Ideas worth spreading- Simple caprese and TED Fellowship!

Sunday 20 September 2009 | Posted by Kishi | Salads

There are times you wanna scream and rejoice your excitement…but I had to keep mine hush-hush for a while. While traveling in Amsterdam I found out I was selected as a Ted India fellow.(Where and when: sitting in the public library- highest building in Amsterdam and famous for a view, trying to check my email and my orders and explaining my brother which candles to give to the customer with the cake…heheh!).We were told sternly by them (TED-Technology, Entertainment, Design) to keep it a secret till they allow us to let the world know. You see they say right “The fruits of patience are always Sugar coated”.

For those who don’t know much about TED this the website you can check it out.

I was also quite ignorant about TED myself except that I allied some cool funky videos to it. I had no clue about why/how and in what context I was asked to apply for it. When I checked the website the fellows were either environmentalists, to people in development sector or doing things for social cause. I still couldn’t figure why/how a pastry chef fits in all this. It’s not like cooking meal for the under privileged kids (I do that with my mom on my grandma’s death anniversary and send the food to the orphanage) was such a big social cause. Cutting the long story short…I just applied for it and not even in my remotest vague ideas I had imagined I would get selected for it. Thank god for friends like Ankur who sometimes tell you…just apply dude rest you see later!!

As always to celebrate I cooked. The dinner was flavorful and one of the best that I have made for myself as it was express, trouble-free -salad and penne pasta in red sauce.

Caprese is one of the simplest and most delectable of salads. It necessitates only the right ingredients. Tomatoes those are red, juicy and flavorful but not overly soft, and preferably unrefrigerated. The next ingredient should be truly fragrant, flavorful young basil: I had some green basil grown in the pot at home, not the hydroponically grown giant leaf variety which has little flavor. Another essential ingredient is good quality fresh, moist mozzarella. Finally, the need for some genuine extra-virgin olive oil and only olive oil, the best you can afford. My twist…I added fresh avocado and some tomatoes roasted with garlic.

My version of Caprese salad with avocado!

Caprese Salad

Ingredients:

Small tomatoes             5-6 no

Avocado                       1 no

Garlic                          2-3 no

Fresh mozzarella           1 box (200 gms)

Basil leaves                  a handful

Extra virgin olive oil      2-3 tbsps

Salt and pepper             to taste

I sometimes do things old school style. Just pulled the chunks of mozzarella by hand…sliced the avocados and just tossed all the ingredients together.

The secret to this recipe…which is hardly a secret now is the slow roasted tomatoes with garlic. Put the tomatoes, garlic in a 400F oven and wander off for a bit. You can follow the smell to check; there will be a gorgeous toasty aroma as the tomatoes cook. When the tomatoes (and garlic) look like they’ve started to brown or dry out on the top and the liquid in the pan has begun to thicken slightly, turn the oven off and leave the tomatoes to slowly soak in the flavors.

And if you are crazy about lemons like my mom squeeze some fresh lemon juice on the same!! Add caper berries if you have as garnish.

Try and enjoy your happy moment with the simplest of stuff alongside people you love!

PS- here is the press release that was sent by TED.

TED CONFERENCE ANNOUNCES 103 FELLOWS FOR TEDIndia 2009

NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2009 — Organizers of the TED Conference will bring 103 TEDIndia Fellows to Mysore, India, to participate in TEDIndia, the first-ever TED in Asia. TEDIndia, “The Future Beckons,” will take place Nov. 4-7, 2009, on the high-tech campus of Infosys Technologies Ltd.

The TEDIndia Fellows are a diverse group of men and women, representing not only India, Pakistan and Bangladesh but also Indonesia, Canada, Tajikistan, the United States, China, Nigeria and Oman. TEDIndia Fellows include engineers, environmental scientists and pollution experts, human-rights activists, musicians, athletes and filmmakers. One is a female Olympic-class sailor. One runs an innovative rickshaw business. One is a robotics developer. All are committed to the spread of great ideas.

