Happy-Go-Lucky

Tag: Kitchen Stories

Kitchen Stories. Mango Chicken.

Sharing my life with a “Well Travelled Gentleman”, I am often reduced to a Kitchen-For-One-Solution, what usually means eating out or having mozzarella and tomato salad (never get tired of it!). For me, cooking is first and foremost about people I cook for, not about the act of culinary creation, so if home alone, I rarely feel like making a proper dinner. However, I recently did feel like it, and being in a creative mood I came up with this super quick and quite nutritious dinner option. Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce you Mango Chicken.

Mango Chicken

Mango Chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 500g. of chicken breast fillet
  • 1 ripe mango
  • generous handful of unsalted cashew nuts
  • sweet chili sauce
  • salt
  • butter or oil for frying
  • cooked jasmine rice or rice noodles to serve with
  1. Rinse and dry chicken fillet. Cut into small slices about 1 cm. thick. Spice with salt.
  2. Wash and peel mango fruit. Cut it into small cubes about 1,5 x 1,5 cm in size, removing the inedible core parts.
  3. Heat butter or oil on a frying pan. Fry chicken slices until they start to get browned.
  4. Add mango cubes and sweet chili sauce, stir frequently. Fry for 3 – 4 more minutes depending on the mango texture that you prefer – if you like it harder, remove from the heat a little bit earlier; if soft and creamy, adjust cooking time accordingly.
  5. Add cashew nuts, stir well and serve alongside jasmine rice or rice noodles.

Bon appetit!

(Photo: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com)

Kitchen Stories. Carrot Cake.

Carrot cake is one of the cakes that you meet so often nowadays, that it is easy to take it for granted and forget about its sweet charms. Nothing more misleading, as it should be fully appreciated! It is a perfect everyday cake, that makes an excellent breakfast, a treat you look forward to if packed into a lunchbox or a sweet weekend delight with a cup of savory coffee and a good reading. Personally I prefer the moderate version, with no sugar icing on top, as I like the rustic look of it, not to mention the preference on less sugar and less calories, but it can be as sugarcoated as you can possibly imagine. The beauty is it versatileness – it is equally good in all shapes, sizes and on all occasions!

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g. of all purpose flour
  • 3 glasses of grated raw carrot (best to chose sweet and young)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cube of butter
  • 1 glass of sugar
  • 2 ss. of honey
  • a pack of gingerbread spices ***
  • a handful of chopped walnuts
  • 2 ts. of baking soda

*** If you can’t find the gingerbread spices, make your own mix of powdered cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves with a pinch of pepper; you should make around 20 g. of the bland with dominating notes of cinnamon, cardamom and ginger.

  1. Mix all ingredients until you get a dough that has a density of a thick cream.
  2. Pour the dough into the baking form that is greased with butter and sprinkled with bread crumbs.
  3. Bake the cake at 180 C degrees for around an hour (or a little longer if needed) until a stick that you spike the cake with is clean when you remove it.

Bon appetit!

(Photo: www.bbcgoodfood.com)

Kitchen Stories. Orange Marmalade.

Although winter season is not primarily known as the season for fruit preserves and marmalades, there is one exception from the grand rule – orange marmalade. It is fairly easy to make and with some effort can introduce an old fashioned charm of home made preserves. Moreover, if you have enough time and invention, there are countless options for labeling and decorating jars that in turn make a lovely and thoughtful present, as a touch of sweet affection is a truly memorable gift.

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Orange Marmalade.

Ingredients:

  • 1,5 kg. of oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 liter of water
  • 1 kg. of sugar
  1. Wash well oranges and lemons. Set aside two oranges and one lemon.
  2. From remaining fruits remove the peel as thin as you can, avoiding to leave on a white layer (I usually use potato peeler that proves to be an excellent choice). Remove the white layer, so the inside parts or oranges and lemon are free of any peel leftovers.
  3. Chop oranges and lemon peel into thin slices.
  4. Two whole oranges and one whole lemon, that you originally set aside, cut into small pieces without peeling.
  5. Cut peeled fruits into small cubes, removing all stones or any peel leftovers.
  6. In a big bowl place all chopped fruits layered with chopped peel. Having done that pour into the bowl 1/4 liter of cold water and covered place in the fridge for 24 hours. Stir it once each few hours.
  7. White leftovers of peel and any fruit stones place into another bowl and cover with cold water. As with oranges, set aside for 24 hours.
  8. After 24 hours place all fruits and peel into a casserole in which you will fry the marmalade. Add in water drained from the second bowl, where you kept white peel and stones. Cover the casserole and bring to boil.
  9. Once boiling, remove the cover and let it simmer for 40 minutes, stirring every now and then.
  10. After this time add sugar and continue to fry on a small heat, so marmalade simmers for about 1,5 – 2 hours.
  11. To check whether marmalade is ready, place a spoonful on a plate and evaluate the density once it is cold. If consistency is too liquid for your liking, you may want to add some more sugar or fry a bit longer.
  12. Hot marmalade place into clean and dry jars. Once done, twist them well, so they close properly.
  13. When jars are locked, place them upside down and leave like this until they are quite cold.

