Friday, December 28, 2012

Week 52: Crocked Maple Salmon

The Recipe
3 salmon fillets
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp maple syrup (didn't have any, so used honey instead)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Mix all ingredients in a bag og bowl and shake it thoroughly so the salmon gets coated.

Coat the crock-pot with a bit of oil and pour fish and marinade into it. Cook on LOW for 1-2 hours or until the salmon is done.

Serve with oven-roasted potato slices

The Verdict
Delicious! The honey and balsamic vinegar worked perfectly together. AND it's a crockpot meal that doesn't take all day to cook, so it works on weekdays as well :)

Week 51: Mexican Style Beans-and-Rice

The Recipe
1 cup rice
1 can (15oz) beans
1 onion
1 avocado
Cucumber
Salsa
Grated cheese

Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package.

Meanwhile, sauté onion in a pan over medium heat. Once soft, add the beans and cook for a couple of minutes until the beans are warmed through. Mix in the rice, and combine thoroughly.

Serve with salsa, grated cheese, cucumber slices and avocado/guacamole.

The Verdict
SUPER easy. Not too terrific - would probably have been better with sliced tomatoes and and bell pepper as well - but considering the time it took to make, it was well worth it. And of course, avocado always improves any dish it is added to ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Week 50: African Groundnut Stew

The Recipe
1 tbsp oil
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic cloves, diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup rice
4 cups broth (chicken, veggie or beef)
2 heaped tbsp peanut butter
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (original recipe called for half of that, but I think it could use more)
1.5 cups salsa (that's about 1.5 230gr jars here)
1/2 zucchini, cut into cubes
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and sweet potatoes and sauté 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Add the rice and vegetable broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 20 to 30 minutes, until the rice is tender. Add the peanut butter, chickpeas, salsa, zucchini, cumin, thyme, and salt and pepper; cook over low heat for another 10 minutes or until the zucchini is soft.

The Verdict
Yesterday was freezing cold, snow everywhere and my bike ride home from work took almost an hour. I was frozen to the bone and needed something to heat me up from the inside out.

This fit the bill perfectly. It was absolutely delicious, and as I had used hot salsa, it had a nice 'bite' to give that inner heat. For once I made the recipe exactly 'as is', which meant I only used half the can of chickpeas, and that was definitely too little, so I think I'll use the entire can next time. Also, I think it would work just as well with ordinary potatoes if you can't find the sweet ones.

Edit, Jan 4th, 2016: Tried making this yesterday but was too lazy to go shopping, so instead of the sweet potato I used 4 carrots, and instead of the zucchini I used a bell pepper. YUM! Almost better than the original. So satisfying and warming on a cold day.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Week 49: Elbow Macaroni Caserolle

BORING name, I know! But fortunately the dish itself was nothing like it :)

The Recipe
500g ground beef
1 can (~15oz) tomatoes
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 small can (8oz) corn
1 cup elbow macaroni
250g mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese - but buy the real stuff!
1 tsp BBQ or chili powder
Salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 175C.

Boil the macaroni according to the instructions on the package. Drain and transfer to an oven-proof dish.

Meanwhile, cook beef in a pot over high heat, until no longer pink. Add onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and corn and cook until the mushrooms have wilted and the onion is soft. Add stewed tomatoes, tomato paste and seasoning and stir to mix. Transfer to the oven-proof dish and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

The Verdict
It sounded pretty ordinary, but tasted FANTASTIC! Seriously, do NOT make do with inferior cheese. It has to be the real deal to work, but when it is, you'll be sad you didn't splurge and use 2 cups instead. Really easy, lovely comfort food and definitely worth a repeat!

Week 48: Southwestern Corn Chowder

The Recipe
1/2 tbsp butter
1 spring onion, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp chili
1/2 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large potato, peeled and cut into pieces
2 small cans (~280g) corn
5dl chicken broth
1 cup milk

Melt the butter in a pot. Add white parts of spring onion, carrots, chili, oregano and salt and pepper. Cook until onions are soft. Add potatoes, corn, broth and milk. Bring to a boil and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potato is done. Stir in green part of the spring onion and season with salt and pepper.

The Verdict
I really liked it. It had enough chili to give it a nice bite, but not so much as to leave it too spicy. It did lack something to the taste though, and I'm not entirely sure what. I'm tempted to say bacon though... but then everything is better with bacon ;) But something to add to the roundness of the taste, so other additions might work just as well.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Week 47: Fast and Easy Bean Stew

The Recipe
2 carrots, chopped
1 large potato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
100g cocktail sausages, halved
1 (15oz) can beans, undrained.
7dl (~3 cups) chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup salsa

Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté onion, carrot and potato for about 5 minutes. Add sausages, broth, beans, salsa, thyme and garlic powder. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.

The Verdict
I made a LOT of changes from the original recipe. The ratios were all off (IMHO), and it was only supposed to simmer for 10 minutes instead of 20 - but the potatoes and beans were no where near done at that point. So this is my adapted recipe, but I think it ended up quite nicely :) I used chicken sausages as that was all I could find at the time, but I'll probably stick with pork sausages another time. Still easy despite my changes (even if not as fast), and a lovely comfort food :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 46: Jamaican-Style Beans and Rice

The Recipe
1 can (15oz) beans, undrained
1 cup rice
1 small can (6oz) coconut milk
Thyme
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
150g bacon, sliced

Cook rice.

Meanwhile, cook bacon and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes. Add beans, thyme, coconut milk, green onions and bell pepper. Heat through until warm and bubbly. Mix with rice and warm through immediately before serving.

The Verdict
A nice and low-key comfort meal. I used wild rice which I think was a mistake - for once I think regular parboiled would have been better. It was a pleasant mix of tastes though, and super-easy to make, so I'll probably make it again.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Week 45: Cuban Spicy Pork

The Recipe
2 pork chops
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
3 tbsp salsa
1 tbsp honey
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 tbsp lime juice

Sprinkle cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and chili powder on each pork chop.
In a large zipper-topped plastic bag, combine salsa, honey, garlic, and lime juice; add seasoned pork chops; seal bag, turn gently and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

Melt butter in a pan over high heat and cook the pork chops until desired doneness. Remove from pan. Add about 10-15gr butter and 1/2 cup of water to the pan and whisk until reduced slightly. Pour over pork chops.

Serve with baked potatoes.

The Verdict
Even I was worried about the amount of chili on these pork chops. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper on each??? But I decided to trust the recipe and give it a try. Turned out, the person I got this from knew what she was doing! The mix of spicy to sweet was perfect, and the long marinating time (I'd given it 7 hours) made the chops sooooo moist and tender! I'd probably halve the amount of spices if making this for kids, but for myself - delicious!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week 44: Creamy Spaghetti Cabonara

The Recipe
1/2 lb spaghetti, uncooked
110g bacon, finely sliced
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup light cream (10-12%)
4tbsp grated Parmesan cheese- tossed with 1/2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper

Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, cook the bacon and garlic in a small pan over medium-low heat until the garlic is aromatic and the bacon is lightly browned. Add the bell pepper and cook for a few minutes.

