Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Week 50: Salad-Chicken Tacos

The Recipe
1dl sour cream 9%
1/2 dl shredded coconut
1tbsp lime juice (about half a lime)
pinch of salt
400g chicken mince
butter
3tbsp water
3-4 tsp curry paste (or according to taste)
1tsp salt
100g rice
large lettuce leaves
200g red cabbage, shredded
200g carrot, shredded
50g roasted cashew nuts, chopped

Mix together the first four ingredients (sour cream through salt) and refrigerate while making the rest.

Cook rice according to the instructions on the package. Set aside.

Melt butter in a pan over high heat and cook the chicken until done. Add water, curry paste and salt according to taste. Once done, mix in rice, red cabbage, carrot and cashew nuts.

Serve as 'tacos' using the lettuce leaves as shells.

The Verdict
Very different from what I usually make, but really good! Definitely something I could see myself making again. The original recipe called for iceberg salad, but I've gotten spoiled and find that utterly boring, so next time I'll probably use something else instead. But otherwise tasty and definitely easy to make.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Week 49: Chili Mac and Cheese

The Recipe
1lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp chili
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 can (400g) diced tomatoes
1 can (400g) kidney beans
3 cups beef stock
2 cups macaroni
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
salt and pepper

2 tbsp (~30g) butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
120g cream cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup gouda cheese (or similar)

In a large pot (4L minimum), warm oil and cook onions and beef. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and bell pepper and cook until fragrant.

Add tomatoes, beans, broth, macaroni, Worchestershire sauce and soy sauce. Brint to a boil and leave to simmer until the pasta is cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for a few minutes until slightly brown. Add milk and let it simmer until it's boiled down a bit. Be careful it doesn't burn! Reduce the heat and add cheese and cook until the cheese has melted.

Mix the cheese sauce into the chili once the pasta is cooked. Serve with extra shredded cheese and sliced jalapenos.

The Verdict
This ended up being more of a soup than a typical mac'n'cheese. 3 cups of broth is a LOT! I might try with 1-2 cups next time, because I wasn't too impressed by it as-is, but think it could greatly improve by having the sauce be a bit thicker.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Week 48: African Chicken

The Recipe
Oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1tsp ginger
1tsp cayenne
2tsp coriander
1.5tsp chili flakes
400g chicken breast, cubed
2 cups chicken stock
175g creamy peanut butter
1 can (400g) tomatoes
1-2 sweet potatoes (1 large or 2 medium)
1 laurel leaf
salt, pepper
2dl salted peanuts, chopped
Fresh parsley

In a pot, warm oil and cook onion and garlic until fragrant and just starting to go soft. Add all spices and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the chicken. Brown at high heat for 3-4 minutes.
Add stock, peanut butter, tomatoes, potato and the laurel leaf. Bring to a boil and leave to simmer for 30 minutes or until the potato is done. Remove the laurel leaf and add salt and pepper according to taste. Add half the peanuts and bring to a boil for about 1 minute.

Serve with rice, using the rest of the peanuts and parsley as garnish.

The Verdict
Not as good as it sounded, unfortunately. I liked it well enough, but that's about it... "well enough". It didn't have anything wrong with it, that I can point my finger at - I just didn't find it to be anything special either. Probably not a dish I'm likely to make again.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Week 47: Peanut Crusted Chicken

The Recipe
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (didn't have any, so I used white wine vinegar instead)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 spring onion or small regular onion, thinly sliced / chopped
1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp ginger (should have been fresh, but I only had powdered)
450g chicken breast
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp chopped peanuts
A dash of paprika
A dash of black pepper
Oil for cooking

In a large bag, combine the first 6 ingredients (soy through ginger) and squish around to mix. Add chicken and turn to coat evenly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (I left mine overnight).

In another bag, combine breadcrumbs, peanuts, paprika and pepper. Remove chicken from marinade (discarding the marinade) and add to the new bag, one piece at a time, shaking to coat each piece. Place the chicken in an oiled ovenproof dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is done.

Serve with brown rice and stir fried vegetables.

The Verdict
Surprisingly DULL! It just didn't taste of... anything? Really weird. It looked and smelled delicious, but tasted extremely bland. Am definitely not going to bother with that again another time.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Week 46: Adobo Pork Tenderloin

The Recipe
3 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 pinch cayenne pepper
~500g pork tenderloin, cut into 2-3cm slices
3 carrots, in bite sized pieces
2 tomatoes, quartered

Preheat oven to 200C.

In a small bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients (paprika through cayenne). Rub both sides of each piece of pork with the mixture.

Heat a bit of oil in a pan and sear each piece of pork on both sides. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Add carrots to the pan to soak up the last of the spices. Transfer to the ovenproof dish. Add tomatoes on top. Bake for ~20 minutes or until the pork is cooked through.

