Our suggestions for what to cook this weekend include everything from a Japanese okonomiyaki pancake for breakfast and mini chebureki for lunch – the fried pastries were a favourite Black Sea holiday snack of my grandmother’s when she was a child – to a long list of ideas for election night parties on Saturday night if you’re in Australia.
If you’re a first-time visitor to Grantourismo, 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 that we are cooking at home, which we think you might enjoy, as well as recipes that we’re developing and testing out for our cookbooks.
This weekend we’ll be focused on the Federal Election in Australia, and won’t be doing any cooking after 5pm on Saturday when polls close and votes start to be counted. I’ll be on the edge of the sofa holding on tight to a stiff drink and hoping that there’s a change in government.
If you’re not in Australia and not Australian, still take a look at that collection of recipes I compiled for Aussies having election night parties, as I’m sure you’ll still find something delicious to cook, no matter where you are in the world and what you might be celebrating. We’re alive!
And if you are dropping by for the first time, 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.
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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, election weekend in Australia.
What to Cook This Weekend – Okonomiyaki, Mini Chebureki, Green Minestrone and More
Here are our suggestions as to what to cook this weekend.
Saturday Breakfast – Okonomiyaki Recipe for Japanese Cabbage Pancakes
For breakfast on Saturday morning, I’ll be making this classic okonomiyaki recipe for the umami-packed Japanese cabbage pancakes. They are completely addictive, one of my favourite cabbage recipes, and one of my top suggestions as to what to cook this weekend.
These plump savoury pancakes are served at teppanyaki restaurants where they’re made old-school style on the teppanyaki grill although you’ll also spot them on menus at Japanese izakayas, casual taverns where the food is served to soak up the booze.
We like to make our okonomiyaki in a deep-sided 9-inch (23 cm) frying pan that we only use for egg dishes. When it comes to condiments and garnishing, anything goes in Japan, but an essential is Kewpie mayonnaise.
Another must is bonito flakes, dried bonito fish that is grated into flakes. Japanese restaurants like to use the industrial-sized bonito flakes that create an effect like they’re waving around and appear to be alive. Use whatever you can source, they’re both delish!
Saturday Lunch – Spicy Ground Beef Turnovers Recipe for Mini Chebureki
I’m going to make a batch of these spicy ground beef turnovers for mini chebureki for lunch on Saturday and and I recommend you do the same. A Crimean Tatar pastry, chebureki (чебуреки) are a popular street food snack in Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, and the Crimean Tartar diaspora.
I’m making them partly because they take me on a trip down memory lane, when my family used to sit around my grandparents’ dining table for weekend meals, feasting on my grandmother’s wonderful food, listening to them recollect distant memories, bittersweet and tragic.
If you cooked and enjoyed my traditional chebureki recipe, which makes the crunchy fried pastries stuffed with savoury minced beef and onions that are so big you need to hold them in two hands, then you’re going to love this spicy ground beef turnovers recipe for mini chebureki, which is another one of my top suggestions for what to cook this weekend.
This spicy ground beef turnovers recipe for mini chebureki makes a spicier, smaller, hand-pie sized version of chebureki, crispy fried pastries filled with cumin-spiced minced beef and onions, traditionally so large you need two hands to hold them.
Saturday Dinner – Australian Election Party Food Ideas
I compiled some Australian election party food ideas for our Australian readers yesterday because we’re hoping there’ll be something to celebrate on Saturday night.
Our election night food ideas include recipes for nibbles and snacks and easy dishes for sharing family-style, from curries to comfort food. Better put those bottles of bubbly in the fridge now.
As it’s getting chilly in Australia, we’ve included recipes for warming curries and chillies that could be made the morning of the big day, refrigerated, then reheated. Just put some rice when guests arrive and keep it warm in the rice cooker. Deliciously filling curries are also terrific for soaking up the booze.
We also have recipes for nibbles and dips such as French onion dip and cheese straws to snack on while counting is underway and results start to trickle in. Aside from the guacamole, all of the dips could be made the day before.
