Friday, December 4, 2020

Week 43 - Bellpepper Tortellini

The Recipe
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 squash
2-3 cloves garlic
2.5dl chicken stock
fresh basil parmesan cheese
250g tortellini

Cook the tortellini according to the instructions on the package.

Cut bell peppers and squash into bite-sized pieces and chop the garlic finely.

In a pan, heat 3tbsp olive oil over medium high heat and cook the garlic until fragrant. Add bell pepper and squash and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Leave to reduce a bit. Add parmesan cheese and the tortellini and serve immediately. 

The Verdict
Strangely dull!! Really weird. I added sweet chili sauce and that helped a bit, but not enough that I'm gonna make it again.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Week 38: Slow cooker peanut chicken

The Recipe
450g chicken breast
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp red curry paste
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp hot chili sauce
2 tbsp chopped peanuts
4 sweet potatoes
1 avocado

Heat oil in a small pot and add the curry paste. Stir until fragrant - about a minute or so. Add next 7 ingredients (peanut butter through chopped peanuts) and cook until the peanut butter is completely melted, and everything has reduced a bit.
Place the chicken and the peanut sauce in the slow cooker and cook on LOW for ~8hours. Shred the chicken and mix it into the sauce.
Meanwhile, bake the sweet potatoes in the oven at 200C for about 45 minutes depending on size (they need a little less than normal baked potatoes of the same size).
Serve with sliced avocado, peanuts and lime juice on top.

The Verdict
Unfortunately I wasn't really a fan of this dish. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes did not mesh well with the taste of the peanut chicken. I decided to serve the leftovers as a wrap, which improved the taste somewhat, but I still wasn't too impressed. Also, the fish sauce STINKS!! You cannot taste it at all (fortunately!), but it really, really doesn't smell nice, which meant that I was less than enthused about this dish before I even tried it. Ah well - can't win them all.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Week 35: Mustard Chicken

The Recipe
15g butter
1tbsp oil
4 chicken thighs and 4 chicken drumsticks
150g bacon or 4 frankfurter sausages
2 leeks, sliced and separated into greens and whites
3 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp flour
1/2 l chicken stock
salt and pepper

In a pan, melt butter and oil and cook chicken until browned on all sides, transfer to crockpot.

Cook white part of the leeks and bacon for ~5 minutes. Add flour and mustard and then the chicken broth a bit at a time. Once all flour has been incorporated, leave to simmer for a bit until it's thickened up some. Transfer to crockpot. Add corn and stir

Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. Add green parts of the leeks and cook for another 15 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

The Verdict
REALLY needed more salt - and even with that added, it was still a bit bland - you couldn't taste the mustard at all. It was a good start, but I think I'd add a bit more mustard and possibly also some chili next time.

Weirdly enough, it didn't really work as left-overs though... which unfortunately probably takes it out of my rotation completely.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Week 33: Lemony Asparagus Pasta

The Recipe
~250g pasta
2 cups asparagus cut into 1" pieces (~8-10 asparagus)
2 spring onions, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
150g bacon (optional)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp pepper
A handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered

Cook pasta according to directions. Add asparagus to pasta during the last 3 minutes of cooking.

Meanwhile cook bacon until just crisp. Add spring onions and let them soften a bit. Add garlic and stir for a few minutes.

Drain pasta. Stir in all remaining ingredients.

Serve with parmesan cheese.

The Verdict
Surprisingly bland. Not something I'm likely to make again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Week 32: Beijing Soup

The Recipe
(Serves 2)
100g assorted mushrooms
250g chicken (about 3 thighs)
1 carrot
1 leek
1.5l chicken stock (incl. reserved water from boiling the chicken)
4 tbsp vermouth (Martini)
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tsp sambal oelek
20g rice noodles (I couldn't find any, so used ramen noodles instead)
2 egg whites
4 tbsp corn flour (optional)

Bring water to boil in a pot and cook the chicken for about 1 hr. Remove chicken from pot (reserving the water) and leave to cool for a bit. Once it's cold enough to handle, peel the chicken, discarding the skin and bones.

Cut the mushrooms, carrot and the white part of the leek into thin stripes, about 2cm long.

Add chicken stock to the reserved water until you have about 1.5l. Bring this to a boil and add vermouth, lemon juice, soy sauce and sambal oelek. Add the mushrooms and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Add chicken and noodles and leave to simmer for a few minutes.

Gently whisk the egg whites (they should be frothy - NOT whipped) and add them to the soup while stirring. Stir until the eggs are fully incorporated into the soup and not just lying on top (this will take awhile, but they will eventually turn into thin white threads). Add carrot and leek and leave to simmer for a few more minutes. If desired, add corn flower mixed with water to thicken up the soup a bit (I omitted this step - I prefer my Beijing soup thin).

