Taste of Home: Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff is always a hit with the whole family. It is one of our comfort foods that everyone loves and makes everyone smile.

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff is a simple beef dish with mushroom swirled with fresh cream to make a creamy sauce and served over with rice, pasta, potatoes, green beans or French fries. But my family always loves it with hot steamed Jasmine rice.

In this recipe, we cook the mushrooms first before adding it with the rest of the ingredients so that the water in the mushrooms will evaporate and mushrooms don’t taste squishy.

It’s super yummy; uses easy ingredients and it whips up quickly.

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 500 grams of beef, cut into thin strips
  • 2 kilograms of tomatoes, sliced into small cubes
  • 2 big onions, sliced into small cubes
  • 20 cL of fresh cream
  • 200 grams of mushroom, sliced thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 33 cL can of beer
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Step 1: Marinate the beef for at least 1 hour.

  • In a bowl, put the beef. Add soy sauce, black pepper and water. Keep adding water until it covers the meat. Mix well. Let it set for at least an hour.

Step 2: Cook the mushroom

  • In a frying pan, put the mushroom. Cook it above a gentle fire until the mushroom look dry and wee bit brown. Stir it regularly so that it won’t get burnt.

Step 3: Prepare the flour mixture

  • In a cup, put in the flour. Add about 20cl of water and mix until it becomes homogeneous.

Step 4: Prepare the tomato and onion mixture.

  • In a frying pan, put the tomatoes and onions together. Add a glass of water so it doesn’t burn. Mix well. Let it cook until it melts.
  • Add soy sauce and pepper. Stir.
  • Put in the beer. Stir. Let it cook until the beer stops foaming.
  • Add fresh cream. Stir.
  • Add the flour mixture. After you added the flour, stir it regularly so that the flour will not stick at the bottom of the pot.

Step 5: Putting together

  • Add the meat into the tomato and onion mixture. Stir.
  • Cook it above a gentle fire for about 5 minutes.

Step 6: Serve hot with steamed rice, pasta, potatoes, French fries, green beans or have the Beef Stroganoff by itself.

My Son’s Favorite Healthy Snacks for School

July 2016. Finally reunited with my 9 year old son (now 10) and we started living together abroad as a family.

So then, every day, I always look forward to waking up early and preparing his food (breakfast) and packing his snacks for school. Fortunately, his school is near our place (5 mins away), so we prefer eating lunch together at home.

As a mother, I try to send my son nutritious foods I know he would love and enjoy. During this period, we also learned that one of the best ways to encourage him to eat healthy is to make him part of menu planning and food shopping. We let him make choices – which bread to eat, sandwich fillings, fruit and vegetables, etc. Also, even though we know that fruit and vegetables are nature’s best snacks, sometimes we need to get creative to make them kid friendly and exciting.

Since today, marks my first year both as a working mom and fulltime hands-on mom, I would like to share with you my son’s favorite snacks (he asked me to make it several times) that I prepared for him last school year:

Fresh fruits

Skewers time!

A bowl of grapes with a small box of apple juice

Freshly cut mangoes with yogurt juice

Fresh oranges and juice

Cookie time!

French cookies with blueberry yogurt

Danish cookies with blueberry yogurt

Cookies and fruits

Oreo cookies (without the sweet stuff inside) paired with yogurt juice.

Chicken nuggets

Homemade chicken nuggets with 4 in 1 Dutch Mill juice.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Homemade spaghetti carbonara with apricot juice.

Meatballs

Korean pork style meatballs paired with yogurt

Wraps

Omelette, Emmental cheese, bacon and luncheon wrapped together with onion and chives wraps. 😍👌

Bacon wrapped in yellow mango served with apple juice

Sandwich

Egg sandwich served with apple juice

Sausage time!

Sausage with freshly cut green apples

 

Taste of Home: Sancocho

Last night, I cooked Sancocho, a traditional dish from Dominican Republic in Latin America, and I would like to share it with you. The Sancocho I made was a beef stew with yucca, plaintins, butternut squash and corn.

Sancocho

Sancocho is derived from a Spanish stew called cocido, and it has many variations depending on the region in Latin America.

In the Philippines, reflecting our Spanish influence, we also call it Cocido, a hearty stew usually eaten with fish, beef shanks, pork, ham and chorizo. It is often confused with a dish called Pochero, a stew also originally from Spain, which is usually cooked with chicken, beef, and sausages.

