3 November 2014

Grilled pineapple, creme brûlée icecream

Slice a fresh pineapple lengthways. Put on BBQ sticks. Sprinle with brown sugar.
Fry in butter in a griddle pan.

2 November 2014

Cod, leek, red wine sauce

Start with the sauce: sweat some shallot and a garlic clove in butter. Add 1/3 bottle of light red wine, some vegetal stock, tomato puree, salt, pepper and some herbs (rosemary, sage, laurel, parsley). When thickened use a sieve to get the solid parts out. Then whisk in some butter to get a velvety sauce. Set aside to warm later.
Turn on the oven at 180 C.
Slice the white of a leek lengthwise, then cut into half rings. Sweat the leek in butter. In the meantime mix flour, salt and peper in a plastic bag. Put in two nice cod filets and shake. Fry the fish in butter and olive oil, about 3 mins each side.  Then put the pan in the oven for another 5 mins. Slice some more white of the leek very thinly. Heat some archaide oil in a saucepan and deep fry the leek.
Serve as shown.

My new book is out now. A recipe for living in France.

But sofar only in Dutch! However, while we are searching for a UK publisher, you can read some chapters here: http://www.thegoodlifefrance.com/tour-de-france-stops-for-no-one/
Subscribe to the TGLF newsletter to be notified about more chapters. Don't forget to like their Facebook page.

24 October 2014

Turkish aubergine, lamb, tzatziki

  1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Halve the aubergine lengthways and score the flesh side deeply, brush with a good layer of olive oil and put on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 mins or until the flesh is soft enough to scoop out.
  2. Fry a finely chopped onion in a little oil until soft, add 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1 tsp cinnamon and fry for 1 min. Once the aubergines are cool enough to handle, scoop out the centres. Roughly chop the flesh and add it to the onions. Halve 3 tomatoes, scoop the seeds and juice into a sieve set over a bowl, then chop the flesh. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook everything for 10 mins until nice and soft. Add a little more oil if you need to. Stir in some chopped parsley, leaving a little for scattering at the end.
  3. Lay the aubergine halves in a baking dish and divide the tomato mixture between them. Pour over the juice from the tomatoes, drizzle with more olive oil and bake for 30 mins until the aubergines have collapsed.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the tzatziki ingredients together. One should use fresh mint, but I had used the last from our garden earlier this week. So I used Greek yoghurt, a tsp mint sauce from a pot. Then took 6 cm of a cucumber, scooped the seeds out and grated the rest to add to the mix. Put in 2 small serving bowls.
  5. Season the lamb with salt, black pepper and a pinch of paprika. Griddle, grill or barbecue for 3 mins on each side or until the fat is nicely browned, then put in a serving dish and squeeze over the lemon halves. Scatter the aubergines with parsley, then serve with the lamb and tzatziki.
Recipe from Good Food magazine, August 2010

PS Served with pittah bread. Next time I'll add some other Middle Eastern spices to add more flavour 

22 October 2014

Vichysoise, crayfish

Cut 5 leeks (the white and very light green only) in rings, sweat in some butter with 2 crushed cloves of garlic and 2 chopped celery sticks. Add 2 potatoes (in small parts) and 750 cl chicken stock . Simmer for 20 mins. Use the blender. Serve with some nice crayfish.

15 October 2014

Squid on a stick (with fennel)

For 2 persons you need:
Squid: 3 bigger ones
Fennelbulb: 1
Star anise: 2
Coriander seeds: a tablespoon
Mint: 2 sprigs
Lemon: 1
Olive oil

Start with cleaning the squid: look here for a video:

Then cut  trough the 'sac' as shown

Next step is preparing the fennel:Remove the green top of the fennel bulb(s), cut in halves, remove the tough heart and finally cut both halves in 4 wedges: Then heat some oil in a griddle pan, add 2 star anise and  a tsp coriander seeds and finally the fennel:

When nicely browned transfer them to a plate and add some more oil, lemon juice and shredded mint, to marinate for 1 hour:

Finally grill the squid in the same griddle pan, till nicely brown and soft, this will take about 5 minutes. 

Cut the squid in pieces, take the fennel apart and alternate them on a stick.
Warm them up and serve with lemon or lines

Today I had this leftover pepper shaped paprika, for some colour 

14 October 2014

Grilled... watermelon. Really?

Yes, really! Lightly oil both sides. Then in a smoking hot grill pan, 1 min per side. Serve with Spanish ham and some blue cheese.

