Thursday, December 31, 2009

Smoked Mackerel and Dill Rice (Mahi Doudi va Shevid Polow)

Howth by Saeid @ Whats for Dinner?We enjoyed our breakfast of smoked mackerel so much that went to Howth to buy some more. At the Wrights of Howth we got 3 wilded catch (France) for 10.50e.
Smoked Mackerel by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?While gutted the Mackerel still had its head, bones and skin. Not to worry it was so easy to de-bone (just asked our fisherman house mate).
Cleaning Smoked Mackerel by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Cut along the side of the fish, putting your knife between the top fillet and the backbone. Separate the the fish into two. Pull the head with the back bone off in one go. That takes care of most of the bones. The rest are easy to pick out.
Smoked Mackerel and Dill Rice (Shevid Palow) by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?We didn't heat the mackerel up, but just mixed it in with hot dill rice and mint and cucumber yogurt.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Challah

Saffron, Fruit and Nut Christmas Challah by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Challah for Christmas breakfast is a bit like having ham for Hanukkah, but I was in the mood for a rich saffrony bread. My mother once spend hours and hours making what I can only guess was Panettone but as I can make Challah without thinking I just add dried fruit and nuts the dough.

Saffron, Fruit and Nut Christmas Challah by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Makes 1 large loaf
1 pinch saffron
1 tsp sugar
1 cup dried chopped fruit
1 tsp yeast
1 pinch salt
4 eggs (med)
1 cup chopped nuts and seeds
3-4 cups flour
2 Tbs poppy seeds

Make saffron powered by grinding the saffron in a small pestle and mortar (or small cup and the end of a wooden spoon) with the sugar. In a large bowl add the saffron powder and dried fruit and cover with bowling water. Let stand for 10 min or add the yeast and let prof. Then add 3 eggs to the mix with a pinch of salt. Add the nuts and then slowly start adding the flour. You may need more or lest flour (just ask your dried fruit its up to them). Let raise 4 hours or overnight.
Turn oven to hottest setting. 220c. Divide into 3 parts. Roll into snakes and braid. Make an egg wash with the last egg and paint the dough. Cover the top with poppy seeds. Bake for 30-35 min until nice and brown.
Saffron, Fruit and Nut Christmas Challah by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?So what did we have with Christmas Challah? What else but smoked mackerel and starfish cookies. It was wried but tasty.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Schneeballen in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Schneeballen in Rothenburg ob der TauberSchneeballen or snowballs are a specialty of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Schneeballen in Rothenburg ob der TauberThis is my Schneeballen it is as fried bread/pastry covered in powered sugar to look like snow.
Schneeballen in Rothenburg ob der TauberIt is compact and we didn't like it.
Schneeballen in Rothenburg ob der TauberSaeid got a chocolate and almond one and we still didn't like it. If you most try a one, share!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Best Gasthof in Germany

Best Gasthof in Germany, Krone Hotel Gasthof, GredingOn a drive from Munich to Nurnberg we stop in the town of Greding. It was early Sunday afternoon the walled city was empty. We went into Korne Hotel-Gasthof and the whole town was enjoying lunch inside.
Best Gasthof in Germany, Krone Hotel Gasthof, GredingSaeid had Wilderer Ragout Reh und Hirsch mit Grunen Spatzle und Salat or Wild Deer with some yummy sauce, homemade spinach Spatzle and a salad. The Spatzle was so good, even better than my moms!
Best Gasthof in Germany, Krone Hotel Gasthof, GredingI had Gansebrust mit Blaukraut und Knodel or Goose breast with red cabbage and a potato dumpling. If ever in Southern Germany stop in Greding, its a very cute town and make sure to eat at the Krone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Irish Lamb Meatloaf

Lamb Meatloaf by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?What makes this meatloaf Irish? Its not just the lamb, but also the brown bread. Irish brown bread is a course, heavy soda bread. I hate soda bread so I make my brown bread with yeast. But any healthy stale bread would work in this recipe.

Irish Lamb Meatloaf
Serves 4
500 gram (about a pound) of Irish minced lamb (or any lamb/beef or turkey)
2 cups of brown bread
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 handful fresh parsley
1 egg
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp really spicy English mustard
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbs ketchup
1 tsp hot pepper.

