Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Week 30: Beef Meatballs with tomato-salad and mushrooms

The Recipe
400g minced beef
a handful of fresh basil leaves
65gr almonds
32g pine nuts

Salad
200g plum or cherry tomatoes
1/4 onion (or one small)
100g feta cheese
1 avocado
12 olives
1-2tsp olive oil

Mushrooms
250g white mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
a bit of butter

Meatballs: Chop the basil leaves, the almonds and the pine nuts coarsely. Mix thoroughly with the beef. Form to small meatballs (makes about 20) and cook in butter for about 3-5 minutes on each side.

Salad: Cut the tomatoes and olives into halves, chop the onion, cut the avocado into bite-sized pieces. Mix everything together and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.

Mushrooms: Rinse the mushrooms and cut them into quarters. chop the garlic. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and cook the garlic for a few minutes - just until it turns fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until they're brown in colour and have given off most of their moisture.

The Verdict
I served this with garlic bread. The meat-balls were a tad dry, but I loved the taste the nuts gave them. Will have to try to experiment with making them more moist... perhaps it's as simple as just not cooking them for as long. Both the mushrooms and the salad were awesome and we could easily have eaten more! We had left-overs of the meatballs (6 of them), but nothing else.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 29: Bacon-Chicken with Salsa

The Recipe
(Serves two)
450gr chicken breast fillets cut into halves (~4 halves total)
8 slices of bacon
250gr fresh pasta of your choice.

Salsa
200gr tomatoes
1 bell pepper
1/4 onion (or one really small one)
2 cloves of garlic
1 chili, deseeded and de-cored.
A handful of fresh basil leaves
2tsp apple vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2tsp olive oil.

Cut the tomatoes in halves, remove the seeds and cut the rest into small pieces. Chop the bell pepper and onion into similar sized bits, chop the chili and garlic finely (make sure you get rid of all the seeds and center core of the chili, or it'll get too spicy!) and mix it all together. Chop the basil leaves and mix it with vinegar and oil. Pour over the tomato mixture and leave to marinate while cooking the chicken.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Wrap each piece with 2 slices of bacon.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain and drizzle with olive oil.

Cook at medium high heat for 10-15 minutes on each side or until done (depends a lot on the thickness of the chicken).

The Verdict
Really, really good! I'd been afraid the chili would make the salsa too spicy for DH, but that wasn't the case at all. The flavours had melded nicely during the time it took to cook the chicken. Chicken and bacon is always good, and the salsa served nicely as coating for the pasta. Definitely something I'd make again!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Week 23: Garlic-Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

The Recipe
200-250g mushrooms
oil
3-4 cloves chopped garlic
salt
pepper
100g cream cheese
1/4dl breadcrumbs
1/2dl parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Cut the stems off of each of the mushrooms (I found it easier to break them off) and chop them finely. Set aside the caps for later.

Heat the oil in a pan over high heat. Cook the chopped stems and garlic for about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid the garlic burning. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Combine with cream cheese, breadcrumbs and parmesan, mixing until evenly combined.

Put the mushroom caps on a baking sheet. Spoon a generous amount of the cream cheese mixture into the hole left by the stem. Bake for 20 minutes.

The Verdict
Unfortunately not nearly as good as I'd expected. I think perhaps the mushrooms I got were too big so the filling/mushroom ratio was off? Whatever the case, they couldn't live up to my expectations and were too much work for me to bother with again.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Week 9: Croissant Rolls

The Recipe
2 cans refrigerated croissant rolls (the ones that make 6 rolls each)
1 bell pepper in slices
8-12 slices cheese (depending on the size)
150g mixed deli meats (I used a tapas mix with salami, dried ham and various other types)

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Unroll both cans of dough and separate into 6 rectangles. On a pie pan or pizza pan, arrange rectangles in ring so short sides of rectangles form a circle in center. (Dough will overlap)
Spread bell peppers toward center of ring on bottom halves of rectangles. Top with half of the cheese. Layer mixed meat over cheese. Cover with remaining half of cheese.

Bring top halves of rectangles over the filling and tuck the dough under bottom layer to secure it. If there's too much dough so the inner layer becomes too thick, rip some of it off and use to cover any wholes (some filling might still show - that's fine). Sprinkle with black pepper.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until dough is golden brown and thoroughly baked. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into serving slices. Serve with sweet chili sauce or salsa.

The Verdict
I missed out the "make sure the inner layer of dough doesn't become too thick" part the first time around, so some of it ended up a bit chewey. It's definitely more of a snack food than a meal, but I liked it and it was easy enough to make. Definitely might give it another shot for a tapas evening or similar.