zaterdag 25 januari 2014

Tasty side dish, green beans with bacon

Green Beans (about 8-10 per roll)
Bacon (1 per roll, breakfast bacon, ham will do too)

Start by
setting up a pan of water to cook the beans. Meanwhile, cut the ends off. When the water boils, add the green beans and cook for 5 minutes. If the green beans are cooked, pour off the water and let them cool off in cold water. Drain again and sprinkle a little black pepper over the beans. Put about 8-10 beans on a slice of bacon and roll the slice of bacon around them.

To ensure that the bacon stays in place, you can button it up with some fresh sprigs of chive. In itself the bacon will continue to sit without it, but it's more fun.


Pour a little olive oil in afrying pan, let it heat up and cook the green beans with bacon in about 3-5 minutes untill crispy. Serve the green beans, for example, with baked potatoes and a piece of meat. 

from: "Lekker & Simpel" (translation

donderdag 21 november 2013

Real Syrup from Liège

Whenever I was in Liége too, it would snow, rain or simply being grey. Always sad that town in the sout of Belgium. Maybe that is the reason they have invented there this incredible rich and heartwarming syrup: "Le vrai sirop de Liège", The Real Syrop de Liège:
Real Liège Syrup ® differs from marmalade, jam because of its high fruit content. Indeed, there is 400 g of fruit needed to make 100 g Real Liège syrup (original, plum or apricot) And less than 700 g fruit for the variant without added sugar. Ideal in the colorful, tasteful and surprising cuisine today! A spoonful Real Liège syrup sufficient to all your preparations a round, fruity flavor to: dressings, marinades, sauces ...
So time to dig up an old time classic: "Flemish fries and stew of Beef" The recipe is like any other common slow-cooking stew (3-4 hours) but the ingredients differ and sometimes some are even kept secret. Here are some:

- First, to thicken the sauce you will need a solid piece of (brown) bread on which you spread spicy mustard, and rests on top of the stew, when ready to simmer, mustard side down.
- Second you need dark beer, at least 1 bottle and preferably 2. I used St. Bernard abbot 12, but any other dark Trappist beer will do. Heat up the beer in the pan where you have browned the meat first. - Last but not least don't forget to put in 1 clove, 1-2 bay leaves, some fresh thyme and two tablespoons of the Liège Syrup and finish a dash of vinegar. Video & Recipe (Dutch) here.

woensdag 20 november 2013

Porc chop with "Gratin Dauphinois" and green beans.

Preparing the Gratin:
Needed (serves 4):
2 cloves of garlic
200g grated cheese (eg Emmentaler)
25 cl milk
25 cl cream
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig rosemary

600 g potatoes (waxy)

  1. Take a pot and pour the milk and cream in. Use as much milk as cream. Add the rosemary, the crushed and unpeeled garlic cloves, bay leaves and thyme. Season the mixture with sufficient ground pepper, a pinch of salt and freshly grated nutmeg. Heat the mixture over low heat and let all the spices release their flavor into the cream and milk. The mixture must be hot but not boiling.
  2. Peel the potatoes, then cut them into thin slices of about 3 mm. Use a mandoline (cutting machine) or cut the slices carefully with a sharp paring knife. Melt a knob of butter and grease the inside of your baking dish with a kitchen brush. Arrange the potato slices by overlaying them.
  3. Filter the mixture of milk and cream and pour over so all potato slices are covered. Finish with a generous portion of grated cheese.
  4. Place the dish into the oven (160 ° C). Let them yarn about 25 to 30 minutes, until a golden brown crust cheese appears. Each oven is different, so check your potatoes now & then by using a knife puncturing the slices. Serve straight from the oven.
The green beans:
  1. Wash the green beans and pinch the tops off. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add some salt and a pinch of baking soda to it. (The bicarbonate ensures that the beans retain their fresh green color.) Cook the beans until tender (5 to 7 minutes) and pour off the cooking liquid. 
  2. Put a stewing pot over medium heat, melt a knob of butter. Chop the shallot and cook the pieces glassy. Put the cooked beans into the stew and stir into the hot butter. Season the vegetables with fresh nutmeg, ground pepper and a pinch of salt. Add at the end a few drops of vinegar and stir the vegetables one last time. 
The (smelt) chops:
    1. Heat up a frying pan over medium heat until hot. Melt a knob of butter. Season the chops with salt and pepper mill. As an alternative you can also, like in my case, marinate them beforehand with Teriyaki or Soy sauce and some allspice. 
    2. Place the meat in the piping hot butter and let them cook just so they get a golden brown crust. Turn the meat to not fast.  
    3. Bake in a few minutes the other side until golden brown. 
      Serve each
      guest table a generous portion of the cooked green beans, a medium portion of the oven gratin and a freshly baked chop. Work off with a nice spoonful of gravy. My chop even LOOKS like Belgium! 

