Thursday, February 28, 2013

Week 9: Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese

The Recipe
4 slices bread - the better the quality, the better the dish, but I just used toast bread and it was still fine.
2 slices sharp cheddar
2 slices spicy cheese
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1.5 tbsp butter
2 tbsp BBQ sauce

Melt 1/2 tbsp of butter in a skillet. Add the sliced onion and stir occasionally until color changes to slightly brown and taste is sweet, about 10 minutes. Remove onions from skillet and set aside.

Spread 1 tbsp of the remaining butter onto one side of each slice of bread. Divide BBQ sauce evenly among 2 of the slices, and spread evenly opposite the butter side. Lay cheddar cheese on top of sauce. Divide caramelized onion among the sandwiches, then top with pepper jack. Finish assembly by placing remaining bread slices on top. The butter sides of the bread should both be on the outside of the sandwiches.

Melt the remaining butter in the skillet on medium-low. Cook sandwiches two at a time, flipping when bread is golden brown on one side and cheese begins to melt. Serve while hot.

The Verdict
While I've had grilled cheese before, it's always been made in a toaster. This was the first time I tried it on the pan and it is SO much better!!! I tried not to think too much about the amount of butter that went into it though ;)

I couldn't find any spicy cheese nor any cheddar, so I used Havarti and added a bit of chili instead. Not enough though - I couldn't really taste the 'bite'. Also, the cheese really does need to be sharp. This was much too mild to give any proper taste. It was still delicious, but gave me an idea of what it could have been if I had stuck to the 'right' ingredients.

Very yummy and very easy. DEFINITELY something I'll be making again!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Week 8 - Greek Crock Chicken

The Recipe
4 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 carrots cut into chunks
2 onions, cut into 6 thin wedges
1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey

Mix everything together in the crock-pot and cook for 6-7 hours on LOW. Serve with baked potatoes.

(Freezer meal)

The Verdict
Not as good as I had hoped. The carrots especially turned out really weird. I think they probably didn't handle being frozen and then cooked all that well. It was okay, but no more - and definitely not something I'd make again.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Week 7: Spicy Raspberry-Honey Chicken Stir-Fry

The Recipe
Spice Rub: (Don't shy about doubling this to make sure all the chicken is thickly coated)
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp powdered ginger
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
1 tsp powdered garlic (I know, the fresh stuff is better, but this way you can get the same amount of garlic and ginger quite easily, which is the goal.)
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp raspberry balsamic vinegar (I couldn't find raspberry so used cherry instead. Am going to assume it didn't make a difference :) )
4 tbsp honey
The Rest Of The Dish:
2 tbsp oil
1 lb chicken, cut into stirfry-sized pieces
2 bell peppers
(4 oz bamboo shoots) (I don't like bamboo shoots, so I left them out)
4 oz sliced water chestnuts

Dredge the chicken thoroughly in the spice rub. Make more rub rather than let parts of chicken escape spicing. In a wok or large frying pan, over medium-high heat, stir fry the chicken in oil.
Once the chicken has been cooked on each side (but not all the way through), add the bell peppers, the bamboo shoots, and the water chestnuts.
Make sure all ingredients are tossed together well, then add the sauce mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove from heat and serve immediately over rice or flat noodles.

The Verdict
Really yummy! I liked the spice palet and how the spicy/sweet/tart flavours meshed. Might be a tad too spicy for DH, so I'll probably mainly make this on days when I'm home alone.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 6: Tomato Soup with Garnishes

The Recipe
~125g bacon (optional)
4 cloves of garlic
1 onion
3 cans (~15oz each) of stewed tomatoes
1 dl water
3 tbsp oregano
a dash of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1 dl cream

Feta Cheese
1 tbsp crunchy Peanut butter mixed with 100g greek yogurt

Cut the bacon into thin strips. Chop garlic and onion finely. Blend the tomatoes.
In a pot cook bacon over medium-high heat until desired level of crispness. Add onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add tomatoes, water, oregano, cayenne, salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.
Add cream, heat the soup and serve with garnishes.

The Verdict
This recipe was perfect for DH and me for dinner with left-overs for my lunch the following day. The garnishes makes this very different from most tomato soups. I really liked it, but think it's a better lunch than dinner dish.