Monday, January 31, 2011

20110131 Meatloaf with Creamy Leek

(SOURCE: Koken & Genieten - Gevuld gehakt met romige prei)

I thought meatloaf would definitely please my meat-loving husband, because it is a dish with lots of meat and juicy gravy. But nope! For whatever reasons, he has just never been a big fan of meatloaf. So this is my another attempt to find a meatloaf recipe that can win my husband over. I made the meatloaf yesterday so the flavor got really rich and yummy today! I really liked this, but can't say the same for my husband, sigh.

700g leek, cut into rings
1 tbsp butter
185g cream cheese
salt and pepper
6 tbsp breadcrumbs
100ml milk
1 onion, finely chopped
350g ground pork
350g ground beef
1 egg
75g crispy fried onions
125ml chicken stock

1. Heat oven to 150 degree C. Heat butter in a pan, and fry the leek for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese and season with salt and pepper, then simmer for about 3 minutes.
2. Mix the breadcrumbs with milk and set aside. Knead the meat and onions with eggs, breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper.
3. Knead the meat flat on a piece of plastic wrap (about 30cm X 30cm). Lay 1/3 of the leek mixture in the middle, then roll the meat with the help of the wrap. Sprinkle the deep fried onions over the top of the meatloaf. Bake the meatloaf on a greased baking tray in the oven for about 30 minutes. Then cover the meatloaf with foil, and bake for another 30 minutes.
4. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest. Meanwhile, warm the leek mix in the pan and add 125ml chicken stock. Season well. Serve the sliced meatloaf with the leek sauce.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

20110130 Fish a la Veracruzana

(SOURCE: Koken & Genieten - Vis a la veracruzana)

My husband really liked the last Pesto Fish Dish because of the rich flavored toppings. So I found this recipe in a hope that the yummy onion-tomato topping will make him forget this is a fish dish. This was quite a risky choice as he likes neither fish nor olive. He cleaned his plate without complaining, so I consider this a success!

2 onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
50g green olives, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
800g can tomatoes
2 tbsp capers
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
600g catfish (about 150g per fillet), dabbed dry
a dash of chilli powder

1. Heat oven to 175 degree C. Heat the oil in a pan, and brown the onions and garlic. Stir in the tomatoes with the juice to the pan, and break the tomatoes into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the peppers, olives, capers, bay leaves, and dried oregano. Season with chilli and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Lay the fish fillets in a greased oven dish, and pour the sauce all over them. Cover the dish with the foil, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

20110129 Chicken Quesadilla's

(SOURCE: Koken & Genieten - Quesadilla's met kip)

I didn't cook much last week as I came home after 8pm almost every evening. So I wanted to cook something special for this weekend, and saw some recipes for Mexican dishes in the latest Koken & Genieten magazine. Perfect! What is a Mexican evening without a bottle of Desperados?

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 courgette, finely cubed
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chilli powder
350g chicken, cut into small cubes
150g grated cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
4 tortilla's
1 tbsp butter, melted

1. Heat oven to 175 degree C. Heat oil in a pan, and brown the chicken for about 4 minutes. Add the vegetables, onion, and garlic, and fry for another 3 minutes. Season with oregano, and salt and pepper. Remove from heat and mix in half the cheese.
2. Cover a baking tray with baking paper. Fill each tortilla with the chicken/vegetable mix, and lay the tortilla's on the baking paper. Brush each tortilla with the melted butter, then top them with the remaining cheese.
3. Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes, then under a hot grill for about 5 minutes to brown the top.

20110128 Hutspot

The temperature has dropped to below 0 degree C again. So more stamppot this week! My husband does not like hutspot (mashed potatoes, carrots, and onions), so I served this with something he definitely likes - i.e. some homemade meatballs and loads of boterjus (excessive fat from cooking the meat with lots of butter)!

800g starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed
200g carrots, cut into thin strips
200g onions, thinly sliced
beef stock
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp creme fraiche
salt and pepper

1. Put the potatoes, carrots, and onions into a big pot. Top it with beef stock. Bring to the boil, and cook for 20 minutes. Drain well.
2. Add the butter and creme fraiche to the boiled vegetables. Mash everything together, and season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

20110124 Zuurkool Stamppot

(SOURCE: My mother in law)

Preparing for a busy week ahead, I have made this zuurkool stamppot for my dinner on Monday and Tuesday. Some people add apples and/or raisins to zuurkool stamppot, and I added pineapples instead. This recipe is from my mother in law, who gave me strict instructions that this stamppot must be made a day ahead for "flavor melding"!

