Saturday, 31 January 2009

Ribeye Steak with Potatoes and Cauliflower

I felt sorry for the Dutchman. To celebrate Chinese New Year, we had dinner at the neighbourhood Chinese restaurant. I had a dinner appointment with a friend the next day so he had Chinese leftovers. On Wednesday, I was too tired to cook so he had fish fingers and on Thursday, I cooked a Malaysian meal and he had to buy fries, sausages etc. from the snack bar.

So, I decided to cook something HE likes. I bought premium ribeye steak (7 euro for 310 grams worth of meat! ), marinated the potatoes with rosemary and garlic and picked the best cauliflower from the supermarket. We opened a good bottle of wine and sat back to enjoy.

The man is happy as am I. Ah, life is good.

Friday, 30 January 2009

"Chinese" New Year

I invited some friends for dinner yesterday to celebrate Chinese New Year. We didn't actually eat Chinese food though as I wanted something a little more interesting.

I planned on cooking:

1. Kari Terung (Aubergine curry)
2. Chap Chuan Fish
3. Kangkung Belacan
4. Choy Sam with Garlic
5. Ayam Masak Merah
6. Sweet Sour Pork
7. Sayur Tumis

But of course things didn't turn out as planned;) I was so tired and lazy after cooking the 2nd meal and Emelia was pottering around decorating the place with streamers she bought. After that, Mareike came (Emelia left to buy something) and was chattering away so cooking more than one dish at a time was a real challenge!

In the end, all I made was kari terung, ayam masak merah, sweet sour pork and sayur tumis which turned out to be a good thing because I completely forgot that my table is only 160cm long.

Dining table ( Emelia later brought some Chinese placemat settings, chopsticks etc.)
Kari Terung

The rest of the photos are pretty bad, sorry!

Sweet Sour Pork

Ayam Masak Merah
Sayur Tumis
Drinks served: Ribena, orange juice, ice peach tea. Mareike brought some horribly strong vodka concoction and Nicole brought a bottle of prosecco *yum*

Dessert: 2 flavours of sorbet (Mango and Lemon)

We danced til 4 in the morning. Could've danced even longer but I had class at 8.45;) Great girls night out:D

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Lemon Tart

So, very good!

I miss Lemon Meringue pies and until I buy a mixer, I won't be able to make one. This will do for now!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Moist Chocolate Cake

I used to bake with mum quite often when I was little. Of course, all I did then was the finishing touches ( nuts, chocolate chips, sprinkles...) and sift flour. I never baked anything from scratch until I moved to The Netherlands.

I was craving for chocolate cake today and it's not something you can buy from bakeries here so I decided to bake one!

This cake is extremely easy to make and the ingredients can be easily found at your local supermarket. I used grass butter (in other words, made with milk from cows fed with fresh grass) because I like it but normal butter is fine as well.

What I used:

150g grass butter (unsalted)
60g cocoa powder
3 eggs
40g castor sugar
180g powdered or confection sugar
125ml hot water
150g self-rising flour
a pinch of salt
1 tbs vanilla essence

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius*
i) Combine cocoa powder, powdered sugar and hot water.
ii) In a separate bowl, cream butter with sugar until fluffy.
iii) Add vanilla essence and salt and stir until combined.
iv) Add one egg at a time,stirring after each addition until combined.
v) Add cocoa mixture into the batter.
vi) Add 1/3rd of the self-rising flour and combine. Repeat until there is none left.
vii) Pour batter into pan and bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Decrease heat to 160 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes or so.

I didn't use a recipe for the frosting. I have a simple chocolate fondue set (bought for like 2.50 euro). I threw a 100g bar of 72% Swiss Chocolate into it and when it had melted, I poured about 75ml of whipping cream into it. I blew out the tealight (heating the chocolate) and scooped a tiny amount of butter (maybe 10g? ) into the mixture. Mix until combined and frost cake.


Haven't cooked much lately because I've been so busy with school (Monday), work (Wednesday), Integration exam (Thursday) and shopping in Rotterdam (yesterday). Nicola and I went to an all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant yesterday and stuffed ourselves senseless for just 20 euro per person and tonight, the Dutchman and I had Indonesian at a restaurant down the street.

We have never been there before. I ordered rendang, he had babi ketjap. I was disappointed because it didn't taste anything like rendang. Where are the spices? Where is the coconut milk?! It was tender and quite delicious but is definitely not rendang. In fact, it tasted more like a brown-sauced stew. Dinner was cheap though (32 euro) and we will probably get take-aways every once in a while ( only 5 euro per person!).