Sancocho is one of those dishes that get even better after being re-heated the next day.

Sancocho

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilogram of beef , sliced into bite size
  • 2 pieces of corn, peeled and cut into 1 inch
  • 2 pieces of big sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 5 pieces of green plaintins, peeled and sliced into 1 inch size
  • ½ kilogram of butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 pieces of yucca, peeled and sliced into 1 inch thick
  • 1 piece red pepper, chopped
  • 1 piece big onion, sliced
  • 1 kilogram of baby potatoes
  • 1 ball garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 pieces bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons  grilled black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pinches oregano
  • 2 pinches thyme
  • 2 cubes beef stock

Method:

  1. Marinate the beef with soy sauce and ground black pepper for about 20 minutes.
  2. Drizzle olive oil in a large cooking pot. Then sautéed the garlic and onion.
  3. When the onions are soft, put in the beef. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the meat turns white in color.
  4. Add 2 liters of water and beef stock cubes. Bring it a boil. While the stew is boiling, prepare the vegetables.
  5. When the stew starts boiling, lower down the heat to medium. Put in all the vegetables – red bell pepper, butternut squash, sweet potatoes baby potatoes, green bananas, and corn. Let it cook for about 1 hour and 45 minutes or until stock has reduced and meat is tender and vegetables are soft. Keep stirring it regularly (every after 15 minutes). While it is cooking, you would noticed that the pumpkin and sweet potatoes have melted.
  6. Serve stew with sliced avocado, a slice of lime and rice. Share and enjoy!

Taste of Home: Sausage, Chicken and Chorizo Paella

We have eaten and enjoyed many Paellas before, a famous rice dish in North Africa. Since then, it has become one of the three North African dish (Paella, Taboule, Cous cous) that we really love because it is tasty and nutritious. It has a bit of everything in it – cereal (rice), meat and veges.

Sausage, Chicken and Chorizo Paella

In our family, it is always Alan who cooks Paella, and because of my love for the dish, I tried to learn how to cook it from him. And to me, cooking Paella is one of the incredibly beautiful cooking experiences I’ve ever had.

In our recipe we use pork sausages even though the original recipe does not use pork. We also use Jasmine rice since it is the main rice variety produced in Cambodia. We also tried making Paella with pepperoni instead of Chorizo, and it also tasted great.

For those who would like to make Paella, here’s our simple recipe. Please let us know what you think of it.

Chicken and Sausage Paella

Ingredients for 10 servings:

  • 1 kilogram of chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 200 grams of pork sausage, sliced
  • 225 grams of Chorizo, sliced
  • 2 kilograms of tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 big onions, sliced
  • 1 kilogram of sweet green peas
  • 12 grams of Paprika
  • 2 teaspoon of Oregano
  • 2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 5 table spoons of soy sauce
  • 2 table spoons of Olive oil
  • ¼ cup Cooking oil
  • 75 cL of water

 

Method:

Step 1: Marinate the chicken

  • Put the chicken in a bowl. Add 2 grams of paprika. Add black pepper and soy sauce according to your taste. Mix it well.
  • Marinate it for about 30 minutes.

Step 2: Prepare the vegetables and Chorizo mixture

  • Put the tomatoes and onions in a pan. Let it cook until the tomatoes have melted (approximately 15 minutes) above a low heat.
  • Stir regularly.
  • Once the tomatoes have melted, add the green peas and Chorizo.
  • Mix it well.
  • Then turn off the heat.

Step 3: Cook the sausages

  • In a separate pan, cook the sausages above a gentle fire for about 10 minutes (or until it is cooked).

Step 4: Cook the chicken

  • In a separate pan, put olive oil.
  • Put in the chicken and let it cook above a medium heat for about 18 minutes.

Step 5: Prepare the rice

  • Put cooking oil in a cooking pot.
  • Put 10 grams of paprika and a bit of oregano. Then mix it well.
  • Add 4 cups of Jasmine rice. Mix it well. Then fry it above a gentle fire for about 5 minutes or when the rice becomes whiter than usual with the pot uncovered.
  • Add water. Stir and cover the pot.
  • Stir it regularly so that it will not stick to the pan. You would notice that the rice is cooking because its volume is expanding.
  • Let it cook above a gentle fire for about 15 minutes.

Step 6: Putting everything together

  • Once the rice is cooked, put in all the other ingredients in the pot.
  • Mix it thoroughly.