Serve with baked potatoes.

The Verdict
VERY spicy. It was fine for me, but a bit much for DH. We both agreed that we really liked the taste of it though, and the meat was lovely moist - not the least bit dry - so I think I'll have to play around with the spices a bit. Maybe leave out the chili entirely... maybe just use less of everything? As it was, I only used about 2/3s of the mixture.

Definitely worth playing around with for a bit.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Week 45: Tomato-Basil Risotto

The Recipe
(Serves 1)
1/2l vegetable or chicken stock
olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
150g tomatoes grated or chopped very fine
pinch of sugar
pinch of thyme
1 dl risotto rice
1/2 dl white wine
A handful of fresh basil, sliced in narrow strips
~1/2 dl grated Parmesan cheese

Bring the stock to simmer in a pot. You'll want it simmering before adding it to the rice to keep them cooking nicely.

Saute onion in a pan over high heat. Add rice and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the rice is crackling. Add grated tomatoes, sugar and thyme and cook until the rice is coated and the tomato juice is soaked up. Add wine and stir until it is absorbed.

Turn the heat down to medium-high to keep the stock from evaporating too quickly. Add the stock a ladle-full at a time and stir until it's absorbed. This will take at least 20 minutes. Start testing the rice after 20 minutes - you'll want a bit of a bite to it. If you run out of stock, just add boiling water instead.

Add the basil and cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.

The Verdict
Also really good, but although just as tasty as the Mushroom Risotto I think this one works better as a starter than a main. It lacked the "umami" taste that the mushroom gave the other version. I'd want to add some meat next time, but am not entirely sure which would work best, so I'll have to try it out.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Week 44: Fettuccine Alfredo

The Recipe
200-250g fettuccine or tagliatelle
80g butter
2.5dl parmesan cheese
2.5dl cream
150g bacon
200-250g mushrooms, quartered
3 cloves garlic, chopped
basil
salt, pepper

Cook pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.

In a pan, cook bacon over high heat until close to crispy. Remove from pan, leaving drippings behind. Cook garlic and mushrooms until the mushrooms are brown and soft.

In a small pot, melt butter over low heat. Add parmesan cheese and cream and bring to a boil under constant stirring. Add basil, salt and pepper.

Pour sauce, bacon, garlic and mushrooms over the pasta and mix. Serve immediately.

The Verdict
Pretty good. I liked it a lot, but it tasted very similar to the Pasta Cabonara I make and is a lot more work because of the cheese sauce, so I'm probably not likely to remake it often.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Week 43: Nutella and Peanut Butter Brownies

The Recipe
225g melted butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa
a dash of salt
½ tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 175C.

Sift flour and cocoa into a bowl. Add baking powder and salt.

Melt the butter and stir in sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each. Whisk into the flour/cocoa mixture until fully combined.

Add Nutella and peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 20 second intervals until it reaches a runny consistency (took about 1-2 minutes for me) and stir it into the mixture.

Pour into a greased 24x34cm ovenproof dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until a pin comes out clean. Let the brownies cool completely and sift icing sugar on top before cutting.

The Verdict
REALLY good! They didn't taste as much of peanut butter as I had expected, but they were rich and creamy and mushy-mushy. Super easy to make and VERY good. YUM!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Week 41: Raspberry Cheesecake

The Recipe
220g digestive crackers
200g butter

400g cream cheese
200g sour cream 38%
100g sugar

250g raspberries
Juice from ½ a lime or lemon

½l whipping cream, whipped

Melt butter. Crush crackers. Mix and press firmly into the bottom of (GREASED!!!) spring form pan. Bake 15-20 minutes at 200C.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream and sugar until smooth.

If using frozen raspberries, boil them briefly (1 min) and set aside to cool. Crush raspberries and mix with lime juice until even paste. Add to cream cheese mixture and fold in whipped cream. Spread over cooled digestive cracker crust and freeze for several hours or until firm.

The Verdict
NB: the measurements given above result in waaaaay too much "filling". I couldn't use all of it or my spring form would overflow. If I were to try it again, I think I'd double the measurements for the crust and cut down on the whipping cream to perhaps just 2.5dl. That would have the added benefit of giving the cheesecake a more cheesy taste. As it was, it tasted more like raspberry cream than raspberry cheesecake. I liked it, it just wasn't the result I was going for.

It was really easy to make though, so it's definitely got that going for it :)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Week 40: Oatmeal Cookies with white Chocolate and Raspberries

The Recipe
(Makes ~50 cookies, depending on size)
150g butter
165g brown sugar
3dl white sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2 eggs
6.5dl oatmeal
3 dl flour
A pinch of salt
1tsp baking powder
~200g white chocolate, chopped (optional)
2tbsp freeze-dried raspberries (optional)

Melt the butter in a pot and pour it into a bowl together with brown and white sugar and vanilla. Mix thoroughly (use a spoon rather than an electric whisk - you won't be able to use it for long anyway).
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thorough after each. Add oatmeal. Add baking powder and salt and mix in the flour a little at a time.
Add chocolate and raspberries.

