All posts tagged: Mediterranean Cuisine

Take a gourmet trip to Apulia @ Ottimo (ITC Gardenia, Residency Road)

Ottimo with its emphasis on showcasing traditional Italian cuisine, brings to us the food from the region of Apulia or Puglia till the 18th of June. Popularly known as the ‘heel of Italy’s boot’ this sun blessed region enjoys all the benefits of hugging the Mediterranean coastline. The produce is fresh and the rustic dishes are kissed by the sea. You have just a week to enjoy these signature dishes that Chef Greco Vittoria has lovingly crafted.

Meet, Eat, Drink – Cafe Mezzuna

For those of you who walked by Oh! Calcutta, on St.Marks Road and wondered where it went – Café Mezzuna has taken the spot. The much loved Bengali restaurant has moved to the same building that houses Mainland China on Church Street. Café Mezzuna is the youngest brand of the Specialty Restaurants Ltd. The third in line, after Pune and Kolkata, Café Mezzuna brings Mediterranean Flavous and wholesome food at honest-to-goodness prices to Bangalore. The all-day dining restaurant also offers an extensive bar menu. When you get a pint of Kingfisher at INR 110 and a Long Island Ice Tea at INR 295, it’s time to get the party started.

10 years and counting – Olive Beach (Wood Street)

Olive Beach didn’t shut shop. They just moved the iconic blue door a couple of feet to the right. They also decided to do away with the pebbles – because they obviously care for your stilettos. And they added a Tuscan Kitchen with a brick oven – just to indulge you with the perfect wood fired pizza. They placed large ornate mirrors that reflect the soft candle light – to make you glow as you dine under the stars. They even upped the ante on plating – pretty flower garnishes never hurt anyone. And the massive bar at the back – well, that’s kinda self-explanatory, right? The little white villa on Wood Street comes to you in a spruced up avatar in its 10th year in Bangalore. They haven’t dispensed with the underlying theme of Olive – a large (sunny in the daytime) courtyard will still greet you as you enter and the whitewashed walls echo the charm of a Mediterranean villa. But…they’ve opened up the space – both literally and figuratively! The ‘new’ Mediterranean …

Red Bell Pepper Soup with Lime

I bought a new cookbook (yes, the umpteenth one!) and paid a ridiculous price for it. (Come on, 1000 photos don’t come cheap). I have so many cookbooks that I just stare at the pictures and sing myself a foodie lullaby. So this time I was determined to cook something from the new book, just so that I can redeem the guilty feeling of not having used it at least once! I admit that the reason I even made this recipe is because the color looked so gorgeous. Bright orangey red! And the fact that there was lemon rind in the recipe didn’t hurt either. I think Lemon rind adds a zing that is unmatched by anything else (Ok, maybe Basil). I must warn you that this soup is not some soothing balm before you start the meal. It’s more like a jolt that wakes you up and gets your belly fire started. Hot and Tangy, I give you Red Bell Pepper Soup with Lime! Red Bell Pepper Soup with Lime Prep time: 10 mins …

Twice Cooked Rosemary Chicken

Rosemary is a woody herb mostly used in Mediterranean cuisine. In Latin it means ‘dew of the sea’. Apparently Aphrodite rose from the sea with rosemary draped around her. (Ahem Ahem!). The herb is also associated with Virigin Mary. Please go figure the dichotomy yourself! There are so many other tales around rosemary – curative, memory enhancer, love charm, protection herb, etc. etc.! But today, we will limit ourselves to its use in food. Rosemary is highly aromatic, so a little should suffice. When burned, it smells similar to burning wood, so it’s great for flavoring barbeques. If you want an easy recipe with five star results, it’s the rosemary Chicken. It’s simple enough to cook and elegant enough to impress. Perfect for busy bees and gourmands! Yes, I am both and therefore this recipe is my failsafe. The technique is essentially pan frying and basting the chicken with the herb, thereby allowing the flavours of the herb to mould with the chicken, then roasting it to seal the juices in. The end product is …

Coq Au Vin with a Twist

 Coq Au Vin simply means Chicken in Wine. The French sure know how to make simple things sound so ooh-la-la. Traditionally Coq Au Vin is made with red wine and mushrooms. This recipe however is made with white wine and green olives. The result is simply delish! Use chicken pieces with the skin on – this gives it a lovely brown color on the outside, while keeping the flesh inside nice and juicy. Serve it with some mashed potatoes or some buttered carrots to make a complete meal. This takes 50 mins tops to make, so if you want to impress the family on a weekday… I’d say go for it. Coq Au Vin with a Twist Prep time: 10 mins Cooking time: 40 mins Serves: 4 What you need: 1 kg Chicken, cut into serving pieces 1 Onion, sliced 12 Garlic cloves, to taste, crushed 1 tsp dried Thyme 2 cups dry white wine 1 cup pitted Green Olives (16-18) 1 bay leaf 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice 1-2 Tbsp Butter Salt and Black Pepper …

Prawns in Garlic Butter

Like most seafood dishes this one is non fussy and just divine tasting. Well, the fate of anything doused in butter is sealed – the final result has to be Fantabulous! I use fresh prawns which I clean and devein myself… yes its fishy business, but somebody’s got to do it. Frozen prawns are fine as well, but it tends to be less juicy. Prawns can be just as easily substituted with mussels, lobster, crayfish or calamari. You can eat this as a starter or serve it on top of homemade fettuccine. Either way it’s a weekday winner. Well anything you can whip up in 10 minutes flat should be right?? Prawns in Butter Garlic  Prep time: 5 mins Cooking time: 5 mins Serves: 4 What you need: 400 gms Shrimp 4 Tbsp Butter 25-30 cloves Garlic 1 Tbsp Mustard paste 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice 8-10 Peppercorns A few sprigs Parsley Salt (if needed) What to do: Wash and drain cleaned shrimps thoroughly. Chop parsley finely, keep aside. Crush peppercorns. Grind garlic to a rough …

Pasta with Tuna and Capers

We generally buy our seafood fresh from the local market and nothing can really beat the taste of the sea. However there is no shame opening up a can of tuna for a quick weekday meal. Considering the fish was a favorite of the ancient Phoenicians (And the Greeks and Romans loved it as well)…it’s already got a good reputation. With all the Omega3 that doctors keep saying we need to incorporate into our diet, this fish is heart healthy! I found this recipe in my cooking bible – The Family Circle Cooking Encyclopedia.  So there’s really no going wrong. The co-resident and I give this one a thumbs-up! So does Muesli, who thought the can of tuna was for her… 🙂 Pasta with Tuna and Capers Cooking time: 20 mins Serves: 4 What you need:500 gms Pasta¼ cup Olive Oil4 cloves Garlic, minced225 gm Tuna drained60 gms Butter1/3 cup Lemon Juice2 Tbsp chopped Capers½ tsp chopped Chilli What to do:Place pasta in a pan of boiling salted water and cook until just tender. Heat …