Sunday, May 2, 2010

Soba noodles with Tempura (Tempura-soba)

Japanese kitchen is impossible without tempura. I was looking at this recipe for long while and was always feeling a bit afraid of trying it. Deep drying was just not my thing, I thought.
I went through some recipes, video tutorials and finally was ready for this experiment. To begin with - let me highlight some tips which were very helpful for me:
1. Oil temperature should be about 160-170 C (320-340 F) for meat of thick and large pieces; about 170-180 C (340-360 F) for meat of a small bite-size pieces. For vegetables though - 160-170 C (320-340 F) is quite enough. Best way to determine temperature of oil is candy thermometer. But there are some hint ho to without. Tip 1: drop a few drops of batter into frying pan with oil and if it sinks to the bottom of the pan and floats up to the surface quickly than temperature is around 160 C. Tip 2: drop of batter sinks halfway to the bottom, and floats up quickly - about 170 C.
2. Ingredients for deep frying should be put in order. First: pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot (all vegetables with  a little smell). Second: squid, shrimp and sillago (and other seafood or meat).
3. Do not deep fry many ingredients at once - they will overlap with each other preventing heat from distributing evenly.
4. Before tossing ingredients in batter - pat them dry and sprinkle with some flour.
5. Use really cold water, add few pieces of ice if needed.

I made tempura only with shrimps and served it over soba noodles in tasty stock. Soba can be easily substituted for udon.

Ingredients for Tempura:
8 fresh shrimps in shell
4 pieces of maitake mushrooms

Ingredients for Tempura batter:
1 egg yolk + chilled water to make 3/5 cup (5 oz or 142-150 ml)
3/5 cup of Hakurikiko flour (weak flour with gluten content 6 1/2-9 %)
Oil for deep frying (canola is mainly used, hence does not have a strong smell)

Method:
1. Wash shrimps in cold salty water. Remove the heads of the shrimps, devein and shell. Remove back vein with toothpick. Chop off the tips of the shrimp tails and gently press out moisture with a flat blade of the knife. If moisture remains in the tail - it will cause oil to sputter). To prevent shrimp from curling, make 3 incisions across the belly and open each of the cuts with hands to straighten the body. Wash and pat dry the mushrooms.
2. To prepare the batter: sift the flour. In a mixing bawl, lightly beat the egg yolk and pour in chilled water to make 2/5 cup. Add the sifted flour, and stir briefly. Do not over-mix, other wise the batter will become too sticky.
3. Dust shrimps and mushrooms with extra flour. Heat oil and start deep-frying while coating each ingredient with batter. Deep fry maitake first, than shrimps. Skim the oil surface to keep it clean. When the bubbles around the edges of each piece become small with the noise fading away - touch it with cooking chop-sticks. When the batter feels crispy, it is time to take it out of the pan. Place them on draining tray.

Ingredients for noodles:
7 oz dried soba (buckwheat noodles)
8 Tempura deep fried-shrimps (recipe above)
1 inch green onions
3-4 stalks trefoil

Ingredients for broth:
3 1/3 cups water
1 tsp granulated Dashi (Niboshi small dried sardines and bonito flakes flavor)
3 Tbsp sake
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp Mirin sweet cooking wine
1/2 tsp salt

Method:
1. Bring water to the boil in a large pot. Place soba noodles in the pot, boil while stirring with chop-sticks. When the water rolls up to the edges of the pot, pour in 2/5 cup of cold water. It will reduce the boiling and make noodles harder. Cook for as long as prescribed on the package - mainly 6 minutes. Drain soba on the sieve, rub and rinse in running cold water to eliminate slipperiness.
2. To prepare broth - bring water to boil with dissolved dashi. Add sake, soy sauce, miring and salt. Simmer for 1 minute.
3. Put noodles into donburi bawls and put tempura on top. Pour on hot broth and garnish with green onions and trefoil stalks cut into 5 inch lengths.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Death by Chocolate