Form into "marbles" of about 1.5-2 teaspoons each and put them on a baking sheet with a few cm between each - they'll spread! Bake them at 180C for 8-10 minutes.

Let them cool a bit on the baking sheet (they're VERY fragile right out of the oven) and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

The Verdict
My sister made this for the last readathon and they were AWESOME! Came close to rivaling my love for M&M cookies. So of course I had to try to make them myself. They were really easy to make (although I didn't chop the chocolate finely enough - lesson learned for next time) and taste amazing! The freeze dried raspberries add a tartness that work really well together with the sweetness of the chocolate. And if you want a "healthier" version, you can replace the filling with something else or just leave it out altogether! They taste great even as-is.

Definitely a new staple in my repertoire, although I need to try adding chopped hazelnuts as well - DEFINITELY think that would go down a treat!

Week 39: Chicken Parm-Stuffed Bell Peppers

The Recipe
(Serves 4)
450g chicken, diced
1 tsp each of salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder
2 eggs, beaten
Flour and breadcrumbs
4 bell peppers, halved lengthwise.
Mariana sauce
parmesan cheese
~150g fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet to cook the chicken on (you can reuse the baking sheet for the bell peppers afterwards.

In a bowl combine salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder. Add chicken and toss until evenly coated.

Prepare three plates - one with flour, one with eggs and one with breadcrumbs. Coat the chicken in first flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs. Transfer to wire rack and bake for 25 minutes.

Arrange the bell peppers on the baking sheet. Add a spoonful of mariana sauce and some parmesan cheese to each, and divide the chicken evenly between the bell peppers. Top off with another spoonful of mariana sauce, more parmesan cheese and the mozzarella slices. Bake for another 25 minutes.
Serve with rice.

The Verdict
I added a teaspoon of thyme as well, and it ended up being too much. Don't know if it was the oregano, the thyme or the mix of the two, but I think next time I'll leave the thyme out.

I didn't add enough mariana sauce to each bell pepper, so some bites were a bit too dry. Next time I should use the entire jar - as it was, I had about 1dl left over.

Otherwise I liked it though. But it's a lot of work for something that didn't wow me, so while it tasted good, I'm not sure there'll actually be a next time.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Week 38: Mushroom Risotto

The Recipe
(Serves 1)
1dl risotto / Arborio rice
3/4dl dry white wine
~5dl chicken or vegetable stock
1 small onion
1-2 cloves garlic
~100g mushrooms
Butter
3-4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil or parsley for garnish

NB: you cannot make risotto with any odd rice, as they won't get the right creamy texture. You can substitute pudding rice in a pinch, but it's worth getting the real thing

Chop mushrooms, onion and garlic. Bring the stock to a boil in a separate pot. Add extra spices if you want, but remember that everything will be boiled down and SUPER concentrated, so a little goes a loooong way.

Melt a bit of butter in a pan and roast the mushrooms until done. Add pepper to taste. No salt though! The stock will make it plenty salty enough. Once done, remove mushrooms from the pan.

Add saute the onion until fragrant. Turn the heat up to high and add garlic and rice. Toast them for 2-3 minutes while constantly stirring, to get the outside starch off and allow the rice to soak up the liquid better.

Pour in the wine while stirring. This will be absorbed quickly and once it's almost all gone, start pouring in the stock a little at a time. I did about 1dl at a time at first, going down to ½dl as I went on. Turn down the heat to where the rice is just simmering, to keep the outside from being done too quickly compared to the inside. Keep stirring between each addition of stock until it is absorbed. I used all 5dl for the 1dl rice, and it's possible I could even have added more! This will take awhile and you cannot leave it alone! So this is really a "for the love of cooking" dish. After about 20 minutes, start tasting the rice - wait for that magical al dente moment. If you run out of stock before the rice is done just add boiled water instead - you'll have added plenty of stock for taste by this time.

Once the rice is done add the cooked mushrooms, extra butter, parmesan cheese and basil/parsley. Stir until the butter and cheese has melted. Serve piping hot.

The Verdict
Oh, Yum!!! I absolutely love risotto (when done well, anyway), but this was my first attempt ever at making it myself. However, I'd been having a craving lately, so I let myself be inspired by MadLori's tumblr and gave it a shot. It wasn't perfect, but pretty darn close (you know it's good when you eat all alone and still exclaim "YUM" every 3-4 bites! šŸ˜„ ). I made this two days in a row to fiddle with the recipe and adjust the measurements.

