Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of 2013

My favourite resolution is the one I started in 2010 - to cook one new recipe each week. I've managed to keep it quite well, and I've discovered a number of new favourites this way. In no particular order, here are my 10 favourites of 2013.

Chicken Chili - a spicy chicken soup with chili and cream cheese. Lots of spicy goodness in this one! I made it an evening Lars wasn't home, so I could make it as spicy as the recipe called for. Yum!

Chicken Philly Sandwiches (Crockpot) A nice alternative to smothered burgers.

Roasted Bell Pepper and Avocado Soup. A delicious and creamy soup. You can't really taste the avocado, but it does wonders for the creaminess of the soup.

Bacon Cheddar Biscuits. I've made these 4 times already. They're SO good :)

Bacon Double Cheese Burger Salad. Even Lars loved this enough to ask for leftovers the following day. Drat, I'd hoped to keep it all to myself! ;)

Nacho Potatos We both love nachos and I make it far too often ;) This will make a nice alternative.

Moroccan Chicken (Crockpot) A lovely and warming stew.

Southwestern Bean Salad I think I mostly love this because of all the avocado ;) But the different tastes go really well together.

Baked Chicken Tapenade Even my not-too-fond-of-chicken husband loved this :) I think the olives helped ;)

Oven-Baked Chimichangas. What can I say? I love pretty much anything that gives me an excuse to eat avocados ;)

... and then two that aren't really new recipes, but traditional Danish meals I finally got the hang of this year :)
Fried Pork with Parsley Sauce... with homegrown potatoes and eaten while sitting out on our porch. It was just the perfect meal for a Danish summer evening :)

Ham with Apple-Horseradish Sauce. One of Lars' favourite dishes, and I got the recipe from his mother - I HAD to get this one right! And fortunately I managed :)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Week 52 - Thai Curry Soup

The Recipe
1 small onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp red curry paste
1/2 can (~150-200ml) coconut milk
1l chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 lime
salted peanuts

Sauté onion and carrot in some olive oil until tender. add garlic and bell pepper and cook for another minute. Add red curry paste and mash/mix until evenly distributed. Add coconut milk, chicken/vegetable broth, curry powder, ginger, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and brown sugar. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are done.

Add lime juice to taste before serving and garnish with peanuts.

The Verdict
Great base to a soup, but I didn't think the vegetables fit the base. It was okay, but nothing more... unfortunately.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Week 51: Chicken Chili

The Recipe
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 jalapeno peppers diced, seeds removed (I couldn't find fresh jalapenos, so used 1.5 red chili instead)
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (no, this is FAR too much - use just ½lb instead)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 (14 oz) can tomatoes with green chilies
2 cups chicken broth
1 (14 oz) can cannelloni or navy beans
2 (7 oz) can corn
200g cream cheese
175g bacon, sliced, cooked crisp and crumbled

In a large pot heat the oil and sauté onion, jalepeno, and garlic until tender.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Add cumin and oregano and cook until the chicken is lightly cooked on all sides.

Stir in diced tomatoes, chicken broth, corn, and beans and increase heat to bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes.

Stir in cream cheese and stir until completely melted. Stir in the crumbled bacon. Add more chicken stock if too thick.

The Verdict
Made this a day where DH wasn't home, which was probably a good thing. It was kinda hot, but not too hot for comfort - just enough to give a nice "bite" to it. I might even try it with 2 chilies next time. Tasted fantastic! I love the cheesy-chili flavour :) Will definitely make this again.

Edit: Okay, made this again, and despite adding 2 chilies it had practically no *bite*. Perhaps Danish chilies are just really weak? Or perhaps I was too diligent in removing seeds? Either way, it had very little heat to it, but that was easily remedied by adding extra chili-flakes at serving time.

More importantly, I thought the soup had FAR too much chicken! It definitely only needs about half of what the recipe calls for. I'll have to remember that for next time.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Week 50: Chicken Tortilla Soup

(From "Baked by Rachel")

The Recipe
400g chicken breast
2 small cans corn (~15oz total)
1 can tomatoes, (~15oz)
1 liter chicken stock
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp chili powder (NB: leave this out if you don't like things spicy. Because it simmers all day a little goes a VERY long way, and this was far too much heat for my DH. I loved it, though :-D )
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 1/4 tsp ground pepper, divided
shredded cheese
tortilla strips or nachos

(Fits a 3.5L crockpot)

Add the first 8 ingredients (chicken through chili) to a crock-pot. Season with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.

Just before serving, remove chicken breasts to a bowl for easy shredding. Season chicken with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Return the chicken to the crock-pot and stir.

Serve with shredded cheese and tortilla strips/nachos.

(Tortilla strips can be made by frying a cut-up tortilla in butter (don't forget the butter!) until golden and crisp).

The Verdict
The original recipe had extra serrano peppers added to the soup, but I know DH doesn't do well with a lot of heat, so I left those out, and just had some to add to my bowl at serving time. ...And it's good without as well - definitely has enough flavour to carry it through. I'll definitely be making this again! (But with less chili powder - even just 1/4tsp was too much for DH)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Week 49: Avocado and Egg

The Recipe
1 avocado
2 eggs
parmesan cheese
salt, pepper
Spices according to taste.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Halve the avocado and take out the pit. Put the two halves in an oven-proof dish. Crack an egg into the pit hole of each half. Garnish with cheese and spices according to taste.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on how done you want the egg to be.

Serve immediately.

The Verdict
There's a first for everything. I usually love avocado, but I did not care for this at all. I ate the egg, but left the avocado behind. What a waste of a good avocado. Won't be making this again.