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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. 

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Frisée Aux Lardons with Devilled Eggs instead of Poached Eggs

I had this gathering at home last Saturday and my friends would love to have French food. I’ve already made up my mind for the main course, I am going to cook Coq Au Vin which I did the other time and was really good. For the appetizer, I really want to do the devilled eggs, and will be great to have a salad as well. So, I was thinking…… Instead of  serving two separated dishes, maybe it’s good to combine the two. Looking into traditional French salad, frisée aux lardons is one of the common one and they used to serve this with poached eggs. I’m thinking maybe I can replace the poached eggs with devilled eggs. Why not?

To get the devilled eggs ready, first of all, you have to cook 6 hard boiled eggs. To make sure everything turns out fine, it will be better to have some buffer. So we cooked 8 eggs with 2 eggs buffer, in case something goes wrong, we still have enough eggs to serve all guests. When all eggs are ready, quickly put eggs into cold water with ice cubes, this procedure helps to separate the egg from the shell. You will have a nicely peeled egg later on by doing so. Let the eggs sit there for few minutes, then remove the egg shell with running water, you will have a perfectly peeled hard boil egg. When all the eggs are done, cut them in half and remove the egg yolk. Place all egg yolks in a large bowl, smashed them with a fork, then mixed them with mayonnaise, mustard, and season them with salt and pepper, mix until it turned into a smooth paste. Put the paste into a pastry bag and fill them back into each egg nicely. Garnish them with ground paprika and some chopped chives.

For the Frisée Aux Lardons, it’s basically a warm salad. Heat up the pan with some olive oil and a bit of butter, fry the lardons under they turn brown. Then add some finely chopped shallots, and some red wine vinegar in the pan and bring it to boil. Let it simmer until the vinegar reduce one third, taste the sauce and season with a touch of salt and vinegar. Switch off the heat and mix in the frisée salad and some chives, serve the salad with the devilled eggs. They totally go well together, and I think it’s a nice option instead of serving with poached eggs.

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Sunday homemade dinner is back!!! Slow cooked beef brisket with salad and grilled corn

It’s been a while…… I was too busy after moving to this new home, we’ve spent few days to build some furnitures in the dining room as our second kitchen, because I need an oven to cook some of the dishes. There is no space in the kitchen to place the oven, so we have to create an area in the dining room for me to cook, we call it The Western Kitchen. Moreover, I always fancy to have a large fridge, with the space we have in the dining area, we can afford to put that. See the Western Kitchen vs the Chinese Kitchen.



That’s not the major reason to keep me busy, actually the big project was building the home music recording studio at the second bedroom with my husband. Our living room and dining room were literally filled with stuffs for the last 3 weeks. Full of building and construction materials, and we finally cleaned up the entire area when the studio was nearly done few days ago. Finally, I can go back to Sunday cooking, or more cooking!

Since I’ve got the oven running, I would like to cook something with the oven. I decided to do a slow cook dish, my husband likes beef brisket, so instead of the Chinese style, I would like to make the western style for him.

First of all, we need to get some good beef brisket, and I don’t want to get them at the wet market because they are always warm. I get some good organic one from New Zealand, around 2 pounds, which should be good enough to serve 4 people.

To cook the beef brisket, let’s get them clean and season them with salt, pepper, oregano and thyme. Heat up a pan with some butter and olive oil, then fry all the brisket until they turn brown. On the other hand, heat up a dutch oven with some butter and olive oil, then put 2 chopped onions in it and fry until they start to cameralise. Then add all the beef brisket and one entire garlic cut in half, now add some red wine and zimmer for few minutes until the wine is absorbed by the beef. Then add 2 cups of beef broth, some Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, few bay leaves, bring it to boil then cover the lid and place the dutch oven into the oven and cook for 2.5 hours under 160C. If you found it with a lot of broth after 2.5 hours, you can cook with the stove and thicken the sauce a bit.

For the grilled corn, cut the whole corn in half, place them ina tray with foil or cooking paper. Season the corn with salt and paprika, then coat the corn with olive oil and add some butter on top. Place the corn in the oven under 210C for 20 minutes or until they are nicely cooked the way you like. Serve the beef brisket with some green salad and together with the grilled corn. I like to use the beef broth as salad dressing, but my husband like to use the Thai salad dressing for the salad. 

He loves the brisket 😉

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Green Sunday dinner to leverage with my juicing husband…. quinoa with green salad and nuts

My husband watched this TV show by Joe Cross, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. He is really amazed by this Reboot programme and the amount of information he got, only to do it with juicing and how much nutrition your body can get and how to balance your diet with raw food and processed food. So, he decided to start juicing and reboot his body on Saturday, he would like to have someone doing this with him, but I would not be able to do it as I think I will feel hungry all the time….. He got his brother in Germany, who is going to kick off the reboot programme with him at the same time, which it’s great to have someone doing this together.

As I would not be able to do juice fasting together with him, but I would like to have a nice juice to start off my day. First of all, we managed to get a second-hand juicer, the powerful Breville juice fountain elite. It is very important to have a good juicer, as you are going to live your days with only juicing. There are lots of varieties of juice you can find online and Joe Cross also got a good amount of juice recipes, that can get either from the app or on the website. I was testing the juicer with my first attempt, to juice with apples, carrots, celery, cucumber and ginger. The juicer is really amazing and speedy, you get a jar of good juice in 30 seconds! Tasting fresh and feeling healthy! My husband was trying to follow the recipe from Joe Cross, and he started off with the Mean Green Juice with cucumber, green apples, celery, kale, lemon and ginger. It tastes good and very green, I love the taste! Compare to the super green powder that I used to drink, I guess this one should be better because it is so fresh! Now whatever I see, I see them in juice……!

