Posts tagged ‘dinner’

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, 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, 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! ;)

2016, May 20

Recipe of the Month: Leek & Green Beans Chicken Stir-Fry

While thinking of recipes for my birthday lunch, I realized that I’ve only recently started adding leek into recipes when cooking.
I recall my grandma making some recipes with leeks when I was little, and me hating the taste of every single one of them. But now that I have control over what goes into certain dishes, as is with many other things actually, I especially like cooking chicken with leeks.

When in the mood for something super simple, yet delicious and filling, I turn to this chicken stir-fry recipe.

chicken leek green beans

Leek & Green Beans Chicken Stir-Fry

500 grams chicken breast
1 large leek, or 2 small leeks
300 grams green beans
pinch of salt, pepper, ginger, and curry
olive oil
splash of wine or chicken stock
1 tbsp soy sauce

Cut the green beans up (if you want to) and cook them in a pan with a bit of olive oil, seasoned with salt, white pepper, ginger and maybe some curry, tossing frequently for about 5-10 minutes. Add a little water if you’re not using frozen green beans straight out of the freezer.
After the beans turn color, cut the chicken up in small cubes and add it to the pan.

When the chicken is nearly cooked, add in the leeks, thinly sliced. The leeks get sauteed quickly while the chicken finishes cooking. You can add a splash of wine, too, for an extra flavor; or just add a bit of chicken stock so the leeks have some “juice” to saute in. Add one tbsp of soy sauce.

Cook for another 5 minutes, then serve as is or with a side of rice.

When in the mood for something fancier, I go with my homemade Szechuan Chicken recipe. Come to think of it, it’s not even that it’s fancier, just has more ingredients, hence more prep work to it.
And to tell the truth, when in lack of time or if I’m just plain lazy, I leave out the green beans and make the chicken stir-fry with leeks only. It still tastes wonderful!

Let me know if you try making either of these! I’m curious to see if you liked them.

Bon appétit! ;)

2016, March 11

Recipe of the Month: Honey Ginger Shrimp with Basmati Rice

I’ve been tempted with buying sea food a few times before, but I’ve never cooked anything from the sea other than fish, so I kept putting it off. However, for my boyfriend’s birthday lunch a couple of weeks ago, I really wanted to make shrimp. So I bought some, and went on searching for recipe ideas. I got my inspiration from this recipe, but adapted it with what ever I thought would also work, as I didn’t want the dish to be too sweet.

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Honey Ginger Shrimp

250 – 300 grams shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on

2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sweet & sour chili sauce
1/2 lemon’s freshly squeezed juice
pinch of salt
pinch of white pepper

Combine the sauce ingredients and leave it sit for about 10 minutes.

Add some sesame oil into a skillet or wok. Add in the sauce, then the shrimp and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side. Using tongs, rub the shrimp into the caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan.

Serve hot out of the pan. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the rice.

Basmati Rice

1 cup Basmati Rice of your choice
2 cups water
splash of rice oil
pinch of salt
pinch of white pepper

Add a splash of oil into a high pot, heat it up then add the cup of Basmati rice, the pinch of salt and pepper. Stir together for a few minutes so the oil is evenly distributed.

Add two cups of water (same cup as you measured the rice in), stir well, and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and resist the urge to stir again!
Let it boil for about 15-20 minutes on the lowest heat setting possible until the water is all gone and you’re left with some fluffy separate-grained rice.

Bon appétit! ;)

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