Sour Cream Brownies

Adapted from Piece of Cake Blog

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons premium cocoa powder (I love Valrhona)
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into pieces (chocolate chips work fine, I like Ghiradelli)
1 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup dry cranberries

Set an oven rack to the center position and preheat the to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with foil, and spray with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa powder and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Allow it to bubble for about 10 seconds, then remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute or two, and then whisk until smooth. Let cool for a minute while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the sour cream, salt and vanilla until well-blended. Stir in the chocolate and butter mixture, then fold in the flour and cocoa mixture just until it dissappears into the batter. Add dry cherries and mix.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the until the brownies just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 30 minutes.

Cool the brownies completely in the pan on a rack before cutting into squares.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tofu and Wakame Miso Soup

Gohan described in previous post i served with warming bawl of Miso Soup.

Ingredients (serves 2):
1/2 cake of silken tofu (i used cutlet, hence had some left from gohan)
20 g. wakame seaweed, reconstituted
2 cups Dashi stock
2-3 Tbsp red miso

Method:
1. Cut the tofu and wakame into bite-sized pieces.
2. Pour the stock into pan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Add the tofu and wakame and remove from  the heat before coming to the boil. Add the miso into the soup gradually while softening with some stock and dissolving on a ladle.
Serve in individual bawls.

Mixed Rice ("Takikomi-Gohan")

Healthy and tasty rice dish with many ingredients. Everyone will love it!

Ingredients:
1 cup japanese rice
1/2 cup pearl barely
1 packet of shimeji mushrooms (large)
2 inch long carrot
1/4 tofu cutlet

For soup:
4/5 cups dashi stock or water
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp Mirin
1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce or 4/5 tsp dark soy sauce  
1/2 tsp salt

Method:
1. Wash rice and barely 30 min prior to cooking and drain on colander.
2. Cut carrots into julienne strips. Wash and drain mushrooms. Cut tofu into thin triangles.
3. Pour in the stock, mushroom, carrots and tofu into pot, and heat everything. When it begins to boil lightly, add sugar and sake, and continue to simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and salt, continue to simmer briefly.
4. Drain all ingredients through a sieve, reserving cooking liquid. Note: let all ingredients cool completely before cooking rice, hence it might start burning in the rice cooker.
5. Place rice and barely into rice cooker, add simmering liquid. If there is not enough simmering liquid, add some water. Add solid ingredients from the sieve and mix everything lightly. Turn on heater. Note: water should be just a little bit above rice.
6. When cooking is finished, keep the cooker covered and let stand for 10 minutes (do not use function "Keep Warm"!). Open the lid and mix everything. Serve warm with some trefoil if you like.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Japanese Fried Noodles (Yakisoba)

One of the most loved japanese dishes in our house (after curry of course). You just need some vegetables, any meat you like and yakisoba sauce. The sauce is a bit tricky - books and web offers quite a variety f possible ingredient, you can buy even ready one from japanese grocery or just use concentrate which comes sometimes in dry soba packs. (I will upload a pictures later of that type). I made yakisoba with Tonkatsu sauce base (Buldog Brand). It was recommended to me by some japanese couple shopping in japanese grocery.

Ingredients:
2 portions (150 g. each) cooked soba noodles
60 g. chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
3 cabbage leaves
1/2 carrot
1/2 green bell pepper
3 stalks baby asparagus
3 baby corn
30 g. white mushrooms (keep in hot water if using dried)
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
For yakisoba "handmade" sauce:
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. Japanese-style Workcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Tonkatsu sauce
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Sake
Salt and pepper
For garnishing:
Green laver
Beni-shoga red vine-gared ginger.

Method:
1. Cut chicken, season with salt and pepper. Cut the cabbage leaves into 3/8 inch wide rectangles. Peel the carrot and cut into thin stripes. Soak dried mushrooms in hot water. Cut asparagus and baby corns diagonally in three pieces. Slice green bell pepper into thin stripes.
2. Mix all ingredients for sauce in a small bawl and set aside.
3. Start stir frying in two portions (one for each). Spread 1 Tbsp. of oil over the frying pan or wok and add chicken, mushrooms and all vegetables. Stir fry for 3 minutes. Add noodles and fry. For better taste - fry the noodles until both sides are browned first, during drying drizzle 1 tsp. of sake or mirin on them to enhance the taste even more.
4. Add sauce to yakisoba in pan and stir to coat. Arrange on one plate and cover to keep warm.
5. Prepare second portion following above instructions.
6. Sprinkle on top green laver and garnish with beni-shoga red vinegar ginger.
7. Eat with marinated cucumbers with wakame seaweed or kimchee (chinese pickles cabbage)

Marinated Cucumber and Wakame Seaweed (Kyui wakame no amazu-ae)

Quick japanese pickles dressed with sweet vinegar sauce. In original recipe in book "Recipes of Japanese cooking" one more ingredient being added - Shirasu Dried Young Sardine, but i did not have them on hands so made it just out of two ingredients: cucumber and wakame.

Ingredients:
1 cucumber
10 g. wakame seaweed (salt cured)
Pinch salt
For sweet vinegar sauce:
2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
pinch of salt (1/8 tsp.)
2 Tbsp Dashi stock (from powder - i used kombu and bonito flavor)

Method:
1. Prepare sweet vinegar sauce: put vinegar, sugar and salt in a bawl and stir to dissolve completely. Add the stock and cool in refrigerator.
2. Salt cucumber and roll onto a cutting board. Rinse in cold water and cut in a thin slices (edge cut technic). Soak in salted water until softened (20-30 minutes). Squeeze out to drain extra liquid.
3.  Soak wakame seaweed in cold water to soften, string an cut (if it comes in one piece - mine was already shredded). Blanch the seaweed in boiling water and soak in cold water (I just run through it with a boiling water from kettle and then soaked in cold water to cool). Wipe it dry with paper towel.
4. Let all ingredients prepared above rest in a refrigerator until immediately prior to serving. Drain the water of ingredients and mix well with the sweet vinegar sauce.

Thanks a lot for the great recipe experience to "Recipes of Japanese Cooking by Yuko Fujita"

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kusa Mahshi

Kusa Mahshi is arabic name for minced meat stuffed baby zucchini. Usually made in tomato sauce or yogurt sauce.

Ingredients:
6-8 mini zucchini, middle part removed
150 g. minced lamb
100 g. rice soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
3 garlic gloves
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. Baharat (arabic 7 spice mix)
1 tsp. dry mint
1 can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Tomato paste
1 bouillon cube Maggi

Method:
1. Prepare zucchini by removing flesh from the middle. Wash a pat dry.
2. Fry minced lamb for 5 minutes and mix with previously soaked in boiling water rice, baharat, sat, pepper and 1 minced garlic glove. Set aside to cool.
3. Put a shallow pan on the medium fire, add 2 cups of water and dissolve one beef or lamb bullion cube. Bring to boil and add can of diced tomatoes, tomato paste and bring to a simmer.
4. Stuff zucchinis with cooled meat mixture, do not reach 0,5 cm till the top of zucchini.
5. Add remaining minced garlic and dry mint to tomato sauce, season with salt and pepper.
6. Add stuffed zucchinis to simmering sauce, cover with a lid and let it simmer on very law heat for 30-40 minutes. Do not over boil - zucchinis should be soft but not mashy to touch.
7. Serve hot with tomato sauce over vermicelli rice. Sprinkle with mint.

Sahtein!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Japanese Curry

Loving it, Loving it, Loving It! I cannot explain the taste of it - you just have to try! Authentic recipe calls to use ground beef in this recipe, but why not to experiment and tailor it to your liking? I do it vegetarian, with chicken pieces or over Katsu (breaded beef or chicken). This one is with some dried mushrooms bought from Japanese grocery!

