Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Week 45: Chicken with Apple BBQ Sauce

The Recipe
(Serves 4)
4 chicken breasts
1 package of bacon (~8 slices)
1 cup BBQ sauce
2 apples, peeled and cut into pieces
2 onions, sliced
4tbsp lemon juice
Fresh herbs - e.g. thyme or oregano
Parmesan cheese

Wrap each chicken breast in 2 pieces of bacon and place them in a slow-cooker. Cover with BBQ sace, apples, onions and lemon juice. Stir to mix it all up.
Add honey, paermesan cheese and fresh herbs.

Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.

Remove the fresh herbs and serve with baked potatoes.

The Verdict
I cooked mine for 5 hours and it was perfect. Wonderfully moist and not dry at all! Excellent!

I liked it, but didn't love it... felt like it was missing something, without being able to say exactly what. DH suggested some herbs like basil or oregano, so I might try that again next time. And perhaps some chili flakes.

Even so, it was still good - I just had the sense that it could've been better.
Edit: I made this again and tried the modifications marked with italics. It improved it a lot! So I'll definitely use that going forward.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Week 43: Chicken w. Mushrooms and White Wine

The Recipe
(Serves 4-6)
1.4kg chicken pieces w. bone and skin
1tbsp butter
1tbsp olive oil
2tbsp flour
500g mushrooms, sliced
2 onions, diced finely
4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
3dl white wine
2.5dl chicken or vegetable stock
2-3 Bay leaves
2.5dl cream
Corn starch
Salt and pepper

Rub the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Melt butter and oil in a pot over medium-high heat and brown the chicken on all sides. Remove from pot, sift flour over skin and set aside for later. Cook the mushrooms until brown. Turn down the heat a bit, add onions and garlic and cook until translucent and fragrant.

Return chicken to pot and add white wine, stock, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for about an hour.

Mix cream with a bit of corn starch and add to the pot. Let it thicken a bit.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

The Verdict
The original recipe said to serve this with rice, so that's what I did the first day, and just... no. It was definitely missing something, yet I couldn't figure out what. And it just felt weird to serve a dish like this with rice. So when I made up the left-overs, I served them over mashed potatoes instead. SO much better! Still not a firm favourite (especially as DH isn't too fond of chicken cooked on the bone), but definite comfort food for me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Week 42: Almond Chicken

The Recipe
3 tbsp flour
Salt, pepper & basil to taste
350-450g chicken breast - halved
1 tbsp lemon juice
2tbsp almonds, chopped or sliced
1 minced garlic
1/2 small onion, chopped
2tbsp white wine

In a freezer bag, mix together flour, salt, pepper and basil. Add chicken and shake to coat thoroughly.

Heat a bit of butter in a skillet/pot with a lid. Add chicken and brown on both sides for a couple of minutes. Add lemon juice, reduce heat, cover and leave to cook until done - about 10-15 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.

Add a bit more butter to the skillet and cook the almonds for a few minutes - stirring frequently, so they don't burn. Add garlic and onion and cook until fragrant. Add wine and return chicken to the pan. Heath through and serve immediately.

Serve with potatoes and a salad.

The Verdict
REALLY good!!! The flour coating kept the chicken nice and moist, and the various flavours mixed together really well. I loved the crunch of the almonds and the tartness of the lemon juice / white wine. Definitely a keeper!

Monday, October 18, 2021

Week 41: Italian Stew

The Recipe
600g neck filet or neck chop (pork chop with more fat throughout the meat - it needs the fat to keep it from getting too dry)
1 large onion, diced
2 bell pepper, sliced
2.5dl stock (any will do - we used vegetable)
100g sundried tomatoes, chopped (use scissors! So much easier)
2 tsp paprika
3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce / English sauce
2 tsp thyme
2 stalks of sellery, sliced
Salt and pepper

Cut up the meat into smaller pieces (about the size of 1/3 neck chop). Remove any bones.