I'll definitely be making this again! I also want to experiment with adding other things to it instead of the mushrooms.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Week 37: Texas Dry Rub

The Recipe
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin

Mix everything together and rub on meat of your choice before cooking it. This amount fit ~900g chicken perfectly (4 breasts, each cut in halves). Can also be made in advance and stored in an airtight container.

The Verdict
Rather spicy, so if making this for people who don't deal well with heat, cut down on the chili to 1 tsp or less (or even leave it out completely). All the spices mesh together really well, so it would work just as well without/with less chili. Personally, I loved it though. Just the right amount of kick for my tastes. Now I want to try it with other types of meat as well! I served the chicken with the spicy penne from last week and the two dishes went really well together :)

Week 36: Spicy Penne with Bell Pepper

The Recipe
Three large bell peppers in different colours if possible (just for looks)
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
400g penne
0.75dl olive oil (~5 tbsp)
2 tbsp sweet chilisauce
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
fresh basil
parmesan cheese

Cut the bell peppers into quarters, removing stem and seeds. Grill skin-side up for 10-20 minutes or until the skin starts to blacken and bubble up. Remove from grill/oven and leave until cool enough to handle. Remove as much of the skin as possible (there'll always be some left - that's alright) and cut into thin slices.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.

Mix together oil, chili sauce and vinegar and add salt/pepper according to taste.

Add everything to the pasta. Add fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese for serving.

Can be served either as a main or as a side dish.

The Verdict
'Spicy' is a bit of a misnomer. Though the red wine vinegar smelled really overpowering as I was tossing the salad, but at the end of the day you could hardly taste it - same went for the chili sauce, so I might add more of the latter next time. Otherwise I really liked it - it was a nice touch to grill the bell pepper first, rather than just leave them raw. A bit more work to be sure, but worth it. Definitely something I'll make again. I'll probably use a bit less pasta though. Even here I used less penne than the recipe called for (originally 500g) and the ratios still seemed weird - far too much pasta for the veggies. Easily remedied though.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Week 35: Pasta with Pesto and Walnuts

The Recipe
250g penne pasta
~400g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
60g walnuts
8 slices bacon
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
60g (~22) olives, sliced
120g green pesto
fresh basil (optional)
Slices of parmesan cheese for serving (optional)

Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Drain and mix with the pesto. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, roast the walnuts in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes. Remove from pan, let them cool and chop coarsely. Cook the bacon until crumbly. Remove from pan and leave to cool. Cook the chicken until done. Remove from pan and leave to cool.

Mix everything together. Serve with fresh basil and parmesan cheese and some greens on the side.

The Verdict
I served this with lettuce and cucumber - definitely suited it well!

I mostly liked this, but the walnuts were a bit overpowering (and I only used half of what the original recipe called for!!!). I think, if I were to make this again, I'd use a different kind of nuts instead... either hazelnuts, almonds or pine nuts. I also think it would improve with some mozzerella cheese. Either instead of or in addition to the parmesan cheese.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Week 27: BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad

The Recipe
120-150g bacon in strips
350-400g chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
4-6 cups sliced lettuce
1 cup tomatoes, sliced
Corn from 2 ears.
1 avocado
2 hardboiled eggs, diced
~50g feta, crumbled
1 green onion, sliced

Cook the bacon in a pan until crisp. Set aside to drain.

Use the bacon fat to quickly cook the corn for a few minutes, until it starts changing colour. Remove from pan and set aside.

Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook until done. Add BBQ sauce the last few minutes. Set aside to cool.

Add green onion slices to the pan and cook in the last of the BBQ sauce.

Slice the chicken and toss everything together. Serve with a dressing of your choice.


The Verdict
A bit of a hassle to make because of all the things that had to be cooked, but I ended up really liking it! There wasn't nearly enough avocado or feta of course, but there never is. A great summer salad that I'll definitely make again.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Week 25: Stir-fry ala Jonna

The Recipe
2dl rice (just under 1 cup)
1 tsp each of paprika and curry
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
300gr chicken, turkey or pork cut into bite sized pieces
1 bell pepper, sliced
3-4 carrots in thin sticks
1/2 "head" of Chinese cabbage (or any other cabbage if Chinese can't be found), sliced
Soy sauce

Put the cabbage in a bowl and pour 2-3 tbsp soy sauce on top to "soak" until ready for use.

Cook rice according to the instructions on the package.

Meanwhile heat oil in a wok over low heat until it starts to fizzle around a piece of onion. Add paprika and curry and cook it for a few minutes - keep the heat very low, or you'll burn it instead. Turn the heat up to medium-high, add onion and garlic and cook until the onion is starting to get soft. Add chicken/turkey/pork and stir until cooked through.