Add the wine, increase heat, bring the wine to a boil and cook until it has reduced by half. Add the cream and bring back up to a slight simmer (not much--it will break) and whisk in the Parmesan cheese mixture, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat.

When pasta is done, drain it well and add it immediately to the bacon mixture. Add Parmesan cheese and toss quickly. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

The Verdict
Very nice indeed! :) Traditional Cabonara is often too rich for me, but I've discovered that the recipes that use either cream or eggs instead of both are right up my aisle. This was no exception and ended up absolutely delicious :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Week 43 - Crockpot Tuscan Chicken

The Recipe
500g chicken breast - cut into 1" cubes
1 (14oz) can white beans
340g (~1.5 cups) spaghetti sauce
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup water
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper

In a crockpot, layer onion, garlic, carrot and bell pepper on the bottom. Add the chicken on top, beans, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Add spaghetti sauce and water. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender and cooked.

Serve with pasta or spaghetti.

The Verdict
I think I would have preferred using dark meat - the chicken did get a tad dry.
That's my only complaint though. It was easy to make and tasted lovely - the sauce was delicious :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Week 42: Skillet Chicken

The Recipe
4-5 pieces of chicken (I used 3 drumsticks and 2 breast fillets - dark meat for me, white meat for DH)
3 carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
5 small potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 stalk celery, cut into chunks (I don't like celery, so I used a handful of mushrooms instead)
4 cloves garlic, minced
butter/margarine/oil
2 tsp corn starch
1 cup chicken stock

Hardware: One large ovenproof skillet or two smaller ones (I used 2 smaller ones).

Preheat the oven to 230C. Put the skillet(s) in the oven to preheat too. When the oven is heated and the skillets are hot, do the following:
Remove the skillets from the oven and add a goodly amount of margarine/butter/oil to each. Add minced garlic to each skillet and stir it around in the butter. Put the chicken, skin side down, in one skillet and the veggies in the other. (Note: I think it might be even better to have a mix of chicken and veggies in each)
Put some sort of lid onto the skillet(s) (e.g. pizza pans) and slide them into the oven, still at 230C. Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, stir the veggies and turn the chicken. Preheating the skillet means that the skin should be golden brown and delicious-looking. Leave the lids off and slide the skillets back into the oven for another 15 minutes.

When the chicken is done, pile the chicken on top of the veggies (doing it in 2 skillets really works because of this step). Combine cornstarch with chicken stock. Put the skillet that held the chicken over high heat. Add the cornstarch/stock. Stir it well, and almost constantly, to get all the good brown bits and garlic off the pan. When the sauce is thickened to your liking, pour it over the chicken and veggies.

The Verdict
I never can get thickening to work, and this was no exception. Ah well, despite the very liquid sauce it was still ABSOLUTELY delicious! Definitely something I'll be making again. I don't make oven-baked chicken much as it tends to dry out on me, but this turned out all kinds of yummy (of course the white meat might have been dry... after all, I didn't try that). Really, you can use any kind of veggies for this - parsnips or pumpkin would go nicely with it too.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Week 41: Smothered Beef Patties

The Recipe
1 pound ground beef
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, sliced
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Salt, pepper

Form the ground beef into 4 patties. Warm some butter or oil in a skillet and cook the patties until done. Put aside and keep warm.
In the same skillet, add butter and olive oil and let butter melt. Cook onion and bell peppers over medium heat until tender. Add mushrooms, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Heat until mushrooms are hot and cooked through.

Serve with halved baked potatoes.

The Verdict
I am not really all that much into beef patties, but the mushroom-onion mix did add a nice touch. That part I could definitely see myself making again.... but probably as a side to a different main.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Week 40 - Western Glazed Pork Chops

The Recipe
2 pork chops
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup salsa
2 tbsp orange marmalade
1/3 cup shredded cheese
Aluminum foil wrap

Preheat oven to 200C. Place pork chops in a shallow baking pan lined with foil. Sprinkle with chili powder. In a small bowl, combine salsa and marmalade and spread half of the mixture over the pork chops. Bake for 15 minutes, then spread remaining salsa mixture over pork chops and continue to bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Sprinkle cheese over pork, return to oven and bake for 2 minutes longer or until cheese has melted.

Serve with potatoes and beans.

The Verdict
There's a first for everything, and this was a first for me - making something even I wasn't able to eat. Fortunately I was home alone, so I didn't subject Lars to this as well. The glazing just did NOT taste good. Possibly it might be a hit for somebody fonder of orange marmalade than myself, but as it was, I had to scrape off the glazing before I could eat the meat. Suffice to say this is something I WON'T be making again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Week 39: Sun-dried Tomatoes and Chicken Pilaf

The Recipe
450g chicken breast
2 gloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can (400g) stewed tomatoes
1/2 squash, chopped
50g sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (use scissors - that's easier)
2 tsp pesto
6dl chicken stock
200g brown rice

Heat oil in a pan and brown the chicken on one side only. Transfer to a plate and quickly cook garlic and onion in the pan. Add chicken stock and get all the bits and pieces off the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a slow cooker.

Add squash, stewed tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and rice. Stir to mix up everything. Place the chicken breast on top, cooked side up, pushed down just beneath the liquid to keep them from drying out. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.

The Verdict
First of all, I made a rookie mistake - I assumed that HIGH for 3-4 hours would equal LOW for 6-7 hours. Not the case at all, and thus the rice wasn't properly cooked through. Not that they were 'raw', there was just a bit more of a bite to them than usual. Fortunately that was the only problem with this dish and easily remedied. Everything else worked out really well. The tastes meshed wonderfully, and the chicken was more moist than I've ever experienced white meat being before. I might add a tad more pesto and sun-dried tomatoes next time as those two ingredients seemed to disappear altogether, but otherwise it was perfect as-is.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Week 38: Salmon Poached in Elderflower juice

The Recipe
3 salmon steaks (~125g each)
0.5 dl canola oil (could probably be substituted for any other)
1.5 dl elder flower juice
1 tbsp acacia honey
3 bay leaves
1 leek in thin slices
2 carrots (or the same amount of squash), sliced
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (optional)
Salt and pepper

Place the salmon steaks in a small ovenproof dish coated with the oil. Add juice, honey, bay leaves, leek, carrots and ginger (optional). Bake for 10-12 minutes at 220*C in a pre-heated oven. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Serve with wild rice and bread

The Verdict
Absolutely delicious! The sweetness of the elderflower and honey matched the salmon perfectly. I don't think this would be a hit with my DH, but my Mum would love it :) We forgot the ginger, but I didn't miss it any.

Week 37: Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

The Recipe
500g ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 can (8oz) of salsa
1 can (14 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can (14 oz) beans
3/4dl Italian salad dressing
2 tbsp taco seasoning
1/4 tsp ground cumin
4 flour tortillas
1 can corn
1 dl sour cream
250gr shredded cheese

Garnish:
shredded lettuce
chopped tomato
guacamole

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Stir in the salsa, stewed tomatoes, beans, dressing, sour cream, corn, taco seasoning and cumin.
Spoon a generous layer of meat mixture on bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Place a flour or corn tortilla on top of meat mixture. Repeat as many layers as you like.
The last & final layer should be a healthy dose of grated cheese.
Cover with foil and bake at 200°C for 25 minutes.

