Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Week 31: Bacon Double Cheese Burger Salad

From Closet Cooking.

The Recipe
(serves 2 as a main course)

60-70g bacon, cut in thin slices (half a package if you're in Denmark)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped and divided
250g ground beef
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tsp mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp bacon grease oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar (I used 1.5tbsp red wine and 0.5tbsp balsamico instead)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp oil or bacon grease (I used half oil with basil and half oil with chili)
2 hamburger buns, cut into 1 inch cubes (didn't have any, so I used pita bread instead)
4 cups lettuce, sliced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Cook the bacon in a pan over medium heat until nice and crisp - about 5-10 minutes. Set aside the bacon and drain the bacon grease from the pan (I only got about 1 tbsp - you might get more). Add the onions and half the garlic and saute until tender and fragrant. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Mix in the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, simmer to reduce, remove from heat and set aside. Add the vinegar to the pan, deglaze it and then add 1 tbsp bacon grease, sugar, mustard, the rest of the garlic and season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, toss the buns in the oil / bacon grease and bake in the oven until lightly golden brown (about 10 minutes).

Toss the lettuce and tomatoes along with the pan sauce dressing, beef, bacon, croutons and cheese. Yes, it looks like a lot of cheese, but it works :)

The Verdict
SO GOOD!!! Even my husband loved it and asked for left-overs the following day (drat! I had hoped to keep them all for myself!). Really delicious and definitely something I'll be making again. The substitutions worked perfectly and I can't think of a single thing I'd do to change it or make it better. Definitely worth a repeat!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Week 30: Fried Pork with Parsley Sauce

This is one dish I'm ridiculously pleased I got right. It's quintessentially Danish and one of my husband's favourite dishes. For some reason I hadn't dared attempt it before now, but with our home-grown potatoes being ripe for harvesting it was time :)

The Recipe
500g of sliced pork belly. You'll want the stuff that looks like spareribs - just thinner. Like this.
6-700g new potatoes
15g flour
1/2 tbsp butter
1 cup milk
1dl chopped fresh parsley (about half a pot)
Salt, pepper

Heat the oven to 200-220C.

Place the slices of pork belly on a grill tray / gridiron. Make SURE to have something underneath to catch all the drippings or you'll be cleaning the oven for the next year. Put the tray in the middle of the oven and cook for about 40 minutes - checking ever 10-15 minutes. You'll want them crisp but not burnt. Once they're done remove them from the tray and put them on a plate covered with paper towels to soak up the last juice.

Meanwhile boil the potatoes and prepare the parsley sauce:

In a small put, melt the butter over medium heat. Pour in a little of the flour at a time until the butter cannot take any more - this is probably only about half the flour. Add in some of the milk and stir until smooth again. Add the rest of the flour - the sauce should be able to incorporate it now - and then the rest of the milk (this sounds more complicated than it is). Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper according to taste. Finally mix in the chopped parsley and bring to a quick boil again.

Serve with preserved beetroots or other pickled vegetables.

The Verdict
I feel like doing a happy dance here. I got the meat exactly right. It was perfectly crisp, not too hard, not too chewy and not burnt at all!!! So proud of myself :) The parsley sauce turned out okay - I didn't put nearly enough salt into it, but then I never do :-P and it was easily remedied. DH loved it, and I'm very satisfied with how this attempt went :) Definitely something I'll be making again :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 29: Omelet with Tomatoes and Cheese

The Recipe
3 eggs
~1/2dl water (I eyeballed it)
1 large tomato
1 thin slice chili Gouda
Salt, Pepper

Crack the three eggs into a small bowl. Whip them to a frenzy - you really want to get some air into the batter. When you feel like you've whipped them sufficiently, add the water (or milk... I didn't have any though, so water it was) and whip them all over again. Add a couple of dashes of tabasco and salt and pepper to taste.

In a pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Pour the batter into the pan and resist the urge to scramble them - scrambled eggs are delicious as well, but right now you're wanting an omelet :) Just let them cook on their own for 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes and cheese up into small pieces. Add them to the top of the omelet once the 2-3 minutes are up, and let it cook for another 2 minutes. Fold the omelet in half, covering up the toppings. After another 2 minutes it'll be done.

Serve with chili sauce if desired.

The Verdict
I definitely didn't use enough cheese! I'll probably take twice that next time. But that aside I loved it! It was my first attempt at making an omelet, and it turned out perfectly! :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Week 28: Ravioli w. Garlic Cheese Sauce

The Recipe
500g Ravioli with filling of your choice
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1 bell pepper
2dl cream
150g garlic cream cheese
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2dl pasta water

In a pot, boil the ravioli according to the instructions on the package. Drain, reserving 2dl of the water (~1cup).

In a pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion and garlic until translucent and fragrant. Add bell pepper, cream, cream cheese, white wine vinegar and pasta water. Bring the sauce to a boil and leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add salt and basil according to taste.

Mix pasta and sauce and serve.

The Verdict
Not bad :) Very simple - took less than 30 minutes to make, and most of that was getting the water to a boil - but I liked the way it tasted :)

Week 27 - Crock Beef and Ale

The Recipe
2 tsp olive oil
500g beef stew meat, cubed
1 onion, in wedges
2 sliced carrots
1 bell pepper, sliced
6 oz beer
3 oz tomato paste
15g Italian salad dressing mix
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste.

Place all ingredients in a crock-pot. Stire to combine. Cover and cook on LOWfor 6-8 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

The Verdict
Not my favourite crock-pot meal, but not bad either. Even though I don't generally like beer, it gave an interesting taste to this meal.