mar 26 2010

BBQ chicken pizza w/ thin italian crust..

Published by under Ukategorisert

..will be on my table yet again tonight! I made a double batch of BBQ sauce last weekend, and stored it in a clean jar in my fridge, that must be okay to use, don’t you think ? I got the pizza recipe (the sauce I made from scratch) from PioneerWoman, and it was deeeliiiciosoo!

It was easy peasy to make too. One of the very few things I hate to do in the kitchen (well, except doing the dishes) is to roll out pizza dough with a rolling pin. Until I read Ree’s recipe I didn’t know you were allowed to use your hands to stretch and pull the dough out to desired shape and thiness (is that a word ?). I thought it had to be perfectly round or square shape. I was raised that way, and being a neat freak obsessing over her pizza dough was a part of me. Until I watched the photos at PioneerWomans cooking blog and realized my days of hounding over a springy pizza dough that refuses to be rolled thin were over. You can just pull and tear and squeeze that sucker into shape! Halleluja. I hope reading about my revelation was as entertaining to you as it was to me, dear readers. You’ll still need a rolling pin, though. It’s really good for pounding left over chicken breasts thinly for easy freezing-and defreezing and for making of breaded chicken cutlets. More about that later. Here’s my nemesis, the homemade piece of crap pizza dough I feared for so long. I made him first, gave him an hour to raise, or else. PioneerWomans recipe is a nice one. Whilst Doug, as I like to call him, was doubling in size, I made the BBQ chicken. No wait, I made the BBQ sauce first. I had lots of time on my hands, you see. But do you think I remember what I put into the sauce ? I know the ingredients, but the measurements were very peu un peu. Some brown sugar, tomato purè, ketchup, mustard, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, Worchestershire sauce, red wine vinegar…go google a recipe or buy a ready made sauce, it’s safer than venturing out on the homemade BBQ sauce from scratch path (let’s just say it turned out a tad to sweet). But boy did it have a magnificient colour. I wanted to paint a painting with it. The Rivers Are Running Red With The Blood Of Our Enemies, I’d call it. The painting, not the sauce. But then I forgot about it and slapped half of it on the chicken, the second half on the pizza and the rest half in a jar. Fractions was never my strongest subject in school. Here are the chicken breasts fresh from the oven, where they’d spent a good 25 minutes frolicking in their BBQ bath. I think they look hawt. They were so juicy, succulent, lovely…then I tried inhaling them straight from the pan and burned my mouth and decided it was best to let them rest until manageable. You do that too, please. For the sake of the skin on the inside of your mouth. Meanwhile, slice a red onion in quite thin half-rings. And slice a knob of garlic into reeaaallyyy thin slices. You’re gonna need a turquois Ikea cutting board for that. Na, just a cutting board – but the turquois one sure is nice. It’s bendy too! When you’ve done your slicing and cutting you can just fold it up which makes pouring your chopped veggies into a pot a blast. Now your chicken breasts (I love to type that word) should be cool enough for school, I mean cutting. Did I mention they were perfectly cooked and juicy and delicious  ? They almost didn’t make it on to the pizza. Let’s just say more than my fair share of cubes went «missing» during the process of chopping up the breasts into nice cubes. 

Time to team up with Doug again. Check out the fingerprints, the holes and unneven thickness! A true sign of a madman at work. I actually think that the holes and unneveness is what makes Italian pizza crusts so good. That and the fresh mozzarella, which I didn’t have, woe is me. Norwegian yellow cheese had to do. Jarlsberg, Norvegia, Synnøve Finden gulost, they all taste YELLOW. And for that I shall grieve a hundred years. Or until they make imported cheese that actually tastes like something, less pricey.  The assembly was a hoot: I dribbled on the BBQ sauce (the next time I’ll use regular pizza sauce under the cheese, it can get too much BBQ sauce, believe it or not), layered thin slices of fresh mozzarella I WISH yellow Norwegian cheese, sprinkled onion half-rings, garlic and canned corn kernels, and the luscious chicken cubes, of course. Ha, would’ve  been fun to forget to put the BBQ chicken on the BBQ chicken pizza, huh ? Lolz. I’m tired of blogging, here’s the finished product, it was delicious and I ate till I was full and then some. The End.

