Tuesday, December 28, 2010

20101228 Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells

(SOURCE: Some magazine - Gevulde schelpen)

I wanted to make a vegetarian dish to give our bodies some time to detox before all the oliebollen in the New Year. Unfortunately this dish failed the purpose because of the awesome and cheesy spinach stuffing. Next time I may add some finely chopped basil leaves to give it a little more aroma.

450g frozen spinach, thawed and drained
300g jumbo pasta shells, cooked al dente and drained
salt and fresh ground pepper
30g pinenuts, roasted
2 eggs
200g cream cheese
125g mascarpone
2 garlic cloves, crushed
10 sundried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped
200g grated Gouda cheese
100g grated parmesan cheese
dash of nutmeg

1. Heat oven to 190 degree C. In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, cream cheese, and mascarpone with a hand mixer. Then mix in the garlic, sundried tomatoes, and spinach with a wooden spoon. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Finally add half the Gouda cheese and parmesan cheese to the spinach mix.
2. Stuff the shells with the spinach mix and lay them in a greased casserole dish. Bake the dish in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Scatter with the roasted pinenuts and serve.

20101228 Chocolate & Cranberry Muffins

(SOURCE: BBC Good Food - Skinny chocolate & cranberry muffins)

My muffins are not skinny as I didn't use skimmed milk and low fat yoghurt as instructed, because I find all skinny dairy products not delicious. Who cares about diet in the week between Christmas and New Year anyways?! Oh these muffins tasted so good, especially when they were still warm and the chocolate was a bit gooey in the middle.

250g self raising flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
85g light muscovado sugar
85g dried cranberries
25g dark chocolate, chopped
125g yoghurt
125ml milk
3 tbsp sunflower oil
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Heat oven to 160 degree C. Microwave chocolate on medium for 1 minute, stir, and set aside.
2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, and cinnamon into a bowl. Stir in sugar and cranberries.
3. Mix yoghurt and milk with oil and egg. Make a well in the dry mixture and gently stir in the liquid. Drizzle half the chocolate, gently fold in until swirled, repeat with the remaining chocolate.
4. Don't over mix! Spoon to 12 muffin cases, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until risen.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

20101226 Mojito Cheesecakes

(SOURCE: thepassionatecook - Mojito Cheesecakes)

I wanted a dessert that I can prepare few hours ahead, so I can relax and play sjoelen with the family before dinner. And this dessert is the STAR of our boxing day dinner - my father in law is never crazy about dessert, but he finished two cheesecakes last night! The rum in the cheesecakes make them perfect for a jolly Christmas dinner, and the lime and mint in the cheesecakes make them perfect for a barbeque party too. This is definitely my favorite dessert!

100g digestive biscuits
25g butter, melted
4 limes
120g light muscovado sugar
4 tbsp rum
1 large handful mint leaves + more for decoration
250g quark
100g creme fraiche
250g mascarpone

1. Heat the sugar in a saucepan with 5 tbsp of water until the sugar has fully dissolved. Leave to simmer for 2 minutes without stirring. Add the zest and juice of 3 limes, the rum, and the mint leaves to the saucepan. Remove from heat and leave to cool completely.
2. Blitz the digestive biscuits in a food processor until left with fine crumbs, add the butter and combine. Press equal amounts of the mixture into the base of 8 small cocktail tumblers or shot glasses as the base of the cheesecakes. Set aside.
3. Remove the mint leaves from the pan, draining them thoroughly. Pour the mojito mix into a bowl and beat in the quark, creme fraiche and mascarpone until smooth. Pour the mixture carefully on top of the base, then place the glasses in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set.
4. When ready to serve, cut the remaining lime into thin wedges and use one each plus a few small mint leaves for decoration.

20101226 Pork Tenderloin Gratin

(SOURCE: Koken & Genieten magazine - Varkenhaasgratin met verse cantharellen)

A lovely main course for our boxing day dinner - an attempt at having a healthier Christmas dinner. I was worried that the pork tenderloin would be dry, but it was so tasteful and very tender! This is a perfect dish for dinner party, because you could make steps 1 through 6 in the morning then you only have to pop the dish into the oven when it's dinner time.

800g potatoes (low in starch)
250g mushrooms, small and quartered
600g french beans, cut into 2 to 3cm length
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
600g pork tenderloin, cut into 8 to 10 medaillons
3 tbsp oil
75g butter
2 bags hollandaise sauce mix (each make about 250ml sauce), plus ingredients required to make the sauce

1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well, then set aside to cool and slice.
2. Cook the beans in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
3. Make the sauce according to the instructions on the package, then remove the sauce from heat and add 75g butter. Set aside.
4. Heat oven to 200 degree C. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan, and brown the pork medaillons for about 2 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from pan.
5. Add 2 tbsp oil in the pan, and cook the mushrooms and onions for about 3 minutes. Add the thyme, then season with salt and pepper.
6. In a greased casserole dish, lay the green beans and then place the pork medaillons in the middle. Surround the medaillons with potato slices, and pour the mushroom mix over the medaillons. Finally pour the hollandaise sauce all over the dish.
7. Cook in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes.

20101226 Rockefeller Mushrooms

(SOURCE: Koken & Genieten magazine - Rockefeller Champignons)

A simple starter for our boxing day dinner. This tasted a little too strong for a starter, so I would suggest replacing the brown gravy with a simple white sauce.

3 tbsp butter
1 cup beef bouillon
2 tbsp flour
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
450g frozen spinach
12 big mushrooms, about 450g, cleaned and stem removed
6 slices of bacon
1 tbsp oil
grated cheese

1. Make gravy. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a small saucepan and stir in flour. Keep stirring until blended well. Add bouillon and bring to the boil while stirring. Continue to stir until smooth and it thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Heat the grill to high. Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a pan over medium heat, and brown the onion and garlic. Add the frozen spinach and 2 tbsp of water to the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer the spinach mix for about 15 minutes. Season with nutmeg and salt and pepper.
3. In another pan, fry the bacon slices until crispy. Remove bacon slices onto a plate with kitchen paper to absorb the excessive fat. Break each slice into two. Add the mushrooms to the pan with the bacon fat, and fry for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the mushrooms on a casserole dish.
4. Stuff each mushroom with some spinach mix, then sprinkle with grated cheese and the gravy. Grill for about 5 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and place a piece of bacon on each stuffed mushroom.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

20101223 Oven Steamed Salmon with capers

Home alone tonight, so I had oven steamed salmon for dinner again! I have some capers and a lemon in the fridge, so I thought I would use them for my oven steamed salmon. Too bad I don't have any white wine at home, or I would drizzle some over the salmon too. I served it with just some steamed potatoes and carrots (tossed with dried parsley, salt, fresh ground four-season pepper, and olive oil). Yum!

