7 October 2018

Sea trout, pistachio, tarragon

First get the zest and the juice of a lemon. Slice 2 shallots into very thin rings. Mix 2 tbsp juice with 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp sea salt, fresh  pepper and the shallot. Rub the salt and sugar with your fingers in the shallots and reserve.

30 mins before serving (not earlier or the fish will be overcooked by the lemon juice), cut 4 fillets of sea trout (skin removed) in small cubes and mix the lemon zest, another 2 tbsp juice, 1,5 tsp sea salt, fresh pepper and 2 tsp olive oil.

After 20 mins heat 20 gr butter with a tsp caraway seeds till frothy, caramelised and with a nutty smell.

Plate the fish, pour the brown butter over it, and finish with the sweet&sour shallots, 20 gr of pistachio nuts and tarragon leaves .

(Another Ottolengi recipe)

1 October 2018

Salmon, pine nut salsa

For the salsa you first need to soak 50 gr black currants in hot water, for 20 minutes.

In the meantime slice 2 stems of celery lengthwise in 3 and then cut into small cubes. Boil 50 gr of samphire for 3 mins, rinse under the cold tap to stop the cooking and drain. Zest a lemon. Soak 1/4 tsp of saffron in a tbsp hot water. Weigh 20 gr capers. Finely cut 20 gr of green olives.

Then its time to sweat the celery in 30 cl olive oil in a sauce pan and to roast 15 gr of pine nuts in a DRY pan till nicely golden brown (do not burn)

After 6 mins the celery is ready. Take off the heat and mix with the samphire, the olives, the lemon zest, 1 tbsp lemon juice, the capers, the saffron and a pinch of salt.

Lightly oil two salmon filets and panfry, skin side down, for about 3 mins. Then kill the heat and turn the fish. This side is ready in 2 mins.

Drain the currants and mix with the salsa.

Serve as shown, with celery leaves as decoration.

<The salmon should be nice and pink inside.

(An Ottolenghi recipe)

30 September 2018

Green asparagus, mimosa

I wanted a starter but did not want to go shopping. Took some leftover asparagus from the fridge and remembered this recipe from a small French bistro. Simple, with some good olive oil and sea salt.

18 September 2018

Chocolate ice-cream, raspberries

From top to bottom:

Whipped cream
Raspberry coulis
Chocolat icecream

Jacket potato, blue cheese, spinach

Pre heat the oven at 220C. Boil 2 big potatoes for 15 mins, then lightly cover them with olive oil, sprinkle some sea salt over them and transfer into the oven. You can take them out after 20 minutes, cut them in two and scoop out the contents.

Divide 20 gr butter over the inside of the empty skins, followed by  a pinch of sea salt over  and put back in the oven for 8 mins.

Roast some leftover nuts in a DRY pan.

Mash the potato and mix with 70 gr blue cheese, 40 gr butter and some cream .
Stir fry 200 gr spinach in 20 gr butter and squeeze out the liquid. Stir trough the potato mix.

Take the skins from the oven and fill with the potato mix. Put back in the oven to colour. Serve with the roasted nuts. One pp as a starter, two pp as a main

( My interpretation of an Ottolenghi recipe)

16 September 2018

Braised beef cheek

If you have to economise at the end of the month this is not hardship, your butcher will ask about 9 euro per kilo and it is delicious.

Cover a 400 grs beef or veal cheek lightly with oil, some salt and pepper and grill them till nicely browned.

Melt 30 gr butter and sweat a diced shallot and 4 mushrooms. Add 3/4 liter of beet juice, 1/4 liter of beefstock, 150 ml red wine and some thyme. Then slowly braise the cheek in it for 4 and possibly 5 hours.

Take out the meat and keep warm and discard the rest and reduce the liquid till you have a nice thick sauce.

Fry some shiitake and other mushrooms in some butter.

