Gallery

Healthy vegetarian Sunday dinner – potatoes and cucumber salad in yogurt dressing

Lately, we really prefer to eat less meat, and more vegetable and plant food. After watching A Plastic Ocean, What the Health, Cowspiracy, who else has the appetite for meat or even seafood? The world is really sick, everything seem polluted and everywhere is having problems. I am not saying that I am turning to a vegetarian now, but I think eating less meat is a good act. 

Let’s go for a very healthy Sunday dinner with a potatoes salad. My husband is a big fan of potatoes salad, because of where he is from, Germany! And I know he loves this salad, as always remind him of his mother, that’s how she used to do potatoes salad.

First of all, we have to cook the potatoes. There are few ways to do it. You can chopped them in cubes first, then boil them in water or steam them, until they are cooked. You can also boil or steam the entire pototes and roughly cut them into cubes after they are cooked. Make sure you season them with some salt, and then let them cool down or even chill them in the fridge. Depends on how would you like to eat your potatoes, if you would like them a bit warm, no need to chill them too much. 

To prepare the rest of the ingredients, get a big salad bowl ready, and place everything inside. Thinly sliced cucumber, thinly sliced onion, diced celery and two hard boiled eggs cut in cubes. Mix all ingredients well, together with the potatoes as well. For the dressing, mix Greek yogurt, mustard, salt, garlic powder, half lemon juice, fresh finely chopped dill or dry one, finely chopped spring onion and finely chopped parsley well, then pour the dressing into the the salad. Mix the dressing with the salad and serve it with garlic bread. 

Gallery

Tonight dinner – mustard and honey spare ribs with potatoes and salad

My husband loves ribs, it’s been a while that I cook ribs for him, maybe it’s about time. This time I am thinking to cook the ribs with mustard and honey flavour. 

I’m going to cook a lot of ribs to make sure we have some leftover for Monday lunch as well, so I cooked 3 packs of ribs. Let’s work on the sauce, mix mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, with some olive oil, taste and adjust. Then, marinate the spare ribs with the sauce for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Place ribs in a large tray, then put also striped onion and some potatoes to mix them well together, and add some fresh oregano in the tray for flavour. Place the tray inside the oven under 210C and bake them for 75 minutes, flip them every 15 minutes to avoid burning. 

When the spare ribs are done, serve them with some salad and the potatoes. 

Gallery

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.

Gallery

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!

 

 

Gallery

Making Swedish meatballs without breadcrumb

I watched a TV show the other day, it’s about working and travelling in Sweden. One of the famous dish in Sweden, I guess everyone would say meatball, as that’s what you can eat and get in Ikea even if you’ve never been to Sweden. In that show, the actress was learning how to make meatball from one of the local at home. The Swedish woman learned from her mother, and her mother learned from her grandma, a recipe that pass on from generation to generation. My husband was also watching the show, and when they talked about putting mashed potatoes into the minced meat, my husband said that is very traditional. I thought everyone is putting breadcrumb for meatball, but then my husband said can use both, either potatoes or breadcrumb. Then, he started to talk about the meatballs that him or his mother used to make back in Germany, sounds so nice, and yes maybe we should do meatballs dinner on the coming Sunday.

So, as planned, this Sunday dinner will be – Swedish Meatballs! After cooking the Sunday brunch, frisee aux Lardons with some cold cuts. I started to search for recipes, just would like to have some more background or reference of the Swedish Meatballs, even I kind of have an idea how to make them, by watching the show the other night and talking with my husband. It is still good to explore a bit more on different recipes before cooking. I’ve been reading about 10 to 20 recipes, but they are all using breadcrumb instead of potatoes. In order to make it a bit different than the others, I am trying to make this with potatoes.

The first thing to do is to cook all those potatoes, put all the potatoes into a big pot and cover them with water, boil them for around 20 to 30 mins. When you are cooking the potatoes, you can work on the onion, finely chop them with the food processor, and then fry them with some butter in the pan. Leave them to cool down for later use. When the potatoes are done, remove the skin, put them in a big bowl and smash them with masher. Before adding anything, put aside some mashed potatoes that you are going to use for the meatballs. For the rest, add butter, salt, pepper, plus the kind of spice that you want, could be dill and thyme for example, then keep mixing until it’s done. Now, we can start working with the meatballs, use a bowl that is big enough for mixing. Put minced pork and minced beef all in the bowl, the best is 50/50, but of course it’s up to you to make the kind of combination you like. Then, add those cooked onion, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, now here, I guess you can add anything that you like to make your meatball tasty, I guess it’s not a bad idea to add minced garlic and red chili, as I also add them later as a filling for some of the meatballs. Moreover, add 2 eggs, some heavy cream and the mashed potatoes, and now you can start mixing. My husband said I should not mix too match, and should not use cream or potatoes, as he prefers more texture than those recipes I read, that you should make the meatballs very smooth. Well, different preference, as long as they are tasty!

When the mixing of meat is done, now we can start to put them into shape! My husband requested to have a filling, so I put some Emmanuelle cheese cube, and some of them with minced garlic and red chili. Now, to fry them, you have to make sure to keep the ball shape, you can use two spoon to roll them around when the entire surface is not cooked yet. When all the meatballs are done, now we can start to cook the sauce. Place some butter in the saucepan, put some flour in, then pour in some chicken stock and season it with salt and pepper, then add the heavy cream and some black currant jam. Let it cook until it gets thicker, then put all the meatballs in and cook together. Serve the meatballs with mashed potatoes and some green beans and garnish them with some chopped parsley. A lot of recipes are talking about serving the meatballs with lingonberry jam, but I just could not find it here in Hong Kong, so I’ve used cranberry jam instead. I actually love those spicy meatballs, next time I guess I will put garlic and red chili for sure into the mixing. And actually they do taste better after one day, my husband loves to eat them cold with mustard as well.

 

Gallery

Cooking with Orange for Sunday Dinner

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.