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Flammkuchen – German flatbread, German version of pizza

I was asking my hubby on Saturday night, what should I cook tomorrow, my usual Sunday cooking. He sent me few things which are the dishes he loves to eat back in Germany, and I choice this one, Flammkuchen, which it’s like pizza but a German version.

The thing about Flammkuchen, there are few things we have to look into. For example, it should be either in square or oval shape; whereas pizza is in round shape. The sauce for Flammkuchen is sour creme based, versus pizza is more tomato sauce based. Instead of coming up with my own ingredients or version, let’s start with a very typical one.

I am going to make one with onion and bacon to start with. First of all, we have to work on the dough, mix 250g plain flour with 125ml of warm water, some olive oil and a pinch of salt. I didn’t add any yeast, which should be fine with the flatbread. Roll the dough out into rectangular shape, then add mixed double cream and cream fraiche, you can also try with mixed sour cream and Greek yoghurt, on top of the flatbread. If you have ever made pizza before, that’s just like how you add the tomato sauce on your pizza base. Then season with some salt and pepper, and add the toppings, onion strips and diced bacon. Place that in the preheated oven under 250C and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Add some finely chopped spring onion or chives on top for better look and better taste. 

I made the same one again by adding some halved cherry tomatoes, taste delicious!

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Cooking Rouladen with mother-in-law. the true German cooking

This is the first time I am spending Christmas in Germany, with my husband’s family, would love to see some traditional German celebration during Christmas or New Year. We arrived this morning, it is still a working day here in Germany, but my in-laws finished work early, and my mother-in-law was making Rouladen for dinner. Of course I would love to learn the authentic German way of making Rouladen, especially the recipe from the mother.

As I mentioned in my blog about how to make Rouladen, you need certain part of beef but that was a bit difficult to get in Hong Kong. Of course here in Germany will not be a problem. The difference of what mutter is doing, she is using finely chopped onion and bacon instead of what I was using are onion slice and the whole piece of bacon. I was using pickled cucumber but mutter was using the whole piece of pickled gherkin. Then, wrap the beef and tie it up with cotton.

My husband was telling me, the sauce that his mother was doing for the Rouladen is super, so that is the most important part that I have to learn. First of all, heat up the saucepan with lard, and then fry the Rouladen and add some chopped onion and bacon in-between. Fry the Rouladen until both side turn brown, add some hot water when it starts to dry up, in order to keep a good amount of sauce. Cover with lid and let it simmer for one hour, keep adding hot water in-between when the sauce starts to dry up. The sauce mutter made is so much more simple than the one I learned on youtube, for sure I am going to try next time back home. I guess the lard does make a difference for the taste.

When it’s done, remove the Rouladen from the pan. Use the sieve to get the chopped onion and bacon out from the sauce, and then blend it with the blender until it’s smooth enough to go through the sieve. Add flour to thicken the sauce if it’s too thin. Place all the Rouladen back in the pan with the sauce when the sauce is ready, usually this is served with Kartoffeklöße and red cabbage, but we were having that with salad last night.

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Thai homemade dinner Part II – barbecued prawns on lemongrass, coconut soup, and steamed mussels

I decided to make Thai food again today, Part II of last week, as there are few dishes that I still want to make but do not have time to make it last week. 

So, tonight I’m making three dishes, one soup, one appetiser and one main course.

Let’s start it off with the soup, it is coconut soup with cauliflower, but I think you can just add other ingredients that you like and make it your own, for example, carrot, chicken, mushroom, and etc. With a pot, bring the vegetable stock and coconut milk to boil. Then, add cauliflower, galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, and season them with light soy sauce, fish sauce and brown sugar. Lower the heat, and cook until the cauliflowers turn soft. Serve the soup by adding some chopped chillies and coriander, and a bit a lime juice.

The appetiser is barbecued prawns on lemon grass, I like the look of this dish, having the prawn mixture wrapping the middle of the lemon grass stalk. In order to have the flavour of the lemon grass, lightly cut the middle of the lemon grass in order to get the nice smell out of it. To make the prawn mixture, mix the prawns (slightly cooked, half raw), chopped bacon or minced pork, garlic, a touch of kaffir lime leaves, chopped spring onion, and season with some fish sauce, brown sugar and cornflour in a food processor until it turns dense. Carefully wrap the mixture around the lemon grass stalk, if you feel so sticky, wet your hand with some water. Pan fry them with a pan and serve with the sauce, mixed of white vinegar, sugar, chopped chillies and coriander.
For the main, I’ve made the Thai style steamed mussels. Heat the sauce pan with a bit of butter, fry the chopped galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and shallots. Add some vegetable stock and coconut milk, simmer a bit, then add all mussels in, cook 4 minutes with the lit on and then another 2 minutes without the lit. Serve the mussels with some bread and garnish with some coriander. 

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Trying to make traditional Sunday German Dinner to make my hubby feels like home – Rouladen with Kartoffeklöße

It’s Sunday again! My routine to cook Sunday dinner, but I just made a big dinner the night before for friends’ gathering, thinking what to cook again…… My husband was trying to help, and he was suggesting to make this Rouladen, which I have no clue what is he talking about. So he found me some online recipe on youtube, so I can watch and learn how to make it. He was also craving for this German potato dumplings, which usually serve with the Rouladen. I also have no idea how to make, but let’s learn it on youtube.

