Saturday, December 31, 2011

Week 52: Garlic Shrimp

The Recipe
3 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
juice from 1 lime
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp chilli (optional)
1 tbsp brown sugar
200g shrimps
1 avocado, diced
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil

Mix together the first 7 ingredients (soy sauce through brown sugar) for a marinade. Dump in shrimps and let them soak for 15 minutes. Drain and cook on a hot pan for 2-3 minutes, discarding further liquid as it drains from the shrimps.

Toss with avocado, lemon juice and a bit more olive oil.

The Verdict
REALLY yummy! I left out the optional chilli as I was serving this to less spice-loving people, but I actually think it could have carried it, without being too spicy even for them. It tasted terrific, and we could easily have eaten more. Possibly one of the best new recipes I've tried all year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Week 51: Tex-Mex Meatloaf

The Recipe
1 tbsp olive oil
1 finely chopped onions
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1-2 jalapenos, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp mild chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 can tomatoes
1 lb Ground beef and pork
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 eggs
1 can corn, drained
2 green onions, sliced
4 ounces shredded cheddar

(Jalapenos AND an entire tablespoon chili powder? No way DH would be able to eat that! I left out the jalapenos and used 1/2 tbsp paprika instead of the chili.)

Preheat the oven to 175 C. Warm the olive oil in a skillet, and add the onions, red bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, salt, oregano and cumin. Cook covered over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, re-cover, cook another ten minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Combine the beef/pork, tomato mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs in a large bowl. Add the corn and green onions. Transfer to a baking dish and form into a flat loaf. Bake for about an hour and 20 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and stick back in the oven long enough for the cheese to melt.

Serve with bread rolls.

The Verdict
Ok, first of all, I misread the recipe, so didn't discover how LONG it had to be in the oven until too late. So instead of 10 minutes, 10 minutes and 80 minutes, my cooking times were more like 5 minutes, 5 minutes and 70 minutes. Don't think it harmed the taste too much though.

I thought it mild, DH, even with my substitutions, found it a tad on the hot side. Good thing I didn't actually follow the recipe then! Fortunately it wasn't TOO too hot for DH, and with some extra chilli, I found it quite tasty. I'm not a huge fan of meatloafs in general, but this was one of the better ones I've tried.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Week 50 - Peanut Crusted Chicken

The Recipe
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp white wine vinegar (I didn't have any, so I used apple cider vinegar instead)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp gingerroot
2 chicken breast halves
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp chopped peanuts
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can corn

In a bag, combine the first 7 ingredients (soy sauce through chicken breast halves). Close bag, turn to coat and marinate in fridge - the original recipe said 4 hours, but I ended up leaving it overnight.
Preheat oven to 175C.
In another bag combine bread crumbs, peanuts, paprika and black pepper. Remove chicken from marinade (saving the marinade) and add to the crumb mixture, shaking thoroughly to coat each piece. Place chicken in an oven proof dish and bake for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is done.

Meanwhile add remaining marinade, stewed tomatoes and the can of corn to a small pot, bring to a boil and then leave to simmer while the chicken is cooking, stirring occasionally.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
Oven-baked chicken often gets dry, but the breading and marinade kept this nice and moist. I loved the chicken, but think it might go better with another side dish... I shall have to consider what that might be. Oh, and next time it definitely needs more peanuts and less bread crumbs - the ratio was a tad off there.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Week 49: Café Chicken

This recipe fits nicely into a 3.5L slow cooker

The Recipe
4 chicken breast halves
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bell peppers, cut into bite-size pieces
8-10 cherry tomatoes, whole
1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
Black pepper, salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a slow-cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until chicken is fork-tender.

Serve with baked potatoes.

The Verdict
Super easy to make and tasted good too. The chicken was a bit dry, but once I got it cut up in small pieces it didn't seem that bad. I added extra salt and chilli sauce to my portion. Next time I think I might toss the chicken with flour first, to make a thicker sauce - it was awfully watery this time.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Week 48: Red curry soup

The Recipe
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp red Thai curry paste
5 cups chicken stock
2 duck breasts, skinless and boneless (couldn't find duck, I used chicken)
125ml coconut milk (I used a small can ~ 160ml)
1 tsp sugar
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (couldn't find any - I used soy sauce)
1 red and 1 green bell pepper
1 small can of corn (~150-200g)

Cut the duck and bell peppers into bite sized pieces.

In a pot heat up the oil and stir fry onion, chilli and ginger for 2 minutes. Add the curry paste and the chicken and cook for another 2 minutes while stirring. Add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients and let simmer for 5 minutes, so the vegetables are warm but still crisp.

Sprinkle with basil leaves when serving.

The Verdict
I absolutely LOVED it. It tasted delicious and had a nice 'bite'. It was too hot for DH unfortunately, which I should have anticipated. I really want to try it with duck now, as I think that would only improve it.

2022: I tried making it again last night with duck. It still tasted good, but didn't have as much bite to it as I remembered. It's alright, but that's about it.

The duck was NICE though :-D

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Week 47: Chickpea Soup

The Recipe
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
150g bacon
2 tsp cumin
Juice of 1 orange (or 1dl orange juice)
1 can (400g) tomatoes
8dl pork or chickenstock
salt and pepper
1 can (400g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained.

In a pot heat the oil and cook onion and garlic at low heat for 4 minutes. Add bacon and cumin and stir fry for about a minute. Add orange juice, tomatoes, stock, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and let the soup simmer under lid for 20 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes.

The Verdict
10 minutes wasn't quite enough to get the chickpeas tender enough. I think I'll give it 20 minutes next time. Otherwise I loved the soup. The chickpeas were a nice change from the ever-present beans, and the orange juice added a nice touch.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 46: Mushy-Mushy Chocolate Cake

The Recipe
200g dark chocolate (60-70%) chopped coarsely
200g unsalted butter in 1cm cubes
2,75dl sugar
5 eggs
1 tbsp flour.

Preheat the oven to 190C.

