What to Cook this Weekend is a weekly series that we launched late last year with suggestions for often easy, occasionally challenging, but always memorable weekend meals from our recipe archives. Meal ideas will include dishes we’re making at home that we think you’ll like, as well as recipes that we’re testing which you might like to try.
Once again – with Omicron cases continuing to surge around the world, overwhelmed health systems, global supply chain chaos, and so many of you staying at home in a self-imposed lockdown – we are all about comfort food this weekend. Not affected by Covid? Lucky you. You’ll find 27 salad recipes here if you’re in the southern hemisphere and the recipes below should keep our northern hemisphere neighbours warm and cosy.
Our What to Cook this Weekend series came about because our other recipe series What to Cook this Week, launched late last year, was so well-received by our readers. We decided to try a weekend edition, hence What to Cook this Weekend, and as this series also proved series popular, we’re continuing both in 2022 – with one change.
When we started What to Cook this Weekend, we kicked off each edition with an idea for dinner on Friday, as it marks the start of the weekend for many. Then we offered meal suggestions for Saturday and Sunday breakfast, lunch and dinner. As that overlapped with What to Cook this Week, which proposes dinner ideas from Monday to Friday (neither of these series were planned), starting today What to Cook this Weekend will only cover Saturday and Sunday.
Each week, What to Cook this Weekend will offer a round-up of meal suggestions for the weekend from the Grantourismo recipe archives – which are heaving with hundreds of recipes for dishes from around the world, beginning with decade-plus-old recipes from our first recipes series called The Dish.
We launched The Dish, on recipes for the quintessential dishes of places we settled into, when we launched Grantourismo and our 12 month global grand tour back on New Year’s Day 2010. Many of our most popular recipes on the site come from that series, from our Moroccan Moroccan lamb tajine with prunes and almonds to this classic Toulouse cassoulet.
Before I share our suggestions for what to cook this weekend, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-supported. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo and what we do here by buying us a coffee (we’ll use our coffee money to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing) or making a donation to our epic, original Cambodian cookbook and culinary history on Patreon.
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Now let’s share our suggestions as to what to cook this weekend.
What to Cook This Weekend from a Hearty Breakfast Skillet to Comforting Pickled Lime Chicken Soup
Here are our ideas as to what to cook this weekend.
Saturday Breakfast – Eggs, Potatoes and Chorizo Breakfast Skillet
As I said, we’re all about comfort food right now and there are few more comforting combinations than chorizo, egg and potatos. I shared this Weekend Eggs recipe last week, so if you made it, check out our Spanish potato omelette recipe with chorizo, Basque-style ‘messy eggs’ recipe for fried eggs with chorizo and potatoes, and our breakfast taco recipe with fried eggs, chorizo and crunchy potatoes.
If you didn’t make it last week, do try Terence’s eggs, potatoes and chorizo breakfast skillet. This recipe makes our favourite take on the classic American country skillet breakfast made in a cast iron skillet, also called a cowboy skillet breakfast or farmer’s skillet breakfast.
Although there’s an infinite array of variations on the traditional breakfast skillet recipe – additions include anything from bell peppers to kidney beans – the essential ingredients of the classic skillet breakfast are eggs, potatoes, onions, cheese, and bacon or ham.
We prefer to make this hearty American breakfast with spicy chorizo sausage instead of bacon and ham, and specifically soft Mexican chorizo, which has to be cooked before eating, rather than the firm Spanish-style chorizo, which could also be used, but take care not to over-cook it as it tends to go hard.
Saturday Lunch – Shan Tomato Salad with Shallots, Sesame and Coriander
After such a hearty breakfast, a light yet filling lunch is in order. I’ll be making this Shan tomato salad, which I included in yesterday’s collection of 22 recipes to cook in 2022, as I really want our readers to make this if you haven’t yet.
This Shan tomato salad recipe with shallots, sesame and coriander will make you a sweet tomato salad textured with crunchy purple onions, sesame seeds and crispy fried shallots and garlic, and fragrant with fresh coriander.
Hailing from beautiful Shan State in northeastern Myanmar – a fertile region of forested mountains, rolling hills and serene lakes – this delicious Shan tomato salad is mostly made with crunchy green tomatoes, although we also ate it on Inle Lake with red tomatoes. It’s terrific with either – or both.
Shan cuisine, like many of Myanmar’s cuisines – and all of the northern Southeast Asian cuisines, in fact – is distinguished by its fantastic salads, and this is one of the best.
If you’re eating alone, you could dice the tomatoes and make the salad in a small bowl so the tomatoes soak in the dressing, then up-end it on a bowl of steamed rice, sort of like a Shan-style tomato donburi I guess!
And if you are feeding a few loved-ones and do need something else with that, I highly recommend this Burmese street food-style fried chicken.
Saturday Dinner – Russian Navy Style Macaroni
Have you made my Russian navy style macaroni recipe for Makarony Po-Flotsky or Макароны По-Флотски yet? It makes a spicier take on a Soviet-era dish called Fleet Macaroni, as it was cooked up for the naval forces, particularly submarine crew, who were fed better than other seamen to make their months underwater more tolerable. Their rations even included red wine!