Serve with nice salad leaves

(Recipe by Aussi chef Shannon Bennett)

Portobello, poached egg on brioche

Cut 2 portobellos in 1 cm thick slices and mix them with 1 clove of garlic, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp sea salt and pepper from the mill.

Preheat the oven at 220C

Mix 2 tbsp olive oil with another 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 garlic clove, 1/8 tsp chili flakes and 1/4 tsp sea salt. Cut 2 thick slices of brioche and cover them with this mix.

Bake the mushrooms in the oven for about 13 minutes, after 7 minutes put the bread in to toast.

Poach the eggs and serve with basil leaves and a spoonful of sour cream.

(recipe by Ottolenghi)

15 September 2018

Tofu, haricots verts, chraimeh sauce

Before you cook the beans and panfry the tofu this wonderful Libian sauce has to be prepared.

Roast 1 tbsp caraway seeds in a dry pan and use a mortar and pestle to pulverise. Then cut 6 cloves of garlic very finely. Mix caraway and garlic with 2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and fry in 2 tbsp sunflower oil for a minute. Then add 3 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp salt and the juice of a lime. Stir. Add 250 cl hot water and keep stirring for 2 mins to bind the sauce. I used some cornstarch to make it even thicker.

At the end mix beans and tofu  with the sauce and 15 grs of coriander. Serve with lime (which I did not have)

(Recipe by Ottolenghi)

14 September 2018

Jacket potato tonnato sauce

Scrub and boil 2 big potatoes for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven at 220C.

Dry the potatoes, lightly oil them with olive oil en sprinkle some sea salt over them before putting them in the oven for 25 minutes.

In the meantime mix the contents of a 145 gr can of tuna, with 160 ml unsweetened mayo, 1 clove of garlic,  20 cl milk, 10 gr capers, 20 gr of parsley, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 2 anchovies in your blender.

5 mins before the potatoes are ready it's time to boil 2 eggs for 5 mins.

Cut the hot potatoes almost in two, sprinkle some salt flakes inside and stuff them: first with some more tuna, then the tuna sauce and finish with the runny eggs, more capers and parsley.

My interpretation of an Ottolenghi recipe

12 September 2018

Sea trout, macadamia/parsley butter

Roast100 grams raw macadamia nuts in a dry pan. Mix in the kitchen machine half with some flatleaf parsley, 70 gr soft, salty butter, the juice of half a lemon.

Clean the machine and mix the other half of the nuts with parsley, coriander, dill, the rest of the lemon juice and 4 tbsp olive oil into a smooth pesto.

Pre heat the oven at 200C.

Cover 4 sea trout filets, skin side down, with the butter mix
In the oven they will be ready in about 15 minutes

Serve as a starter with the pesto and lemon slices.

As a main you can add sugar snaps and roasted potatoes

(Recipe: Shannon Bennet)

4 September 2018

Gratinated mussels with garlic&herb butter

Pre heat the grill. Wash 1 kg mussels. Then bring a cup of water to the boil, add the mussels and cook for 6 mins. Open the mussels and discard the top shell. Spread the remaining shells in a baking tray. Use a disposable piping bag to put a cm of the  125 gr garlic&herb butter on each mussel. Finally spread 120 gr of grated Emmentaler cheese over the mussels.

Under the hot grill for 5 minutes. serves with fries or crispy bread

(recipe Viva Magazine)

1 September 2018

Italian sashimi

Slice red bass fillet and cover with the juice of a lemon. Leave alone for 10 minutes, so the juice can cook the fish. In the meantime quarter cherry tomatoes and get some small basil leaves. Finish with pepper and salt and some good quality olive oil.

