Sunday, September 29, 2013

Meatball Subs

Like we said in our Foolproof Meatballs entry, we originally made meatballs to make meatball subs.

Once the meatballs are made, making the sandwiches is a cinch. When you make them is also very flexible, either right when the meatballs are finished cooking, or warm them up and use them at another time. The actual making of the meatball subs takes only minutes.

Three subs:
1 baguette (or three sub rolls)
4-5 meatballs per sandwich
Mozzarella cheese
1 cup tomato sauce
Sugar, salt, pepper, seasonings

Heat the tomato sauce over the stove. Add a small amount of sugar, salt, pepper, and seasonings such as oregano and basil. Add the amount that tastes good to you!

Slice the rolls or baguette so you can make a sandwich (don't cut all the way through). Place the meatballs into the sandwich, cover with tomato sauce and cheese on top. Heat in the oven until the roll is warm and the cheese has melted. If you are making this when the meatballs are already cold, it is best to warm them up (in the microwave works fine) before making the sandwiches.

Serve with chips or fries. We made onion rings. Yum yum! This recipe is also coming soon!

Foolproof Meatballs

We have been cooking up a storm lately and have lots of recipes to share - now we just need to the time to blog about all of them!

These meatballs are a great starting point because they are easy and extremely useful. You can eat them plain or make them the basis of another meal. We made 30 meatballs this time because we knew we could easily use them for other recipes, but next time I think we will double this. Stick them in a freezer and pull them out whenever you need a quick and tasty dinner!

30 meatballs:

1 lb ground beef (as usual, we used a ground beef/pork mixture)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 small onion, diced
1 egg
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Parsley - optional but parsley is great in almost anything!

This recipe is super simple - no excuses! Preheat the oven to 205 C (400 F) and put all of the above ingredients in a bowl.

Mix everything together. Don't even bother with a spoon. Get down and dirty and put some muscle into it.

Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and roll the mixture into balls. The size is really up to you, it will only change the cooking time and how many you will make. What is important is that all of your balls are about the same size.

We made small/medium sized balls and got about 30 from this recipe.

Once the oven is hot, put the tray in and cook for 18-22 minutes. You know they are done when you cut one open and it is no longer pink inside.

We originally used this recipe to make meatball subs - recipe coming soon, but you can also use this with spaghetti, or eat them plain. The options are endless!

We adapted this recipe from Betty Crocker, which used ground turkey.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday Tales: Daily Food of a Consultant

This week started with a nougat pretzel from the local bakery here in Frechen. Tuesday was a late night dinner in the Frechener Hof. Unfortunately the service was new and very slow and also the noodles had way too much oil. Due to a fair here in Cologne, we stayed in Grevenbroich (a village outside of Frechen) and I brought a salad from the local supermarket. On Thursday I had a typical German Eintopf which is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. This one was served, how else could it be, with sausage.
On Friday I cooked a family recipe. Sauced Turkey Schnitzel with salad and bread. We will put up the recipe very soon. Saturday was shopping day! We went to a Swedish furniture store (no one can guess which one I bet!!) and bought this delicious hot dog for super cheap. Sunday was characterized by sweet apple desert. She made pie with apples and a new fried little apple balls. Just the perfect way to continue into the next two weeks with a new country. We will hit Poland next week and checking out the food there :).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday Tales: Daily Food of a Consultant

