Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Week 52: Eggnog

Eggnog has (as far as I know) never been a tradition in Denmark, so apart from an Eggnog Latte at Starbucks in London a couple of years ago, I've never had it. I got talking with a friend of mine about that the other day, and decided to hunt up recipes. Reading through them, I realized that it was basically pre-frozen homemade ice cream with alcohol added! As I was making homemade ice cream yesterday anyway, and thus had all the ingredients at hand, I figured I'd give it a try.

I know there are as many recipes for eggnog as there are households. This is the one I used. It was supposed to have both nutmeg and cinnamon in as well, but I'm not a fan of either, so left them out. If you have other recipes for eggnog that you'd recommend, I'd love to hear it :)

The Recipe
(Serves 2)
1 egg
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp cream
2dl (200ml) milk
3 tbsp rum, bourbon or similar

Whisk the egg with sugar and vanilla until white and frothy. Add cream and whisk a bit more - not enough to whip the cream, but just to add some froth.
Pour into a glass and add milk and alcohol. Stir and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the ingredients to meld properly.

Enjoy cold.

The Verdict
Very rich, very sweet, very yummy :) A very successful first attempt that I'll definitely try again. Next time possibly with slightly less vanilla, as I did find that somewhat overpowering... but that may just have been because I just whipped it in with the rest, instead of infusing the milk with it. I was too lazy to attempt any such thing ;)

I can easily see how it wouldn't be for everybody though. It's almost like drinking liquid ice cream.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 50: Crockpot Chicken with Cashews

The Recipe
400g chicken breast, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
8-10 cherry tomatoes
1 small can of corn (~140g)
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp pepper
1-2 clove garlic, minced
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sweet chili
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ginger
chili flakes

Put chicken and cornstarch into a freezer bag, and shake until chicken is coated. Heat oil in a pan over medium/high heat and cook the chicken for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a crockpot and add bell pepper, tomatoes, corn and garlic.

Mix together soy sauce, sweeti chili, ketchup, vinegar, ginger, sugar and chili flakes in a small bowl and pour over the chicken. Season with salt according to taste. Stir to mix thoroughly, cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours. Add cashews and cook for another 2 hours.

Server over rice.

The Verdict
The sauce was a tad tangy, so I need to cut down on either the vinegar or the ketchup. I think I might try it without the vinegar next time. Apart from that it was really delicious though! The chicken definitely needed to be precooked to get the full benefit of the cornstarch (I love meat cooked in any kind of flour), and anything with cashews is a-ok with me :)

Definitely something I'll be making again. Despite it only being my husband and me, we barely had any leftovers at all.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Week 43: Jordan's Cookies

The Recipe
170g butter
165g brown sugar
165g cane sugar
4 large tbsp nutella
2 large tbsp peanut butter
100g oatmeal
250g flour
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla sugar or powder
~200g chocolate chips or M&Ms.

Mix together butter and sugar. Add nutella and peanut butter. Add eggs and vanilia sugar. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix. Add chocolate chips.

Make 'blobs' of about 1tsp on a baking sheet and bake for ~8min at 200C.

The Verdict
Very similar to my M&M Cookies but slightly easier to make and the nutella and peanut butter added an extra touch. The only thing I missed were the whole peanuts, but that's easily remedied, so I'll just add those in the next time.

Definitely something I'll make again!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 40: Chicken Orientale

The Recipe
~300g chicken breast cut into ~16 pieces
4 pineapple chunks
1/3 bell pepper cut into 4 chunks
4 cherry tomatoes
1 orange, cut into quarters
4 small onions
4 skewers

1tbsp soy sauce
1tbsp vinegar
a dash of ginger
1dl (~1/2cup) apple juice
1dl white wine
2tbsp olive oil

Sprinkle chicken breasts with pepper.

Divide the chicken and vegetables evenly onto 4 skewers. Make sure to separate the chicken pieces with the rest. Place the skewers in a shallow pan or a ziplock bag. Mix the ingredients for the marinade and pour over. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Drain, reserving the marinade. Broil for about 20 minutes or until chicken is done, brushing with marinade every 5 minutes. Discard leftover marinade.

The Verdict
I wasn't too impressed. First of all, the marinade didn't really seem to do much, which meant the entire thing was very bland. Also, I didn't much care for the warm pieces of orange and ended up just discarding those. Not worth a repeat unfortunately.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week 38: Mac and Cheeseburger

The Recipe
500g minced beef
1 package taco seasoning (~20g)
1 can (14oz) tomatoes with chilies
1/2l beef broth
1/2l elbow macaroni
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp pebber

2tbsp butter
2tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
2.5dl shredded cheddar cheese (shred your own to make it even better)

In a pot, brown the beef. Stir in taco seasoning, tomatoes, broth and macaroni. Bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper, reduce heat and cover pan. leave to simmer for 12-14 minutes or until the macaroni is tender.

Meanwhile make the cheese sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low, whisk in the flour and cook, while constantly whisking for 5 minutes. Whisk in the milk a bit at a time and bring to a boil. Whisk until smooth and thickened. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Pour the cheese sauce over the hamburger mixture. Stir gently to combine.

