Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Week 16: Southwestern Chicken and Bean Soup

The Recipe
1/2 pound chicken breast meat, cut into pieces
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup salsa
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp ground cumin
250g white beans
1 small can (160g) corn
1 chopped onion
1 bell pepper

The original recipe called for browning the chicken first, but I couldn't be bothered doing that, so I skipped that step.

Add chicken to slow cooker. Add chicken broth, salsa, garlic, cumin, beans, corn, bell pepper and onion. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is cooked through.

The Verdict
DH wasn't home so I used hot salsa instead of mild - and it really was hot! Next time I might use medium instead just to moderate it a bit ;-)

Still, I loved it :) The chicken shredded nicely, so it didn't matter at all that I didn't brown it first, and it was lovely hearty and warming. Definitely something I'll want to make again.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Week 15: Salsa Steak

The Recipe
4 cube steaks (couldn't find any, so I used pork chops instead)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups chuncky salsa

Pre-heat oven to 200C.

Place steaks in an oven proof dish and season with cumin, salt and pepper.
Arrange bell pepper and onion over the meat and pour the salsa over all. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the steaks are done.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
For my husband's sake I used mild salsa which was probably a good thing as he still found it a tad on the spicy side, and I could always add more chili at the table ;) It turned out pretty good. Not mind-blowingly so, but good enough that I might make this again another time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Week 14: Pavlova

I've had this several times, but have never made it myself. I was feeling adventurous, so I figured it was about time.

The Recipe
3 egg whites
2 cups sugar
1 dessertspoon tbsp cornflour
1½ tsp vanilla
1½ tsp vinegar
3-6 tbsp boiling water (it really depends on the eggs... the mixture should still be really thick or the pavlova won't keep its shape properly. If you tilt the bowl, the mixture should be very reluctant to move. Better to add too little water than too much)

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add all other ingredients and beat well until THICK and fluffy.
Preheat oven to 250 deg C. put a tray near the top of the oven and put in pavlova (grease and then wet baking paper, then spread mixture on in one big or two smaller rounds.) Turn oven off and leave for one hour.
Don't leave for too long before removing from paper – this is the trickiest bit! But don't worry if it breaks a bit – cream and decoration cover it all up!

Decorate with whipped cream, fruits and berries - e.g. kiwi, grapes, strawberries, blueberries etc.

The Verdict
I had no idea how much a "dessertspoon" was, so I guessed a teaspoon, and think that may have been a tad too little - in any case, the pavlova flattened while in the oven and didn't get quite as nice and tall as it ought to have been. It still tasted great though, and was a LOT easier to make than I had made myself believe.

Oh, I couldn't find regular vinegar in the supermarket (I know!), so I ended up buying cherry vinegar instead. A lot more expensive, but it tasted great! :D

ETA: Made this again with a tablespoon of cornflour instead of just a teaspoon and it turned out perfectly. So very chuffed about that :)