Serve, share and I hope you enjoy it the way we do.

Taste of Home: Chicken Cordon Bleu

The name Chicken Cordon Bleu, sounds so complicated and difficult but it is a simple dish and easy to make. It is a dish composed of chicken breasts, ham and cheese, where the ham and cheese are stacked on top of the chicken breast and rolled together then dredged in bread crumbs. It can either be fried or baked; personally, I prefer it baked.

My family and I love this dish so much – so traditional and so delicious that my boys just wolf it down.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

In this recipe, I prefer to use Emmental cheese for my cordon bleu because it does not taste too strong. I have also tried with special bacon (not fat) instead of ham, and seems like my family prefer a cordon bleu with bacon because it is tastier than with ham. Overall, the chicken is tender and juicy, and the bacon and Emmental are just epically cordon bleu.

For those who would like to try making cordon bleu, here’s my recipe. Please let me know what you think of it.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pieces of boneless chicken breast.
  • 6 slices of pepper ham or 3 strips of bacon (not fat), slightly cooked and halves
  • 3 slices of Emmental cheese
  • 1 raw egg
  • 4 spoonful of melted salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • mustard
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • about ¼ teaspoon salt

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Methods:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius

Step 2: Prepare the butter-salt mixture.

  • Melt the butter. Once it is melted put it in a small bowl. Then add a pinch of salt, according to your taste. Mix it well.

Step 3: Prepare the egg mixture.

  • Crack and beat the egg in another pie plate. Add some mustard and a wee bit of salt according to your desired taste. Then set aside.

Step 4: Prepare the bread crumbs.

  • In a separate shallow dish, place the bread crumbs. Add a wee bit of salt. Mix thoroughly.

Step 5: Prepare the chicken.

  • Remove the tendon or tendon line and fat.
  • From the thick part of the chicken breast, cut it along the length.
  • Make sure the chicken is flat and the thickness is even so that it is easy to roll.

Step 6: Putting together

  • Brush the top with butter–salt mixture.
  • Sprinkle some ground black pepper.
  • Top the chicken breast with ham slices.
  • Put a slice of Emmental cheese on top of the ham.
  • Tightly roll the chicken breast from one end to the other end. Close the end of the chicken breast with a toothpick so that it will not roll back.
  • If there is still some butter-salt mixture left, combine it with the egg-butter-salt mixture. Whisk thoroughly.
  • Dip the chicken breasts in the egg-butter-salt mixture.
  • Coat with bread crumbs.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish.
  • Bake the chicken for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven.

Step 7: Slice, serve, share and enjoy!

Taste of Home: Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce is a rich dish that you can prepare for yourself, your family and friends for lunch or dinner. It’s a simple recipe that takes about 30 minutes to prepare. In fact, this dish is good for people who do not have that much time to spend on cooking.

Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce

In this recipe, the chicken is creamy, tender and juicy as the chicken breast is drenched in the most luscious, creamy, and hearty mushroom sauce, easily made from a few simple ingredients. You will need boneless chicken breast, fresh white button mushroom, fresh cream and cheddar cheese.

If I can’t find fresh white button mushroom in the supermarket, I replaced it with Bonduelle, it’s a good French tin mushroom. Before cooking, my family and I opted to sautéed the mushroom (fresh or tin) first without any oil or butter, slowly and over a gentle fire so that the water from it will seep out and it will just simmer in their liquid. As a result, it would taste good and not spongy and squishy.

Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce

Another thing I like about this recipe is that it’s great served up over pasta, steamed rice, mashed potatoes, biscuits, sautéed vegetables of your choice, toast, or whatever you like. And, to me, this creamy mushroom sauce is one of the easiest sauce I’ve had ever make.

For those who are craving for something creamy but easy-to-make dish – chicken with creamy mushroom sauce is just perfect for you.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pieces boneless chicken breast
  • 1 pack of white button mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium size onion, sliced
  • 6 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 20 cL cooking fresh cream
  • 2 spoonful chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoon of melted salted butter
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 ½ cup chicken broth
  • chicken powder
  • 2tablespoon of olive oil

Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce

Method:

Step 1: Prepare the chicken

  • Season boneless chicken breast with chicken powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Melt butter in a pan over medium high heat. Add chicken breast until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Step 2: Prepare the mushroom

  • In a pan, sauté the mushrooms slowly without any oil and butter above a gentle fire to evaporate the liquid from it so that it won’t taste too squishy.