300g sauerkraut
800g starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed
200g smoked bacon bits
1 onion, finely chopped
Knorr Aromat
75g butter + a knob for frying
225g can diced pineapple, drained
75ml cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Add the potatoes in a medium pot and the sauerkraut in a small pot. Top both with water, then bring it to the boil and cook for about 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a knob of butter in a frying pan. Brown the bacon and onion for about 10 minutes.
3. Drain the potatoes and sauerkraut well. Add the sauerkraut, butter, and cream to the potatoes in the medium pot. Mash them together. Fold in the pineapple, bacon and onion (plus all the excessive fat!). Season wiht Knorr Aromat, and salt and pepper.

20110123 Quick Meatball Casserole

(SOURCE: 101 GoodFood One-pot Dishes)

I feel quite tired this week, so I am all for any dishes that does not require a ridiculous amount of time preparing and cleaning. This recipe is really easy to make but it tasted a little bland. I should have replaced the 300 ml of water with some vegetable/chicken stock to give this dish more flavor.

450g minced beef
small bunch of parsley, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
300g carrots, quartered, then cut into chunks
450g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tbsp paprika
500g jar passata

1. Mix the beef with half the chopped parsley, and satl and pepper to taste, then shape into 10 balls. Heat the oil in a large non stick pan and brown the meatballs for 5 minutes.
2. Add the chopped onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, and 300ml water to the pan. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Stir in the paprika, passata and half the remaining parsley. Bring to the boil, cover and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Season to taste and sprinkle with the remaining parsley to serve.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

20110121 Chilli con Carne

(SOURCE: GoodFood 101 One-Pot Dishes)

Learning from experience, chilli is one of those food you should always make a day ahead. I made this on Thursday to let it sit in the Dutch oven overnight so the flavor can get richer. This is so easy and yummy. Shame that I forgot to get some Corona beer!

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1cm dice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried marjoram
450g minced beef
1 beef stock cube
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp sugar
400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinced

1. Heat oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion until softened. Add the pepper, garlic, spices, and marjoram. Fry and stir for 5 minutes. Tip in the meat and increase the heat to high. Fry until all the meat is brown.
2. Crumble in the stock cube and pour in 300ml water, then tip in the tomatoes and add the tomato puree and sugar. Stir well and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring in a splash or two of hot water if the meat becomes dry.
3. Stir in the beans and heat through, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning, then cover the pan. Leave to stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

20110119 Sausages with Potatoes and Rosemary

(Source: Simply Bill by Bill Granger)

I love fresh herbs as they always add life to my dishes, but sometimes I just don't know what to do with the leftover herbs as they don't store for long. I tried freezing them - though their flavor was intact, they became limp and looked so unattractive! So I usually try to find recipes to use up the entire packet of fresh herbs within a week. Today I have a few rosemary stalks left from the Roasted Ratatouille Chicken so I looked through my recipes for dishes that need rosemary stalks. Voila! This is actually the dish I made with my friend when she first introduced me to the world of cookery more than 2 years ago. As I was too nervous in the kitchen back then, we didn't take any pictures. So here is one!

6 Italian-style sausages, sliced thickly
450g potato wedges, skin on
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2 rosemary stalks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 loaf ciabatta, crust removed
50ml extra virgin olive oil

1. Heat the oven to 200 degree C. In a large roasting tin, add the sausages, potatoes, papria, rosemary, sea salt, and pepper. Teat the ciabatta into bite-size pieces and add to the tin. Drizzle with oil and toss gently.
2. Roast - stirring occasionally - for 30 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the sausages and bread are golden brown.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

20110117 Boerenkool Stamppot, v2.0

My husband felt that the last Borenkool Stamppot had a little too much kale and was missing something. So this time I was determined to make a stamppot similar to my mother-in-law's without asking her for the recipe. I doubled the potatoes and bacon bits, but that's not it! How about seasoning the stamppot with some Knorr Aromat - bingo, that is the secret ingredient!

300g curly kale (boerenkool), finely chopped
800g starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt and pepper
100ml cream
75g butter + a knob for frying
1 smoked sausage (Unox rookworst)
200g smoked bacon bits
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Knorr Aromat

1. In a large pan, add the potatoes and kale and top it with water. Bring it to the boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes. Then add the Unox rookworst to the pan, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a knob of butter in a frying pan, and brown the onion and bacon on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
3. Remove the pan from the heat, and fish the rookworst out. Drain water out of the pan, add the cream and butter to the kale and potato, and then mash them together. Then fold in the fried onion and bacon - don't forget to add all the bacon fat to the mash! Season with Knorr Aromat, and salt and pepper.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

20110116 Roasted Ratatouille Chicken

(SOURCE: GoodFood 101 One-pot dishes)

This is a perfect, stress-free Sunday dish. I just put my feet up and enjoyed a nice cup of tea, while the dish was roasting away in the oven. And I loved how the rosemary's refreshing aroma filled my living room and made me feel so relaxed.

