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.

Borscht (борщ) Beetroot soup

So many variations on this soup. I will start by making a basic version. There is also a cold summer variation in Lithuania called saltibarsciai. Saltibarsciai is buttermilk mixed with beetroot, cucumber, fresh dill, green onion, hard boiled egg and sour cream.

Vegetarians can substitute the beef shank for some carrot, celeriac and other vegetables suitable for stock.

The heart of the soup is a nice piece of beef shank (Dutch: schenkel):

Put beef shank, fresh dill and chopped onion in a pan with three liters of water and simmer for 1.5 hours:

Half an hour after starting the beef broth, melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan. Add 500 gram beetroot (in small cubes), 2 tomatoes (and/or tomato paste) and 1 tablespoon vinegar to the pan. Simmer for one hour.

Fry this for one hour on a low fire in butter (I used three beetroots):

The 'other' ingredients:

Sauté the carrot and garlic 15 minutes before the beef broth is finished:

When the beef broth is cooked remove meat (discard bone) and fat, add chopped potato, 1/4 or 1/2 cabbage (cut in strips) and sautéd carrots & garlic).

Return meat to pot. Cook stock, potato's, carrot and cabbage for 15 minutes

Add the cooked beetroot and boil for 10 minutes:

Season with salt and pepper and add sour cream just before serving. Garnish with chopped dill or parsley. Make sure the sour cream is room temperature.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Potage de Crécy

Four French words for soup: consommé, potage, soupe and bisque.

Potage de Crécy is a creamy carrot soup from the town Crécy, although nobody seems to be sure from which Crécy (there are several towns named Crécy in France).

Sauté onion, carrot and a potato in butter or an olive-butter mixture. Instead of onion you can use leek. Sauté for 5 minutes. I used just one potato, some recipes state the same amount of potato's as carrots. You can also add a little rice.

Add chicken stock and thyme and simmer for 30 minutes. De KleinsteSoepfabriek sells an excellent chicken stock.

Cool and puree.

Bring to taste with double cream*, lemon juice and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley or thyme.

*) Due to the awful 'low fat craze' double cream is difficult to get in The Netherlands. I used slagroom.


I have tried coleslaw (Dutch: koolsalade) before but failed miserably. Now I know why. You can't just use raw cabbage, you have to marinate the shredded cabbage in salt and ample white wine vinegar overnight. This time consuming process softens the cabbage.

The recipe is simple. Shred cabbage and carrot with a mandoline (or electric shredder) in the desired size. I shredded the cabbage more coarse than the carrot. Sprinkle with salt and white wine vinegar and keep in the fridge.

The next day your coleslaw is ready. Mix with mayonnaise or with 50/50 mayonnaise and sour creme. Using sour creme gives the coleslaw a milder taste. I love to add a few caraway seeds. It's pretty tasty without the mayonnaise and/or sour creme as well.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Classic German Linseneintopf (Lentil stew)

Attempt 1 (fail, but stock is excellent)

Step 1: make 1 liter stock with 700 gram smoked Schweinebacke (I used only 200 gram and probably not from that particular part of the pig), one onion (whole), a 40 gram piece of celery root, bay leaf, black pepper corns and salt. Boil and simmer for 60 minutes but after 30 minutes (see step 2).

Step 2: After 30 minutes remove onion, celery root, bay leaf, black pepper corns from stock and add 150 gram carrots (cut in small dice) and 250 gram potatoes (cut in small dice). At this point remove the meat and cut in small dice. Discard excess fat. Return to the stock, add 200 gram soaked green lentils and simmer for another 30 minutes until the lentils are soft and the juice has been reduced.

Step 3: Bring to taste with white wine vinegar and salt.

Note: I used French Puy lentils*, any green lentils are okay. Brown lentils are a better choice for soup.

*) Puy lentils are the wrong choice. They remain too firm. Puy lentils are excellent for a (cold) salad, not for a stew or soup. It's confusing since Puy lentils are also a type of green lentils. Sometimes Puy lentils are called French Green Lentils.

Attempt 2 (success)

I wasn't too pleased with the result yesterday. Puy lentils are completely wrong; they remain too hard. Half a liter of stock was left so I decided to try again, this time using ordinary green lentils.

Fry some smoked bacon in olive oil.

Add onion (diced), carrot (diced), potato (diced), celeriac (diced) and soaked lentils. I added the stock and brought it to a boil.

This time I also added, according to the jar, 'Duitse knakworst' (they resemble Wiener Würstchen).

Simmer until the vegetables are done. The result was excellent. This dish is easy to freeze.