Heat an oven to 180c or 350f.
Put the brown bread, onion, garlic and parsley in the food processor and blend into a crumb. Mix with the mince, egg, soy sauce, mustard, cumin and pepper. Fill a loaf pan with the meatloaf. Mix the ketchup with hot pepper and top the meatloaf with it.
Bake for an hour.

Lamb Meatloaf by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?We enjoyed ours with bake sweet potatoes and peas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gnocchi Minestrone Soup

Gnocchi Minestrone Soup by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?My mom can make homemade minestrone soup in under 15min with no recipe (and no food!!!). This soup I made took a bit longer, but the taste was right.

Gnocchi Minestrone Soup
Serves 4
1 tsp oil
4 cups stock or broth (veggie or meat)
1 large carrot cut chopped
1/2 cup butternut squash chopped
1 onion
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 chopped cabbage
20 gnocchi
1 tsp tomato paste
Salt and Pepper
Herbs and parmesan

Lightly fry the carrots, butternut squash, onion and garlic on a medium heat. Add the stock or broth and mix in the tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Add the cabbage and gnocchi. When the gnocchi floats to the top the soup is ready. Check for salt and pepper and top with fresh herbs and or parmesan.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Salmon en Croute

Salmon en Croute by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?
The 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Simone of Junglefrog Cooking. Simone chose Salmon en Croute (or alternative recipes for Beef Wellington or Vegetable en Croute) from Good Food Online.

Salmon en croute:
Mascarpone or creamcheese 5.2 ounces/150 gr
Watercress, rocket (arugula) and spinach - 0.6 cup/4.2 ounces/120 gr
Shortcrust pastry - 17.6 ounces, 500 gr. Use a butterversion such as Jus-rol which is frozen or dorset pastry. or... make your own!
Salmon fillet (skinless)- 17.6 ounce/500 gr
egg - 1 medium sized

1.Heat the oven to 200°C/390 F. Put the mascarpone or cream cheese in a food processor with the watercress, spinach and rocket and whizz the lot until you have a creamy green puree. Season well.
2. Roll the pastry out so you can wrap the salmon in it completely (approx. 2-3 mm thick) and lay it on a buttered or oiled baking sheet (it will hang over the edges). Put the salmon in the middle. If it has a thinner tail end, tuck it under. Spoon half of the watercress mixture onto the salmon. Now fold the pastry over into a neat parcel (the join will be at the top, so trim the edge neatly), making sure you don’t have any thick lumps of pastry as these won’t cook through properly. Trim off any excess as you need to. Make 3 neat cuts in the pastry to allow steam to escape and make some decorations with the off-cuts to disguise the join if you like. Brush with the egg glaze.
3. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and browned. To test wether the salmon is cooked, push a sharp knife through one of the cuts into the flesh, wait for 3 seconds then test it against the inside of your wrist; if it is hot, the salmon is cooked. Serve with the rest of the watercress puree as a sauce.

Homemade Short-Curst Pastry for Salmon en Croute by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?This was my first Daring Cooks challenge so I also made the short-crust pastry. I have never enjoyed making pie crust, but I got out the kitchen scale and gave it a try.
Homemade Short-Curst Pastry for Salmon en Croute by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?It was so so hard! I hated rolling it out. Next time I will just buy the short-crust ready made.
Salmon en Croute by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Wrapping the salmon was very simple and fun. I change the filling. I mix 1 cup cooked spinach, feta, dried dill and cumin.
Salmon en Croute by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?So tasty!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Homemade Orecchiette