Welcome to the Tuesday Tales from Belgium this week. I received a lovely mini cooper and drove to Temse which is close to Antwerpen and enjoyed a "cheap" (10 Euro) asparagus pasta with cheese sauce out of the microwave. Well, what to expect in an Ibis Hotel in Sint Niklaas... ;). On Tuesday I was forced to enjoy another meal made by the lovely kitchen in our hotel. I tried to find a supermarket that was open at a quarter to eight but did not succeed. After a lovely walk trough a humongous deserted shopping mall, I gave up and chose to eat the food in the hotel. The pizza was pretty OK, even if it was clearly made by putting a cheap frozen pizza into the oven (another 10 Euro here... - Ibis hotels must have a good margin selling 35 cent pizza for 10 Euro :) ). Wednesday was more delightful. 
We went to a little restaurant where I had a mixed fish platter which was very tasty. Another type of fish (tuna) the next day in the canteen of the customer. Served with sauce and a scoop of mashed potato, it was not so bad. The sauce was sour, but I'm not sure if that was on purpose or just by accident. On Friday I drove back home to Frankfurt and that night we were invited to a farewell party of one of her colleagues. We tasted, beside many other delicious things, these pancakes filled with vegetables. Pancakes made without any egg - worth a try! Saturday was not as exciting regarding food but we went to the flea market and bought hot chocolate. The best thing while looking for old crap which nobody needs while it rains! Our Sunday was very busy this weekend. We started out with fresh popovers which gave us energy to explore a newly opened mall that was open on Sunday. Yes, you heard right: open on Sunday... This is really special "shopping Sunday" in Frankfurt and something we had to take advantage of.  We actually did not buy anything but food at the mall but we made our purchases count. First we had burritos at Chipotle (an American chain that just opened in Frankfurt) and then we had frozen yogurt which we could to pour and top ourselves. This is a big trend in the USA but is just coming to Germany. Afterwards we got some exercise by playing laser tag and ended this awesome day with delivered sushi for a very late dinner. Definitely not a typical German Sunday this week!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Italian Pasta Salad

We enjoyed this refreshing pasta salad on the bank of the Main. Nothing like a picnic to kick off the weekend on a warm Friday evening.

Two-three (meal-size) servings:

300 g noodles (whatever shape you want)
300 g tomatoes (we used slices baby tomatoes)
2 red bell pepper
1 bundle of green onion
4 Tbs oil
2 Tbs balsamic
1/2 tsp spicy mustard
1 clove garlic 
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to its directions. Drain and cool down using cold water.

In a small bowl, mix the oil, balsamic, mustard, and diced garlic.

Dice the tomatoes, green onion, and bell pepper. Mix with the pasta. Pour the oil mixture over the pasta and cover well. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Serve right away or keep in the fridge to let the flavors really mix.

This recipe was adapted from Rince.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday Tales: Daily Food of a Consultant

My laptop seems to work again and this is why I can publish again weekly! This week started with a Caesar Salad from the hotel we stayed in. On Tuesday there was good old Spaghetti from the Post canteen which is directly opposite of our office location in Frechen near to Cologne. On Wednesday I was able to taste delicious Schnitzel (the real one made of veal). I am very happy that we get daily per diems... otherwise I would not pay this price for two pieces of meat ;). Thursday was bureau office day. I was close to Frankfurt (Eschborn) and in my office, trying a new snack stand which sold this currywurst. 
Currywurst (German pronunciation: [ˈkœʁiˌvʊʁst]) is a fast food dish of German origin consisting of steamed, then fried pork sausage (Wurst) cut into slices and seasoned with curry ketchup, regularly consisting of ketchup or tomato paste blended with generous amounts of curry powder, or a ready-made ketchup-based sauce seasoned with curry and other spices. However, I think this specific type from this snack stand made me very sick... ending even in a non picture for Saturday due to a diet only containing of saltsticks and apple sauce. Apple sauce? yes true - I searched quite a while until I tried apple sauce and bananas which helped pretty well: Click for info. Don't worry, I did not forget Friday! On Friday I tried another "used to" meal with Spaghetti - which did not really help and Saturday, like I said, was skipped when it comes to food. Sunday, after not really eating anything, we ran a five kilometer race ("Lauf für mehr Zeit") to support the HIV-support Frankfurt. Good preparation for going to Belgium next week!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Udon Soup

We made this all the way back in June but have put off blogging about it because we are not exactly sure what we did.

Bear with us while we try to explain how we made this (delicious) Udon  soup and when in doubt, experiment and try what sounds good to you!