200g salmon fillet
olive oil
2 tsp capers, soaked in water for a few minutes and drained
3 slices of lemon
sea salt
fresh ground four-season pepper

1. Heat oven to 200 degree C.
2. Fold a meter of aluminium foil to make two layers. Lightly oil the foil then lay the salmon fillet on top, skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and fresh ground four-season pepper. Lay the lemon slices on the salmon and scatter with capers. Wrap up the foil and crease to make a packet.
3. Cook the packet in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon fillet.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

20101222 Fragrant Chicken Curry

(SOURCE: BBC GoodFood 101 Hot-pot Dishes)

I got a zerkleinerer (food chopper? simple food processor?) today. So I found this recipe that I have already got all the ingredients at home and will allow me to use my new toy - perfect! The spices puree smelled so good, and frying it a bit in the saucepan made it even more fragrant. The sauce was so good, who cares if our house smells like curry for Christmas now!

2 medium onions, quartered
2 fat garlic cloves
2cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
20g fresh coriander
1/2 chicken stock cube
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
yogurt (at room temperature) and garlic naan bread to serve

1. Tip the first eigh ingredients and half the coriander into a food processor, and blend to a puree. Tip the mixture into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Crumble in the stock cube, pour in 500ml boiling water and return to the boil. Add the chicken, stir, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
3. Chop the remaining coriander, then stir all but about 2 tbsp into the curry with the chickpeas. Heat through. Serve topped with the reserved coriander and the yoghurt, with naan bread on the side.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

20101221 Beef and Bean Hotpot

(SOURCE: BBC GoodFood 101 Hot-Pot Dishes)

Another cold day with even more snow flurries and headache, and another day of wintry chaos as roads in our city are not properly gritted. I crave something very warm to get rid of the winter blues, and a bowl of this with extra dashes of Tobasco did the job.

320g minced beef
1 beef stock cube
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
200g carrots, sliced
600g potatoes, cut into large chunks
400g can baked beans
Worcestershire sauce and Tobasco, to taste
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
fresh ground black pepper

1. Heat a large non-stick pan, add the beef and fry over a medium high heat until browned, stirring often and breaking up any lumps with a spoon. Crumble in the stock cube and mix well.
2. Add the vegetables, stir to mix with the beef and pour in enough boiling water to cover (about 500ml). Bring to the boil, season with fresh ground black pepper, then lower the heat and stir well. Cover the pan and simmer gently for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
3. Tip in the baked beans, sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce and Tobasco to taste, stir well and heat through. Taste for seasoning and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with extra Worcestershire sauce.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

20101216 Vegetable Stew with Chicken

(SOURCE: SimpleDailyRecipes.com - Vegetable Stew with a little Chicken)

I felt that we should have a vegetable dish this week before stuffing our face with all kind of Christmas goodies next week. But I know plain vegetable stew will not please my meat-loving husband, so I have chosen this dish. The stew has lots of vegetable and some shredded chicken. I served a big bowl of stew with some garlic ciabatta - I used a handful of dried basil instead and it was still good. It was a filling dinner that kept me warm for a Christmas concert at a basilica with poor heating!

3 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
400g can whole tomatoes
1 cup corn
500ml chicken broth
hot water
2 cups cooked shredded chicken

1. Meat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat, and cook onion, carrots and celery until soften. Stir in all the dried herbs. Add in whole tomatoes with their juice and break up the tomatoes into smaller chunks using a wooden spoon.
2. Add in corn, potatoes and chicken broth. Add ennough hot water to cover all the vegetables with 1/2 inch liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cover with lid and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork tender.
3. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the cooked, shredded chicken.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

20101214 Beef Stew Provencale

(SOURCE: SimpleDailyRecipes.com - Totally Simple Beef Stew Provencale)

This is a satisfying dish especially when I have been feeling a little blue and craving a hearty meal. I served this with only some fresh garlic bread tonight. But I think the best way to serve this is by ladling big spoonfuls into bowls, accompanied by a glass of dry red wine and some crusty warmed bread!

650g beef for stew (I used sukadelappen), cut into 1 inch cubes
flour, salt and pepper for coating meat
2 tbsp oil
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup water
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150g little carrots
1 large onion, cut into fourths
1 tbsp dried parsley

1. Toss the beef into a bowl with a few tablespoons of flour, and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Cook the meat in batches, turning once, until browned. Remove the browned meat to a plate.
3. Add the red wine to pan and return to heat to simmer. Scraping and stirring in the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, keep simmering wine until it has reduced to half the amount of liquid.
4. Add the meat back, pour in the water and crushed garlic, toss and coat the meat with the sauce. Heat liquid to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
5. Add carrots, onions and dried parsley to pan. Cover and simmer until beef and carrots are tender, about 40 minutes.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

20101212 Mughlai Chicken

(SOURCE: Nigella.com - Mughlai Chicken)

As I don't like my curry too sweet, I have skipped the 50g of golden sultanas. I also skipped the ground almond suggested by Nigella, because I couldn't find it in any supermarkets and was too lazy to ground some myself. The curry is still very good and the sauce is so creamy. The smell of curry made me so hungry so I rushed to serve dinner and forgot to scatter toasted almond flakes all over the curry, duh! We cleaned our plates with the garlic & coriander naan and made sure no sauce go to waste!