The Verdict
Beijing Soup / Peking Soup (not entirely sure what the difference is) is probably my very favourite thing to order at a Chinese restaurant, so I was eager to try to make it for myself. Fortunately this recipe was almost perfect! I do think it needed a tad more carrot, but otherwise it was almost exactly the way I like it. Definitely something I'll make again!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Week 24: Tortillas Torte

The Recipe
(Serves 5-6 people)
6 tortillas
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
250g minced meat (I used beef, but it could be any - can also be substituted for a can of kidney or chili beans for a vegetarian version)
1 (14oz) can tomatoes
1 (14oz) can beans
1 bell pepper
~75g rocket salad or spinach
~240g corn
Cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste
A dash of cinnamon
~150g shredded cheese
Garnishes: Avocado, salsa, sour cream

Heat the oven to 200C.

Chop onion and garlic. Cut bell pepper into bite sized pieces.

Optional: In a pan, heat a bit of oil and once it's hot cook each tortillas for about 30 seconds on each side, until it starts to puff up and become crisp. This step can be omitted.

Heat a bit of oil in a pot and cook garlic, onion, cumin and cayenne pepper until fragrant. Add meat and cook until just browned.
Add tomatoes, beans and bell pepper and leave to simmer for 3-5 minutes. Add more spices according to taste. Turn off heat, but leave the pot on the element - add corn and salad / spinach and stir for a few minutes until the salad is wilted.

Coat a springform with oil or line a cake form with foil and start assembling the torte - alternating layers of tortillas, sauce and cheese, ending with sauce and cheese. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let it rest at room temperature for another 10 minutes.

Serve with avocado, salsa and sour cream.

The Verdict
Quite a lot of work, but very fancy-looking!!! I'm not sure it tasted all that much better than regular tortillas, but it certainly looked good. Too much work for an every-day meal, but definitely good for a special occasion :D

Week 23: Cabonara ala Lucy

The Recipe
125g thick-cut bacon
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp butter
2 tbsp white wine
2 eggs
~½ cup parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper
Assorted vegetables (mushrooms, bell pepper, tomatoes - whatever strikes your fancy)

In a pot, cook spaghetti for two.

Meanwhile, cut the bacon into small squares and cut up any vegetables you might decide to use.

Melt butter/oil in a pan over medium heat and cook the garlic for a few minutes until golden. Remove and discard the garlic.
Cook the bacon in the garlicky butter. When almost done, add the vegetables and give them a quick fry-up. Add wine and simmer for a few minutes to reduce.

In a bowl, mix together eggs, cheese, salt, pepper and any other spices you want to add. Once the spaghetti is done, stir in the egg mix and allow the heat from the pasta to cook the egg.
Stir in the bacon and vegetables and serve.

The Verdict
Well, cabonara is ALWAYS worth cooking in my books, but honestly, I like my usual recipe better, and it's not that different, so I probably won't bother with this one again.

Week 22: Roasted Mushrooms

The Recipe
(Serves 1)
100-150g Mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter

The trick here is to get the mushrooms completely dry before roasting them, so do NOT rinse them - if they're dirty, pat them with a moist paper towel, to get the dirt off, but do not wash them.

Cut them into bite sized pieces (I quartered mine) and place them on a paper towel to dry. I think I left mine for half an hour or so.

Get out a large pan and add olive oil and butter - enough to coat the entire pan. Turn the heat up high and wait until the butter stops foaming and it's REALLY hot.

Add the mushrooms, taking care not to crowd them. If you have too many mushrooms, cook them in batches rather than risking crowding the pan.

Let them sit for awhile and soak up the oils - the pan will get dry which is fine - don't add more oil, but turn the heat down a bit if they start to smoke. When they start to get brown, shake the pan to get them to brown evenly.

They're done when they're brown all over and seem crispy. Season with pepper and serve.

The Verdict
REALLY good! I never knew not to wash mushrooms before, but it really makes a difference. I think I possibly added a tad too much oil/butter, so they weren't all that crispy, but they still tasted a LOT better than the mushrooms I usually make :-D

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Week 10: Asian Honey Chicken

The Recipe
450g chicken
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 bell peppers, diced
3 spring onions, sliced
2-3 carrots, grated

Mix together garlic, honey, sesame oil and soy sauce in a zip-lock bag and mix thoroughly. Cut chicken into stripes and add to the bag, shaking to ensure the chicken is coated. Leave to marinate for ~8hrs or overnight.

Drain the bag into a cup, reserving the marinade for later. Heat up a wok and add the chicken. Cook for a few minutes or until the chicken is mostly done. Add a bit of the marinade if necessary. Add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes - adding a bit more marinade if necessary. Discard the rest of the marinade.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
It tasted alright, but was lacking something... I might add some more spices (paprika or curry) next time, or try it with pork rather than chicken, because as it was it was just strangely dull. I had leftovers the next day and served those up as fried rice which was a LOT better, so it might just be something as simple as that, that was needed.

