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!