Let stand for 5 minutes before topping with lettuce, tomato and guacamole.

The Verdict
I forgot to cover with foil, but don't really think that made too big of a difference.
I also didn't have any guacamole - that was a mistake!

Apart from that I really liked it though. I think I'd also add chopped bell pepper another time, but that's about the only alteration I'd make. Definitely worth making again.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Week 36: Herbed Chicken

The Recipe
(serves 5)
800g chicken thighs or drumsticks (I'm sure you can use white meat as well, but I prefer dark)
Olive oil
1/3 cup white wine
1 onion -- chopped
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 15-oz. can white beans
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
Salt according to taste
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 14oz. can stewed tomatoes (I used whole cherry tomatoes - yum!)

Coat the crockpot with the olive oil and place the chicken in the bottom. Stir in white wine through crushed red pepper (I didn't have any, so I used paprika instead. Nor did I have any Italian seasoning, so I just used a mix of herbs - rosemary, thyme, basil etc. - instead). Cover with lid and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours. After 6-7 hours take out the chicken, remove skin and bones and return the chicken to the crock pot. Stir in stewed tomatoes and cook on LOW for another hour.

Serve with brown rice.

The Verdict
Ever so slightly bland at first, so I added extra salt, pepper and chili flakes. With that addition I ended up LOVING it! And it tasted just as good as left-overs the following day. It's a bit of a hassle to de-bone the chicken (I burned my fingers a couple of times doing it), but I still think the dark meat tastes so much better than the white that it's worth it.

Absolutely worth a repeat.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Week 35: Microwave Potato Chips

The Recipe
2 large potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Slice potatoes into thin slices. Toss slices with oil and salt to coat evenly.
Coat a large microwave-proof plate with extra oil and arrange potato slices in a single layer. Microwave on high until some slices start to brown. Turn slices over (use a fork, they are HOT) and continue microwaving until the start to crisp and brown around the edges.

The timing will depend on the thickness of the slices and microwave power - I think I ended up giving them 5 minutes on each side - perhaps a bit more for the thickest slices.

Transfer chips to another place and allow them to cool completely - they will get crisper as they cool.

Repeat with the rest of the slices.

The Verdict
I was very dubious whether this would even work, but they chips turned out fantastically! The only thing I'll add to the recipe is do not be afraid to overcook the chips!. The original recipe said 2-3 minutes on each side which turned out to be no where NEAR enough, and my first batch was very soggy as a result. If the potatoes haven't started browning it's not time to turn them over yet.

But apart from that super simple to make and definitely something I'll be doing again!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Week 34: Frikadeller

(a.k.a. Danish meat balls)

The Recipe
1dl oatmeal
1.5dl water
1 egg
500g pork/veal mince
2-3 carrots
4 pickles
1 onion
salt, pepper

Mix oatmeal and water together in a large bowl and leave it to soak for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop up onion, carrots and pickles coarsely - I used a blender, but you could also use a grater. Add the vegetables, egg and mince to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Form the mix into meatballs - get your hands dirty, it's easier that way. I made mine of about 2tbsp mince each.

Melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat and cook the meatballs for 5-6 minutes on each side or until done.

Serve with cold potato salad mixed with some chopped up apple.

The Verdict
I haven't had a lot of luck with my frikadeller recipe - usually they turn out really bland and boring, so I don't make them very often. I know... shockingly unpatriotic for a Dane! Last night, however, my DH requested them specifically... the things I do for him ;) To my immense surprise they turned out FANTASTIC, so I figured I'd better write down the exact way I made them, so I'll be able to replicate it. They were terrific :D

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Week 33: Tapas fail

This week's new meal was such a let down that I'm not even going to bother trying to write down the recipes. I tried making squash and potato chips with avocado ranch dressing and onion egg over easy. None of it was even remotely worth eating.

Biggest failure yet in this endeavour. Better luck next week.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Week 32: Spicy Crusted Pork

The Recipe
1 tbsp chili powder (yes, really)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tbsp mixed herbs
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1 pound lean pork tenderloin, cubed

In zip-lock bag, combine chili powder, salt, cumin, garlic, herbs and black pepper; add pork cubes and toss to coat; refrigerate for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 105C. Place pork cubes on a lightly greased pan and bake for 2 hours or until crispy.

Serve with brown rice, salsa and corn on the cob.

The Verdict
Probably too spicy for DH with all this chili, but I liked it :) I thought it needed something to cool it down a bit - avocado or guacamole would probably have been best, but since I had neither I used Italian dressing instead, which added an unusual but really nice touch.

I don't know that I'll make it again, as it's kind of a weird dish, but perhaps for fingerfood, with picks into each cube and dipping sauce available? That might work :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Week 31: Tuscan Chicken

The Recipe
1 tbsp olive oil
300g chicken breast cut in thin slices
freshly ground pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 cup chopped tomato
4 tbsp red wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp butter
Parmesan cheese
Spaghetti

Cook spaghetti according to the instructions on the package. Drain and put aside.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet; add chicken tenders; pepper to taste and brown for about 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Remove from skillet and keep warm. To the same skillet, add garlic, rosemary, tomato, wine and broth. Bring to a boil and scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the sauce reduce then remove from heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted and incorporated into the sauce, return the chicken to the skillet and thoroughly coat with the sauce.

Pour chicken and sauce over the cooked spaghetti and toss with Parmesan cheese.

The Verdict
LOVED it! A perfect summer dish as it's very simple and not very heavy at all. I didn't have any rosemary so used thyme instead. I think it would have been equally good with basil or oregano. Definitely something I'll be making again!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Week 30: Sweet Chilli

The Recipe
3 chicken breast halves (at least this is what it was supposed to be... I didn't realize until AFTER I'd gotten it out of the freezer that I'd accidentally gotten pork chops instead... ah well, it still worked)
1 (15 ounce) can beans of your choice, undrained
2 onions, cut into chunks
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
1dl tomato paste (I didn't have any, so I used BBQ sauce instead. Yummy!)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp teriaki or soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
tortillas
shredded Cheddar cheese (garnish)

Put the chicken into a slow-cooker and pour the next 8 ingredients (beans through salt) over. Stir to combine. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour, stir again, switch to LOW and cook for another 5-6 hours.

Shred the chicken with two forks, serve with tortillas, shredded cheese and salsa.

The Verdict
I love crock-pot recipes that require no browning before dumping everything into the crock-pot. I also love using the crock-pot on days when temperatures are in the high 20s so I don't have to stand over a hot stove and oven! Those two things along made me inclined to love this recipe. Fortunately it also tasted terrific. I don't think it mattered at all that I accidentally used pork chops instead of chicken breasts, and using BBQ sauce instead of tomato paste was a stroke of brilliance - if I may say so myself ;)

Definitely a keeper!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Week 29: Baked Eggs

The Recipe
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp oregano
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 200°C. Combine the cheese and herbs in a small bowl. Crack two eggs into a bowl or cup, taking care not to break the yolks. Pour the two eggs into a ramekin. Sprinkle cheese-herb blend over the eggs. Finish with a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake the eggs for 10-15 minutes until the eggs have achieved desired doneness: less time for runny yolks, more time for firm yolks. Serve immediately.

