Friday, February 28, 2014

Week 9: Spanish Bell Pepper Soup

The Recipe
600 g bell pepper (~3 large ones)
1 onion
4dl chicken stock (just under 2 cups)
4dl vegetable stock
125g cream cheese
1 clove garlic
200g chorizo (bacon can be used instead)
Salt and pepper

Heat some olive oil (chili-oil if you like it) in a pot over medium-high heat. Cut the bell pepper and onion in smaller pieces and cook them for a couple of minutes. Add the stock and garlic, bring to a boil and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the chorizo into halves and then into thin slices and cook them in a pan over high heat until they turn brown and crisp. Transfer to a place covered with paper towels and pour the resulting oil into the soup for extra taste!

Use a blender to puree the soup and add the cream cheese. Bring to a simmer again and season with paprika, thyme, salt and pepper according to taste.

The Verdict
Pretty good. I prefer soups with more "bite" (texture, not heat), but the crisp chorizo added enough that it was suitable for an evening meal. Not an instant favourite, but probably something I'll make again. And it'll be easy to adapt it for vegetarian cooking as well.

Week 8: Creamed Corn

The Recipe
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup corn
30g (~1oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 roasted red pepper, diced
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 green onion, sliced
salt, pepper and cayenne to taste

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the corn and cream cheese, stir until the cream cheese has melted.
Mix in the milk, roasted red pepper, bacon and green onions and cook until hot, about 5 minutes.

The Verdict
Tasted alright, but didn't seem like anything special. I may or may not make this again if I get tired of my usual sides.

Week 7: Butter Chicken Crockpot

The Recipe
~500g chicken
1 tbsp oil for cooking
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
a dash of chili
1/2 tsp ground ginger
25g (~1tbsp) butter
2.5 dl chicken stock (~1 cup)
5 tbsp cream
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
a dash of cardamom and fennel (optional)
1 tsp tumeric

Chop the onion and garlic very finely (or use a blender or food processor) and mix it with the chili and ginger.

Heat the oil in a pan. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and cook until browned on all sides. Add to the crock-pot.

Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the butter to the pan and once it's melted cook the onion paste until it just starts to change colour. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.

Add to the crock-pot, cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours.

Serve on rice with sliced almonds as topping.

The Verdict
Not quite restaurant worthy but really, really good :) I thought it lacked something but can't quite figure out what. Perhaps just a bit of mango chutney? ;) Some vegetables would also be nice - think I may add corn and/or bell pepper to the crock-pot next time.

But all in all I loved it :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Week 6: Crockpot Beef and Peppers

The Recipe
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb stew beef
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp ginger
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for about 4 hours.

The Verdict
Can't give an honest verdict of this one, as I thought the meat tasted "off" which of course coloured my opinion of the entire dish. I thought the sauce and the veggies tasted fine, so may make this again another time, and hope I'm more fortunate with the meat.