Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Couscous salad with mango and avocado

I am often teased by people around me for consuming too much '' golden brown'' stuff.  You know, all things  battered and fried.

This year, I tried to put more colors  and flavours into my plate.

So far, I've been seeing lots of  green, yellow, red and hues that brighten up my day and clear my conscience .

It's my first time cooking couscous. The whole dish turns out not only pretty but was surprisingly easy and yummy ! It's quite healthy too. What's not to like?

Couscous salad
Serves 4


200 g whole-wheat couscous
1 medium sized mango, flesh cubed
1 large avocado, seeded and cubed
300 g cherry tomatoes, cut into half
2 limes, preferably organic
olive oil
1 can corn kernels
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 bacon
1 red chili pepper, seeded chopped
20 g Feta cheese
a handful of coriander leaves

 1. Cook couscous according to package's instruction. Set aside.
 2.  Put cubed mango, avocado, sliced tomatoes and chilis pepper into a large salad bowl.  Thoroughly wash and  pat  dry both limes . Add  lime  rinds into the salad bowl.
 3. Then, squeeze out the juice. Carefully  toss everything.
 5.In a small pan, fry bacon in a bit of olive oil. Once brown and slightly crispy, add in minced garlic. Keep cooking until garlic is toasted and aromatic. Take bacon out if the pan and roughly chop. Add into the  salad bowl. Dump toasted garlic and the oil into the bowl.

6.  Then add in cooked couscous, corn and feta cheese.
7.  Carefully mix everything. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped coriander .

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Chicken cordon bleu with creamy mustard sauce

Nothing is more tantalising than a picture of a melted cheese.

Take this Chicken cordon blue , for example. What's not to like? Golden- crusted, succulent meat, wrapped around smokey ham and a pocket of melty cheese goodness.

Don't you just want to lick it, bite it, suck it off your screen?

Enough Foodporn! Let's get cooking!

Chicken Cordon Bleu 

I did not really measure all the ingredients, I made enough for 3 people.


chicken breast, skin removed (1 for each person)
 good quality ham
swiss cheese
your favourite mustard
an  egg
1 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper
Olive oil and 1 tbsp.  butter for frying

1.  Wash, pat dry and butterfly chicken breast. Put a plastic  wrap on a hard surface board . Put butterflied chicken and cover with another  plastic wrap. Using a flat meat mallet, a flat skillet or in my case, a rolling pin  pound away! Once meat is evenly flat, set aside.

2. Slather chicken breast with your favourite mustard. I like mild and almost sweetish mustards and used more than a teaspoon of it for each chicken breast.

2.Roll cheese, or cut into sticks if you're using a block cheese. FF love cheese, so I rolled 2 slices together. There's no such thing as too much cheese in his book, anyway.

2 .  Wrap cheese roll/stick in your choice of ham.
3 . Place rolled ham and cheese on top of the chicken. 
4. Carefully fold the sides.
4 . Then roll the whole thing in a tight log. Refrigerate for few hours or preferably, overnight. Let the mustard seep into the meat.
5 . Prepare 3 wide bowls. Beat an egg into one of it, season with salt and pepper. Put flour into one bowl and breadcrumbs into the other.
6 . Roll chicken log in flour.  Shake off excess flour.
7 . Then dip it in beaten egg.

8  Finally,  roll in breadcrumbs. 

9. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add in a tbsp. of butter. Brown chicken log on all sides.

10. Transfer cordon bleu in a baking dish. Bake in preheated oven ( 200°C) for 20-25 minutes. Let it rest for at 10 minutes before cutting into pinwheels and serving.

 Creamy mustard sauce

1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
300 ml warm milk
1 tbsp. chicken bouillon paste
 , dissolve in 1/3 cup  hot water
2-3 tbsp. of your favourite mustard
few drops of Worcestershire sauce
50 g grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat butter  in a small skillet. Add in flour. Keep stirring until aromatic. Pour hot milk.

2.Dissolve chicken bouillon paste in hot water then stir into the sauce. 

3. Stir in your favorite mustard. Feel free to add a tablespoon more or two if you like  the mustard note to pop up.

4. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese. Season with Worcestershire sauce , a bit of salt and pepper and its done!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Burger Marie, Offenburg

What makes a burger, a good burger?

Is it the bun? The patties? The sauces? The condiments? 

I am perfectly happy with the foods I  got here Germany.  The regional cuisine is more than  satisfying. Eating out is always a pleasure. But, I was never been blown away by the burgers I had here in this country. Never. They don't make great burgers here... Period!

Germans take pride in their beer. Their smorgasbord of bread, to die for. The sausage are fantastic . Even the great  steaks are abundant, plus , our region's close proximity to France ensures that sauces are rich and flavourful. But, a good burger is hard to come by. Looks like Germans spend all their time and effort in perfecting Curry wursts and Schnitzels.

After fruitless years of searching the ultimate burger here in Germany, I simply gave up. Then, my brother in law and his wife started talking about this burger joint in Offenburg. They are positively raving . It made it curious. So I dragged FF and our nephew, Jacob,  to visit the place last weekend to put it to a test.

