Saturday, August 28, 2010

Week 34: Spicy Bean Soup

The Recipe
2 good pork sausages
1 clove garlic
1 small onion
Chilli according to taste
1 can (400g) stewed tomatoes
1 can (400g) beans - rinsed and drained
3.75dl stock
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, oregano, basil

Heat the oil in a pot, quickly brown the sausages on all sides and remove. Add chilli, chopped garlic and onion and cook for a couple of minutes. Cut the sausages into bite-sized pieces and add to the pot. Stir quickly and then add tomatoes and stock. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Add beans and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, oregano and basil.

The Verdict
DH wasn't at home, so I could make this as spicy as I wanted - and so I did, and it was good :-D The recipe said to blend the tomatoes and the beans, and I think I may do that next time for a creamier soup, but even as it was, it was really, really good. Perfect for a day like today when I was stuck at home with a bad cold.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Week 33: Pasta Gratin

The Recipe
250g pasta
250g mushroom
1 bell pepper
6 medium carrots
2 leeks
1 small squash
175g ham
1 can stewed tomatoes (~400g)
100g mozzarella
4 cloves of garlic

Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Meanwhile chop the garlic and cut everything else into bite-sized pieces. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and cook the garlic and the mushrooms for a couple of minutes. Transfer to ovenproof dish. In the same skillet, saute ham, bell pepper, squash, carrots and leeks for 5-7 minutes. Transfer to ovenproof dish. Mix the vegetables and ham with pasta, stewed tomatoes and cheese. Bake at 200C for 20 minutes.

The Verdict
I need to add more salt next time, as I forgot that this time round, but otherwise really delicious!! I used tomatoes with chilli which was a tad too spicy for DH and perfect for me! Next time I'll probably use 'plain' tomatoes and then add some jalapenos to my portion afterwards. Definitely something I'll be making again sometime.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Week 32: Crisp Tortillas Towers

Hmmm... I seem to have misplaced the recipe for this, but since it definitely wasn't worth a repeat, that doesn't matter too much, I'll just type it up from memory.

The Recipe
Cut two tortillas into quarters. Melt butter in a pan and cook them until they're crisp.
Halve two tomatoes and scoop out the seeds, chop the tomatoes and half a red chilli (deseeded and deribbed) and cook them for 3 minutes. Add 1/2lb shrimp and cook for another couple of minutes. Add two handfuls of baby spinach leaves and 2 tablespoons of milk or cream and cook until the spinach has wilted.
Build 'towers' of alternating tortillas and tomato-spinach-shrimp mixture, starting and ending with tortillas.

The Verdict
Uhm, no. I'm not too fond of cooked shrimp as it is (although sometimes it works - check out the other shrimp recipe here), and this combination just didn't work. Also the tomato-spinach-shrimp mixture was too soggy - probably from the milk. Perhaps it would have been better if I'd used cream instead. The only good thing about this recipe were the crisp tortillas - they were very yummy! I may use those for inspiration some other time.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Week 31: Crock-Pot Chicken Curry

The Recipe
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, cubed
Water/oil mixture
2 chicken breast halves
1 small can coconut milk (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 clove garlic, pressed
black pepper
1 bell pepper
Raisins, flaked coconut and peanuts

Place potatoes and onion in a slow cooker. Heat oil mixture in a large skillet; add chicken and cook just until browned. Transfer to slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine coconut milk, curry powder, garlic, salt and pepper; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Serve chicken and sauce over cooked brown rice; sprinkle with sliced bell pepper. Garnish with raisins, coconut and peanuts, if desired.

The Verdict
It seems utterly impossible for me to cook anything in a crock-pot that doesn't come out dry and bland. This was no exception, but thankfully it was easily remedied. I cut the chicken up into small pieces and mixed with the sauce, and suddenly the dryness didn't really matter. It was still bland though, until I added extra curry sauce and mango chutney - one I added that, it was DELICIOUS! I'm going to try this recipe again, but next time I'm going to add more curry and perhaps also a bit of chili. And if anybody has any advice on how not to make the chicken so insanely dry, I'm all ears!