    zaterdag 16 november 2013

    Creamy spaghetti with cream cheese and smoked salmon

    Ingredients (for 4) 

         500 g spaghetti
         8 slices smoked salmon
         150 g cream cheese with herbs (Boursin)
         3 strains leeks
         2 onions (shallots or twice)
         1 clove of garlic
         1/2 bunch chives
         3 sprigs thyme
         2 bay leaves
         1 part Noilly Prat (dry vermouth or white wine)
         3 dl cream
         knob of butter

    1. Cut the darkest foliage and the root part of the leek stems. Cut them lengthwise in half and rinse the vegetables under running water. Make sure all traces of sand or earth are completely removed from the leaves.
    2. Peel the onions, cut them lengthwise first in half, then into thin half-rings. Peel the garlic and crush the flesh into pulp .
    3. Put a large casserole over medium heat, melt a pat of butter. Fry the onion and half the garlic pulp and cut the leeks in the meantime. Cut each stem of leek first lengthwise into quarters , then cut into a small inch wide. Add the leek in the pot, stir and turn the heat a little harder. Sauté the leeks for five minutes.
    4. Fill a large pot with water and bring the water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt. Use plenty of water, pasta has to swim .
    5. Cut a few sprigs of thyme. Unzip the leaves from the thyme and chop them with a sharp knife into the smallest pieces possible. Add the thyme chips along with the bay leaves into the pot with leeks .
    6. Pour in a shot of Noilly Prat. Stir and let the alcohol evaporate. Note:If you do not have dry French vermouth in the house, you can replace it with a splash of white wine .
    7. Pour the cream with the braised leeks and add the cheese with fresh herbs in the pot. Stir and let the cream cheese melt.
    8. Turn down the heat and let the leeks in cream sauce simmer about 10 minutes.
    9. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti al dente into the bubbling water. I always count one minute of cooking time less than what the manufacturer recommends. The spaghetti will soon namely cook a little further into the cream sauce .
    10. Chop the chives blades into very fine pieces. Don't be too careful with the this garden herb. Cut the slices of smoked salmon into strips about an inch wide.
    11. Put a cup of cooking water from the pasta aside. Drain the spaghetti and pour it into the pot with leeks in cream sauce .
    12. Add a splash of the cooking water from the pasta and stir. The (starched) water provides extra binding and shine .
    13. Taste and season the dish with your pepper mill. Only add some extra salt if the smoked salmon does not taste salty enough. Stir in the chives and shredded strips of smoked salmon pasta.
    14. Serve the spaghetti with salmon and leeks in a large serving bowl and...

    © Dagelijkse Kost MMXIII

    Pumpkin Soup

    zondag 27 oktober 2013

    European plaice with tartar sauce and mashed potatoes people's grub, this plate of food, since potatoes and plaice were abundant, especially the underrated flounder plaice, which has a drier taste and needs much more cleaning before processing. Today, the fish again is widely used in the gastronomy, only mainly its fillets, a pity perhaps, because just a quick fry in the pan serves him best, no peeling of the skin, no flour, just plenty of good, real butter. 

     The European plaice is characterized above by their darkgreen to darkbrown skin, blotched with conspicuous, but irregularly distributed, orange spots. The underside is pearly white.  They are able somewhat to adapt their color to match that of their surroundings but the orange spots always remain visible. The skin lacks any prickles.

    So here's my plaice, simply pan-fried with some smooth mashed potatoes, a tangy tartar sauce served in a chicory leaf and some pickled fennel. Maybe somewhat overdressed and the definitely the wrong plate, but I was hungry and dying to dig in. Recipe again based on JM (in Dutch), but hey the main thing remains is that you bake the plaice right: lots of butter, add some wile baking, no flour, each side 3/4 minutes starting with the skin side, and keep basting the fish; "arroser" in French meaning to spoon melted butter or fat or liquid over food as it cooks. 

    How to pan-fry plaice fillets you can see here.