Thursday, November 4, 2010

Madonoume Sake Brewing

A junmai-shu sake from Madonoume Sake Brewing. Junmai-shu: pure rice wine; no adding of distilled alcohol.

There is no English on the website. This Sake is not dry at all, very fruity. Can be drunk warm or cold. I didn't like this sake too much.

1208 Yen in Japan (10 euro). 20 euro's in The Netherlands. Ouch!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Farfalle alla Crema di Gorgonzola

Just three ingredients: panna da cucina, gorgonzola and fresh sage. Well, and black pepper and farfalle pasta...

Melt 175 gram diced gorgonzola in 200 ml. panna da cucina (for 300 - 400 gram pasta). Add plenty of black pepper. Remove pan from heat.

In the meantime cook pasta. Drain and pour gorgonzola sauce into the pan with the pasta. Add finely chopped sage. Season with salt and serve immediately.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Navratan korma

Cut & paste, needs rewriting..

3 cups - Boiled vegetables (9 varieties-potatoes, carrots, green peas, french beans, cauliflower, capsicum, cabbage, bottle gourd, cluster beans)
150gms - Grated paneer
3 - Tomatoes
2 - Grated onions
1 1/2 tsp -Ginger paste
1 1/2 tsp - Garlic paste
Salt To Taste
1 tsp - Turmeric Powder
1 1/2 tsp - Red chilli powder
1 tsp - Coriander powder
2 tsp - Garam Masala Powder
2 tbsp - Cream
6 tbsp - Vegetable oil
1 tbsp - Ghee
1 cup - Milk / water
1/4 cup - Dry fruits (cashew nuts, raisins)
Coriander leaves for decoration

How to make navrattan korma :
Boil tomatoes till tender. Allow them to cool. Then peel off the tomato skin to make puree. Readymade tomato puree can also be used.
Take 1 tbsp ghee and slightly fry the dry fruits for about 1 min on medium heat.
Heat oil in a pan. Fry onions and ginger-garlic paste till golden brown.
Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Next add tomato puree and dry fruits. Stir well and cook the mixture for 4 minutes. Ensure that the mixture doesn't stick to bottom of pan.
Add milk (use water alternatively). Bring it to boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the gravy becomes thick.
Add paneer to the gravy and stir well.
Finally add all the vegetables to the above gravy and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Serve the navratan korma hot. Put cream and chopped coriander leaves on the navaratna korma decorate .

Aloo Palak

Aloo Palak simply means: potato spinach.

Start making a spicy spinach mixture. Cook spinach with 2 cloves garlic, ginger, onion and green chilies for 5 - 10 minutes (everything grated). Blend the spinach mixture to a fine puree.

Boil potatoes with salt and turmeric for 10 minutes.

Heet ghee in pan and fry cumin seeds, add 1 teaspoon garam masala, half a teaspoon of coriander powder and half a teaspoon of cumin powder. Add the spinach paste and fry for a few minutes.

Add potatoes and simmer to let the potatoes absorb the flavor.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Paella de marisco (seafood paella)

This paella is based on seafood only. It's a basic recipe. You can substitute the gamba's for snails, the langoustine for chicken, rabbit and or bell pepper, add peas, substitute the fish stock for chicken stock or vegetable stock etc.

For 3-4 people:

4 langoustines (Spanish: cigalas)
4 big gamba's

For the stock:
400 gram cangrejo y galera (= sea crabs, you can also use shrimp)
400 gram gamba's or shrimp with head and tails (heads and tails for the stock, the gamba's need to be fried)
1 bay leaf
1 clove of garlic

Fry in pan:
olive oil
half an onion
4 grated tomato's
1 cuttlefish (cut in small pieces)
Paella rice

Boil plenty of water for the stock. Add "cangrejo y galera", bay leaf, 1 garlic clove (whole) and simmer. Peal gamba's and add the shells to the stock. Skim foam off stock. Add saffron to the stock. You can also make a stock with just the heads and tails of the gamba's, bay leaf and garlic (in that case skip the "cangrejo y galera").

Cut the cuttlefish in small pieces. Grate the tomatoes, discard the skin. Cut onion very finely. Clean the mussels.

