Thursday, November 25, 2010

Week 47: Corn & Chorizo Chowder

The Recipe
150g (6 oz) sliced good bacon, chopped
2 leeks, white & light green parts sliced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
160g (6 oz) Spanish chorizo, sliced
2 tbsp flour
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 liter (4 cups) chicken stock
1 handful fresh basil, chopped
salt
pepper
3,75dl (1 1/2 c) milk
2 cans (2 cups) corn

In a pot or wok cook the bacon until crisp. Move the bacon to a paper towel to drain but leave the fat in the pan. Set the bacon aside. Add a bit of oil if necessary - my bacon never seems to leave very much fat behind always do.

Add the leeks, onion, garlic and chorizo to the pot. Cook on medium for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour in and cook while stirring for a couple of minutes. Add the potatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the basil, salt and pepper. Simmer covered for another 15 minutes. Add the bacon, milk and corn. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

The Verdict
Really, really good! I didn't know whether the taste of the chorizo would be too over-powering, but it wasn't at all - perhaps it was tempered by the milk and the corn. In any case, it was perfect for a cold, snowy, wintery day like yesterday and did an excellent job at warming me up. Definitely something I'll make again another time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Week 46: Honey-mustard chicken

The recipe
1 teaspoon butter
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
1 small chopped onion
2 clove garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons mustard
1/3 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt, pepper

Melt the butter in a skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat; add chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is browned on the bottom. Turn chicken and add remaining ingredients. Cover skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Serve with baked potatoes and carrot sticks.

The Verdict
Well, I loved it. DH ended up eating more carrot sticks than chicken, but whether that was a sign of him not really liking the chicken or him REALLY liking the carrots, I can't really say ;) I thought it was really, really, really yummy though, and will definitely be making it again! The honey-mustard mixture adds a terrific taste to the chicken.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Week 45: Thai Curry Soup

This was a bit of a mix-and-match. Earlier this year I'd tried a delicious Thai Curry Soup which I wanted to try to replicate, however none of my cookbooks had a recipe that sounded exactly right, so I used three different ones for inspiration.

The Recipe
1 litre salted water
2-3 chicken drumsticks
1 bell pepper in thin strips
1 onion in thin rings
1 clove garlic, chopped
400ml coconut milk
5 carrots in thin sticks
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 handfuls of soup-appropriate pasta
1 tbsp red curry paste
1 tsp ginger
Fresh basil (optional)
Tomato sauce (haven't quite figured out how much yet)

In a large pot, bring the water to boil and add the chicken drumsticks and 2 of the carrots cut into large pieces. Reduce to a simmer and boil for 1 hour. Remove the drumsticks and carrots from the stock, discard the carrots, skin and bones and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Pour the stock into a measuring cup. If you have less than a litre (and you will, as some will have evaporated), add extra water/chicken stock (depending on how chicken-y you want it - I added chicken stock).

Return the pot to the stove and turn the heat down low. Add curry paste, onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the carrots and the bell pepper and stir for a few minutes more. Return the chicken meat and stock to the pot and add the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Add pasta and tomatoes and leave to simmer for another 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil on top and serve.

The Verdict
Yummy! The curry gave it a pleasant 'bite' without making it too hot. It wasn't quite as I wanted it to be though, as I remembered the taste as being more "tomato-y", so for the next portion, I added some tomato sauce. Unfortunately I either added too much or I should have used tomato paste or canned tomatoes instead, because it ended up tasting much too ketchup-y - which was definitely not what I was going for.

I still have half left though (the recipe above gives 4 generous portions at least), so I may try adding some more chicken stock and coconut milk to the rest, and see if that evens it out a bit.

I also felt it lacked something else to make it properly Thai-like, but have no clue whether that 'something' was ginger, lemon-grass... or just some extra salt to bring out the flavours already there. But for a first try, I don't think the soup turned out too badly :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Week 44: Vegetable Gratin

I never said the recipes had to be for main courses ;) Side dishes count as well.

The Recipe
1 broccoli
3 leeks
3 carrots
200g mushrooms
100g shredded cheese
3 eggs
1.5dl milk
Salt, pepper

Wash and chop the broccoli, leeks, carrots and mushrooms into bite-size pieces. Heat some oil in a pan and cook over high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn down the heat to medium-low and let simmer under lid for 10 minutes. Transfer to an ovenproof dish.

Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour over the vegetables. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake at 225C for 20 minutes.

The Verdict
I'd used tex-mex cheese which actually have a really nice kick to the dish. Other than that, I have to admit I wasn't too impressed by it. Too much work for something that only tasted okay. But then I never have been terribly fond of broccoli. I might have enjoyed it more if I had used squash instead.

DH didn't care much for it either, so this one gets dumped.