Put butter and chocolate in a microwaveable bowl and heat it up for 30 seconds at a time (stirring between each pulse) until just melted (alternatively, melt over waterbath). When chocolate and butter has melted, stir to combine. Add sugar and stir thoroughly until the sugar has been incorporated completely. Set it aside to cool for 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly between each. Add flour and stir again until the flour has disappeared completely.

Put the mixture in a spring form and bake it for 20-25 minutes until the top is firm and just a tad cracked. The center should jiggle only slightly, if at all.

Leave it to cool for 15 minutes and then remove the 'circumference' of the spring form. Let it cool completely before serving.

This cake can be frozen for up to a month. Allow 24 hours to defrost completely.

The Verdict
It felt really, really weird to make a cake with just one tablespoon of flour, but it was ridiculously yummy! Filled with mushy-mushy chocolaty goodness. It's very rich though, so though small in size, the above recipe is easily enough for dessert for 8 people.

It was a very easy cake to make - took hardly any time at all. I'll definitely be making this again!

Edit I made this again on May 30th, but substituted 100g of the plain dark chocolate for dark chocolate with orange. WOW! It was good before, but this made it SO much better! Also, I used salted butter instead of unsalted, and really couldn't tell the difference.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week 45: Orange Chicken Soup

The Recipe

Soup Base
2 chicken thighs/drumsticks
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small onion, quartered
1-2 red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 small squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 orange, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rings
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tsp honey

1 large onion, chopped
3 red potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 small squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
1 can stewed tomatoes (400g)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp curry
150g bacon cut into strips
2-3 cups vegetable broth

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper to taste; place in a pot and add remaining ingredients for the soup base. Bring to a boil, cover and leave to simmer for 1 hour.
Once done, discard all the vegetables but save the stock (it boiled down to less than a cup for me - you might end up with more in which case the additional stock for the soup won't be necessary). Pick the chicken from the bones, discard the skin and bones and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

In a large pot, add onion, potatoes, carrots and bacon, paprika and curry. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add bell pepper and squash and cook for a minute or so. Add tomatoes, chicken stock and enough vegetable stock for the soup to have the desired consistency. Cover, bring to a boil, and leave to simmer for at least 30 minutes, 1 hour if possible.

The Verdict
Wow, it wasn't until I started typing this out that I realized how elaborate the recipe had gotten! It felt easy to me, but that might have been because I'd prepared the soup base ahead of time. Anyway, it was really, really good. I loved it, and ate more than my fill :-) You can probably make it with just regular chicken stock rather than this elaborate base - I couldn't say how big a difference in taste that would make.

Week 44: Orange chicken with potatoes

The Recipe
2 chicken thighs/drumsticks
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small onion, quartered
1-2 red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 small squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 orange, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rings
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp honey

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper to taste; place in a slow cooker and top with remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours or until chicken is cooked through.

The Verdict
Easy to make, but pretty non-descript. Made a terrific base for a soup though (recipe to follow ;) ). I didn't care much for the cooked oranges, as they seemed too sour in comparison to the rest of the dish.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Week 43: Kizzy's Crockpot Beef Stew

The Recipe
300g stew meat
2-3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
Olive oil
1 medium onion cut into chunks
2 fist-sized potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
5-6 baby carrots (or normal carrots, cut into pieces)
1/2 cup beef broth
splash of hearty red wine
1/4 tsp. bottled prepared horseradish (optional)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
splash of barbecue sauce (optional)
a couple of dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
sprig of fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. cornstarch
enough liquid from stew to make a slurry

Heat a glug of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. While it's heating, toss together the flour and seasoning in a Ziploc bag and add the meat. Close bag and toss so all every piece of meat is coated. When the oil shimmers, add meat in one even layer. Let it sizzle for a 1-2 minutes, then flip each piece over so they all become nicely browned. When the all the meat is browned, add it to the crockpot.

Add vegetables.

In a bowl combine the broth, wine, horseradish, mustard, optional barbecue sauce, and Worcestershire. Pour it over the meat and veggies. Add enough water so the liquid comes 3/4ths of the way up the pot, but not enough to cover everything completely. Add bay leaf and thyme.

Cover, set crockpot to low, and let it cook happily for 6-8 hours.

About 15 minutes before serving fish out the bay leaf and thyme. In a small bowl mix cornstarch with enough of the gravy-in-the-making to make a slurry (a little runny but not liquid.) Uncover crockpot, add slurry, mix, and leave uncovered so everything can reduce and thicken.

Serve by itself in bowls with some warm crusty bread and perhaps a nice green salad. Or over hot noodles with plenty of pepper.

The Verdict
I'd signed up for Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-Thon, and needed something that could take care of itself, so I didn't have to worry about stopping to cook dinner half-way through - perfect timing for a new crock-pot recipe! I didn't have any horseradish, but served it with wasabi peanuts on the side (I dumped mine in, DH didn't touch them at all), which actually worked quite nicely. I found that it needed a lot more salt than what I had already added, but other than that, it tasted great!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Week 42: Parmesan Chicken

The Recipe 1/2 cup bread crumbs 1/2 tsp oregano 1/2 tsp basil 1/2 tsp thyme a dash of garlic powder 1/6 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 1lb chicken breasts 1 egg, beaten 1 tbsp butter 1 tbsp olive oil Mix the first 6 ingredients (bread crumbs through cheese) in a plastic bag. Cut the chicken into 2cm x 5cm ('ish) strips, dip them into the egg (making sure it covers all sides) and dump them into the plastic bag. Shake thoroughly to cover the chicken with the crumb mixture on all sides. In a large pan, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and brown it for about 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Serve with french fries, a tomato-mozzerella salad and dips of your choice. The Verdict Oh my goodness, soooo goooood!!!! Both DH and I LOVED this! The coating kept the chicken from getting dry, and the crumb mixture was wonderfully seasoned and the cheese gave it an extra 'twist'. It's a bit of a hassle to make, but worth it :)

Week 41: Lemon Chicken

The Recipe
1lb chicken breast halves
3 tsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
½ tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 bell pepper, stripes
4 cherry tomatoes, halved

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Combine lemon juice, garlic, sugar and soy sauce.
Place chicken in a bowl and pour marinade over chicken, flip to coat both sides.

