Monday, May 14, 2018

Week 19: Honey-Mustard Pork Chops

The Recipe
4-5 pork chops (500-600g total)
3 heaped tbsp honey
3 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper

In a zip-lock bag or similar, mix together honey, mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. Add pork chops and shake to coat the pork chops. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour - I left it overnight, turning the bag half-way through.

Take out the pork chops and cook in a pan over medium high heat until done - about 3-5 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small pot and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for a few minutes until it's a tad thicker.

Serve with roasted potatoes and veggies - cooking the veggies in the same pan as the pork chops to soak up the last of the marinade.

The Verdict
Really good! The marinade left the meat nice and moist, and worked really well as a sauce as well. I used bell pepper, carrots and tomatoes for the veggies, but you could really use anything. This served 3 people with no left-overs.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Week 17: Chocolate Peanut Lava Cake

The Recipe
110g butter
100g dark chocolate, chopped
4 heaped tbsp peanut butter
4 tbsp sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Extra butter (for greasing the ramekins)
Cocoa powder (for dusting the ramekins)

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Grease the inside of 4 ramekins with butter and lightly dust with cocoa powder.

In a microwave-proof bowl, add dark chocolate and butter, and microwave at 15-second intervals, stirring after each interval until fully melted. (Remember the stirring! This part is very important as the chocolate will seem not to melt until you start stirring it - resulting in burnt chocolate! Go ahead... ask me how I know...)

In a mixing bowl, whish together eggs, sugar and vanilla. Slowly pour in the chocolate mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.

Put about ½dl batter into each ramekin, add a heaped tbsp of peanut butter and finish with another ½dl batter.

Bake at 220C for 10-12 minutes or until the sides are firm and the center is soft.

At this point you're supposed to be able to turn the ramekins upside down and have the lava cake come out on a plate. That never worked for me, but fortunately they could be eaten just as easily straight out of the ramekins.

The Verdict
I used creamy peanut butter in the assumption that it would work better than crunchy. I was wrong - should've definitely gone with the crunchy! And even with the peanut butter, I think it could still have benefited from just a tad more salt.

That aside, it was extremely rich and absolutely delicious! Both warm that same evening, and cold the next day.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Week 16: Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pasta

The Recipe
~500g chicken breast, pounded thin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Chili flakes to taste
0.5dl white wine
2.5dl chicken broth
5-6 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1dl heavy cream
0.5-1dl parmesan cheese
A large handful of rocket salad, sliced
Basil to taste (fresh is best, dried can also be used)
Penne pasta

Cook pasta according to the instructions on the bag.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned. Remove from pan and cut into stripes - the chicken is probably not quite done yet at this point - if that's the case just return the stripes to the pan for a few more minutes until done. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add a bit more oil to the pan and cook garlic and chili flakes until fragrant - about a minute or so. Add white wine and scrape the pan to get all the deliciousness off the bottom of it. Add chicken broth, cream, sundried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes.

Return the chicken to the sauce, add the rocket salad and basil and stir until it's just wilted.

Add pasta and serve.

The Verdict
SO good!! As in close-to-restaurant-worthy good! Definitely something I'll make again. I wouldn't have minded a bit more sauce, and will probably add more sundried tomatoes and rocket salad to the sauce next time, but even just as-is it turned out to be one of the best pasta-dishes I've made in a long time.

Fortunately we had leftovers :-D I've already claimed those for myself.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Week 15: Roasted Mushrooms

The Recipe
250g mushrooms, cleaned. Cut the largest ones in halves if there's a huge difference in size.
Salt, pepper
30g butter
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp thyme
lemon juice to taste.

Put mushrooms in a bowl and toss them with oil, salt and pepper. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 20-30 minutes at 200C. Keep and eye on them - you don't want them to get too dark.

Melt the butter in a pan and cook until it's just starting to brown. Add chopped garlic, thyme and lemon juice and cook until the garlic has gone soft and the butter is a darker brown. Transfer the mushrooms to the pan and coat with the butter-garlic mix.

The Verdict
Not sure how it happened, but I completely spaced out on tossing the mushrooms with oil, salt and pepper! I just put them in the oven "as is".
It was still really good though, and definitely something I'd make again... I'll just have to remember the oil next time, and see how much of a difference that makes.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Week 14: Honey Glazed Ham

I've missed a few weeks due to illness, but hope to get back on track now.

The Recipe
1 2lb ham
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp (~30g) butter, melted
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp thyme

In a small bowl, mix together vinegar, honey, butter, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and thyme.
Unwrap the ham (including the netting around it) and place it in a crockpot.
Pour mixture over the ham, cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours.

Serve with baked potatoes and steamed asparagus.

The Verdict
Unfortunately I couldn't find a plain ham, so mine already had a bit of flavouring which didn't do it any favours. That said, the glaze still worked out really well (although better on day 2 as it thickened somewhat when reheated), and was super-easy to make, so I could easily see myself making this again.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Week 11: Broccoli Fries

The Recipe
1 bundle of broccoli
Olive Oil

Remove the dry part of the stem, but leave the rest. Cut the broccoli into "fries" and lay out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with olive oil and salt.

Bake at 200C for 20-30 minutes. The tops should be fairly brown.

The Verdict
Super easy to make, and I really liked it! Definitely one of my favourite ways of making broccoli now :)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Week 10: Crispy Chicken Cordon Bleu

The Recipe
450g chicken breasts
Salt, pepper, Garlic powder, cayenne pepper
Cheese (I used cheddar, but I don't think it matters too much)
100g sliced ham
1 egg
Bread crumbs
Oil for cooking.

Creamy Dijon Sauce
2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1.5-2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1.5dl shredded Parmesan cheese

On a cutting board, place a chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound until about 1cm thick with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap and place a layer of ham and a layer of cheese. Wrap the chicken tightly in plastic wrap and twist the the wrap on the sides. Tie up the ends, and put the chicken in the fridge for 30 minutes to "set".

In three different plates put flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs and coat the chicken with each in turn.

Heat oil in a cast iron pan or wok until very hot. Cook chicken for about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and cook in oven for an additional 15-20 minutes until cooked through.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce by melting the butter in a small pot and cooking the garlic until soft. Add in flour and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Add milk and whisk until fully combined. Continue whisking until the sauce comes to a simmer. Add mustard, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Whisk to combine until all the cheese has melted and the sauce is nice and thick.

Serve chicken with baked potatoes and baked broccoli.

The Verdict
Both DH and I liked it well enough, but it's a LOT of work for something that's just liked "well enough", so I probably won't be making the chicken again... too much of a hassle for the output. I could very well see myself making the sauce again though - that one was really good!