13 October 2014

Leeks, chicken liver, Brie

Whenever we are in a French supermarket we buy a package of chicken liver confit, meaning they have been slow-cooked in duck fat. We only have to heat them up. At the same time we soften, in butter,  the white of 4 big leeks, cut into rings. A round baking tin is covered with store-bought puff pastry to be pre-baked for 10 mins in a 180 C oven. The result is filled with the softened leeks, chicken livers are put on top and last but not least slices of good Brie are covering it. Then beat 3 eegs with 20 cl creme fraiche and some black pepper. Pour the mixture in the quiche. Bake for another 30, 35 mins till golden brown:

12 October 2014

Red mullet, safran mash, sauce vierge

Start with the mash: boil 1 potato with some safran and a garlic clove in about 18 mins.
In the meantime brown a tsp of fennel seeds in a dry pan. Set apart.
For the sauce vierge: cut another garlic clove finely and brown in some olive oil. Add more oil, 2 tbsp soy sauce and a tbsp  Ricard. Add fennel seeds. Keep warm.
De-skin a tomato, remove the seeds and cut into small cubes.
Fry the fillets of mullet, skin side down till crisp. Turn the heat off and then turn the fish for another 2 mins.
In the meantime finish the mash with some olive oil and cream.
Serve as shown, the green is tarragon.

29 September 2014

Leftover chicken curry

Instead of using curry from a pot, this is so much nicer and easy too
Vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, very finely chopped
we used small tomatoes
300ml chicken stock
leftover roast chicken, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp plain yoghurt
steamed rice, to serve
fresh coriander, chopped, to serve
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
half tsp ground cardamom
half tsp ground cinnamon
half tsp ground turmeric
half tsp ground chilli powder (or to taste)
Heat about two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Gently fry the chopped onion together with a pinch of salt for about 15 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and ginger. Continue to gently fry for another two to three minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the spices and ensure that they are well mixed with the onion. Continue to gently fry for another three minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Add the (chopped if you use big ones) tomatoes. Stir well and cook for another minute or so. Add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes so the flavours infuse. 
Add the roasted chicken and warm through. Dollop in about 2 tablespoons of plain yoghurt. Gently warm through so that it doesn’t curdle.
Serve with steamed rice and sprinkle over a little fresh coriander and more tomato.
Tip: Don’t have all the spices? Just use two teaspoons each of garam masala, ground coriander and ground cumin. This is also a good dish for using up a few odds and ends of vegetables. If they are raw, add them in with the chopped tomatoes, and if they are already cooked, add to the pot at the same time as the chicken. (Rachel Kelly inThe Guardian)

22 September 2014

Fig jammmm

Pick 2 kg figs from your tree, wash them and cut into small pieces. Boil them in an open pan with the juice of 2 lemons, 660 gr sugar and...some aceto balsamico for about an hour. In the meantime sterilize jam pots and lids. Fill the pots as much as possible, close them and put them upside down for 5 mins, then turn. Cover with a tea towel to slow down the cooling proces. Recipe: www.italiaanskokenmetantoinette.nl
Served with fried apple and foie gras.

19 September 2014

Summer Chicken

Cut 2 chicken breasts into strips. Cut 2 slices of bacon into matchsticks. Fry chicken and bacon. Add sliced courgettes and cherry tomatoes. Stirfry for another 5 mins. Add some chicken stock and a tbsp of lemon juice. Simmer for another 3 mins. Decorate with fresh basil. Inspiration: Gourmet magazine

18 September 2014

Nougat icecream, raspberry coulis

Take 150 gr. hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios, fry them lightly in a dry pan and let them cool. Separate 3 eggs, whisk the whites. In a small pan mix 100 gr honey with 4 tbsp of Canderel 100% sucralose and 3 tbsp water and bring to the boil till 120C (use a thermometer). Then mix this syrup with the eggwhites and fold it till cooled. Then add 25 cl whipped cream, the nuts, 50 gr white raisins and 150 gr raspberries.
Pour into a cake mold lined with cling film . Freeze for 12 hours.
Use a stick blender  to make the coulis from 150 gr raspberries, juice of 1/2 a lemon and 2 tbsp sugar
From Gourmet magazine.

6 September 2014

Ceci n'est pas une entrecôte!

But of course it is. Pan seared in butter. Simply served with seasalt and black pepper, a so-called pineapple tomato from our garden and fresh crusty French bread. Heaven!

