Wednesday homemade dinner – Thai beef green curry with rice

I have this recipe with me for few years already, I kind of figure it out my own way by imagining how this should be. Of course, after learning some Thai recipes, I’ve adjusted it a little bit, but more or less it stays the same. The good thing about curry is you can have it with different kind of meat, seafood or even vegetable. Tonight I am doing this with beef, but as I said, you can do it with many other ingredients.

Of course the key ingredients are kaffir lime leaves, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, and red chilli pepper, you can get this as a tom yam pack in some super markets. Heat up the pan with some oil, then fry these ingredients with a medium heat, add cabbage, mini corns, mushrooms, Thai eggplant and okra in the pan and stir fry them. You have to look into the kind of vegetable you have and the combination with the meat, calculate the cooking time of each of them, and try to put them in the pan by sequence of the cooking time needed. I really don’t want to over cook the beef, of course depends on the cut of the beef, try to watch out the time and keep that in control. Put Thai green curry paste into the pan, then add coconut milk. Stir them well and let it simmer for around 10 minutes or until it’s done. Taste and season with salt as you like.

You can serve the curry with rice or bread, garnish them with some fresh coriander and squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Grilled Pork Knuckle with Dark Beer

My husband is a German, and I always get asked if I cook German meal for him? As people reckon pork knuckle is one of the well-known dish in Germany, people would love to try the pork knuckle that I cook to see how authentic is it. To be honest, I’ve never cook pork knuckle and I’ve never seen my in-laws cooking pork knuckle back in Germany neither. My husband is not a big fan of pork knuckle and neither am I. He said this dish is more from Munich and the south area, it is not that popular at the region where he is from. Anyway, let’s try it out, as I always want to try and see.

So I’ve looked into few recipes online, one from the German which is super simple, just with salt and pepper and some garlic paste, and here you go. I think I would like to go for something a bit more complicated, then I was kind of following this recipe with the dark beer, which sounds more German to me at least….. 😉

The first challenge I am encountering is, could not find pork knuckle at the two meat shops nearby! That’s so weird to me, as I think pork knuckle is a popular dish, maybe it’s not. I finally found it at Park’n Shop, but those are frozen from Canada with Chinese package, and look so Chinese to me. They look more for soup or Chinese way of cooking, I am a bit skeptical. It seems no other options than taking those, it’s a take it or leave it situation, unless I think of something else to cook, or go somewhere else to search for pork knuckles. I decided to get those, and let’s see.

To cook this dish, is going to take 3 hours, so please plan ahead and see when do you want to have dinner and work back the start cooking time. And defrost also take some time, or you use the oven to help you to do so. Let’s start preparing! Get a big tray, and chop 3 onions in the tray as the base, season the pork knuckles with salt and pepper, and some mixed spices, just pick those that you like. Then, put the garlic paste all over the pork knuckles, and finally add some fennel seeds on top. Pour half bottle of Erdinger dark beer in the tray, then put it in the oven under 220C for 30 minutes. Then, prepare your potatoes and green apple, chop them in big chuck and place at the bottom. Pour more beer in and place the tray in the oven under 160C for 1 hour, don’t forget to pour the beer on top of the pork knuckle from time to time, that will help the skin to be crunchy. Add more beer and cook for another hour under 160C, then keep adding more beer, switch the oven back to 220C and roast it for the last 30 minutes.

After 3 hours in the oven, take them out and remove the pork knuckles and potatoes from the tray, and cook the reminding until it becomes thicken and use it as the gravy. You can serve the pork knuckles with some sauerkraut, to make it like a real German dish. But I serve it with some green salad, which is not bad at all. I still feel it is too rich and I am still not sure if I like pork knuckle much, same for my husband. Well, at least I did try, and the result is not bad.

Orange Pork Rib with Orange Salad

We’ve done a small party at home on Saturday night, and I was cooking for 8 of us. Nothing new, just trying to re-cook some dishes, as some of my friends would love to try my cooking. I was planning to cook two different salad as starter, but I ended up with making only one. Having the ingredients ready at home, it’s good to cook something that can go with this salad. Since the salad is with oranges as one of the key ingredient, I am thinking to cook something with orange as well. How about pork ribs with orange? I think taste wise should go very well together, so let’s do it!