For Saturday and Sunday dinner, I also try to leverage with my juicing husband. I try to have a raw diet, or more raw food instead of processed food. I had a salad for dinner with 100% raw food, and for Sunday dinner, I did a dish with quinoa and salad. Even it is not a 100% raw diet meal, it is at least over 51% with raw food. For the quinoa, boil it with a double portion of water in a sauce pan, and I add the leftover sauce we had the other night from the steam mussels. The sauce was full of mussel flavour, and it tastes so good with the quinoa, with still a bit of vegetable leftover in it. I served this quinoa with a mixed green salad, chopped tomato, sliced mushroom and some mixed nuts. Season the salad with a touch of salt and add the quinoa directly on it, eat that like a warm salad.

 

My first trail

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Seafood Night – Fish, Prawn and Crab

This Sunday dinner, I am thinking to work on seafood. I’ve been thinking to do a dinner with Fish, Prawn / Shrimp and Crab (魚蝦蟹). I was thinking to work on my presentation, and do something closer to a fine dining approach. But then, I lost my enthusiasm totally, because I did not manage to defrost the pastry. By the time I need to work on the pastry, I have to come up with a solution quickly, so I decided to use the bread instead. Forget about fine dining presentation…

I started it off with the Prawn Rolled Toast, as I said, my original idea was to wrap them with pastry and bake it. I might try it out again later on, but let’s make it with bread for the time being. The pack of frozen prawn is with 9 pieces of prawn, let’s cook them first in a pan with a bit of water. Remove them from the pan when they are 80% done, and we will cook them through in the oven later on. Remove the shell but keep the tail part on,  devein the prawn and sit them aside and let them cool down. To use the bread to wrap, we have to use a roller to flatten the bread. Use half of a sandwich bread, and coat both side with butter. Lay Swiss cheese, cucumber strips and a piece of prawn on top of the bread, add some wasabi mayonnaise or just mayonnaise, and then roll up the bread and close it tight. Add a layer of egg wash on the surface, and place them in the oven to grill under 200C for 10 minutes.

I’ve used only 4 pieces of prawn for the toast, so I use the rest of them to add into the Crabmeat Salad. Chop the prawn into small dices and get a large salad bowl ready, chop the rest of the ingredients into dices and add them in the bowl. I am using cucumber, tomato, onion, avocado and crabmeat, mix everything well in the salad bowl. Then, add lemon juice, a touch of salt and plain yogurt into it, mix them well and adjust the taste. Keep them cold in the fringe to serve later with the tuna, or you can have them separately as long as they are cold enough to serve.

For the Seared Tuna, let’s work on the dressing first. Mix sesame oil, soy sauce, grated ginger, minced garlic, red chilli and lemon juice, taste it and adjust. I did not manage to get a thick piece of tuna steak here, what I’ve got is only 2 cm thick, but ideally we should work with something around 3 to 4 cm thick. For what I have, I could not have the tuna cooked in a way like cooked on the surface but still raw in the middle. What I’ve got was the entire tuna steak is cooked, because it is too thin. Cut the tuna steak into rectangle shape, coat the entire surface with sesame seeds. Heat up the pan with a mix of sesame oil and olive oil, fry some sliced garlic until golden brown and set them aside for later use. Fry the tuna each side around 15 seconds, you can see how much it’s been cooking on the section, and you can decide on how much you want that to be cooked. When the fish is done, slice them into thick pieces and serve with some mixed green salad together with the crabmeat salad.

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When you screw it up, you just need to move on and think of a solution…

Tonight I would like to cook something to go with a cabbage salad. I had this cabbage salad the other night at one of this Japanese restaurant and I would like to make this myself. So, I am thinking to have a pork chop to go with the salad.

The pork chop, I am thinking to do with sous vide slow cooking. Have to cook that for 2 hours under 61C, so I should start to prepare it early. Simply marinate the pork chop with olive oil, oregano, lemon peel and some mixed spices, let that sit at least for half an hour. Then, put them in vacuum bag and cook in 61C hot water for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, we can prepare the cabbage salad. Instead of cutting the cabbage in thin strips, we cut them in bigger pieces. Place all cabbage in a large salad bowl, then put cherry tomatoes and some fried pancetta, mixed them well together.

When I was getting the sauce ready, I cooked it and blend it in the food processor, the lid was opened. When I try to reach up in the cabinet for plates, and trying to serve the dish, I didn’t place the plates back in place. One plate dropped and hit my glass of wine, and smashed the glass and the plate into pieces. It was totally a mess, and I’ve even got broken glass in the sauce! So, I have to throw away the sauce, and now what……? I cannot be stuck with the situation, but I don’t want to re-do the sauce. I decided to use the salad dressing, which is a ready made one I bought at the Japanese grocery store. Sesame and peanut with pomelo flavour.

Over taste good, but my husband said, German says should not eat cabbage raw as that is going to cause stomach problem. But Japanese always does that, and I just have that the other night and there was no problem, let’s see.

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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.