Food. Lifestyle. Love

Monday, 29 April 2013

Recipe - Meatloaf

My other half likes to call me a carnivore. He's wrong, I do eat vegetables even though the portion is usually smaller than the protein serving :D

Despite being a 'meat-lover', I try my best to cook healthy well-balanced meal for both of us using fresh ingredients. I don't like to use processed food, and try my best to avoid buying it. I LOVE preparing my own food, and rarely you can find us eating outside. The only bad thing about it is that I am not a full time homemaker. I am a Master student during the day, and a home-based baker at night. Owh, and a full-time wife :D

Juggling my time to cook and prepare food is not easy; therefore, I like to cook simple, fast and yet delicious and hearty meal for both of us can enjoy.

This meal is one of our favorite. It is easy to prepare and taste delicious. I recommend to use food processor to make it as it makes your life easy. In fact, I recommend you to buy a food processor if you don't have one. You don't know how one machine can do wonders to your life.

If you like spicy food, I recommend you to add some chili powder to make the meatloaf a bit spicy. Or you can adjust the recipe based on your liking :)

Meatloaf (Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

The loaf
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs or 2 cups soft bread crumb
1/4 cup sweet onion
2 tablespoon fresh parsley (or you can use 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley)

1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sweet basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pound lean beef (or lamb, chicken etc)

The sauce
1/4 cup tomato ketchup (I used 4 fresh tomatoes, diced)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard (or 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard)

1. Combine all the ingredients to make the loaf (except the ingredients to make the sauce) in the food processor, and grind until everything is mixed. Put it into a loaf pan (8x4x12 inch)

2. Bake in 180 °C for 1  to 1 1/4 hour. Spoon out the fat if you want too. In a small bowl combine all the sauce ingredients (if you want to use fresh tomatoes, combine everything with 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour). Spread the sauce over the meat and bake for 10 minutes more.

Click here to print recipe 

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Friday, 26 April 2013

Recipe - German cuisine for hubby's birthday :)

This post has been in my draft for ages, don't have time to write it up until now. 

Last February was his birthday, I wanted to make something special for him aside his favorite marmokuchen (marble cake). I flipped through the pages of the German recipe book that we got from his relatives for our wedding gift. The cover of the book has delicious looking cuisine - rouladen . The 'carnivore' me knew that this is what I had to make for his birthday dinner. I had craved to eat it since the first time I heard how his country mate been talking and drooling to eat it in Malaysia.

I bought the ingredient from Cold Storage, my favorite grocery place to hunt for international ingredients. I started to cook for dinner in the morning, since there were many dishes to cook. The rouladen took a long time, so did the marmokuchen. Making spaetzle was not easy as I expected. The batter was thick, and I had to use all my energy and 'muscles' to stir the batter until foamy. Not to mentioned I had to modify the spaetzle cutter using the potato masher since there is no way I could find one in Malaysia.

I decorated our humble home to make it look more romantic. Candles were placed every corner of the living room, and we enjoyed eating our dinner as my parents in-law having fun recording us via Skype.

He was impressed, never he would have imaged eating traditional German food in Malaysia cooked by a Malay, not to mention the taste of the food was similar to the traditional German food.

I was happy to hear his compliment. I've never eaten the food before and never knew how to cook it. The clear instructions in the recipe book really helped me out. I told him to thank his relatives for giving the recipe book, but I wonder if he had told them so until now ;)

Beef Roulade (adapted from German Cooking Today)

4 thin slices of beef topside
Beef streaky
4 onions (thinly sliced and cut into quarters)
Gherkins (thinly sliced)
2 carrots (cut into quarters)
2 leeks (cut into quarters)
2 stalks celery (cut into quarters)
cooking oil
1 cup (or more) stock or water (I used turkey stock)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoon water
Cooking string (I used normal string)

1. Pat the slices of beef dry with a kitchen paper towel, season with salt and pepper. Spread mustard on the slices of meat. Put the beef streaky on top of the meat, put thinly sliced onions and gherkins in the middle of the beef streaky, and roll it up (like you roll up sushi minus the sushi mat). Secure the beef with string.

2. Put oil in a pot. Add the roulades and brown briskly on all sides. Add onions, carrots, leeks, celery and saute for few minutes. Add 1/2 cup stock. Cover and cook roulades over small heat for about 1 1/2 hour. During this time, keep checking if the stock is dry, and add up more stock.

3. Turn the roulades over now and again. Gradually replace the evaporated liquid with more stock. Take out the roulades, and removed the string.

4. Rub the cooking juices through a sieve. Add about 2 cups of stock, and add cornstarch mixed with water.  Season with salt and pepper. Stir until thick (or you can add more cornstarch add with water). Serve the roulades with gravy.

Click here to print recipe

Spaetzle (adapted from German Cooking Today)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 medium eggs
pinch of nutmeg
Spaetzle cutter (in my case I used potato masher) 

1. Combined flour, eggs, salt, nutmeg and a little water/milk. Stir all ingredients with a wooden spoon (about 3 minutes) until the dough has acquired a thick, semi-liquid consistency and makes bubbles.

2. Put water in a pot and bring to boil. Add salt. Push the dough in small serving through the potato masher so that the spaetzle fall into the boiling salter water. Cook until spaetzle float, and rinse. Leave to drain. Brown butter in a pan and toss the spaetzle in it. 

Cauliflower with butter and breadcrumbs (adapted from German Cooking Today)

3 1/2 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoon breadcrumb
500gm cauliflower 
Water for boiling
Salt, ground nutmeg and pepper to taste

1. Boil water in a big pot and put cauliflower into it and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain the cauliflower, and cut into small pieces
2. Melt butter on a frying pan and combine with breadcrumbs. Put the cauliflower in the frying pan and coat it with the butter mixture.  Put salt, a pinch of ground nutmeg and pepper to taste

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