Posts tagged ‘cooking and baking’

2017, February 17

Recipe of the Month: Chili with a hint of Carne

While still on holiday in the first week of January, aside from catching up with doing laundry, I started cleaning out the fridge and pantry with the purpose of using up everything that was more or less about to go off.
I made tuna salad with left-over veggies, oven-baked Falafel since I found chickpeas and wanted to try the recipe, diced some red peppers and thinly sliced a leek popping them in the freezer for some future stir fry I’ll be making, and cut up some overripe bananas to freeze for smoothies.

I also found a can of white beans in tomato sauce, and thought about later going out and buying ground meat to cook Chili. Most Chili recipes I’ve seen, require the same amount of beans and meat. However, that is not something I’d eat, so I always cook the dish for my boyfriend alone.
Given I was in cleaning-mode and rummaged more through the freezer, I found some left-over meat paddies I’ve thrown in there from the previous week when we’ve made homemade cheese burgers, and I decided to only use those in the recipe and see what comes out of it. Well, the finished dish tasted wonderful, so that is how Chili with a hint of Carne was born.

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Chili with a hint of Carne

pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 vegetable cube
1 beef cube
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion
100-150 grams ground beef meat
1 can white beans in tomato sauce (415 grams)

Add the olive oil, the seasonings, the vegetable and beef cubes (I used Knorr), together with the diced onion and minced garlic into a pan, and saute them until the onion is translucent.

Stir in the meat, and let it cook through, stirring every once in a while to that the meat doesn’t stick to your pan.

Once the meat is cooked, add in the can of beans, and cook for another ten to fifteen minutes (depends on the beans, so check the instructions on the can), until all the flavors come together.

When it was done, I added some of it into small jars to serve over pasta as you would a sauce, and into the rest of it, I stirred some steamed rice. Both versions tasted great!

Bon appétit! ;)

2016, December 16

Recipe of the Month: Panettone sheet cake

From what Wikipedia tells me, Panettone is a type of sweet bread loaf originally from and one of the symbols of the city of Milan, usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year in Italy. It has a cupola shape, which extends from a cylindrical base and is usually about 12–15 cm high for a Panettone weighing 1 kg.

My recipe is definitely not the above described Panettone, but a toned-down, sheet cake version of it by the same name. I got the recipe from a friend in Paris.

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Panettone sheet cake

2,5-3 mugs sugar
4 mugs flour
10 g baking powder
10 g vanilla sugar
4 eggs
1 mug oil or melted butter
1 mug yogurt

Stir together the sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla sugar, oil and the egg’s yolks.
Beat the egg whites and the yogurt together with a mixer, and then combine with the other ingredients.

Line a baking sheet with baking paper, pour the mixture into it and add thinly sliced dried fruits, chocolate shavings or crushed hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts, etc. on top.

Bake for about 25-35 minutes on medium heat.

Serve with coffee, tea or a glass of warm milk. It’s the perfect sweet treat during sweater weather.

Bon appétit! ;)

 

2016, November 18

Recipe of the Month: Chicken Paprikash

I have only now made this delicious Hungarian stew for the first time since my boyfriend and I are together. After tasting it, having lunch and asking for seconds, too, he asked why I’ve never cooked this before. Truthfully? I haven’t thought about it.

My grandmother used to make Chicken Paprikash in a different variation which I don’t really like, and my mom used to make the below version with basically any part of the chicken, except chicken breast. Mostly because in my country, chicken breast is more expensive than thighs, legs or wings (let me know if it’s different where you live), so chicken breast wasn’t always an option.
In my honest opinion, the different parts of chicken do taste differently, and now I prefer chicken breast. But until recently, I haven’t thought of trying this particular recipe with it. I am so happy my mom suggested it though, the recipe is absolutely perfect this way!

csirke-paprikas

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Chicken Paprikash (Csirke Paprikás)

1 chicken breast
olive oil
salt, black pepper (to taste)
2-3 teaspoons sweet Paprika spice
2 teaspoons fresh parsley
2 bulbs of garlic (about 20-25 cloves)
2-4 tablespoons flour (depending how thick you want the sauce)
2 tablespoons sour cream
0,8 liter water

Start by cutting up your chicken breast into small pieces.
Add a little olive oil into a larger pot, add in the chicken, and season to taste with the salt, black pepper and the sweet Paprika (I only used one teaspoon of Paprika since I don’t like it that much, but it was enough for giving the dish a nice taste). Stir until the chicken turns white all over, then cover with the water and leave to simmer.