(A Jamie Oliver recipe)

1 August 2018

Strawberry tira misu

Whisk 250 ml cream. Then mix 250 gas Mascarpone with 70 grs powder sugar, Then fold the cream trough the Mascarpone. Open a package of lady fingers and soak them in Limoncello.
Use a baking tin  and put in the biscuits and mascarpone mix in layers.. Put this 'tiramisu' for 2 hours in the fridge.
Cut in 4 x 7 pieces and cover with strawberries. Then crumble some meringue on top and finish with fresh mint

Cauliflower steak and chermoula

Cut a cauliflower lengthwise in 1,5 cm slices and lightly cover in coconut oil.
Then make the chermoula,  there are many recipes, but we prefer the one that Amanda Ursell published in the Times. Roast 1 table spoon of sesame seeds, 2 tea spoons of cumin seeds and 2 tea spoons of fennel seeds in a dry pan. Grind them in a pestle. Mix them with a bunch of fresh parsley and a bunch of fresh coriander, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 teaspoons of paprika powder, some orange zest and enough olive oil to make a thickish dressing with the blender.

Bake the cauliflower in a 200 C oven for 20 mins.

Boil some eggs

Serve as shown 

A Sarah Britton recipe.

Asparagus lemon-goatscheese sauce

Mix 100 grs soft goats cheese with a finely chopped garlic clove, half a tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt and the zest of a lemon. If necessary some water to make it more liquid.
Lightly cover the asparagus with coconut oil and use a griddle pan to cook them in about 4 mins.

10 June 2018

Salmon on pearl barley

Melt 25 gr butter and sweat 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic. Add 60 gr pearl barley and stir to cover each grain. Add 50 cl white wine and let it evaporate. Then add 300 cl fish stock. Stir from time to time and add more stock when needed. It's like making risotto.

In the meantime cut 100 gr sugar snaps in half.
Bring water to the boil to cook the sugar snaps for 1 min., then add 75 grs of samphire and cook for another 3,5 mins. Pour trough a sieve and douse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

The barley will take almost an hour, 5 mins before it's time to panfry the salmon. About 2 mins on each side.

Mix the veggies with the barley to reheat for a minute or so.

Serve with thinly sliced lemon.

Carpaccio of roasted paprika

Plus anchovies, capers,  garlic, olive oil and parsley.

29 May 2018

Open crayfish and spinach lasagne

Lucky me had some nice lobster stock in the freezer and found this recipe from Louise Robinson on Great British Chefs. If you are not so lucky follow the link below to make your own.

Then prepare the spinach, broad beans and pasta. Sauté 300 gr baby spinach in a little water until just cooked. Stir through 15 gr of butter and season with salt and pepper

Blanch 750 gr podded broad beans in boiling water for 3 minutes and immediately refresh in iced water. Remove the skins from the beans and set aside the skinned beans in a bowl

Cook 7 strips of fresh lasagne in boiling, salted water for 4–5 minutes or until soft. Drain and drizzle with a little olive oil
Stir in 50 ml double cream, check the seasoning and pour the sauce into a tall jug. Using a hand blender, whisk the sauce briefly

Place a spoonful of spinach in the middle of each plate. Spoon a little sauce over the spinach and fold over 3 strips of lasagne. Add half the crayfish, broad beans and layer again with 2 more strips of lasagne, the remaining spinach, crayfish and broad beans. Spoon over a little more sauce and serve

If you can't get your hands on any crayfish, shell-on king prawns make a good alternative.


Thick brown onion soup

  • In a large Dutch oven or other large pot, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add some  oil and 1 kg sliced onions; cook onions are until softened, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and a tbsp sugar; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown and caramelized, reducing heat slightly if onions seem to be browning too quickly, 35 to 45 minutes more.
  • Add the 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves for the final few mins of the onions’ cooking time, then sprinkle in 2 tbsp flour and stir well.
  • Add 250 ml white wine and raise heat to high. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Tie 10 sprigs of thyme and 2 bay leaves into a bundle with twine. Add 1 liter of hot beef (or chicken) stock and the herb bundle to the pot with onions. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until broth is thickened and flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Heat the broiler. Cut one or two 1/2-inch baguette slices for every serving of soup. Place baguette slices on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until crisp and dry but not browned, about 1 minute per side. Rub one side of each toast with the garlic clove and set aside.
  • Place ramekins or ovensafe bowls on a rimmed baking sheet, add 1/2 teaspoon of sherry to the bottom of each, and ladle soup on top. Top each serving of soup with two garlic-rubbed toasts. Divide grated cheese  among the servings, covering the bread and some of the soup. Carefully transfer baking sheet to oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling, 4 to 8 minutes. 
  • Alternatively, you can complete the toasts under the grill, then serve them on top.  ( I combined recipes from BBC and Epicurious)
  • 25 May 2018

