Saturday, November 30, 2013

Macaroni schotel is actually macaroni casserole or baked macaroni dish. The name schotel is borrowing Dutch name because this dish is introducted by Dutch people during the colonisation era. The first time I taste this food is when I was still about 5 years old. I still remember I went to my aunt's house with my parents. Lucky me she just finished baking it and she gave me a slice of it. That was my first time i ate macaroni schotel and I love it!! Since then I always want to eat it especially when I went to her house. When I grew up and started to learn how to cook, I tried to find the recipe. Too bad my mom didn't have oven so the only macaroni schotel I could made was steamed one. It was good but didn't satisfied me. For me, baked one is still the best. Steamed macaroni schotel doesn't have crispy melted cheese like baked one. I tried to toast the schotel  using oven toaster after steam it, and it didn't work either.

Now, I have my own kitchen complete with an oven. Making macaroni schotel is not impossible anymore. Besides, actually it is not that hard to make. Last week I made it for dinner and everyone like it. I added some green peas during the process just because I had some leftover green peas in my refrigerator.

Like as usual, vegetable salad and sweet chilli sauce are perfect for its companion. Eet smakelijk! ^^

Ingredients :
  • 250 elbow macaroni, boiled until al dente (look at the cooking direction on the package), and drain well
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 150 grams bacon strips
  • 70 grams ground pork or beef 
  • 3 tbs canned corned beef
  • 50 grams green peas (optional)
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 4 tbs flour
  • 600 ml milk
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups (about 150 grams) grated cheese 
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbs white granulated sugar
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
Tip : If you do not eat pork, you can always use another kind of smoked meat such as smoked beef tongue, or smoked chicken. They will work as well.

Tip : For the cheese, you can use cheddar or parmezan cheese or mixture of old and young cheese like I did.

Preparation :
  1. Preheat oven for 180 C (356 F)
  2. Preheat vegetable oil in a pan
  3. Saute the bacon for about 5 minutes or until they become golden brown and crisp. 
  4. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, put minced onion and ground beef or pork. Stir and saute them together until the onion become translucent and the ground meat become brown.
  6. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
  7. In a big bowl, mix together boiled macaroni, flour, corned beef, green peas, sauteed bacon, onion, and ground meat. 
  8. Add beaten eggs, milk, ground nutmeg, sugar, and 1 cup of grated cheese. Mix them well.
  9. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
  10. Pour the macaroni mixture into an ovenproof dish.
  11. Cover the top with grated cheese.
  12. Put it into preheated oven and bake for about 45-50 minutes.
Tip : Cover the leftover with aluminium foil or place it in the airtight plastic container before store it in the refrigerator otherwise the edges will become dry and tough. You can always reheat it again with microwave or put it back into preheated oven 150 C for 15-20 minutes. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Out of nowhere, this morning, I suddenly really wanted to eat something sweet. Not only sweet but very sweet. I want to eat chocolate cake. So, I grabbed my recipe book and tried to find the recipe. Before I find the recipe that i wanted, I read my fudgy brownie recipe. I got this recipe from Laura in the kitchen channel in youtube few months ago. This brownies is great. It's rich, sticky, and taste very chocolate.

It seems this brownie is good enough to satisfied my mouth (and my mood) today. Forget about chocolate cake. I want to eat this brownie and do not want to wait any longer, let's get started!!

Ingredients :

  • 145 grams room temperature unsalted butter
  • 180 grams pure dark chocolate, melted
  • 200 grams white granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbs warm water
  • 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 85 grams all purpose flour
Tip : For the pan, you can use regular 20 cm (8 inches) square brownie pan. But because i don't have any small square pan, I use 20 cm round pan and it works perfectly.

Preparation :
  1. Preheat oven for 180 C (350 F)
  2. Prepare a brownie pan, grease it with butter and cover it with baking paper including the side of the pan because this brownie could be sticky and difficult to remove it from the pan.
  3. In a small bowl, dilute instant coffee powder into the warm water. Set aside.
  4. In a big bowl, mix together butter and granulated sugar until fluffy.
  5. Add egg, vanilla extract, and coffee into the butter and mix them together until well combined.
  6. Add melted chocolate into the mixture and  mix again. 
  7. Add flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and mix again until they are incorporated and the texture become to look like a mousse. 
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and don't forget to level the surface.
  9. Put it into preheated oven and bake it for about 40-45 minutes.
  10. After it's done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 30 minutes before cut it into pieces to prevent the cake become crumbly . 