The Verdict
The eggs were actually supposed to have cooked, crumbled bacon as well, but I was too lazy to make that ;) It might have improved the recipe somewhat, but I actually didn't miss it. This was a lovely brunch dish that I'll definitely be making again.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Week 28: Tenderloin with Pesto

The Recipe
400g pork tenderloin
100g parma or other airdried ham
2 tbsp pesto

Preheat the oven to 175C. Coat the tenderloin with pesto and wrap it in the parma ham. Bake for 30 minutes or until done.

Serve with potatoes and tomato-mozzarella salad.

The Verdict
Super-easy to make, and DH LOVED it. Personally I found it much, much, MUCH too salty, but then DH always tends to add extra salt to anything I make - and he didn't to this, so that's gotta count for something! I don't know that I'll be making it again though... or if I do, I'll probably use less pesto and less parma ham both.

Week 27: Crock-Pot Easy-Peasy-Cheesy Chicken

The Recipe
500-600g frozen chicken
150g cream cheese
1 can beans
1 can corn
1 can stewed tomatoes w. chili

Put the frozen chicken in the crock pot. Put Cream cheese on top of the chicken. Dump in the beans, corn and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on LOW, stirring every 2 hours. Once done, shred the chicken, and let it sit for 30-45 minutes.

Serve over rice, with tortillas or with nachos.

The Verdict
I couldn't be bothered making rice, so I ended up serving this with crumbled nachos. It wasn't quite spicey enough, so I added extra chili to my portion. Other than that, I really liked it. Super easy to make, and well worth a repeat.

For the chicken I used 1 drumstick, 1 thigh and 2 breast pieces - the dark meat definitely turned out the best.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Week 26: Tex Mex Pork Wraps

The Recipe
500-600g boneless pork roast or pork tenderloin
1.75dl tomato sauce (I didn't have any, so I used ketchup)
2/3 cup BBQ-sauce
1 onion, thinly sliced
Chilli powder to taste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
Tortillas
Garnishes of your choice.

Place pork roast in a crock pot. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except tortillas, and pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for about 8 to 10 hours. When pork roast is done, take two forks and shred meat. Serve on warmed tortillas with garnishes.

The Verdict
Really great! I was a bit worried that it would end up being too rich, so when I shredded the meat I dumped in a small can of corn also and cooked it for another 15 minutes. It ended up great! I served it with flour tortillas, bell pepper, tomatoes and cucumber. Wish I had thought to buy some avocados as well. Super easy to make and it tasted lovely :-)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 25: Southwestern Turkey

The Recipe
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 pounds turkey breast cutlets -- cut into 1/4" strips
1 lb chili
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 bell pepper strips
1 onion -- thinly sliced
1 can corn
2/3 cup salsa -- your favorite

In a skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add turkey; stir-fry 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder and cumin. Add bell pepper and onion; stir-fry 3 minutes. Stir in corn and salsa. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
I couldn't find turkey, so I used chicken instead. Otherwise, I made no alterations.
Unfortunately it was rather dull and bland. Not something I'll be making again.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Week 24: Pasta Cabonara

Pasta Cabonara recipes seem to be hit and miss for me, as I find many of them simply too rich. This seemed like a nice change though, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

The Recipe
(Serves 1)
125g spaghetti
100g bacon
1 clove garlic, peeled BUT NOT CHOPPED!!!
1 egg
Black pepper
Chilli
Grated Parmigano cheese

Boil spaghetti according to directions on package.

Cut the bacon into pieces. Put them in a skillet and season with chilli according to taste. Cook for 2 minutes, until fat begins to render. Add the whole clove of garlic and cook another 5 minutes until the edges of bacon just begin to get crisp. Do not overcook.

Meanwhile, break the eggs into the bowl you will serve the pasta ind and beat them with a fork. Add some grindings of pepper.

Remove the garlic from the bacon pan.

When it's cooked, drain the pasta and immediately throw it into the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly. The heat of the spaghetti will cook the eggs and turn them into a sauce. Add the bacon with its fat, toss again, add cheese and serve.

The Verdict
I'm glad I gave this a chance, because it was very good! The egg/pasta ratio and lack of added milk made for a less rich sauce than I'm used to, which is definitely a good thing. There was slightly too much bacon though (I know, I know, that's an oxymoron), so I think I may limit myself to 75g next time.

But good! :)

(Photo taken at a later time where I added mushrooms, bell pepper and tomatoes.)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Week 23: Crock-pot Italian Pork Chops

It's starting to become a tradition that I start up the crock-pot each Sunday when I get home from church. Terrific tradition if you ask me. I love not having to worry about dinner :)

The Recipe
4 pork chops
1 small squash, sliced thinly
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, chopped
6 tomatoes, diced
12 olives without pits, halved (the original recipe called for just FOUR olives!!! Might as well not bother then!)
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp wine vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
salt, pepper

Brown the pork chops on a pan if you feel like it... I didn't :)

In a crock-pot, add onion and bell pepper. Put the pork chops on top and sprinkle with oregano and other spices that might catch your fancy (I used a bit of a BBQ mix I had and some curry). Put tomatoes and olives on top and cover with a layer of squash slices. Mix together vinegar and stock and pour over. Add salt and pepper according to taste (it needed more salt than I'd added). Cover and cook on LOW for 5-8 hours.

Serve with pasta or rice.

The Verdict
I cooked mine for just about 7 hours, but don't think that was quite enough, as the pork chops were still quite dry. It tasted okay - the vinegar and olives gave it a nice 'twist' - but I have so many other, better pork chops recipes, so I don't think I'll be making this again.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Week 22: Avocado Mac and Cheese

The Recipe
150g dry elbow macaroni
150g bacon
Chilli to taste
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 avocado
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cups shredded cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh avocado chunks, for garnish, optional

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, place garlic, avocado, lime juice, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, cook bacon until done, adding chilli to taste. Remove from pan and add to the (now drained) macaroni. Add butter to the saucepan and heat over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in flour to create a paste. Whisk in milk until smooth. Stir until the sauce starts to thicken. Add in cheese and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is creamy.

Pour the avocado sauce over the macaroni and bacon and stir until well coated. Add the cheese sauce and stir until macaroni is coated and creamy. Season with salt and pepper and chili flakes, to taste. Serve warm. Garnish with fresh avocado chunks, if desired.

The Verdict
Not half bad! Although I think I used a tad too much garlic, as it ended up being somewhat overpowering. If I make this again (which I may, as I rather liked it), I think I'll cook the garlic together with the bacon rather than adding it to the avocado sauce. Other than that I really enjoyed it. The avocado added a lovely touch. The original recipe didn't call for bacon, but I've found that mac'n'cheese by itself isn't really my thing, so I thought this would be a nice addition. I was right, and this, the avocado and the extra chili flakes I added kept the dish from being as uncomfortably rich as it sometimes can be.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Week 21: Cajun Chicken Pasta

The Recipe
250g linguine or similar (any fresh pasta will do)
400g chicken breast strips
1-2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
250g fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 spring onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup milk
1 tbsp flour
3 tbsp lcream cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare pasta in salted water according to package directions.Prep all your vegetables. In a small bowl make a slurry by combining milk, flour and cream cheese. Set aside. Season chicken generously with Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and salt.
Heat half of the oil in a large skillet; add the chicken. Sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until done. Set aside.