    Chicken sandwich

    Chicken breast
    Red onion
    Fajita tomato salsa

    21 May 2018

    Pan fried Red Mullet, seared oranges, spring onions, whipped clotted cream potatoes

    1. Combine 3 tbsp white vinegar and 3 tbsp water together and boil to reduce by half.
    1. Add the juices and zests of 3 oranges and 1 lemon, a chopped shallot, 3 coriander seeds & a star anise. This will increase the flavour and consistency. Reduce to a rich, thick, syrup juice.
    1. Push through a fine sieve. The dressing is now ready.  
    1. Segment 2 oranges and sprinkle with caster sugar. Then colour under the grill or with a gas gun. 
    1. The 8 spring onions are best cut at an angle. Blanch in boiling water for 1/2 minute. 

    1. Season with flour, salt and pepper. Coat the skin of the mullet and then lightly brush with butter. 
    1. Heat the frying pan with a drop of olive oil. The fillets can now be laid in skin side down over a medium heat. The fillets will take 3-4 minutes to become crisp and golden then turn the fillets over and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. 
    1. The clotted cream mashed potatoes turn the dish into a dream. The potato can be piped or spooned, place the fillets on the potato with the citrus dressing drizzled around.
    1. Enjoy!             Recipe by Craig Middleton, The Imperial Hotel, Barnstaple

    18 April 2018

    Hawaian Poké bowl with shrimps

    Ideal for solo cooking. Per person 75 gr sushi rice, 1/2 avocado, 1 spring onion, 50 grs carrot, 50 gr chukka wake seaweed salad, 100 grs shrimps, 1 small Shanghai paksoi, 1 tsp black&white sesame seeds.

    Cook the rice, which will take almost 30 mins. Plenty of time to start with the Togarashi Aioli sauce: mix 3 tbsp Mayo, 1 chopped garlic clove , 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp Togasrahi powder, a bit of pepper.

    Slice the avocado lengthwise. The carrot in matchsticks. The onion in rings.
    Fry the shrimps (or gambas). Stir fry the chopped paksoi.

    Serve as shown, the shrimps covered in sauce.

    Inspired by Viva magazine

    17 April 2018

    Hawaian Poké bowl with beef

    Ideal for solo cooking. Per person 75 gr sushi rice, 100 gr tender beef, 10 cherry tomatoes, 4 radishes, 3 basil leaves, 1 small Shanghai paksoi, 1 tsp black&white sesame seeds.

    Marinate the beef in 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp grated ginger, 1 finely chopped garlic.

    Cook the rice, which will take almost 30 mins. Plenty of time to slice the radishes and basil.
    Halve the tomatoes and put them in a 150 C oven.

    5 mins before the rice is ready stir fry the paksoi. Take the meat out of the marinade and fry the beef, 2 mins at each side. Kill the heath and pour the rest of the marinade over the meat. Let it rest while filling the bowl(s): first the rice, followed by the veggies. Cut the meat and add. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the lot

    Serve with soy sauce and sriracha (hot chilisauce).

    (Inspired by Viva magazine) 

    14 April 2018

    Piadina chicken

    Start with making tomato/ginger chutney (thank you Martha Steward): In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add 1 chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, and 1 tbsp grated ginger. Cook, stirring, until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add a tin of diced tomatoes, 50 ml red wine vinegar, 50 gr brown sugar, and 35 gr raisins. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and jamlike, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool completely.