But honestly, I'm not even sure it's worth trying to make again. It's too similar to a lot of my other recipes.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Week 6: Thai Peanut Chicken Noodle Soup

The Recipe
1 can coconut milk
4 tsp red curry paste
4 cups chicken broth
1lb chicken
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/3 cup peanut butter
1tbsp lemon or lime juice
2tbsp soy sauce
2tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp tumeric
200g mushrooms, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
150g bean sprouts
2 green onions, sliced
4tbsp peanuts
100g rice noodles.

In a large pot, heat the cream from the top of the can of coconut milk. Add the curry paste and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the rest of the coconut milk, the broth, chicken, sweet potato, peanut butter, lemon juice, soy sauce, brown sugar and tumeric. Bring to a boil and leave to simmer until the chicken is cooked - about 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken and cut it into bite sized pieces. Meanwhile, use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
Add mushrooms, bell pepper, peanuts, green onion and noodles and cook for another 5 minutes.

The Verdict
Disappointing : I think the main issue was that there was WAY too much peanut butter, so it completely overwhelmed the other tastes. Also, the rice noodles soaked up too much of the liquid, so it turned into more of a stew than an actual soup. It had definite potential, but unfortunately really didn't work for me. I might try it again another time without the rice noodles, and with only a fraction of the peanut butter.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Week 5: Easy Pasta Dish

The Recipe
1 onion
1 bell pepper
1 can tomatoes
5dl vegetable broth
200g pasta
2.5dl half-and-half (madlavningsfløde in Danish... couldn't find an English equivalent)
150g bacon
Salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, paprika

In a pot, cook bacon until crispy. Remove to a place, reserving the grease - add more oil if there wasn't much grease.
Chop onion and bell pepper and cook them for a few minutes until the onion is fragrant. Add broth, canned tomatoes and pasta. Cook until the pasta is almost done. Add half-and-half and spices and leave to simmer until the sauce as the desired consistency. Add bacon and serve.

The Verdict
Strangely bland. It would probably be better if I replaced the half-and-half with either cream cheese or real cream. As it was, it was okay, but nothing special. Might actually also be better with sausages instead of bacon.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Week 3: Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos

The Recipe
450g chicken breasts
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 large onion, sliced & divided
1tbsp taco/fajita seasoning
1tbsp oil
1 large tomato
1 lime
Shredded cheese
1 avocado, diced
Chili sauce / jalapenos (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200C.

In a small bowl, mix together taco/fajita seasoning and oil.

Place chicken, bell pepper and most of the onion (keep back ~1/8 for the pico de gallo) in an ovenproof dish and coat with the seasoning mix. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is just done. Remove chicken and slice thinly. Return to the pan and cover with cheese and half the lime cut into slices. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the pico de gallo: Chop and deseed the tomato and chop op the reserved onion. Mix together and add lime juice from the other half of the lime. Add salt to taste. Let it stand for awhile for the flavours to mix properly.

Serve with nachos, avocado and chili sauce/jalapenos for a bit of a kick.

The Verdict
Really good. I'd probably add more veggies another time, but it was a nice alternative to the usual nachos dishes. You were supposed to add the nachos in the end too to heat them up with the rest, but I worried they'd get too soggy with the juices from the veggies, and it worked really well this way too.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Week 2: Baked Honey-Mustard Chicken

The Recipe
450g chicken
4tbsp honey
4tbsp dijon mustard
2tbsp apple cider vinegar
1tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2cup chicken broth

Mix together honey, mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and broth. Put the chicken in an oven proof dish and cover with the sauce. Season with a bit of rosemary (a little goes a long way!). Bake at 200C for about half an hour until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with boiled or mashed potatoes (you'll want something to soak up all that yummy, yummy sauce!) and a salad or veggie sticks.

The Verdict
REALLY good! The chicken was yummy and moist - not dry at all. There was FAR too much sauce, but that's probably part of what kept it so tasty, so I'll just leave it as-is for whenever I make it next.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Week 1: Chicken Shepherd's Pie

The Recipe
1lb chicken breast, cubed
salt, pepper
250g mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2tbsp flour
3/4 cup half-and-half or milk
1 cup chicken broth
1-2 bell peppers
Mashed potatoes
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Breadcrumbs (optional)

Preheat oven to 175C.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Melt some butter in a pan and cook chicken until done. Transfer chicken to an ovenproof dish and set aside.
In the same pan melt more butter and saute the mushrooms until soft. Transfer to the dish. Add a bit more butter and cook the garlic until fragrant but not yet brown. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute. Pour in both fluids, whisking until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add bell pepper and leave to simmer for 2 minutes. Transfer to dish and spread the mashed potatoes on top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and/or breadcrumbs if you want to.

Bake for 45 minutes.

The Verdict
I'd accidentally added too much broth to the mashed potatoes so the texture was off. I have to remember that it has to be rather stiff for something like this. Otherwise I mostly liked it. The sauce was a bit bland, so I need to play around with the spices a bit (i.e. ADD some that aren't just salt and pepper), but the basic idea was good and an easy way to use up left-over mashed potatoes.