1.5cm fresh ginger, peeled
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp dried chilli
60ml water
2 cardamon pods, bruised
1/2 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 bay leaves
2 cloves
2 tbsp vegetable oil
750g boned, skinned chicken thighs
1 onion, finely chopped
150ml Greek yoghurt
125ml chicken stock
60ml creme fraiche
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tbsp caster sugar
salt and pepper

1. Blend the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and chilli with a pestle and mortar, and set aside.
2. Put the cardamon pods, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and cloves into a small bowl.
3. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chicken pieces and cook them just long enough to seal on both sides, then remove to a dish.
4. Tip in the bowlful of spieces and turn them in the oil. Add the onions to the pan of spices, and cook until softened and lightly browned. Pour in the blended paste, and cook everything until it begins to color. Add the yoghurt, stirring it in to make a sauce. Then stir in the stock and cream.
5. Put the browned chicken back into the pan, along with any juices that have collected under them, and sprinkle over the garam masala, sugar, and salt and pepper. Cover and cook on a gentle heat for 20 to 30 minutes, testing to make sure the chicken meat is cooked through.
6. Take the pan off the heat and leave it to cool before reheating the next day.

20101212 Chocolate Banana Muffins

(SOURCE: Nigella.com - Chocolate Banana Muffin)

My headache has been difficult this week, so I thought I would indulge myself in some warm muffins on this rainy/sunny Sunday afternoon. I therefore looked through the recipes at Nigella.com to find a muffin recipe that I have all the ingredients for. Voila! These muffins look absolutely gorgeous as they are so round on the top. I used 3 rounded tablespoons of cocoa powder instead, but the muffins are still not very chocolatey. So if you are a hardcore chocaholic, you may want to add more cocoa powder and/or dark chocolate chips.

3 overripe bananas
125ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
100g soft light brown sugar
225g plain flour
3 rounded tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1. Heat oven to 200 degree C and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
2. Mash the bananas with a fork. Then with a freestanding mixer, beat the oil followed by eggs and sugar into the bananas.
3. Mix the flour, cocoa powder and bicarb together and sift this mixture, beating gently, to the banana mixture, then spoon it into the prepared cases.
4. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly in their tin before moving to a wire rack.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

20101211 Chicken Tangine

(SOURCE: Simply Bill by Bill Granger)

I learned something today - lemon juice brings out not only the highlights of your hair, but also the flavor of the spices in this dish. As my husband doesn't like olives, I first prepared his dish and then stirred in the sliced olives for myself. I don't know how to describe it but the green olives just made the sauce more "interesting" and flavorful.

8 chicken thighs
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1tbsp grated fresh ginger
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp paprika
2 pinches saffron threads
115g sliced green olves
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
a dash of chilli powder

1. Put the chicken, onions, garlic, ginger, spices and 500ml of water in a saucepan and cover with a lid. Bring to the broil then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 60 to 70 minutes, until the meat falls off the bone.
2. Increase the heat to high, remove the lid and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir through the olives and lemon juice.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

20101207 Old-fashioned Dutch Dinner

We had an old-fashioned Dutch dinner tonight - a one course meal with potatoes, cooked vegetables, and pan fried meat. And we follow the de Waard family tradition to serve the meal with lots of "boterjus", the excessive fat from cooking the meat with lots of butter. To be precise, we arrange the cooked potato, vegetable, and meat on a plate and then pour the boterjus all over the potato and vegetable. The key to a good old-fashioned Dutch dinner is timing - be sure you time it right, so everything is cooked and served at the same time! This is what my husband craves when he is recovering from a cold, because he finds this a "healthy" diet.

4 pork bellies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp curry powder
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp sugar

500g starchy potatoes
sour cream
garlic powder
salt and freshly ground four-season pepper

400g snijbonen, finely sliced (I don't know its English name)
1L chicken stock

1. Bring the chicken stock to the boil. Add the snijbonen and cook for 18 to 20 minutes. Drain well and serve.

1. Mix the spices in a small bowl, and use your fingers to rub the spices into the pork bellies.
2. In a large pan, heat a knob of butter (more if you want more boterjus) and cook the pork bellies over medium heat for 20 minutes.
1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, and cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes. Drain well.
2. Mash the potato with a knob of butter. Season with sour cream, garlic powder, and salt and pepper; and serve.

Friday, December 3, 2010

20101203 Kerriebroodje

As I am not feeling well tonight, my husband made us his famous kerriebroodje (literal translation: curry bread) for dinner. Mind you, my husband does not cook unless he got very specific instructions. This is the only dish he could master without any instructions, as he learned how to make this when he was working part time at a local supermarket during college. And I think this was the very first "dish" he made me when we first met 7+ years ago.

1 unbaked baguette, cut in half horizontally
2 small onions, finely chopped
kerrie (curry powder)
a couple slices of cheese

1. Heat oven to 225 degree C.
2. Arrange cheese slices on the halves of the bread, then sprinkle finely chopped onions over the cheese. Finally sprinkle kerrie all over the bread. Bake in the oven for about 8 minutes.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

20101201 Chicken with Paprika and Chorizo

(SOURCE: Simply Bill by Bill Granger)

I love to have a pan bubbling away on the stove on such a cold and snowy evening. This is a very rich and strong flavored one pot dish - well, there are two chorizo sausages in it, what do you expect? This was very yummy, but a little too strong after a few more bites. So it would be best served with some plain white rice or crusty bread.

4 chicken legs (about 1kg, each leg cut into 2 pieces)
salt and pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
2 chorizo sausages, sliced
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
500ml chicken stock
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree

1. Season the chicken with salt and papper, and then toss to coat with the paprika.
2. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and cook the chorizo until crisp. Remove the chorizo and brown the chicken in two batches for 5 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and set aside.
3. Add the onion into the dish, sprinkle with salt, and brown for 5 minutes over high heat. Add the peppers and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes longer. Put the chicken on top of the pepper and pour the combined stock, tomatoes and tomato puree over the top. Simmer for 20 minutes over medium low heat, stir occasionally.
4. Remove the chicken pieces and bring the liquid to the boil. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes to thicken the sauce, then return the chicken and chorizo to the casserole to heat through.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

20101130 Vermicelli with Chicken

(SOURCE: Simply Bill by Bill Granger)

I got Simply Bill from my best friend for my birthday. I couldn't find the flat rice noodles the recipe asked for, so I used vermicelli instead. I find the noodles a little too soggy for my liking, so next time I may rinse the noodles in ice cold water and halve the chicken stock.