Heat olive oil in paella pan. Fry mussels in oil, remove them and keep aside.

Fry langoustines and big gamba's, add a little salt. Remove them and keep warm.

Fry onion.

Add cuttlefish and small gamba's.

Fry tomato's together with the onion, cuttlefish and gamba's.

Add paella rice. Fry for a little while and add a glass of white wine. Let the wine absorb.

Add stock through a sieve. Add a little salt and simmer until the rice is half done. Instead of saffron you can add Spanish yellow food dye at this moment, although this is just for color and doesn't taste of anything (I was told).

Add langoustines, big gamba's and mussels to the pan and simmer until the rice is done.

Serve with lemon.

Note: a paella pan is very thin. When the rice in the middle was done, the rice near the sides was still uncooked. You really need an even fire.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ossobuco (alla Milanese)

Ossobuco can be made in a number of different ways. This is a basic version.

Veal shank
Onion (finely cut)
Dry white wine (250 ml.)
Garlic (pressed)
Bay Leaf
Celeriac (finely cut)
Carrot (finely cut)
Tomato's (without skin and grated)

For the gremolata
Parsley (finely cut)
Garlic (pressed)
Lemon zest (grated)
Anchovy (finely cut)

Rub shank with flower and fry in hot butter for 10 minutes. The shank should be no more than 4 centimeters thick, in The Netherlands veal shank is about half as thick. Remove shank. Fry onion, carrot and celeriac in the butter for 3 minutes, add garlic.

Return the meat to the pan. Add white wine and simmer; add beef stock and tomato's. Add bay leaf, thyme (sage is also an option). Simmer until meat is soft (two hours). Add salt and pepper. Reduce sauce.

Gremolata: mix ingredients (start with parsley; add other ingredients according to taste) and sprinkle over dish on plate.

Ossobuco alla Milanese
The traditional recipe from Milano is made without tomatoes and flavored with cinnamon, bay leaf and gremolata. Prepare as above but skip the tomato's. Ossobuco alla Milanese is served with risotto alla milanese. The modern tomato version can be served with potatoes.

Witloof in de oven

A Belgium classic!

4 witloof (English: witloof chicory or Brussels witloof)
4 slices of ham (beenham = highest quality cooked ham)
200 ml milk
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons flower
100 gr butter
150 gr grated gruyère
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper

Clean the witloof chicory, remove bottom and bitter part near the bottom. Cut the garlic in small pieces. Melt 50 gram butter, add the witloof chicory, sugar and a little water. Simmer for 5 minutes, add the garlic and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove the witloof chicory and keep the butter mixture, you will need this for the béchamel sauce.

Making the béchamel sauce
Melt 50 gram butter on a high fire. Remove pan from fire and add 2 tablespoons of flower. Add 200 ml milk, mix well and add the butter garlic-mixture. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and half the grated gruyère cheese.

Bake in oven
Roll each witloof chicory in beenham and lay them in a buttered oven dish. Pour over the béchamel sauce and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Add the remaining gruyère cheese and bake for another 10 minutes.

It doesn't look good in this particular photo but it's very tasty!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Stoofvlees op Vlaamse wijze (met Westmalle Dubbel)

Flemish beef stew simmered in Westmalle Dubbel Trappist beer. Stoofvlees is a Flemish signature dish. There are many variations. This dish is closely related to Limburgs zoervleisj.

For 4 persons:

4 onions, roughly cut
1 kilo beef, cut in 2 centimeter pieces
75 gram butter
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (or: appelstroop)
2 tablespoons flower
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 bottle of Westmalle Dubbel Trappist beer
1 bay leaf
a few cloves
dried thyme
2 slices of old bread

Heat the butter and fry the meat on a high fire until brown (5 minutes and make sure the meat is at room temperature). Remove meat from the pot (season it with salt and pepper and set aside) and fry the onions for 3 minutes. Add sugar and flower and fry for a minute. Add vinegar, beer, bay leaf, cloves, thyme and the meat. Simmer for 1 hour.

Remove crust from bread and cover one side with mustard.

Put the bread, mustard side down, in the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.

Mix the bread with the sauce and simmer for another 1,5 hours (about 3 hours in total). Because of the alcohol and vinegar this dish will age well and taste even better the next day. Serve with fries and Westmalle Dubbel.

