Check back often for the latest recipe postings here! Sweet, savory or even fun cocktails recipes!
These will be a mix of my "go-to" recipes, some unique Indian twists to American classics, and some of the latest inspirations as AMR Catering continues to grow...
April & May 2013
So when deciding on what recipe to post for this addition and the start of the spring season (yay!), I immediately picked an item from my
absolute favorite time of day - brunch time! Sometime sweet was a given and I wanted a treat that was still comforting (because it's still
so cold out!) so here it is...an original creation and recipe - warm cinnamon buns with cardamom, rum raisins and a chai liqueur glaze
Cardamom-Rum Raisin Cinnamon Buns
Chai Liqueur Glaze
2, 8" cake pans or glass bakeware
1 package (1/4-ounce) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (not hot)
1/2 cup warm milk (not hot)
1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
4 cups all-purpose flour
SPICE-RUM RAISIN FILLING
1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter, plus extra for pans
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for pan sprinkling
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground cardamom
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup raisins, soaked overnight in spiced rum (if you're pressed for time, lightly heat the raisins and rum until well absorbed)
CHAI LIQUEUR GLAZE
1/2 stick (4 tbsps) butter, softened
2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (10x)
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
Pinch ground cardamom
3 tbsp chai liqueur (recommended brand: Dancing Pines)
3-4 tbsp milk (as needed for consistency)
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water - stir and let rest for about 5 minutes - yeast mixture will bubble.
2. In a kitchen aid bowl fitted with a paddle, combine warm milk, melted butter, salt, sugar and egg.
3. Add half the flour mixture (2 cups), and mix until smooth. Add yeast/water mixture and slowly combine. Mix in remaining flour until
dough is well combined. Switch the paddle for the dough hook. Knead on low speed for 3-4 minutes. If mixture is sticky, scrape the
bowl as needed and toss in a little extra flour.
4. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead by hand for another minute. Generously spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking
spray and place the dough in the bowl, covering lightly with plastic wrap. Allow dough to double in size in a warm area (1-2 hours).
5. When doubled, "punch down" dough to release all the bubbles. This will allow you to roll out the dough. Roll the dough onto a well-
floured surface in about a 15x9 rectangle (about 1/2 in thick).
6. Brush melted butter all over the surface of the dough - this will be your "glue" for the filling. Combine your filling ingredients except
the raisins and liberally sprinkle mixture over dough. Spread rum raisins over half the width of the dough (the first half toward you).
Begin rolling the dough into a tight pinwheel all the while pinching the edge of the sides to seal in the filling. Once rolled, carefully
lift the rolled dough onto a sheet pan and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes until chilled and slice-able.
7. Trim 1/2 inch from each side of the dough. Cut 1 inch thick slices (batch should yield 12-14 pieces).
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom of the cake pans with butter and a light sprinkle of granulated sugar. Place 7
cinnamon buns in each cake pan, leaving space between each bun. Allow cake pans to proof a second time (keeping it in a warm
place and allow to double in size, about 45 minutes).
9. While the buns are proofing, make your icing! Combine all ingredients except for the chai liqueur and milk in a kitchen aid bowl
fitted with a paddle and cream until well mixed and smooth. Add chai liqueur. Depending on consistency, add a few tablespoons of
milk. Cover to ensure icing does not dry out.
10. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and baked through. Allow to cool slightly; spread the icing over the warm buns and
January & February 2013
Happy New Year!
This time of year is all about recovering from the holidays - the overeating and baking bonanza - and it's a nice time to unwind and
make easy, breezy meals - like this tomato soup (and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry/fridge)!
For the longest time I hated tomato soup, mainly because my only memory and experience came from a condensed soup can. So I
set out to make my own version - one that I loved, was super easy, and of course, with an Indian twist. I substituted a large amount of
heavy cream normally found in creamy tomato soup for greek yogurt with a touch of cream at the end.
Creamy Tomato-Fenugreek Soup
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion (or 2 small), chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary and thyme
1 tbsp whole fenugreek
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
2 cups chicken broth (veg broth or even water will do)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in puree
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream, optional
1. In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 10-12
2. Add the garlic, bay leaves, fresh herbs, fenugreek and cumin. Stir constantly until fragrant - about 2 minutes.
3. Add the canned tomatoes, broth and salt and pepper. Stir and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and
allow soup to cook for about 20 minutes.
4. Remove lid and season soup as necessary - reduce soup further until desired consistency is reached.
5. Turn heat off and add greek yogurt and heavy cream. Using a blender or immersion blender, pulse soup until smooth. Season
again as needed and strain if desired for a smoother consistency. Serve immediately (can be made a day or two in advance).
Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt, minced fresh herbs, drizzle of olive oil, etc.