Heat olive oil in a pan and brown the meat on both sides. Add onion and cook for about a minute.

Transfer to a pot together with bell pepper, stock, sundried tomatoes, paprika, Worcestershire Sauce and thyme. Cover and leave to simmer for 1.5 hours - adding the sellery the past 10 minutes.

Remove the meat and keep warm. Bring the sauce to a boil and let it reduce a bit.

Serve with baked potatoes or mashed potatoes.

The Verdict
So, so, SO good!!! One of my friends had found this recipe, and we all immediately loved it! It's super easy to make too, and great for company, as it's easy to scale up. We forgot the last set of instructions (bringing the sauce to a boil and reducing), but it really didn't matter. It was SO good either way!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Week 39 - Lime-chili chicken

The Recipe
450g chicken
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp honey

In a small bowl or cup, combine lime juice, oil, Tabasco sauce and salt. Place chicken in a plastic bag; add 2tbsp of marinade (reserve remainder), seal bag and marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Stir honey into reserved marinade until dissolved. Cook chicken for 6-10 minutes or until just cooked through. Brush both sides of chicken with some of the reserved marinade and continue to cook until lightly browned.

The Verdict
VERY lime-y! I couldn't taste the chili at all, but the lime was almost overpowering. Possibly because I used concentrated lime juice instead of juice from an actual lime? Apart from that, it tasted fine. Nothing special though, and I have other chicken recipes I prefer, so probably not likely to remake this one.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Week 38 - Potato Chip Cookies

The credit for this recipe must go 100% to B. Dylan Hollis of tiktok fame. I saw him making these, and HAD to try them.

The Recipe
(Makes about 16 cookies)
115g butter (room temp)
125g sugar
1 egg
140g flour
1tsp vanilla powder
1.5 tsp baking powder
120g potato chips - crumbled and divided.
80g choc chips

Mix together butter and sugar until it makes a fairly smooth blend. Add egg and vanilla powder and whisk. Fold in flour and baking powder. Mix in half of the potato chips and the chocolate chips.

Cover and put in the fridge for 2-3 hours (or overnight).

Scoop into ~1tbsp balls and roll in the rest of the crushed potato chips. Put on a baking sheet with plenty of space between. Cook at 175C for ~15 minutes.

The Verdict
See why I had to try this? I love mixing salt and sweet, and this sounded both really easy and really delicious. Fortunately I was right in both regards, and I could DEFINITELY see myself making these again. They're not quite as good as my M&M cookies, but they come very close.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Week 32 - Asparagus Stuffed Chicken

The Recipe
1 lb chicken breasts, butterflied
50g cheese, sliced or shredded
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, cut into thin strips (use scissors! so much easier!)
~12 stalks asparagus
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200C.

Lay the butterflied chicken down with the cut side up, add cheese, sundried tomatoes and asparagus. Fold one side back over and close with toothpicks.

In a small bowl, mix all the seasonings (paprika through salt and pepper) and season the outside of the chicken with the spices.

Heat oil in a large pan, add chicken and brown for 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to an oven-proof dish and cook for ~20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with potatoes.

The Verdict
Really good! I think next time I'll flatten the chicken breasts a bit after butterflying them, to make the chicken-to-filling ratio work better. But it tasted great the way it was, and hadn't gotten dry at all.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Week 31 - Mexican Chicken

This is the easiest recipe ever! :-D Only 4 ingredients - I'm a fan!

The Recipe
2 lb chicken, cut into pieces (I used a mix of breasts and thighs rather than a whole chicken, but either works)
1 jar of salsa (~350g) (choose your own heat ;-) )
1 package of taco seasoning (~80g)
1dl breadcrumbs (~0.5 cup)

Put the chicken into a bag or a bowl and pour the salsa on top. Squish around to make sure the chicken is thoroughly coated and put in the fridge to marinate for 2-5 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Pour a bit of oil into an oven-proof dish.
Mix taco seasoning and breadcrumbs together on a plate, and turn each piece of chicken over in the mix - making sure it's completely covered. Transfer to the oven-proof dish. If there's any of the mix left over, just pour it on top.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the chicken is done.
Serve with rice and fresh beans.

