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.

Celeriac (winter vegetable)

Instead of potato puree.

Peel and cube a celeriac and poach in milk with some salt (20 minutes).

Drain the cubes and puree with a little of the milk. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Make a "beurre noisette" and mix in puree.

Beet root salad (winter vegetable)

Boil/steam beet root in skin and peel (40 minutes).

Cut the beet root in quarters, drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, shallot finely sliced and black pepper.

Garnish with hot smoked salmon (or other smoked fish), flaked, and fresh dill.

Sauce: crème fraîche, chopped dill and freshly grated horse radish.

Pickle for mackerel

Dilute vinegar: 50% white wine vinegar + 50% water.

Add: fresh coriander (stems), pink peppercorns, 40 grams sugar, red onion (thinly sliced), lemon (thinly sliced).

Heat to 60 degrees. Don't boil it.

Cool and add mackerel fillet, flesh side down. Marinate for 20 minutes.
Grill mackerel for 5 - 6 minutes (score the skin sideways).

Serve with soy sauce dressing.

50% soy sauce, 50% water. Fresh lime juice, ginger (julienne), dark sugar. Mix.

Serve on salad (rucola and fennel).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pork chops in Somerset cider

Buy the best pork chops (Dutch: karbonade) available.

I bought some 'ribkarbonade'. Also available was a 'haaskarbonade'. According the butcher the 'rib' was more juicy and had double the frying time as the 'haas': 12 minutes.

Mix sage (chopped) with shallots, chopped very finely. Mix with butter, salt and pepper to coat the pork chops. Make some incisions to rub in the butter mixture deeper into the meat.

Pan fry the chops. No need to add extra oil or butter. When the chops are browned add a good organic cider (I brought one from Aubel in Belgium) and cook for 5 - 6 minutes. When they're browned add some butter and parsley.

Add some butter, parsley and serve with a simple cooked vegetable (early sprouting broccoli) and sautéed/baked potatoes. And a glass of cider, of course.

Parsley soup

Another recipe from Rick Stein's Food Heroes.

Use curly parsley, chop parsley roughly.

Melt butter in a pan and add the parsley and chopped leeks. Gently fry the vegetables, add potatoes and add light chicken stock. I guess this could be a vegetable stock or even water. Simmer.

While the soup is simmering mix chives and cream*.

Add fresh parsley in the last minute of cooking and liquidize the soup in a food processor.

Back into the pan, add double cream, salt and black pepper. Serve with a spoon of chives-cream in the soup.

*) Stein doesn't say what kind of cream. It's quite difficult to buy good fatty cream in The Netherlands.

**) See above. Double cream is not available in The Netherlands. Slagroom is not fatty enough.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Freshly shelled peas

If I had my own garden I would certainly grow my own peas. It's August and they are in season, and so are button (pearl) onions.

Shell 500 gram peas.

Cut dry cured ham in small pieces. Best would be Parmaham. I opted for a less expensive Dutch smoked bacon. Quite different in taste, very smokey, but it's a good combination as well.

Peal button onions.

Fry the button onions in two tablespoons of olive oil until slightly brown. Then add two tablespoons of water and simmer the onions with the lid closed for 5 minutes until just tender.

Add another two tablespoons of olive oil, garlic (sliced) and the ham or bacon. Fry for a couple of minutes.

Add the fresh peas, salt and plenty of black pepper and simmer for 15 minutes.

Chop a bunch of fresh parsley.

Stir in the parsley two minutes before the end of cooking.

Serve with bread.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wild greens omelette

Also from Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escape (Corfu).

Fry some leek rings in a pan and add fresh greens (anything which is on hand, like: dandelions, spinach, rucola). Simmer until the greens are soft.

Break eggs in a bowl. Add the greens, cheese and some coarsely chopped dill and mint. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook in the oven in a non-stick shallow pan for 45 minutes.

Serve with fresh tomatoes, red onion slices and white wine.

Spicy tomato sauce (for cold poached fish)

From Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escape, episode 2 (Sardinia).

Fry one onion and a few cloves of garlic in olive oil in a sauté pan. Add a few bay leafs, crumble some dried chilies and add a handful of parsley. Add a can of plumb tomatoes, plenty of salt and raisins (for an Arabian flavor). Season with red wine vinegar.

Cut the onion very finely.

In the program this sauce was served cold with poached fish (skate wings, skin peeled off after poaching in salted water).

But it's also a perfect sauce for hot pasta.

Ladolemono (Olive Oil and Lemon Sauce)

120 ml extra-virgin olive oil
120 ml fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

Simply mix the ingredients.

A classic Greek sauce used on grilled meats, vegetables, and fish.