*I served mine with floating mac and cheese bites & a tandoori-spiced bacon wrapped shrimp - with a drizzle of olive oil and
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2012
The Fall & Winter months are my favorite for desserts - crisp apples, warm spices, and there's nothing like the smell of fresh doughnuts
in your kitchen...especially these Apple Cider Doughnuts served alongside a Spiced Apple Butter Chocolate Sauce. Enjoy!
Apple Cider Doughnuts
with Spiced Apple Butter Chocolate Sauce
Yield - 12-15 Doughnuts
1 apple, caramelized and minced (recipe below) - recommended apples: Red Delicious or Stayman Winesap
1 cup reduced apple cider, cooled (2 cups apple cider reduced in saucepan by half)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp plus 1tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tbsp ground cinnamon & additional cinnamon for garnish
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground clove
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar & additional sugar (about 2 cups) for garnish
3 tablespoons shortening
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup heavy cream or crème fraiche
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Vegetable oil, for frying
1. Whisk dry ingredients together - flour, baking powder and soda, spices & salt.
2. Cream sugar and shortening in mixer using a paddle, until light and fluffy. Add egg/egg yolk, followed by the cream/crème
and vanilla. Add minced apples and apple cider, mix to combine. Slowly add flour mixture just until combined - dough will be
3. Spray large bowl lightly with cooking spray and place dough into bowl, lightly covered with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least
four hours or overnight.
4. While dough is cold, roll out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut doughnuts using a doughnut cutter or round cutters OR portion dough
into 12-15 pieces, roll into balls and cut middle with a 3/4inch cutter (doughnut hole). Place a damp cloth over doughnuts until
ready for frying.
5. Get ready to fry and garnish! Preheat oil to 350 degrees.
Garnish - Take 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon (dash of nutmeg, optional*), process in food processor for superfine
sugar coating and set aside in large shallow bowl for dredging. Have a baking sheet lined with paper towels or a cooling rack
ready to go.
6. Carefully slip 2-3 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil - fry until golden brown (1-2 minutes per side).
7. Place on cooling tray/rack and while doughnuts are still warm but cool enough to handle, drege entire doughnut in spiced
sugar mixture. Fry, Dredge, Repeat!
2 tbsp white sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 apple, roughly chopped
Heat a stainless steel pan until very hot - add butter. While almost smoking, place apples in a single layer and allow to sauté for one
minute - top with sugar and allow to caramelize another minute. Gently toss until apple pieces are golden brown and caramelized.
Remove from pan, allow to cool, and finely mince.
Spiced Apple Butter Chocolate Sauce
2 tbsp spiced apple butter (can be found in local grocery stores)
1 cinnamon stick
1 clove piece
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 oz semi-sweet or milk chocolate, chopped
Place heavy cream, milk, cinnamon stick and clove in small pot - scald. Allow milk mixture to infuse for at least 30 minutes. Strain.
In the meantime, place chopped chocolate and apple butter in small metal bowl over double-broiler and melt together. Add milk mixture
to melted chocolate/apple butter - whisk to combine. Allow to cool slightly and enjoy!
AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2012
Smores Martini, Strawberry-Mango-Thyme Cocktail & Skinny(ish) Pina Colada
This edition of AMR Catering recipes feature not one, but THREE cocktail recipes!
I love making cocktails - when entertaining, creating new and fun cocktail ideas that my guests will enjoy is just as important as the food. I hope the dessert-inspired and fruit cocktails make your summer days and nights a little sweeter.
Ingredients for Cocktail:
- 2 oz chocolate vodka (recommended: Three Olives)
- 2 oz marshmallow vodka (recommended: Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow)
- 1 oz Bailey's Liqueur
- 1/2 oz Kahlua
Step 1 - Garnish Glass
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate
- Pastry Brush or Spoon
- Graham Cracker Crumbs
- Mini Marshmallows
- Torch or Lighter
- Bamboo Sticks
Melt chocolate and with your pastry brush, make small or big strokes on the inside of the serving glass. Line the rim of the brush with chocolate and dip the rim in graham cracker crumbs. Set aside.
Step 2 - Shake, shake
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Place all measured liquor contents in the shaker, shake and pour into the garnished glass.
Step 3 - Torch Marshmallows
Place a few marshmallows on a cut bamboo stick (long enough to catch the sides of your glass). With a torch or lighter, lightly roast your marshmallows and place on top of the martini. Serve immediately, and enjoy!
Ingredients for Cocktail:
- 1 cup fresh, sliced strawberries
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar*
- 4 sprigs thyme, divided in two
- 1/4 fresh mango, cubed
- 1 cup mango juice
- 3/4 cup strawberry vodka (recommended: Stoli)**
- 1 cup club soda
1. Place sliced strawberries, granulated sugar and two sprigs of thyme (minced) in a bowl. Mix and set aside to allow fruit to macerate for at least 20 minutes. Combine mixture with cubed mango, mango juice and vodka-reserve.