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jun 23 2009

Whole wheat chicken calzone

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

DSC03608

I made these calzones when I actually was craving empanadas but didn’t want to be working with puffpastry, so I made an empanadas-inspired filling, wrapped in a somewhat healthier calzone dough made with whole wheat flour. I found a nice recipe for the dough on Newyorkerbyheart’s blog, tweaked it by replacing some of the flour with whole wheat flour, and made «my own» filling of minced chicken meat, tomato sauce, peppers, olives and eggs.

Whole wheat chicken calzone recipe

(metric scale) (TB = tablespoon, ts = teaspoon)

Dough

1 package of dry yeast (equivalent to 50 grams of active yeast)

6 dl luke-warm water

1- 1 1/2 TB olive oil

2 ts coarse sea salt

400 grams whole wheat flour

400 grams regular, all-purpose flour

2 TB dried oregano

pinch of sugar

Filling

500 grams minced chicken meat/pork/beef/whatever.

1 can/400 grams chopped tomatoes (or fresh, ripe, tomatoes)

1 big onion, chopped

2 carrots, grated

2-3 TB tomato purée

4-3 cloves of garlic, minced

pinch of sugar, or dash of sweet chili sauce

salt, pepper

1 green capsicum/ bell pepper, chopped

3 hardboiled eggs

2 dl (1 cup) green pimento olives

some dried red chili’s , to taste

dried herbs; oregano, basil, thyme, etc.

1 – 2 ts Worchestersauce

Instructions

  1. Start off with making the dough; sift together the dry stuff (flours, salt, dry yeast, salt, sugar). Add olive oil and luke-warm water (not warmer than 37° C!), mix, knead, and add additional flour until you have nice dough. Let rise until it had doubled in size.
  2. Make filling: sauté onions, carrots and bell pepper  a few minutes until they’re shiny, add garlic, fry til fragrant, then add the minced meat. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until the meat begins to change colour, then add the tomatoes, the tomato puré and let simmer on medium heat until the vegetables are soft and the sauce thickens. Season to taste (salt, pepper, chili, herbs, sugar/sweet chili sauce, Worchester sauce).
  3. Let the filling cool while you hard boil the eggs, and chop the olives. Chop the eggs, and add them and the olives to the rest of the filling.
  4. Separate the dough into 6-8 parts, roll out to thin, pizza shaped loaves. Add 3-4 TB filling to one half of the circle, put some water or raw egg along the edge, and fold the other circle-half over. Press toghether halves thightly, either by creasing the edge or by pressing  a fork down along the edge. Brush the surface of the calzones with a raw egg, bake in the oven at 10-15 minutes, 225°C.

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mar 31 2009

Panang Curry Paste Soup – Thai delight!

Published by under oppskrifter

Coming home  after spending two weeks in the Arctic, with temperatures down to – 22 ° C, I managed to catch some kind of cold on the flight home. My head and my throat hurts and my cough sounds like the one of a lung cancer patient. So I decided to cure myself with my current favourite food; thai! I made a mild coconut-curry-chicken soup that just took away all of the throat pains and almost completely cleared up my lungs. I didn’t take a picture, or take any measurements, but here’s how I did it (approximately) :
Panang Curry Paste Soup
First I took out 4 chicken fillets from the freezer for defrosting. I boiled up some water (about 1 liter) with 2 chickenstock cubes and let the frozen fillets sit in the hot bouillon until they just were soft enough to be cut into pieces (but not cooked through).
Then I chopped up vegetables:
  • 2 carrots, into nice carrot flower slices
  • 1 big onion into wedges
  • 1 red and 1 yellow capsicum into big bits
  • 1/4 of a small cabbage head

-> Threw all the veggies and the chicken in a big pot with 1 can of coconutmilk, 1/2 – 1 tablespoons of Panang Curry Paste (I wanted a mild flavour this time, normally I go for much more curry paste) and added enough of the chicken stock to cover the vegetables by an inch/couple of centimeters. I let it simmer until the vegetables were through and the chicken done, it could probably have been added at a later time and been even moister but I think it was good enough. I used 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and half a lime to season the soup. The next time I might add 2 cans coconut milk instead of one, I just love the flavour of  coconutmilk.