Bon appetit!

(Photo: www.bbcgoodfood.com)

Kitchen Stories. Cocoa Cake.

The recipe for Cocoa Cake “runs in my family” and is in the background of many childhood memories, which is not a coincidence, as it is so easy to make that even a busy mother of two found time for baking. Needless to say each and every time to a delightful result.

Cocoa Cake

Cocoa Cake.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 glass of sugar
  • 2 ss. of cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 ts. of cinnamon
  • 4 ss. of strawberry marmalade
  • 1/2 of a margarine or butter stick (counting whole stick as 200 g.)
  • 1 glass of milk
  • 3 glasses of all purpose flour
  • 1 ss. of baking soda
  1. Mix all ingredients together until they form a consistent dough. There is no need to follow any special order, except adding baking soda at the very end.
  2. Pour the dough into a baking form that was greased with butter and sprinkled with breadcrumbs.
  3. Bake the cake at 180 C degrees for around 45 – 50 minutes (or a little longer if needed) until a stick that you spike the cake with is clean when you remove it.

Cocoa Cake can be baked in all forms used as a base for more elaborate cakes, layered with chocolate, cream or marmalade, so this recipe should be treated as a base that even without extras is quite delicious.

Bon appetit!

(Photo: www.bbcgoodfood.com)

Kitchen Stories. Berlinerkranser.

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat”… but before we light the candles and watch out for the Santa Clause, there is still plenty of time for baking, and nothing makes the spirit brighter than a plate of “Berlinerkranser”.

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Berlinerkranser.

Ingredients:

  • 1 hard boiled egg yolk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 60 g. of sugar
  • 125 g. of butter (in room temperature)
  • 175 g. of all purpose flour
  • 1 egg white
  • chopped almonds
  1. Crush hard boiled egg yolk with a fork. Add sugar and mix well. Add butter and flour, continue to mix.
  2. Work the dough well. When ready, wrap in a plastic foil and place in a fridge for 1 hour.
  3. Separate small portions of dough, form them so each one is a roll 5mm thick and 10 cm long.
  4. Form cookies, by crossing both ends of a roll somewhere in the middle, so each cookie look like a small bow.
  5. Place cookies on a baking plate covered with a sheet of baking paper. Smear cookies with egg white and sprinkle some chopped almonds and/or sugar on top.
  6. Place form in an oven preheated to 190 C degrees, bake cookies for approximately 10 minutes, until they are golden on top.

The best way to store cookies is to keep them in a metal tin. Be careful, as they are very crusty and easy to break.

Bon appetit!

(Photo: www.frotvedt.no)

Kitchen Stories. Christmas Cookies.

December is the time to roll up your sleeves, fetch flour, butter and some sugar and.. start baking those wonderful Christmas cookies. The earlier you make them, the more delicious they are going to be, providing they will last till Christmas Eve…

Serinakaker_artikkel

Christmas Cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 150 g. of butter
  • 250 g. of all purpose flour
  • 2 ss. of baking soda
  • 2 ss. of vanilla sugar
  • 100 g. of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • chopped nuts and almonds
  1. Mix butter, flour, baking soda and vanilla sugar in a big bowl, add sugar and egg and work the dough well.
  2. Form the dough into a big roll (5 – 6 cm. in diameter). Cut small portions of the dough and form a cookie from each and every one of them.
  3. Place all cut cookies on a baking plate covered with a sheet of baking paper. Smear them with egg white and sprinkle some chopped nuts and almonds on top. If you have a particularly sweet tooth, you may substitute nuts with sugar or mix both.
  4. Place form in an oven preheated to 175 C degrees, bake cookies for approximately 15 minutes, until they get golden on top. Keep an eye on them, as 1 minute too long may change golden cookies into burned disaster.

*** If you feel like raising a difficulty level higher, you may roll the dough and cut shapes with Christmas cookie cutters. If you work the dough well, it is very easy and cookies look more elegant on the Christmas table.

Bon appetit!

(Photo: www.ultra.no)

Kitchen Stories. Nothing Like Pasta…

… to make you day. Especially if the day was long, you are tired and cooking for hours just wouldn’t do, although a little plate of heaven is exactly what you need? Impossible? With pasta everything is possible!

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Creamy Mushroom Pasta.

Ingredients:

  • Good quality italian pasta
  • Fresh or frozen mushrooms (mushroom mix or just you favorite type)
  • Meat (chicken breast or pork tenderloin)
  • Box of heavy cream (30% fat)
  • Onion
  • Chopped fresh dill
  • Roasted pine nuts, chopped walnuts or grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper, chili powder

*** Quantities of ingredients depend on number of servings as well as personal preference. If you want the dish to be more filling, use more meat; if mushrooms should dominate, adjust the amount accordingly. In general, the most generous ingredient should be pasta, as it makes base for all other ingredients.

