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Baking Recipes

Baker’s Half Dozen

The Telegraph rustled up some popular baked dishes that are also quite easy to make

Durri Bhalla | Published 11.09.22, 02:01 AM
Double-baked potato with prawns or vegetables

Double-baked potato with prawns or vegetables

Baked dishes are practically one-pot meals that one can have with a side, a salad and soup along with different kinds of breads. They are popular around the world and each country has its own signature baked dish.

Baking was popularised by the British in India and even now we have some iconic restaurants serving these dishes. Having a baked dish during the monsoons or in winter is total joy and comfort. Here, I have rustled up some popular baked dishes that are also quite easy to make.

Double-baked potato with prawns or vegetables

A baked potato, known in some parts of the UK as jacket potato, can be served with fillings or toppings, or condiments such as butter, cheese, sour cream, gravy, baked beans, prawns, ground meat and so on.

INGREDIENTS

  •  Potatoes: 3 large
  •  Prawns: 400g, medium size. Remove head and tail.
  •  Chicken stock: ½ cup
  •  Bacon bits: 4-5 strips of bacon made crisp and broken into small bits
  •  Cream: 1 cup
  •  Old bay seasoning: ½tsp (or chilli flakes, pepper and oregano)
  •  Chives: Finely chopped or you can substitute with green parts of spring onions.
  •  Garlic: 2-3 cloves, minced
  •  Lemon rind: ¼tsp
  •  Butter: 3-4tbsp
  •  Parsley: 1-2tsp, finely chopped
  •  Sour cream
  •  Grated cheese of your choice
  •  Salt: To taste

METHOD

#For the potatoes

  •  Clean the potatoes and rub with oil (vegetable or olive oil).
  •  Prick the potatoes all over with sea salt. Wrap in a foil and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes at 200°C.

#For the prawns

  •  Marinate the prawns with old bay seasoning or chilli flakes, lemon rind and ¼tsp salt. Give it a good mix.
  •  In a skillet heat 2tbsp of oil. Place the prawns and cook till the colour changes. Then flip and cook for 2 minutes. Don’t overcook the prawns. Set them aside.

#For the sauce

  •  In the same pan add 1tbsp butter, then add garlic. Cook for few seconds.
  •  Now add the chicken broth. Then add cream, chilli flakes, salt (to taste) and ¼tsp pepper.
  •  Now add 1 cup grated cheese. Mix well. Once the cheese is melted add some bacon bits (leave some for garnishing).
  •  Now add the chives (leave some for garnishing). Add the prawns (leave some for garnishing on top).

#For the potatoes

  •  Remove the potato from the foil. Insert a toothpick to check whether it is cooked through.
  •  Now gently with a sharp knife slice the top of the potato. Now scoop the potato while it is hot from the shell. Do not break the skin of the potato.
  •  To this scooped-out potato add butter, sour cream (about ¼ cup), cheese, and bacon bits. Mix well till soft.

#To assemble

  •  Put some sauce, 2tbsp or so, in the shell. Then stuff the potato mix nicely till the top.
  •  Then drizzle a good amount of sauce on top.
  •  Now place the shrimps over it. Then put some cheese, bacon bits and sprinkle parsley over it.
  •  Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes till the cheese is melted.
  •  Serve hot with a crusty bread and enjoy as a complete meal.
Fish Florentine

Fish Florentine

Fish Florentine

The term fish Florentine comes from a French queen named Catherine de Medici, who was born in Florence and, in 1533, married Henry, the second son of King Francis I. Florentine is a term that refers to dishes that typically include a base of cooked spinach, a protein component and béchamel sauce.

INGREDIENTS

  •  Fish fillets: 4
  •  Butter: 75g
  •  Salt: To taste
  •  Pepper: To taste
  •  Lemon juice: 1tsp
  •  Spinach: 750g
  •  Flour (maida): 25g
  •  Onion: 1, finely chopped
  •  Garlic: 4 cloves, minced
  •  Milk: 1¼ cups
  •  Cheese: 100g, grated
  •  Paprika: To taste
  •  Parsley: To garnish

METHOD

  •  Take aluminium foil. Lightly butter it.
  •  Season fish with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a little lemon juice. Put few knobs of butter on it. Then place in the foil and wrap up.
  •  Put the parcel in a baking dish or tray and bake for 20 minutes.
  •  Cook spinach in little salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Then drain, squeeze water out and chop it very, very finely. Alternately you can also grind it smooth.
  •  Now heat 2tbsp butter. Add onions and garlic. Cook till onions are soft. Then mix the spinach and cook for few seconds. Remove and set aside.