Soup = putting in a lot of stuff and making it delicious through cooking :)

For three to four huge portions, we used:

Udon noodles (200 g)
Mushrooms (250g)
Sprouts (two handfuls)
Chicken (200g)
Green onion (2-3)
Nori (dried seaweed) (one handful - they grow!)
Chinese noodle soup mix (we used one from Asian Home Gourmet, but you can also use normal chicken broth)
Sweet rice wine (two-three spoonfuls)
Seasoning (pepper, chili flakes, curry)

Heat one liter of water in a large pot. Once hot, add the soup mix (or make chicken broth). While the water cooks, dice the chicken, green onion, and mushrooms. Add to the broth with the sprouts. Save a handful of the green onion to garnish the soup at the end.

Let cook until the chicken is cooked through. Then add the nori and the noodles. Let cook 3-5 minutes (or follow the directions on the package).

Season the soup with the sweet rice wine and seasonings.Garnish with green onion.

Serve in a large bowl and slurp away using chopsticks! Yum!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Baked Macaroni and Cheese


Sometimes you just want a little comfort food...

8 oz. of macaroni or other pasta of choice
3 Tbs of butter
1/4 cup of flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp sweet paprika, plus extra for on top
2 1/2 cups 2% milk (we used 1% and it worked)
3 cups grated cheddar cheese (we used a little less and couldn't find cheddar but it was still great!)

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C)

Boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking you can start the sauce.  Melt the butter in a pot or pan over medium heat. Add the flour, salt, dry mustard (we used regular mustard because we had no dry mustard), and 1/8 tsp paprika. Still constantly for about three minutes.

Add milk and whisk constantly for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in two cups of cheese.

By this time your pasta should be finished. Either in the pot (if large enough) or the pot the pasta was boiled in, mix the pasta and sauce together. If you really really love cheese, pour half of the pasta into an oven safe dish, add 1/2 cup cheese, pour the other half of the pasta over it and add the other 1/2 cup cheese. If you are like us and do not need it so crazy cheesy, add all the pasta at once and only add a little cheese on top to make it look nice. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until slightly brown and dry on top.

We enjoyed our mac and cheese with broccoli and sausage but it could also be a meal on its own.

This recipe is from Kitchen Treaty

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday Tales: Daily Food of a Consultant

Welcome back to the Tuesday Tales! Unfortunately, I have to run my online life currently trough a Ubuntu stick because the hard disk of my laptop completely gave up now... that is the reason for again combining two weeks in one.
Here are my food pictures of the last two weeks:
Starting with the bottom right picture on Monday, I had a Nussschnecke (very delicious for breakfast or dessert) from the local bakery. The next day, Tuesday, was also very typical German and included a meal of Sauerkraut, meat and mashed potatoes. This week was nice and short and I had taken holiday on Thursday and Friday and therefore I was already able to leave to go home to Frankfurt on Wednesday evening. While waiting for a delayed train in Cologne, I figured that in the Deutsche Bahn first class lounge you are able to get everything for free (including Weizen). Hence I ordered one (still somehow expecting that I have to pay). A very enjoyed way to start the first evening of my days off and the delayed train turned into a very useful discovery I plan to use again some time! On Thursday, I visited her at the airport for lunch where we had all you can eat sushi. The benefits of time off! On Friday we enjoyed homemade Kaesespaetzle and Saturday was a lazy weekend day so I had take-out Thai food.

The following week started with a rucola and Parmesan cheese pizza from the usual Italian place in Frechen. I had a chicken and rice lunch on Tuesday which is not very exciting to write about. Her birthday was on Wednesday and I was able to travel back to Frankfurt to surprise her. She had dinner with all our friends and I was able to join only a little after it started. Chicken fingers was my chosen meal. Not very much compared to the birthday girl who got all she could eat and drink for free from the restaurant. On Thursday she made macaroni with cheese, sausage and (of course, the one and only vegetables for Americans...) broccoli >:D. The mac and cheese recipe will definitely be getting blogged about soon. Aglio Olio was served by me on Friday (a safe choice on Fridays and Saturdays when we do not have to work the next day = lots of garlic) followed by sandwiches and take out Thai food on Sunday (two separate meals of course!).