I am encountering a block today, and have been sitting here for quite sometime not knowing how to start this post. The weather has been pretty bad, the children have been given a day off at school. With all the noise they are making inside, and the ice storm and frost outside my poor brain froze too.
I did update the “About” page, now that my entire family has slowly got involved Other than that, I really could not have been able to think at all today. So lets go straight to what we are here for.
A peek in out kitchen today… this is what we cooked:
Fresh Pitas with lovely pockets to stuff some hummus, veggies & chicken patties & a Big Salad with some Asparagus, Fruits & Nuts.
My kids really loved the way the Pitas puffed in the oven. The Pitas can be stuffed with anything you want. I wanted to make falafels but did not have the chickpeas or any beans, & was in no mood to go out in this weather, so I just cooked up some chicken patties.
Here are some extra things you will need to stuff the pita… Use whatever you want to put in there. Here is a list of the things that in stuffed in along with the chicken patties.
- Ripe but Firm Avacodo peeled & chopped into pieces
- Red Onions thinly Sliced
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Now going to the process of making the others…
For this recipe, I have followed every details of Vaishalli’s recipe. It worked wonders & I had the picture perfect Pitas for the first time. I was thrilled to see them puff up like balloons one after another. Here are the soft, puffy pitas with the perfect pockets!
- 2.5 cups white whole-wheat flour/chappati atta (can substitute with regular whole wheat flour)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- 4 tsp active dry yeast
- Warm water (about 1 1/4 cups)
Warm 1/4 cup of water in the microwave for about 20 seconds. dissolve the sugar & the yeast, & set aside till the yeast foams up.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together all the ingredients.
Knead into a smooth dough, on low speed in a stand mixer, for about 10 minutes. If using your hands as I did, roll up your sleeves & knead with your fists till your arms hurt for about 15 minutes.
Place in a bowl coated with olive oil, turning over once so that the dough is coated with oil.
Keep in a warm place to rise, about 1.5 hours, until doubled in volume.
Now punch down the dough and divide into 8-10 pieces. Roll into balls, cover with a kitchen towel, and allow the balls to rest about 20 minutes.
Roll each ball into a dough around 7 inches in diameter. Try to roll evenly so the pita will rise in the oven, making a perfect pocket.
Place a pizza stone or unglazed ceramic tiles in an oven( I did not have a pizza stone, so I turned over my regular baking tray upside down), and preheat to 450 degrees.
Spritz the pizza stone with water (Do not try sprinkling water if you are using a glass baking tray) and, after 30 seconds, place as many pitas as you can on the stone without overlapping.
Leave alone for 3 minutes. The pitas should puff up.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. The pita should now deflate. If, for some reason, it doesn’t, I put it in a microwave for 30 seconds after it has cooled down softens the pita and does the trick.
A really great idea would be to make tiny little Pitas for the children at home. They love the look of these, & it is so much easier for them to handle when they are eating a stuffed one by themselves. My kids were extremely excited when they saw “little” pitas made just for them.
- 1 lb ground/minced chicken
- 1/2 medium sized Onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, made into a paste
- A fistful of chopped fresh Cilantro or any other herbs you would like to use
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- A pinch of Turmeric
- 2 Tablespoons of powdered Corn Starch
- Freshly ground Pepper Corn
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper(optional)
- About 2 Tablespoons Oil
Preparation: (makes about 8- 10 small patties)
Combine all the ingredients above and mix them up well in a consistency of meatball mix.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a Skillet. Scoop out a tablespoon of the mix, & place it on the skillet. Flatten it with the back of the spoon to from the shape of tiny burgers.
Lower the heat, Cover & cook till chicken is cooked & starts lightly browning on the side. It will cook in about 10 -12 minutes. Uncover drizzle some more oil on the patties, flip them over & brown the other side till done.
Drain on paper towels. They would not be much oily….
I am not giving exact proportions here. Please add whatever you want & in whatever quantity you want. I am just giving a list of the things I have used for our salad.
- Asparagus cut into to 1.5 inch pieces
- Fresh Mint Leaves Chopped
- Fresh lime to squeeze on the salad
Wash & pat dry the lettuce leaves or spin dry them.
Place the asparagus in boiling & immediately rinse them with very cold water. Place them on the lettuce bed. Add the craisins & the pecans & the fresh mint leaves.
Drizzle lime juice on the salad & toss.
To assemble everything together:
Cut the pita breads into half.
Spread the Hummus in a thin layer on the inside of the pockets.
Stuff the pockets with the patties, lettuce, onions & avacados chunks.
Serve with the salad.
This was a great fresh dinner with lot of fresh vegetables. Nothing can beat the fresh baked breads at home. It did not take too long to cook, neither was it complicated. The children had a good time having to eat their own special little pitas & ate without a fuss. Meeta’s Monthly Mingle is being hosted by Michelle of What’s Cooking. Sending this to Monthly Mingle: Healthy Family Dinners.