125g vermicelli
300g chicken, cut into strips
2 tbsp korma curry paste
2 tbsp oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 spring onions, cut into lengths (chop some up for garnish)
125ml chicken stock
2 tbsp soy sauce

1. In a small bowl, marinate the chicken with the curry paste. In a large bowl, soak the noodles in hot water for about 5 minutes or until soft. Drain well and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok over high heat. Pour in the eggs, and leave to set for 10 seconds. Then scramble the eggs until they are about three-quarters cooked. Remove from pan, and set aside.
3. Wipe out the wok with paper towels and return to the heat. Add the remaining oil and brown the chicken for 5 to 10 minutes. Then add the spring onions and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the stock, soy sauce and noodles and stir fry for about 2 minutes until heated through. Add the egg and toss to combine. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions and serve.

Monday, November 29, 2010

20101129 Carrot and Sweet Corn Congee

I craved something warm and liquidy today after a horrible migraine attack. As I did not want to go to the supermarket, I had to be creative with the leftover carrots and canned sweet corn. So voila, carrot and corn congee (rice porridge)! I still like my usual chicken/minced beef congee better, but this one would do for this miserable Monday.

1 cup uncooked white rice
2.5L water
2 chicken stock cubes
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp dried parsley
50g carrots, finely diced
120g sweet corn, drained
salt and white pepper

1. In a large pan, combine the first four ingredients, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for about 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
2. Add the dried parsley, carrots, and sweet corn into the congee. Cook for another 45 minutes over medium high heat until the congee has a consistency you like. Season well with salt and white pepper.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

20101128 Stroganoff

(SOURCE: 500 stoof- & ovenschotels by Rebecca Baugniet)

The stroganoff tasted good but it did not look right to me. I thought the sauce should be thicker and a bit more creamy. Next time I may add some cornstarch at the end to thicken the sauce, and/or replace the sour cream with an equal amount of creme fraiche.

salt and pepper
400g beef, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp oil
25g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
225g mushrooms, sliced
50ml sherry
50ml beef bouillon
handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp paprika powder
125ml sour cream

1. Marinate the beef with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
2. Heat half the oil and butter in a pan, and brown the beef over high heat for about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining oil and butter in the pan. Cook the garlic, onion, and mushrooms for about 3 minutes. Return the beef into the pan. Add sherry, bouillon, parsley, lemon juice, and paprika powder. Season well. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the sour cream to the pan, and warm the stroganoff over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

20101127 Speculaascake (Spice Cake)

(SOURCE: Albert Heijn Recepten - Speculaascake)

It was still eatable when it was warm and served with whipped cream. But it was just too dry and niet lekker! I wonder if it would have helped if I had added some milk and/or honey to the recipe...

200g butter, at room temperature
200g bruine basterdsuiker (brown sugar)
4 eggs
200g self rising flour
4 tsp koek- en speculaaskruiden (pumpkin pie spices)

1. Heat oven to 160 degree C. Grease the loaf tin.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer for about 15 minutes. Beat in one egg at a time.
3. Sift the flour and spices into the butter-sugar mixture. Mix well, and pour the batter into the greased loaf tin.
4. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes.

20101127 Apple Muffins

(SOURCE: SimpleDailyRecipes.com - Cinnamon Apple Muffins)

My plan was to make cinnamon apple muffins to fill the house with the lovely cinnamon smell, but I forgot to add the 1 tsp of cinnamon to the muffins. Duh! So these are just apple muffins...a bit boring but still taste good.

3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 medium apple, cored, peeled, and finely diced
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar (for the topping)

1. Heat oven to 205 degree C. Line muffin tin with 12 paper muffin cups.
2. In a small bowl, beat milk, oil and egg. Stir in diced apple, and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well and pour in wet ingredients. Stir slowly just until flour is moistened, batter will be lumpy.
4. Divide batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake in the oven for about 18 minutes. Immediately remove from pan, and enjoy!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

20101125 Boerenkool Stamppot

I find it the name boerenkool funny (literal translation: farmers kale) - this name is so much more interesting than plan old curly kale. I love stamppot! Stamppot is a traditional Dutch food that is filling, simple, tasty, and so perfect for warming you up in a cold winter evening. My favorite stamppot is my mother-in-law's zuurkool stamppot met ananas en spekjes (translation: sauerkraut mash pot with pineapples and bacon bits). She always lets me know when she makes zuurkool stamppot and I'll be there for dinner!

300g curly kale (boerenkool), finely chopped
450g starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt and pepper
some milk
some butter
1 smoked sausage (Unox rookworst)
100g smoked bacon bits
1 small onion, finely chopped

1. In a large pan, add the kale and potatoes and top it with water. Bring it to the boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes. Then add the Unox rookworst to the pan, and simmer for another 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a frying pan, and brown the onion and bacon on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Set aside.
3. Remove the pan from the heat, and fish the rookworst out. Drain water out of the pan, add the milk and butter to the kale and potato, and then mash them together. Then fold in the fried onion and bacon - don't forget to add all the bacon fat to the mash!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

20101123 Cinnamon and Sugar Muffins

(SOURCE: SimpleDailyRecipes.com - Cinnamon and Sugar Muffins)

I added a dash of cinnamon to the batter too to give the muffins a warmer flavor. They are really fun to make - but watch out when rolling the muffin tops in the melted butter for the topping, because they are REALLY HOT!

3/4 cup milk
110g melted butter
1 egg
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
A dash of cinnamon
110g melted butter in one bowl
1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon in another bowl

1. Heat oven to 205 degree C. Line muffin tin with 12 paper cups.
2. In a medium bowl, beat milk, butter, and egg. Add in flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt all at once. Stir just until flour is moistened - note that batter will be lumpy.
3. Use two spoons to fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake until golden brown, about 16 miutes. Immediately remove from pan and carefully roll hot muffin tops in melted butter, then in cinnamon-sugar mixture.

20101123 Banana Bread

(SOURCE: SimplyRecipes.com - Banana Bread Recipe)

Eating a slice of moist (!) and sweet banana bread immeidately brings me back to the comforting childhood memories. The key to good banana bread is the over ripe bananas as they produce the full banana flavor and moist texture. If you want to make banana bread but your bananas are not ripe yet/enough, put them in a paper bag with an apple and they will be ripened in a day.