Add the rest of the olive oil to the skillet and add bell peppers, onions, and garlic to skillet, sauté 3-4 minutes. Add mushrooms and tomatoes and sauté 3-4 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken broth and pour in slurry stirring about 2 minutes. Return chicken to skillet; cook another minute or two until hot, then add linguine; toss well to coat.

The Verdict
Unfortunately not nearly as good as the recipe made it sound. But then I never can get slurries to thicken anything, so I won't deny that that may have something to do with it. It wasn't bad, just a lot of work for something not all that good.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Week 20: Italian Pot Pie

The Recipe
Meat Sauce
1 lb ground beef
2-3 carrots
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
chili flakes (optional)
2 cups of your favourite tomato sauce (homemade or from a jar - doesn't matter - but remember that the better the sauce, the better your dish)

Biscuit topping
1 cup flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup grated parm or similar
1/4 tsp herbs (e.g. thyme, oregano, rosemary)
dash of salt
1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 225C.

Finely chop onion and carrots. Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet, add vegetables, season with salt and pepper and let them cook until tender, 5-10 minutes. Add ground beef, garlic and chili flakes. Cook until beef is no longer pink. Add tomato sauce. Bring the vegetable/sauce/meat mixture to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and let to go for 8-10 minutes until it's thickened a bit. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile mix together the dry ingredients for your biscuit topping. Make a well in the middle of your mix and pour in the butter and milk. Stir the whole thing up until it comes together as a dough.

Season your stew according to taste and add any additional vegetables you feel like - corn, bell pepper, whatever. Spoon the meat sauce into four oven proof bowls (at least 8oz each or it won't fit). Put the bowls on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil for easy cleanup in case of spills. Use a spoon to dop your topping dough over the stews. There might be gaps where you can see the stew through the topping - that's fine. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

The Verdict
I think just possibly I didn't leave it long enough in the oven - the dough still seemed rather doughy and not at all as crisp and puffy as I would have expected. It tasted great though, and as I have leftovers, it'll be interesting to see what they're like after a second round in the oven.

The recipe above serves 3 generously.

ETA: Okay, the results are in, I definitely hadn't left it in the oven for long enough. I gave the left-overs another 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven, and they're so much better and crispier now! Still didn't rise all that much, but I expect that's because of the weird double heating.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Week 19: Corn, Sausage and Pepper Chowder

The Recipe
1 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 pound red potatoes, cut into chunks
A dash of white pepper
A dash of cumin
1 can (160g) corn
225g sausage of some kind, halved and sliced
1/3 cup milk

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic and bell pepper until tender, approx. 10 minutes. Stir in broth, potatoes, pepper and cumin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and leave to simmer for 25 minutes.

Puree half the corn in a blender or food processor. Stir pureed corn, remaining whole corn, sausage and milk into the soup. Leave to simmer for another 25 minutes or until the potatoes are done.

The Verdict
YUM!!! I like my corn chowder with a bit of a kick, so I added chilli flakes to my portion, and thought it tasted fantastic :-) But there was too little of it - according to the recipe, this should serve 3 - DH and I scraped the pot and hardly got our fill. Next time I'll increase the measurements by 50% - the liquids possibly by 100% as I don't mind my soup being a tad more liquid. Also not entirely sure that it's necessary to puree half the corn, but it might have added to the creaminess, so I don't know...

Anyway, this is DEFINITELY a soup I'll be making again. It was one of the best I've tried in awhile.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Week 18: Asian Peanut Butter Pork

The Recipe
600g pork tenderloin (or similar)
1 onion, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into eights
4 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp water
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 dl peanut butter
1 lime, cut in wedges (optional)

This recipe fits my 4 quart (3.5 liter) crockpot.

Put onion, bell pepper and tomatoes into the bottom of the crockpot. Put pork on top. Add sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, water, garlic, and peanut butter. No need to stir--the peanut butter needs to melt before you can do so. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. 1 hour before serving, flip the meat over in the crockpot to allow the other side to soak up the sauce. Garnish with lime wedges.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
I wanted to love this - I really did. It smelled fantastic while it was cooking, and the meat was perfectly tender. Unfortunately the peanut butter was a bit overpowering and made it just a tad too rich for my taste. I think if I'd added a bit less peanut butter or a bit more of the other liquids, it would have been a lot better, because I did like it - it was just a tad too much.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Week 17: Tacos con Chicken

The Recipe
4 corn tortillas (didn't have any, so I used wheat instead)
2 tsp oil, divided
350g chicken breast meat, cut into very thin strips
2 onions, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
3 cloves garlic, pressed
3/4 tbsp cumin
1dl salsa, plus additional for garnish
1can (160g) corn
Guacamole for garnish.

Heat half of the oil in a skillet over high heat until smokin’ hot. Add chicken, cook and stir until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Reduce skillet heat to medium and add remaining oil. Add onion slices and cook and stir until they start to brown around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, garlic, corn and cumin; cook and stir until peppers are bright but still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in salsa and reserved chicken; cook and stir until chicken is heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve with warmed tortillas and extra salsa and guacamole for garnish.


The Verdict
I think this works equally well in corn and wheat tortillas, but I still want to try corn next anyway - I love tacos :D Both DH and I are partial to Mexican food, and this tasted great :) For once I took the time to actually slice the chicken thinly enough, and it made a huge difference. Quick and easy meal - definitely worth a repeat!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Week 16: Southwestern Chicken and Bean Soup

The Recipe
1/2 pound chicken breast meat, cut into pieces
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup salsa
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp ground cumin
250g white beans
1 small can (160g) corn
1 chopped onion
1 bell pepper

The original recipe called for browning the chicken first, but I couldn't be bothered doing that, so I skipped that step.

Add chicken to slow cooker. Add chicken broth, salsa, garlic, cumin, beans, corn, bell pepper and onion. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is cooked through.

The Verdict
DH wasn't home so I used hot salsa instead of mild - and it really was hot! Next time I might use medium instead just to moderate it a bit ;-)

Still, I loved it :) The chicken shredded nicely, so it didn't matter at all that I didn't brown it first, and it was lovely hearty and warming. Definitely something I'll want to make again.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Week 15: Salsa Steak

The Recipe
4 cube steaks (couldn't find any, so I used pork chops instead)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups chuncky salsa

Pre-heat oven to 200C.

Place steaks in an oven proof dish and season with cumin, salt and pepper.
Arrange bell pepper and onion over the meat and pour the salsa over all. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the steaks are done.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
For my husband's sake I used mild salsa which was probably a good thing as he still found it a tad on the spicy side, and I could always add more chili at the table ;) It turned out pretty good. Not mind-blowingly so, but good enough that I might make this again another time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Week 14: Pavlova

I've had this several times, but have never made it myself. I was feeling adventurous, so I figured it was about time.