Add carrots and bell pepper and cook until the carrots are just al dente. Add the cabbage and stir until the cabbage has wilted somewhat. Add rice and mix everything up.

Serve with peanuts, extra soy sauce and sweet chili sauce.

The Verdict
I loved this as a child, but am somehow less fond of it as an adult without fully being able to say why. The different flavours worked well together, but it was just missing.... *something*. Ah well.

Week 24: Pasta With Bell Pepper

The Recipe
Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
150g bacon, sliced
2 large bell peppers, diced
1 can (400g) tomatoes
1dl white wine (optional)
1dl cream (optional)
50g cashew nuts
Pasta

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, warm the oil in a pot. Add onions, garlic and bacon and cook for about 5 minutes while stirring. Add bell peppers and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, white wine and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer under lid for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for another 15'ish minutes until the sauce has reduced to your liking. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add cashew nuts and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add pasta to the pot. Stir and serve.

The Verdict
Really good in all its simplicity. I added chili cream cheese to my serving which I think improved it GREATLY - so next time I might just add it straight to the pot.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Week 23: Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

The Recipe
1.2kg pork shoulder / butt ("nakkefillet" in Danish)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp each of salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and cumin
1-2 tbsp BBQ sauce
1 tbsp butter
~2dl water (3/4 cup)
1 onion, chopped

In a small bowl mix together sugar and all spices. Rub the pork shoulder with the spice mix on all sides and place it in the slow-cooker.

Add chopped onion, BBQ sauce and butter. Pour water over.

Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or HIGH for 5-6 hours until the meat shreds easily. Remove any big fatty bits and let the shredded meat stand in the sauce for another 15-20 minutes to absorb as much of the sauce as possible.

Serve on bread rolls with coleslaw and more BBQ sauce.

The Verdict
The original recipe called for 2 entire cups of water!!! I used less than half of that, and it was still rather watery. Not too bad though, so I think I'll leave it at this.

It turned out really good, but the spices somehow lacked "depth" in taste (if that makes sense)... would perhaps have been better if I'd used stock or more BBQ sauce instead of the water? Or perhaps just more salt? Still, with coleslaw and extra BBQ sauce it was still really tasty and definitely something I'll want to make again.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Week 21: Beef Curry

The Recipe
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
600g stewing beef, cubed
oil for cooking
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 bell pepper, sliced
1.5dl beef stock
1 can (400g) tomatoes
2 tbsp mango chutney
a dash of tabasco
1 tbsp lemon juice
50g cashew nuts

Mix together flour, curry, cumin, tumeric, ginger and salt in a bag. Add beef cubes and toss until the cubes are coated evenly.

Heat the oil in a pan, add onion and garlic and cook until just getting soft. Add beef and brown on all sides. Transfer to a slow-cooker.

Pour beef stock on pan to deglaze and add any remaining flour mixture that might be left in the bag. Bring to a boil and leave to simmer for a few minutes.

Add everything except the cashew nuts to the slow-cooker and cook on LOW for 7-9 hours. Add cashew nuts and cook for another hour.

Serve with rice and mango chutney.

The Verdict
Tasted alright, but it was strangely bland! I'd been worried it would be too spicy, but very far from it. I could easily have used hot mango chutney instead of sweet. I did like it though, but think I might try it with chicken another time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Week 20: Jalapeno Chicken

The Recipe
1 jalapeƱo, diced (I couldn't find any fresh, so used 12 slices of pickled jalapeƱo instead)
100g cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
~1 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
~1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup oil for frying
Toothpicks for keeping the chicken folded

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Mix cream cheese, jalapeƱo and cheddar cheese in a bowl. Prepare three plates - one with beaten egg, one with flour and one with bread crumbs.

Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of gladwrap/vitawrap and pound them flat. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture on each breast and fold them in half over the cheese, using toothpicks to keep them closed. Dip each stuffed chicken in first flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, making sure to coat them evenly in all three things.

Heat the oil in a large pan until piping hot. I like to test by putting two kernels of popcorn into the oil - once one has popped, the oil is good to go! (plus also I get popcorn!). Lower the chicken slowly into the oil to seal the meat before letting it rest on the bottom of the pan - that'll help it not stick. Fry the chicken for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.

Transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake for 20 minutes or until done.

Serve with baked potatoes and veggies.

The Verdict
I really, really liked this!! As mentioned, I couldn't find fresh jalapeƱo, but 12'ish slices of pickled (or whatever you call the ones that come in a jar) seemed to work well heat-wise. I could have used a bit more, but not too much. It was really, really good, and definitely something I'll make again. Yum!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Week 19: Honey-Mustard Pork Chops

The Recipe
4-5 pork chops (500-600g total)
3 heaped tbsp honey
3 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper

In a zip-lock bag or similar, mix together honey, mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. Add pork chops and shake to coat the pork chops. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour - I left it overnight, turning the bag half-way through.