This is what it looks after I cut it into pieces. Enjoy! :-)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sometimes it could be a little bit frustrating becoming a stay at home mom. Don't get me wrong. Being a mom and wife is great. But all those daily and repeatable quests from day to day sometimes could make me get bored and having a very bad mood. Yeah I'm a moody person. So, to entertain myself, I usually go to the grocery store and thinking, imagining what I could make for dinner, or snack, or lunch. I love to wander around just to check what item that has a big sale, comparing one store to another store and so on. That what I did last week. And when my eyes stumble on the big sale board on my favorite pasta shelf, I was so happy. That means I will be able to make some delicious pasta dish. Yaaaay!!! My brain started to work fast and thinking and combining all the ingredients that possible. I hope no one noticed my big grin while I was standing near that shelf. Look what I've bought! (I bought 7 actually and already used 2 of them)

I managed to serve a pretty good pasta for dinner few days ago. I made perline pasta with creamy lemon chicken mushroom sauce. Perline pasta is one of few types of filled pasta. Basically, it is same with tortellini or ravioli, but it is shaped like money bag. There are a lot of thing that can be used for their filling, such as cheese, prosciutto, spinach, mushroom, and many thing else.

Ingredients (for serving 3 person) :
  • 250 grams perline pasta 
  • 300 grams boneless skinless chicken, cut into cubes
  • 150 grams champignon mushroom, thinly slices
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 70 ml white wine
  • 150 ml milk
  • 3 1/2 tbs flour 
  • 3/4 tbs lemon juice
  • lemon zest
  • olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • some parsley
Tip : I was using cheese perline pasta. You can always use perline with any kind of filling that you want. 

Preparation :
  1. Fill in a big pot with water (until 2/3 of the way) and bring it to boil.
  2. Once it's boiled, add some salt and the paste into the water.
  3. Boil the pasta and pay attention to the cooking direction on the package to make sure the pasta is cooked well.
  4. Meanwhile, in a big pan, preheat about 5 tbs olive oil.
  5. Put minced garlic into preheated oil and saute until fragrance.
  6. Add mushroom and chicken cubes into the pan and saute it until the chicken is cooked.
  7. Add white wine and keep stirring until all the alcohol is evaporated.
  8. Add flour into the pan and stir again for awhile. Be careful not to burn the flour.
  9. Pour some milk, lemon juice and lemon zest into the chicken mixture and keep stirring.
  10. Adjust the taste with salt and ground black pepper
  11. At this point the pasta should be done. Drain it well.
  12. Serve the pasta on the plate and pour the chicken sauce on the top.
  13. Garnish with some chopped parsley and olive oil. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Finally!! My first attempt making picnic roll. I've been wanting to make this for a very long time but I've never got the chance. This is one of my favorite pastry dish. I used to eat this in Indonesia. Well.. not often enough because it was considered not cheap and it usually because someone gave it to us as a gift or something like that. But sometime I miss it. Actually I can find a similar dish in here. Its name is saucijzenbroodje. Like picnic roll, it is a spiced ground beef wrapped in puff pastry. But the difference is it is a one person snack meanwhile, picnic roll is much bigger than saucijzenbroodje so it has to be sliced and served on slices.

Now, since I'm living in Netherlands, I can find ready to use puff pastry easily. I think I would like to try to make it by myself. I don't think it is a complicated dish. I only need ground beef and puff pastry. Lucky me there's a big sale of ground beef on nearby store. Why don't give it a try? I've been planning to make this dish for a very long time.

The size of my puff pastry is small. It's about 20 x 20 cm and it's not big enough to make big picnic roll. So, I pile up 3 layers of it and roll it together until i get one big and wide layer of puff pastry. I will use it for the bottom layer and for the top layer or for the cover i will use 2 layer of puff pastries and roll them together. To be honest I was not even sure it will work. But I was wrong. It turn out great. the taste is good as well. I'm so happy with the result.

Ingredients (for 2 picnic rolls):
  • 10 layers (20x20 cm) ready to use puff pastry 
  • 500 grams ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups (about 60-80 grams) Japanese bread crumbs (panko bread crumbs)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 hard boiled egg, cut into half.
  • 4-5 slices cheddar cheese, cut it into about 4 cm wide.
  • 1 beaten egg for egg wash
Preparation :
  1. In a big bowl, put together ground beef, eggs, ground nutmeg, minced onion, minced shallot, milk, breadcrumbs, salt and generous amount of ground black pepper.
  2. Using your hand, mix them together until all the spices is mixed well with the ground beef. Do not hesitate to squeeze it a little bit. If the mixture is too wet, feel free to add a few more breadcrumbs into the meat mixture just until the excess liquid is well absorb by the breadcrumbs.
  3. After the meat mixture is done, set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven into 200 C (392 F)
  5. Prepare a baking sheet and like it with a baking paper. Set aside. 
  6. For making the bottom layer, dust the work top with a flour. 
  7. Stack 3 layers of puff pastry and dust the top with flour. 
  8. Roll it using a roller until the pastry become thin and wide (approximately 35x17 cm).
  9. Make another bottom layer by stacking another 3 layers puff pastry and roll it again.
  10. Place the rolled puff pastries on the prepared baking sheet.
  11. Divide the meat mixture into two.
  12. Take one half of the meat, press it tightly, and put it lengthwise in the middle of the rolled puff pastry.
  13. Place cheddar cheese slices on the top of the meat.
  14. Put four half cut hard boiled egg on the top of the cheese.
  15. Repeat the same process for the second puff pastry.
  16. For making the cover, dust again the worktop with some flour.
  17. Stack 2 layers of puff pastry, dust it with flour, and roll it again until it become thin and wide (approximately 30x15 cm).
  18. Repeat this process to make the second cover. 
  19. Brush the edge of the bottom layer with egg wash.
  20. Place the pastry cover on the top of the eggs and meat.
  21. Press the edge of the cover into the bottom pastry to seam it.
  22. You can cut the edge of the bottom layer or roll the edge up. 
  23. Make some small holes on the cover using a fork
  24. Brush the surfaces of the cover with egg wash.
  25. Put the baking sheet into the oven and bake it for about 25-30 minutes.
  26. Once it's done, remove it from the oven and let the pastry cool for little bit before cut and serve it.
Tip : You can make 3 picnic roll using the same amount of meat. But of course the amount of the meat for each roll will be less than if you are making two picnic rolls.

