Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Week 48: Tortilla Noodle Soup

The Recipe
2 cans (15oz) tomatoes
1 liter beef stock
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili
Juice from a lime (or half a lemon)
2 tbsp sugar
300 g diced chicken
2 diced bell peppers
Tortilla Noodles (made from cutting up 4 tortillas into 1/4-inch strips),
Shredded cheese for garnish

In a pot, cook the diced chicken until no longer pink in the middle. Put aside. Add the stock and stir a bit to pick up the charred bits from the bottom of the pot. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

Add salt, chili, lime juice and sugar to taste. Add chicken and bell peppers and bring to a boil. Leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Add tortilla noodles and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve with shredded cheese on top.

The Verdict
There were FAR too many tortilla noodles! They basically overpowered the entire dish! It tasted alright, but seemed more like soggy tortillas than anything else... not the concept I was going for.

We had quite a bit left for the next day, so I removed 90% of the tortilla noodles, added a can of beans, a can of corn and a can of coconut milk, and brought to a boil again. That turned it into a MUCH better soup... but very similar to old favourites, so I probably won't be making this particular permutation again.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 47: Garlic Bread

The Recipe
1 loaf ciabatta bread, horizontally cut in half (about 300g)
3 tablespoons salted butter (soft)
2 cloves garlic, minced
250g fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1dl balsamic vinegar
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
chopped fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 200C. Place both sides of the bread on a large baking sheet with the cut side up.

In a small bowl, combine butter and garlic and spread evenly on bread halves. Place the mozzarella cheese slices on top of the bread. Bake the bread for 12-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Meanwhile make the balsamic reduction. Place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring the vinegar to a boil, decrease the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by about half - about 5-7 minutes.

Remove the bread from oven. Top the bread with tomato slices and put back in the oven for 1-2 minutes, just to soften the tomatoes a bit. Season with salt and pepper, add the fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Cut into slices and serve.

The Verdict
DH didn't care for the balsamic reduction, so I served that on the side, and could probably have made do with half (but that would have made it awfully difficult to reduce!). I liked it though :)

But otherwise, what's not to like? Good bread, yummy garlic butter, and the lovely mix that is mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. It was VERY garlicky, so you'd want to be aware of your plans for the rest of the day, but it tasted delicious :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 46: Chicken Philly Sandwiches

The Recipe
2 tbsp butter
1 large onion, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp honey
1/8 tbsp vinegar
pinch of ginger
pinch of garlic powder
450gr chicken breasts, sliced
salt, pepper
sliced Mozzarella cheese (approx 250g)
burger buns

Add first 9 ingredients (butter through chicken) to a crock-pot. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to mix.
Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours.

When it's done, shred the chicken with a spoon or two forks.

Preheat the oven to 200C

Slice the burger buns in halves and cover one half with sliced mozzarella. Heat in the oven for 3-5 minutes.

Cover with the chicken mix and serve.

The Verdict
Loved it, loved it, loved it!!! It was a bit bland at first, but with some added salt and chili sauce it worked perfectly. The melted cheese gave it that "something extra" to make it really delicious. Next time I might serve it with salsa instead of chili sauce, or perhaps even add a tablespoon or two of salsa to the crock-pot.

But really yummy no matter what and DEFINITELY worth a repeat!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Week 45: Stuffed Bell Peppers

The Recipe
70g thinly sliced roast beef
8 slices cheese
2 large bell peppers, halved lengthwise
1 large onion, thinly sliced
200-250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tbs butter
2 tbs olive oil
2 clove garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper
1dl rice, precooked

Preheat oven to 200C. Boil the rice.

Saute onions and mushrooms over medium heat with butter, olive oil, minced garlic and a little salt and pepper. Saute until onions and mushroom are nice and caramelized. About 25-30 minutes.

Slice roast beef into thin strips (I found it easiest to cut them with scissors) and add to the onion/mushroom mixture. Allow to cook 5-10 minutes.

Line the inside of each pepper with a slice of cheese. Fill each pepper with meat mixture until they are nearly overflowing. Top each pepper with another slice of cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.

The Verdict
I served this with garlic bread, which was fine, but another time I might try to cook a cup of rice and mix it with the onion/mushroom mixture - just to make for a more filling stuffing. Also, I think I'll add another onion and another clove of garlic... either that, or use a tiny bit less meat.
I tried making it again with more garlic, a larger onion and less meat and it turned out SO much better. I've updated the quantities in the recipe above so it reflects the new measurements.

I really liked it, and will definitely be making it again. I think it would work well with other types of meat as well. Easy to make and tasted great :)