    Grill 2 chicken thighs. Finely cut a shallot into rings, grate 50 grs cheese. Wash rucola.

    Spread 2 tbsp tomato/ginger chutney over a panini.  Then put some chicken meat on one half, plus  a handful of rucula,  some grated cheese .

    Fold the flatbread and bake in an electric grill for a couple of mins.

    If your supermarket does not stock these Italian flatbreads it's easy to make your own with 250 gr flour, 1 g soda bicarbonate, 50 to 75 g lard (you can substitute this with some extra virgin olive oil)
    1/2 tsp salt, Water and white wine in equal quantity, enough to make a smooth dough

    14 March 2018

    Smoked mackerel, beetroot, avocado, prawns.

    A few bits of smoked mackerel, some fried prawns. Half a beetroot thinly sliced, the other half pureed with 120 ml chicken stock
    Half an avocado diced, the other half pureed with 120 ml vegetable stock, then I added 1 leaf of gelatine.
    Some thinly sliced red onion, a few dollops of mayo/horseradish... that's all folks.

    (Inspired by Belgian masterchef Mario Aerts)

    13 March 2018

    Miso glazed skrei, carrot and ginger sauce and crispy cavolo nero

    1. Place 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sake (or sherry) and 20 gr sugar in a small saucepan. Heat gently and mix until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in 20 gr white miso paste together with a tsp sesame oil until combined. Leave to cool to room temperature. Coat the skrei with the marinade, cover with cling film and infuse overnight.                                                                                                                   
    2. The next day, melt a tbsp  butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add 4 chopped carrots and  1 tbsp grated ginger and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in 250 cl vegetable  stock, reduce heat and simmer for a further 8 to 10 minutes. Once the carrots are cooked and the liquid has reduced by two thirds, transfer the vegetables and cooking liquid to a blender and purée. Once silky smooth, season to taste.
    3. Remove the thick vein of some cavolo nero leaves (or kale). Cover lightly with oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking tray and roast for 11 minutes (at 160°C) until crisp. Leave to cool.
    4. Heat oven to 200°C. Drain a handful of  chickpeas and rinse. Transfer to a kitchen towel and pat dry. Spread out onto a baking tray, season with a drizzle of oil, salt and paprika and roast for 25 minutes until crisp.
    5. 10 minutes prior to the chickpeas being cooked turn your attention to the Skrei. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over a high heat. Sear the Skrei for 2 minutes on each side, caramelising its exterior. Transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Serve on a drizzle of puree, delicately sprinkle the chickpeas and garnish with the crispy cavolo nero.  
    Recipe from Michel Roux jr on seafoodfromnorway.co.uk

    10 March 2018

    Sweet potato, fennel, mushrooms, tofu, etc

    Boil 400 gr sweet potatoes. In the meantime cut 2 onions, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 fennel. Sweat them in a bit of olive oil. Drain the potatoes, mash with some creme fraiche and mix with the fennel and some dill.

    Then fry 10 shiitakes and 10 chestnut mushrooms, crumble 200 gr tofu over them and color with 1 tsp curcuma. Add some celery and parsley. Sweat for a couple of mins. and serve as shown.

    Recipe: Omroep Max. Here's a video (in Dutch)

    25 February 2018

    Sea bass, cauliflower purée, glazed chicory. Pine nut and raisin dressing

    For 2 pers. : 200g sea bass. 1 cauliflower, 100g butter, 100ml milk, 50ml cream, 40g raisins, 20g pine nuts, 10 leaves of coriander, 10g capers1 chicory, 1 orange, 1 lemon, 20ml red wine vinegar 20g icing sugar, heaped tbsp curry powder, 100ml olive oil and some chopped coriander to garnish 

    Start with the curry oilToast the curry power in a dry pan and, in a separate pan, heat the olive oil to approximately 60°C. Then pour the olive oil over the curry powder, strain and leave to one side to cool.