Take out the pork chops and cook in a pan over medium high heat until done - about 3-5 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small pot and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for a few minutes until it's a tad thicker.

Serve with roasted potatoes and veggies - cooking the veggies in the same pan as the pork chops to soak up the last of the marinade.

The Verdict
Really good! The marinade left the meat nice and moist, and worked really well as a sauce as well. I used bell pepper, carrots and tomatoes for the veggies, but you could really use anything. This served 3 people with no left-overs.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Week 17: Chocolate Peanut Lava Cake

The Recipe
110g butter
100g dark chocolate, chopped
4 heaped tbsp peanut butter
4 tbsp sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Extra butter (for greasing the ramekins)
Cocoa powder (for dusting the ramekins)

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Grease the inside of 4 ramekins with butter and lightly dust with cocoa powder.

In a microwave-proof bowl, add dark chocolate and butter, and microwave at 15-second intervals, stirring after each interval until fully melted. (Remember the stirring! This part is very important as the chocolate will seem not to melt until you start stirring it - resulting in burnt chocolate! Go ahead... ask me how I know...)

In a mixing bowl, whish together eggs, sugar and vanilla. Slowly pour in the chocolate mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.

Put about ½dl batter into each ramekin, add a heaped tbsp of peanut butter and finish with another ½dl batter.

Bake at 220C for 10-12 minutes or until the sides are firm and the center is soft.

At this point you're supposed to be able to turn the ramekins upside down and have the lava cake come out on a plate. That never worked for me, but fortunately they could be eaten just as easily straight out of the ramekins.

The Verdict
I used creamy peanut butter in the assumption that it would work better than crunchy. I was wrong - should've definitely gone with the crunchy! And even with the peanut butter, I think it could still have benefited from just a tad more salt.

That aside, it was extremely rich and absolutely delicious! Both warm that same evening, and cold the next day.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Week 16: Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pasta

The Recipe
~500g chicken breast, pounded thin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Chili flakes to taste
0.5dl white wine
2.5dl chicken broth
5-6 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1dl heavy cream
0.5-1dl parmesan cheese
A large handful of rocket salad, sliced
Basil to taste (fresh is best, dried can also be used)
Penne pasta

Cook pasta according to the instructions on the bag.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned. Remove from pan and cut into stripes - the chicken is probably not quite done yet at this point - if that's the case just return the stripes to the pan for a few more minutes until done. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add a bit more oil to the pan and cook garlic and chili flakes until fragrant - about a minute or so. Add white wine and scrape the pan to get all the deliciousness off the bottom of it. Add chicken broth, cream, sundried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes.

Return the chicken to the sauce, add the rocket salad and basil and stir until it's just wilted.

Add pasta and serve.

The Verdict
SO good!! As in close-to-restaurant-worthy good! Definitely something I'll make again. I wouldn't have minded a bit more sauce, and will probably add more sundried tomatoes and rocket salad to the sauce next time, but even just as-is it turned out to be one of the best pasta-dishes I've made in a long time.

Fortunately we had leftovers :-D I've already claimed those for myself.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Week 15: Roasted Mushrooms

The Recipe
250g mushrooms, cleaned. Cut the largest ones in halves if there's a huge difference in size.
Oil
Salt, pepper
30g butter
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp thyme
lemon juice to taste.

Put mushrooms in a bowl and toss them with oil, salt and pepper. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 20-30 minutes at 200C. Keep and eye on them - you don't want them to get too dark.

Melt the butter in a pan and cook until it's just starting to brown. Add chopped garlic, thyme and lemon juice and cook until the garlic has gone soft and the butter is a darker brown. Transfer the mushrooms to the pan and coat with the butter-garlic mix.

The Verdict
Not sure how it happened, but I completely spaced out on tossing the mushrooms with oil, salt and pepper! I just put them in the oven "as is".
It was still really good though, and definitely something I'd make again... I'll just have to remember the oil next time, and see how much of a difference that makes.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Week 14: Honey Glazed Ham

I've missed a few weeks due to illness, but hope to get back on track now.

The Recipe
1 2lb ham
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp (~30g) butter, melted
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp thyme

In a small bowl, mix together vinegar, honey, butter, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and thyme.
Unwrap the ham (including the netting around it) and place it in a crockpot.
Pour mixture over the ham, cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours.

Serve with baked potatoes and steamed asparagus.

The Verdict
Unfortunately I couldn't find a plain ham, so mine already had a bit of flavouring which didn't do it any favours. That said, the glaze still worked out really well (although better on day 2 as it thickened somewhat when reheated), and was super-easy to make, so I could easily see myself making this again.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Week 11: Broccoli Fries

The Recipe
1 bundle of broccoli
Olive Oil
Salt

Remove the dry part of the stem, but leave the rest. Cut the broccoli into "fries" and lay out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with olive oil and salt.