The Recipe
3 egg whites
2 cups sugar
1 dessertspoon tbsp cornflour
1½ tsp vanilla
1½ tsp vinegar
3-6 tbsp boiling water (it really depends on the eggs... the mixture should still be really thick or the pavlova won't keep its shape properly. If you tilt the bowl, the mixture should be very reluctant to move. Better to add too little water than too much)

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add all other ingredients and beat well until THICK and fluffy.
Preheat oven to 250 deg C. put a tray near the top of the oven and put in pavlova (grease and then wet baking paper, then spread mixture on in one big or two smaller rounds.) Turn oven off and leave for one hour.
Don't leave for too long before removing from paper – this is the trickiest bit! But don't worry if it breaks a bit – cream and decoration cover it all up!

Decorate with whipped cream, fruits and berries - e.g. kiwi, grapes, strawberries, blueberries etc.

The Verdict
I had no idea how much a "dessertspoon" was, so I guessed a teaspoon, and think that may have been a tad too little - in any case, the pavlova flattened while in the oven and didn't get quite as nice and tall as it ought to have been. It still tasted great though, and was a LOT easier to make than I had made myself believe.

Oh, I couldn't find regular vinegar in the supermarket (I know!), so I ended up buying cherry vinegar instead. A lot more expensive, but it tasted great! :D

ETA: Made this again with a tablespoon of cornflour instead of just a teaspoon and it turned out perfectly. So very chuffed about that :)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Week 13: Indian Chicken

Adapted from "A Year of Slowcooking"

The Recipe
2 lb chicken thighs or breasts
1 onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bell pepper, sliced
4 tbsp butter (~50g)
A dash of cardamom
2 tsp curry
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 can coconut milk
1 can (140g) tomato paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup plain yoghurt (to add at the end)

This recipe fits a 3.5L (4 quart) slowcooker.

Put chicken in crockpot, and add onion, garlic, and all of the dry spices. Plop in the butter and tomato paste. Add lemon juice and coconut milk. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. The chicken should shred easily with 2 forks when fully cooked.

Stir in plain yogurt 15 minutes before serving. Salt to taste, serve with rice.

The Verdict
Quite possibly the best crockpot meal I have made so far. I let mine cook for 5 hours on high, and I could shred the chicken with a spoon afterwards. It tasted absolutely delicious!

Next time I think I'll add an extra bell pepper as I thought it was a bit low on vegetables, but the seasoning can't be improved on. This would make for brilliant filling to a fajitas as well.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Week 12: Chicken Nicoise

The Recipe
1 cup white wine
400g chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano, thyme and basil
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
8 olives

Heat 1/4 cup of the wine to boiling in a skillet. Cook chicken in wine, turning once, until brown. Remove chicken and keep warm.
Add garlic, onions, olive oil, herbs, bell peppers, olives and remaining wine to skillet and heat till boiling. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add chicken back to the skillet, reducing heat to medium low. Cook 10 to 15 minutes until chicken is cooked thoroughly.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
My chicken didn't exactly brown in the wine - it just turned white. I think it boiled rather than anything else. That's okay though, it still tasted good, although a bit dull - I added both soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce to my portion. I think I'll use more olives next time too, because there weren't quite enough for my taste.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 11: Brassiered Pork

The Recipe
500g belly pork, without rind
1 large squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 bell peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5dl red wine (or stock)
1 tbsp corn starch
1 can (400g) tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
Rosemary, thyme

Heat up the oil in a large pan and cook the onion at medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add squash, bell pepper, garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine. Mix the corn starch with a bit of water and add to the mix. Bring to a boil.

In a crock-pot add half the vegetable mix, put the belly pork on top and cover with the rest of the vegetable mix. Add spices according to taste.

Cook on HIGH for 7-9 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

The Verdict
I'm getting much better at finding good recipes and good meat to use for crock-pot meals. This was really, really good. I guess you could serve it with rice as well, but the mashed potatoes fit perfectly :-) Very yummy and definitely something I'll be making again.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Week 10: Pasta Parmasan

The Recipe

3 carrots, cut into thin strips
1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt pepper
1 tbsp dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
1 pound pasta
7 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
150g bacon

Preheat the oven to 225C.

On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring after the first 10.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente (I added a bouillon cube as well). Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. In a wok, cook bacon for about 10 minutes. Add pasta and vegetables to the wok and toss with the reserved cooking liquid

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

The Verdict
VERY yummy! Baking the vegetables rather than cooking them in the wok added a different texture and taste. The melted parmasan cheese added a lovely touch as well. Definitely something I'll be making again, especially as it's no more complicated than your ordinary stir-fry.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Week 9: Ethiopian Chicken Soup

I'm obviously all about the crock-pot these days :-)

The Recipe
1 can stewed tomatoes (400g)
400g boneless, skinless chicken pieces (thighs, breast - doesn't matter)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (less if you use concentrate)
2 tbsp butter
2 onions, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
4 small carrots, diced
1 small can of corn (~160g)
1 tsp ginger
1 tbsp paprika
a dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp tumeric
2 cups water

This fit my 4.5L slow cooker perfectly.

Empty the tomato can into your cooker. Put in chicken and lemon juice. Add butter, onion, bell pepper, carrots, corn, and all the spices. Pour in the water (I used this to rinse out the tomato can). Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours (high for 4-5).

Five minutes before serving, take out the chicken pieces and shred them with a fork. Put the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker and stir to get everything mixed together (otherwise the tomatoes will still reside at the bottom).

The Verdict
LOVED it! Very little preparation work as only the vegetables needed chopping and there was no pre-browning, and it tasted great. This amount of seasoning was just right for my DH, but I added some chilli flakes to my portion at the table.

I think I'll use more carrots next time, as they basically disappeared, but apart from that, I've got no adjustments to suggest.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Week 8: Southwestern Chicken

The Recipe
1 tbsp olive oil
400g chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can (400g) diced tomatoes with chilli
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp Mexican seasoning (I used taco seasoning)
Juice from 1 lime
1 tsp sugar

Heat the oil in a pan, add chicken and cook for 4-6 minutes until brown. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add bell pepper. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 2-3 hours.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
I liked it, DH found it a tad too spicy. Usually I wouldn't have added the extra chilli, but last time I made a crock-pot meal where I left out the chilli it ended up too bland! I still need to find the perfect balance. But wonderfully easy to make, and tastes good too :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Week 7: Chorizo Casserole

The Recipe
2 bell peppers
1-2 onions, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
300g boiled potatoes
300g brunch or chorizo sausages
Fresh basil
1 400g can tomatoes (optional)

In a wok, cook onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Cut the bell peppers, potatoes and sausages into bite sized pieces and add to the onions. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil and serve.

The Verdict
The original recipe didn't call for tomatoes, but I thought it looked like it needed it, and I definitely think it made it better that way. Easy enough to make - especially if you have potatoes left over - and it tasted great! Definitely worth a repeat.