Cook chicken in oil, in a large wok, over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side. Add bell pepper and tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes. Serve with rice.

The Verdict
I liked it well enough, but honestly, I couldn't taste the marinade at all. Either I didn't make it strong enough, or it should have been allowed to 'sit' for longer. As it was, it was pretty much a non-recipe.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Week 40: Honey BBQ Chicken

The Recipe
1lb chicken drumsticks
salt, pepper
oil for cooking
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 1/4 dl tomato sauce (~4oz)
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp paprika

Season the drumsticks with salt and pepper and brown them on all sides in a frying pan. Transfer to an ovenproof dish.
Mix remaining ingredients (onion through paprika) in a bowl and pour over the chicken. Bake at 200C for 40 minutes.

The Verdict
VERY good! Definitely something I will be making again. I think I may have added just a bit too much vinegar and a tad too little honey, as it did have a bit of a tang, but not enough to be a nuisance. I really liked it, and think you could easily make it with other meat than chicken.

Week 39: Fettuccine Salmon

The Recipe
200g salmon, skin off
200g fettuccine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tsp chili flakes
3/8 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 spring onions
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lemon juice

Boil fettuccine as directed on the package, drain.
Meanwhile, heat half the olive oil in a small fry pan, add garlic and chilli and cook for 30 seconds. Add breadcrumbs and fry while stirring until crispy and golden. Set aside.
Heat the rest of the oil in the same pan and cook the salmon for 5-6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan and flake with a fork. Add spring onions to same pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add stock and butter and stir till butter is melted. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, salmon and fettuccine. Serve with bread crumb topping.

The Verdict
Tasted okay, but was terribly dry unfortunately. It didn't sound like it would be, but the pasta must have soaked up all the stock/butter. I liked the breadcrumb-chilli-garlic topping though, so might just repeat that for another pasta dish. I think it would go great with the nudle-auf-lauf recipe found elsewhere on this blog :D

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Week 38: Peking Pork Chops

The Recipe
3-4 pork chops
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp ketchup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 red bell pepper

Put the pork chops in the bottom of the crock-pot. Mix the next 8 ingredients (garlic through cinnamon) and pour over. Cut the bell pepper into bite sized pieces and put on top. Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours. Serve with brown rice.

The Verdict
ABSOLUTELY delicious! If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you'll know that crock-pot recipes almost always disappointment. This was the exception that proved that rule. The meat was moist and tender, the flavours mixed wonderfully together, and the sauce was yummy, yummy, yummy! You definitely want to serve this over rice to soak up all the juicy goodness :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

M&M Cookies

225gr / 8oz white sugar
225gr / 8oz granulated brown sugar (farin)
200gr / 7oz melted butter
2 eggs
250gr / 0.5lb flour
1.5 cup / 150gr oatmeal
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup M&Ms (~200gr / 2.5dl)
1 cup Peanuts (2.5dl)

Mix the white and brown sugar, the butter, the eggs and the vanilla to a light mix. Add flour, oatmeal, salt and baking powder. Finally mix in the M&Ms and peanuts (warning, it gets very heavy to mix together, this is as it is supposed to be, you're not doing anything wrong).

Put the dough onto a baking sheet using spoons. I find that one heaped teaspoon is about the right size for a proper cookie. Make sure there's lots of space between each 'blob' of dough, as it spreads a lot while being baked.

Bake at 175C/350F for 12-17 minutes depending on size and desired cripsness... I like mine kinda soft :D

Put on a flat surface to cool down as they're very bendable/breakable until cool.

Eat with great pleasure and no guilt – they taste too good to be destroyed by guilt.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Week 37: Turkey Marsala

The Recipe
400g turkey breast
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Marsala wine (I used white wine)
1 tsp lemon juice

Cut the breast into bite-sized pieces. In a large plastic bag, combine flour, half the salt and half pepper. Add turkey, seal bag and shake to coat. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat; add turkey and cook for 7 to 8 minutes per side or until no longer pink in the center. In the same skillet, melt the butter; add mushrooms and saute for 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in broth and wine and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in lemon juice and remaining salt and pepper. Serve sauce over turkey.

Serve with baked potatoes and carrots.

The Verdict
I'm not sure quite... it tasted okay, but lacked something, and I couldn't quite figure out what. Not salt, not pepper, not chili... just some 'oomph' of some kind.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Week 36 - Tandoori Tenderloin

The Recipe
1 pork tenderloin (300g)
1 dl yoghurt naturel
2 tbsp tandoori spice
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice

Turn on the oven to 250C.

In a bowl, mix together yoghurt, garlic, tandoori and lemon juice. Add tenderloin and leave in fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Transfer to ovenproof dish and cook for 10 minutes on each side. Remove from dish, wrap in tin foil and let it rest for 20 minutes.

The Verdict
It was okay, but unfortunately not much more than that. One of those dishes you eat just to fill up, not because it tastes good. Am not going to bother with that one again.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 35: Creamy Jalapeno Turkey

The Recipe
275g boneless skinless turkey breast cutlets (couldn't find turkey, so I used chicken instead)
1 chopped onion
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (I only have pickled, sliced jalapeno, so I used 4 slices)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
40g cream cheese
2 tbsp sour cream or greek yoghurt
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped

Cut turkey into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle turkey with salt. Heat the oil in a skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat; add turkey and brown on both sides. Add onion, broth, jalapenos and cumin. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until turkey is cooked through. Stir cream cheese and sour cream into onion mixture in skillet until well blended; stir in tomatoes and bell pepper and heat through. Serve over rice.

The Verdict
I didn't have terribly high hopes for this one as it smelled kinda funny as it was cooking. It ended up being really tasty though - the chili-cheese taste did wonders for the typical blandness of chicken. It was a tiny bit too rich though, so I think I might use less cream cheese and yoghurt next time - 40g/2tbsp is a LOT!

Week 34: Garlicky Grilled Corn

The Recipe
2 ears corn, shucked
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic, and paprika. Rub butter mixture over the corn. Season well with salt and pepper.

Roll corn tightly in tinfoil (shiny side out.) Grill over medium heat for 30 minutes, turning frequently.