First of all, season the pork ribs with salt and pepper, let them sit for a while. Put some butter in a hot pan, then fry the chopped onion until they turned brown. Place the pork ribs in the pan and fry each side of the ribs, then cut one entire garlic in half and let it sit on the pan. You can switch off the fire now and start preparing all ingredients for the grilling part, of course you also need to preheat your oven with 210C. Place ginger slices and orange slices in the pan, get them evenly distributed nicely in the pan. Then, put the sauce in, make sure the sauce is on every single rib. The sauce is a mix of light soy sauce, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Place the pan in the oven and grill for 30-40 minutes under 210C, or until the pork ribs turn golden brown. You might need the turn the ribs in the middle of the way.

For the salad, it’s super easy! Just place arugula in a big salad bowl, then cut the fennel bulb into thin strips, and the orange in slices without skin. Mix them well and serve with the salad dressing with olive oil, mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar and fresh lemon juice.

The taste of the salad and the pork ribs go really well together, as they are both with orange flavour and the sauce for pork ribs vs the salad dressing are very similar. I’ve also tried the orange from the pork ribs, also taste very good with the ginger flavour with the rich taste from the marinated sauce.

Slow Cooked Lamb Shank with Potato and Green Bean Salad

I remembered one Italian dish that those Italian love to eat so much, it’s the veal knuckle, Osso Buco.  I was thinking to look for a recipe of that online, but then I ended up with this lamb shank instead. Looks yummy and would love to try, as I love slow cooking that seems more healthy. So I found this recipe of Gordon Ramsay, let’s try it out.

Since this is a slow cook dish, that means it will take long time for cooking, so I better get the grocery shopping done as early as possible. Back home and try to get the lamb shanks marinated first, as least let that sit there for half an hour. Marinate the lamb shanks with salt, pepper, dry oregano, cumin seed, paprika, garlic, red and green chilli, cinnamon sticks and a bit of olive oil. Let them sit there for at least half an hour, meanwhile we can work on getting the onion and carrots chopped and ready.

Heat up the sauce pan with olive oil, fry the lamb shanks, make sure to fry the entire surface. Then, add the chopped onion and carrots and some bay leaves in the pan. Pour half to a full bottle of red wine, bring it to boil and it cook for 15 minutes. Then, add the beef stock and move the pot into the oven and cook for 2.5 to 3 hours under  160C. Gordon suggested not to put the lid, and I found the top part of the lamb shanks a bit burnt and dry, so make sure you turn the lamb shanks every 30 to 45 minutes.

For the salad, boil the potatoes and cut them in pieces when they are done, let them cool down. Steam the green beans, and let them cool down too. Put the potatoes and green beans in a large bowl when they are cooled down, season them with a bit of salt and pepper, then add the arugula and mix everything well together.

To serve the dish, place the salad on the plate, then serve with one lamb shank on top. Use the stock in the pot as sauce for both the lamb shank and the salad, and add some mint on the lamb shank as a final touch.

 

Slow Cook Beef Short Rib


I cook a lot these days, I don’t know if part of the reason is because of this blog or not. But I love to cook, and Sunday is usually my cooking day. Cooking for brunch then dinner. In the past, I don’t like to look into the recipe so much. I just cook whatever I feel or learned in the past. Nowadays, I try to learn tricks or recipe with cooking show on TV or search for recipe online. But what I do is, I prefer to digest and feel the recipe before cooking, instead of reading line by line, or following exactly each single steps. I like to do my own version, to improvise. My husband is happy that what I cook is more versatile now, he said I only know one dish in the past, spciy tuna pasta. I think that’s not true, but anyway, should take it as a good comment 😉

So, I’ve put together the assorted bruschetta for breakfast. Cut the baguette into half, then put butter and garlic sauce. Feel free to put different things, I put slices of cucumber, and then chopped tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, then put some chopped ham. With a final touch of Parmesan cheese and dry parsley. Another one, I want to do with egg. Place some slices of tomato, and then put the raw egg in the middle of those slices, same thing season it with salt, pepper, dry parsley and Parmesan cheese. Put them in oven under 180C for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with some chopped spring onion to serve.

