Saturday, March 31, 2012

Week 13: Indian Chicken

Adapted from "A Year of Slowcooking"

The Recipe
2 lb chicken thighs or breasts
1 onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bell pepper, sliced
4 tbsp butter (~50g)
A dash of cardamom
2 tsp curry
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 can coconut milk
1 can (140g) tomato paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup plain yoghurt (to add at the end)

This recipe fits a 3.5L (4 quart) slowcooker.

Put chicken in crockpot, and add onion, garlic, and all of the dry spices. Plop in the butter and tomato paste. Add lemon juice and coconut milk. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. The chicken should shred easily with 2 forks when fully cooked.

Stir in plain yogurt 15 minutes before serving. Salt to taste, serve with rice.

The Verdict
Quite possibly the best crockpot meal I have made so far. I let mine cook for 5 hours on high, and I could shred the chicken with a spoon afterwards. It tasted absolutely delicious!

Next time I think I'll add an extra bell pepper as I thought it was a bit low on vegetables, but the seasoning can't be improved on. This would make for brilliant filling to a fajitas as well.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Week 12: Chicken Nicoise

The Recipe
1 cup white wine
400g chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano, thyme and basil
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
8 olives

Heat 1/4 cup of the wine to boiling in a skillet. Cook chicken in wine, turning once, until brown. Remove chicken and keep warm.
Add garlic, onions, olive oil, herbs, bell peppers, olives and remaining wine to skillet and heat till boiling. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add chicken back to the skillet, reducing heat to medium low. Cook 10 to 15 minutes until chicken is cooked thoroughly.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
My chicken didn't exactly brown in the wine - it just turned white. I think it boiled rather than anything else. That's okay though, it still tasted good, although a bit dull - I added both soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce to my portion. I think I'll use more olives next time too, because there weren't quite enough for my taste.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 11: Brassiered Pork

The Recipe
500g belly pork, without rind
1 large squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 bell peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5dl red wine (or stock)
1 tbsp corn starch
1 can (400g) tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
Rosemary, thyme

Heat up the oil in a large pan and cook the onion at medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add squash, bell pepper, garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine. Mix the corn starch with a bit of water and add to the mix. Bring to a boil.

In a crock-pot add half the vegetable mix, put the belly pork on top and cover with the rest of the vegetable mix. Add spices according to taste.

Cook on HIGH for 7-9 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

The Verdict
I'm getting much better at finding good recipes and good meat to use for crock-pot meals. This was really, really good. I guess you could serve it with rice as well, but the mashed potatoes fit perfectly :-) Very yummy and definitely something I'll be making again.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Week 10: Pasta Parmasan

The Recipe

3 carrots, cut into thin strips
1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt pepper
1 tbsp dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
1 pound pasta
7 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
150g bacon

Preheat the oven to 225C.

On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring after the first 10.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente (I added a bouillon cube as well). Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. In a wok, cook bacon for about 10 minutes. Add pasta and vegetables to the wok and toss with the reserved cooking liquid

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

The Verdict
VERY yummy! Baking the vegetables rather than cooking them in the wok added a different texture and taste. The melted parmasan cheese added a lovely touch as well. Definitely something I'll be making again, especially as it's no more complicated than your ordinary stir-fry.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Week 9: Ethiopian Chicken Soup

I'm obviously all about the crock-pot these days :-)

The Recipe
1 can stewed tomatoes (400g)
400g boneless, skinless chicken pieces (thighs, breast - doesn't matter)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (less if you use concentrate)
2 tbsp butter
2 onions, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
4 small carrots, diced
1 small can of corn (~160g)
1 tsp ginger
1 tbsp paprika
a dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp tumeric
2 cups water

This fit my 4.5L slow cooker perfectly.

Empty the tomato can into your cooker. Put in chicken and lemon juice. Add butter, onion, bell pepper, carrots, corn, and all the spices. Pour in the water (I used this to rinse out the tomato can). Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours (high for 4-5).

Five minutes before serving, take out the chicken pieces and shred them with a fork. Put the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker and stir to get everything mixed together (otherwise the tomatoes will still reside at the bottom).

The Verdict
LOVED it! Very little preparation work as only the vegetables needed chopping and there was no pre-browning, and it tasted great. This amount of seasoning was just right for my DH, but I added some chilli flakes to my portion at the table.

I think I'll use more carrots next time, as they basically disappeared, but apart from that, I've got no adjustments to suggest.