What to Cook this Weekend is back after a short hiatus and we have some quick and easy meal ideas for hearty and comforting dishes if you’re in the increasingly cool southern hemisphere – or the northern hemisphere where spring seems to think it’s autumn of fall, depending on where you are.
If you’re a first-time visitor, What to Cook this Weekend is a weekly-ish series with suggestions for often easy, occasionally challenging, but always memorable weekend meals. Meal ideas might include dishes we’re cooking at home that we think you’ll enjoy, as well as recipes that we’re developing and testing out for our cookbooks which you might care to try.
This weekend we’re cooking everything from jammy soft-boiled eggs on sourdough with a dill cream cheese and homemade pickles to this hearty Italian wedding soup, an Italian-American dish that has become hugely popular in the USA. I’ve been cooking a lot of Russian recipes and Ukrainian recipes recently for the site, which have inspired me to cook up a bit of a Russian-Ukrainian feast for us for dinner tonight.
We’re also cooking and shooting recipes for the Chinese restaurant-style egg drop soup of our childhoods (going up on the site by the time you finish reading this post – well, not quite, but check in again in a couple of hours) and a mini version of the spiced beef turnovers my grandmother ate as a child on Black Sea holidays called chebureki (check the big traditional two-hands chebureki recipe in the meantime).
What to Cook this Weekend offers meal ideas for Saturday and Sunday breakfast, lunch and dinner. Recipes come from our Grantourismo archives, which are heaving with thousands of recipes for dishes from around the world that we’ve cooked on our travels, beginning with recipes from our very first series, The Dish and Weekend Eggs.
Launched with Grantourismo back in 2010 with our 12 month global grand tour, many of our most popular recipes on the site come from those series, from our Moroccan Moroccan lamb tajine with prunes and almonds to this classic Toulouse cassoulet.
Before I share 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.
You could also buy something from our Grantourismo store for gifts for foodies, including fun reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s photography. Another way to support the site is by using our links to book accommodation, rent a car or campervan or motorhome, buy travel insurance, book a tour on Klook or Get Your Guide.
We might earn a small commission from your purchases on sites, such as Amazon, and we have plenty of inspiration here in our round-ups of James Beard award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, cookbooks for culinary travellers, travel books to inspire wanderlust, gifts for Asian food lovers, picnic lovers and travellers who love photography.
Now let’s share our suggestions as to what to cook this weekend.
What to Cook This Weekend – Crab Omelette, Italian Wedding Soup, Panzanella and More
Here are our ideas as to what to cook this weekend.
Saturday Breakfast – Jammy Soft-Boiled Eggs
For breakfast on Saturday morning, I’ll be making this recipe for jammy soft-boiled eggs on sourdough again, as I still have some dill cream cheese in the fridge and we always have homemade pickles. You’ll find my recipe for dill pickles here. And here’s Terence’s guide to how to boil eggs perfectly.
If you missed that recipe this week, it will make you a less fancy, shareable, snack version of my recipe for slow fried eggs with creamy dill spread on sourdough toast with dill pickles, radishes and sweet paprika, inspired by my late grandfather’s daily breakfast. A warning: it’s very filling but utterly addictive.
This recipe for jammy soft-boiled eggs on sourdough with dill cream cheese and pickles is for those of you who, like me, loved the combination of flavours in the recipe I shared for slow fried eggs atop a creamy dill spread on toasted sourdough with crunchy gherkins, crisp radishes, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkled with paprika, cracked pepper and sea salt.
If that’s not for you, do browse our Weekend Eggs recipe series. We’re a bit slow getting this weekend’s recipe up, but look out for that going up soon after this post.
Saturday Lunch – Italian Wedding Soup
For Saturday lunch, I’m tucking into another bowl of this hearty broth we shot for this Italian wedding soup recipe I published yesterday. It’s so good. It makes the hugely popular Italian American meatball soup with which Americans have fallen in love.
I did not get the popularity until I started making it myself and then I realised it wasn’t all that well known outside the USA so I had to share it. It was never served at weddings, actually, and it’s completely divorced from the original Central and Southern Italian soup from which it was born, minestra maritata, a wild foraged greens and porky broth, but it’s still unbelievably delicious.
If, like me, you can’t get enough of those comforting soups that are so thick and hearty that they’re almost like stews, and, like me, you won’t confine them to the colder months, but will turn up the air conditioning just so you can eat them year-round, then this Italian wedding soup recipe soup is for you.
If you cooked our classic ribollita soup recipe for the Tuscan bean, kale and bread broth, and you enjoyed that – or if you’ve made some of our other soups that we probably should have called stews, such as my Russian chicken, barley and pickle soup or this cabbage roll soup that probably had baboushka rolling in her grave – then I guarantee you’re going to love this Italian wedding soup recipe.