“As the world’s influence moves to the East, the TEDIndia Fellows program is proud to showcase the work of 103 visionaries born or working in South Asia, especially in India, but also in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and the rest of the world,” says Tom Rielly, TED Fellows Director and TED Community Director.

In addition to attending as full members of the TEDIndia conference audience, all TED Fellows will take part in a one-day pre-conference where, among other benefits, they will receive world-class communication training and collaborate with their peers. Select Fellows will be invited to speak on the TED Fellows, TED University and main TED stages. Their TEDTalks may be selected for posting on TED.com, where each has the potential to be viewed hundreds of thousands of times. Fellows will also participate in the TED community throughout the next year, by telling their ongoing stories on the TED Fellows blog, being featured in the online Fellows directory and participating in a private social network.

The principal goal of the TED Fellows program is to empower Fellows to effectively communicate their work to the TED community and to the world.

Here are just a few of the 103 TEDIndia Fellows:

Sean Blagsvedt is the CEO of Babajob.com, an online enterprise connecting employers to informal-sector employees in the developing world — such as maids, cooks and office helpers — through a combination of mobile phones, location, skill and price filtering and social connections.

Svati Bhogle is the chief executive of Technology Informatics Design Endeavor (TIDE), a nonprofit devoted to promoting sustainable development through technological interventions.

Kishi Arora is a pastry chef and the “cakesmith” behind the Foodaholics treats and blog.

Jane Chen is the co-founder and CEO of Embrace, a social enterprise that aims to help the millions of vulnerable babies born every year in developing countries through a low-cost infant sleeping bag that can regulate a baby’s temperature.

Shiva Keshavan is India’s three-time Winter Olympian and the youngest athlete ever to qualify for the Olympics in the luge.

Andrew Mendelson has been playing the sitar for a dozen years. His documentary film, A Cricket in the Court of Akbar, chronicles his journey to India to compete in the largest music competition in the state of Rajasthan.

Shahida Saleem is the founder of Sehat First, a social enterprise that provides access to basic health care and pharmaceutical services across Pakistan by means of self-sustainable, franchised tele-health centers.

Santosh Sigdel is a Nepali human rights lawyer.

Roshini Thinakaran is the founder of Women at the Forefront, a multimedia project examining war and conflict through the eyes of women.

Rikin Gandhi is CEO of Digital Green, a research project that seeks to disseminate targeted agricultural information to small and marginal farmers in India through digital video.

The TEDIndia Fellows program is underwritten by the visionary investment of “mentor capital” firm Sherpalo Ventures, with additional funding from Google.org.

“Sherpalo Ventures supports the TEDIndia Fellows program to help nurture the next generation of exceptional Indian leaders, whether extraordinary entrepreneurs, visionary NGO founders, world-class artists and filmmakers, or ingenious inventors, as they work to solve the challenges facing our diverse and multifaceted country,” said Sandeep Murthy, Partner, Sherpalo Ventures India. “We further realize that India is part of a larger South Asian community and wish to foster closer bonds among these nations by connecting innovators across borders in all sectors of society.”

To meet all 103 Fellows, please visit http://www.TED.com/fellows.

The TED Fellows program seeks individuals 21-40 years old (although anyone 18 and over can apply) with demonstrated remarkable achievement in their fields of endeavor. The program is accepting fellowship applications through Sept. 25, 2009, for the TED2010 Conference, “What the World Needs Now,” to be held Feb. 9-13, 2010, in Long Beach, California (information available at TED.com/fellows). The program focuses on candidates from five regions: Asia/Pacific, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East. The TED Fellows program is made possible by the visionary support of the Bezos family, Sherpalo Ventures, the Harnisch Foundation, the Case Foundation, private donors and Nokia.

Details on each Fellow and the program are available at TED.com/fellows. To support the program or for more information, contact Logan McClure at +1 212.346.9333 or via email at fellows@ted.com. Follow the TED Fellows blog at tedfellows.posterous.com.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK, and this November, the TEDIndia Conference will be held in Mysore, India. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where three exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action, and TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world. Follow TED on Twitter, twitter.com/tedtalks, or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/TED

TEDIndia, “The Future Beckons,” will be held in Nov. 4-7, 2009, in Mysore, India. TED2010, “What the World Needs Now,” will be held Feb. 9-13, 2010, in Long Beach, California, along with TEDActive, a simulcast conference of TED2010, in Palm Springs, California. TEDGlobal 2010, “And Now the Good News,” will be held July 13-16, 2010, in Oxford, UK.