Homemade Orecchiette (pasta) by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?When I posted that I used store bought Orecchiette my mom commented with the recipe for homemade ones.
Homemade Orecchiette by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?"To make orecchiette, take equal amounts flour and semolina. If I remember maybe 2 cups each. Put in middle of table (or large bowl if you like), but with my nonna, we made a mound on the table, and made a volcano in the middle. Sprinkle some salt over all, add about 1 cup water into the volcano, and work it in with a fork. It may not all work in, but you will get a dough. Knead the dough. Divide into several chunks, roll into snakes about as fat as your thumb. Then cut into pieces about 1/2" thick. Put that cut piece in your left palm. Now stick your right thumb tip into it, and form over your thumb tip. Pinch the sides alittle, and put on a clean towel to dry.Use the leftover flour/semolina mixture on your hands and cutting surfaces to keep dough from sticking."
Homemade Orecchiette by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I started to make the pasta before I remembered that I didn't have any semolina. I went ahead anyway. I had to add more flour for rolling. But came out really well. Really simply, but not fast.
Homemade Orecchiette by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I cook the Orecchiette in salted boiling water until they floated (about 2 min). Then mixed them a sauce of fresh tomatoes, capers, olives, and topped with parmesan. Came out a bit on the chewy side, next time I'll use the semolina.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Beet, Clementine, Feta and Spinach Salad

Beet, Clementine, Feta and Spinach Salad by NG @ Whats for Dinner?Beets used to be a important crop in Ireland. Until a few years ago they made sugar out of them. Now the factories are closed and all the sugar is imported. Its very sad. Those kg's of sugar (found in someone's tea) used to be local and Irish. Thankfully we can still get the beets, and boy are they sweet!

Beet, Clementine, Feta and Spinach Salad
Severs 4 (if you like salad and I do!)

Into a bowl:

3 cups Spinach washed
3 small beets chopped (roasted and pealed, or pickeled)
3 Clementines pealed and seperated
1 tsp of feta
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 vinegar or lemon juice
few drops of balsamic vinegar syrup

Beet, Clementine, Feta and Spinach Salad by NG @ Whats for Dinner?Mix and enjoy before the beets turn the feta pink!

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies @ Whats for DinnerHomemade sugar cookies. They taste the best when made by someone else! I would like to thank the makers of these lovely cookies. (Do I taste lemon?)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Smoked Mackerel Pâté

Smoked Mackerel Pâté by Shawn McCourt @ Whats for Dinner?

This delicious Smoked Mackerel Pâté was made by our friend for Thanksgiving. Everyone loved it. I think its a great recipe for any holiday. Rich, creamy goes well with pita bread, chips or even raw veg!

Recipe by Shawn McCourt and adapted from a recipe in
Small Food: snack sized bites to share with friends. Murdoch Books Ltd. Sydney.
Smoked Mackerel Pâté
Makes 1 ½-2cups
1 whole smoked mackerel, or 4 boneless smoked fillets [can also use whitefish, eel salmon, trout or other hot smoked fish*] or around 800 grams
2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 to 1 whole package (200-250g) of Philadelphia cream cheese
Approx. 200g or ¼ cup of melted butter
Black pepper
Spring of fresh parsley and lemon slices, to garnish
Remove all skin, head and bones from the smoked fish and put in a food processor with the cream cheese, butter and lemon juice. Blend until mixture is quite smooth. Season to taste with cracked black pepper. Add more lemon juice if necessary. Can either serve immediately (as we did) or refrigerate overnight until firm. Garnish with parsley sprig and thinly sliced lemon. Serve with toasted bread, pita or crackers.
* Use only hot smoked fish, not cold smoked, as the cold smoked kinds have a ‘raw’ consistency and will not produce a desirable pâté.. I like the mackerel, but any other oily fish such as kippers, eel or whitefish would work. If you use salmon or trout, you may need to add more cream cheese and/or butter to produce the desired effect as there is less oil in these.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gnocchi in Easy Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi in Easy Tomato Sauce by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?No I didn't turn leftover mash into gnocchi, but feel free to try. I wanted to a clean simple sauce to go with them. A few weeks ago one of our house mates made mussels in tomato sauce I expected it to be gross but the sauce was so good. So I recreated it, but without the mussels.

Easy Tomato Sauce
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1 tsp oil
1 onion chopped fine
1/2 shallot chopped fine (could leave out or add use a whole one)
5 cloves of smoked garlic chopped fine
1 jar/can tomato puree
1 tsp mix herbs
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp paprika
Salt and Pepper

Cook the onions, shallot and garlic in the oil on med for 3 min. The onions are still going to be a bit raw but add the tomato puree. Rinse the jar or can with water and add the water to the pan. Mix in the herbs and spices. Bring to a low boil and then lower the heat and cook for 20 min. Check for salt and pepper.

