Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cookbook watch March 2018

Oh it's been SO long since I talked about cookbooks. Let's remedy that immediately and dive right in.

First, I finally got an Instant Pot. I've been reading raves about this gadget for a few months now and I added it to my watchlist on Amazon. It finally got back into stock (for a few brief minutes) and I managed to snag one. However, once I got it and did  a test run (with water) it scared me a little and now I'm stuck. What should I cook? Any recommendations?

I have promised to try it tomorrow, and first out will be the saffron risotto from "Dinner in an Instant" by Melissa Clark. It does sound really good and I think risotto will be one of the things that can really work out in the Instant Pot. The book is nice - it has 75 recipes, all with good, clear photos. It has a fairly unadventurous chapter division (like meats, desserts etc) and it's easy enough to navigate.

Another book specifically for the Instant Pot is the "Indian Instant Pot Cookbook" by Urvashi Pitre who's otherwise known in the IP community as the "butter chicken lady". She is extremely well known for her recipe for Butter Chicken in the IP, but this cookbook has a lot more recipes - all Indian. I really like Indian food and I look forward to trying this. I do wish it had more photos though - it's just a few.

And finally a Swedish cookbook, "Frukost Hela Dagen" by Anna & Rasmus Axelsson. The title means "breakfast all day" and it's basically a bunch of breakfast recipes that work for any meal. They are all free from gluten and lactose, which is quite nice - even though I don't have any dietary restrictions. The recipes are from the super popular café named "Pom och  Flora" - do visit if you're in Stockholm. So far, I've tried their steel-cut oats (made with oatmeal "milk" and oats) and it was delicious.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Creamy tarragon chicken with apples

A huge hit with the whole family - they finished every last drop. And I can't blame them, the sauce was really wonderful. Next time, I plan to add a little bit of chili (at the same time as the garlic) to amp up the heat, but it was great just like this too.

Creamy tarragon chicken with apples
Serves 4

400 g boneless chicken thighs, cut into smaller pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp dried tarragon
2 red apples, cored and cut into small wedges (no need to peel them)
500 ml water
1 chicken stock cube (or 1 tbsp concentrated chicken stock)
200 ml cream
1 tbsp corn starch, plus water
zest from 1 lemon
salt, pepper

Start by melting the butter in a big pot. Fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes on medium heat. Add apples, tarragon and chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Fry for a little bit and add the water and chicken stock. Cook for about 15 minutes, the chicken should be well cooked through at this point.

Add the cream, and cook for a few minutes longer. Stir together corn starch with water to make a slurry, and add this into your sauce (which should look quite thin and watery, but will thicken up beautifully in a few minutes.) And for the final touch, add lemon zest and see if you want any more salt or pepper.

Serve with rice.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Magically crispy chicken

Best oven-baked chicken we've ever tried! I know it seems like unnecessary work, toasting the panko, but it's worth it. I promise.

My kids love this.

Magically crispy chicken
700 g boneless chicken thighs, in smaller pieces
(Chicken breasts works well too)

1 egg yolk
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

500 ml panko (japanese breadcrumbs)
3 tbsp olive oil

Whisk together the egg yolk, mayo, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Add the chicken to this. Make sure it's evenly coated.

In a large pan, heat the oil. When it's hot, add the panko and toast it until evenly lightly golden brown. Let it cool for a few minutes.

Then, coat the chicken in panko - take one piece at a time, and turn it so that it's well coated all around. Set it on a wire rack over a deep rimmed oven sheet (ideally lined with foil for easy clean up). When all your chicken is coated and positioned on the rack, bake them at 200°C for about 20-25 minutes. They should be golden brown, and cooked through - check to make sure.

Monday, January 08, 2018

White chocolate chunk macadamia cookies

These cookies are very, very close to the ones served by a certain fast-food restaurant - Subway. They are crispy at the edges and soft and chewy in the middle. Just make sure you don't over-bake them. 

White Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Cookies
Makes 24 medium cookies 

125 g butter, softened
110 g white sugar 
110 g brown sugar 
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
210 g flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda 
100 g white chocolate, cut into chunks 
70 g macadamia nuts (unsalted!), halved 

Cream the butter with both types of sugar until very  soft and fluffy. I use my Kitchen-aid but handheld beaters will work too. Add the egg and beat well. And the vanilla, too. 
Next, add salt, baking powder and baking soda, and the flour. Mix to incorporate. 
Finally add chocolate and macadamias, and mix briefly. 

Shape about 24 balls and place well spaced on lined cookie sheets. The cookies will spread a fair amount so don’t place them too closely. 

Bake at 175° C for about ten minutes. The cookies should be slightly brown at the edges. Let them cool on the baking sheets, before you move them. 

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Parmesan dip

This goes really well with warm potato chips! Yes - warm! Get the kettle-fried chips, and heat them for just a minute or two in a hot oven. Makes a huge difference! 

And make the dip an hour or so in advance. (Or more) 

Parmesan dip
200 ml creme fraiche
100 ml parmesan, finely grated
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Chili powder
Black pepper

Stir together creme fraiche and the parmesan. Add a small pinch of each spice and stir well. Taste, and keep going until it’s the way you want it. Remember to not use too much salt since your chips will be salty as well.