The Verdict
I had to make this in the oven, rather than on a grill, but using the grill element, so I would assume it doesn't make that much of a difference to the taste. Unfortunately, I didn't like it much. I don't know if there was too little butter, or if the oven made a bigger difference than expected, but it ended up being rather dry and dull. A shame, because it LOOKED amazing!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Week 33: Squash Soup

The Recipe
500g squash (~1lb)
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
5 tbsp half-and-half
Lemon juice

Chop onion and garlic. Heat oil in a pot and cook onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add squash in thin slices and give a quick stir before pouring in the stock. Bring to a boil, cover and leave to simmer for 10 minutes until the squash is done. Add oregano and use a stick blender to get the soup nice and smooth. Add cream and salt, pepper and lemon juice according to taste.

The Verdict
I liked the taste well enough, but have to admit that for a main, I prefer soups that aren't blended. It would be lovely for an appetizer though, as it tasted great and was really easy to make.

Week 32: Peach-Orange Sorbet

The Recipe
1kg peaches, skinned and de-stoned
Juice from 5-6 oranges
3-5 eggwhites
Icing sugar

Cut the peaches into pieces and pour into a mixing bowl together with the orange juice. Blend until smooth. Add icing sugar until it tastes good (I think I used about 100g, but didn't measure exactly).

In another bowl, whip eggwhites until stiff. Carefully add to the peach-orange mix and mix thoroughly. I used 3 eggwhites, but think the texture would have been better with a bit more.

Add extra icing sugar if necessary.

Pour into ice cream containers and freeze - taking out to stir every hour to avoid the ice cream separating.

The Verdict
Great to make with kids, as they loved all the tasting along the way. Unfortunately the texture ended up being more slush ice'ish than sorbet'ish... I think we might either have added too few eggwhites or stirred it too seldom. Ah well, it tasted great no matter its texture.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Week 31: Stuffed bell-peppers

The Recipe
4 large bell peppers
250g cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
125g mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
8 slices of bacon (approx 150g)
herbs - e.g. thyme, basil and tarragon

Cut the bell peppers in halves and put them in a large ovenproof dish. Chop up garlic, tomatoes and cheese and mix in a small bowl with lemon juice, herbs and pepper. Spoon into the bell pepper halves.
Cut the bacon slices in halves and put two slices on each bell pepper, trying to cover the tomato-cheese mix as much as possible.
Bake in oven at 200C for 25 minutes.

Serve with rice and garlic bread.

The Verdict
Make sure to chop up the tomatoes and cheese finely, otherwise it won't mix up properly. But apart from that, I really loved the taste of it, although I think I may add fresh basil next time - that'd be a nice added touch I think. But all in all a delicious meal that doesn't take too much work. Definitely a keeper.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Week 30: African Peanut Soup

The Recipe
1/2 onion
2 green onions
1 bell peppers
2 cloves garlic
1 can tomatoes with chilli (~14oz)
8dl vegetable broth (I filled the empty tomato can twice)
black pepper
3/4 dl uncooked brown rice
1 1/4 dl peanut butter (to add later)

Chop all vegetables and put into a crock-pot. Add everything except the peanut butter. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir in peanut butter and cook for another 30-60 minutes.

The Verdict
You're supposed to cook it on high for the last 30 minutes, but my crock-pot doesn't come with a 'high' setting, so I increased the time to 60 minutes and cooked it on low instead. Don't know if this was what made the difference, but my peanut butter didn't fully 'melt', so I had to stir vigorously afterwards to get all the clumps out.

Even so, this was very, very good! I usually haven't had too much luck with my crock-pot, but this was definitely the exception that proved the rule. The different ingredients complimented each other nicely, and it turned out very tasty. I used crunchy peanut butter and loved the small pieces of peanut in my soup. I think it would have been even better if I had added bacon, but then everything tastes better with bacon ;)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Week 29: Indian Chicken

The Recipe
Make a marinade from water, dry mustard, Greek yoghurt, cumin, paprika, garlic and curry. Put chicken breast halves in marinade and leave in fridge overnight.
Place chicken in oven-proof dish, discarding the marinade. Cook at 200C for 30 minutes or until done. Serve over rice.

The Verdict
You know it was a huge flop when I can't even be bothered to type out the restaurant in full. Usually I love Leanne's recipes but this one was just dull, dull, dull, dull with a side of dull to go with it. In the trash it goes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Week 28: Casserole

The Recipe
300g meat cut into bite-sized pieces - use leftovers if you have them.
1 bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 onion
2 carrots
2 tbsp cream cheese
4 dl water

Heat oil in a wok. Chop up all the vegetables and stir-fry quickly. Add the meat and cook until done. Add water and bring to a boil. Once it boils, add cream cheese and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Salt to taste.

Serve over rice.

The Recipe
I had no rice, so served it over pasta instead - which was fine, but it would definitely have worked better over rice, as there was a lot of sauce which now went to waste. I added a bit of chilli sauce to my portion and the chilli-cheese mix worked really well.

Week 27: Chicken with bacon and pesto

The Recipe
3 chicken breasts
150g bacon
6'ish tsp pesto

Cut the chicken breasts into halves, put 1 heaped teaspoon pesto on each half (more if you like pesto :D ), wrap a slice of bacon around each half. Put in an oven proof dish and bake at 200C for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.

Serve with baked potatoes and a tomato/mozerella salad.

The Verdict
Very yummy and very easy to make. The bacon and pesto keeps the chicken moist, and the tomato/mozerella salad worked perfectly as a side dish. This is a keeper.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Week 26: Chicken with Bean Sprouts

The Recipe
300g skinless chicken breast
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp corn flour, divided
3 spring onions, sliced
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp dry sherry
1/2 cup chicken stock
125g fresh bean sprouts

Mix a marinade of soy sauce, sugar and 1 tsp corn flour. Slice the chicken in very thin slices and add it to the marinade. Let it marinade for at least 20 minutes.

Heat the oil in a wok. Stir-fry the spring onions for 30 sec and push aside. Add the chicken and cook until done. Add sherry and bean sprouts.