Gnocchi in Easy Tomato Sauce by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?We topped ours with parmesan (which was great) but now I'm thinking capers, or black olives would look really nice too.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Caviar Antipasto

Caviar on Hard Boiled Eggs Antipasto by Saeid @ Whats for Dinner?Saeid made some really lovely Antipasto last weekend.
Caviar on Hard Boiled Eggs
2 boiled eggs sliced
top with each egg with 1/4 tsp Caviar
Caviar on Cucumber Antipasto by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?I couldn't let Saeid have all the caviar fun so I made these:
Caviar on Cucumber
1/4 English Cucumber, pealed and sliced
2 Tab Cream Cheese
2 Tab Thick Greek Yogurt
2 Chopped Green Onions
Mix the cream cheese and yogurt together. Add the green onions and cover each cucumber slice with 'cream yogurt'. Top with each slice with 1/4 tsp of caviar or capers.
Antipasto by Saeid @ Whats for Dinner?Saeid also made some tasty Italian Antipasto. The hot cherry pepper were my fav!

Turkey Sandwich on Challah

Turkey Sandwich on Challah by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?This is not a left-over turkey sandwich but bite size holiday in your mouth. Any bread would do, but my family loves my sisters Challah rolls. Over the last year my sister and I have been writing our own Challah recipe, but she lost it! I guess I'll have to start all again.
Makes 1 Sandwich
1 Challah Roll
1 slice Roast Turkey
1 tsp Cranberry Chutney
Challah by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?If you want to try your hand at Challah try this Bread Machine Challah Recipe. Its a bit to sweet for me. I'll be sure to post our family recipe (once its found or recreated).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cholow Kabab

Hot Kabab by NG @ What's for Dinner?Back in September I tried to make Kabab Koobideh, but it was only 40% Iranian. Last weekend we had a second attempt with the same ingredients but way better results maybe up to 85%.

Makes 4 Kababs

450 gm Ground Beef or Lamb
2 Onions grated
1 Egg
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

Onions for Kabab by NG @ Whats for Dinner?The key to making these kabab is crying. After grating the onions place in a clean tea towels and squeeze out all the onion juice.
Dry Onion and Meat for Kabab by NG @ Whats for Dinner?Mix the dry onion with meat, egg, salt and pepper. Using your fingers mix and mic the meat until it is sticky. (about 5 min) It is a good idea to use gloves for this. Cover the meat and let rest in the frig for 3-12 hours.
Kabab by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?Pre-heat oven to hottest setting. (200c+) Line a baking sheet with foil. Shape the kababs and mark the top with the back of a spoon. Bake for 30 min. Add a sliced tomato for the last 5 min of cooking.
Cholow Kabab by Ng @ Whats for DinnerTop the kababs with sumac and serve with Cholow rice. Our kababs where a tinny bit dry, so next time we are going to cook them on the grill pan.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Cranberry Sauce by NG @ Whats for Dinner?Whats the differance between American and Irish Thanksgiving? I have to wait till Saturday! Enjoy your Turkey!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chicken and Biscuits

Chicken & Biscuits by NG @ Whats for Dinner?Whats better than chicken soup and fresh hot bread on a cold rainy night? Chicken and biscuits! A thick and creamy sauce topped with rich biscuits. Yummy!

Serves 4
1 pound of chicken
1 stock cube or 3 cups of stock
1 onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 large potato chopped
1 tsp oil
1 cup frozen peas
2 tsp butter or oil + 2 tsp more for biscuits
2 tsp flour
1 tsp mustard
1 cup Irish soda bread mix or biscuit mix
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp fresh tarragon (optional)
Salt and Pepper

Chicken and Veg
Bring the chicken to a boil in stock, cover and lower the heat. Cook for an hour. Remove the chicken, de-bone, shred and put in an oven safe pan. Keep the stock for the sauce, but put 1/2 cup of the stock in the frig to cool for the biscuits.

