Sunday, 15 February 2015

What I've made recently

Red Lentil Dal with Coconut Milk and Kale: I subscribe to Food & Wine magazine and absolutely LOVE the dishes they publish. It sounds like a pretentious magazine but it definitely isn't.
I try to cook vegetarian somewhat regularly, so this looked perfect (I subbed green lentils). You don't miss the meat because the coconut milk makes it so creamy and hearty. I served it over rice with a mint and garlic yogurt sauce. I just found this similar recipe, Spiced Dal with Cilantro Yogurt, and will be making it this week with mung beans.

Chicken Shawarma: I haven't had a good shawarma since I lived in Istanbul four years ago, so was itching to make it. This was a good substitute. I served with a cucumber, tomato and radish salad, mint garlic yogurt sauce and pitas.

Skillet Pasta with Sausage: I actually liked this a lot, for a "cheater" dish. It came together really quickly and had great flavor.

Kung Pao Chickpeas: Sadly, these weren't that impressive. They got really nice and crunchy like fried meat would be, but they flavor was  much too tangy. I would maybe try this again if I altered the sauce recipe a bit.

BBQ Margarita Chicken Fajitas: This is a weird recipe. BBQ sauce and Tex-Mex don't seem like they would go together, but surprisingly, it worked! It's funky, so don't cook it for your pickiest friends, but I really enjoyed it. I made my own BBQ sauce, I used chicken thighs instead of breasts and pineapple in the salsa instead of mango. I mixed in some plain white beans with the chicken to make it a little heartier. I served it on regular flour tortillas with spicy black beans and rice on the side and guacamole and regular fresh salsa.

Chicken Kottu Roti: This was so good! My dad, a very meat-and-potatoes guy, really liked it. I know I used a lot of substitutions, but I made it awhile ago so I don't remember what exactly. However, it's a very flexible recipe, so don't feel obligated to buy things like "pandan leaves" or "Sri Lankan chili powder." I just used things I have in my pantry that were "close enough." I also didn't use roti bread; instead, I added rice.

Vegetarian Spaghetti and Meatballs: I had no idea what to expect with these, but I really liked them. The "meatballs" are made of white beans. I think next time, I would add some cheese to the meatballs to make them a little more hearty. Overall, though, this was a good recipe.

White Bean and Bacon Pot Pies: Another gem from my Smitten Kitchen cookbook. I made this one as just a stew -- no pot pie -- and served with bread. It is comfort food at its best though, surprisingly, my husband did not like it. I could eat it every day, though.

Cuban Quesadillas: I make a simpler version of this pretty regularly  - I love the flavors. I usually coat one tortilla with mustard (either dijon or spicy dijon), layer deli ham, Monterrey jack and pickles on top, and serve with a mayo/mustard mix. Divine and tastes really fancy, even though it's not much more effort than a plain cheese quesadilla.

I've also tried quite a few new soup recipes lately, including this doctored up ramen recipe, which I really liked. Super easy to pop an egg on top of the bowl, add some veggies and call it dinner rather than a poor college student's last resort. I also tried my hand at two Dutch soups, brown bean soup and Dutch pea soup. Both pack a lot of veggies and are actually pretty healthy, and taste like the ultimate warm comfort food in the middle of winter.

Finally, I've been really into breakfast/brunch lately. We make these oatmeal cottage cheese pancakes at least once a week. I've also tried this Cajun Skillet Hash which was pretty good but took a LONG time and this positively amazing Huevos Rancheros recipe. It's one of the best breakfasts I've ever made. EVER.

I know that's a lot, but these are almost all recipes I loved and want to make again, so I needed to write them down :) Eet smakelijk!