This month has been one of many decisions. I enrolled for GMAT classes, beginning my quest towards higher education yet again. The enrolment was a little hesitant because of how much time it would squeeze out of my day but I feel like if not now, this will never happen. I took decisions this time which felt good because now I cant blame anyone but myself and also this added sense of responsibility. You feel attached to your decisions and push yourself to see them succeed but can also anticipate your results a lot quicker than when decisions such as these are assisted by external forces such as friends and family. Yes, it does add to the stress but I think if you aren’t stressing about something at least a little, you really didn’t have any stake in that thing in the first place— and that’s just not how I can function.
Natasha is a new addition to my life but also one that has integrated the quickest into the family in so many ways— from being the only stranger that my one year old adolescent Rottweiler puppy, Besan has stopped being hostile against (he humps her now so that’s a separate tangent all together), to being asked by my family in all excitement if she’s coming for dinner on the weekend. The transition from Instagram buddy to girlfriend has been rapid and so have been her insights into how I function. Now, we know that we are very different people but at the end of the day our opinions are stated to improve the lives we live both collectively and as developing humans in this world. She usually says that I take too much stress, which I usually deny. And while, I do think what she intends to say is that I am thinking a lot more about something than I should, I don’t always see that as a negative thing. I don’t see it as stress even. I think of it as taking responsibility for my actions and thinking about them enough before pushing them out. I do this with everything— from writing emails (most time consuming parts of my day are times I’ve had to compose client mails) to cooking food (even at home, where at times the camera is the only thing that I am cooking for). I think this is because I create a standard. A level of quality, a brand guideline that I don’t wish to deteriorate from even when the audience is me or loved ones around me who are too nice to say anything. What I do think Natasha is correct about is the level of responsibility I take for things that either may not be my responsibility or how little it matters in the grand scheme of things. It’s for these times, that I value Natasha’s “I’m stressing out” quip. I may not agree with her but at least I have the opportunity, for that one moment, to just zoom out of my head, and really see; is it my responsibility?
I first made this galette as a trial for an all vegetarian pop up I hosted in July in Jaipur. It was the first time that I served food to 27 strangers, essentially being the first time I was being judged for the food I was making. There was a lot of responsibility on my part to make sure something like this works well and so did the time it took to make this. Each element in this 3 bite pastry has thought put in it. The pastry is a very forgiving pie dough that is made savoury by replacing the sugar with salt and uses parmesan to add that umami-ness that we seem to expect a savoury pastry (think of like a quiche). The filling was a classic French combination of caramelised onions, mushrooms, and fresh rosemary— a combination that gets cooked and then baked, making it on the perfect side of “jammy.” The filling sat on some classic yellow mustard that broke through the sweetened onions and give them that olfactory hit. Lastly the crust was adorned with a classic egg wash which worked as a primer for that black and white sesame blanket, reminiscent of an everything bagel. This galette is 3 bites, but it takes a 200 word description to give it justice. I hope you do give it a try and if you were at the event in Jaipur, I would love to know what you thought of these galettes!
Videos I made this month
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Posting my first 1-minute recipe video for this beautiful vanilla bean creme brûlée— a 5 ingredient beauty that takes 5 minutes to make (2 hours to cool) but is by far the easiest “fancy” thing anyone can make! You do need some equipment: oven safe flat bowls (ramekins ideally) and an oven with a broiler or a kitchen torch to make that candied top. No link in bio for this one. Just a simple video and all the instructions down below 💫 Ingredients (serves 3) 500 ml fresh or heavy cream 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean or essence 1/4 tsp salt 6 egg yolks 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and some more for the topping Method 1. Begin by heating your cream on a medium flame. Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla. Mix well and keep stirring for about 3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the cream has some heat in it. DO NOT BOIL. 2. In a bowl, add your egg yolks and slowly add a ladle of the cream. Whisk well to dissipate the heat and temper the eggs so that they dont scramble. 3. Slowly pour all the cream and continue to whisk. 4. Pour the mix into your 3 ramekins that sit in a baking sheet with a lid. 5. Pour boiling hot water into the baking sheet. Cover till the middle of the ramekin. This allows for even cooking. 6. Place in an 160 C (325 F) degree oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the middle has a soft jiggle. 7. Cool for 30 minutes and freeze for an hour (covered with cling wrap). 8. Take out, add 1/2 tbsp of sugar on top and brûlée with the technique of your choice!
Makes 10 mini galettes
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of parmesan (or any other hard cheese like Cheddar) grated
250 grams of unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2 to 4 tablespoons of ice cold water
1/4 teaspoon of salt
6 large red onions
350 grams of mushrooms sliced
50 grams of fresh rosemary
7-8 cloves of garlic minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 bottle of English or whole grain mustard
Salt to taste
1 large egg
1 tablespoon of heavy cream or whole milk
A handful of black and white sesame seeds
Mix dry ingredients— flour, cheese, and salter together. Add the chilled butter and work it with your hands. Breaking down the butter with your fingers and thumbs into smaller pieces (the size of a pea). As you work on it, add cold water to mix the flour together and prevent the butter from melting.
Put dough on the lightly floured counter and pat it together to make one uniform piece. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit). Roll the dough out to a 12-inch (30 cm) round. Using a round cap or pastry cutter (about 3 inched in diameter) make cuts. Don’t worry if it’s uneven. It goes with the rustic vibe! Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and chill while preparing the filling.
In a pan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter, add the onions and garlic and cook for 6 minutes or until the onions begin to wilt and steam. Add the rosemary and mushrooms. Cook for another 6 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar on minute 5 and let it just cook down and remove all that flavourful fond from the bottom of your pan. Remove the rosemary before using the filling in the pastry.
Pile the filling on the dough circle, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Gently fold the pastry over the veg, pleating to hold it in. Again, imperfect is totally fine. Brush the crust generously with one beaten egg and heavy cream. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the crust.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cool for at least 20 minutes (prime Instagram picture time). Serve warm or at room temperature