Tip :  You can keep this on the refrigerator for days. Just pop it into the microwave and done. If you want to make warm the whole roll, put it into preheated 180 C oven and bake it for about 15 minutes. Picnic roll goes well with tomato or chili sauce as well. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Getting bored with simple boiled or steamed carrot? Well, try this simple side dish. Honey glazed carrot.

Last week there was a big sale of jumbo BBQ meatball on nearby store. I bought it and served it for dinner together with roasted potatoes. But I still needed another side dish for this dinner and i think glazed carrot would be great. This is my first time i make this side dish and it turned out good. I like the combination of the sweetness of carrot and the taste of honey. I definitely would make this dish again.

Beside, it was very simple and easy to make. Would you like to try? :)

Ingredients :
  • 400-500 grams carrots (preferable baby carrots), peeled.
  • 3 tbs (45 grams) unsalted butter
  • 4 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs lemon juice 
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • salt and ground black pepper
Preparation :
  1. In a medium sauce pan or pot, bring water to boil.
  2. Put the carrots into the pot and sprinkle some salt. Let the carrots cooked for about 10 minutes until they become tender.
  3. Drain the water.
  4. Add butter into the pot and let it melt.
  5. Put the carrots back into the pot
  6. Add honey, lemon juice, brown sugar, and some salt
  7. Stir them well until the carrots are covered well with honey and butter.
  8. Simmer it for about 5-10 minutes and stir it gently once in a while to make sure all the carrots are glazed well.
  9. Turn off the heat, sprinkle some ground black pepper and stir it again.
  10. Serve it immediately. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In Indonesia, there is a traditional cake named Putu Ayu. It is a steamed cake that's made using coconut as its main ingredients. Putu Ayu is very popular in East Java and it can be bought in almost everywhere especially in traditional markets. It is common to use this cake as part of the traditional feast or celebration or treats because it taste good, looks pretty, and not really hard to make.

Few months ago, I found this recipe from J's Kitchen. Baked Putu Ayu. Well... its a twisted recipe from the original putu ayu recipe because originally putu ayu should be steamed and not baked. It's unique and I think it's creative because actually I never thought that this cake can be baked. I tried it and it was a hit. I recommended this recipe to my friend and she loved it as well. She even made it for her husband's colleagues. Because of her, last week, I decided to make it for my husband farewell party treat.

I twisted the recipe by mixing the grated coconut with the batter instead of press it into the tin separately like J's recipe. I mixed the grated coconut together with the batter, pour it into the muffin tin, and bake it. It's good. But I'm not sure if i could name it baked putu ayu anymore because I mixed the grated coconut so there's no more separate white part and green part as it supposed to be. That's why I prefer to name it coconut cake.

Ingredients  (for about 20 mini cake) :
  • 100 grams AP Flour
  • 75 grams white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 100 ml coconut milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pandan paste
  • 80 grams shredded coconut
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tbs (about 30-45 grams) melted butter for greasing the muffin tin
Preparation :
  1. Preheat the oven for 180 C (356 F).
  2. Prepare mini muffin tin and grease it with melted butter. Set aside.
  3. In a big bowl put 2 egg whites and whisk it with hand mixer until soft peak forms.
  4. In another bowl, using the same hand mixer, beat and mix together flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, vegetable oil, and coconut milk.
  5. Add vanilla extract and pandan paste into the batter and mix again.
  6. Add 1/3 of whipped egg whites into the batter and fold it up until the batter is lightened.
  7. Fold another 1/3 of the whipped egg whites and continue it with the rest of the egg whites.
  8. Add grated coconut into the batter and fold it until they are all mixed well.
  9. Divide the batter into the greased muffin tin evenly.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean.
  11. Let it cool for a while before remove them out from the muffin tin.