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Sunday dinner – creamy leek and pancetta fettuccine

Last week was again a busy week, we did some renovation work at our studio, so I rather looked for a very chilled Sunday. Cooking something easy and maybe even repeating an old recipe would do the job.

I found this old recipe two years ago on my facebook memory, before I have my blog. I think it’s good to redo this, as my husband loves creamy pasta, this one must be his favourite once again! My old version was cooking this with falafel, I would live to do the same, but I could not manage to find falafel in the supermarket. I decided to give it up and go for fettuccine instead, which is also a good choice for creamy sauce.

To cook the sauce, heat up the sauce pan with some olive oil. Add garlic cloves and pancetta in the pan, fry them until the pancetta turn brown. Add some butter, then add chopped leek in the pan and fry them together with the pancetta, until they turn soft. Add cooking cream in the pan with fresh oregano, touch of thyme and ground paprika, lower the heat and let it simmer until the sauce turn thick. Taste the sauce and season it with salt, add shredded parmesan cheese in the end. Switch off the heat and stir well.

When the fettuccine is cooked, add them in the sauce and stir well. If you feel it’s too dry, add some hot pasta water in. 

It’s creamy, and it’s really yummy~~~

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Sunday dinner – slow roasted pork belly with arugula & fennel salad


It’s been a week already, I still haven’t got my last Sunday dinner blogged! That’s so bad, not because I am lazy, I am just too busy and no time to write. Well, the good thing is, I still have time to cook, which is more important!

Last Sunday, I cooked a roasted pork belly, I’ve been thinking to cook that one for quite some time, and I’ve finally made it last week. I should have cooked more, but just because the piece that I’ve found is quite pricey, so I ended up with this small piece. 

Make sure you give the pork belly a good wash, and dry it before starting to cook. We need to score the skin of the pork belly with a sharp knief to create this diagonal checks pattern, not too deep, something around 5mm. Cutting like this helps to have a crunchy skin, which is important and you don’t want the skin ended up like a piece of rubber. Season the pork belly with salt, pepper, fennel seed, and maybe some herbs that you like, such as oregano or thyme.

Use a bake tray or a pan that you can put in the oven later on, hit it up with olive oil, then put the garlic, one whole fennel bulb that chopped into strips, let them fry a bit and season them with fennel seed, the herbs at your choice, salt and pepper, place the pork belly in the pan with skin side facing down, until the skin is slightly brown. Flip the pork belly over, pour some white wine in and let it cook for few minutes. Now, pour in some pork stock or vegetable stock to cover 2/3 of the pork belly, put it into the a pre-heat oven under 160C to slowly roast it for 2.5 hours. 

I found it a bit too burnt for the skin, it is crunchy, just I wonder if it will help if I can wet the skin every now and then with the sauce / oil to keep it moist. I will try it out next time. I serve the pork belly with arugula and fennel salad, I think to tie back with the fennel in the pork belly.

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Refreshing green sauce . chimichurri to go with the steak

Hot Summer here in Hong Kong, thinking to cook something refreshing for our Sunday dinner. A refreshing green sauce, chimichurri could be a nice idea, to go with the flank steak, and served with some grilled vegetables instead of salad.

Well, actually chimichurri sauce is something that we can cook in advance, it’s fine to make more than what you need and the trick is to chill them in the fringe. Use it when you need it for the steak and actually it is also nice to use as dips for your bread. Make sure you have some chimichurri made few hours or days before you use them, put them in a glass bottle in the fringe.

How to make the chimichurri sauce is pretty simple, just put all the ingredients in the food processor to finely chop and blend them. The ingredients are, parsley, oregano, garlic, shallot, green chili or jalapenos, red chili, lemon zest but this could be an option, good amount of olive oil around 100ml, red wine vinegar or white vinegar and a pinch of salt, please adjust the amount of chili or jalapenos, it all depends on the level of spiciness that you can take. When the sauce is well blended, leave it in the fringe for a good couple of hours at least, before serving.

On the other hand, you can prepare the vegetable. I was cooking with some brussels sprouts, corn and some mini peppers. Cut the corn in half, slice the mini pepper and remove the seeds, place them in a tray and brush them with some melted butter, or add some olive oil to make sure there is enough oil there to grill them. Season them with a bit of salt and pepper, then place them in the oven under 190C to grill for around 25 mins. I cooked the brussels sprouts with butter in a saucepan, just fry them until they are soft and cooked, season them with some salt and pepper as well.

For the flank steak, season them with salt and pepper before cooking. Make sure the steak is defrost and with room temperature before cooking, in order to avoid having raw and cold meat in the middle of the steak. Make sure the pan is really hot and fry both side for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, and let the meat stay medium cooked. Do not cut the meat right away, try to let the juice sit inside for few minutes, then cut the steak against the grain in order to keep it tender, in that way the steak should be less chewy. Serve the cut flank steak with some chimichurri sauce on top, and some grilled vegetable aside.

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Sunday dinner – 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.

 

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Healthy salad for dinner – Grilled chicken 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.

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Sunday dinner – Mea7loaf Spaghetti

  
Why not having some comfort food for Sunday dinner, meatloaf spaghetti maybe one of the best idea! My husband likes meatloaf, we saw this on Jamie Oliver’s show, so let’s try it out.

Cut three carrots, slides them in quarter and place them in a pan with some olive oil, salt and thyme. Put that in oven under 200C for 10 minutes. 

While cooking the carrots, let’s get the meatloaf prepared. You can use just minced beef or pork, but it’s good to mix the pork and beef somehow to get a better texture. Season the minced beef and pork with salt, pepper and oregano. Mixed them together, then add an egg, some feta cheese and some bread crumbs. Mix them well and put them in the middle of the pan with the carrots and place it in the oven for 25 minutes. 

Let’s get the sauce done. In a hot pan with olive oil, put the red chilli without the seeds, get the flavour then remove the chilli. Fry some garlic, then add the onion, fry them until golden brown, then add the tomato purée and cook for 10 minutes, and season it with salt and a bit of oregano. Meantime, boil a pot of hot water and get the spaghetti ready. I like to use the number 3 here, the thicker one which go better with meat.

When the sauce is done, take out the pan from the oven, pour the sauce into the pan and sit together with the meatloaf. Put some more feta cheese and add some Parmesan cheese on the meatloaf, then add some rosemary and the fried chilli as well. Place the pan back to the oven, and cook for another few more minutes. 

When the spaghetti is ready, serve it together with the sauce and the meatloaf. Perfect comfort food that you can have!