  1. Set a big casserole filled with water, add salt and bring to boil, cook pasta al dente. It is best to measure the time well and drain pasta just before finishing the sauce.
  2. While waiting for pasta to cook, prepare creamy sauce.
  3. Fry sliced meat with chopped  vegetables (onion and mushrooms), spice with salt and pepper.
  4. When meat and vegetables are ready, reduce the heat and add heavy cream.
  5. Spice with chopped dill and add chili powder for extra flavor. Continue to stir, while you reduce the sauce until it becomes thick. Be careful not to overdo it, as cream can’t be boiled.
  6. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, mix and serve with selected topping, choosing from roasted pine nuts, chopped walnuts or grated parmesan cheese.

Bon appetit!

PS. This recipe makes a great vegetarian dish if you delete meat from the list of ingredients.

(Photo: http://www.taste.com.au)

Kitchen Stories. Potato and Cheese Soufflé.

Potato and Cheese Soufflé is not a main course, but certainly a great addition to more elaborate courses such as boeuf bourguignon or a meat and vegetable stew. As always with soufflé, there is a risk it won’t raise, but if you are patent enough and keep the owen doors closed no matter what (black smoke fuming from inside is an eligible excuse to open the owen though…), you should do just fine – at least I always did!

Potato and Cheese Soufflé

Potato and Cheese Soufflé.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 kg. of baked potatoes
  • 250 g. grated cheese (Gouda, Jarlsberg, Cheddar or similar)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 ss. of butter
  • breadcrumbs
  1. Mash potatoes into puree.
  2. Beat egg whites into a stiff foam.
  3. Mix potato puree with grated cheese, egg yolks. Spice with salt and pepper.
  4. Gently add egg foam, pour ready mixture into a heat resistant casserole greased with butter and sprinkled with breadcrumbs.
  5. Place the casserole in the oven preheated to 220 C degrees. After 15 minutes reduce the heat to 180 C degrees and continue to bake for 10 more minutes without opening the oven the whole time.
  6. Serve the soufflé warm straight from the oven.

Bon appetit!

(Photo: www.foodandwine.com)

Kitchen Stories. It’s a Perfect Season for Potato Gnocchi!

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When days get hot, I can avoid my kitchen for days, living on cheese and salads, but when it gets cold, nesting (and cooking) instincts grow stronger. So when it rains, blows and gets dark much too early, lighting candles, cooking and hosting dinner parties for friends is what helps to go through the indoor season.

Potato Gnocchi.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg. of mashed potatoes
  • 200 g. of all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • salt & pepper
  1. Boil potatoes in salted water, drain and mash them well. Set aside to cool down.
  2. Add flour, egg to mashed potatoes, spice with salt and pepper. Work the dough and if needed, add some more flour, so it doesn’t stick to the kitchen top.
  3. Fill a big pot with water, add some salt and let it boil while you prepare gnocchi.
  4. Separate a small portion of the potato dough and form in into a long roll that has ca. 1,5 cm. in diameter. Cut the roll into similar size gnocchi – you may size it according to your preference, but avoid too small, as gnocchi may dissolve while being boiled.
  5. Throw a portion of gnocchi into the boiling water, 10 – 14 at the time, depending on pot size as well as gnocchi shape.
  6. Remove gnocchi from the boiling water when they start floating on the surface.
  7. Serve according to your liking, with tomato sauce or cream sauce, mozzarella and fresh tomatoes, or as a side dish for roast or stew.
  8. You may also serve them gold and crispy, fried on some butter. In any case…

… bon appetit!

(Photo: http://www.weightwatchers.co.uk)

Kitchen Stories. Chili Con Carne.

A big casserole of Chili Con Carne is a life saver when entertaining at home, having little time for preparations. Ingredient list is basic and all goes down to chopping and opening of tins, followed by stirring and boiling. Once all is simmering in a casserole, you can set the dining table, clean up and with little luck make yourself look stunning.

ChilliConCarneHERO

Chili Con Carne

Ingredients:

The list of ingredients is slightly unusual, as this time it won’t specify precise quantities. All depends on proportion that you prefer and units for canned/tinned vegetables that are typical in your country. On the whole, it is best to keep equal proportion of vegetables – both canned and fresh – one unit of beans, one unit of corn and so on; multiply minced meat four times in relation to a single unit of vegetables.

  • 4 units of minced meat
  • 1 big onion
  • 1 unit of canned beans (white or red)
  • 1 unit of canned chick peas
  • 1 unit of canned corn
  • 1 unit of chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 unit of chopped fresh carrots
  • 1 jar of salsa sauce (hot)
  • 3 to 4 jars of tomato spaghetti sauce
  • ground chili, ground pepper and salt
  • oil for frying
  1. On a frying pan fry minced meat with chopped onion until meat is well done.
  2. Move meat and onion into a casserole. Add chopped carrot, tomato sauce and salsa. Bring to boil.
  3. Reduce heat, let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add chopped mushrooms,  simmer on small heat for another 15 minutes.
  5. Open canned vegetables. On a strainer drain them from liquid and gradually add into the casserole with simmering mixture.
  6. Bring to boil. According to preference spice with chili, pepper and salt.

Serve alongside cooked rice and with natural yoghurt or cream.

Bon appetit!

(Photo: http://www.spar.co.uk)