3 ripe bananas, smashed
75g melted butter
200g sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
190g flour

1. Heat oven to 175 degree C.
2. In a large bowl, mix butter into the mashed bananas. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered loaf pan.
3. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack, then remove from pan and slice to serve.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

20101118 Meatloaf

Cold weather calls for comfort food - so I made meatloaf! I had the meatloaf with a simple mashed potato and some mushroom sauce. I just used the mushroom sauce mix, and added some freshly ground black pepper and finely chopped parsley to give it a little more fragrance. My husband didn't like the instant mushroom sauce so he simply mixed the excess fat from the meatloaf with his mashed potato - a typical Dutch man!

250g minced beef
250g minced pork
1 egg
1 cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
some ketchup
2 slices of bacon

1. Heat oven to 175 degree C.
2. In a large bowl, mix everything (except the last two ingredients) together. Place the mixture into an ungreased loaf tin. Lay the 2 slices of bacon and spread some ketchup over the top of the meatloaf.
3. Cook in the oven uncovered for about 1.5 hours. Afterward, let the meatloaf sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

20101117 Fish Fried Rice

I made the Irish Soda Bread to use up the leftover buttermilk, and thought I could whip up something to use up the leftover rice, ginger, lemon, and celery leaves. I went and bought some nice white fish...ta-da, fish fried rice! Of course, it would taste even better with some spring onions and finely chopped carrots. But hey, the goal to use up leftovers has been met and I am a happy camper.

200g white fish, cut into chunks
1 egg, lightly beaten
65g leftover cooked rice
handful of wild celery leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
fresh lemon juice
a thick piece of ginger, grated
2 tbsp oil

1. Marinate the fish with the grated ginger, and salt and pepper for about 15 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a wok, and brown the fish for about 10 minutes. Remove fish from the pan. Add rice to the pan and fry for about 5 minutes. Then add the egg and stir until rice is coated with egg. Return the fish to the pan, and fry for another 5 to 10 minutes. Add a dash of lemon juice, and season well.
3. Sprinkle with the chopped celery leaves and serve.

20101117 Irish Soda Bread

(SOURCE: allrecipes.co.uk - Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread)

I have no idea if it was a success as I never had soda bread before. I ate some when it was still warm with some butter, and it tasted good. But again, all baked goods taste good when they are still warm, right? I read somewhere that the addition of raisins will make this a Spotted Dick - one couldn't help but giggle at such a name, right? Funny that this English food was mentioned in the Shanghai Knight movie I watched last night too!

500g plain flour
4 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
120g butter, softened
225ml buttermilk
1 egg
50g butter, melted
4 tbsp butter milk

1. Heat oven to 190 degree C. Lightly grease a large baking tray. Combine melted butter with 4 tbsp of buttermilk in a small bowl, and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and butter. Stir in 250ml buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared tray.
3. Brush loaf with the glaze mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an X into the top of the loaf.
4. Bake in the oven for 30 to 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

20101116 Broccoli Grill

(SOURCE: BBC Good Food Magazine - 101 Meals for Two)

I replaced the wholegrain mustard with freshly ground pepper, as my husband hates mustard and says mustard will give you green hair. The sauce was so heavy and rich. Next time I may use light creme fraiche, use a little more bimi, and replace the cheese with 50g of freshly grated parmesan to make the dish a little lighter.

500g bimi, about 18 stems
200ml creme fraiche
100g grated cheese
freshly ground black pepper
6 slices of ham

1. Preheat the grill to high. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the broccoli and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under running cold water.
2. In a small bowl, mix the creme fraiche and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper and half the cheese.
3. Wrap 3 broccoli stems into each slice of ham, then place in a baking dish. Spread the creamy mixture over, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and grill for 10 minutes until golden and bubbly.

20101116 Apple Muffins

(SOURCE: Olive Magazine - Fluffy Apple Muffins)

I have some leftover apples and have been craving some warm muffins all day today. So I searched for apple muffin recipes online and found this super easy one. I even have almost all the ingredients home, so there is no excuse not to bake. I don't have any ground ginger, so I replaced it with "koek & speculaas spice mix" - just like pumpkin pie spice mix. Warm muffins are the best comfort food ever!

75g butter
100g caster sugar
225g plain flour, mixed with 3 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt
225ml buttermilk
100g apples, peeled, cored, chopped, and tossed with a generous pinch of koek & speculaas spice mix

1. Heat oven to 180 degree C.
2. Beat the butter and sugar, then stir in the flour mixtrue and butter milk. Fold in the apples. Spoon the mixture into 8 muffin cases, and bake for 25 minutes until golden.

Monday, November 15, 2010

20101115 Oven Steamed Salmon

(SOURCE: A friend)

My husband who does not like seafood is not home tonight, so I thought I would indulge myself with a yummy and healthy oven steamed salmon dish. This is absolutely great with a glass of chilled white wine, and some steamed new potatoes.

1 salmon fillet
handful of french beans
1 tbsp green pesto
olive oil
juice of half a lemon
sea salt and pepper

1. Heat oven to 200 degree C.
2. Fold a meter of aluminium foil in half to make two layers. Lay the beans on the foil, and then the salmon fillet (skin side down). Smear the pesto on the salmon. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper. Wrap up the foil and crease to make a packet.
3. Cook the packet in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

20101114 Pork Escalopes in Creamy Mushroom Sauce

(SOURCE: Koken & Genieten Magazine)

The recipe recommended to use "gedroogde majoraan". But as I don't have that, I used "gedroogde marjolein" instead. To be honest, I have no idea how they are called in English and how different they taste anyways - but I know marjolein always works well with chicken and pork because of its subtle fragrance. I serve this dish with a simple mashed potato to absorb all the yummy mushroom sauce.

