Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 43: Goulash Soup

The Recipe
(Serves 4)
150g bacon
1 large carrot
1 onion
1 medium-sized potato (~75g)
2-3 gloves garlic
500g minced beef
2 (140z) cans tomatoes
3/4l beef stock
2 bell peppers
1/2 tbsp paprika
tomato paste

Chop carrot, onion and potato into small cubes. Chop garlic and slice bell peppers.

In a pot, cook bacon until some of the fat is rendered. If it doesn't seem to give off enough fat, add a bit of oil before adding the onion, potato and carrots. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the minced beef and cook until brown. Add garlic and bell peppers and cook for another 2-3 minutes before adding tomatoes, beef stock and paprika. Bring to a boil and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

Just before cooking add salt, tomato paste and milk according to taste.

Serve with Parmesan cheese

The Verdict
I used one can of tomatoes with chili instead of the paprika, but don't think it made all that much of a difference. I liked it well enough... not an instant favourite like some of the other soups I've tried, but good comfort food. DH liked it too, so I'll probably make it again :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 42: Greek Pasta Salad

The Recipe
300g penne pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 red onion, chopped
450g chicken, cubed
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp oregano
salt, pepper

Cook pasta till al dente. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile heat oil in a pan. Add garlic and onion and cook for about 5 minutes - until translucent. Add chicken and cook until chicken is done.

Reduce heat to low and add tomato, feta, lemon juice and oregano. Add pasta and stir until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The Verdict
It seemed slightly heavy on the pasta, but appart from that I really liked it! The tastes meshed wonderfully together and the tanginess of the lemon worked very well with the chicken and the feta.

Definitely worth a repeat.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 41: Italian Chicken

The Recipe
3 large potatoes in wedges
3 large carrots in pieces
450g chicken breast
2 tsp Italian Seasoning (I made my own using basil, thyme, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika)
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Put the potatoes and carrots in the bottom of the crockpot and cover with everything else (including the cheese). Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or until the chicken and vegetables are done.

Serve with a nice salad.

The Verdict
The chicken was so unbelievably moist and yummy! The potatoes were great too, but the carrots kinda weird -- almost as if they hadn't been cooked properly. So next time I think I'll leave them out, and just serve them on the side instead.

Even DH who isn't a huge fan of chicken had seconds :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Week 40: Rucola Salad with Pastachios and Chocolate

The Recipe
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1.5 tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
2.5 tbsp olive oil

100g rucola
1 tbsp chopped pistachios (for serving)
1 tbsp chopped dark chocolate (for serving)

Make a vinaigrette by combining mustard, vinegar and salt in a small bowl. Add olive oil and whisk vigorously. Taste and adjust as needed.

Put the rucola in a large bowl and add a modest spoonful or two of dressing. Using your hands carefully toss the rucola, taking care to handle it lightly. Taste and add dressing as needed.
Divide the dressed rucola among 4 plates. Serve with small bowls of pistachios and chocolate on the side, allowing each eater to sprinkle salad as desired.

The Verdict
Basically I had to try this because the idea of putting chocolate on salad just seemed so weird that it had to be tried. And it totally works! I really liked the mix of the tart rucola, the different tartness of the vinaigrette, the saltiness of the pistachio and the sweetness of the chocolate fit perfectly together.

You do have to like rucola to appreciate this though, so it wouldn't be suitable for my DH.

Week 39 - Mocca Ice Cream

The Recipe
1/2L cream
100g powdered sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 (cold) espresso shot (~4 tbsp)
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Mix egg yolkes, sugar, cocoa and vanilla.
In a different bowl, whip the cream.
Add the coffee to the egg yolks and carefully fold in the whipped cream.

Pour into an ice cream maker and proceed according to the machine's instructions.

The Verdict
I added chopped dark chocolate as well - I felt like it could use it ;) And the espresso was from my Nespresso machine... unfortunately I've forgotten which flavour, but I think the strongest one... I also think it doesn't make too much of a difference. Really good and definitely worth a repeat!

Week 38 - Elder Flower Ice Cream

The Recipe
4 egg whites
125g sugar
1 dl cream
2.5dl concentrated elder flower juice (~1 cup)

Mix egg whites and sugar thoroughly.
Whip the cream
Add elder flower juice and whipped cream to the sugared egg whites and mix.

Pour into an ice cream maker and proceed according to the machine's instructions.

The Verdict
I added a tad extra elder flower juice as I didn't think it tasted strongly enough of elder flower, but as the taste intensified as the ice cream froze, I'm not sure that was necessary. In the end it's become one of my favourites :)