Friday, October 21, 2011

Pa Jun (Korean pancake)

For two pancakes:

Mix 1 cup of flower (120 gram), 0.75 cup of water (180 ml), one egg (beaten) and some kimchi juice (according to taste) together. Add more water if the batter is too thick.

Add scallions, halved and cut into 2 inch lengths and some kimchi (finely cut). Optional: carrot, sliced red chili peppers, onion, zucchini or mushrooms.

Let the batter sit for about 10 minutes.

Fry the pancake in a skillet for 4 minutes.

Flip over and fry the other side for 2 minutes.

Serve with dipping sauce made from: rice vinegar and soy sauce (1:1) and some drops of sesame oil.

Or for a more elaborate sauce: 1/3 cup rice vinegar and 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon chili pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon scallions (thinly sliced) and 1 teaspoon chopped garlic.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chicken fattee with rice, crispbread and yogurt

Chicken fattee is a Lebanese layered dish. It's takes at least two hours to prepare. The best approach is to think in layers. The bread and yogurt can be cold, the rest of the layers need to be warm. Eat with your hands.

Layer 1 (crispbread)

Coat Lebanese flatbread with some melted butter and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the bread is crispy. Cut like a pizza in triangles. If you can't find flatbread, slice pita bread in half.

Layer 2 (rice)

Melt butter over a medium heat, add a cinnamon stick (or powder) and onion. Fry for 10 - 15 minutes. Add pre-soaked rice, water (200 ml for 100 gram of rice) and chickpeas. Boil, add salt and simmer until the rice is done.

Layer 3 (chicken and gravy)

The chicken takes the most time to prepare, so start with the chicken. Rub the chicken with olive oil, season with black pepper, salt and ground cloves. Bake in the oven for about 75 minutes. Take out of the oven and cool. Take the meat off the bone and slice into smaller peaces.

Deglaze the roasting tray - pour off most of the oil - with about 150 ml water.

Layer 4 (aubergine)

Cut an aubergine in small pieces, toss with salt and let sit for one hour. Rinse the salt off and pat dry. Fry the aubergine in olive oil until it's soft and light brown.

Layer 5 (tomato sauce)

Heat olive oil in a frying pan and fry sliced garlic until light brown. Add a cinnamon stick and a can of plum tomatoes, simmer for half an hour, then season with salt and pepper.

Layer 6 (yogurt)

Mix Greek yogurt and crushed garlic with salt.

Layer 7 (seasoning)

Chopped flat-leaf parsley and warm toasted pine nuts.

Assemble the dish.

Layer the crispy bread:

Add a layer of rice:

The chicken pieces:

Spoon some gravy over the chicken:

The aubergine:

Add a layer of tomato sauce:

Dot some yoghurt over the tomato sauce:

Finish with the flat-leaf parsley and pine nuts:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Korean ginseng chicken soup

When you are ill you need to eat chicken soup. In Korea this chicken soup is eaten in summer time to strengthen the body when it's hot. The Korean name is Sam-Gae-Tang.

The recipe is easy. You need a small chicken, one chicken each person, so it needs to be really small.

Stuff the chicken with some soaked rice (sweet rice if you have it), dried Korean dates (also called Chinese dates), fresh garlic, fresh (green) ginseng. Optional are: ginkgo nuts (roasted and peeled), dang-gui and goji berries.

Boil the stuffed chicken in plenty of water and add some of the ginseng, dates, rice and garlic to the pot. Boil for one hour or 1,5 hours. In the last few minutes add spring onion.

Serve with salt for dipping the chicken pieces.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Pommeau is a mix of apple juice and calvados, a brandy made from apples from the French région of Basse-Normandie. It's technically a mistelle. There are only two Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC): Pommeau de Bretagne, and Pommeau de Normandie.

Pommeau is consumed as an apéritif, or as an accompaniment to blue cheese, a Stilton in the above photo.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Maman Blanc's Tomato Salad

Slice tomatoes. Big juicy tomatoes. Spread them out on a big plate. Add red onion (sliced).

Shallot (very finely)
Dijon mustard (tablespoon)
Garlic (mashed)
Rapeseed oil (3 tbsp)
White wine vinegar (splash)
Hot water on the end and mix very well.

Drizzle on tomatoes and let it marinate for at least one hour.

Add salt and pepper, parsley and basil as a garnish.

Marinate the tomatoes with the dressing:

Chickpeas and chorizo

Both are excellent together for a quick lunch.

Fry chorizo slices in as little olive oil as possible: 3 minutes.

Add sliced garlic and lemon peel: 1 minute.

Add cherry tomatoes (halved and deseeded) and chickpeas: 3 minutes.

Add basil leaves and lemon juice.

That's it!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kerala Fish Curry

What? No fish curry on my blog? I have some left over coconut milk in the fridge and I want to make it a policy not to throw food away.