Panang Curry Paste must be one of my absolute favourite food items when it comes to fixing up dinner quickly, and the fact that it’s sooo good is a huge bonus. I buy it at the local turkish supermarket, but you could make the curry paste yourself. The list of  ingredients as it’s written on the box:

  • Dried red chili
  • Shallot
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Lemon grass
  • Galangal
  • Cumin powder
  • Kaffir lime’s skin
  • Coriander seeds 

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feb 02 2009

Aubergine Awakening

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

Jebus, another month passed by without an update! But I won’t spend to much time apologizing, after all it’s my blog. And I have had a lot flying around my ears lately, not to mention trying to pierce my eardrum again. Yes, I’m talking about the chicks. I’ve just finished another two week batch of behaviour experiments with 12 fuzzballs, and as the batch before them; they were loud. After around 10 days of stuffing my ears with shredded pieces of paper towels, I bought some proper earplugs. Oh the relief. Did you know that chicks, not a mere 2 days old, can produce sounds up to (and I’m sure well beyond) 90 db ? 120 db is the safety limit before you’re in serious risk of hearing damage. But boy! It does hurt at 90 db too.

 

(The mealworm is UNDER the brown cardboard roof, little chick).

 

The first week at Uni after the holidays (one week before all the courses started, mind you) I attended an intensive course in lab animals ethics and management.  Although I cringed internally every time examples of painful experiment with rats came up, it was quite interesting (and Sam got more than his fair share of treats and cuddles when I came home). A couple of childhood/young adulthood daydreams of a world filled with alternatives to animal testing were sent to their realistic graves – they exist, but only in minute numbers to all the testing needed – and I’m not talking of cosmetics. I mean development and testing of drugs, vaccines, chemicals,  etc etc. I wonder what anti-animal testing people do when they’re at the dentist to pull a tooth, do they ask for anaestasia or not ? Cause if they do, they’re hypocrites.    

My own lab animal; Sam, testing rats response to beer. Result: whisker licking approval.

 

Sam, a true beerrat 

 

Bah! My month long absence from writing in English is really noticable, I feel like I’m slightly retarded, fighting with every sentence. I hope I get back on track soon. On Wednesday I have to make a talk on a paper about food neophobia and food conservatism in chicken in my Behaviour 2 course. In english. In front of a room full of foreign master- and phD students, that do not possess the Norwegian students apprehension to asking questions. Oh, there will be questions asked and discussions galore. And nothing helps preparing for a talk in english more than a tad of blogging, right ? 

Here’s some proper blogging for ya’;  in the beginning of December last year (2008!) I turned vegetarian. For the whole length of a week. How did Tore go down with the lack of animal protein you might ask? The answer is that he didn’t; he was on Svalbard doing labworks, while I had my friend Mona visiting me, who – surprise! is a vegetarian. Now, I don’t think I could become a proper vegetarian, vegan nonetheless, but I must say I was positively surprised by the whole experience. Not once did I feel abnormally hungry or unsatisfied by the food we were eating. It actually felt quite good. And I discovered a new favourite dish, which I can’t wait to introduce to Tore, just to see what he has to say when I tell him it’s made from eggplants. Now, Mona isn’t much of a cook, at least that was her words. Eager as I am to try new recipes, I took on the «chore» of cooking for us the whole week. Let me present a small week menu of a vegetarian-wannabe:

Monday: veggie pizza with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, capsicum, garlic, black olives, pesto and cheese. Yum! To my norwegian readers; First Price Margarita frozen pizzas, 12 kr each, serve as an excellent alternative to ready-made pizza bottoms. So cheap and so thin-and-crispy-almost-authentic-Italian.   

Tuesday: One of my take-what-you-got Indian stews with lots of red curry paste and coconut milk. On impulse I added sweet potatoes in cubes and red lentils, and it was goood! 

Wednesday: Leftovers from Tuesday + some brown rice. Even yummier today after a night in the fridge.

Thursday: Aubergine/eggplant lasagna with salad on the side. 

Friday: Leftovers

The Thursday night dish really deserves some closer description. It was absolutely delicious, and although time consuming, very worth it. I cannot, although I want to, claim it to be very healthy, but who cares, it’s vegetarian, and that got to be worth some health points, if not karma points (not that I believe in Karma). 

 

Eggplant lasagna

The recipe in short terms: You take an aubergine, slice it, sprinkle with salt, let sit 30 minutes, rinse off salt. Coat with flour, then dip in egg, then crust with breadcrumbs. Fry, slowly, on low heat, until the flesh is soft and the crust is crusty. Layer as follows: Tomato sauce, aubergine, egg-ricotta(cottage cheese on students budget)-parmesan mix, repeat. Top off with tomato sauce and some kind of melting cheese, mozarella if you can afford it. Bake in oven until the cheese melts and the egg-ricotta/cottage cheese mix settles, enjoy!  You can find the original recipe here,   on the great danish foodblog Newyorkerbyheart.