Look at that marbled meat:

15 August 2014

Snow peas, beetroot, apple, goats cheese

We got the last of the beetroots and snow peas from our garden. Started with the dressing by bringing 3 tablespoons of port, 1tblspoon of red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of mustard, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a finely chopped shallot to the boil, for 2 mins. When it was cooled again we added some fresh thyme leaves, pepper and salt and whisked some olive oil in. Boiled the beetroots for 45 mins and the peas for 4 mins. Diced the beetroots and half a Granny Smith. Mixed beetroot, apple and dressing. Served as shown, with some goat chess on top. Nive for a summer lunch...

31 July 2014

Chicken salad

Crisp some Spanish ham in a dry pan. Boil a few green beans. Shred a leftover chicken breast. Whisk a Dyon mustard dressing. Mix beans, rucola, chicken, halved cherry tomatoes, red onion and ham. Done!

30 July 2014

Beetroot and feta salad

What to do with a leftover beetroot? Mix with some red onion, feta, oregano and a dressing of balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper.

We served it with a slice of quiche.

28 July 2014

Goat cheese salad

Start by putting a red bell pepper under the hot grill, till blackened. Take of the skin, then cut into strips. Prepare a dressing from Dyon mustard, walnut oil, - vinegar, running honey, salt, pepper and then olive oil. Toast the bread. Divide a soft goat cheese over the bread, drip some honey over it and put under the grill. In the meantime toast pine nuts in a dry pan. Peel a Granny Smith.
Serve as shown.

25 July 2014

Tomato curry, basmati rice, cucumber raita

For Simon Hopkinson's recipe, go to: www.simonhopkinson.tv

Dried duckbreast and goatcheese salad

Start with the dressing. Mix walnut oil, - vinager, mustard, cherry jam, salt and pepper, then add olive oil. Roast some pine nuts in a dry pan. Mix salad leaves, green beans, black tomatoes. Add duck slices , soft goat cheese and warm pine nuts

20 July 2014

Red mullet, puff pastry, bell pepper and more

Start early with a red and a yellow bell pepper. Put them under a hot grill till their skin turns black. Remove the skin, then put each paprika in a blender with some oil to make a coulis. Then use some puff pastry and cut out discs, about 8 cm diameter. Grate Parmesan cheese and cover  the discs, put them in a 200C oven for about 10 mins. In the meantime slice some ripe tomatoes finely and mix them with shallot to make a concise. Put the mullet fillets in a plastic bag with some flour, shake the bag till the fish is just covered. Fry the fish, skin side down for 3 mins, then turn over for another minute or two. Put the puff pastry rounds on the plates, heap on some tomato concassé, then the fish on top. Add some rucola and drops of bell pepper mouse. Enjoy!

5 May 2014

Sticky sweet and sour chicken

Put chicken thighs, tomatoes, limes (as they were used by Madame for her G&T I used lemons) in a casserole

Add a pot of (homemade if possible) chutney and red pepper

Really, that's all folks. Now put in 180C oven for 50 minutes

Done. Simple. Delicious. Add coriander en serve with naan bread to mop up the juices

14 April 2014

Cod, Thai green curry, Basmati rice

The garden needed too much work to go shopping on Saturday, but the supermarket had just announced they would be open on Sunday morning. They were, but not their butcher nor the fish department. Bought some frozen cod, a packet of ready made Thai green curry. Still had some papadums and Basmati rice. Easy does it: cover the fish with some flour (put them together in a plastic bag and shake). Boil the rice. Heat up the curry in 5 minutes. In the same time fry the fish. Crisp the papadums in the microwave (1 min at 900 W). Serve as shown with some fresh coriander. Delicious!

< Works with salmon as well. Or chicken.

Or sea trout>                  

Potatoes, smoked salmon, asparagus, horseradish mayo

Boil the potatoes. Mix mayo with horseradish and some capers. Boil the asparagus. Start plating with the potatoes, add some mayo mix. Then asparagus and salmon, and an extra dollop of the sauce

Scallops, leek, beetroot

Normally I would serve this with crumbled Spanish or Italian ham, but as the guest was vegetarian I came up with the beetroot. Quite chuffed about it. Sweat some some shallot in butter till soft. Add a glass of Noilly Prat and reduce till 20%. Add a glass of desert wine and do the same. Add lobster or shrimp stock and reduce till a nice consistency. Keep warm. Cut a leek in thin match like strips, sweat in butter till soft. Set apart. Slice a fresh (uncooked) beetroot in crisps thin slices. Grill the scallops in a dry pan. Deepfry the beetroot, dry with kitchen paper and crumble.