300g onions, cut into rings
250g mushrooms, slicked
2 tbsp oil
400g pork escalopes (varkensschnitzels)
salt and pepper
2 tsp dried marjolein
200ml cream (slagroom)
1/2 chicken stock cube dissolved in 150ml hot water

1. Heat oven to 175 degree C. Heat half the oil in a pan over high heat, and brown the pork. Season with salt and pepper. Remove pork from the pan and into a greased baking dish.
2. Heat the remaining oil in a pan, and fry the onions and mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and marjolein. Add the slagroom and the stock, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
3. Pour the mushroom sauce all over the pork in the baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Then turn the oven down to 150 degree C, remove the foil, and cook the dish in the oven for another 40 minutes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

20101110 Blueberry-Raspberry Muffins

(SOURCE: Kids aan het Bakken by Sara Lewis)

I am not impressed by this recipe, as the step by step guide forgot to mention when to add one of the ingredients - sunflower oil. Though the bottle of oil is standing right in front of me on the kitchen counter, I forgot to add it to the batter (4 tbsp of sunflower oil should be added in step 3). So the muffins are dryer than usual though they still taste good with some whipped cream. Oh, and from the lesson learned last time, I coated the berries with some flour this time so they have not sunk to the bottom!

300g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
125g fine sugar (basterdsuiker)
50g butter
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
150g yoghurt
100g fresh blueberries
100g fresh raspberries

1. Heat oven to 200 degree C. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and set aside.
2. In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and sugar together with a fork.
3. Add the melted butter, eggs, vanilla essence, and yoghurt into the flour-sugar mixture. Mix well. Then coat the berries with flour, and fold them into the batter.
4. Spoon the mixture into 12 muffin cups, and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Serve warm with freshly whipped cream.

20101110 Soto Ajam

(SOURCE: Albert Heijn Recepten - Soto ajam)

A delicious Javanese meal soup with chicken, a soup recipe from Indonesia. A perfect dish for a cold and rainy evening. Once the bouillon is done, the rest is no brainer - that's why I made the bouillon the day before, and thought my husband could simply heat up a packet of microwaved rice and make this himself when I had an evening out. But as my evening plan was cancelled, my husband didn't even lift a finger!

Instead of chucking the garlic, I simply mashed it and threw it back into the bouillon. And I added A LOT of chopped celery leaves to my soup as they just added so much fragrance! Next time I may add a tsp of ground coriander and a tsp of turmeric to the soup to make it taste even richer. I may replace the cooked rice with grass noodles to give it a Vietnamese touch too.

2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 chicken legs
5cm ginger, cut into big chunks
1 1/2 tsp ground lemon grass
1 chicken stock cube
1 tbsp oil
100g cooked rice
20g wild celery leaves (selderij), finely chopped
60g bean sprouts
handful of fried onions

1. Add 1L of water, the chicken, 1 garlic clove, ginger, lemongrass, and chicken stock cube into a large pan. Bring it to the boil, then simmer with the lid on for about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Remove chicken from the pan, and sieve out the ginger and garlic from the pan. Mash the garlic and through it back into the bouillon. Use two forks to remove the bones from the chicken. Put the chicken meat back into the bouillon.
3. Slice the last garlic clove. Heat oil in a pan, and brown the sliced garlic.
4. In each soup bowl, add rice, wild celery, bean sprouts, and fried garlic slices. Spoon the hot soup and chicken into the bowl. Sprinkle with fried onions and serve.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

20101109 Istanballs

(SOURCE: Albert Heijn Allerhande Magazine)

The original recipe is called "Istanballen", the literal translation is "Istanballs". I thought juicy meatballs can never go wrong, but my meat-loving husband's only comment was "they just don't taste like meatballs". Lesson learned - meat and cinnamon just don't work for him! I admit that the touch of cinnamon is quite unique in a beef dish (though a dash of cinnamon works like a charm in a minced lamb dish), so I have already lessened the amount of cinnamon from 2 tbsp to 1/2 tsp this time. Next time I may simply up the oregano and skip the cinnamon.

500g minced beef
4 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
some red pepper paste (I used AH Excellent Kruidengemak as recommended)
125g feta, crumbled
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
500ml sieved tomatoes
20g parsley, finely chopped

1. Heat oven to 200 degree C. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the egg, bread crumbs, 1 tbsp oregano, half the cinnamon powder, and minced meat together. Season with salt, pepper, and the red pepper paste. Finally mix the feta cheese into the meat mixture. Make into 8 meatballs.
2. Heat the oil in a pan, and brown the meatballs. Remove from the pan (leave the yummy meat juice/oil in the pan) and into a baking dish. Add the onion to the pan and brown for 2 minutes. Then add sieved tomatoes, 100ml water, the rest of the cinnamon, and 1/2 tbsp oregano. Mix well and cook for about 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the meatballs in the baking dish.
3. Cook the meatballs in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve with grilled aubergine or garlic bread.

Monday, November 8, 2010

20101108 Beef and Vegetable Casserole

(SOURCE: Koken & Genieten Magazine - Bloemkoolschotel met gehakt)

Another dish that gives me the feel of fall. I increased the amount of cheese to make the sauce a little cheesier. Next time I may save some grated cheese to sprinkle on top of the dish for the remaining 10 minutes in the oven.

1 onion, finely chopped
750g potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
baby carrots, diced
250g celery, diced
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
salt and pepper
1 1/2 chicken stock cube
300g minced beef
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp tomato puree
90g grated cheese
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
150ml milk

1. Heat oven to 175 degree C. Cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside. Dissolve 1 chicken stock cube in 500ml boiling water, and cook the cauliflower florets in it for about 8 to 10 minutes. Save the stock, and set aside the cauliflower.
2. Heat oil in a pan over high heat and brown the minced beef. Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pan. Then stir in the tomato puree, 125ml water, and 1/2 chicken stock cube. Season well and simmer for about 5 minutes. Mix potatoes into the meat. Remove from fire and set aside.
3. Knead the butter and flour together. In a small saucepan mix together the cauliflower bouillon and milk, and bring it to the boil. Slowly add the butter mixture and cheese, keep stirring until the cheese is melted. Season well.
4. Mix the cauliflower and the meat/potatoe mixture into a buttered casserole dish. Pour the cheese sauce all over it, and cook in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

20101106 Bacon-wrapped Chicken in White Wine Sauce

(SOURCE: Koken & Genieten - Ovenhits Special 4)

This dish was so yummy on some garlic mashed potatoes. I felt that something was missing in the white wine sauce, and will replace the water with chicken stock to give the dish a little more flavor next time. Also, a valuable lesson learned today - be sure you very slowly add the butter/flour mixture into the sauce to avoid lumpy sauce. Remember, very slowly!