About TEDIndia

TEDIndia will be held Nov. 4-7, 2009, just outside Mysore, on the high-tech campus built by Infosys to train its thousands of engineering graduates. TEDIndia offers a fast-paced, highly curated, three-day stage program featuring TED’s famous 18-minute talks, plus music, comedy, dance, short talks, video interludes and other surprises. Preconference, there’s a full day of TED University, during which TEDIndia attendees can give their own short talks or performances. TEDIndia will host a class of 103 exceptional TED Fellows from around the world — young thinkers and doers in all fields who can become tomorrow’s leaders. Sponsors of TEDIndia include Infosys, Google.org, Nokia and Sherpalo Ventures.

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Easy meals…sandwich!

Thursday 21 May 2009 | Posted by Kishi | Easy Cooking,Sandwich

roasted veggies with bread
Sandwiches are a commonly fashionable sort of food. We take them to work, kids love it at school, picnics…Here is my take on an easy meal!

ROASTED VEGETABLES FOR SANDWICH

Ingredient /Amount
Peppers 2 each
Tomatoes 2 each
Garlic 3-4 cloves
Zucchini 2 each
Eggplant 1 each
Mushrooms 10 each
Balsamic Marinade 1 recipe
Salt t.t
Pepper t.t
Olive Oil As Needed

METHOD

Peppers: Wash and roast peppers on an open flame, then place in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow peppers to sit for 30 minutes. Remove skins and seeds, and then cut into julienne strips.

Tomatoes: Wash and cut off the stem end, then cut tomatoes into quarters. Lie on butter paper-lined pan and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven until slightly browned and shrivelled.

Garlic: Peel garlic cloves and place in a pan. Cover with oil and cover pan with foil. Place in the oven and roast until aromatic and brown. Reserve the oil for other applications-use it for pasta’s preferably!

Zucchini: Cut off the ends, and cut in half length wise. Lie on butter paper-lined pan and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in the oven and roast until golden brown and soft. When cool, cut them into julienne strips on a bias.

Eggplant: Wash eggplant, peel skin off, and cut off ends. Cut into ¼”-thick disks and place in a strainer (sieve aka colander). Create layers of eggplant and salt each layer very well. Place colander in a bowl and allow to sit for 2 hours, or until eggplant is softened. Rinse eggplant and toss with olive oil and grill (or sauté). When cool, cut into julienne strips.

Button Mushrooms: Remove stems from mushrooms, trying to keep the cap intact and whole, then place into the Balsamic marinade. Moisten all of the caps and line up in pans. Allow mushrooms to sit overnight or at least for a few hours. When ready, grill the mushrooms until the centres are softened.

So for the sandwich:

Roasted Vegetables 1 recipe
Bread 1 loaf pick from any bakery around your house, baguette or cracked wheat…not much choice in Delhi to be true!
Jack Cheese/cheddar cheese or fresh mozzarella 10-12 slices. Or crumble with hands for the latter
Balsamic Vinaigrette 1 recipe (look in the recipe section of the blog)
Lettuce, half leaves 1 head

METHOD
1. To assemble the sandwich, place the lettuce on the bottom piece of bread, toss all vegetables except the mushrooms in enough balsamic vinaigrette to moisten them, and then place them on top of the lettuce. Top the vegetables with mushrooms and the cheese…I really like fresh mozzarella, which I melt in the microwave for just 10 second before adding. So it’s nice soft and gooey. Place top on and cut in half on a bias.

When you try -play around with different dressings, I personally love honey mustard 🙂

My advice: Do it a day before and make your life trouble-free! Sometimes spare some vegetable and store them in zip locks and make salads with the same!

Question:
The roasting of all of these vegetables should be done the day before?? WHY??
Answer:
You try it and let me know… 😉

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