After checking out few videos about the Rouladen and the Kartoffeklöße, I think it’s not too difficult to make it, let’s try it out! Rouladen is a dish that the German used to do as a Sunday family dinner dish, and I guess most of the mother know how to do it. It is beef roll with something inside, the part of beef should be the thin slice of the round part and I can already see that as a problem to get that part of the beef in thin slice. There are few meat places here in the neighbourhood, let’s try to see if I can find this specific part of the beef. After running around to few stores, I could not find the beef that I was looking for, as I expected. The best that I could get was the sirloin thin slices, which is a bit small for this dish, and fat in-between is also not helping and make rolling the beef a bit difficult. Anyway, I ended up with doubling two slices to make one piece, it is not perfect but still fine.

To make the Rouladen, lay the slice of beef out flat and season them with salt and pepper. Don’t over seasoning them, as the other ingredients are also with flavour. Then put a thin layer of mustard on the beef, the best would be German mustard to make it more authentic. Now start to put all the ingredients on it, one piece of bacon, strips of onion and  a slice of pickled cucumber, then roll them up and use a toothpick to close it. After you get all the rolling done, searing them in a hot pan to seal in the juice. To be honest, the beef I got is so thin and I think this is not really necessary for my thin slice sirloin. When the beef are all brown, remove them from the pan. Now we start to work on the stock, fry some garlic, onion, carrot and celery in the pan, when they turn brown, put some tomato puree in, and then add some red wine, let it simmer for few minutes. Add a good amount of beef stock and bring it to boil, then place all Rouladen into the stock, and they should be around 2/3 covering with stock. Place the pan inside the oven under 175C to cook for 1 to 1.5 hours. You can also just boil it with a lower heat as an option.

For the Kartoffeklöße, potato dumplings, first of all, to cook the peeled potatoes in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes until they all turned soft and smash them into mashed potatoes. Add two eggs, flour, ground nutmeg, salt and pepper, and mix them well with the mashed potatoes, add more flour until it is not sticky any more. Separate them and make them into ball shape, and boil them in hot water for around 15 to 20 minutes.

Traditionally, this dish is served with red cabbage, and a lot of sauce. To make the sauce, remove the Rouladen from the pan, and bring the stock to boil until it thicken up. If you think there is not enough sauce, maybe you can add more beef stock . Press the sauce through the sieve to get even the taste from the vegetable. This is my first trial and it is tough to cook something that I’ve never had, as you just cannot imagine how exactly that should taste. My husband told me the Rouladen actually taste very good, but I guess it will be better if I can find the right part of meat to wrap. On the other hand, he said the Kartoffeklöße taste good but totally not the German kind. I need to eat an authentic one to see how to make them right next time, room to improve!

 

 

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Sunday dinner snack night

Instead of having one big full meal, it’s good to have snacks to fill up your stomach on Sunday night. Checking out the page of Tasty on Facebook, and found a lot of snacks that I would like to try. I was thinking to make five of them, but I ended up with making only three, already feel full. Maybe I will try to make to other two tomorrow.

https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty/?hc_ref=SEARCH

1. Jalapenos with cream cheese and bacon

This one is definitely worth to make it, as it is so easy but tasty! Jalapenos + cream cheese + bacon = in oven 220C for 15 minutes, that’s it!!! So Yummy!

2. Potato chips

They showed how to do potato wedges, but I ended up to make potato chips, and I’ve also improvised a bit. Cut potato in to strips or wedges, season them with olive oil, salt, ground paprika, rosemary and thyme. In oven 200C around 25 minutes, then add parmesan cheese and pepper, then grill 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Chicken nuggets with salad

They called it chicken popcorn, I feel a bit weird with the name as it sounds like chickenpox. I rather called it mini chicken nuggets. Cut chicken breast into cubes, and dip them into egg white, then fill the surface with breadcrumbs. They used Ritz crackers, but I think breadcrumbs will do the same job. I just add some salt because Ritz crackers are already salty, but not for breadcrumbs. Place them nicely on a bake tray in the oven under 220C for 12 to 15 minutes. Melt some butter, add chili powder and some lime juice, put it back in the oven and grill it for another 5 minutes.

 

I’ve also trying to make other snacks the day after, and I’ve done this avocado with prosciutto wrap, also very simple. Cut the avocado into wedges, wrap each piece with prosciutto, and then pan fry them. Serve them with some Romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese and a touch of lime juice.

 

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Sunday brunch – Eggs baked in hash brown with bacon

I love hash brown, and love to have it as part of the breakfast. Well, actually I found the one from McDonald’s is not bad, I can easily eat 2 of them. But, of course it’s better to make your own one.

So, today I am making this, can combined hash brown, eggs and bacons in one go, and it’s super easy to cook. First of all, you need to grate the potatoes after peeling them, and add some grated onion as well. Then you mixed them together, you have to watch out the excess water and have to get rid of them.

Then, you have to use a pan that could be used in an oven eventually. Heat the pan and then put some butter and let it melt, fry the mixture of potatoes and onion. Let it sit there and fry until golden brown on one side, season it with a bit of salt and pepper, I also like to add some grounded paprika. You can add slides of butter from the edge if you feel more butter is needed. Then, repeat the same thing for the other side. When the hash brown is half done, you don’t need that fully done, because we will put it in the oven later on, and it will be keep cooking. Crack 4 eggs on top of the hash brown, season the egg with a bit of salt and pepper. Then, place the pan into the oven and grill it for roughly 10-15 minutes under 180C to 200C.  Meanwhile, heat up another pan with butter or oil, then fry the bacons  and get them ready.

When the hash brown and eggs are done, take it out from the oven, and place the bacons on top of the dish. I like to serve it with some chopped basil and spring onion, to make it tastes even better. I have to say, the dish I cooked should be with more hash brown. Now you cannot really see the hash brown underneath in the picture ;P