30g flour
30g soft butter
9 slices of bacon (ontbijtspek)
2 skinless chicken breasts, patted dry and cut into 4 fillets each
salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil
200ml dry white wine
120ml water
125ml cream (slagroom)
125g grated cheese
1 tomato, diced

1. Heat oven to 200 degree C.  Knead the flour and butter, set aside. Season the chicken fillet with salt and pepper, then wrap each one in a slice of bacon.
2. Heat the oil in a pan over high heat, and brown the bacon-wrapped chicken. Remove the browned chicken to a baking dish.
3. Add the wine, water, and cream to the pan of lovely juice from the bacon fat. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Slowly stir the butter mixture into the sauce, and season well.
4. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the baking dish. Completely cover it with grated cheese. Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes, and then about 2 minutes under a hot grill. Scatter diced tomatoes over the dish, and serve.

Friday, November 5, 2010

20101105 Cardamom chicken

(SOURCE: BBC Easy Cook Magazine)

As I couldn't find cardamom pods, I have replaced them with cardamom powder instead. I would recommend grated ginger instead of finely chopped one. This dish is fragrant and herby, but I am just not a big fan of sweet, coconuty sauce.

2 tbsp plain yoghurt
3 skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp cardamom powder
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
a piece of fresh root ginger, finely chopped
400ml can coconut milk
salt and pepper
handful of parsley leaves, chopped

1. Mix the yoghurt, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and a pink of salt in a bowl, add the chicken and leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan, and stir fry the onion, garlic, and ginger for a few minutes. Add the coconut milk and cardamom powder, season, and heat until bubbling.
3. Add the chicken and the marinade and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Scatter with chopped parsley and serve with rice.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

20101104 Oven Baked Pork and Carrots

(SOURCE: Koken & Genieten - Ovenhits special 4)

I spreaded mashed potatoes over the serving plate then poured the dish and its juice all over it. It tasted so good. My husband complained there was not enough mashed potatoes to soak up all the sauce!

400g pork, diced
250g baby carrots
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
dried majoraan/marjolein
125ml slagroom

1. Heat butter in a pan, and brown the onions for about 2 minutes. Add the meat and cook until color changes. Add the carrots and cook for another 3 minutes. Sprinkle paprika and dried herb generously to the meat mixture. Stir in the slagroom and 4 tbsp water. Bring to the boil.
2. Pour the meat mixture into a buttered baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Check the dish, then continue to bake with the foil on for another 40 minutes. Undo the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

20101103 Baked Cannelloni

(SOURCE: Delia's Complete How to Cook by Delia Smith)

The meatball sausage tasted really good - thanks to the bacon bits - but the bechamel sauce just didn't tickle my fancy.

8 fresh lasane sheets, each cut in half
150g mozzarella, diced
50g freshly grated parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)

225g minced pork
1 tsp chopped sage leaves
95g unsmoked bacon
2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 1/2 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tbsp milk
1 large egg
a little nutmeg
salt and pepper

570ml (1 pint) milk
50g butter
35g plain flour
1 bay leaf
some nutmeg
65ml creme fraiche
salt and pepper

1. To make the meatballs, place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix everything well. Divde the mixture in half and then each half into eith, then lightly roll each of these into a sausage shape about 7.5cm long. Set aside.
2. To make the sauce, place the milk, butter, flour, ba leaf, nutmeg, and seasonings into a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat. Whisk all the time and slowly bring it up to simmering point until the sauce has thickened. Then turnn the heat down to its lowest setting and let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes. Then remove the bay leaf, stir in the cream, taste to check the seasoning, cover and leave aside.
3. Place each meatball sausage on to a piece of lasagne and roll it up. Arrange them in the baking dish with the join underneath. Pour the sauce over and scatter the mozzarella cubes here and there. Finally, scatter the parmesan over the top and bake the dish in the oven for 40 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.
4. Then remove it from the oven and let it settle for about 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle a little extra parmesan over, and serve.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

20101102 Chicken Cacciatora

(SOURCE: Delia's Complete How to Cook by Delia Smith)

The sauce tastes even better the day after!

4 chicken legs, chopped into two (about 1kg in total) and seasoned
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, thickly sliced
700g ripe red tomatoes, skinned * and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
275ml dry white wine
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper

1. Heat the oil in the heavy based pan over a high heat, brown the chicken in batches. Remove the chicken to a plate. Add the onions to the pan, turn the heat down to medium and brown for 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree, rosemary, bay leaf, white wine, and white wine vinegar. Add some seasoning and bring it up to the boil, then let it bubble and reduce (without covering) to about half its original volume, which will take about 20 minutes.
3. Add the chicken pieces, stir them around a bit, then put the lid on and allow to simmer gently for 40 minutes, until the chicken are cooked through.

* How to skin tomatoes - pour boiling water over the tomates and leave them for 1 minute before draining and slipping off their skins.

Monday, November 1, 2010

20101101 Stuffed Bell Peppers

(SOURCE: Simply Recipes - Dad's Staffed Bell Peppers)

I found the filling a little bland so have added some sauce to it before stuffing the peppers. Next time I may try topping the stuffed peppers with a mixture of HP sauce and Worcestershire sauce instead - it should go really well with the minced beef!

4 bell peppers, top cut off and deseeded
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
450g ground beef
1 1/2 cup cooked rice
200g can chopped tomatoes, drain off excess liquid
1 tsp dried oregano
fresh ground pepper
Worcestershire sauce
dash of tabasco sauce

1. Add several generous pinches of salt to a large pot of boiling water, then add peppers and boil about 3 minutes until brillliant green/red/yellow and their flesh slightly softened. Drain, set aside to cool.
2. Heat oven to 175 degree C. Heat 4 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium heat, cook onions for about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, add meat, rice, tomatoes, and oregano, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce and 1 tbsp of ketchup. Mix well.
3. Drizzle remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil inside the peppers. Stuff peppers with filling and arrange them in a baking dish. Combine 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce over the filling.
4. Add 1/4 cup water to the baking dish. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes, depending on how big the peppers are, until the internal temperature of the stuffed peppers is 65 degree C.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

20101027 Chilli Cheese Omelette

(SOURCE: BBC GoodFood 101 Meals for Two)

Such a simple yet delightful quick meal.