1 onion, cut into wedges
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1 courgette, cut into chunks
1 small aubergine, cut into chunks
4 tomatoes, halved
4 tbsp olive oil
5 chicken drumsticks
a few rosemary sprigs
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oven to 180 degree C. Lay all the vegetables and the tomatoes in a shallow roasting tin. Pour over the olive oil, and salt and pepper. Mix them well with your hands. Make sure the vegetables have lots of room. Nestle the chicken drumsticks on top of the vegetables and tuck in some rosemary sprigs. Drizzle a little oil over the chicken, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Roast for about 35 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the chicken is golden. Drizzle with a little oil before serving.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

110112 Singaporean Noodles

I made congee for dinner tonight to sooth my cold, and thought I would make something different for my husband. But as I didn't do grocery shopping, I have to whip something up with materials I can find in the kitchen. Though this is not the Singaporean noodles I usually have from the Chinese take-out that have prawns and char-siu, it was not bad either and actually tasted quite good!

150g vermicelli
75g pork, sliced
1 egg, lightly beaten
dried parsley
1/2 chilli pepper, thickly sliced
50g beansprouts
2 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp soy sauce
salt and pepper
1 garlic, crushed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp oil

1. Soak the vermicelli in a big bowl of hot water for 5 to 8 minutes to rehydrate. Drain well and set aside.
2.Heat a little oil in the wok. Scramble the egg (season with some salt and dried parsley) until just done, break it apart with a wooden spatula. Remove from wok and set aside.
3. Heat oil in the wok. Brown the garlic and onion for about 3 minutes. Add the pork and fry for about 5 minutes. Season with curry, and salt and pepper. Add the vermicelli and soy sauce, and fry for about 5 minutes. Lastly add the beansprouts and egg. Mix well and serve.

20110112 Chocolate Banana Muffins, v2.0

(SOURCE: - Chocolate Banana Muffins)

I have been fighting this cold for days now, and am having a sore head from all the fever and coughing and sneezing. I woke at 5 this morning and was feeling sorry for myself. Seeing the two black bananas sitting on the counter, I thought I would have some warm baked goods for breakfast. Banana bread? Nope, the recipe needs 4 ripe bananas. Plain banana muffins? Nope, again, the recipe needs 4 ripe bananas. Last time when I made some chocolate banana muffins, I found them a little too banana-y and not chocolate-y enough. Perfect! So I modified the recipe by reducing the amount of bananas and sugar, and adding some chocolate sprinkles. I think dark chocolate sprinkles will be a better choice, but I don't have them and had to make do with milk chocolate ones. The muffins are so good. Warm muffins may not cure my cold, but they definitely cheered me up this morning!

2 overripe bananas
125ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
80g soft light brown sugar
225g plain flour
50g milk chocolate sprinkles3 rounded tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1. Heat oven to 200 degree C and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
2. Mash the bananas with a fork. Then with a freestanding mixer, beat the oil followed by eggs and sugar into the bananas.
3. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, sprinkles, and bicarb together and sift this mixture, beating gently, to the banana mixture, then spoon it into the prepared cases.
4. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes. Allow to cool slightly in their tin before moving to a wire rack.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

20110111 Pappardelle with Spicy Sausages

(SOURCE: Albert Heijn Recepten - Pappardelle met pittige worst)

I like this as it took only 20 minutes to make and it tasted good. I was amazed that all those roma tomatoes simply "melted" and made the sauce so juicy! But it is a bit odd that my meat-loving husband didn't like those Catalonian sausages and preferred the pasta instead.

200g Catalonian sausages (Catalaanse braadworstjes), cut each into 3 pieces
75g chorizo, sliced
2 small onions, thinly sliced
500g roma tomatoes, quartered
2 tbsp dried oregano
handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
250g fresh pappardelle pasta, cooked and drained
100g grated old cheese

1. Heat a pan and fry the chorizo over low heat. Add the sausages and brown them. Add the onion and fry for about 2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, and salt and pepper, and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.
2. Add the pasta to the sausage-tomato sauce, and mix well. Scatter with grated cheese and chopped basil. Serve.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

20110109 Red Wine Braised Chicken

(SOURCE: Koken & Genieten - Gesmoorde paprikakip)

When I first saw this recipe, I was puzzled as I thought it said "smothered chicken". Then after consulting with my Dutch-English dictionary, I learned that "gesmoorde" can also mean "braised in wine". Ah-ha! The recipe should have stated in the last step "remove Serrano ham from the pan and serve", because the ham was dry and flavorless. I think this dish can be bubbled away on the stove too.