Onion, chopped -- 1
Garlic, peeled -- 4 to 6 cloves
Gingerroot, peeled and thinly sliced -- 1 (1-inch) piece
Chile peppers, chopped -- 1 to 6
Tamarind pulp -- 2 or 3 tablespoons
Warm water -- 1 1/2 cups
Oil -- 3 or 4 tablespoons
Mustard seeds -- 1 tablespoon
Ground coriander -- 1 tablespoon
Turmeric --2 teaspoons
Fenugreek -- 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves (optional) -- 4 to 6
Salt and pepper -- to taste
White fish, cut into bite-sized pieces -- 2 pounds
Coconut milk -- 1 1/2 cups

Place the onion, garlic, gingerroot and chilies in a blender or food processor and process until pureed but still a little chunky. You may have to add a little water and work in batches if using a blender.

Mix the tamarind pulp with the water and break it up with a fork or your hands to dissolve. Strain the tamarind water and discard the pulp.

Heat the oil in a large pot, kadhai or wok over medium-high flame. Add the mustard seeds and sauté until they start to pop. Add the dry spices quickly and stir just until they are absorbed by the oil. Do not allow the spices to burn.

Quickly add the onion puree and curry leaves. Reduce heat to low and cook until the liquid is reduced and the onions have lost their raw flavor, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the tamarind water, season with salt and pepper and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes to meld the flavors and reduce the liquid a little.

Stir in the fish ...

... and coconut milk and simmer slowly another 5 to 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Adjust seasoning and serve with basmati rice.

Fish curries in Kerala commonly use kudam puli (also known as kodampuli, kodum puli, kukum star or black tamarind) as a souring agent. This recipe uses regular tamarind as a substitute.
Kerala curry is good with a wide variety of fish. Use whatever is available to you.
Add 1/4 cup grated coconut with the tamarind water.
Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes if you like.
The dish is normally served quite spicy. Vary the number of chilies according to your taste.
Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of paprika along with the other spices.

I love my new De Buyer "Country Fry Pan" (24 cm). It's called a 'hapjes pan' in Dutch and has the same shape as a chef's pan (I think) but more importantly it has the same shape as an Indian/Pakistani "karahi". I used to own two original karahi's but they were made out of thin aluminum: completely useless. This country fry pan is made of heavy 99% iron - it weighs 1,5 kilo! It's perfect for curry's.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Raymond Blanc's apple tart

A basic apple pie/tart, French style.

Four elements: the pastry, the apples, calvados butter and custard filling.

First make the pastry

Mix 250 gram flower, salt and 125 gram butter. Mix.

Add one egg and a dash of water. Mix and set aside for half an hour in the fridge.

Roll the pastry until it's 2 mm thin. Line the pastry in a tart form. Make holes in the bottom with a fork.

Peel four apples, take out the core and cut in chunky slices. Arrange in the tart form.

Calvados butter
Melt butter, squeeze a little lemon, add sugar and some calvados. Brush over the apples in the tart.

Bake in the over for 10 minutes (220 degrees) and 20 minutes (200 degrees).

Custard filling
Double cream, egg and 50 gram sugar, whisk.

Take tart out of the oven. Sprinkle a little sugar and pour the custard filling over the tart and bake for another 10 minutes.

Not perfect yet, the oven temperature was a bit too high at one point. The pie wasn't quite "golden brown". And I didn't have any double cream, so I made the custard filling with milk, sugar and egg yolk.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bloedworst en appel

In Aubel, Belgium, at the Abbaye du Val-Dieu I bought some sirop de poires et de pommes. You can serve apple-pear sirup with baked blood sausage and apple. Add some bread, cheese and a glass of Belgium beer and you have an excellent lunch. Origin: Belgium and Limburg.

[ wordt nog bewerkt ]

Belgische bloedworst is gebonden met gort, Limburgse met boekweitmeel.

250 g bloedworst (Belgische)
2 á 3 stuk appelen (goudreinet)
½ st rode ui
50 gram ontbijtspek

Schil de appelen en verwijder het klokhuis. Snij de appelen in 10 schijven van 4 a 5 mm dikte.
Bak de appelschijfjes tot beetgaar en licht bruin in een pan met wat boter.
Snij de bloedworst in 30 schijven van ca 8 mm en bak deze in een hete pan met weinig olie. De schijfjes moeten stevig maar niet droog worden. Reken ca 3 min. baktijd. Snij de ui in dunne ringen en snij het spek in kleine blokjes. Bak de ui gaar samen met de spekjes.
Schik een appelschijf op een voorverwarmd bordje en leg hierop 3 schijfjes bloedworst.
Garneer verder met het uien/spek mengsel en versier het geheel met wat in hete olie gebakken grote roosjes peterselie

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Golubtzi with smetana

So, I bought smetana. Now I should find a recipe to use it. How about golubtzi? Stuffed cabbage.

Stuff the cabbage:
Boil cabbage leaves and spread them out on a plate once soft. Cut large veins to make rolling easier.