2. Fill a rocks glass with ice, add cocktail mixture and top with 1/4 cup club soda and a half sprig of thyme
*Depending on the season, the sweetness of the fruit will vary - add/subtract sugar as needed
**For a non-alcoholic version, substitute 1/2 cup additional mango juice plus 1/4 cup added club soda.
Skinny(ish) Pina Colada
I'm all about a skinny cocktail - Here's my version of a slightly skinny pina colada that's lighter than the original concoction (that's laden with cream of coconut & added sugar)
Ingredients for Cocktail:
- 1 13-14oz can light coconut milk (recommended: Thai Kitchen)
- 2 cups cubed ice
- 2 1/4 cup fresh or frozen pineapple (if using frozen, recommended: Trader Joe's Pineapple Tidbits)*
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 8oz can crushed pineapple with its juice
- 1 cup dark rum (recommended: Captain Morgan for a slightly spicy cocktail or Bacardi Gold)**
- Fresh Pineapple Wedges, for garnish
1. Place all contents in a blender and process until desired, smooth consistency is reached. Pour into serving glasses, garnish with a pineapple wedge and enjoy!
*If using fresh pineapple, arrange the pieces on a tray and keep in freezer for 20 min for a smooth consistency when blending.
**For a non-alcoholic version, substitute dark rum for pineapple juice.
Some friends often ask me for recipes to make for their families, friends and significant others. Though, if I ever mention making crème brulee, they automatically think it's too difficult-not true! And here's the proof. I love crème brulee - fancy, decadent, and most importantly - incredibly easy! The below recipe is the standard vanilla crème brulee - but I'm all about infusing the cream and making unique (Indian-inspired) variations. See my notes below for how to make Saffron or Chai Crème Brulee! If infusing, plan to start the recipe at least a day or two in advance.
Special Equipment You'll Need:
--Crème Brulee Torch - If you don' t have one in your kitchen, get one! You can use it for many other pastry items.
-- (6) Ramekins - 6-8oz oven-safe ones will do just fine
- 1 quart heavy cream (it is crème brulee, after all!)
- 1 vanilla bean, split & scraped (or 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
- 1 cup granulated white sugar, divided in half (1/2 cup for batter, 1/2 cup for caramelizing)
- 6 large egg yolks
- hot water
Put the cream, vanilla bean and the bean scrapings into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and scald. Remove from heat, cover and allow to steep for at least 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean. If infusing the cream to make a variation, halve the vanilla and add your flavorings with the cream and bring it to a scald altogether. Do this step a day or two in advance - It will allow your flavorings to fully infuse into the cream and as a result, super delicious.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk by hand 1/2 cup sugar and egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Temper in the cream mixture - Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually so as to bring the egg temperature up gradually - doing it too quickly may cook your eggs.
Divide the crème brulee custard into 6 (6 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large rectangular pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still jiggly in the center, approximately 45-50 minutes. Keep ramekins in pan for at least 30 minutes. Allow the baked custard to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least one hour (or plan ahead - can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered, kept in fridge).
Now the fun part - Caramelizing!
When you're ready to serve, using the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, work on one ramekin at a time. Sprinkle a layer of sugar on the surface and torch the sugar until you see it melting, but no color. Sprinkle another layer of sugar on top of the melted sugar layer - this is the browning layer. Torch again until desired color is achieved. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Saffron Crème Brulee -- Add 1/2 tsp of ground saffron or crushed saffron threads during scalding step.
Chai Crème Brulee - Add 3 Chai Tea Bags, a few crushed cardamom pads, a cinnamon stick and a few pieces of clove during scalding step.
Any other variations can be used and will be delicious - get creative & have fun!
White Chocolate-Cranberry-Coconut Drop Cookies
I love this cookie recipe - chewy, decadent, and best of all-easy!
And I <3 it so much, this recipe was given to all guests at my own bridal shower.
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk or cream
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sift together the flour and baking soda; set aside.
- With an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the softened butter, both sugars and salt together until light and fluffy (approx 3-4 min). Be sure to scrape the bowl after each addition.
- Add eggs, vanilla and milk/cream - mix until just combined. Scrape!
- Add the flour mixture and paddle smooth. Add the chips, coconut and dried cranberries, and mix until just combined (dough should be stiff).
- Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Enjoy!
Feel free to swap out the mix-in ingredients for things that you fancy...
(some ideas: swap white chocolate for dark, omit coconut, cranberries for cherries, add a cup of your favorite nut, or soak the dried cranberries in OJ - recommended at least 12 hours in advance for a more intense orange flavor). Skies the limit.
Dough can be made and refrigerated up to two days in advance; frozen up to one month in advance.