Bake at 200C for 20-30 minutes. The tops should be fairly brown.

The Verdict
Super easy to make, and I really liked it! Definitely one of my favourite ways of making broccoli now :)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Week 10: Crispy Chicken Cordon Bleu

The Recipe
450g chicken breasts
Salt, pepper, Garlic powder, cayenne pepper
Cheese (I used cheddar, but I don't think it matters too much)
100g sliced ham
Flour
1 egg
Bread crumbs
Oil for cooking.

Creamy Dijon Sauce
2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1.5-2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1.5dl shredded Parmesan cheese

On a cutting board, place a chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound until about 1cm thick with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap and place a layer of ham and a layer of cheese. Wrap the chicken tightly in plastic wrap and twist the the wrap on the sides. Tie up the ends, and put the chicken in the fridge for 30 minutes to "set".

In three different plates put flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs and coat the chicken with each in turn.

Heat oil in a cast iron pan or wok until very hot. Cook chicken for about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and cook in oven for an additional 15-20 minutes until cooked through.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce by melting the butter in a small pot and cooking the garlic until soft. Add in flour and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Add milk and whisk until fully combined. Continue whisking until the sauce comes to a simmer. Add mustard, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Whisk to combine until all the cheese has melted and the sauce is nice and thick.

Serve chicken with baked potatoes and baked broccoli.

The Verdict
Both DH and I liked it well enough, but it's a LOT of work for something that's just liked "well enough", so I probably won't be making the chicken again... too much of a hassle for the output. I could very well see myself making the sauce again though - that one was really good!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Week 9: Sausage & Potato Bake

The Recipe
~300g sliced sausages
8 potatoes, quartered
2 bell peppers, diced
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
salt and pepper according to taste
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200C.

In an ovenproof dish, add potatoes, sausages and bell pepper. Cut the butter into small cubes and place on top. Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings.

The Verdict
Very easy, but also very boring. I think that was mostly due to the sausages though... I tried to get some more expensive ones in the hope that they'd be better, but honestly, plain hot dog sausages would probably have tasted better. It's a good "empty the fridge" dish, and DH liked it, so I'll probably make it again eventually.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Week 7: Creamy Pasta Casserole

The Recipe
250-300g penne pasta
~500g pasta sauce
1/2 dl cream
1dl parmesan cheese
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 dl pesto
1 large onion, sliced
~250g cherry tomatos
150g mozarella, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
basil leaves
250-300g chicken (or pork)
Butter

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package and preheat the oven to 180C.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet and cook chicken until brown - 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Add onion to the skillet and cook until softened slightly. Transfer to the ovenproof dish as well. Add tomatos, bell peper and mozarella.

In a bowl, mix together pasta sauce, cream, parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and pesto. Once the pasta is cooked, mix thoroughly with the sauce and transfer everything to the ovenproof dish. Mix everything up to ensure that not all the pasta is left on top.

Bake for 20 minutes. Add fresh basil leaves just before serving.

The Verdict
Really, really good! I used heavy cream which felt a tad decadent, but it was SO worth it. Definitely a restaurant-grade pasta dish.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Week 6: Crockpot Cashew Chicken

The Recipe
1lb chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp cornstarch or flour
½ tsp pepper
Oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp ginger
a dash of red chili flakes
½ cup cashews

Combine cornstarch/flour and pepper in a bag. Add chicken and stir to cover all pieces. Heat the oil in a skillet and brown the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove and add to slow cooker.

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, chili, sugar, garlic, ginger and chili flakes. Pour over chicken and stir to ensure all pieces are nicely coated.

Cook on LOW for 3 hours. Add cashews and cook for another hour.

Serve with rice (either just regular boiled rice, or fried rice with a bit of the sauce added at the very end) and a nice salad. I made one out of bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots and feta - yum!

The Verdict
I served this with ordinary rice the first day and fried rice the next day as leftovers. Fried rice is definitely better! The salad meshed nicely with the dish as well - especially the feta.

As a whole, the recipe wasn't really groundbreaking, and definitely something I've tried before, but it was easy to make and tasted great (plus! cashews!!), so who cares? You don't have to be innovative all the time.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Week 5: Potato Quiche

The Recipe
2 large potatoes, sliced thinly
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tbsp parmesan
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1 large tomato, diced
½ bell pepper, diced
1-2 green onions, diced
125-150g bacon
½ cup shredded cheese
1 tsp garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Put the sliced potatoes in a bowl and add olive oil, salt, half the pepper and the parmesan cheese. Mix it all together (using your hands is easiest) to coat the potato slices evenly. Lay out the slices in a pie dish, starting from the middle and working out, making sure the slices overlap and that there are no gaps. line the edge of the dish with overlapping slices as well.

