Monday, 27 July 2015

Chocolate and choco chips ice-cream



Today's ice cream has not got any egg on its base, but it gets an intense chocolate flavor, and crunchy chocolate chips, which against the creamy base are a delicious contrast. Besides, you can prepare it in a moment.


Chocolate and chocolate chips ice-cream

Ingredients (for about 700 ml of ice cream)

200 ml whipping cream (at least 35% m.g.)
125 grams of  plain yogurt
250 ml milk
40 grams icing sugar
40 grams cocoa powder
25 grams of chocolate chips

Whip the cream with half the sugar, beating at low speed first and then up, until it hardens, being careful not to overdo it or it will become butter. Add remaining ingredients, except chocolate chips, whisking until integrate, and test. Correct sugar or cocoa to taste.
If using ice cream machine, put in refrigerator several hours or twenty minutes in the freezer before putting the ice cream, in the machine. Halfway through the process, add the chocolate chips. When the ice cream has curdled, place in a suitable containers for freezing, put into the freezer and finish cooling.


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Chicken chilli



I am quite sure that I were Mexican I 'd hardly enjoy those strange distortions on my traditional dishes that you often find as junk food anywhere. Well, most probably, not a single Italian native would recognize in cheese macaroni or American style pizza any familiar flavor, either. Actually, I think I had a similar feeling when some local friends drove me in Munich to eat at an allegedly Spanish restaurant. I'll save you the nasty details, it is not worth remembering such a culinary  aberration.
I have to say that I have rarely eaten better than during a working visit to Mexico City. I truly felt for Mexican cuisine during that trip. What I tried there had little to do with what I had experienced before as an alleged Mexican food anywhere outside Mexico. I especially remember a cold coriander soup (which is shocking, as I can't stand coriander, I am one of those people to whom coriander tastes like detergent instead as like a wonderful herb), but everything, absolutely everything  of what I eat there exceeded my expectations by far.
I am trying to reduce fat and calories on my dishes, so I'm sure that my Mexican friends would eventually think that this adaptation is another unseemly aberration. In advance, my apologies. But I do not want to eat just a bit of lettuce while trying to eat healthier. It's more than possible to eat tasty, or at least modified versions of these dishes as flavorful as the originals. And just one more thing: if you choose to try this option, please, please: just control yourself with your servings of rice or corn tortillas.  If  you manage to do so, enjoy it fully, because it will not disappoint you at all.

Chicken Chili

Ingredients (for 2 people)

1/2 white onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
Jalapeño peppers (to taste)
Cayenne pepper powder
2 chicken breasts
400 grams of tomato (skin and seed cleaned) and diced -(you can also use canned ones)
Olive oil (if you get used to spray, it will save you many calories!)
Half cup chiken broth (or the same amount of water with quarter a cube of stock)
1 teaspoon soda bicarbonate


Preparation

Put a few olive oil sprays into a deep saucepan. Heat and slowly fry the chopped onion, very smally diced. Add a few tablespoons of water when onion starts to get brown, and let it cook slowly. Add the peppers, chopoped into very small cubes, and if necessary, add a little more water, so that they cook slowly over medium heat. Chop the chicken breasts in a blender or by knife, until they have the consistency of ground beef. Add to skillet and brown over medium-high heat, stirring continuously. When browned on the outside, optionally, add half a cup of broth (or half a stock cube and half a glass of water), reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Add  diced tomatoes (fresh or canned, but not puréed), and cook about 15 -20 minutes over medium heat with some chopped jalapenos and half a teaspoon of chilli powder (or more, depending on how spicy you like your chilli) Add a teaspoon of soda bicarbonate instead of sugar if your tomato is acid. Test, add salt and pepper if necessary (if you use broth or chiken stock, check it out because it is already salty and it would probably be enough). Enjoy!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Oatmeat and cranberries guilt-free cookies

Since I'm trying to lighten my diet I have been missing terribly a little baking. Not so much the taste of something sweet (well, might be a little) as the need of baking something delicious, sweet but not too much, that I could have with  my coffee without completely destroying my new good habits. Baking is indeed a chemical reaction in which each element -from the type of flour to the yeast, liquids and fats- work and react to heat from the oven to achieve the final result. So it is not easy to replace ingredients and make recipes lighter without a too saggy result, either in flavor or texture, or appearance or in all of them.  At least, for me it was not so simple.


While looking for a small treat under control, I came up with these cookies. The oats provide carbohydrates so you can not say that they are low in calories, but they have a sensible amount of sugar, along with dried fruits, one single egg and purée apple in place of butter or oil. So, I think they result in a more than acceptable flavor and texture, while still being reasonable from a dietary standpoint, especially if you eat only one at the time.

Conclusion: cookies can be made differently. Puréed apple does not add much apple flavor but they make the inside juicy, while oats keep the cookies crisp and cranberries give them a fruity and slightly acidic touch.

And most importantly: you can eat guilt-free, good-for-you cookies.



Oatmeal and cranberries cookies
Ingredients (for about 12ish cookies)


120 grams of  oatmeal
1 medium apple
1 egg
25 grams demerara sugar (or equivalent sweetener)
2-3 tablespoons dried cranberries

Preparation

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Peel and slice the apple. Cook in the microwave for 5 minutes, until apple is soft enough to mash with a fork and makes easily a puree. If  it is not cooked, just add 1 minute at the time, check and stop before adding more time. Mash the apple, working well with a fork, and let cool to room temperature.

Put in a bowl the oats, cranberries and sugar and add the apple puree. Beat the egg and add. Mix all ingredients.
On a baking tray covered with a sheet of baking paper or silicone, put spoonfuls of dough a bit apart.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until they get consistence and are slightly brown on the surface.

TIP: Alternatively, if you prefer, you can add cranberries (or other dried fruit you use) on top of each cookie rather than mixing into the dough. Try raisins, desicated coconut or kiwi, chopped dried apricots, or any dried fruit you like. You can also add fresh or frozen berries and it would go well: raspberries, blackberries and currants.