Monday, April 21, 2014

Chicken Mole

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Chicken Mole is not something I'd really imagined cooking. All I know about it is that it's pretty complicated, and everyone has their own favorite way of doing it. However, I wanted a chicken dish for a tex-feast with my friends, and this recipe looked so tempting. It's not very complicated, but it DID cause a lot of clean-up. And be super careful as you'll be mixing hot liquids - my food processor was NOT up to the task, spraying the whole kitchen with hot chicken stock. I'd have to resort to my trusty immersion blender instead.

Chicken Mole
3 tbsp neutral cooking oil (divided) 
2 chipotle chili pepper
1 ancho chili pepper
2 guajillo chili peppers (which I admittedly didn't find. I used something else and forgot to write down the name - smart, I know...) 
500 ml hot chicken stock
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
3 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
6 dried plums
2 tbsp raisins
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried cloves, ground
15 almonds
15 pecans
15 peanuts (raw) 
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 kg boneless chicken (I used a mix of thighs and breast)
300 ml water
20 g dark chocolate (70%)
salt, to taste

Heat a little of the oil in a frying pan. Fry the chili peppers for about half a minute on each side, then transfer to a blender. (One that for sure can handle hot liquids!) Pour in the hot chicken stock, and leave to soak for at least 15 minutes. Then blend until smooth. 

Meanwhile,  toast the almonds, pecans, peanuts and sesame seeds until golden brown. 

In a little more oil, fry the onion, garlic, tomatoes, plums and raisins for a few minutes. Add the oregano, thyme and cloves. Add the toasted nuts and seeds. Move the whole thing to a blender, and mix until smooth. 

Lastly, fry the chicken on both sides until golden. Use a heavy pot. When it's browned, pour in all your mixed ingredients, and the additional water. Let it simmer until the chicken is tender. When it is, remove to a cutting board, and shred with two forks. Let the sauce reduce until thick, and add the chocolate. Put the chicken back in the sauce, and season with salt. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Darth Vader Chocolate Cupcakes

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It was a cold, windy Sunday afternoon. We were all, more or less, bored. Husband was engrossed in some sort of online game, all I really wanted was to watch the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars, and the kids.. well, they just wanted to do something. Ideally something involving something sweet to eat, and/or making a mess.

So, how about baking something? I pulled out a new-to-me cookbook, Flour by Joanne Chang, and flipped the pages until I landed on her Chocolate Cupcakes. We quickly decided to skip frosting - these looked sweet and decadent enough on their own anyway. (So I guess maybe they are more like chocolate muffins? I never did understand the difference.) A little measuring, mixing and scooping later, and we could all enjoy a really yummy afternoon snack.

The baking cups with Darth Vader was something I picked up at Williams-Sonoma on my last trip to the US. VERY appriciated by my four-year-old.

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The recipe specifies to let the batter rest for an hour to hydrate the flour - I did, because I didn't dare to skip it and it worked well with our general schedule. But make sure to plan for it.

Darth Vader Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 12
recipe adapted from an original by Joanne Chang

70 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
30 g cocoa powder, sifted
200 g sugar
115 g butter
80 g water
120 g milk
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
140 g flour

Start by placing chocolate and cocoa in a bowl. In a saucepan, melt the butter with the water and sugar. (I thought the water sounded really out of place here but it seemed to work out just fine.) When it's properly melted, add to the bowl of chocolate and stir until smooth. Add the egg, the egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Stir until combined.

In a separate bowl, combined baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour. Add to the chocolate batter, stir.

Now  let the batter sit for at least one hour at room temperature. (Or up to three days in the fridge.) Then dollop into paper cases and bake at 175°C for about 15 minutes. (The original said 30 minutes but that was way too much for mine.)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

And the juicer goes to...

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I'm so glad for all the comments on your juice habits! I wish I had way more juicers to giveaway instead of just one, but I promise I'll try to hold a lot more giveaways on the blog later on.  This time, the winner is Anna - or really her daughter Alva. Congratulations Alva, and I hope this means many cool juice creations for your family!

We're having a lazy Saturday today - me and my little ice cream monsters. Happy weekend everyone!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

I love juice - plus a giveaway!

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Juicing is really trendy in Sweden, and the juicer was declared christmas gift of the year, a few months ago. I've owned several juicers, and have honesty ended up giving them away - they're pretty bulky and I never got into the habit. I like juice, but mostly have it for weekend breakfasts.

My favorite is made by Brämhults, and it's a blend of oranges and strawberries. Tart, sweet and delicious! They also make one with strawberries and lime, that makes a very good base for a smoothie! And my husband, preferring citrus, loves their seasonal orange/clementine juice. They make veggie juices too, but frankly it's not so much my cup of tea. (I'm possibly biased by having beet juice severely stain a beloved dress.)

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So, while I'll probably stick to bottled juices (or the occasional fresh orange juice of course, when citrus is in season), I've been given the opportunity by Brämhults to give a juicer to one of my readers. (Sweden only - sorry about that!) For a chance to win, just tell me what your favorite juice is, and on what occasion you usually drink juice. The giveaway is open until Friday, April 11.

This post is sponsored by Brämhults, in the sense that they offer the juicer. I'm not being paid any money for this, though.  I liked  Brämhults long before they approached me about this - I prefer to work with brands that I already like and gladly will recommend.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Mango Avocado Salsa

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I love avocado, and since I disovered Picard's frozen mango slices, I love mango, too. Well, I love mango in general, but it's hard to come by perfectly ripe fresh mango here in Sweden and I find them a pain to peel and dice. Picard's mango is perfect - it's obviously frozen at it's peak and is super flavorful.

This little salsa is just great -  great on it's own, or with a larger meal.

Mango Avocado Salsa

1 ripe mango, diced
1 avocado, diced
2 tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
1 red chili, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Stir together lime juice, sugar, oil and coriander, and toss with the rest of the ingredients.