The Verdict
My mum used to make this all the time, but somehow I never thought to make it myself! No idea why, because it is SO easy, and I had forgotten just how good it is. This will definitely be added to my regular rotation.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Week 23 - Spanish Pot Roast

The Recipe
~600g beef or veal roast
1dl olives, finely chopped
1/2dl de-skinned almonds, finely chopped
1/2tsp cinnemon
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1.25dl red wine
1.25dl beef stock
1tbsp tomato paste

(To de-skin olives, pour boiling water over them and let them stand for about 5 minutes. The skin should come right off)

Mix together olives, almonds and cinnemon. Cut 5 small pockets in the meat and fill them with the olive/almond mix (if there's any left, just add it to the sauce later on). Tie up the roast.

Heat the oil in a pot and cook the roast for 3-4 minutes on each side (except the top, or all the almonds/olives will fall out... or perhaps I just didn't tie it up tightly enough. Anyway, it didn't seem to matter). Mix together wine, stock and tomato paste and pour over the roast. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for ~1 hr or until done.

Remove the roast and let it rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the sauce back up to a boil and let it reduce a bit.

Serve with baked potatoes and broccoli.

The Verdict
I must have let the roast cook for way too long, because it was REALLY dry! Should definitely have checked it sooner. The flavour combination worked surprisngly well, but it's a lot of work, so I'm not sure how likely I am to make it again.

Week 22 - Rhubarb Crumble

The Recipe
Serves 3
250g rhubarb
Grains from 1/4 of a vanilla pod (or a dash of vanilla powder)
38g sugar

50g oatmeal
50g flour
50g soft butter
38g sugar
Grains from 1/4 of a vanilla pod (or a dash of vanilla powder)

Wash the rhubarb and cut into 1-2cm pieces. Put in a bowl with sugar and vanilla and leave to rest for about an hour.

Mix oatmeal, flour, butter, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl.

Pour the rhubarb mixture into a pie-dish, cover with the crumble and bake in a preheated oven at 180C w. fan for 30'ish minutes, until the crumble is golden and the rhubarb mixture bubbles.

Serve with sour cream, whipped cream or ice cream.

The Verdict
I've had this SO many times, but this was my first attempt at making it myself. But NOT my last - so easy and SO yummy! I love crumble, and even though rhubarb isn't my very favourite (that's probably blueberry crumble), it's pretty high up there!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Week 21 - Sweet and Spicy Chicken

The Recipe
450g chicken breast
1tsp chili (more if you like heat)
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt Olive oil
2-3 tbsp honey

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic and chili with just enough oil to make a sort of paste. Add a pinch of salt.

Heat some oil in a pan over high heat. Cut the chicken breast in halves, and spread some of the garlic-chili mix over each breast. Put them in the pan, coated side down and cook for a couple of minutes until just brown. Turn over and brown the other side. Add the honey to the top of the chicken breasts and let it melt and coat the sides. Keep the heat on high - we want the honey to caramelize! Use a spoon to spoon the melted honey over the chicken and turn frequently until nice and golden on all sides, and cooked through.

Serve with baked potatoes and some greens.

The Verdict
I keep forgetting from time to time how much I like this dish! It's easy to make, and tastes SO good! I love the chili-honey mix, and being coated in honey all the time keeps the chicken from getting dry. Next time I think I'll add a bit more chili (especially if I'm making this for people who likes heat) - it could do with a bit more of a kick.

