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Archive for the ‘Comfort food’ Category

Chicken and Sausage Orzo

The star of this delicious dish is Orzo which is a small rice-shaped pasta. I would like to point out that Orzo comes in slightly different sizes (from small to smaller) and so they can vary a little in cooking time. Make sure you taste the pasta for doneness and you can always add a small splash of extra chicken stock if the Orzo needs to cook a couple of minutes longer. At first glance this recipe seems labor intensive because it has both sausage and chicken in it, but really it’s not. Making the dish is simply a matter of tossing everything into one cooking pot, so clean-up is a breeze, and I just love the flavor combination that’s going on here within this dish.

Chicken and Sausage Orzo (6 servings)

Ingredients:

2 1/2 spicy italian sausages, casings removed (9.5 oz or 270 g)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces (1.2 lbs or 540 g)

3 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed (709 ml)

1/2 cup tomato sauce (118 ml)

1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo (280 g)

salt to taste

1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (25 g)

a big handful parsley, chopped

Directions:

In a large cooking pot, break up sausage and cook over medium-high heat, remove sausage from cooking pot and set aside. Using the grease from the sausage, add raw chicken pieces and cook until no longer pink. Add chicken stock and tomato sauce, lower heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Once liquid is bubbling add uncooked orzo and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until orzo is tender. Add a little more stock if liquid is cooking off too fast. Add salt to taste. Add cheese and parsley, stir to incorporate and serve. Enjoy!

Source: slightly adapted from Food Wishes

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Stuvet Hvidkål

Stuvet Hvidkål

As a child we occasionally had Stuvet Hvidkål with Frikadeller and my Mom makes the best stewed cabbage in the world, of course 😘 I have not served this dish myself very often because my son and husband was not terribley thrilled with the idea of stewed cabbage. However, I just had such a craving for it the other day and my husband actually liked it, even told me three times that it was really delicious. So either he was starving to death or it was super delicious. I think super delicious!

Stuvet Hvidkål (4-6 servings)

Ingredients:

1 small white cabbage head

2 1/2 dl reserved water from cabbage

4 tablespoon salted butter

4 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Milk, to desired consistency

Fresh ground Nutmeg, to taste

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Discard outer cabbage leaves. Divide cabbage head into four quarters, cut out core and chop cabbage into bite-size pieces. Boil cabbage in lightly salted water for 10 minutes. Reserve 2 1/2 cups of cabbage water, drain cabbage.

Melt butter over medium heat, add flour and whisk for 1-2 minutes until roux takes on a light golden color. Slowly add milk in small increments whisking constantly until you have a thick roux, then add cabbage water in small increments continuing to whisk until desired consistency. (If Bechamel sauce is still too thick at this point you can add a little more milk). Season to taste with fresh ground nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add cabbage to sauce and simmer covered for 5-10 minutes. Serve hot with some wonderful Frikadeller. Enjoy and Velbekomme.

Bechamel Sauce

Bechamel Sauce

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Chocolate Chili

Chocolate Chili

I have been improving on my chili recipe and I am really pleased with the outcome. I add just a tiny bit of soy and teriyaki sauce, but most importantly, I add chocolate which gives it a warm and slightly sweet background flavor. This recipe got big praises from my husband and son and it is now officially my “go to” chili recipe.

Ingredients:

2 lbs (0.9 kg) ground beef

1 small onion, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

15 oz (440 g) can tomato sauce

14 1/2 oz (428 g) can diced tomatoes

10 oz (295 g) can Rotel diced tomato and green chili, original

16 oz (473 g) can Navy beans, drained and rinsed

30-40 pieces (30 g) bittersweet chocolate chips

2 dashes soy sauce

2 dashes teriyaki sauce

a pinch of sugar

salt to taste

Directions:

Dice onion and green pepper, set aside. Puree diced tomatoes, set aside. Brown meat until almost cooked thru, drain fat. Add onion and green pepper, continue to cook meat until cooked thru. Add remaining ingredients, except salt, and cook covered for 1/2 to 1 hour. Season with salt as you go. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun

Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun

Pumpkin🎃 It wouldn’t be Fall without a pumpkin recipe. These Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns were soft and flavorful and super delicious served right out of the oven. No need to say that they were a huge hit here in our house.