A quick, easy and affordable dish to prepare during the Soviet period, when a standard fleet macaroni recipe included no more than a handful of ingredients – pasta, minced beef, onions, oil, and salt and pepper – the old-fashioned dish evolved in the diaspora, becoming a comfort food favourite for nostalgic Russian migrants.
It’s also called ‘Soviet Bolognese’. But while delicious, aside from minced beef and onion, the simple yet tasty Russian pasta dish shares little with the Northern Italian specialty. Ragu alla Bolognese has a richer meat sauce and greater depth of flavour – something I’ve tried to inject with spice, rather change the identity of the dish with tomatoes or slow-cooking. This is meant to be a quick and easy dish.
Sunday Breakfast – Oyakodon, A Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl
I’m hooked on Terence’s rendition of oyakodon, a Japanese chicken and egg rice bowl made from eggs, spring onions and chicken simmered in dashi and served on steamed rice, and will be asking nicely if he can make this oyakodon recipe again for breakfast on Sunday.
Silky soft scrambled eggs with sweet spring onions and tender chicken simmered in dashi and served atop a bowlful of steamed Japanese rice, oyakodon is incredibly delicious, comforting and addictive. If you’re not familiar with oyakodon, don’t be surprised if you find yourself googling ‘Japanese rice bowls’ and ‘donburi’.
Oyakodon is a popular donburi dish – donburi meaning a ‘rice bowl’ meal – where a generous topping is placed on a bed of rice in a bowl. In Tokyo, donburi is an affordable fast-food lunch or dinner for students and workers, as much as a comforting home-cooked meal and perhaps the most quintessential of Japanese comfort foods.
While you don’t need a specially-made oyakodon pan, you will need bonito flakes and kombu to make the dashi stock. This is not negotiable, otherwise it’s not oyakodon. And while you’re at your favourite Asian market, grab some ‘shichimi togarashi’, which is sprinkled on top. It’s a blend of seven spices and has chilli as a base. We like the S&B brand.
Sunday Lunch – DIY Russian Mimosa Salad
Yes, I know it’s not spring and I know this Russian mimosa salad was typically served for festive spring holidays such as Easter, however, I imagine most people will have these ingredients to hand.
Traditionally, the yellow yolk and diced whites of the hard boiled eggs formed the top layer of the salad, with the crumbles of yolk arranged with sprigs of fresh dill to look like spring mimosa. I don’t do that as I prefer the egg in the central layers, but that’s just me.
My DIY version of the Russian mimosa salad will do just nicely for Sunday lunch. They look a bit fancy served in individual glasses, and fancy will be nice after so long staying at home.
If you don’t know the Russian mimosa salad, the layered salad is another dish from the Soviet period that, like Russia’s devilled eggs, beef Stroganoff and chicken Kiev, travelled the world at a time when most Russians couldn’t leave the Soviet Union, became tremendously popular outside the USSR, especially in the Seventies.
The original salad was layered in a big glass bowl and served as a kind of kitschy salad cake or savoury trifle. I prefer to present it as fun DIY salads in individual glasses with bowls, spoons and condiments. Guests can then upend their glass of salad in their bowls and add additional seasoning or condiments to adjust it to their liking.
I will do a more traditional mimosa salad for you with the boiled egg on top this spring.
Sunday Dinner – Cambodian Pickled Lime Soup with Chicken Recipe for Sngor Ngam Ngov
One of my favourite Cambodian soups, this pickled lime soup with chicken recipe makes sngor ngam ngov, a slightly sweet, slightly sour, perfumed citrus-driven soup brimming with succulent chicken and aromatics such as lemongrass and coriander, and beautifully balanced.
The bowl should brim with pieces of mouthwatering chicken, fragrant from the lime you roasted them in and the lemongrass and coriander that swim in this nourishing soup.
You’ll need a good quality fish sauce. As you’re unlikely to find Cambodian fish sauce outside Cambodia, opt for a Thai fish sauce or Vietnamese fish sauce, which are more accessible and available online. You’ll also need palm sugar but if you can’t source it, you could use brown sugar or raw sugar, or a mix of the two.
You should find pickled limes in brine in your Asian market, supermarket or grocery store. You’ll probably have a greater chance of finding brands of pickled limes from Thailand such as Golden Thai Kinnaree or Thai Dancer. If you can’t find these, you can use Moroccan preserved lemons. Or you could make your own pickled limes or lemons. Recipe coming soon!
In many ways this is Cambodia’s chicken soup for the soul and of Cambodia’s countless soups there are few more comforting. While I have demonstrated that I can polish off a pot of the stuff on my own, this is a soup made for these uncertain times and is a soup that should be shared. Serve with plenty of steamed rice. That’s enough to sate me Sunday night.
Please do let us know if you’ve made any of our What to Cook this Weekend recipes in the comments below as we’d love to get your feedback and hear how our recipes turned out for you.