2 green onions, finely chopped
handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
4 large eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp chopped fresh red chilli
50g grated cheese

1. Beat two of the eggs together with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small frying pan then tip in half the onion, coriander and chilli and stir round the pan for a second or two so they soften a little. Pour in the eggs and keep them moing until two third have scrambled.
2. Settle the eggs back down on the base of the pan, scatter over half the cheese and cook for about 1 minute until the omelette is just set and the cheese has melted.
3. Carefully fold the omelette, and slid from the pan to a serving plate. Serve while hot and the cheese is still melting. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make another omelette.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

20101024 Mashed Potato Stuffed Bell Pepper

(SOURCE: Kook ook Vegetarisch)

I took out the olives from the recipe as my husband doesn't like them. A dash of tobasco sauce is recommended if you like it hot!

200g starchy potatoes, chopped in small cubes
salt and pepper
1 red bell pepper, halved and deseeded
30ml creme fraiche
2 dried tomatoes in oil, cut into small pieces
1 green onion, rings
40g grated cheese

1. Heat oven to 200 degree C. Cook the potatoes in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Drain and mash into a puree. Stir in creme fraiche, dried tomatoes, green onions, and half the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Stuff the peppers with the mashed potato, and put them in a greased baking dish. Scatter the cheese all over the stuffed peppers, and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

20101023 Pepper Chicken Potato Crush

(SOURCE: BBC GoodFood 101 Meals for Two)

Don't forget to pour the chicken juices all over the potato crush!

3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
3 tbsp olive oil
2 skinless chicken breasts
100g goat's cheese, cut into 6 rounds
3 strips of roasted peppers in oil, drained, each cut in half
some fresh thyme springs
300g small new potatoes
75g rocket leaves

1. Heat oven to 200 degree C. Soften the garlic in a little simmering water for 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and chop. Mix with the parsley and 1 tbsp of oil.
2. Make 3 deep diagonal slits across each breast. Reseve half the garlic mixture and spread the rest over the chicken and into the slit.
3. Halve each cheese slice and tuck two halves, a pieces of pepper, and some thyme into each slit. Season and bake in an oiled shallow dish for 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked.
4. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes. Drain, return to the pan and coarsely crush with a fork. Stir in rocket to leave to wilt. Stir remaining oil into the garlic mixture, season and stir into the potatoes. Serve with the chicken.

Friday, October 22, 2010

20101022 Enchilada's with Fried Beans

(SOURCE: Kook ook Vegetarisch)

I used less chill pepper as the original recipe was too spicy for me.

5 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
1/2 tbsp paprika powder
salt and pepper
1 big onion, finely chopped
400g can red kidney beans
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
8 flour tortilla's
125ml sour cream
100g feta cheese, crumbled
1 green onion, rings
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped

1. Heat oven to 200 degree C. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a saucepan, and fry half the garlic and chilli pepper for about 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and paprika powder, and simmer for about 10 minutes to make a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in another saucepan and brown the remaining garlic and onions. Stir in the beans, chilli powder, and oregano. Mash the mixture into a puree while warming it. Season with salt and pepper.
3. For each tortilla wrap, spread over a thin layer of tomato sauce and then spoon over some bean mixture. Roll it up and lay it in a lightly greased baking dish. Make 8 tortilla rolls. Pour the tomato sauce all over the baking dish, and scatter with sour cream and crumbled feta cheese.
4. Cook in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Scatter with chopped coriander leaves, and serve.

Friday, October 15, 2010

20101015 Vegetable Curry with Yoghurt

(SOURCE: Albert Heijn Recepten - Groentecurry met yoghurt)

Starchy potatoes are the key as they best absorb all the delicisou sauce.

800g small starchy potatoes
4 tbsp oil
1 onion, cut into wedges
2 tbsp kerrie powder
1 courgette, sliced and halved
1 cauliflower, chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
300g Greek yoghurt

1. Heat the oil in a pan over high heat, and brown the onions. Stir in kerrie powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes. Pour 300ml water and chopped tomates into the pan, and bring to the boil. Add the potatoes, put the lid on, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Slowly stir the yoghurt into the curry and simmer for another 3 minutes, keep stirring.

Monday, October 11, 2010

20101011 Sausage Casserole

(SOURCE: BBC Easy Cook Magazine)

Beautiful fall colors on your plate!

8 sausages
1 yellow bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
4 red onions, cut into wedges
400g can chopped tomatoes
250ml chicken stock
1 tbsp sugar
handful of basil

1. Heat oven to 200 degrree C. Put the sausages, pepper and onions into a roasting tin, then roast for 20 minutes.
2. Lower oven to 180 degree C, then tip the tomatoes and stock over the sausages. Add the sugar and basil, season, then stir well. Roast for a further 20 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

20101010 Hachee

(SOURCE: Friends and family)

The meat usually just melt in your mouth, but my last attempt failed for some reasons. I should have upped the vingear and water to make the meat more tender. Lesson learned.

3 large onions, thinly sliced
30g flour
55g butter
500ml beef stock
3 bay leaves
5 cloves
1 tbsp vinegar
500g stew beef, cut into small cubes
salt and pepper
dash of Worcestershire sauce
some cornflour

1. Mix together flour and the beef in a bowl. Heat the butter in a heavy based pan and brown the onions. Gradually add stock, bay leaves, and cloves, then put the lid on and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Add vinegar and the meat in the pan, and simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours.
3. When it is ready, mix cornflour with some water. Stir this into the stew slowly to thicken the sauce. Simmer for about 5 minutes while stirring. Season with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.

Friday, October 8, 2010

20101008 Little Baked Rosemary Potatoes

I always serve a juicy ribeye with these little baked potatoes. Simple but heavenly!

400g small new potatoes, halved
olive oil
dried rosemary
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oven to 200 degree C. Put the potatoes in a baking dish. Scatter the oil, rosemary, salt and pepper all over. Mix well. Cook in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

20101008 Carpaccio with Rocket Salad

120g beef carpaccio
100g freshly grated parmesan
75g rocket leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice
salt and pepper
handful of pine nuts

1. Lay rocket leaves onto two plates, and lay out the carpaccio on the rocket. Sprinkle olive oil, lemon juice, cheese, pine nuts, and salt and pepper all over. Serve!