Mix together the remaining corn flour and the chicken stock. Add slowly while stirring. Let the dish simmer until the sauce thickens a bit.

The verdict
Very bland :( I added chilli sauce and extra soy sauce which helped, but too much work for too little taste.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Week 25: Red and Yellow Rice

The Recipe
250g chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon salt - divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper - divided
1/2 teaspoon paprika - divided
Vegetable oil
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white rice
4dl chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
A dash or two of turmeric
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and sprinkle it with half of the salt, pepper and paprika.

Heat oil in a large pot. Add chicken and cook until done. Remove chicken and keep warm.

Add bell pepper, onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, until translucent. Add rice, stir and cook for another minute or so. Add broth, wine, turmeric, tomatoes and the remaining salt, pepper and paprika. Bring to a boil, cover and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

Return chicken to pot and reheat.

The Verdict
A bit too spicy for DH - I really wonder about this paprika of mine! It must be exceptionally potent. However, I think that if I add all the paprika to the chicken and none to the sauce (meaning it doesn't stand and simmer and gather heat) it might be okay. I'll try that next time, because apart from that, both of us really liked it :D

Oh, the original recipe called for saffron instead of turmeric, but I didn't have any of that, so I made do ;)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Week 24: Schnitzles Provencale

The Recipe
2 Schnitzles or pork chops
2 tsp oregano
1 clove garlic
salt, pepper
Oil for cooking

1/2 squash
1/2 eggplant
3 tomatoes
1-2 tsp oregano
fresh basil (optional)
1 tbsp oil
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Cut squash, eggplant, tomatoes and garlic into thin slices. Place layer-wise in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with oil, balsamico, basil and oregano. Bake at 180C for about an hour.

Meanwhile, blot meat with papertowels and sprinkle with diced garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook in a pan until done.

The Verdict
Not bad, but nothing special either. I LOVE a good ratatouille, but unfortunately this wasn't it. The tastes didn't mix properly, so it ended up being a tad blah. Not worth it for the effort put into it.

Week 23: Coco-Lime Soup

The Recipe
150g pork chop or schnitzel in very thin slices (about 1/2x1/2x3 cm)
2-3 spring onions - sliced
1 tbsp oil
4dl stock (I used vegetable)
2dl coconut milk
1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)
1 tsp sugar
2.5dl frozen peas (~1cup)
1 tsp sambal oelek (optional)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp concentrated lemon juice or the juice of one lime

Heat oil in a pot and cook meat until just browned. Add spring onions and cook for a couple of minutes. Add stock, coconut milk, gurkemeje and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Add peas and leave to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

Add sambal oelek, soy sauce and lemon juice / lime according to taste.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
It has once again been proven - I do not like peas any way other than fresh or sugar peas still in the pod, so unfortunately that definitely detracted from this recipe.

But other than that, I'd have to say that I really enjoyed this :) I added a bit more soy sauce than the recipe called for, and a bit more sambal oelek as well (but then I love my food spicy) and it ended up being very yummy indeed! Definitely something I'll make again... although I'll substitute the peas for something else.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week 22: Meatballs with chilli and curry

The Recipe

200g minced pork
1 small diced onion
1/2-1 diced chili
1/2 dl water
salt, pepper

2dl coconut milk
1 tsp curry paste
1 small onion in wedges
lime/lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients to the meatballs together in a small bowl and roll them into 8 meatballs. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and cook the meatballs until done. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
Add top 3 ingredients to the sauce to the pan and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Add lime juice according to taste.

Serve with rice and a salad.

The Verdict
Meatballs will never be my favourite food :-/ 99 times out of 100 I find them incredibly bland, and unfortunately despite the chilli this wasn't the exception that proved the rule. The sauce was delicious as anything with coconut milk and curry will be, but I've got several other, better recipes to use that for.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Week 21: Cajun Schnitzel

The Recipe
2 schnitzels or pork chops

Cajun Spice
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp herbes de provance (I didn't have any, so I used oregano instead)

200g pasta
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1 bell pepper
1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 can diced tomatoes (1 can ~450g)

Cook pasta according to directions on bag.

Heat oil in a pan over medium-hot. Chop onion, garlic and bell pepper and fry it briefly. Pour over the diced tomatoes and leave to simmer for 15 minutes before pouring over cooked pasta.

Mix cajun spices and cover the pork chops on both sides. Add new oil to pan and cook the pork chops until done.

The Verdict
The pork chops were YUUUUUMMY and definitely worth a repeat!

The pasta was... weird! We'd made too much of the cajun spice so added about 1 teaspoon of it to the pasta sauce while it was simmering. I thought nothing much of this, as there wasn't all that much cayenne pepper in it, but it ended up being sizzling hot! I LOVE spicey food, and even I thought it was just about too much. None of us understood it, as the chops weren't too spicy at all, so it must have been the effect of leaving it to simmer.

In any case the pasta+sauce was a bit blah, so while I may make the pork chops again, I'll find something different to serve it with.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Week 20: Crock-Pot BBQ

The Recipe
1lb beef in strips
2 bell peppers in strips
1 can corn
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp BBQ sauce
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp garlic powder

Place the beef, bell pepper and corn in a crock-pot. Mix everything else together in a bowl and pour over the beef. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hrs.

Serve with baked potato slices.

The Verdict
First things first - I'd gotten the perfect meat for this. I'd bought some steaks for our dinner Friday, but they turned out to be incredibly tough, so even though I'd bought twice as much as I'd needed and was going to freeze the rest for steaks some other day, I decided to use it for the crock-pot instead. And it was PERFECT! Cut-able with a fork and really, really nice and tender :)

Unfortunately, that's just about the only good thing there is to say about this recipe. It was insanely acidic - but whether that was because of the ketchup or the vinegar, I'm not entirely sure. It would have benefited greatly from some sugar or even some milk to offset the taste.

So a good starting off point, but not a good recipe in its own right.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Week 19: Shepherd's Pie

NB: This recipe is based on the left-overs from "Week 18: All-In-One Sausage Sizzler".

