Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Week 33: Squash Soup

The Recipe
500g squash (~1lb)
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
5 tbsp half-and-half
Lemon juice

Chop onion and garlic. Heat oil in a pot and cook onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add squash in thin slices and give a quick stir before pouring in the stock. Bring to a boil, cover and leave to simmer for 10 minutes until the squash is done. Add oregano and use a stick blender to get the soup nice and smooth. Add cream and salt, pepper and lemon juice according to taste.

The Verdict
I liked the taste well enough, but have to admit that for a main, I prefer soups that aren't blended. It would be lovely for an appetizer though, as it tasted great and was really easy to make.

Week 32: Peach-Orange Sorbet

The Recipe
1kg peaches, skinned and de-stoned
Juice from 5-6 oranges
3-5 eggwhites
Icing sugar

Cut the peaches into pieces and pour into a mixing bowl together with the orange juice. Blend until smooth. Add icing sugar until it tastes good (I think I used about 100g, but didn't measure exactly).

In another bowl, whip eggwhites until stiff. Carefully add to the peach-orange mix and mix thoroughly. I used 3 eggwhites, but think the texture would have been better with a bit more.

Add extra icing sugar if necessary.

Pour into ice cream containers and freeze - taking out to stir every hour to avoid the ice cream separating.

The Verdict
Great to make with kids, as they loved all the tasting along the way. Unfortunately the texture ended up being more slush ice'ish than sorbet'ish... I think we might either have added too few eggwhites or stirred it too seldom. Ah well, it tasted great no matter its texture.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Week 31: Stuffed bell-peppers

The Recipe
4 large bell peppers
250g cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
125g mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
8 slices of bacon (approx 150g)
herbs - e.g. thyme, basil and tarragon

Cut the bell peppers in halves and put them in a large ovenproof dish. Chop up garlic, tomatoes and cheese and mix in a small bowl with lemon juice, herbs and pepper. Spoon into the bell pepper halves.
Cut the bacon slices in halves and put two slices on each bell pepper, trying to cover the tomato-cheese mix as much as possible.
Bake in oven at 200C for 25 minutes.

Serve with rice and garlic bread.

The Verdict
Make sure to chop up the tomatoes and cheese finely, otherwise it won't mix up properly. But apart from that, I really loved the taste of it, although I think I may add fresh basil next time - that'd be a nice added touch I think. But all in all a delicious meal that doesn't take too much work. Definitely a keeper.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Week 30: African Peanut Soup

The Recipe
1/2 onion
2 green onions
1 bell peppers
2 cloves garlic
1 can tomatoes with chilli (~14oz)
8dl vegetable broth (I filled the empty tomato can twice)
black pepper
3/4 dl uncooked brown rice
1 1/4 dl peanut butter (to add later)

Chop all vegetables and put into a crock-pot. Add everything except the peanut butter. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir in peanut butter and cook for another 30-60 minutes.

The Verdict
You're supposed to cook it on high for the last 30 minutes, but my crock-pot doesn't come with a 'high' setting, so I increased the time to 60 minutes and cooked it on low instead. Don't know if this was what made the difference, but my peanut butter didn't fully 'melt', so I had to stir vigorously afterwards to get all the clumps out.

Even so, this was very, very good! I usually haven't had too much luck with my crock-pot, but this was definitely the exception that proved the rule. The different ingredients complimented each other nicely, and it turned out very tasty. I used crunchy peanut butter and loved the small pieces of peanut in my soup. I think it would have been even better if I had added bacon, but then everything tastes better with bacon ;)