What to Cook this Weekend is a newish weekly series that we launched last month with suggestions for often easy but always memorable weekend meals from our recipe archives. Meal ideas might include dishes we’re making at home that we think you’ll like, feasts to cook for holidays, along with the occasional recipe we’re testing that you might like to try.
Pre-pandemic I complained endlessly about always being so busy. I definitely was not the kind of person who delighted in busyness. But after 19 months of mostly staying at home without proper work or income, I’m absolutely thrilled that we are busy again with Grantourismo and promising opportunities beginning to present themselves.
We’ll be clinking glasses of negronis with Christmas spices this evening to toast to busyness and the prospect of new projects – and our anniversary (please don’t ask how long). And, as we’ve been so busy that, despite scheduling it for weeks, we’ve still not put up the Christmas tree, so I’ll be doing that, with Pepper’s help of course.
That’s on tonight’s agenda, along with Terence putting on another batch of his traditional roasted spicy peanuts, some of which I will pinch again, so I can make up some more homemade edible Christmas gifts. Ah, the Christmas rituals we develop in a pandemic.
I’m guessing you’re busy too – just a week until Christmas!!!! – so when it comes to what to cook this weekend we’re keeping things simple again. If you haven’t dropped by in a while, our newish What to Cook this Weekend series came about because our other new recipe series What to Cook this Week, which we also launched last month, was so well-received by readers.
We decided to try a weekend edition, hence What to Cook this Weekend, which has also proved popular, so we’re going to continue both series next year. Each week, What to Cook this Weekend will comprise a round-up of meal suggestions for this weekend from our recipe archives – which are heaving with hundreds of recipes for dishes from around the world.
Some of those are decade-old recipes from our first recipes series The Dish, on recipes for the quintessential dishes of places we travelled to when we launched Grantourismo with a 12 month global grand tour back on New Year’s Day 2010. Many of our most popular recipes come from that series, from our côte de bœuf recipe, which superstar French chef Pierre Gagnaire gave us in Paris, to the Moroccan lamb tajine we learnt to make in Marrakech.
Suggestions for recipes you could make might include meals to cook for holidays, dishes that we’re cooking in our Siem Reap kitchen that we think you might also like, and meals based on seasonal ingredients. As with our What to Cook this Week series, we’d also like to use What to Cook this Weekend to occasionally share recipes that we’re developing for our cookbooks that we’d love you to try out and share feedback.
As we’re getting close to Christmas, look out for the next and final What to Cook this Week for the year on Sunday night and What to Cook this Weekend will return in early January 2022.
Before you scroll down to browse our suggestions for what to cook this weekend, if you didn’t check our home page before you landed here, we’ve been publishing Christmas recipe collections over the last week that you might also like, including our best Christmas breakfast recipes, Christmas cocktail recipes, best dip recipes for crackers and crudités for festive parties, best Christmas starters, best Christmas salads, and best desserts for Christmas.
Every day between now and Christmas, we’ll be adding more recipes and recipe compilations for Christmas day recipes, Christmas finger food and nibbles, Christmas mains and sides, and ideas for Christmas leftovers, so do drop by and visit again or subscribe (bottom of the site).
Now, I have a favour to ask, before you scroll down to our ideas for what to cook this week. Grantourismo is reader-supported. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting our work by buying us a coffee. We’ll put that coffee money toward cooking ingredients for recipe testing.
Another way to support the site is by making a small donation to our epic Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon or purchase something on Amazon, such as these 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. We may earn a small commission but you won’t pay any extra.
And lastly, you could use our links to book accommodation, rent a car or campervan or motorhome, buy travel insurance, or book a tour on Klook or Get Your Guide. Again, we may earn a small commission but you won’t pay extra. Lastly, you could also shop our Grantourismo store at Society 6 for plenty of great gifts designed with Terence’s photography. Now let’s give you some ideas as to what to cook this weekend.
What to Cook This Weekend from Thai Massaman Curry and Mango Sago to Marinated Pork Chops
Here are our ideas as to what to cook this weekend…
Friday Dinner – Miang Kham and Massaman Curry
As it’s our anniversary, we’re going to actually sit down at the dining table for dinner Friday night – I might even light some candles – open a decent bottle of wine, and do something a bit special.
Back in the day, when we were younger and living in inner-city Sydney we would go out to fancy restaurants, such as Rockpool and Paramount, for our anniversaries and birthdays and celebratory meals for graduations and job promotions…
One of our most memorable anniversary meals was at David Thompson’s Darley Street Thai, where we delighted in miang kham for the first time. It’s actually super easy to prepare, so I’ll make miang kham this evening.