Week 6: Macaroni-topped Mince

The Recipe
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
3 gloves garlic
600g lamb mince (impossible to find in DK - I used a mix of pork/beef)
2 400g can tomatoes
2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp tomato paste
150-200g corn (~1 small can)
400g macaroni
3 eggs
200ml Greek yoghurt
1 cup grated cheese
100g feta cheese, crumbled.

Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package.

Chop onion and garlic and cook in olive oil until translucent. Add mince and cook for 10 minutes. Add corn, tomatoes, oregano and tomato paste and cook for another 10 minutes until the meat is done.

Mix together eggs and yoghurt - season well with salt and pepper.

Pour meat sauce into an oven-proof dish and cover with macaroni. Add the egg-yoghurt mix and cover with the two cheeses.

Cook at 200C for 25 minutes.

The Verdict
Hmmm... I wasn't terribly impressed. It was macaroni bolognese just made in the oven. Easy enough to make, but tasted only average. The feta did make a nice touch.

I served it with hot taco sauce which did improve it somewhat though.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Week 5: Greek Shrimp Pasta

The Recipe
20gr shrimp, thawed
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tbsp butter
½ tbsp olive oil
90gr crumbled feta cheese
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 tsp oregano
2 fresh tomatoes cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cooked pasta

In a large mixing bowl, combine feta, green onions, oregano, tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Let mixture stand at room temperature for at least one hour.

In a pan, add the butter and olive oil and heat. Add the garlic and stir till starting to brown, then add the shrimp, toss together and cook for 5 minutes or until the shrimps are done. Remove from heat.

To the shrimp mixture, add the pasta, toss together, then top with the feta cheese mixture.

The Verdict
I think I would have enjoyed it more if the tomatoes and green onions had been cooked and the shrimps left cold ;-) I'm not usually one for warm shrimps (with a few notable exceptions found on this blog) and the raw green onions were too overpowering. A quick and easy meal though, so if neither of those things bother you, I'd recommend it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Week 4: Crock-Pot Chili

The Recipe
1 lb round roast (I ended up using pork because beef is too expensive)
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp chili
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 beef bouillon cube
29 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
14.5 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 bell pepper, chopped

Slice the roast into strips. In a large bowl combine the mustard, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper into a paste. Add beef and toss to coat. Add beef to bottom of the slow cooker. Layer onions on top. Crush the bouillon cube and sprinkle over the onions. Add beans, bell pepper and tomatoes over everything. Cook on low for 5-7 hours.

Serve over rice or with bread with shredded cheese and sour cream for toppings.

The Verdict
Well! For once being considerate of my DH backfired! I thought 1 tbsp chili sounded like an awful lot, so instead I used diced tomatoes with chili - usually plenty spicy for him when I use it in soups and stews etc. - but even he complained that this wasn't spicy enough! I've learned my lesson, and will be adding the chili the recipe calls for when I make this next! Because I'll definitely be making it again! Other than the blandness (which could be easily sorted by adding chili at the table) it was delicious, and really easy to make too :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Week 3: Hoisin Turkey

The recipe
2 bell peppers, cut into bite-size pieces
2 small onions, cut into thin wedges
1 pound turkey breast, halved crosswise
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1dl orange juice
1dl hoisin sauce

First the substitutions.. I couldn't find turkey, so I used chicken instead. Nor did I have any hoisin sauce, so I used teriaki sauce instead. The rest is as listed though.

Place bell pepper and onion in a slow cooker; place turkey on top and sprinkle with garlic and black pepper. In a cup, combine orange juice and hoisin sauce; pour over all. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
I only discovered when I came to get the meal, that I'd accidentally cooked the meal on MED instead of on LOW for 4 hours. The chicken turned out to be lovely tender and moist though - not dry at all - so I guess no harm was done :)

One of the better crock-pot meals I've tried. It smelled fantastic while cooking, and tasted great too, although the taste of garlic was slightly overpowering. I think I'll use less next time and make sure it's fully submerged in the liquid, rather than lying on top of the chicken.

Other than that really good, and I didn't even need the chilli sauce to make it taste of something ;)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Week 2: Italian Chicken Chowder

The Recipe
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1 pound chicken breast, chopped
2 14.5-oz can stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 cup chicken broth
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 tsp basil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat the dressing in a large pan or wok. Add chicken and cook for 5-10 minutes until done. Add broth, stewed tomatoes, zucchini, macaroni and basil. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and let the chowder simmer for about 8 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Add cheese and stir until melted.

Can be served with rice if it needs to be stretched.

The Verdict
I loved it :) Cooking the chicken in the dressing gave it a wonderfully tangy taste, and it turned out nice and moist - not dry at all. I added about a spoonful of sugar at the very end, as it was bordering being too tangy, but I'm not entirely sure it needed it... a blob of milk might have worked just as well.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Week 1: Cheese-Sausage Pie

A reeeally easy recipe for the first one of the year...

The Recipe
4 eggs
1 2/3 dl cream
2 tbsp shredded parmasan
6 slices of salami or similar sausage (I used chorizo)
1 tbsp fresh basil.

Chop up the salami and basil into smaller pieces.

Mix together the eggs and cream and add the parmesan, salami and basil. Pour the mix into an ovenproof dish and bake it at 180C for 25 minutes.

The Verdict
"Pie" is most definitely a misnomer here - this was absolutely an omelet! And as thus great for breakfast, but decidedly misplaced for the tapas plate it was meant for. I might make it again if I was serving brunch though.

Best of 2011

Well, what would you know... I actually managed to complete this for the second year running! I know that I left out two weeks back in April, but since I weren't even in the country for those two weeks, I think that's acceptable, and still count my goal reached.

Trying out new recipes can hardly be called a resolution any longer - it has become a hobby. I love experimenting, and while most have been merely average (and an unfortunate few were decidedly BAD!) I did end up with some very nice additions to my repetoir.

So with no further ado, here are the best recipes of 2011:

Garlic shrimp
Mushy Mushy Chocolate Cake
Parmesan Chicken
Honey BBQ Chicken
African Peanut Soup
Chicken with Bacon and Pesto
Orange Pork Chop
Mexican Chicken Lasagna
Spring Chicken
Cashew Chicken
Roasted Asparagus

But I'm only just getting started here...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Drinks, Cakes and Desserts

Caramel Ice Cream
Cheesecake with Raspberries
Chocolate Horns
Chocolate Ice Cream with Baileys
Chocolate Ice Cream with Nuts
Coconut Cookies
Crunchy Apple Pie
Eggnog
Elder Flower Ice Cream
Giant M&M Cookies
Jordan's Cookies
M&M Cookies
Mocha Ice Cream
Mushy-Mushy Chocolate Cake
Nell's Nutella Cookies
Orange Ice Cream
Orange Sorbet
Pavlova
Peach Orange Sorbet
Picnic Cake
Raspberry Cheese Cake
Strawberry Ice Cream
Strawberry-Melon Smoothie
Strawberry-Raspberry Smoothie
Vanilla Ice Cream w. Chocolate & Almonds
Watermelon Ice Cream