The Verdict
Not an instant favourite - I thought it lacked some vegetables of some sort - but really easy to make and a nice comfort meal. Definitely something I could see myself making again. Next time I think I'll add more cheese though - 2.5dl wasn't quite enough.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 31: Eggs 'n' Bacon Ramen Noodle Soup

The Recipe
(2 bowls - serves 1)
~75g bacon, chopped
A dash of ginger
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
Red pepper flakes (I didn't have any, so I used chili flakes instead)
1 liter chicken broth
3 tbsp soy sauce - divided (or to taste)
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
sesame seeds
~125g dried ramen noodles
2 soft-boiled eggs
2 spring onions, sliced and divided into the white and the green part.

In a pot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove little over half of the bacon and put aside.

Lower heat to medium and add garlic, the white part of the spring onions, ginger and the red pepper flakes. Stir for a couple of minutes, until the garlic is translucent.

Add a bit of the chicken broth and scrape the bottom to get all the goodness loosened :) Add the rest of the broth and half of the soy sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover and leave for 30 minutes.

(After 20 minutes, you'll want to get the eggs started. I usually cook my soft-boiled eggs for 5 minutes. If you like the yolkes more or less runny, adjust the cooking time accordingly. When done, put the eggs under cold water until they've cooled down, to avoid them cooking further in the shell. Don't discard the water! Use that to cook the ramen noodles for 3-4 minutes.)

Strain the soup and discard the onion, spring onions and left-over bacon. Add the rest of the soy sauce, the two vinegars and the sesame seeds and keep warm until the eggs + noodles are done.

To serve, divide the noodles, bacon and spring onions (the green parts) between two bowls and pour the soup over. Cut the eggs in half and put on top. Serve with extra chili flakes if desired.

The Verdict
For some reason I've had a craving for proper ramen noodles lately, and fortunately this fit the bill perfectly :) Easy to make, and really yummy! The original recipe used miso paste as well, but I couldn't find any, so I upped the amount of soy sauce used instead. Since I don't know how miso paste tastes, I don't know that it made any major difference ;)

There was FAR too much soup - I think I had almost an entire bowl left over - but otherwise this serving was perfect as a main dish for 1 person. Awesome comfort food - definitely something I'll make again!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Week 25: Pasta dish

The Recipe
300g pasta
300g sausages
1 leek
150g corn
1.5dl cream
salt, pepper
Shredded cheese

Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Cut the leek into rings and give them a quick boil.
Mix pasta through corn together in an ovenproof dish. Pour cream over and add salt and pepper according to taste.
Garnish with shredded cheese.

The Verdict
Easy and tasty. Not an instant favourite, but a nice, solid dish, that I'll probably make again. It's suitable for an "empty the fridge" dish as you can easily substitute pretty much everything with something else.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Week 22: Smothered Jalapeno Chicken

The Recipe
1lb Chicken Breast
salt and pepper to taste
~75g bacon, sliced and diced
2 tbsp jalapeno slices, diced (the kind in the jar that you put on nachos)
2 tbsp diced onion
100g softened cream cheese
1/2dl mayonnaise
1dl shredded cheddar cheese
1dl grated Parmesan, divided
1-2 handfuls Nachos
2tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 225C. Place chicken in an ovenproof dish and bake until juices run clear (30-40 minutes).

Meanwhile, fry bacon pieces until crispy, add onion and saute until tender. In a small bowl, mix bacon, onions, jalapenos, cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheddar and half the parmesan cheese.

Remove chicken from oven and lower the temperature to 175C. Spread mixture over each chicken breast until well covered.

Top with crushed nachos, the remaining parmesan cheese and the butter. Bake for another 15 minutes.

Serve with diced potatoes and a green salad.

The Verdict
I love chili cheese toppers, so I had great hopes for this recipe, but unfortunately it couldn't deliver. The topping was much too rich, and there was too much bacon (an oxymoron, I know) and too little jalapenos.

If I were to make this again, I'd leave out the mayo, use half as much bacon and twice as many jalapenos... oh, and more nachos. That might make enough of a difference to make it worthwhile. We'll see.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Week 17: Tomato-Basil Chicken Pasta

The Recipe
2 chicken breasts (~1lb)
Salt and pepper
Oregano and thyme according to taste
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (about 4-5 tomatoes)
1 bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
~60g cold butter
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta according to the instructions on the package.

Meanwhile, season chicken breasts with oregano, thyme, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add the olive oil to the skillet and turn it up high. Let it get really HOT before adding the chicken.
Brown the chicken for 1 minute on each side, then turn the heat down to medium high and cook for another 4 minutes on each side - less if the chicken pieces are thinner, remove from skillet and cut into slices. Return to skillet and cook until almost done.

Add the tomatoes and bell pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the fresh basil and garlic and cook for another few minutes. Add the butter and let it melt - this will turn the sauce nice and silky.

Season with salt, pepper and tabasco (optional) according to taste. Pour over the pasta, mix and serve with parmesan cheese for garnish.

The Verdict
My first new recipe in a long while, and fortunately it was a great one! I just used dry pasta, and it still tasted amazing - would probably have been amazing with fresh pasta! Definitely something I'll be making again!