#For the béchamel sauce

  •  Melt the remaining butter. Add flour and stir. Remove from heat and add milk, salt and pepper to taste. Also add any juices from the fish. Return to heat and cook for 3 minutes till the sauce thickens a bit. It should not be too runny or lumpy.

#To assemble

  •  Make a base of spinach in a greased baking dish. Place the fish steaks over it. Then cover with béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese and paprika and bake for 10 minutes.
  •  Garnish with parsley and serve hot.
Moussaka

Moussaka

Moussaka

A medley of fantastic flavours meld together when moussaka is baked in the oven to perfection. No other dish in the world combines the spiced essence of minced meat, soft tasteful eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes and the creamy richness of the béchamel sauce.

It is widely believed that the Arabs introduced moussaka to the world when they introduced the eggplant. I am going to show the non-veg version. Vegetarians can make the same thing without using minced meat and it will also be very delicious.

INGREDIENTS

  •  Egg plants: 2, cut into thick roundels
  •  Potatoes: 4, large (par-boil and cut into thick roundels. A toothpick should go through it. Then you know it is cooked well.)
  •  Capsicums: 2, cut into thin rounds
  •  Minced meat: 350g
  •  Garlic: 1tbsp, crushed
  •  Tomatoes: 4, finely chopped
  •  Onions: 2, finely chopped
  •  Tomato paste: 2tbsp (alternatively 4tbsp tomato puree)
  •  Oregano: 1tsp
  •  Kashmiri red chilli powder: 1-2tsp
  •  Salt: To taste
  •  Pepper: To taste
  •  Olive oil: 4tbsp
  •  Worcestershire sauce: 2tbsp
  •  Mustard sauce: 1tsp
  •  Bechamel sauce
  •  Cheese: Grated, as required
  •  Chicken/vegetarian stock: 1 cup

METHOD

  •  Place the potatoes, eggplant and capsicum on a greased baking tray. Then brush olive oil over it. Bake in the oven at 200°C for about 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook them in a pan one by one.
  •  For the red sauce heat 3tbsp olive oil and saute onions and garlic till onions are soft. Then add minced meat (vegetarians can avoid this step) and saute the meat till it turns brown.
  •  Then add the tomatoes and saute till mushy. Then add the tomato paste. Saute well.
  •  Now add salt, pepper, paprika and mix well. Add Worcestershire sauce and mustard sauce. Add the oregano.
  •  Then add about a cup of chicken or vegetarian stock. Pressure cook for 4 whistles. The gravy should be sauce-like consistency. Remove and keep aside.
  •  Make the bechamel sauce. Pit a pinch of grated nutmeg in the sauce.

#To assemble

  •  Grease a baking dish. Then layer with potato roundels. Over it put the eggplant roundels. Then pour the red sauce over it. Then place the capsicum and then cover with the white sauce. Then cover with grated cheese.
  •  Bake in a pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes at 200°C.
  •  The sauce should be bubbling and the cheese melted.
  •  Serve hot.
Chicken tetrazzini

Chicken tetrazzini

Chicken tetrazzini

This American dish baked in a silky béchamel sauce with chicken and mushrooms, spaghetti and topped with cheese will definitely give you a food high.

INGREDIENTS

  •  3 cups boiled and diced or shredded chicken.
  •  200g mushrooms sliced thickly.
  •  2 capsicum thinly sliced.
  •  1-2tbsp olive oil.
  •  2tsp crushed garlic.
  •  Spaghetti: ¼ of a packet or a little less. Do not put too much spaghetti. Cook in boiling water with little bit of oil in it. Remove and keep aside.

#For the white sauce

  •  Whole milk: 3 cups
  •  Flour (maida): 3tbsp
  •  Butter: 3tbsp
  •  Nutmeg: A pinch
  •  Salt: To taste
  •  Pepper: To taste
  •  English mustard: 1tsp

METHOD

  •  In a pan heat oil. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Then add mushrooms. Saute till mushroom water evaporates. Then add capsicum. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
  •  Now add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 1 minute. Then keep aside.
  •  Now to make the white sauce, heat a pan. Add 3tbsp butter. When butter has melted add the flour and mix well till well-combined. Then add milk little by little. Keep stirring all the time. See that no lumps are formed.
  •  Then add 1tsp English mustard. Whisk well. Then add a pinch of nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
  •  Cook the white sauce till it coats your spoon. It should not be runny or lumpy.
  •  Now mix the vegetables and chicken with the sauce. Mix well.
  •  Now add the noodles. Give it a good mix.
  •  Now put everything in a baking dish. Cover with grated cheese.
  •  Bake in the oven at 180°C for about 15-20 minutes till there is a nice light golden crust on it.
  •  Serve hot with a crusty bread and a salad or on its own.
Vegetable cannelloni

Vegetable cannelloni

Vegetable cannelloni

Cannelloni are thin pasta sheets filled with stuffing and baked with 2 types of sauce. Key ingredients of any cannelloni is spinach and cheese. You can make it with meat or totally vegetarian. The method is the same. Here I am making purely vegetarian.