    Then prepare the dressing:  Place the raisins in a bowl of hot water and set aside until they have plumped up. Assemble the dressing — mix the pine nuts, raisins, capers, coriander and curry oil.

    For the cauliflower purée: Chop the cauliflower into smaller pieces, keeping a few small florets for garnish. Melt the butter in a pan and sweat the cauli ower pieces off  until softened. is should take about three minutes.Whilst the chunks of cauliflower are cooking in the butter, place the smaller cauliflower florets in boiling water for about one minute. Take off  the heat, drain and put to one side. Add the milk to the pan with the larger cauliflower pieces and cook until tender. Drain the cauliflower and place in a blender with the cream until smooth. Season with a little salt and pepper.

    Time for the chicory: Grate the zest from the lemon and orange and place in a bowl with the juice of half the lemon and half the orange.Remove the root from the chicory, take off  a couple of the outer leaves and cut the chicory in half lengthways.Heat a non-stick pan and melt a small amount of butter.
    Place the cut side of the chicory into the icing sugar, tap o any excess and place in a hot pan.

    While the chicory is cooking, heat a small amount of the dressing in a separate pan and add the cauliflower florets, just long enough for them to take on the colour of the curry oil.

    Returning to the chicory, de-glaze the pan with a splash of vinegar and add the zest and juice from the orange and lemon. Turn the chicory to cook both sides. is will also let the juices reduce down to a lovely syrup.

    Season the fish, heat another pan and fry it in a little oil, skin side down, for two minutes. 
    Turn the fillets over and cook for another minute or two.

    To plate up, place a spoonful of the cauliflower purée in the centre of the plate and drag the purée down, creating a smeared look.
    Place the chicory diagonally across the purée, position the fillet on top of the chicory and put a few spoonfuls of the raisin and caper dressing on the plate.

    Add the cauliflower florets on top of where you have positioned the dressing, sprinkle with a little chopped coriander and drizzle some of the remaining curry oil around the plate. Enjoy!

    Recipe from Eurestfood. Here's a video

    PS Next time I'll make this without the chicory. Less work and just as nice!

    6 January 2018

    Yellow paprika soup, smoked halibut, fennel, samphire

    Start with the soup. Roughly cut 2 yellow paprikas, 1/2 a fennel bulb, 3 cloves of garlic and a stalk of celery and sweat them in some olive oil. Add a pinch of safran.
    Add 0,8 litre chicken stock and softly boil for 10 mins. Use a stick blender to liquify and then add 100 ml cream.
    Boil some samphire for 3 mins.
    Use a mandoline to make very thin shavings the other halve of the fennel bulb.
    Now whip some cream. Add a tbsp Pernod and whip again.

    Start plating:
    Put some fennelshavings in the middle of the plate.
    Then some samphire
    Now the smoked halibut
    Finally a quenelle of cream

    Hold the stick blender just above the soup and create a nice foam.
    Then pour the soup around the little tower

    (Inspired by Angelique Schmeinck, 24Kitchen. Here's a video )

    5 January 2018

    Potato tuile, guacamole, smoked halibut

    Start a day in advance with making lemon jelly from 60 cl lemon juice, 20 cl sugar water, 20 cl water and 1 leaf of gelatine. 
    For the tuiles: mix 160 gr boiled potatoes with 5 tbsp of grated Parmesan, 20 gr butter, 1 tsp Curry Madras till you have a smooth substance. Preheat the oven on 160C, put baking paper on an oven tray and put 4 heaps of the potato mix on it. Flatten with a spoon. Bake till golden brown and crisp, do the same with the other side after turning. Take out to cool.
    In the meantime make the guacamole from 1 avocado, 1 tbsp coriander, 1 tsp limejuice, the zest of the lime and a knifepoint of piment espelette.

    Put a tbsp guacamole on each tuile, then some smoked halibut and finally some lumpfish roe. (unless you prefer caviar).

    (my interpretation of a recipe from Belgian chef Peter Goosens)