After the chicken is cooked, remove it onto a plate from the chicken stock and set it aside.

Into a glass add the flour, the sour cream, and a few tablespoons of the still-hot chicken stock (because if you add cold sour cream to a hot liquid it will curdle), then mix it as well as possible to avoid the flour forming lumps. Strain this mixture into the chicken broth on low heat, stir well and let it thicken to a sauce.
Once thickened, add the chicken pieces back and some parsley to taste. Stir a few more times, then turn off the stove and you’re done.

The traditional Chicken Paprikash is served with Nokedli (dumpling-like boiled egg noodles), which I dislike. So instead, I serve my version of this Hungarian recipe with rice, mashed potatoes or bread. Feel free to have sauerkraut or pickles with it.

Usually, I make double the amount of sauce for this recipe. After the chicken is eaten with as much sauce as everyone wants, I make some macaroni or penne pasta and use some of the Paprikash sauce on that. I love it!

PS: I usually wash fresh parsley, place it in small plastic baggies and store them in the freezer. Other greens as well, such as basil, oregano, dill, etc. After frozen, they’re really simple to cut into really thin stripes, when cooking. They’re perfect for having “fresh” greens instead of dried over the Winter as they taste way better.

Bon appétit! ;)

2016, September 9

Recipe of the Month: Crunchy Brain

That title sounds interestingly weird, right? I know, I know. But trust me on this one!

When I was still a kid, you wouldn’t have caught me dead eating anything as exotic as this recipe sounds, but after I’ve gotten older and my mom tried this crunchy brain version, I actually like it!
Granted, the whole way through the process of dipping the brain pieces in flour, the egg mixture and in breadcrumbs I was feeling like I would’ve done anything else but feel the squishy brain in my hands… but hey, I survived! And I SO deserve a week off from cooking for this one :))

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crunchy brain

Crunchy Brain

2 whole eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds brain
2 cups flour
2 cups whole wheat breadcrumbs
Olive oil, for drizzling

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack, or with parchment paper.

Combine the eggs, salt, and cayenne in a dish. Dip the brain pieces in flour, then in the egg mixture and transfer to a dish with breadcrumbs, pressing to coat each side.

Transfer to your baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Bake until golden and brain pieces are cooked through, about 16 minutes. Season with salt.

The potatoes shown in the above pictures are cut up, drizzled with a bit of oil, seasoned with salt, pepper and coriander, and baked in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.

Serve the crunchy brain to your and your family’s liking with dressing, salad, hot sauce, etc. with a side of rice, potatoes or freshly baked bread.

 

Note: I make my own breadcrumbs as opposed to buying them from the store – there’s always leftover bread no one wants to eat, so I leave it to dry or pop it into the still-hot oven after I finish baking, then grind and store it in an airtight container.

Bon appétit! ;)

2016, August 12

Recipe of the Month: Three-Ingredient Banana Pancakes

I’ve made banana pancakes before, and I still love that recipe a lot!
But I’ve tried being more cautious of what I eat lately, which led me to search for a healthier variation on banana pancakes. I found several that I wanted to try, and ended up with combining ideas and recipes.

The result is below. ;)

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Three-Ingredient Banana Pancakes 

2 bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup Brinta, or whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin spice
pinch of salt

Mash the bananas in a bowl using a fork.
Beat the eggs in another bowl with the Brinta, baking powder and cinnamon. Add to the mashed bananas and mix the batter well.
Of course, you can use a blender to combine all the ingredients at once if you want.

Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Spoon the batter into the hot butter and cook the pancakes until bubbles form and the edges are dry. Flip them over and cook until browned on the other side as well.

Serve as is, or with fresh fruit on the side and a cup of Vanilla-Caramel Tea.

Bon appétit! ;)

2016, July 15

Recipe of the Month: Savory Pork Cutlets over Caramelized Onions

As much as possible I try to eat lean meat, or depending on the type of meat maybe semi-trimmed. Below is a recipe I make at least every two-three weeks, because it’s so easy to make and absolutely delicious served with either a side of rice or baked potatoes!

page Savory Pork Cutlets over Caramelized Onions

Savory Pork Cutlets over Caramelized Onions

8 slices of pork cutlet
3 large onions
half a lemon’s juice
French Spiced Salt
A pinch of salt, white pepper
Olive Oil

Add a splash of Olive Oil into a large pan lined with baking paper.
Cut the onions crosswise into thin slices, so they fall apart when added into the pan. Season with a pinch of salt and white pepper. Sprinkle with the juice of half a lemon.
Set the pan aside.

Season the pork cutlets on both sides with French Spiced Salt. Place them on top of the onions. Spray a little Olive Oil on top of the meat, if you wish. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Cook in a preheated oven at low-to-medium heat setting for about 40 minutes, turning the slices over at least once during the cooking process. Take the aluminum foil off after turning the slices over.

If you’re cooking at medium heat, toss the onions a little, too, so they don’t get burnt. This step is not necessary at a low heat setting.
Optionally, in the last 10 minutes of cooking, feel free to scoop some onions on top of the cutlets.

Making more traditional caramelized onions can be time-consuming, which is why I love the above method a lot more. It also keeps the meat from drying out while cooking.

Optional: Sometimes I like adding other vegetables into the mix as well, which I cut into thin slices or chop and place on top of the onions, then place the meat on top. You will need to stir the vegetables when turning over the cutlets.

Bon appétit! ;)

2016, June 10

Recipe of the Month: Easy Oven Fajitas

Let me start by saying that I love Fajitas seasoning! I once bought some and used it for basically everything I cooked, including sprinkling it on sandwiches – but then couldn’t find that exact brand ever since.
The recipe below also has the seasoning mix recipe included, so I was beyond excited to try making it myself. It is perfect, honestly!

Looking for new ideas of how to cook chicken, I gave this easy oven Fajitas recipe a go a few months ago. It was one of the best recipes I tried, and I just love that it’s all done in next to no time. The only thing I’d change is my choice of casserole dish, since the one I used was a tad on the small side for the amount I was preparing. It cooked well and all, just a little hard to stir in.

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Fajitas Seasoning

4 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp corn starch

Mix all of the ingredients for the fajitas seasoning in a small bowl and place in a small jar or seasoning mix bottle. Use especially for Fajitas, but it tastes delicious in sandwiches as well.

Easy Oven Fajitas

2 small (or 1 lg.) onion
2 medium green bell peppers
1 medium red bell pepper
1 medium yellow bell pepper
1 lb. chicken breast
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4-5 Tbsp Fajitas seasoning
1 medium lime
8 (6-inch) tortillas
½ cup sour cream (optional)
¼ bunch cilantro (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the onion and bell peppers into ¼ to ½ inch wide strips. Place them in a large casserole dish. Slice the chicken breast into very thin strips and add it to the casserole dish with the vegetables.

Sprinkle the seasoning over the meat and vegetables. Drizzle the vegetable oil over everything, squeeze the juice from half of the lime and then use your hands to toss the ingredients until everything is well coated.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring once half way through. Squeeze the juice from the other half of the lime over top of the meat and vegetables after it comes out of the oven.

Scoop a small amount of meat and vegetables into the center of each tortilla. Top with a few sprigs of cilantro, a dollop of sour cream, and an extra squeeze of lime if desired.

As a side note, this is a great dish all by itself – in case you’re not feeling like wrapping it up in a tortilla or having any bread on the side.

Bon appétit! ;)

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