The Recipe
The left-overs of the mashed potatoes
The left-overs of the sausage sizzler
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup beer
1/8 vegetable stock cube
400g can lentils (I didn't have any, so used baked beans instead)
1tsp cornflour mixed with dash of water
1 cup grated cheese

Heat oil in a frying pan and gently cook the onion until soft.
Slice the sausages and vegetables from the Sausage Sizzler into small pieces. Add to the pan with beer, stock and 1/3 cup boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils and cornflour mix. Cook for 1 minute. Pour into an oven-proof dish.
Spoon the left-over mash onto the filling and cook at 200C for 15 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and cook for another 15 minutes.

The Verdict
Much better than the sizzler by itself :) This is a lovely comfort food, and I was very impressed with it. It took an average dish and turned it into something nice and comforting. I could easily see myself making something like this again.

Week 18: All-in-One Sausage Sizzler

The Recipe
500g sausages
2 bell peppers, deseeded and sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
300g green beans
6 tomatoes, cut into quaters
1.5kg potatoes
1/2 cup milk
50g butter

Preheat oven to 200C. In a large roasting dish, mix sausages, bell pepper, herbs and olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile simmer the beans for 2 minutes in boiling water, drain and add to the dish with the tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes.
At the same time, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, drain and mash with the milk and the butter. Serve half the mash with two-thirds of the sausage and vegetables, keeping the rest for the shepherd's pie (see "Week 19: Shepherd's Pie").

The Verdict
Okay, but really nothing out of the ordinary. It tasted alright, but I wasn't blown away by it. On the other hand, it was a solid dish, and apart from the mashed potatoes, quick enough to make. If I remake this I think I'll add more spices and serve with baked potatoes rather than mashed - so much quicker!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Week 15: Chicken Valdostano

This will be the last recipe for awhile - I'm off on vacation for 3 weeks, and will have no chance to cook while I'm away. I hope to catch up and post recipes retrospectively once I return, but we'll see what happens.

The Recipe
1 tbsp flour
3 chicken breast halves
1 tbsp butter
10 fresh mushrooms, sliced (~250g)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
White pepper
3 slices prosciutto
3 slices cheese

Lightly flour chicken breasts, shaking off excess flour. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add chicken and saute until lightly browned, about 2 minutes each side. Remove and set aside.

Decrease the heat to medium low. Add mushrooms and cook until juices are rendered, about 4 minutes. Add wine and simmer until reduced by 1/4, about 3 to 4 minutes. Increase heat to medium high. Add stock and pepper and simmer until sauce is reduced, about 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to low. Top each chicken breast with a slice of prosciutto and a slice of cheese. Return chicken to skillet and cook just until cheese melts. Transfer chicken to individual plates and top each with some of the mushroom sauce before serving.

The Verdict
Tastes really good :) The first time I made it I pounded the chicken breasts flat - I forgot to do that this time, and it made absolutely NO difference. Since it made the dish a lot easier/quicker to make, I'll be making it this way in the future. The prosciutto and cheese (I used Gouda chili this time - YUM!) kept the chicken nice and moist.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Week 14: Nudel-auf-lauf

I guess it's a bit of a misnomer to call this a "new" recipe. I've had it for probably around 13 years, and back in 1996-1997 had it made for me very often. However, I'd never actually made it myself, so I think it still counts :)

My hostmother made this for me all the time, and since I'll be seeing her again in just over a week, I thought it was appropriate to finally try to make it myself.

The Recipe
500g cooked noodles/pasta
200g cheese cut into pieces
150g diced ham
1 bell pepper cut into pieces
3 eggs
bread crumbs
salt, pepper, oregano

Put layers of pasta, cheese, ham and bell pepper into an oven proof dish. End off with a layer of pasta. Top with a few pieces of butter.
Mix eggs with a bit of milk, salt, pepper and oregano and pour over the dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake in oven at 200*C for 45-60 mins. Serve with ketchup or chilli sauce.

The Verdict
Every bit as good as I remembered it! This is comfort food at its best. Easy to make, even if it does have to bake for ages and just plain satisfying. I don't know why it took me so long to get out the recipe and try to make it for myself, but now that I have, I will definitely be making it more often!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Week 13: Indonesian Chicken

The Recipe
Boiled chicken pieces - approx. 800g
1 red bell pepper in stripes
1 yellow bell pepper, in stripes
10 cherry tomatoes - halved
2.5 dl cream
1 clove garlic, chrused
1 tsp curry
1.5 tsp sambal oelek
0.75 dl mango chutney (sweet or hot according to taste)

Preheat the oven to 225*C
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and place it in an ovenproof dish together with bell pepper and tomatoes. Whip the cream lightly and mix it with curry, garlic and chutney (blend the chutney first if you want to get rid of the large pieces). Add sambal oelek and salt according to taste. Pour the whipped cream over the chicken.

Cook the chicken for approx. 20 minutes.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
Wipped cream in a hot dish? I just HAD to try this! I decided to use turkey rather than chicken though, and only got white meat - I think next time I'll make sure to have some dark as well. However, I only used about 500g, and that was still PLENTY for 3 people.

It turned out really well :) I think I'll make a bigger portion of chutney-whipped cream next time, as it could have used a bit more sauce, and I might also add a bit more sambal oelek as it was rather mild, but I wanted to start out carefully for my DH's sake. It's rather time-consuming though, so I haven't quite decided if it was worth the effort, but it tasted good, and you can prepare quite a bit of it in advance, so I think it might be a good dish for late nights.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Week 12: BBQ Chicken

The Recipe
3 chicken drumsticks
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 spring onions, chopped
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Into a saucepan put the tomato ketchup, brown sugar, water, Dijon mustard, chopped garlic, soya sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Heat gently for a few minutes whilst stirring continuously to mix all the flavours together.

Meanwhile take the knife and cut a few slits into each drumstick. This will allow the marinade to soak into the meat. Take another pan and add the drumsticks to it. Cover with cold water and add 4 tbsp of the marinade. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 10 minutes, skimming off any excess foam that rises to the surface.