Sunday Breakfast – Korean Spicy Noodles with Kimchi, Bacon and Fried Eggs
I’m hoping we won’t need comforting on Sunday morning, but regardless I’m going to make this Korean spicy noodles recipe for stir-fried udon noodles with kimchi, bacon and fried eggs and it’s another one of my best suggestions for what to cook this weekend.
While the Japanese fried udon noodle dish, yaki udon, has a soy based sauce, this Korean-style yaki udon heats things up with kimchi, the spicy Korean chilli paste called gochujang and Korean chilli flakes, gochugaru. We add fried eggs for this Weekend Eggs recipe.
If you’re a lover of Japanese udon noodles but prefer the spice of Korean food, you’re going to love this Korean spicy noodles recipe for stir-fried udon noodles with kimchi, bacon, pork, and fried eggs. It’s a dish for pork lovers as much as lovers of noodles and spice. Although if bacon and ground pork is too much pork, omit one. This versatile noodle dish also works with seafood, chicken, pork, or vegetables.
For spice lovers, the heat from this Korean-style yaki udon comes courtesy of spicy kimchi (fermented cabbage), the spicy Korean chilli paste called gochujang, and the Korean chilli flakes called gochugaru.
Sunday Lunch – Green Minestrone Soup Recipe
We still have lots of spring vegetables available here – plenty of asparagus, zucchini and I even spotted some peas in the pods today – and if you do, too, then this green minestrone soup recipe is another one of my best suggestions for what to cook this weekend.
I’ll be cooking this green minestrone soup for lunch on Sunday as it makes an easy, versatile, year-round soup that starts out as a light fresh spring soup, but leave it overnight and it evolves into a warming, hearty autumn broth. It will keep in the fridge for a few days so we’ll tuck into the leftovers on Monday.
Vegetables can be substituted according to the season but use frozen peas and beans in autumn and you can pretend its spring! I love using butter beans in this soup as they are so rich and creamy. A good quality extra virgin olive oil (preferably) or a decent quality olive oil is essential, as you’ll really taste it in this soup – as is a sprinkle of grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano.
If you’ve not bought a Dutch oven yet, do it now. We use it for so many dishes – here are just some of our favourite Dutch oven recipes. A Le Creuset Dutch oven is perhaps the most-coveted, but we have the more affordable Lodge Dutch oven which is fantastic for soups and stews. Otherwise your favourite soup pot or stock pot will do the trick.
If you enjoy this green minestrone soup recipe and like slurping soups as much as I do – whether they’re chicken soups, noodle soups, chicken noodle soups, fish soups, warming winter soups, cold summer soups – you should also enjoy our Italian ribolitta soup and Italian wedding soup.
Sunday Dinner – Juicy Meatballs in a Creamy Tomato Sauce with Mash
I’m making meatballs again this weekend and on Sunday night I’ll be cooking up my Russian meatballs recipe for tefteli, which makes some of the juiciest meatballs you’ll ever taste. These are another one of my top suggestions for what to cook this weekend.
I know I told you that about our Italian-style meatballs recipe, but I hadn’t yet shared my baboushka’s Russian meatballs recipe for tefteli, an even softer, even more succulent, yet textured meatball thanks to the addition of cooked rice and grated carrot.
Made with ground beef and minced pork, grated carrot, and cooked rice, these incredibly delicious meatballs are coated in flour, fried until brown to lock in their juices, and simmered in a rich, creamy tomato sauce to finish cooking and soak up even more flavour.
Like the Italian-style meatballs, this recipe for my Russian-Ukrainian grandmother’s home-cooked meatballs is another of our best meatball recipes – which include recipes for all kinds of meatballs, from the Spanish meatballs called albondigas, a popular tapas bar snack, to the Southeast Asian meatballs squeezed into baguettes or rolled up in rice paper.
You’ll find lots more of my Russian and Ukrainian family recipes here. These meatballs are perfect with Terence’s creamy mashed potatoes and a simple garden salad. Oh, 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.