For dinner, I’m thinking to do a chicken dish, but then I ended up with cooking beef. Just because I found this Gordan Ramsay recipe and would like to do it! Slow cook beef short ribs, seems more yummy than chicken! It’s a bit hard to get the fresh beef short ribs, I just found them at this Meat Master shop and they sell all kinds of meat. This one is frozen, so it took me some time to defrost.

Season the beef short ribs with salt and pepper, then fry them with olive oil, make sure all sides are nicely fried. Cut a whole garlic into half and fry it together with the ribs, then put some tomato purée in the pan and cook a bit. Then pour one full bottle of red wine into the pan and let it cook for 15 minutes, until most of the wine are gone. Pour 1 litre of beef stock into the pan, bring it to boil, then wrap the pan with foil and place the pan into the oven. Cook for 3 hours under 170C.

Before serving the ribs, get the side dish ready. I am adding some spinach to this dish, as I feel is lack of vegetable. Heat the pan with butter, then put some finely chopped garlic, and then fry the spinach until they turn soft. Season them with salt and a touch of sugar, place them on the plate as side dish. Now, get the pancetta fried in a pan with olive oil, when they turn golden brown, add the brown button mushroom which cut in half. Fry them until they are done.

Get the pan of ribs out of the oven, place the ribs one by one in the plate. Use the sieve and pass the garlic through and pour the sauce through the sieve as well. If the sauce is too thin, need to cook it for a while and make it thicker. Pour some sauce on the ribs, then put the pancetta and mushroom on top, and garnish it with the finely chopped parsley. The longer you cook, softer the meat.

Grilled Lamb Kebab with Red Cabbage Salad

This new cooking show is one of my favourite, Jamie Oliver’s ” Save with Jamie”. I like the show, because they talk about how you save money by eating at home, as that’s what Jamie always emphasised in his previous cooking shows. He always encourage people to cook and eat at home instead of dining out. This new show, they also talk about the nutrition and calories level of the meal, which is good information to get about the dish. One more thing I love, is about food waste. How to make use of food that you always have problem with, those you almost need to throw away, but turned into something else that you can just save them instead.

Watched him cooking this the other day, and would like to cook this for my husband, because he likes lamb kebab. To shop for the ingredients, minced lamb, breadcrumbs, red cabbage, mixed greens, tortillas, Greek yogurt and some pistachios. First of all, to get the minced lamb done, season with salt and pepper, then mixed them well with some finely chopped onion and some breadcrumbs, and get them on the skewer or stick. Then get your red cabbage chopped into thin slices, place them in a bowl and season them with salt and pepper. Add some white vinegar into the bowl, then squeeze the red cabbage until they are all soft and well absorbed the vinegar. Finish them by adding a touch of sugar.

Now, let’s get the pistachios, cumin and fennel seeds into the mortar and crash them nicely and fine, put them aside and we will use them later for the lamb. Grill the lamb with a pan, when they are almost done, paint a layer of honey on top and then dive them into the pistachios to get that nice texture and coating as the final touch. Heat up the pan and fry the tortillas, serve them with the mixed greens and lamb with some Greek yogurt on top, and some red cabbage aside.

Grilled Chicken with Salad

Special requested by my husband and his would like to start this salad for dinner diet, I don’t think that is difficult to try making different salad every night. With what I’ve cooked the night before, we have some romaine lettuce and cucumber leftover. Let’s come up with a different salad. Chicken maybe an easy and simple choice other than fish. So, I just got a pack of chicken fillet home, and we have all the rest of the ingredients at home.

To grill the chicken fillet, place them in a tray, season them with salt and pepper. I would like to make them with a stronger flavour this time, so I also put a bit of different herbs, ground cumin, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, and some garlic. Drizzle with a good amount of olive oil, and put them in the oven with 210C for around 35 mins, turn them over in the middle of the way.

For the salad, I am doing the exacted combination of the night before, thin slices of onion and cucumber, and romaine lettuce in chucks. But I am serving it with a different dressing tonight, instead of the greek yogurt dressing, I am doing a honey and mustard dressing which should go better with the flavour of the chicken. The dressing is simple, just a mix of mustard, honey, olive oil and vinegar. Serve the chicken together with the salad and few slices of toasted baguette.