1.3kg chicken, cut into 8 to 12 pieces
2 onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 ripe tomatoes, skinned
some dried rosemary
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 bay leaves
250ml dry red wine
3 bell peppers, cut into big chunks
50g Serrano ham, cut into strips

1. Heat oven to 175 degree C. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a dutch oven, and brown the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side. Add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, bay leave and rosemary. Finally add red wine, and cook for about 5 minutes over high heat. Cover the dutch oven with a lid, remove from heat, and cook it in an oven for about 40 minutes.
3. Scatter the bell peppers and ham to the dish, and return the dish to the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

20110108 Pizza Schnitzel

(SOURCE: Koken & Genieten magazine - Pizzaschnitzel met kaaskorst)

I modified the amount of ingredients a bit in order to make more sauce. This was so easy to make as it took only 15 minutes to prepare, and then the oven did the rest. I served this with some fresh ciabatta bread so no sauce went to waste!

1 onion, finely chopped
2 pork escalopes (varkensschnitzels)
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp dried oregano
salt and fresh group black pepper
100g minced meat, rolled into two long sausages
350g can tomato blocks
125ml cream
125g mozzarella, cut into blocks
40g grated cheese

1. Heat oven to 150 degree C. Heat oil in a pan, and brown the escalopes for about 2 minutes on each side. Season with 1 tsp of dried oregano, and salt and pepper. Remove from pan. Add the onion to the pan and fry for 2 minutes. Set aside.
2. Lay the escalopes in a greased oven dish, and place some onions, a slice of ham, and a sausage (in this order) on each escalope.
3. In a small bowl, season the tomatoes with the oregano and salt and pepper. Add the cream and mix well.
4. Pour the tomato-cream mixture all over the "pizzaschnitzel". Cover the oven dish with a lid, and cook it in the oven for about 50 to 55 minutes.
5. Scatter the mozzarella blocks and grated cheese all over the pizzaschnitzel, then return the dish - without a lid - to the oven to cook for another 20 to 25 minutes. Finally leave it under a hot grill for about 5 minutes to brown the top.

Friday, January 7, 2011

20110107 Vegetable Pad Thai

(SOURCE: BBC EasyCook Magazine)

I forgot to buy a red chilli, so my dish is less colorful than the one shown in the magazine. I also skipped the roasted peanuts because I don't really like peanuts. But it seems that the roasted peanuts are quite crucial to a pad thai dish, because it tasted a bit different and that something was missing. And this dish taught me that my husband likes neither fish sauce nor oyster sauce - oh well, I was really pushing my luck anyways as he is still a rookie fish-eater!

200g rice noodles, rehydrated according to pack instructions and drained well
handful of coriander
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
140g sugar snap peas
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
100g beansprouts
juice of 1 lime

1. Cut the stalks off the coriander and finely chop them (set the leaves aside for later). Tip the chopped stalks into a mortar along with the garlic and ginger, then pound to form an aromatic paste.
2. Heat a wok and, when smoking, tip in the oil then the paste. Cook for a few seconds, then stir in the pepper and peas. Cook for a few minutes more until softened, then pour in the egg. Stir until cooked, then add the sugar, fish and oyster sauces.Add the noodles to the pan. Toss everything together, adding a little water if the noodles seem a bit dry.
3. Just before serving, stir in the beansprouts and lime juice, then place on a serving plate and scatter over coriander leaves.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

20110105 Coconut Fish Curry

(SOURCE: Koken & Genieten - Kokos-viscurry met cashewnoten)

I found the sauce a little boring, so I added some fresh parsley to give it more taste. Now thinking about it, I think fresh coriander would be better as it will bring out the exotic flavor. Maybe a dash of fish sauce and fresh lime juice too, as they may give it an even more "refreshing" taste. This fish curry is a little too much for my husband, so I now have enough leftover for my dinner tomorrow.

3 carrots, cut into strips
1 medium leek, finely chopped
500g fish fillet (I used catfish), cut into big chunks
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp kerrie
400ml coconut milk
1 chicken stock cube
handful of parsley, finely chopped

1. Cook the carrot strips in boiling water for about 3 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, coat the fish with flour and season with salt and pepper. Heat some oil in a wok and brown the fish - in two batches - for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Heat some oil in the wok, and fry the leek and carrots for 5 minutes. Add the kerrie to the vegetables and brown for about 3 minutes. Add 100ml water, coconut milk, and the chicken stock cube to the wok. Bring it to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Return the fish to the wok and cook for another 5 minutes.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

20110104 Pesto Fish Dish

(SOURCE: Koken & Genieten - Pesto-visschotel)

My husband likes neither fish nor tomato, but he loved this dish and even asked for a second serving. So I consider this a roaring success! I think the onions and red pesto did the trick, because they were so fragrant and tasted so strong.

2 onions, finely chopped
3 tbsp red pesto
3 tomatoes, sliced
600g codfish, dabbed dry, and seasoned with salt and pepper
handful of basil leaves, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a pan, and brown the onions for about 3 minutes. Add the pesto and choped basil, and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
2. Arrange the tomato slices in a greased oven dish, then the fish on top of the tomatoes. Spoon the onion mixture over the fish. Cook the dish in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes.