Saturday, March 27, 2010

Week 12 - Red Curry Wok

The Recipe
250g pork in bite size pieces
1 tsp red curry paste or 3 tsp red curry sauce
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
2dl coconut milk
250 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bell pepper, cubed
3-4 spring onions, sliced

Get a wok very hot. Put the meat in and let it brown. Depending on the meat you shouldn't need any oil, but keep a look on it and add some if necessary. Once done, add bell pepper, tomatoes and onions and stir fry for a minute or two. Remove from wok.

Add a bit of oil to the wok, and cook garlic and curry paste for 1-2 minutes. Add tomato purree and coconut milk and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add the rest and heat through.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
Oh yum! Definitely a keeper. I've discovered that I love things cooked with coconut milk, and this was no exception. I may add a bit more curry sauce next time, because I wouldn't have minded a bit more heat, but it was still absolutely delicious as it was.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Week 11: Spaghetti Puttanesca

The Recipe:
250-300gr spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil
150gr bacon
2 ripe tomatoes
1 bell pepper
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
A couple of handfuls of fresh lettuce (the recipe called for spinach, I didn't have any, so I used a mix of lettuce and ricola instead - lovely!)
2 tbsp fresh basil
250gr ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese if you can't find ricotta)
Salt and pepper
1 can (14oz) chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée (can be omitted)
1 tsp sugar (can be omitted)
Chili according to taste

Boil the pasta according to the package but take it off one minute before time. Drain and set aside.

Cut crosses over the stem of the tomatoes and pour boiling water over them. Let them sit in boiling water for a couple of minutes. This will allow the skin to loosen, and you should be able to peel them without problems.

Finely chop bacon, onion and garlic. Cook in olive oil until the onions are done. This will take 3-5 minutes depending on how much bite you like in your onions.
Chop peeled tomatoes, bell pepper and spinach. Add to the pan and cook until done. That will take another 2-3 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and add ricotta cheese, basil and salt and pepper according to taste.

Mix spaghetti into the pan and transfer it to an ovenproof dish. Turn in canned tomatoes, tomato puree and sugar. Bake at 180*C for 10 minutes or until it's heated through.

The Verdict
Very, very tasty! It would probably have been even better if I'd added more lettuce actually. I like greenery in my pasta :) Definitely a recipe that'll go into the cookbook to be reused on a later date.

Oh, the recipe called for anchovies instead of bacon. I do NOT like anchovies, but thought this a very fitting (and tasty!) substitute.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Week 10 - Pork Chops Diablo

The Recipe
The recipe I found called for making a thin "pocket" in the side of the pork chop using a sharp knife. However, the pork chops I got hold of were already quite thin, so I didn't want to mess around with that, and instead used a meat hammer (or whatever it's called) to make them even thinner, and instead of stuffing the "pocket" with a mustard-chili mixture, I spread it over the pork chops, folded them in half and used tooth picks to keep them closed. I then sprinkled one side with pepper and cooked them on a hot skillet for a couple of minutes on each side.

Serve with boiled potatoes mixed with balsamico vinegar, green beans and a bit of garlic.

The Verdict
The potatoes were actually a bit boring - I think I either got old potatoes or cooked them for too long. The pork chops turned out really well though! Pork chops tend to get a bit dry when cooking them on a skillet, but the mustard kept them nice and moist. I'll have to experiment some with different 'stuffings' - garlic and salsa would probably be really nice as well, or cheese perhaps... Definitely an idea I'll return to, even if I don't return to the specific recipe.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Week 9: Crock Cooker Cajun Chicken

The Recipe
Heat oil in a skillet; saute chopped onion and garlic for a couple of minutes. Cube chicken and place in bag together with a bit of flour, toss to coat; add to skillet and continue to cook until turkey has browned. Place bite-sized carrots, squash and bell pepper in a slow cooker, top with chicken mixture, add a bit of water to the skillet to get the last bits up and pour into the slow cooker. Add chicken broth, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours. Serve with baked potatoes.

The Verdict
It smelled absolutely delicious while cooking. I think that might actually have been the best thing about this recipe ;-) It tasted nice, although I would have liked the sauce to be a bit thicker and spicier. I think I'll add more Cajun seasoning next time. And perhaps skip the extra water? Our skillet is teflon coated, so there weren't any bits of chicken stuck to it anyway.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Week 8: Pepper Steak Soup

Having some left over roastbeef, I thought this was a good recipe to try out.

The Recipe
Thinly slice pre-cooked beef into 1/4-inch pieces. Sprinkle with pepper and set aside. In a saucepan combine beef broth, wine, tomato sauce and thyme. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. In another skillet heat oil and cook onion, bell peppers and garlic for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add halved cherry tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Add onion/bell peppers mixture to the broth mixture. Warm beef briefly on the hot skillet and add that and any juices to the broth as well. Warm through.

The Verdict
Boring. This was basically just glorified broth. Not that it tasted bad, it just didn't live up to my expectations. I don't mind thin soups, but I do mind soups where the different ingredients haven't been given the time to mix properly. I can definitely think of better way to use left-over roastbeef.