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 :)