Dinner on Tuesday:

Pork Schnitzel (only 1.80 euro after discount), red cabbage braised with apples and cajun potatoes.

Thursday, 22 January 2009


I haven't been cooking much. I have been so busy (and lazy) lately. We had a huge presentation on Monday and we're in the final 6 (out of 34 groups) so I'm pretty stoked about that. We'll have to battle it out in the finals in February. We don't stand a good chance of winning because there's a point between our business plan and the top group's but I think the fact that we made it into the final 6 is good enough (especially when you consider that my group has only 6 people and the other groups have 8-10).

Just wanted to let you girls know that I am alive and will start cooking again soon!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Gyudon (Beef Bowl)

When I was an exchange student in Gifu, one of my host families would buy home Yoshinoya gyudon every once in a while. Eating there is apparently not something a 'good' young woman would do! In Japan (or at least in Gifu), the people dining at Yoshinoya were usually men (middle-aged, labourer sorts) with no wives. It was extremely cheap at only 280 yen!

I usually buy the cheapest cut of beef for this dish. The beef is sliced very thinly so it cooks quite quickly and will not be tough (not like stews which you will have to simmer for 3 hours!).

You will need:

500g stewing beef (riblappen in Dutch), sliced thinly
1 large white onion, sliced
about 320ml dashi (you can buy this at Jusco or at your local Asian shop)
5 tablespoons shoyu
3 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon sake

i) Combine shoyu, mirin, sugar,sake, dashi and onions in a saucepan on heavy-bottomed pot. Simmer until onions are tender (about 5 minutes)

ii) Add the beef and simmer for about 30 minutes.

**Serve with steamed Japanese rice and benishoga (optional)**

Dutchman made breakfast for me this morning! He says I have to post a picture of it here so that you know he can cook as well... ;)

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Lamb, oh lamb...

I am horrible at studying. When I'm supposed to (ie. now..exam period), I tend to cook more elaborate dishes, bake cookies, buy novels, go out with get the idea.

Yesterday, I went to the Muslim butcher to buy a leg of lamb. He couldn't understand me so I ended up with the shoulder but I don't see how it can be much different.. After all, a lamb has 4 legs, not 2 arms and 2 legs and if the part I got happens to be at the front, oh well..I don't think we'll suffer too much. 1 kilo of the shoulder cost 9 euro. The Dutchman later said I spend way too much money on food. What he doesn't realize is we sometimes spend more than that when I cook just a simple pasta dish!

Photo was taken before I made the gravy.

I served the lamb with mint sauce, roast potatoes and carrots. *note to self: must stop using the oven so often*

Dessert was store-bought creme caramel . Lekker ~ Actually, the best part of the dinner was this amazing bottle of Spanish red wine. It was very smooth and went extremely well with the lamb. We drank the whole bottle and opened a bottle of French wine. I was quite far gone and we both went to bed at 9p.m. because we were quite woozy;) All in all, a wonderful night.

Dinner tonight more simple. I bought 2 Argentinian steaks retailing at only 5.30 euro (35% discount!) and served it with a tomato-cucumber salad dressed with balsamico,olive oil, salt and pepper (and a teeny bit of sweetener). I was full as I had Thai minced pork with basil and rice at 4p.m. so I decided not fry potatoes for myself.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Fish en Papillote

Easy, tasty, healthy and pretty cheap way to prepare fish! Looks fancy too;)

You can use any kind of fish. Yesterday, we had 'panga' (I had no clue what it was until I googled it..pangasius -some kind of freshwater fish from the Mekong river. Apparently, it's not very good because it's from polluted waters...).

This recipe is extremely easy to make so try it at least once! Rock the socks off your husband;)

2 fish fillets
1 lemon/ large lime, sliced
1 spring onion, sliced
herbed butter
2 sheets of aluminium foil

1. Heat oven to 225 degrees celsius.
2.Put one fillet in each foil.
3. Rub fillet with salt and pepper.
4. Put 2 slices of lemon, a sprinkling of spring onions and a large tablespoon of herbed butter in each foil.
5. Wrap fish neatly with foil and put both on a tray.
6. It should be done in about 20 minutes!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Dutch-Indonesian Nasi Goreng

The Dutch were in Indonesia for a long time. In general, the Dutch are extremely unadventurous when it comes to food. Nasi goreng, sate, foo yong hai and babi panggang (this is probably the most disgusting dish I have ever tasted- sweet, gloopy sauce over char siew. This is served at ALL Chinese restaurants here) are the most popular foreign dishes. The Dutch version of nasi goreng is quite tasty although it is different from Malaysia's. It is sort off wet, I believe they use curry powder (or a component of it anyhow), there's PORK in it and there's definitely no belacan:-D

Choy Sam with garlic

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Been Busy

with work, cooking, the apartment (IKEA is my second home), school (exams this week!!) and with the Dutchman. It was -18 degrees yesterday and my toes were falling off. I fell once, slipped 3 times and saw 11 people landing on their arses yesterday haha.