INGREDIENTS

#For the thin pancakes

  •  White flour (maida): ½ cup
  •  Cornflour: ½ cup
  •  Olive oil: 2tbsp
  •  Salt: To taste
  •  Pepper: To taste
  •  Milk: For making a flowy mixture

#For the pancake filling

  •  Spinach: 250-300g. Blanched and chopped very finely.
  •  Onion: 1 large, chopped finely
  •  Garlic: 4 cloves, minced
  •  Assorted vegetables: 2 cups (broccoli, bell peppers julienned, baby corn, zucchini, mushrooms, etc., whatever you fancy. Blanch and keep aside.)
  •  Oregano: 2tsp
  •  Chilli flakes: 2tsp
  •  Sugar: 1tsp
  •  Cheese: 3-4tbsp, grated
  •  Butter: 1tbsp
  •  Salt: To taste
  •  Pepper: To taste
  •  Non-vegetarians can use cooked shredded chicken

#For the red sauce

  •  Butter: 3tbsp
  •  Garlic: 4 cloves
  •  Onions: 2, finely chopped
  •  Tomatoes: 500g. Blanch with sugar and salt. Then remove skin and blend to a fine puree.
  •  Tomato puree: 100g
  •  Tomato sauce: 4tbsp
  •  Sugar: ½tsp
  •  Oregano: 1tsp
  •  Chilli flakes: 2tsp
  •  Dried basil: ½tsp
  •  Salt: To taste
  •  Pepper: To taste

METHOD

#For the thin pancakes

  •  Mix all the above. The batter should be flowy so that you can make thin pancakes.
  •  Heat a non-stick pan. Spread the batter; it should be thin. Lower the flame, bubbles will appear. Then flip and cook just few seconds. Remove and keep aside. Similarly make all the pancakes.
  •  Note: Non-vegetarians can add an egg in the batter.
  • #For the pancake filling
  •  Heat butter in a pan. Add garlic and onions and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the vegetables and saute for about a minute. Then add salt, pepper, sugar, oregano, chilli flakes and spinach. Then add cheese and mix till it melts.

#For the red sauce

  •  Heat butter. Then saute onions and garlic. Now add the blanched puree and all the seasoning.
  •  Then add tomato puree. And tomato sauce. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Then add a few dried basil leaves chopped. Remove from fire and keep aside.

#For the white sauce, see recipe in Chicken Tetrazzini

#To assemble

  •  Take a pancake. Put filling in it and roll like in spring rolls. Keep aside.
  •  Take a baking dish and put a layer of red sauce.
  •  Then place the stuffed pancakes over it.
  •  Then cover with white sauce.
  •  Cover with grated cheese.
  •  Sprinkle a little oregano and chilli flakes and a little parsley.
  •  Bake in a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes till the cheese melts nicely.
Vegetable au gratin

Vegetable au gratin

Vegetable au gratin

The vegetable au gratin recipe is a classic French dish where the vegetables are baked along with béchamel sauce. It is quick to make and super healthy too. You can use a combination of vegetables and play around with the recipe by adding more flavours.

INGREDIENTS

  •  Oil: 1tsp
  •  Vegetables (like broccoli or cauliflower, carrots, beans and potatoes, all diced into small size, no big chunks): 2 cups
  •  Oregano: ½tsp (or any fresh herbs like parsley).
  •  White sauce: As required
  •  Red chilli flakes: As required
  •  Cheese: Grated, as required

METHOD

  •  Par-boil all the vegetables. They should be al dente. They should be not very mushy or soft and have a bite.
  •  Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
  •  In a pan, add a little olive oil and stir-fry the vegetables for 1 minute.
  •  Add some mixed herbs to it like parsley oregano and chilli flakes.
  •  Add to the white sauce. Mix well.
  •  Put in a baking dish. Then over it put lots of grated cheese of your choice.
  •  Bake in the oven till the cheese has a light golden hue.
  •  Serve with garlic bread. It is an excellent side dish for parties.

Pictures: Pabitra Das

Durri Bhalla is a cookery expert and author of Indian Bohra Cuisine and Inner Truth To Good Health And Weight Loss. You can find her at @durribhallakitchen on Instagram, @Durribhallakitchen on Facebook and Durri Bhalla on YouTube

Last updated on 11.09.22, 02:01 AM
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