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.

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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