I promised we’d keep things uncomplicated so we’re not going to do a full-blown Thai feast, plus I’ve left it too late to soak the rice to make David Thompson’s mango and sticky rice. You could make that, though…
We’ll still follow the Thai style of eating, which is similar to the Cambodian style of eating, and we’ll do a dip/relish, a salad, rice, and a curry, and as it’s a special night we’ll make it one of our favourite Thai dips, nam prik ong, a spicy pork and tomato dip…
… one of or favourite Thai salads, a larb gai or minced chicken salad (see the feature image above), and our favourite Thai curry, a massaman curry.
And while I might not have left enough time to make mango and sticky rice, there’s plenty of time to make this easy mango sago recipe…
Saturday Breakfast – Cambodian Chicken Congee
I like the idea of a comforting rice porridge for breakfast on Saturday. Our Cambodian chicken rice porridge recipe for borbor sach moan, the Cambodian take on Chinese congee is a classic Cambodian comfort food favourite that is eaten at any time of the day.
During our years in Cambodia we’ve observed Cambodians tuck into big bowls of borbor for breakfast, brunch, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner (particularly if someone isn’t feeling well), and a late night supper (i.e. hangover cure), but I do enjoy rice porridge most for breakfast in winter.
The most important piece of advice we can give you when it comes to making this Cambodian chicken rice porridge recipe is to use a good quality chicken stock, whether it’s homemade or store-bought, as this is the flavour base of the dish.
Saturday Lunch – Greek Salad Bruschetta
Since we were able to get a new toaster oven recently, after almost six months of not having one, Terence has been reviving his starter and has begun baking sourdough in the toaster oven again. I’m so pleased as he finds sourdough baking deeply satisfying.
So I’ve been browsing his sourdough bread ideas today for inspiration for lunch on Saturday. His ideas for things to do with sourdough include everything from the obvious, smashed avocado on sourdough, to the overlooked, pâté with pickles or tuna melts, to the sublime, French onion soup with sourdough croûte au fromage. (See Saturday dinner).
It’s not summer but winter here in Cambodia, although it feels like spring in Sydney, however, I like the idea of Terence’s Greek salad bruschetta, which will transport me to the Mediterranean for an hour.
If you haven’t tried your hand at sourdough baking yet, Terence has loads of resources on the site, from his simple sourdough starter recipe and beginner’s guide to baking sourdough to his no-knead sourdough pizza recipe and plenty of sourdough starter discard recipe ideas.
Or you could just buy a nice loaf of sourdough on Saturday and support your local bakery.
Saturday Dinner – French Onion Soup and Pan-Roasted Brined Pork
We have leftover French onion soup from our photo shoot for this new recipe on Thursday so we’ll finish that off for Saturday dinner, and follow it up with another French-ish dish with Asian spices.
If you haven’t given the French onion soup a try yet, I highly recommend it. My fragrant French onion soup recipe makes a classic French onion soup with a subtle Southeast Asian twist.
Inspired by French chef Raymond Blanc’s vegetarian French onion soup recipe, which uses toasted flour to add a nuttiness to the broth, I’ve added a little fish sauce for umami and star anise for aroma and flavour to create a deeply-flavourful onion soup.
Then I think we’ll have Terence’s pan-roasted, brined and marinated pork, which makes the juiciest pork chops ever. It’s another French-ish dish flavoured with Asian spices and it’s so good.
Sunday Breakfast – Pesto Scrambled Eggs
Pesto scrambled eggs – soft scrambled eggs with basil pesto on sourdough, sprinkled with pine nuts, fresh basil leaves and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano – will be perfect for breakfast on Sunday morning. What do you think?
Sunday Lunch – Lao Khao Soi
We don’t make the food of our northern neighbour, Laos, nearly enough, and yet we adore Laotian food. That will change in 2022. In the meantime, I’m going to make a pot of our favourite Lao noodle soup, Lao khao soi.
Terence’s Lao khao soi recipe was one that he perfected for years, since we first tasted Lao khao soi on our first trip to the country.
After introducing us to ‘cat poo’ biscuits (not what you think) our guide Bounmee pointed out a simple noodle joint in a dilapidated shed that he claimed made the best Lao khao soi in Luang Prabang, and we returned after our tour of Luang Prabang’s glittering pagodas and it was heavenly.
If you’ve tried and love the Chiang Mai khao soi, there is a connection between those soups and Myanmar’s ohn no kauk swe, both coconut milk-based curry noodle soups typically made with chicken and served with fried noodles on top. Lao khao soi is different again. I highly recommend giving this one a go.
Sunday Dinner – Russian Beef Stroganoff
I can’t go long without cooking one of my Russian family recipes, so for Sunday dinner I’m making my authentic Russian beef Stroganoff recipe, which really is the best beef Stroganoff recipe you’ll ever make.
As we’re keeping things simple, I’ll get Terence to do his creamy mashed potatoes, and I’ll serve it with my baboushka’s garden salad, and dishes of sour cream and homemade dill pickles, and that will be the perfect meal at the end of a weekend of great eating.
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.