Ingredients:
1 medium carrot
1 medium potato
1 medium onion
1/2 cup of dried mushrooms
1 cm fresh ginger
1 clove of garlic
1/2 block of "Golden Curry" Roux Medium Hot
Salt, pepper to taste
Dashi Stock or Chicken/vegetable stock
1 cup Japanese steamed rice
Pickled ginger or Kimchee for serving (not pictured)

Method:
1. Cover mushrooms with boiling water and let it stand for 30 minutes.
2. Cut onions: first cut each half of the onion into 3 wedges and dice in three parts. So the onion pieces should be pretty chunky.
3. Grind ginger and garlic.
4. Cut carrot and potatoes in medium size cubes or using Japanese technique for cutting into angles.
5. Add some canola oil into sauce pan and fry ginger and garlic for 1/2 minute.
6. Add onions, potato and carrot and stir fry for 1 minute.
7. Add mushrooms along with a water, add more water or dashi stock (you can use chicken stock from the cube).
8. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and cover with lid. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.
9. Add "Golden Curry" Roux and let it dissolve in simmering liquid of the stock. Keep on the law heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The dish is ready when all vegetables are cooked through. Be careful and do not over boil so the potato will not lose its form.
10. Remove from the heat - let it stand for 10 minutes, during this time the sauce will settle and become thicker.
11. Serve over steamed Japanese rice and eat with pickled ginger and Kimchee.

So good!!!!!!!!!!!!

Green Wheat with Chcken ("Freekeh Ma Dajaj")

One of my favorite Middle Eastern Dishes. Freekeh (or Farik) - is the type of cerela made from green weat which goes through a roasting process in its production. The wheat is harvested while the grains are yellow and the seeds are still soft; it is then piled and sun-dried. The piles are then carefully set on fire so only the straw and chaff burn and not the seeds. It is the high moisture content of the seeds that prevents them from burning. The now roasted wheat undergoes further thrashing and sun-drying to make the flavor, texture, and color uniform. It is this thrashing or rubbing process of the grains that gives this food its name, farÄ«k or “rubbed.” The seeds are now cracked into smaller pieces so they look like a green bulgur. It typically served with chicken, but variation with Lamb is aslo possible.

Ingredients:
1/2 Chicken cut in pieces with bones and skin on
1 cup Freekeh
1/2 large onion
Olive oil
Toasted Pine Nuts
Water enough to cover chicken

Spices:
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cardamom (or pods)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Baharat (Arabic Spice mix)
Black pepper corns
Salt to taste

1. Prepare the chicken and boil it with spices until cooked.
2. Wash freekeh in large amount of water discarding dirt and stones. Drain in colander for 30 minutes.
3. Remove cooked chicken from stock, sprinkle with spices, brush with a bit of olive oil and cook in hot oven for 15 minutes just to give it some crispiness.
4. Drain stock.
5. Cook some diced onions in the skillet with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil until translucent. Add freekeh and cover with chicken stock - 3 cm. above surface. Bring to boil, cover with a lid and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Give it a stir once in a while or add more water or stock if needed.
6. Serve in one plate, garnish with toasted pine nuts or browned onions.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Wings

American Classic for beer night at home!

Ingredients for crispy wings:
5 pounds whole chicken wings
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black ground pepper
2 Tbsp. hot sauce
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
Non-stick oil spray
1 cup of Buffalo Sauce (recipe below)

Method:
1. Cut wings into three sections: "tip", "flat" and "drum". We will use two bigger ones only for this recipe - but the smallest section "tip" can be reserved to make chicken stock.
2. To the bowl of chicken wings, add salt, pepper, hot sauce and oil. Toss to coat evenly.
3. Add flout to large plastic bag and pour in chicken wings. Shake to coat the wings in flour.
4. Cover two baking sheets in foil, spray them with non-stick spray. Place the floured wings evenly on the pans in one layer, spray the tops of the wings lightly with oil.
5. Bake in preheated 200 C oven for 30 minutes, then turn over each wing and bake for another 30 minutes, or until wings are golden brown and coating is getting crispy.
6. Transfer wings to a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce (recipe below) over the hot wings and toss with spoon or spatula to completely coat.
7. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving, so the sauce will soak into the skin.

