Notes from a cooking/baking weekend: Part 1 – Baked potatoes with plum chutney and home made herbed ricotta

Last week our gang of food bloggers got a bunch of ingredients from Shop For Change Fair Trade (an NGO that was found in 2009 with a mission to harness the power of Indian markets to improve the livelihoods of poor farmers across India via trade, not aid). The idea was to use these ingredients in our recipes and mention the farmer groups from which they are sourced. 

I decided to wait till the weekend to try out these ingredients and create something using them. Eventually I decided to dedicate the whole weekend to cooking and baking and do a series of blog posts about my experiences. The fun ride started with a visit to Arif in Andheri. I had been planning to go there since Ashrita recommended that place. Finally I went there and bought some baking trays, muffin liners, nutella, blueberry filling etc. Happy with my shopping I treated myself to a McEgg from McDonalds :D.


So, here’s the first post with the recipe of herbed ricotta cheese and baked potatoes stuffed with plum chutney and ricotta.

Herbed ricotta
Ingredients
300 ml milk
200 gms curd
150 ml fresh cream (I used Amul cream)
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp white wine (optional)
2 tsp Spicy Herb blend (chilli, ginger,oregano, rosemary and thyme) sourced from Kumaon Grameen Udyog

Method

  • Mix milk, curd, cream, vinegar, wine and salt in a pot and let it boil.
  • Remove the pot from the gas when the liquid starts curdling.
  • Place a cloth/kitchen towel on a sieve and pour the mix on it so that the water drains out and only curdled cheese remains.
  • When the cheese leaves all the water mix the spicy herb blend in it.
  • Ricotta cheese is ready to be used. It can be stored in the fridge for at least 3 days.
Baked potatoes stuffed with plum chutney and ricotta
Ingredients
4 medium sized potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp normal or balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Spicy Herb blend (chilli, ginger,oregano, rosemary and thyme) sourced from Kumaon 

1 tsp fresh basil (chopped)
1 tsp sage (chopped)
1 tsp rosemary (chopped)
Salt to taste
100 gms plum Chutney sourced from Mahila Umang Producers company
4 tbsp home made ricotta cheese

Method

  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into halves.
  • Scoop them from center so that they look like small bowls.
  • Mix olive oil, vinegar, spicy herb blend, basil, sage, rosemary and salt and marinate potatoes in this mix for one hour.
  • Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius
  • Grease the baking dish and place the potatoes on it (slice them from the bottom so that they stay straight)
  • Fill plum chutney in the scooped potatoes and top it with ricotta cheese.

  • Bake them for 15 minutes
  • Drizzle the marination mix over the potatoes and serve hot.

The combination of plum chutney and ricotta worked pretty well. Originally I had planned to make this dish with mushrooms but since I couldn’t find any I decided to use potatoes instead. This dish will go very well with some beer as finger food and since the potatoes are not fried its not very unhealthy.


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