Soupe au lait des Ardennes

La soupe au lait telle qu'on la mange dans les forêts ardennaises... or (Belgium) Ardennes milk soup.

For 4 persons:

3 leeks (only the white part, thinly sliced)
Endive (6 leaves, roughly cut)
1 big onion (roughly diced)
2 tablespoons butter
1 liter of milk
3 waxy potatoes, cut in 1 cm pieces
Salt and pepper
Optional: parsley for garnishing

Melt the butter on a low fire. Add the leek, onion and endive, simmer with lid closed for 10 minutes.

Add milk and potatoes, season with salt and pepper (also possible: bay leaf, parsley, thyme and nutmeg), bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ragù alla Bolognese II

I already made some notes on this Italian meat sauce.

My version for the 2010 Berlin Marathon carbo-loading week.

This recipe is based on the "official" recipe from the Accademia Italiana della Cucina as announced on October 17, 1982. Serve with Fettuccine or Tagliatelle and Parmesan cheese.

For 8 people:
600 gram minced beef
200 gram coppa (this should have been pancetta but three butchers in a row where out of pancetta) (very finely cut)
2 chicken livers (* not part of the official recipe) (finely cut) The Accademia allows the addition of Porcini mushrooms.
100 gram onion (finely cut)
100 gram carrot (finely cut) My Italian neighbor says I have to grate the carrot and not cut it.
100 gram celery stick (finely cut)
200 ml passata di tomato (* official recipes says 60 gram concentrated tomato puree)
A glass of white wine
Beef stock (* not part of the official recipe)
350 ml milk
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Fry coppa in its own fat. Add chicken liver. Add some olive oil and fry the onion, carrot and celery. Fry until vegetables are transparent.

Add minced beef. Fry until brown.

Time to add the white wine and some beef stock. Beef stock is not part of the original recipe so I added only a few soup spoons. Next add the passata di tomato.

Then add the milk little by little until it is completely absorbed.

Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook very slowly for 3 to 4 hours.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Old Suriname dish dating back to the time of slavery. What does heriheri mean? Heri as an adj. means 'all' or 'whole' (From Dutch. Etym: heel) but I'm not sure whether heriheri has the same meaning. It could mean something like 'a complete meal'.

Drawing: John Gabriel Stedman

Prepare 500 gram bakkeljauw.

See how to prepare bakkeljauw in pictures.

Peel and cut one green (unripe) plantain, one ripe plantain, two fresh cassava and two sweet potato in smaller pieces (a little bigger than the size of your thumb). Plantain is called bakbanaan or kookbanaan in Dutch.

Boil water and add salt, first the green plantain, then the ripe plantain, cassava and (last) sweet potato. The green plantain should be cooked longer, say 30 minutes, the cassava, nappi and sweet potato is cooked in 20 minutes, or even a little less, the ripe plantain around 10 minutes.

Why green and ripe banana? They both taste differently.

Serve with bakkeljauw, hard boiled egg and zuur (pickles)*. I also found nappis as an ingredient, a Suriname root vegetable. Cook nappis together with plantain etc. To get some sort of sauce add some extra water when making bakkeljauw. The next day left overs can be baked in oil with some garlic, chili pepper and salt.

*) Surinaams zuur (pickles)
Cut cucumber, red onion and Surinamese pepper (adjoema or madam jeanette) in half rings, small strips or length wise. Mix some water with two tablespoons sugar, dissolve sugar in water by heating it. Add 250 ml vinegar. Cool. Add cucumber, red onion, pepper, salt, pimento, black pepper, fresh ginger and cloves. Instead of sugar Suriname people use 'Chinese suiker' (Chinese sugar). This is the artificial sweetener sacharine. Chinese sugar is sold in powder or small grains. (Another recipe)

Guide to the ingredients:

Green and ripe plantain


Sweet potato

Surinamese sweet potato (expensive at 7,50 euro per kilo)

Nappi in Sranang Tongo, no idea how they're named in English, are these yams?

