Monday, November 26, 2012

Week 47: Fast and Easy Bean Stew

The Recipe
2 carrots, chopped
1 large potato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
100g cocktail sausages, halved
1 (15oz) can beans, undrained.
7dl (~3 cups) chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup salsa

Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté onion, carrot and potato for about 5 minutes. Add sausages, broth, beans, salsa, thyme and garlic powder. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.

The Verdict
I made a LOT of changes from the original recipe. The ratios were all off (IMHO), and it was only supposed to simmer for 10 minutes instead of 20 - but the potatoes and beans were no where near done at that point. So this is my adapted recipe, but I think it ended up quite nicely :) I used chicken sausages as that was all I could find at the time, but I'll probably stick with pork sausages another time. Still easy despite my changes (even if not as fast), and a lovely comfort food :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 46: Jamaican-Style Beans and Rice

The Recipe
1 can (15oz) beans, undrained
1 cup rice
1 small can (6oz) coconut milk
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
150g bacon, sliced

Cook rice.

Meanwhile, cook bacon and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes. Add beans, thyme, coconut milk, green onions and bell pepper. Heat through until warm and bubbly. Mix with rice and warm through immediately before serving.

The Verdict
A nice and low-key comfort meal. I used wild rice which I think was a mistake - for once I think regular parboiled would have been better. It was a pleasant mix of tastes though, and super-easy to make, so I'll probably make it again.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Week 45: Cuban Spicy Pork

The Recipe
2 pork chops
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
3 tbsp salsa
1 tbsp honey
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 tbsp lime juice

Sprinkle cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and chili powder on each pork chop.
In a large zipper-topped plastic bag, combine salsa, honey, garlic, and lime juice; add seasoned pork chops; seal bag, turn gently and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

Melt butter in a pan over high heat and cook the pork chops until desired doneness. Remove from pan. Add about 10-15gr butter and 1/2 cup of water to the pan and whisk until reduced slightly. Pour over pork chops.

Serve with baked potatoes.

The Verdict
Even I was worried about the amount of chili on these pork chops. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper on each??? But I decided to trust the recipe and give it a try. Turned out, the person I got this from knew what she was doing! The mix of spicy to sweet was perfect, and the long marinating time (I'd given it 7 hours) made the chops sooooo moist and tender! I'd probably halve the amount of spices if making this for kids, but for myself - delicious!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week 44: Creamy Spaghetti Cabonara

The Recipe
1/2 lb spaghetti, uncooked
110g bacon, finely sliced
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup light cream (10-12%)
4tbsp grated Parmesan cheese- tossed with 1/2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper

Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, cook the bacon and garlic in a small pan over medium-low heat until the garlic is aromatic and the bacon is lightly browned. Add the bell pepper and cook for a few minutes.

Add the wine, increase heat, bring the wine to a boil and cook until it has reduced by half. Add the cream and bring back up to a slight simmer (not much--it will break) and whisk in the Parmesan cheese mixture, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat.

When pasta is done, drain it well and add it immediately to the bacon mixture. Add Parmesan cheese and toss quickly. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

The Verdict
Very nice indeed! :) Traditional Cabonara is often too rich for me, but I've discovered that the recipes that use either cream or eggs instead of both are right up my aisle. This was no exception and ended up absolutely delicious :)