Remove the drumsticks from the water and leave them to cool. When cool, cover them with the remaining marinade and season with salt and pepper. Put the drumsticks on a baking tray, allowing a small space between each and place it in the centre of the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, add the olive oil and the spring onions and cook for another 5. Serve while baking hot.

The Verdict
Unfortunately not the best BBQ chicken I've ever had. It was okay, but a tad too ketchupy for my taste. Also boiling the chicken first seemed to add nothing but extra cooking time and more dishes. Not worth a repeat.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Week 11: Mexican Torta

The Recipe
1lb ground turkey (I used chicken as the store didn't have turkey - don't think that made a huge difference though)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 std bag corn nachos (the original recipe called for corn tortillas, cut into wedges - I could only find flour tortillas, so figured the nachos chips would work better)
2 cups shredded cheese
1 (14oz) can beans
1 (7oz) jar red bell peppers, drained

In a pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook onions until translucent. Add garlic and turkey and cook until the turkey is browned. Add taco seasoning and mix thoroughly.

In an oven proof dish put first a layer of nachos, a layer of half the turkey and cheese, a layer of nachos, a layer of beans and bell pepper, a layer of nachos, a layer of the rest of the turkey, a final layer of nachos, topping it off with the rest of the cheese.

Cook at 200C for 20-30 minutes. Serve with salsa.

The Verdict
Pretty good, but why oh why use a JAR of red bell peppers? Why not just chop up some fresh ones? I can't think that it added to the taste, so it just felt lazy to me.

The dish tasted fine, but it was no easier to make than regular nachos, and I actually like those better, so I don't see myself making this too often.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Week 10: Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

The Recipe
500g Jerusalem Artichokes
1 large onion
4 cups water

Peel artichokes and onion and cut them into large pieces. Add water and salt and bring them to a boil. Leave to simmer until the artichokes are done. Use a blender to puree the soup. Add pepper, sugar, vinegar and cream according to taste. Bring to a boil again and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.

The Verdict
Unfortunately not the best Jerusalem Artichoke soup I've ever had, but decent enough and really easy so that does make up for it :)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Week 9: White Chilli

The Recipe
300g chicken breast - cubed
3 spring onions, sliced
1 large or 2 small bell peppers, chopped
1 fresh chilli, seeded and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tbsp butter
1/2 dl flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 (400g) can white beans, undrained

In a large wok, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken, and saute until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan.
Saute the onion, bell pepper, chilli peppers and garlic in the same skillet. Return the chicken, along with the ginger, salt, oregano, cumin and white pepper. Mix thoroughly.

In a separate small saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Stir in flour to make a roux. Whisk in the chicken broth and mix all together. Stir this mixture into the chicken and vegetables.

Stir in the beans with can liquid, and simmer all over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked and heated through.

The Verdict
So bland as to be almost tasteless. Guess the chilli was nowhere near hot enough, or the roux just dampened the taste too much. In either case, not worth a repeat.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Week 8: Orange Pork Chop

Let me say from the start - I had HUGE misgivings about this recipe. I don't generally like warm oranges, but it sounded intriguing and I was home alone, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

The Recipe
(Serves 1)
1 pork chop
1/2 orange, peeled and sectioned (eat the other half while cooking dinner!)
1/2dl olives, chopped (that's about 10 - give or take a few)
1/2 clove of garlic, chopped (I just used a really small clove instead)
1 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper

In a bowl, mix orange, olives garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

On a pan, cook the pork chop in oil until light brown on both sides and cooked through. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add the orange mix to the pan and warm through for a minute or two. Careful, you don't want to actually cook the oranges, just give them a warm up. Make sure to scrape up any brown bits from the pan at this time as well. Pour oranges over pork chops and serve with baked potatoes.

The Recipe
Well... it's a good thing I didn't make any bets about not liking this, because I would have lost horribly. It tasted FANtastic! The pork chop was moist and tender, and the garlic-olive-orange mix gave an added boost to the meat that I would never have expected. Definitely a keeper, even if I don't think it'll be DH's cup of tea.

Oh, and it LOOKED gorgeous too. Just check this out:

(I had some left-over bearnaise sauce that I added to the potato. Mmmmm... Bearnaise sauce....)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Week 7: Mexican Chicken Lasagna

The Recipe
450g boneless, skinless chicken cut in stripes (1lb)
2 tbsp oil
1 bell pepper
2 medium-large onions
2 tbsp Fajita Spice Mix*
1.25 dl Salsa (1/2 cup)
1dl water
2 tbsp flour
2.5dl milk
Salt, pepper
5 soft tortilla big size
200 g shredded cheese, e.g. mozzarella

Chop onions and bell pepper and cook them briefly in oil in a large pot. Add the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the fajita spice mix and the flour and stir. Add the salsa and water and bring to a boil. Add milk and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper according to taste.

In a large ovenproof dish build a lasagna with tortilla, sauce and cheese. Start and end with tortilla.

Cook at 200C for 20 minutes.

* Fajita Spice Mix
I made my own. For the amount above you'll need
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp crushed chicken bouillon cube (that's about 1/16th of a cube... at least with the cubes we use here in Denmark)
1/3 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin

The Verdict
A terrific alternative lasagna! I loved the idea of using tortillas rather than pasta. I did think the sauce was overly heavy on the meat though, so I think I'll use 2 bell peppers next time - or perhaps add some extra vegetables. Since DH was home I used mild salsa, but you can definitely give it more of a kick by using medium or hot if you want to.

I loved it, and will definitely be making it again!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Week 6: Pseudo-Mulligatawny Soup

The Recipe
1/2 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp butter, divided
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tbsp curry
1/2 l chicken broth (~2 cups)
2.5 dl light cream (9-12%) (~1 cup)
1/2 green apple, diced
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
chilli (optional, but you know I used it! ;) )

Heat 1 tbsp butter in a pot. Add chicken and cook until done. Remove chicken from pot.

Add the rest of the butter and reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic and stir to cook for a few minutes until onions start to brown. Sprinkle flour over onions and stir, then stir in curry. Cook for about a minute, stirring constantly. Add a bit of the broth if necessary.

