade mocktails, as we enjoyed the company of good friends and, what turned out to be, good pizza!
Pizza base recipe
Vruchi and I both absolutely love Mediterranean food. Our first Valentine's Day in 2011 was actually at a Greek Restaurant in Oxford Street, Sydney. I still remember the tender lamb cutlets that we ordered on that day. Made well, they simply explode with flavour in each bite. I decided one day that I was going to surprise Vruchi with my own attempt at marinated lamb cutlets.
I had actually taken a day off work, and decided in the morning that I was going to surprise Vruchi cooking lamb cutlets for dinner. I remember as soon as Vruchi left for work, I rushed off to Coles, grabbed a whole bunch of ingredients and got ready to get my hands dirty for the rest of the day.
It was five hours of solid effort. Well not really, maybe half an hour of chopping, defrosting and marinating and four and half hours of kicking back, relaxing with movies and beers and just letting the marinade do it’s job and soak in.
Vruchi came home and absolutely loved it. Totally winning this husband game!
Lamb Chops - 6 pieces (depending on how much you eat)
Red Onions - 2
Ginger - 1 table spoons
Garlic - 2 table spoons
Mint - 1 bunch
Apple Cider Vinegar - 1 table spoon (optional or add Greek yogurt)
Chilli - 4 (we eat on the spicy side, adjust to your taste)
Olive Oil - 2 table spoons
Lemon Juice - drizzle
Veggies & Salad on the side (I used asparagus, and packet salad with balsamic dressing)
1. Blend all the ingredients (not the lamb chops of course) in a mixer.
2. Generously coat the lamb chops and set aside (the longer the better! So you get to relax in the meantime ;) I marinated the lamb in the morning and left it until dinner time - a good 7 hours of marination!)
3. Once marinated, pre-heat oven to 160 degrees and grill the lamb chops until they are cooked through (takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes).
4. On a separate oven plate, drizzle the asparagus with a little bit of olive oil and pepper and grill in the last 5 mins of the oven cycle.
5. Arrange on plate with a side of salad!
6. Enjoy! :)
It was August 2013, and I was travelling around Europe with some friends when we spent a few days at Amsterdam. Of the many local attractions there, I was told that I must try traditional dutch pancakes. They were truly heaven. Soft and fluffy, but paired with the most beautiful mix of cream, jam and fresh fruits. This began my love affair with pancakes.
I thought I’d begin the year with what has become somewhat of a monthly tradition for us since we got married. One Sunday morning every month, I would wake up a little earlier and make pancakes from scratch. Now, it’s not anywhere near the dutch pancakes that I had one summer’s day four years ago in Amsterdam, but it’s definitely something special for us.
It’s not so much about the pancakes, but everything that goes along with it being Sunday. Lazy wake-ups, curling in bed for that extra 5 mins (that turns to 20), and multiple coffees as we catch up on our current TV show. Right now, I’m trying to get Vruchi into Seinfeld … I can’t believe that she never watched the show.
Recently with all the business of the holiday season, the monthly pancakes have taken a bit of a backseat. However, I kicked off the new year with a return to one of our favourite dishes, and I can proudly say … they tasted delicious.
Milk - 1 1/2 cup
Flour - 1 cup
Eggs - 2
Vanilla Extract - 2 to 3 tablespoons (free pour, you can't go wrong with this)
Oil - For the pan before you pour each pancake
Sugar - Optional if you prefer your pancakes sweet. I never really add it because we have ice cream with ours.
Fruits - to decorate (Strawberries, Blackberries, Bananas)
Nutella & Ice cream - Optional
Maple Syrup - To drizzle over
1. Pour milk, eggs, flour in a large bowl and whisk
2. Slowly add the vanilla extract as you whisk
Make sure you have a smooth consistency without any lumps. If too thick, add some milk.
3. Heat and oil your pan
4. Pour small amounts and swirl your pan to form a circle with the batter
5. Let it cook on one side before flipping
6. Flip and let it cook on the other side
7. Remove and let it cool a little
8. Lather pancake with Nutella and decorate with fruits and ice cream
9. Enjoy! :)