Step 3: Prepare the mushroom sauce

  • In a separate pan, melt the butter.
  • Add onion and garlic. Stir occasionally until tender and browned, about 4 minutes.
  • Gradually, pour in the chicken broth. Stir.
  • Add the fresh cream. Stir. Simmer for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the cheese. Stir constantly.
  • Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook. Stir constantly until slightly thickened about 4 minutes.

Step 4: Putting together

  • Put-in the chicken into the mushroom sauce. In between, spoon some sauce over the top of the chicken. Cook for about 4 minutes.
  • Garnish the chicken with creamy sauce with parsley
  • Serve it immediately with sautéed baby carrots and beans (or any vegetables of your choice) in butter, steam rice, mashed potatoes, biscuits, toast or whatever you like.
  • Share and enjoy your delicious meal with your loved ones.

Taste of Home: Beef Lasagna

Lasagna is a rich Italian food that has captivated the hearts and taste buds of everyone in the world. It is made with alternate layers of pasta, garniture, Béchamel / White sauce, and cheese.

Beef Lasagna

In fact, Lasagna is one of the family’s favorite food, and everyone loves it!

It has everything – pasta, cheese, meat, veges. It is frickin’ awesome. It is divine. It looks good, tastes good, and can be made in so many different ways. It is also filling and smells like heaven when it is being cooked. It’s delicious and nutritious, and even better on the second day.

I tried to learn how to make lasagna from making pasta to putting all the ingredients together from Alan. At first, I thought it was so complicated, but when I tried it, I realized that it’s just easy although it takes a little practice and be familiar with the ingredients. I was very pleased and proud that I successfully make lasagna for myself and for my family as well.

Beef Lasagna

In this recipe, my family and I opted to use all fresh ingredients – from tomato sauce to pasta. It’s tastier and healthier! We also prefer to use good cheese, Emmental cheese being our favorite cheese for lasagna as it is not a strong-tasting cheese. For the sauce, my family and I find béchamel too strong and white sauce too tasteless, so we make our own version of sauce.

For those who would like to try to make it, here’s our version of Beef Lasagna recipe. Please let us know what you think about it.

Beef Lasagna fresh from the oven!

Ingredients for 12 servings:

  • 1.2 kg of minced beef
  • 4 kg of tomatoes
  • 500 g shallots
  • 200 g of butter
  • 200 g of Emmental cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • milk
  • flour
  • soy sauce
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • ground black pepper

Method:

The pasta
– Put some flour (about 200 grams) in a mixing bowl.
– Crack 2 eggs. Stir until they have mixed together.
– Add a bit of salt and about 10cL of water. Mix it again. Add flour bit by bit until you   obtain a mixture that is soft and non-sticky. Let it rest for about 1 hour.
– Roll it flat. Press your oven dish at the top of the flat pasta so that you can cut it to fit the oven dish.
– Let the pasta rest for about 12hrs in a clean dry place.

Rolling the pasta

Drying the pasta

The garniture
– Cut the tomatoes and shallots into thin slices.
– Put a few centiliters of water in a saucepan so that nothing gets burned.
– Mix the onions and tomatoes together in the same saucepan and cook the mixture for about one hour and a half over a medium fire. Stir often. Add a sprinkle of salt and soy sauce halfway through.
– Cook the minced beef in a frying pan with a bit of oil. Sprinkle with soy sauce and add a bit of black pepper. When it’s ready, mix it together with the tomatoes/onions.

Béchamel / White sauce
Personally, I find béchamel too strong and white sauce too tasteless, so this is what I do for lasagna:
– In a saucepan, melt about 200g of butter. Add about 100cL of water and 100cL of milk. Let it cook gently for a few minutes.
– Mix 5 table spoons of flour with water in a big glass or a tiny jar. Stir until the mixture is homogeneous.
– Put the water/flour mix into the pan and let it cook gently until it thickens. Stir continuously.

Beef Lasagna

Putting it together:
– Put half of garniture at the bottom of an oven dish. Put a layer of pasta on top. Put a layer of white sauce / béchamel on top. Put another layer of garniture on top. Another layer of pasta on top. One final layer of white sauce / béchamel on top.
– Put it into an oven pre-heated at 250 degree Celsius for about one hour. Then grate the cheese and sprinkle it on top. – Put it back in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Et voilà! Serve, share and enjoy your luscious Beef Lasagna!