Monday, October 24, 2011

Week 43: Kizzy's Crockpot Beef Stew

The Recipe
300g stew meat
2-3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
Olive oil
1 medium onion cut into chunks
2 fist-sized potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
5-6 baby carrots (or normal carrots, cut into pieces)
1/2 cup beef broth
splash of hearty red wine
1/4 tsp. bottled prepared horseradish (optional)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
splash of barbecue sauce (optional)
a couple of dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
sprig of fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. cornstarch
enough liquid from stew to make a slurry

Heat a glug of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. While it's heating, toss together the flour and seasoning in a Ziploc bag and add the meat. Close bag and toss so all every piece of meat is coated. When the oil shimmers, add meat in one even layer. Let it sizzle for a 1-2 minutes, then flip each piece over so they all become nicely browned. When the all the meat is browned, add it to the crockpot.

Add vegetables.

In a bowl combine the broth, wine, horseradish, mustard, optional barbecue sauce, and Worcestershire. Pour it over the meat and veggies. Add enough water so the liquid comes 3/4ths of the way up the pot, but not enough to cover everything completely. Add bay leaf and thyme.

Cover, set crockpot to low, and let it cook happily for 6-8 hours.

About 15 minutes before serving fish out the bay leaf and thyme. In a small bowl mix cornstarch with enough of the gravy-in-the-making to make a slurry (a little runny but not liquid.) Uncover crockpot, add slurry, mix, and leave uncovered so everything can reduce and thicken.

Serve by itself in bowls with some warm crusty bread and perhaps a nice green salad. Or over hot noodles with plenty of pepper.

The Verdict
I'd signed up for Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-Thon, and needed something that could take care of itself, so I didn't have to worry about stopping to cook dinner half-way through - perfect timing for a new crock-pot recipe! I didn't have any horseradish, but served it with wasabi peanuts on the side (I dumped mine in, DH didn't touch them at all), which actually worked quite nicely. I found that it needed a lot more salt than what I had already added, but other than that, it tasted great!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Week 42: Parmesan Chicken

The Recipe
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
a dash of garlic powder
1/6 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1lb chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil

Mix the first 6 ingredients (bread crumbs through cheese) in a plastic bag.
Cut the chicken into 2cm x 5cm ('ish) strips, dip them into the egg (making sure it covers all sides) and dump them into the plastic bag. Shake thoroughly to cover the chicken with the crumb mixture on all sides.

In a large pan, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and brown it for about 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is done.

Serve with brown rice and a tomato-mozzerella salad

The Verdict
Oh my goodness, soooo goooood!!!! Both DH and I LOVED this! The coating kept the chicken from getting dry, and the crumb mixture was wonderfully seasoned and the cheese gave it an extra 'twist'. The serving suggestions didn't say anything about a sauce of any kind, so I served it with sweet chili sauce, but I think it would have gone just as well with a creamy tomato sauce, or a mushroom-mustard sauce. Happily both DH and I agree that this should be a regular in our repetoir, so I'll get to try both eventually :)

Week 41: Lemon Chicken

The Recipe
1lb chicken breast halves
3 tsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
½ tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 bell pepper, stripes
4 cherry tomatoes, halved

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Combine lemon juice, garlic, sugar and soy sauce.
Place chicken in a bowl and pour marinade over chicken, flip to coat both sides.

Cook chicken in oil, in a large wok, over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side. Add bell pepper and tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes. Serve with rice.

The Verdict
I liked it well enough, but honestly, I couldn't taste the marinade at all. Either I didn't make it strong enough, or it should have been allowed to 'sit' for longer. As it was, it was pretty much a non-recipe.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Week 40: Honey BBQ Chicken

The Recipe
1lb chicken drumsticks
salt, pepper
oil for cooking
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 1/4 dl tomato sauce (~4oz)
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp paprika

Season the drumsticks with salt and pepper and brown them on all sides in a frying pan. Transfer to an ovenproof dish.
Mix remaining ingredients (onion through paprika) in a bowl and pour over the chicken. Bake at 200C for 40 minutes.

The Verdict
VERY good! Definitely something I will be making again. I think I may have added just a bit too much vinegar and a tad too little honey, as it did have a bit of a tang, but not enough to be a nuisance. I really liked it, and think you could easily make it with other meat than chicken.

Week 39: Fettuccine Salmon

The Recipe
200g salmon, skin off
200g fettuccine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tsp chili flakes
3/8 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 spring onions
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lemon juice

Boil fettuccine as directed on the package, drain.
Meanwhile, heat half the olive oil in a small fry pan, add garlic and chilli and cook for 30 seconds. Add breadcrumbs and fry while stirring until crispy and golden. Set aside.
Heat the rest of the oil in the same pan and cook the salmon for 5-6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan and flake with a fork. Add spring onions to same pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add stock and butter and stir till butter is melted. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, salmon and fettuccine. Serve with bread crumb topping.

The Verdict
Tasted okay, but was terribly dry unfortunately. It didn't sound like it would be, but the pasta must have soaked up all the stock/butter. I liked the breadcrumb-chilli-garlic topping though, so might just repeat that for another pasta dish. I think it would go great with the nudle-auf-lauf recipe found elsewhere on this blog :D