Friday, April 26, 2013

Week 17: Baked Chicken Tapenade

The Recipe
1lb boneless, skinless chicken pieces - preferably breasts
5-6 olives, finely chopped OR 4 tbsp olive tapenade
8 slices of pancetta or parma
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1dl (~6.5tbsp) white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 bell pepper, cut in chunks
Salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 220C.

With a sharp knife, cut some deep wedges into each chicken piece. Put the chopped olives/olive tapenade into the wedges and wrap each piece in 1-2 slices of pancetta. Place the chicken in an ovenproof dish and place the tomato and bell pepper pieces around them. Pour wine and olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the juices run clear. Cover with some foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with ciabatta bread that's been sliced, brushed with olive oil and grilled for 2-3 minutes.

The Verdict
After a couple of weeks with disappointing results, I am very happy to say that I loved this. It tasted just as good as it sounded, and my not-too-fond-of-chicken DH liked it too :) I think I'll chop of the garlic finer and add it to the olives next time though - they rather disappeared in the sauce. The ciabatta would only improve with some garlic as well ;)
I tried chopping the garlic finer and adding it to the olives - it DEFINITELY needs less garlic if doing it that way. I used 2 large cloves, and it was almost overpowering. So one should be more than enough.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Week 16 - Chocolate Pudding Cake

The Recipe
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups hot water

Grease your crockpot with butter. In a bowl, mix together all of the cake ingredients. Beat until smooth. Put the batter into the crock pot, and pat it down evenly.

In a smaller bowl, mix the cocoa and brown sugar. Add the hot water. Mix until smooth. Pour this sauce evenly over the batter but do not mix!

Cover. Cook on HIGH for about 3 hours until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Turn off the crockpot and let the cake sit for half an hour.

The Verdict
So very, very bad :( Neither my husband nor I could stomach eating more than a couple of mouthfuls of this. It actually tasted gross. I never thought the day would come that I'd pick throwing chocolate cake out over eating it, but here there was no contest. I never knew chocolate cake could taste that bad. Erdk.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Week 15: Beer Crock Chicken

The Recipe
4-6 pieces of chicken
1 can of beer
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp basil

Dump everything in the crock pot.
Frozen chicken: 5-6 hours on HIGH / 8-10 hours on LOW.
Fresh/thawed chicken: 3-4 hours on HIGH / 7-8 hours on LOW.

The Verdict
Just... not good :( Can't pin-point exactly what was wrong with it, but I didn't care for it at all, unfortunately.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Week 14: Sweet Garlic Chicken

The Recipe
2 pieces of chicken
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp brown sugar.

Preheat the oven to 225C.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small skillet and briefly saute the garlic until it's soft and fragrant. Take off the heat and add brown sugar and any other seasoning (+ salt / pepper) you might like.
Bake for 15-30 minutes or until the juices run clear.

The Verdict
Unfortunately I didn't care for this at all. It was much too sweet. Odd, because generally speaking I like things that have been caramelized. The exception that proves the rule, I guess?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Week 13: Crispy Edamame

The Recipe
No real recipe for this. Just take frozen edamame, toss with olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, put in oven-proof dish. Bake at 200C for 15 minutes.

The Verdict
Hmm... I think I may have made the mistake of crowding the edamame, because they didn't turn out crispy at all. Either that or I just didn't bake them for long enough. Better luck next time I guess?