Bake the potatoes for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a pan until just crisp. Transfer to a bowl (I just used the same one as before to save on dish washing :-P ) and mix together with the eggs, milk, green onions, bell pepper, tomatoes and cheese. Add the rest of the pepper and the garlic powder.

Slowly pour the mixture over the potatoes, making sure they don't start to life up. Bake for 30 minutes - leave to rest for another 5-10 minutes before serving.


The Verdict
Really good! I like alternative uses of potatoes, and this was a great addition to my repertoire. Definitely something I'll be making again, and it's so easily adaptable too - just the way I like it.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Week 4: Loaded Potato Salad

The Recipe
750gr potatoes, in ~½cm slices
Oil
Salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
125gr bacon
2-3 diced carrots
4-6 cups sliced lettuce
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 avocado, cubed

Cook the bacon until crispy and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the potato slices on a greased baking sheet, spray with oil, season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and bake until slightly golden - about 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool.

Toss the salad and serve with dressing of your choice.

The Verdict
Unfortunately I added too much cayenne to the potatoes, so they had a bit too much of a bite and could've been more crispy. Other than that I really liked it though. It's a lot of work, so I probably won't make it that often, but it's a nice alternative.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Week 3: Ham and Potato Corn Chowder

The Recipe
Oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp thyme and basil
½ dl flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
2-3 large potatoes, diced
225g ham (I used a mix of ham and sausages)
4-8 slices bacon, diced
1 can (~200g) corn
~100g mushrooms, diced
A handful cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt, pepper, chili, curry

Cook the bacon in a large sauce pan until beginning to crisp. Add a bit of oil if necessary and add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook until tender.

Mix in the garlic, thyme and flour and cook until the flour is lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.

Slowly stir in the broth and milk. Add potatoes and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add ham, corn, mushrooms and tomatoes, reduce heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

Season with salt, pepper and spices just before serving.

The Verdict
Really, really good! I'm not usually a huge fan of celery, but it actually worked well here. It could have used a few more mushrooms, but otherwise I have no suggestions for improvements. Definitely a soup I'll be making again - it was awesome comfort food :-)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Week 2: Honey-Mustard Chicken

The Recipe
2-3 chicken breasts cut in halves (~450g)
Juice from 1 lemon (~3 tbsp)
5 tsp mustard
5 tsp honey
1 tbsp butter
5-6 tbsp breadcrumbs
Salt, pepper
Oregano, thyme, curry, paprika, garlic powder, chili, basil

Turn on the oven to 200C. Put the butter in an ovenproof dish and put it into the heating oven to melt the butter and coat the dish.

In one bowl mix lemon juice, mustard and honey. In another mix breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and all spices (a dash of each).

Coat the chicken in the mustard mixture and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Place it in the ovenproof dish.

Cook until done - about 25 minutes - turning it over half-way through.

Serve with rice, asparagus and green beans.


The Verdict
Really good! The chicken was nice and moist, and I loved the taste. It was a bit heavy on the mustard, but nothing too bad. Definitely something I'll make again.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Week 1: Stuffed Bell Peppers

The Recipe
3 large bell peppers
200g fresh breadcrumbs
A bit of milk
1 tbsp capers
6 olives, chopped
2 large tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
fresh basil (~12 leaves)
a handful rocket salad (~35g)
125g bacon
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp stale breadcrumbs (a.k.a. rasp in Danish)
6 slices of cheese

Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the bell peppers into halves and remove the stems. Put them into an ovenproof dish.

In a pan, cook bacon and garlic until done. Put aside.

Meanwhile, put the tomatoes in a bowl, pour boiling water over them and leave for 5-10 minutes until the skin starts to curl. Remove skin and chop the rest, removing the seeds. Cut basil and rocket salad coarsely.

Put the fresh breadcrumbs in a second bowl and add just enough milk that the crumbs can incorporate it all. THIS IS LESS THAN YOU THINK! I think I ended up using less than 1dl. Just add a bit at a time until it's clear that it can't take more. Mix the bread with capers, olives, tomatoes, basil, rocket and the cooked bacon and garlic. Add half the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Stuff the peppers with the mix, add a bit of stale breadcrumbs to each and sprinkle with the rest of the olive oil. Put a slice of cheese on top of each and cook for about 30 minutes.

Serve with a nice salad.

The Verdict
I really liked the way it tasted, but the texture was WEIRD!!! The breadcrumbs didn't really work for me, and I think I'll substitute them with mince of some sort if I am to make this again. The capers and olives worked REALLY well, but there wasn't nearly enough of either.

In the end, I'll probably never make this again as-is, but might use it for inspiration.