Buffalo Sauce:
8 Tbsp. Louisiana hot sauce (best, but i used Tabasco, hence did not find the one)
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt to taste

Method:
1. Mix all ingredients in saucepan, bring to a simmer over law heat, stirring occasionally, an then turn off the heat.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fish with Sesame Paste Sauce ("Samak Bil Tahina")

One of the best arabic dishes! Tahina sauce goes perfectly well with fish.

Ingredients:
500 g. fillet of white fish (hammour)
Salt, pepper, olive oil
1/2 tahina (sesame seed paste)
1 cup water
juice from one lemon
1/2 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic
Pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, green onions

Method:
1. Prepare fish: wash, discard any left over bones, pat dry, season from both sides and drizzle with olive oil.
2. Bake in preheated to 180 C oven for 10-15 minutes. Time depends on if you cook one big peace or two smaller ones. Do not over bake.
3. Prepare sauce: mix tahina, lemon juice and water and bring to a light boil, just to dissolve the paste. In another skillet fry some onions with garlic in 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, add to tahina mixture and mix well.
4. Remove fish from the oven and spread tahina sauce over it. Place back to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
5. Garnish with fried pine nuts and green onions on top.

Sahten! :-)

PS: for side dish i made some basmati rice with turmeric and raisins:
1. Wash 2 cups of basmati rice until water will become clear. Let it drain in a sieve for 30 minutes.
2. Heat some olive oil in heavy pan and fry rice for 2 minutes until coated well in oil and extra liquid evaporated.
3. Add 3 cups of boiling salted water and close the lead, leave on law heat for 10 minutes.
4. Open the lead and quickly drizzle 1 tsp. of turmeric over rice, close the lead again and cook for another 5 minutes or until rice cooked through and fluffy.
5. In small skillet heat 1 Tbs. of olive oil, add washed and dried raisins and fry for a minute.
6. Add to rice and mix all together before serving. Or just drizzle over rice on serving plate.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Korvapuustit - Finnish Cinnamon Rolls

I love cinnamon! It is so delicious with yeasted dough. I did not want to make those thick and sticky "Cinabon" rolls. Quite opposite, i love baked goods to be not as fattening as they might be. Those rolls you can by in europe in supermarkets, did not try them freshly baked though, but they sell them just in plastic bags which can be stored over time. This is how i made them.

Ingredients:
1 packet of active dry yeast (10-11 g.)
250 ml. milk
100 ml. sugar (I put 75 ml.)
450-500 g. flour
1 tsp. cardamom powder
75 g. buter at room temperature
1/2 tsp. salt

Filling:
2 tbsp. butter at room temperature
2 tbsp. cinnamon powder
3 tbsp. sugar

Egg for brushing
Sugar for sprinkle

Method:
1. Mix cardamom, sugar and and salt dissolve in slightly warm milk.
2. Sift most of the flour and mix with yeasts. Pour into milk mixture and mix until smooth.
3. Add butter and remaining flour, keep mixing until dough will not be sticking to the mixing bawl.
4. Cover with plastic film and let it rise in some warm place, until double in size. 40 minutes to 1 hour.
5. In meanwhile mix together cinnamon and sugar. Prepare butter, softened at room temperature and brush.
6. Kneed dough after rising for few minutes, then roll into rectangular 40 by 50 cm.
7. Spread the butter over it, keeping 1 cm from one side. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon filling. Roll into roulade.
8. Cut it diagonally, so one side of it will be about 5 cm, and another 3 cm.
9. Place rolls on the baking sheet, lined with baking paper leaving 5 cm. space between.
10. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it double in size (40 minutes or so).
11. Preheat oven to 225C.
12. Beat egg yolk with a little bit of water and brush the rolls.
13. Press with a spoon in the middle down. Sprinkle with some sugar or cinnamon on top.
14. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Lovely for breakfast! My BF loved them! I wish you too.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Leek and Potato Soup with Pesto

Light warming dinner for "cold" Dubai winter. After New holidays and baking, nice to have some healthy meals.