Making Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Making Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

The dough was a little sticky in the beginning, but after a quick kneading and adding in a little more flour, the dough was smooth as butter to work with. Once it came time to slicing the dough, it would get smooched by the knife, but no worries, just gently press it round again and place it onto your baking dish.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns  (makes 28 servings)

Ingredients:

Dough:

1 1/2 cup milk (12 fl oz or 3 1/2 dl)

1/2 cup sugar (100 g)

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp or 8 g)

1 cup pumpkin puree (250 g)

1/2 cup vegetable oil (4 fl oz or 1 dl)

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (610 g)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

Remonce Filling:

5.3 oz butter (150 g)

8.8 oz dark brown sugar (250 g)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2.6 oz marzipan, grated (75 g)

Icing:

7 oz confectioners sugar (200 g)

2-3 tablespoons cold water

Directions:

Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or if you prefer, grease a baking dish with butter and set aside.

Making the dough: Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt, set aside. Pour milk and sugar into a large saucepan and heat until between 100-110 degrees F (37-43 degrees C). Sprinkle yeast over milk and let sit for 10 minutes. Add pumpkin and oil, stir to combine. Pour liquid into bowl of stand-mixer and on low speed add dry ingredients in increments. Mix only until combined, dough will be sticky. Place dough into a bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Place bowl in a warm location and allow to rise for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Making the fillling: Melt butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and marzipan in a small saucepan, stir to combine.

Making the rolls: When dough has doubled in size, sprinkle work surface generously with flour. Give dough a quick kneading adding more flour just until dough is no longer sticky. Roll dough out to approximately 16 by 26 inches. Spread filling out over dough. Starting at the longest length, roll dough into a log ending with seam side down. Slice dough into 3/4 to 1 inch (2 to 2.5 cm) slices and place them on baking sheet or into baking dish. Cover with tea towel and allow to rise for another 20-30 minutes. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.

Add water in small increments to confectioners sugar, stir to combine. Sprinkle icing over hot rolls and serve warm. Enjoy!

Source: inspired by Pioneer Woman

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Varm Chokolade Med Amaretto

Varm Chokolade Med Amaretto

When the weather turns cold there is nothing like a nice cup of hot chocolate to keep you warm. These days I like mine with a shot of Amaretto, just to warm my bones a little more. Adding Amaretto is of course completely optional, but chocolate and Amaretto is a pair made in heaven.

Homemade hot chocolate is not overly sweet, as the store-bought kind, and I love a dollop of whipped cream on top for extra creaminess. Or if you are serving it for children, marshmallows would be a lot more fun. 🙂 Stay warm out there.

Hot Chocolate With Amaretto (Makes 2 large servings)

Ingredients:

5 deciliter (or 16.9 fluid oz) milk

75 gram (or 2.6 oz) dark chocolate 60 %

2 shots Amaretto

whipping cream, optional, for topping

Directions:

If you want a dollop of whipped cream on top of your hot chocolate, whip then cream and set aside.

Chop chocolate finely. Heat milk to 85 degrees C (185 degrees F) which is hot, but not simmering. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate. Stir until chocolate is dissolved. Add Amaretto and stir. Pour into serving glass and top with a dollop of whipped cream if desired, serve immediately or store hot chocolate in a thermos for later. Enjoy

Hot Chocolate With Amaretto

Hot Chocolate With Amaretto

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Veggie Roll-up Lasagna

Veggie Lasagna Roll-up

My husband Joe is a meat lover so when I told him that I was making vegetable lasagna roll-up he immediately wrinkled his nose and I assured him that he was going to love it. And while I was cooking the sauce he kept asking me if I was adding some sausage to the sauce, but I stood my ground with a firm “no” 🙂 And when it finally came time to taste the much anticipated lasagna roll-up, guess what, he loved it and I must say that this recipe really is wonderful…even without meat.

Separate and cover noodles until ready to use. Spread ricotta cheese, roll tightly, place in pan.

Separate and cover noodles until ready to use. Spread ricotta cheese, roll tightly, place in pan.

I am always looking for good recipes that you can cook ahead, freeze and then thaw and cook for those nights when you come home tired from a long day at work. I love this recipe because it can be made into small portions, it is loaded with delicious vegetables and there is less cheese involved than a regular lasagna. Of course you can always add some meat to the recipe or change the vegetables around as you please, but all kidding aside, this recipe will definitely be a staple recipe here at our house and sometimes there may even be some meat in it.

Layer: sauce, rolled up noodles, sauce and a thin layer of cheese.

Layer: sauce, rolled up noodles, sauce and a thin layer of cheese.

Veggie Lasagna Roll-up, makes 3 foil loaf-size pans

Ingredients:

12 lasagna noodles

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 zucchini, cut into bite size chunks

1 yellow squash, cut into bite size chunks

mushrooms, sliced or diced

1 cup white wine

salt and pepper, to taste

14 oz diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the cheese filling:

15 oz ricotta cheese

1 egg

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

large bunch fresh basil

salt and pepper

For the topping:

Your favorite Italian cheese (I used a store-bought blend of Mozzarella, Asiago, Provolone and Romano)

Directions:

Cook lasagna noodles in salted water according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and place one layer of noodles, alternate plastic wrap with noodles ending with plactic wrap on top, to prevent the noodles from drying out. Set aside.

To make sauce: heat olive oil in a large cooking pot, add onions and bell pepper, cook until onions are starting to turn translucent. Add garlic, zucchini, squash and mushrooms, cook for a few minutes. Pour in wine and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pepper, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, your favorite marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese, simmer 15-20 minutes.

To make cheese filling: in a small bowl add ricotta cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and chopped basil, stir to combine.

To assemble: line up 3 loaf-size foil pans. Spoon a small amount of sauce into bottom of loaf pan. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles and spread each noodle with a thin layers of ricotta cheese mix. Roll each noodle up tightly and place on top of sauce inside foil pan. 4 rolled up noodle will fit inside each pan. Top noodles with more sauce and your favorite cheese. Close pan off with tinfoil. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cook immediately or let cool down in refrigerator before placing in freezer.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 degrees F and cook covered for 40 minutes. Turn heat up to 400 degrees F and continue to cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until cheese is golden in color. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Ree Drummond

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Italiensk Oksebov - Italian Beef Stew

Italiensk Oksebov – Italian Beef Stew

This winter seems to be going on forever and I don’t recall it ever being this cold in Virginia before. We, of course, have not had the extreme amount of snow that the rest of the country have experienced, but we did get one big snowfall which turned out to be a lot of fun. All the neighbors in our neighborhood, got together and helped shovel snow from each other’s driveways, and the day was wrapped up with a party, with lots of good food, at a neighbors house.

And so while we all continue to hunker down inside our homes, waiting for spring to arrive, I can recommend this wonderful Italian beef stew which is sure to warm your soul. I adapted this recipe from a Danish food blog called Dalsgaard i Skivholme, which I enjoy reading. The stew is very flavorful and equally good with or without the Rosemary, so I left the Rosemary as optional. Also the original recipe had white beans in it which I left out due to danger that my cooking pot would otherwise overflow. Please enjoy!

Italiensk Oksebov – Italian Beef Stew

Ingredients:

500 gram beef cubes

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

14 oz diced tomatoes

7 oz tomato sauce

1 glass white wine

chili powder – a dash

sugar – a dash

apple cider vinegar – a splash (1-2 tablespoons)

fresh rosemary, 1 twig

Directions:

Trim beef cubes and cut into bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large pan to medium-high heat and sear beef in small portions. After searing beef, place the meat into a large cooking pot and add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Lower heat of pan to medium-low, add a 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions to pan and cook until translucent, add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Pour onion and garlic into the seared meat in cooking pot. Add mushrooms to pan and cook until slightly golden, add wine and simmer for another minute. Add mushrooms and wine into the beef mixture. Add chili powder, sugar and apple cider vinegar to beef stew. Add fresh rosemary (chopped or whole) to stew and let simmer over low heat for 1-2 hours. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Dalsgaard i Skivholme

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Beef Stew

Beef Stew

Beef Stew

When the weather turns cold and gloomy there is just nothing better than warm food that’s been simmering in a pot for a couple of hours. Light some candles and create some “hygge” (coziness) and enjoy your stew with mashed potatoes. There, I am ready for winter hibernation.