Saturday Dinner – Russian-Ukrainian Feast
I’ve been cooking a lot of Russian recipes and Ukrainian recipes recently for the site, which have inspired me to cook up a bit of a Russian-Ukrainian feast for us for dinner tonight. As regular readers know from my stories that accompany my recipes, my Russian grandparents were born in Ukraine before it was Ukraine, when it was still part of the Russian Empire, then raised under the Soviet Union until the Nazi occupation, and they settled in Australia post-World War II.
So the food my grandmother cooked, and she was an amazing cook, was a combination of Russian dishes and Ukrainian dishes. I made this baked cabbage roll casserole recipe this week for a lasagne-like layered cabbage roll casserole, called lazy cabbage rolls in Ukraine. It actually wasn’t baboushka’s recipe, but my own.
But that had me craving the traditional Russian cabbage rolls baba made (below), so I’ll cook those tonight. Incidentally, if you’re a lover of the cabbage roll or cabbage in general, do check out my cabbage roll fried rice recipe (a fantastic way to use leftover ingredients) and my hearty cabbage roll soup recipe (ditto), which probably had my baboushka rolling in her grave when I published that, but it’s so delish! And we’ve got more cabbage recipes here.
Back to tonight… I’ll also be making some pelmeni and vareniki, a simple garden salad or perhaps a beetroot potato salad, as I have beetroot in the fridge. I’m even considering putting a pot of borscht on as I can freeze some fo that for next week. You’ll find lots more of my Russian and Ukrainian family recipes here.
For dessert we’ll be having these Ukrainian sweet varenyky with summer berries and sour cream, as I still have some left from the shoot this week. The recipe makes delicious boiled dumplings filled with farmers cheese and berries served with a sweet sauce of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and red currants, and sour cream. Also eaten in Russia, where they’re called vareniki, and in Poland called pierogi, varenyky are thought to have originated in Ukraine. We can’t get fresh berries here so I used frozen berries and they were perfect.
Sunday Breakfast – Crab Omelette
I’m going to take it easy tomorrow as it’s been a tough week (month!) and I’m going to ask Terence to spoil me with this crab omelette, as we haven’t had it in ages and we’re lucky that we can get good blue swimmer crabs here at Siem Reap’s Old Market, which has the city’s best seafood.
This crab omelette recipe makes for a decadent weekend eggs dish that’s perfect if you’re just back from an early morning shop at the fish markets, armed with luxurious fresh crab meat. This crab omelette is a little sweet, a little spicy, and very, very moreish.
It was Terence’s inaugural recipe for Weekend Eggs, the Asian series some years ago and he adapted it from Charmaine Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook which used to be on our bookshelves in Sydney for years and saw a lot of use — it’s a classic in the Australian-Asian kitchen.
Solomon calls it a Vietnamese crab omelette, however, in all our travels through Vietnam — we lived there for a short time and I’ve hosted culinary tours there — we’ve never seen an omelette like this, so we tend to call it Vietnamese inspired. Wherever it comes from, it’s absolutely heavenly.
Sunday Lunch – Panzanella Salad
After such a feast on Saturday night, I’m planning on making this panzanella recipe for Sunday lunch as we have some stale sourdough to use up. This easy panzanella salad recipe makes the delicious Tuscan style bread and tomato salad that tastes of summer in Italy.
A bread salad with onions and cucumbers before tomatoes arrived in Italy, it makes use of stale bread, the hallmark of povera cucina, the no-waste cooking of the countryside. A traditional recipe, it’s versatile – just don’t tell your Italian friends!!
Some of the world’s most beautiful fresh produce is to be found in Italy – which is why some of the most delicious Italian dishes are made from just two or three ingredients: prosciutto e melon; the fresh mozzarella and tomatoes that comprise Caprese salad; and cacio e pepe, perhaps the world’s simplest pasta, made from cheese and pepper.
This panzanella salad recipe is one of those quintessentially ‘less is more’ Italian dishes consisting of little else but sweet ripe tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, zingy onions, aromatic basil, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, and… stale days-old bread.
Sunday Dinner – Roast Pork with Herbs and Spices
I’ve been craving Sunday roasts again, so that’s what I’ll be making for Sunday night dinner, this pork roast recipe for a spice rubbed roast pork stuffed with garlic, herbs and spices that is as rich and delicious as it looks.
The slow cooked pork belly roast has an incredibly crunchy skin and the melt-in-the-mouth pork belly is flavoured with garlic, herbs and spices. It’s so rich, you wouldn’t want to eat it every weekend, but it’s perfect for Sunday dinner.
If you’re looking for an easy set-and-forget pork roast, this succulent pork roast recipe is it. You will have to start this pork roast today, however, as you need to massage your pork belly with olive oil, spices and herbs, roll it up, tie it up, and it needs to marinate overnight so it’s infused with all those wonderful flavours.
Then tomorrow you just need to roast it and roast some vegetables with it. I also recommend Terence’s creamy mashed potatoes. And a good bottle of Aussie red.
Please do let us know if you make 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.