Misc and Sides

Bacon-Cheddar Biscuits
Baked Eggs
Baked Potato Buffet
Baked Zucchini Sticks
Braised Carrots
Burning Love
Casserole
Cheese Pancakes
Chorizo Casserolle
Christmas Recipes
Creamed Corn
Crisp Tortilla Towers
Crispy Edamame
Croissant Rolls
Curried Veggies and Rice
Danish Omelette
Empanadas
Garlic Bread
Garlicky Grilled Corn
Huevo Rancheros
Jamaican-Style Beans and Rice
Mashed Potato Patty Cakes
Meatballs with Chilli and Curry
Mexican-Style Beans and Rice
Microwave Potato Chips
Omelet with Tomatoes and Cheese
Oven-baked Meatballs
Pasta Gratin
Pepperoni Roll
Pizzadillas
Puff Pastry Roll
Roasted Asparagus
Rucola with Pistachios and Chocolate
Smothered Beef Patties
Southwestern Bean Salad
Spanish Brunch
Spanish Carrot Dish
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Stuffed Bell Peppers - Philly Style
Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese
Tomato-Pepper Casserole
Tortillas Pizza
Twice Baked Potato Casserole
Vegetable Gratin

Crock-pot

African Peanut Soup
Asian Peanut Butter Pork
Basil-Tomato Soup
Chicken Parmesan
BBQ Crock-pot Chicken
Crockpot Cheesy Chicken
Beef Bourguignon
Braised Crockpot Chicken
Brassiered Pork
Butter Chicken Crockpot
Café Chicken
Caroline Crock Pork
Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce
Chicken Korma
Chicken Philly Sandwiches
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Crocked Maple Salmon
Crockpot BBQ
Crockpot Cajun Chicken
Crockpot Chicken-Curry
Crockpot Chicken with Cashews
Crockpot Easy-Peasy-Cheesy Chicken
Crockpot Fajitas
Crockpot Tuscan Chicken
Crockpot Stuffed Peppers
Ethiopean Chicken Stew
Hoisin chicken
Indian Crockpot Chicken
Italian Chicken
Italian Crock-pot Pork Chops
Kizzy's Crockpot Stew
Lori's crockpot Chili
Moroccan Chicken
Orange Chicken
Orange Chicken Soup
Peking Pork
Slow Cooker Nachos
Southwestern Chicken
Southwestern Chicken and Bean Soup
Sun-Dried Tomato and Chicken Pilaf
Sweet Chilli
Tex Mex Pork Wraps

Soup

African Groundnut Stew
Baked Potato Soup
Butternut Squash Soup
Chicken Chili
Chicken-Noodle Soup
Chickpea Soup
Coco Lime Soup
Corn and Chorizo Chowder
Corn, Sausage and Pepper Chowder
Eggs 'n' Bacon Ramen Noodle Soup
Fiesta Avocado Soup
Fungi Soup
Goulash Soup
Hungarian Goulash Soup
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
Loaded Potato Soup
Mexican Soup
Onion Soup
Pepper Steak Soup
Pseudo-mulligatawny Soup
Red Curry Soup
Roasted Red Pepper and Avocado Soup
Spanish Bell Pepper Soup
Spicy Bean Soup
Squash Soup
Stuffed Pepper Soup
Tex-Mex Chicken Soup
Thai Curry Soup
Tomato-Pepper Soup
Tomato Soup with Garnishes

Pasta / Stir-Fry

Asian Bow-Tie Pasta Salad
Avocado Mac and Cheese
Caramelized Wok
Creamy Spaghetti Cabonara
Eggplant Pasta
Mac and Cheeseburger
Nudel-Auf-Lauf
One Pot Wonder
Oriental Wok
Pasta Cabonara
Pasta Dish with Sausages
Pasta Parmasan
Pasta with Pesto and Asparagus
Pasta with Tomatoes and Squash
Ravioli w. Garlic Cheese Sauce
Red Curry Wok
Red and Green ravioli
Red/Yellow rice
Spaghetti Puttanesca
Spicy Sausage Pasta
Tomato-Basil Chicken Pasta
Traditional Stir-fry

Fish

Asian Fish
Salmon with Honey-Cashew Crust
Salmon Lasagna
Salmon Poached in Elder Flower Juice
Fettuccine Salmon
Garlic-Chili Shrimp
Garlic Shrimp
Greek shrimp pasta

Pork

BBQ Pork
Cajun Schnitzel
Cuban Spicy Pork
Exotic Pork Tenderloin
Fast and Easy Bean Stew
Fried Pork with Parsley Sauce
Frikadeller
Garlic Pork Chops w. Cheese
Ham w. Apple/Horseradish Sauce
Indonesian Sweet and Sour Pork
Marinated Flank Steak
Mexican Chorizo
Orange Pork Chop
Pork Chops Diablo
Pork Marinara
Salsa steaks
Satay Pork with Peanut Sauce
Sausage Sizzler
Schnitzles Provencale
Shepherd's Pie
Slow Jambayala
Spicy Crusted Pork
Tandori Tenderloin
Tenderloin with Pesto

Beef

Bacon Double Cheese Burger Salad
Beef Meatballs with Tomato Salad and Mushrooms
Beef Thick Flank
Beef with Ginger and Bell Pepper
Cheesy Enchilada Casserole
Easy Beef-Bean Burrito
Easy Taco Casserole
Elbow Macaroni Caserolle
Greek Gyros
Honey-Mustard Beef Patties
Italian Pot Pie
Macaroni mince
Mexican Beef Patties
Mini Meatloafs
Nacho Potatoes
Pepper Steak
Steaks with Red Wine Sauce
Tacos Salad
Tangy Steak Salad
Tex-Mex Chili
Tex-Mex Meatloaf

Chicken

Bacon Chicken with Salsa
Baked Chicken Fries
Baked Chicken Legs
Baked Chicken Parmesan
Baked Chicken Tapenade
BBQ Chicken
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Cashew Chicken
Chicken Curry
Chicken Fajita Nachos
Chicken With Bean Sprouts
Chicken Marsala
Chicken Parmesan Cupcakes
Chicken Nicosia
Chicken Pasta Italiano
Chicken Stir-Fry
Chicken Thai Nachos
Chicken Valdostano
Chili Chicken Cashew
Chinese Chicken
Creamy Jalapeno Chicken
Greek Pasta Salad
Herbed Chicken
Honey BBQ chicken
Honey-Mustard Chicken
Honey-Mustard Chicken with Pretzels
Indian Chicken
Indonesian Chicken
Italian Chicken Chowder
Lemon chicken
Maltese Chicken
Mediterranean Chicken
Mediterranean Roasted Chicken
Mexican Chicken Casserole
Mexican Chicken Lasagna
Mexican Torta
One Pot Fajitas Pasta
Oven Baked Chimichangas
Parmasan chicken
Peanut-crusted Chicken
Pesto chicken
Salsa Chicken
Skillet Chicken
Southwestern Turkey
Smothered Jalapeno Chicken
Spicy Chicken
Spicy Chicken with Salsa
Spicy Raspberry-Honey Chicken
Spring Chicken
Sweet Chili Chicken Salad
Tacos con Chicken
Tuscan Chicken
White Chilli