Beef Stew

Ingredients:

2 lbs chuck beef, cut into bite size pieces

Salt and Pepper

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for frying

1 whole medium onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

4 oz tomato paste

1 quart chicken stock

several dashes Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 large turnip, peeled and cubed

Directions:

Season beef cubes with salt and pepper. Heat cooking pot to medium-high heat, add olive oil and brown beef in small batches on all sides, remove beef to a plate and set aside.

Lower heat to medium, add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add tomato paste, stir to combine and cook for another 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and sugar to cooking pot. Add beef cubes back into stew, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

After 2 1/2 to 3 hours add carrots and turnips, simmer covered for another 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust taste with salt and pepper. Serve with mashed potatoes and enjoy!

Source: adapted from Pioneer Woman

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Stuffed Pasta Shells

I love stuffed pasta, actually I love anything pasta. But if the pasta is stuffed with just cheese, I am not a fan. So I like to mix something else in with that cheese, in this case, some spicy sausage and lots of fresh basil. The basil gives a wonderful flavor, and the spicy sausage adds a little heat and a better texture. It’s a win win! I hope you enjoy these Stuffed Pasta Shells as much as we did.

Ingredients:

6 oz jumbo pasta shells (1/2 box or 16 individual shells)

8 oz spicy ground sausage, cooked and cooled

15 oz ricotta cheese, part skim

1 egg

10 large basil leaves, chopped

1 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese

1/2 tsp salt

your favorite marinara sauce

mozzarella cheese, for topping

Directions:

Cook sausage, drain off fat and place in refrigerator to cool.

Combine ricotta cheese, egg, basil, parmigiano-reggiano cheese and salt in a small bowl. Add cooked, cooled sausage. Stir to combine and place in refrigerator to keep cool.

Cook pasta in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a baking dish place a small amount of marinara sauce. Fill cooked shells with cheese/sausage filling and place in baking dish. Top with more marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake in oven for 35 minutes. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Hardy Carrot Soup With Tomatoes

What’s up with the weather in Virginia Beach? So far, winter has been unusually mild and the most snow we have gotten is a few flurries which literally melted within a couple of hours. It never ceases to amaze me how the weather here changes all the time. It’s been fluctuating between 70 degrees and close to freezing. But despite the temperatures bouncing around I feel like there is still a bit of winter left in the air, even though I saw daffodils in full bloom while driving home from work (the poor little things are confused too). So I say, there is still time for a delicious warm soothing soup.

One of my favorite types of lunch food is home-made soup. I make a big batch, divide it up and stick it in the freezer. Then just take it out as I need it, easy! This is my version of carrot soup, of course I had to add some tomatoes in there just to make sure I meet my daily tomato quota.  I didn’t want any dairy products in this particular soup but still got a wonderful creamy consistency by blending the vegetables. I choose to leave it a little on the thick side but it can certainly be thinned out by adding more stock. Please note: do not blend hot liquids or there is a good chance that you and your white kitchen cabinets will be wearing it. I speak from experience 🙂

Ingredients:

28 ounces canned whole plum tomatoes

5 large carrots

2 celery stalks

1/2 large white onion

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 tablespoon pesto

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Dice carrots, celery and onions. Place butter and oil in a pan over medium heat, add diced vegetables and cook until tender. Run canned tomatoes through a food mill to break up tomatoes and remove any seeds/skin. (If you don’t have a food mill, the same effect can be achieved with a food processor  and then pressing tomatoes through a sieve.) Place tomatoes into a cooking pot over medium heat. Place cooked vegetables in food processor (or blender) and process until desired coarseness. Add vegetables into tomatoes. Add chicken stock and pesto and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper in small increments to taste. Continue to simmer for 1 hour. Serve warm with crusty bread and enjoy!

Hardy Carrot Soup With Tomatoes

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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