Brown the onion, carrots and potato in the oil. Add to the chicken.

2 tsp of butter or oil in a empty veg pan with 2 tsp of flour stir together and slowly add the hot stock (about 1 1/2 cups) mixing all the time. Add the mustard and herbs. Pour over the chicken and veg add the frozen peas and mix. Check the taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Cut 2 tsp of butter in with Irish soda bread mix, add the cool stock a few drops at a time.
If using biscuit mix use the recipe on the box, but use the cool stock as the liquid. Should be a wet dough.
Spoon on top the the chicken and bake the whole thing at 185c or 365f for 30 min.

Hot Pan of Chicken and Biscuits by NG @ Whats for Dinner?Enjoy while its hot!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Very Lazy NYT No-Knead Bread

Very Lazy NYT No-Knead Bread by ng @ Whats for Dinner?New York Times No-Knead Bread that tasty craze. I haven't made it in years, but I wanted to see if I could make it in my bread machine. I mixed it up the night before and baked it in the morning. The dough overflowed and the whole house smelled like burning bread for a week. My bread machine has two 1 pound pans which is too small for the original NYT recipe. So I set to work making an smaller one.

I know what you are thinking "Its no-knead you don't need to use your bread machine!" I do, I'm lazy and its cold in Ireland. The bread machine mixes everything and then keeps it warm.
Hot Lazy Bread by ng @ Whats for Dinner?1 cup of water
2 1/2 cups of flour ( I use 1/2 of whole wheat)
pinch of salt
dash of yeast
Turns out the using the bread machine cuts down the raising time by 12 hours. In fact if I left to to rise longer the dough would overflow again. I haven't baked it in the bread machine, but I did find a lazier way of molding the dough. When the dough is ready turn the oven on its hottest heat. Flour some parchment paper(use tons like 1/2 cup or more) and drop the dough on it. The dough will look normal from the top, but inside the pan it will be a wet cobweb mess. Once all the dough is out use the parchment paper to shape the dough. The dough will be covered in flour. The extra flour on the parchment paper will burn, so dump it or get a new paper. Oil the paper and cook the bread for about 30 min.
Marmite Toast by ng @ Whats for Dinner?I like this bread even better than the original. You don't have to wait for it to cool all the way and the crust is hard but not so thick. I like it toasted with Kerry Gold Butter and Marmite!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quail with Saffron Risotto

Quail with Saffron Risotto @ what's for dinner?
When I saw two cute quails I just had to buy them. The butcher took the back bone out for me so they cooked up so fast. Not everyone likes 'small birds' feel free to use chicken or enjoy the risotto on its own.
Tarragon Lemon Quail
Wash the quail and make sure all the feathers are out. Season inside and out with salt, pepper, chopped tarragon and lemon. Rub a drop of olive oil to the outside and drop in a very hot grill pan, 5 min a side. My quail were very small and the bones were out, if yours are bigger pop them into a hot oven for 30 min.

Saffron Risotto
Risotto should be made with a short grain rice like Arborio, but it is possible to use a medium grain rice. I used 2 cups of Arborio. And yes you have to stand next to the pot the whole time stirring and stirring, its worth it!

Finely chop one onion.
In a pot with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp butter saute the onions.
Add the rice stirring until the rice is glossy or translucent.
Add 1/2 white wine and a pinch of saffron.
Once the wine is absorbed add 2 cups or more of warm broth one ladle at a time adding more only after the rice has taken in the liquid.
Finish with 1 cup of frozen peas and 2 Tbs of chopped fresh tarragon. Top with the small bird, or some Parmesan.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chocolate Cake (hold the flour)

 Chocolate Cake @ whats for dinner? There is really only one kind of Birthday cake and that's chocolate, but what kind of chocolate. I felt like making my mom's flour free recipe. After 1/2 pound of butter, 8 eggs and 3 bars of dark chocolate there is no room left for any flour!
 a bite of chocolate cake @ whats for dinner?So rich! It was like eating a thick chocolate mousse. Thank you for finding the recipe Mom.
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