A closer peek at the preparations: 

 

Eggplant lasagna

Oh, I see I added spinach in between, I forgot about that. I always wilt down spinach with some oil, minced garlic and a nutmeg drizzle whenever I use fresh spinach. And if you don’t feel like making this for dinner I don’t know what’s wrong with you. I Promise to post the extensive recipe Soon, capital P, capital S.

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okt 15 2008

Picture marathon

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

Although I haven’t posted anything on this blog for a while, I have been cooking. I just haven’t had the spunk to write about it. But now as the two exams are behind me, I finally have some mental energy to spare. I don’t want to bore you with a super-long essay about what I’ve done since the last post (except for passing my exams with flying colours,no need to mention), so I’ll just give you the photo-evidence. 

First, I’ve gotten a taste..eh, bad choice of words, I’ve gotten an insight of how the work with my master thesis is going to be. Two weeks ago I helped some under-graduates out with their project that is a mini-version of my master. I helped them out with training the chicken. – The one – day old, yellow, fluffy baby-chicken. Sooo cute! I just had to kiss them on their downy little heads, completely forgetting about the possibility of salmonella, which luckily is quite rare in Norway (and I didn’t get sick, so no harm’s done). 

 

Chicken behaviour experiment
At the end of the week-long experiment they’d become so imprintet on us that they came running over, trying to jump into our hands when we were handling them. No wonder, being picked up meant getting yummy worms, so who can blame them. 
On the nigh before my animal behaviour mid-term I was so sick of studying that I followed the old advise to not study the day before an exam (I normally do). Instead I spent 3 hours to cook a pig’s knuckle! I’ve always wanted to try this smoky, super tender (not to mention super-fatty) meat, and tonight I felt like disregarding any counter-arguments like «It takes too long time», «It’s unhealthy», «Bla bla bla». I’m glad I endured the three hour cookin time with the mouthwatering smell almost driving me mad of hunger: It was sooo delicious, cheap and very satisfying. And the cooking made me  relaxed; like I’ve never been the day before an exam, with the result that I did great on the test (I think).
Porks knuckle, sauerkraut and potatoes
As an extra bonus it gave me the opportunity to make pig’s knuckle sandwich the next day. If you’ve read Terry Pratchetts books you’ll understand why pig’s knuckle sandwich has a special attraction to me. 
With the exams behind me and Tore back home from his weekend-trip to the small town where he comes from, I was in the mood for some experimenting. Inspired by Rachael Ray , who makes all kinds of delicious hamburgers (wihout stealing any recipe of her), I made my own chicken burgers with home-made coleslaw and spicy oven fries. I used ciabatta-buns instead of standard hamburger-rolls, since I’m not a too big a fan of those store-bought, über-sweet, fiber-less air-buns. 
Chicken burger, coleslaw and oven chips
They were juicy, tasty and way more filling than any big hamburger chain-meal..
The next meal I bothered to capture on film digital camera was a standard tomato soup. To rid myself of the excessive amounts of vegetables in my fridge I added celery, potatoes, onions and red peppers to the tomatoes in the soup, blended it, and mellowed the taste a tad with a spoonful of low-fat creme fraiche. Yum ! I love tomatoes, I have a craving for them on a regular basis. I read somewhere that craving tomatoes means that you have an iron-deficiency, but maybe it just means that I really love tomatoes (I do). I like this picure, despite it’s blurriness, since it shows off one of the beautiful cutlery Tore inherited from his late grand-parents. I think it’s silver, and we use it everyday. I think it’s nice to use pretty things instead of stowing them away at a «safe place». 
Chunky tomato soup
Over to something not food related. The other day Tore and I took Sam with us outside to enjoy the autumn sun, that doesn’t really warm you up, but makes the beautiful fall colours glow. We let Sam explore the branch of a small tree, but he was so nervous that the only thing he cared about was to jump over to safety, in other words his mum and dad. As long he could sit on the inside of our sweaters his curious little whiskery nose was constantly moving, drawing in the fresh air. 
Tree rat Sam  Sam in the park  Tree rat Sam


Phew! I have many recipes left to post and I still got some pictures that I want to comment on here, but that got to wait. I know a furry little guy that needs some TLC, and I’m not talking about Tore :p


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