Ingredients:
500 g. big potatoes
1 Medium Leek
1/2 white onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 -1 l. vegetable stock
1/2 milk or cream or sour cream
Thyme
Red pepper flakes
Salt and White pepper

Method:
1. Finely chop onions and garlic.
2. Wash leak well, discarding outer layer. Cut in slices only white part.
3. In heavy bottom pan, heat a little of olive oil and fry onions, leeks and garlic for 5 minutes.
4. Season with red pepper flakes.
5. Wash and scrub potatoes, without peeling. Slice into thin rounds.
6. Add potatoes to pan and let it sweat for 3 minutes, mixing with another vegetables.
7. Add stock. Boil until tender.
8. Remove from heat, give it a swirl with electric mixer until smooth, add milk.
9. Return to the heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring sometimes. Add more stock if the soup is too thick.
10. Garnish with some pesto on top and croutons.

Healthy eating!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Macarons: First Experience - Advise Needed!!!


It was challenging! I always wanted to try them, but was pretty scared. So decided to make only few. Took one egg, separated white part and kept it at room temperature from morning to evening. As advised by most of the articles - eggs should be aged minimum 4 days. Mine were in the fridge for 5 days after purchase and the last day at room temperature. Another essential rule - all ingredients should be precisely weighted. One more, helpful (but nor essential) is that any coloring should be only powdered substance - i used Green Tea "Matcha".

Ingredients:
38 g. egg white (from one large)
42 g. powdered almonds
76 g. powdered sugar
19 g. granulated sugar
some Matcha for color

Method:
1. Combine ground almonds and powdered sugar in food processor and sift through a fine sieve.
Some articles advices to put this mixture on the baking sheet and dry in the oven for 5 minutes. I did not do this. Added Matcha to the mixture.
2. Beat egg whites in clean dry bowl, until they hold soft peak.
3. Slowly add granulated sugar and beat until mixture is glossy and holds stiff peaks.
To check: turn bowl upside down - they should not move.
4. Add one third of almond mixture and fold gently with spatula to combine.
5. Add remaining almonds and sugar to meringue in two steps. Do not overfold, but fully incorporate all ingredients.
6. Spoon the mixture into the pastry bag with plain half-inch tip.
Alternatively you can use a plastic bag.
7. Pipe one-inch mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with baking paper.
Once piped, bang the sheet down on a counter top to flatten any mounds and bring up air bubbles.
8. Leave unbaked macarons out to dry for 1 hour.

We have a high humidity level in Dubai, so i opened an oven door and placed macarons on the rack on the door.It took half an hour. To check if macarons are dry enough - touch their top with a finger tip - if it is no longer sticky - then they are dry enough.
9. Bake macarons for 20-22 minutes in preheated to 140C oven.
Here I faced a challenge - my oven is not maintaining static temperature and i had to run around for a while to adjust the temperature every once in a while. I guess it effected final result :-(
10. Cool on rack before removing from the baking paper, 15 minutes or so.
To remove easier - sprinkle some cold water under baking paper. Do not keep them for a long on the baking sheet - in other wise they will become soggy.
11. Let cool completely and keep in air tied container in the fridge or fill with any cream.
Hence i made only few as a tester party - i did not trouble myself with making a filling - just put some ready bought lemon curd.

Resolution: Even though macarons did not crack and they had a beautiful shape and even developed their famous "belt", they were not quite alright - the batter inside the macaron was pretty wet (kind of unbaked), so if there is anyone out there knows why, please do let me know :-(
I do not give up and next experience to follow.