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).
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