For the meat-mixture: saute onions and carrots until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons tomato paste, some tomato sauce, salt, and black pepper, stir very well and cook for another 1 minute. Mix with rice, minced pork, fresh parsley, fresh dill and mix very well.

Put the meat mixture on the cabbage leaves and roll it into a small packages.

Make the sauce:
Fry one onion, add can of tomatoes, a small can of tomato paste and water. Boil. Carefully mix smetana into the tomato sauce. (use fresh dill)

Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls. (the sauce can be thickened with some flower) Bake in a 170 degree oven for 1 hour.

Serve smetana on the table as well.

Braised mackerel with radish

A simple mackerel recipe. Cut the mackerel crosswise in 2-inch pieces, remove vins and head. Wash the fish.

Peel a Korean radish (Tae Baek) and cut in 2-inch chunks. One kilo for 2 mackerels. Slice 2 onions in large pieces.

Add all the ingredients to a large pot.

Make the seasoning:
12 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon shredded ginger
125 ml soy sauce
75 ml hot pepper flakes
2 tablespoons sugar
250 ml water

Bring to a boil. Pour broth over the fish.

Add spring onions and green and red pepper.

Simmer for half an hour. Evaporate excess broth.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Road side vegetables (Netherlands)

Daslook - leaf.


Wilde venkel :


Doofnetel - flowers

Assorted flowers - for decoration.

Clupea (herring)

The Netherlands are considered a herring-country but there are many ways of preparing herring. Smoked herring is chiefly exported to France, salted herring to Germany and 80% of 'Dutch' herring is imported from Norway.

This is a start of a long list of ways to prepare herring all across Europe.

Two types of herring are consumed: the Baltic herring, small, 14 to 18 centimeters; and the proper Atlantic herring.


Salzhering = raw herring in brine.



* stoombokking = warm smoked, Atlantic herring.

* spekbokking = cold smoked, Atlantic herring.

Hollandse Nieuwe / maatjesharing = Baltic herring, the head removed and ripened in salt water and caught between May and July.

Zoute haring = Baltic herring, the head removed and ripened in salt water and caught between August and April.

Zure haring = Baltic herring, zoute haring marinated in vinegar.


Smoked herring


Kipper = split from tail to head, gutted, salted or pickled, and cold smoked.


Salted and dried herring (eaten with beer):

Beurre noisette & clarified butter

Heat a very good quality unsalted butter until it smells of hazelnuts. The color will be golden brown, but the butter hasn't been burned (yet). Basically you use your nose when making beurre noisette.

You can keep beurre noisette in the fridge for 2 - 3 weeks.

Clarified butter is different in that you heat the butter on a slower fire. This will separate the milk solids (proteins such as whey and casein) from the fat (the water in the butter evaporates). Commercial clarified butter can be made by direct evaporation, decantation and centrifugation.

To make beurre noisette you first go through the process of making clarified butter. Then increase the heat and toast the milk solids brown.

In India clarified butter is known as ghee. There are many cultures which use some type of clarified butter. Sometimes, like in Ethiopia, the clarified butter is spiced with cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, or nutmeg. In Morocco the spiced ghee is aged for months and sometimes, years. This is called 'smen'.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Waterzooi (Abbey Val-Dieu)

Last Monday I had a very tasty chicken waterzooi at the Val-Dieu brewery in Aubel. I was used to a soup-like waterzooi but this sauce was very thick.

Basically you boil all the ingredients until done. Then you pour cream into the soup until it's creamy. In this case, a lot of cream.

I was driving home, so no beer. But we bought a bottle of Abbey beer (Brune), a bottle of local apple cider and 'sirup artisanal d'Aubel (apple & pear sirup). These will be used for cooking. Probably a meat stew with beer, pork chops in cider and the sirup will be great with fried apples and blood sausage.

The restaurant of the Abbey Val-Dieu:

The brewery:

Paella - Rick Stein in Mallorca

1) Fry garlic in oil, add squid & black pepper.

2) Add onion.

3) Add bell pepper.

4) Add tomatoes.

5) Add rice and saffron (you can mix the saffron with the fish stock).

6) Add fish stock. Make sure it's salty enough. You can mix the stock with some lemon at this point.

7) Fry some prawns separately.

8) Let it simmer on the stove top until the rice is half done (15 minutes).

9) Put the paella in the oven until the rice is done and the paella has a crunchy top.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dried fish (Russian)

I discovered a new Russian food store in Amsterdam. And they sell dried fish at 7,50 euro per kilo. The fish is dried and salted and you eat it as a snack with a glass of cold beer. The one fish I bought cost me 75 eurocent. [ update: the fish is in fact herring ]

These fish are pretty dried out and you need to peel, or break, off the skin and bones with your hands.

What's left is some dried and oily fish meat, salty and damn tasty. It's a great alternative to crisps.

Priwet Rossia
Vijzelstraat 87

Open: Mo - Sun from 10:00 AM - 10 PM.