Pour in chicken broth and cook for 5 minutes. Add cream, salt, pepper and sugar and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add chicken and apple and cook for another 7 minutes. Turn off and allow to stand 7 minutes before serving.

The Verdict
I've never had Mulligatawny soup before, and I was very unsure of what to expect - especially as it smelled kinda weird while cooking (not bad-weird, just unusual-weird), but it turned out surprisingly well, although possible more suited for a starter than for a main meal.

I do have a few ideas for changes for next time - I'd cut the chicken into too large pieces, so they came out sorta dry, also I don't care much for cooked apple, so I'll definitely substitute that with bell pepper or something similar next time - I think it might also benefit from adding a chopped potato or two. Finally, I'm thinking I could make it more authentic by using coconut milk instead of the cream. But as a 'starter' recipe it was really good, and I'll definitely be experimenting with ways of improving it.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week 5: Spring chicken

The Recipe
3 chicken breasts
salt, pepper
6 slices of bacon, parma ham or similar
350g green asparagus
1 tsp olive oil
750g small potatoes
2 tsp olive oil
salt, pepper

Wash the potatoes thoroughly and cut them in halves. Place them in one layer on an oven tray. Turn with oil and seasonings. Bake at 200C for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile cut the chicken breasts in halves width-wize and wrap a slice of ham around each part. Secure ham with a toothpick if necessary (wasn't for me). Heat the oil in a pan and cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side or until done. Add the asparagus to the pan for the last few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

The Verdict
Yummy, yummy, yummy! I used air-dried ham, and it worked really well. It kept the chicken nice and moist, so it never got as dry as cooked chicken sometimes does. The asparagus were bite-tender and had taken taste from the chicken. It went really well together, and will be the perfect dish for spring/summer when you need something light. Easy and delicious - definitely worth a repeat!

Week 4: Cashew Chicken

The Recipe
450g chicken in strips
1 dl orange juice
1/2 dl honey
1/2 dl soy sauce
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp oil, divided
2 spring onions, chopped
1 large carrot, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 dl cashew nuts

In a bowl, combine juice, soy sauce, honey, cornstarch and seasonings. In a wok heat 1 tbsp oil until very hot. Stir-fry vegetables for 4-5 minutes until the onions become fragrant. Remove from wok.

Heat the rest of the oil until very hot and stir-fry chicken until browned and tender. Add vegetables, cashews and sauce mixture. Continue cooking until sauce thickens.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
A nice alternative to the traditional stir-fry. The sauce gives it a nice touch, and I loooooove cashews! I found it easier to make in a large pan rather than a wok, as it's easier to stir-fry the chicken evenly.

Tastes great the second day as well :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Week 3: Tacos Salad

The Recipe
Cook 500g minced meat with spices of your taste.
Meanwhile toss a salad with lettuce, cucumbers (remove the seeds if you think you'll have left-overs), cherry tomatoes, corn, bell pepper, avocado and whatever else catches your fancy.
Mix salad, nachos chips, cooked meat and shredded cheese. Serve with dressing or salsa of your choice as well as olives and jalapenos.

The Verdict
I've had this several times and always loved it, but this was my first attempt at making it myself, and unfortunately it didn't turn out quite as well as I'd hoped for. Something about the different tastes not meshing right. I have no idea what I did wrong, but unfortunately it was rather disappointing.

Week 2: Roasted asparagus

The Recipe
2 tbsp olive oil
6 slices parma or serrano ham
12 fresh green asparagus
Salt, pepper

Heat the oven to 200C. Remove the very bottom of the stem of the asparagus - see where it snaps easily, that's the place to cut it off. Wrap the ham around the asparagus and put it in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle with oil and add salt and pepper according to taste.

Let the asparagus roast for 8-12 minutes according to thickness. They should still be firm when bitten into.

Serve hot with aioli for dipping.

The Verdict
Yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy! Perfect for an appetizer or part of a tapas meal. They're really easy to make and the result is both delicious and fancy looking. Definitely worth a repeat!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Week 1: Empanadas

The Recipe
5 dl flour
10g fresh yeast
4 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 dl lukewarm water
1 egg
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
175 g bacon, chopped
salt, pepper

Mix the yeast with salt and let it dissolve. Add water, butter and flour and mix thoroughly. Leave the dough to raise for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the filling:
Warm the oil in a pan. Add onion and garlic and cook at high heat for 2 minutes. Add bacon, bell peppers and tomatoes and reduce the heat. Leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper according to taste.

Now make the Empanadas:
Preheat the oven to 200C. Roll out the dough until it's about 3mm thick. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Place a bit of the filling on about half of the piece - it shouldn't reach the edges. Paste the edges with some whipped egg and fold the empanadas over. Use a fork to press the edges together.

Place them on a baking sheet and bake them for about 15 minutes until they're golden brown.

Serve them with a dipping sauce of your choice.

The Verdict
A HUGE job to make! And I obviously didn't manage to roll the dough thinly enough, so some of the empanadas seemed to be more dough than filling. It did taste very, very good though - especially with a tomato-cheese sauce or ali oli for dipping. Wouldn't be worth it for an everyday meal, but adds a nice touch to a fancy tapas supper.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

52 Weeks - 52 Recipes: Completed!

For the first time ever, I actually kept a New Year's resolution 100%. I'm rather proud of myself :)

Trying out so many different new recipes has been a good challenge and lots of fun, so I'm going to copy the resolution for 2011, as I still have a lot of recipe books to go through - I think I ended up getting rid of about 4 in 2010, leaving me with another 30 or so to go.

Thanks for reading along. I hope you will join me for 2011 as well. I'm going to continue posting the recipes here, but will also include some "tried and tested" recipes since Vox has now closed, so I need to copy the recipes I had there.

Happy 2011!

Week 52: Mexican Chorizo

The Recipe
Placeholder, as I've temporarily misplaced the recipe. Basically a meat sauce with minced pork, chorizo, squash and bell peppers. I'll type it up properly when I find it.

The Verdict
Honestly, having misplaced the recipe is no great loss. It was okay, but no more than that. I've made similar meat sauces several times before, only typically with minced beef and bacon instead.