Feb 3, 2011

my minestrone

there were some large white beans in the pantry that needed to be used. i figured that a minestrone soup would be a good place for them to drown...

others to join the beans were:

celeriac, 2 parsnips, 3 carrots, a tin of crushed tomatoes, white cabbage, whole wheat elbow macaroni, onion, garlic, parsley, vegetable stock, smoked ham (could easily be left out, still a tasty soup)

once chopped the veggies amounted about:

1 cup celeriac
1 cup carrots
½ cup parsnip
½ cup cabbage
½ cup onion, 2 cloves of garlic got just smashed

i have no idea why i had bought these beans. it says they are "ecological and organic" but come from the other side of the world, namely china, the mere distance making them not ecological. and, sorry china, i have hard time believing your farming methods are up to western standards of organic. i need to start reading the fine print in packages even more carefully! but yes, these were easy to use, just rinse and there you go...

as with any soup, i started by sauteeing the veggies first in 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil for a few minutes, until fragrant, in a hot pot. i like to use this particular pot as it has a non-stick surface. then added the crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock to barely cover the veggies and left to simmer on medium low for 20 mins

as usual, tied the parsley stems and sunk them in the mix for extra flavor

meanwhile...i minced the smoked ham. i think there was 200gr (or 300gr) in the package, but little goes a long way if you get good stuff with strong smokey flavor. but, like i mentioned, the ham can be omitted, i think i would add green beans, maybe, or some leafy greens, or nothing. there are plenty of flavors going on without the ham

as there really wasn't any other spices (no salt, no pepper) i thought some hot sauce / sriracha would be good. this was the amount i dared to put in...again, my tastebuds could have used more but my stomach was thankful for the tiny amount.

after 20 mins i added the minced ham, 1 cup of elbow macaroni, 2 cups of vegetable stock, and mixed well...

...before adding the beans. carefully mixed in the beans and simmered on medium heat for another 10 mins for the macaroni to cook.

to finish, i mixed in ½ cup minced parsley. this patch served certain someone and i for dinner and there will be 2 lunches for both of us to take to work. i'm sure this will taste even better when reheated.

certain someone got dessert, quark and strawberries from the freezer. stupid me, i got regular quark and i really need to eat just the low-lactose kind...

Feb 1, 2011

dry chicken enchiladas

dry enchiladas? yep, ended up not drowning them in tomato sauce, therefore dry. served with avocado, tomatoes, lettuce and sour cream with chili powder.

this was my attemp to make chicken enchiladas featured in the february issue of delicious magazine. or, perhaps i should say my version of their enchiladas. the recipe from the magazine isn't online yet, but here's one similar.

i used multigrain tortillas, bbq salsa, pineapple salsa, 500 gr chicken tenderloins, 3 stalks celery, one onion, parsley and gruyère (almost got aged cheddar from the store but decided that we had plenty of cheese in the fridge to use here)

first browned the tenderloins on a hot pan with some oil and placed them in a bowl to cool a bit before cutting them to 1 inch cubes.

sauteed the chopped onion and celery on the same pan (with the chicken juices and oil) until slightly wilted

added the celery/onion mix into the bowl with chicken, poured in the bbq salsa, half of the pineapple salsa and generous amount of parsley and mixed well

filled the tortillas and placed on an oven dish

poured rest of the pineapple salsa on top

there was some of the filling left so i just placed that on top as well before adding the grated cheese (about 1 cup)

i miss the cheddar here...

after 20 mins in 200C oven with fan on. my tastebuds would have liked more heat (chili/jalopenos), but my stomach was happy as was...serves 4.