So, what's been cooking?

As mentioned, every once in a while, the Dutchman and I will feel guilty about the amount of 'patatje met' (fries with mayo) we consume so we try to eat fish once a week. I planned on making salmon with couscous but the supermarket had this large (I think it was 600g) chunk of salmon for only 8 euro. I served it with store-bought fresh parpadelle which I seasoned with 1-2 tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper and a teaspoon of capers. Those cute (but not very tasty) bunches of vegetables were on sale (50% off- something special for Christmas).

I am such a kaki-sale haha. I don't usually go to the Albert Heijn because it is expensive and it's a 5 minute walk from where I live. 1 very cheap supermarket and 1 normal supermarket are only 1-minute walk from my apartment so I generally shop there. Anyhow, I was at the AH yet again and chicken fillets were only 4.87 euro per kg. I had a craving for gai pad grapow (thai dish- chicken with sweet thai basil) which the Dutchman finds too spicy hahaha. I remember the first time we went for Thai together. He's a real 'broodje kaas' (cheese sandwich -in other words, very boring la) sort of person and is not adventurous when it comes to food at all. I ordered Tom Yam soup for us and he was all red, his lips were so swollen, his eyes were watery and he couldn't close his mouth hahahaha. I made black bean chicken for him.

The Gai Pad Grapow was amazing but it was extremely pedas (spicy).

What I used:

2 chicken fillets (about 300g)
4 shallots (coarsely chopped)
6 garlic cloves (coarsely chopped)
8 green and red thau chillis, sliced. Thai chilli (size-wised) is between the normal cili and cili padi.
about 80ml nam pla (thai fish sauce)
1 large handful of thai basil
1 tablespoon sugar
white pepper to taste
about 200g of French beans

i) Chop chicken fillets to small bite-sized bits (the smaller the better so that your chicken will be coated with the yummy sauce).

ii) Pound the shallots, garlic and chillis until a paste is formed.

iii) Fry the paste for about 1 minute. Add chicken and fry for about 2 minutes. Add beans.

iv) Add the fish sauce, white pepper and sugar.

v) When chicken is almost done, throw in the Thai basil.

** This is a very spicy dish. 4-6 chillis should be sufficient. **
** You can make this dish better by adding a teaspoon of canned Thai green pepercorns and some say with 1-2 daun limau perut**

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve was quite simple for us. Food from the snack bar (McDonalds was not open..seriously, everything is always shut! It was only 6.30p.m. ), champagne from Riccardo, oliebollen and apple beignets! Lekker,zegt! Partied the whole night away in the center with those 2, Anne, Tomas and Jaclyn. 'twas a good night. I sometimes forget I'm only 23 years old. I grew up so much the last 2 years and can be so dreary at times!

We headed to the in-laws on New Year's day which wasn't bad. His mother is great with soups. No pictures because I'm too chickenshit to take any.

Lunch yesterday:

Lamb burger (I LOVE LAMB) with red onions, tzatziki, ketchup, tomatos, misc lettuce, young Gouda cheese:)


Sort-off Cottage Pie

What I used:
500 grams minced beef
2 large carrots, sliced
4 sticks celery, sliced
1 large white onion,chopped
generous dash of Worcestershire sauce
about 150ml of beef bouillon (stock)
about 8 medium-sized potatoes

i) Boil potatoes .
ii) Melt some butter and saute onions in it until soft.
iii) Saute mince. Throw in carrots.
iv) When mince is almost done, throw in the celery and stock. Season with salt and pepper.
v) Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
vi) Meanwhile, mash potatoes with 1 tablespoon of butter and season to taste.
vii) Heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.
viii) Pour the contents of saucepan into an oven-proof dish and cover it with the potatoes. Brown it in the oven for 30 minutes.

To make it pretty, you can pipe the mashed potatoes with a large 5-point tip. The 'design' above was done with a fork.