Burger Marie is a no-fuss, American -style diner just beside Forum Cinema in Offenburg.

We came few minutes before its opening hours but the place quickly filled up.  The restaurant is spacious and bright. The hanging chairs from the ceiling gave the place a playful and child-friendly atmosphere. Jacob made himself comfortable and started swinging as I checked the place and menu .

Orders are made at the counter, foods will be delivered at your table by the service crew once it's done. 

Menu is short, comprising of few burgers ,side dishes, fizzy drinks, beer  and few cocktails.

 Soon, our burgers and fries are delivered to our table. Jacob was quick to dig in. His burger is void of any sauces or usual condiments.  Just a stab of beef patty and smoked bacon sandwiched between the golden buns. Along with it, fries.  Simple as it is, it was the best burger he ever had, he claimed.  That's one down, two more to go.

FF opt for a fiery El Paso Burger. It came with spicy chorizo salami, chopped jalapenos , crunchy greens , tomato and avocado cream. Each ingredient undeniably fresh and made made from scratch.  The men behind these burger mean business. FF is silently but meticulously gnaw his burger till the last crumb. Thumbs up x 2 

 He ordered fries with Parmesan and herbs. Very addictive..

 A plate of crunchy onion rings sat at the middle of the table for sharing. Extra crispy and not greasy. yum!

I decided to go all out and order as much proteins as this joint could offer. So I ordered a rather generous portion of crispy friends buried in spicy chili con carne , chopped jalapenos and melted cheese sauce. Everything on our table is faultless.

Even my alcohol-free Ipanema was good!

I was beyond excited as I sat  face to face with Marie Gold. My new BFF. She look mighty fine and dandy, all sassy and saucy.  Patty cooked to perfection, generously  garnished with Schwarzwald smoked bacon, fresh veggies ,  tangy mayo-mustard dressing hold together by pillowy bun. She's a sight to behold.

Just like some sappy , over shared Facebook quotes about inner beauty, I cut Marie gold into half to look into her inner qualities. Wow! She's fine to the core. The patty was cooked medium , just like every decent burger should be. With eyes rolling behind my head, I was euphorically quiet as I enjoy and savour 20 minutes of pure burgasm.

So back to the question above. What does it take to make a burger, a good burger?

Visit Burger Marie and you will find out!



Montag - Freitag 12:00 - 14:00 Uhr & 17:00 - 22:00 Uhr
Samstag 12:00 - 22:00 Uhr 
Sonntag 12:00 - 21:00 Uhr 


77652 Offenburg
Telefon: 0781 / 93203703 


Friday, January 15, 2016

Baked Sweet Potato and Rice Laksa

Christmas came and was gone faster than I could hum and mum my jingle bells song . As much as I love the festivities, I'm relieved that it's all over. Another month of such indulgence and I'm afraid, I completely need a new wardrobe! Like most people I know, I gained a bit of weight during the holiday. All those Christmas cookies, pralines, family and friend lunches and dinner left a noticeable mark on the weighing scale. And I need to loose it   before Easter and the chocolates that come with it, arrives!

One of the gifts I got for Christmas was a recipe book by Jamie Oliver I got from FF. It contains recipes that look both delicious and  healthy. I never count my calories, but good ol' Jamie is a step ahead and do the counting, just to prove his point. Each dish in low in calories . That's the least of my concern though, what I am after  is , how the dishes turn out to be. I've tried three dishes from this book, making some minor alterations as I go along, using and replacing ingredients that are available in my place. So far and all of them were delicious. Never knew, eating healthy could be this fun!

Baked Sweet Potato and  Rice Laksa
 Serves 4


1 lemongrass stalk
4 cloves garlic
1 thumb sized ginger, peeled
1 big red chilies, seeded
2 stalks, spring onions
1 and 1/2 tsp. chopped coriander paste
140 ml coconut cream
some vinegar
fish sauce
Chicken Bouillon cube/paste
750 ml water
200 g rice, preferably a mixture of white and wild rice
800 g sweet potato, peeled and cube
4 chicken thigh, with bones, skin removed
sesame oil
1 tbsp. unsalted roasted peanuts

 1. Using a mortar and pestle/ electric blender, grind together, chopped lemon grass, garlic, ginger , chilies and spring onion. Grind until it turns into a paste.It doesn't have to be overly fine. Add in ground coriander paste. Use chopped fresh coriander leaves , instead of coriander paste , if it's available.

2. Stir in coconut cream, a slush of vinegar and fish sauce. Just eyeball the ingredients. Try and add few drops of vinegar or fish sauce according to your taste.This will be you laksa paste.
 3. Wash chicken pieces and pat dry. Remove skin and excess fat. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1 1/2 in cubes.
 3. Lather each chicken meat and sweet potato cube with laksa paste.Set aside.
4.  Using a big roasting pan with a lid, bring 750 ml water to a boil. Add in chicken bouillon cube or paste.
 5. Add in washed rice. Spread over pan.
6.  Carefully put chicken and sweet potato cubs over rice. Drizzle with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and baked in a preheated oven ( 180°C) for 1 and 1/2 hours.

Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with chopped onion leaves/ coriander leaves and chopped roasted peanuts . 

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