Week 20 - Pasta w. Pesto

The Recipe

250g pasta (fresh is best :-) )
1 glove garlic
2.5dl fresh basil
a dash of salt
3tbsp pine nuts
2tbsp parmesan cheese
1.25dl olive oil
1 bell pepper, sliced
125g bacon, diced (optional)
a handful of cherry tomatoes, in quarters
~10 asparagus, diced

Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and remove from heat.

Roast the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until they're lightly golden. Put aside.

In the same pan add bacon and cook until starting to render fat. Add asparagus and cook until bacon is just starting to get crisp. Put aside.

Add garlic, salt, basil and pine nuts to a blender or similar. Chop very finely. Add cheese and mix again. Add the oil little by little until you have a fine paste.

Add the pesto to the pasta and mix. Add bacon, asparagus, bell pepper and tomatoes. Serve with extra parmesan cheese.

The Verdict
REALLY yummy, however there wasn't nearly enough pesto! I could easily have doubled the quantities written here (garlic through olive oil), and think I will do so next time.... because I'm definitely making this again!

Monday, February 15, 2021

Week 6 - Vegetarian Tortillas

The Recipe
8 tortillas
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 squash
2 carrots
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can tomatoes
50g tomato paste / tomato sauce (tomatpure)
150g corn
Olive oil
Salt, pepper
Garnishes: Avocado, Lime, Salsa, shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees (fan-assisted). Brush the tortillas with olive oil on both sides, and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for ~6 minutes or until golden brown, turning over half way through.

Grate/chop onion, garlic, squash and carrots.

Warm a bit of oil in a pot and cook onion and garlic until translucent and fragrant. Add next 9 ingredients (squash through tomato paste), bring to a boil and let it simmer for ~15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a bit of butter in a pan and roast the corn at high heat for a few minutes to get them a bit crispy. Add to the veggie sauce and season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Plate the meal by putting a tortillas on a plate, adding vegetables, avocado, salsa and cheese and some freshly squeezed lime-juice and placing another tortillas on top.

The Verdict
It sounds like a lot of work, but it's actually not too bad. And it's worth it, because it ended up being really good! It definitely needed the salsa to add the final je ne sais que, but with that added I didn't miss the meat at all! The flavours mixed well and were well-rounded. Definitely something I could see myself making again!

Friday, February 5, 2021

Week 5: Fajita Casserole

The Recipe
500g chicken breast or pork chops
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
2-3 tsp taco seasoning
1 cup of shredded cheese
Toppings: Avocado, Tomato, salsa, more cheese etc.

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the meat in a large ovenproof dish and season with the taco seasoning. Put sliced bell pepper and onion on top and cover everything with cheese.
Bake for ~30 minutes until the meat is cooked through. Remove from pan and slice thinly, before returning.

Serve with tortillas and your choice of toppings.

The Verdict
Quick, easy and good. Nothing special, but it's a "nothing special" dish that took all of 10 minutes to prepare. I'll take it!

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Week 4 - Honey and Parm Tenderloin

(Serves 3)
2 tbsp honey
4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp soy sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp pepper
700-800g pork tenderloin
1 tbsp cornflour + 1 tbsp water
4 tbsp chicken broth

In a bowl, mix together first 8 ingredients (honey through pepper). Place the pork in the crockpot and rub it with half the mixture. Turn it over and rub it with the other half. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.

Remove the pork from the crockpot and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the cornflour and water and pour into the juices left in the crockpot together with the chicken broth. Cover and cook on HIGH for 10-15 minutes. Slice the tenderloin and return the slices to the crockpot so they can soak up the sauce.

Serve over mashed potatoes - you want something that can soak up the delicious sauce :-D

The Verdict
So, so, SO good! This was an instant favourite. I served it to DH and a guest and all three of us made spontaneous "Yuuuuuum!!!!" noises as we tried the first bite. Usually with a new recipe I like to tweak it a few times before it turns out exactly as I'd like it - not so with this one, it was perfect :-D

For my own future reference - mash made from ~1kg potatoes is only just enough for three people.