Madame jeanette pepper or adjoema, they are so similar. I believe these are adjoema. Adjoema (available in yellow and red) are more hot than madam jeanette

Bakkeljauw, salted pollock

Prepared bakkeljauw

Surinaams zuur (pickled cucumber and onion)


Fladder is a Surinamese creole delicacy. It's beef tripe boiled in a stock made from madam Jeanette peppers and some greens. It's incredibly tasty but finding a recipe proves difficult because few people (outside Surinam) like it.

I couldn't find a photo but in this video clip called Boriman (Sranang Tongo for 'cook') you see a pot with fladder at 0:50 minutes. Never mind the cocaine.

Update 18/09/10: Went to Dappermarkt and ordered a small (4 euro) fladder, vleesworst, bloedworst and very spicy yellow pepper. In the stock there were no greens but there was quite a lot of star anise.

I found just one poorly written recipe on a forum.

Wash the tripe. Doesn't say how. Clean with vinegar?

Add water to a big pot and bring to a boil. Add salt, bay leaf, onion, celeriac leaf and "other" soup vegetables, black pepper, ordinary (?) pepper, stock cube (possibly Maggi) and pepper (presumably madam Jeanette).

Add meat stock, tripe and simmer on a low fire for a long time.

The recipe doesn't mention any quantities.

Traditionally fladder is cooked with Suriname vleesworst (meat sausage) and bloedworst (blood sausage). Both sausages should not boil otherwise the skin might burst. Add at the last moment (if used).

I did find the recipe for Suriname vleesworst:

1 kilo minced meat (half beef, half pork), 2 speklapjes met zwoerd (thick slab of bacon), 2 onions, 3 cloves of garlic, fresh pepper (chili), 4 twigs celeriac leaf, 1 egg, 5 slices of old bread soaked in milk, 2 beef stock cubes, 2 teaspoons salt, 4 teaspoons sugar, black pepper, ajinomoto, pigs intestines.

Clean intestines in vinegar and run though water.

Fry onion, garlic, pepper, celerica leaf. Cool.

Mince speklap, mix with: minced meat, spices (stock cube, salt, sugar, black pepper and ajinomoto), egg, bread and onion mixture.

Fill intestines with meat mixture and steam 30 to 50 minutes.

Note: Ajinomoto is a Japanese brandname of monosodium glutamate, a flavour enhancer.

Haas' Super tosti

Making a tosti seems straightforward enough. However, a good tosti needs some attention. Tomatoes are forbidden. There is too much water in tomatoes. It'll make the tosti mushy.

Get the best bread possible. I used sliced Grand-mère (white) baked by Vlaamsch Broodhuys. It's a traditional sourdough bread.

Assemble the tosti: slice of bread, a slice of a good quality young farmer's cheese, you need the rubbery texture when the cheese melts, some slices of good quality ham (not glued together in a factory), red onion, thinly sliced, another slice of cheese, slice of bread.

Butter BOTH sides of the tosti and fry in a pan.

Flip over frequently until both sides are golden brown.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shchi (щи) Cabbage soup

Shichi is even more of a quintessential Russian soup than borscht. Again, there are many variations.

It has to sit a few days before eating.

Basic ingredients:

1: Cabbage
2: Meat (optional)
3: Carrots or parsley roots
4: Spicy herbs (onions, celery, dill, garlic, pepper, bay leaf).
5: Sour components (smetana, apples, sauerkraut, pickle water).

Smetana is sour cream. I wonder if smetana is much different from Dutch sour cream. Where can I buy smetana in Amsterdam?

Basic Sour Shshi:

1) In a large pot put 1 kilo sauerkraut*, two carrots (chopped), two tomatoes (chopped) and a glass of water. Boil and simmer for 1.5 hours. *) Recipe said 1 kilo. This seemed a bit much so I used 500 gram sauerkraut and some left over white cabbage.

2) Fry a chopped onion in oil and add to the pot with sauerkraut.

3) Add 1.5 liters of water (vegetarian) or beef stock and cook for another 30 minutes.

4) Add 1 tablespoon of flower, pinch of black pepper and parsley. Stir and cook for 15 minutes. Optional: bay leaf, garlic. I also soaked some dried shi-take mushroom and added this to the shchi. And a can of concentrated tomato puree.

5) Simmer for 3, 4 hours on a very low fire.

6) Serve with sour cream.