Cooking with Petit Tom: Moroccan meatballs

June 14th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

Cooking with kids - Moroccan meatballs

Since Petit Tom has been around, I have secretly been longing for that day where he and I would share the kitchen and cook a meal together (Yes I know… I am a crazy foodie).

Last week friday was bliss. We cooked together for real for the first time. Not just like pricking the dough with a fork… A real dish. Moroccan meatballs. One of my favorite as a kid too.
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Asparagus… Bite the seasons*!

May 14th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

Farm chicken with asparagus, chervil and lemon

They are here at last. Asparagus. Green and white. Purple too.
We’ve had to wait a while this year.
Asparagus

A bit more crooked than other years. Still so pretty too me.
So good. Sweet, slightly pungeant.
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New year’s detox: ‘A fowl in the pot’

January 8th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Pintade 'au pot'

La poule au pot… One of the ultimate feel-good/comfort/healing foods in French households. A [huge] pot, a chicken [a hen originally], veggies and more veggies, water and not much more. [yes, chicken soup if you insist]

As a ‘true Francaise’ ūüėČ , I believe it to be a remedy against the cold, the flu, the broken hearts, the end of the year indigestions, etc.

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Craving mum’s food…

December 3rd, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

When I’m on the phone with my mum, we can’t help talking about food at one moment or another. Did I tell you what a wonderful cook she is? I’m sure I did. But it’s ok, I can’t say it enough, anyway.
She’s the first one I call for cooking tips and I’m not the only one… I love how she tells me about food. Her recipes are like her: original and very a bit crazy sometimes, full of love and passion, always elegant, always inspiring. Not always easy to follow though… she never measures anything, or writes down anything, always cook following her instincts, it’s a pinch of this and a drop of that, abracadabra et Voila! and I like it like that. She’s taking me on a culinary journey where I’m free to add my own touch of gourmandise.

Osso Bucco

Until I get to enjoy her cooking again at Christmas… just for her and you, I’ve cooked an old family favourite in the cold season, osso bucco a la milanese. I know she’ll love it. I hope you will too.

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Pumpkin soup for a shopaholic

November 26th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Not only am I a food addict, I am a shopaholic as well. Yet, it seems that I have more and more trouble to handle the crowds of the cold and rainy winter saturdays, when the city fillls up with people rushing around in all directions to get the best deals of the beginning sale period and the ideal Sinterklaas of Christmas presents a bit like a flooded river.

Do you even think that it will keep me away from shopping… Drop that thought immediately! I want my share of winter shopping too, the bite of the cold, the christmas lights in the streets, and this cute pair of Paul Smith pumps and this fab Red Valentino dress I’ve been drooling around for a couple of months patiently awaiting for the sales. Even if that means I’ll have to drown into the crowd. And most of the times it happens. Suddenly my own futility turns me into an exhausted ball in a flipper game. It’s time to escape the shopping streets just before drowning and take refuge at Lapsang, this cosy and friendly little tearoom in the side streets of the Hague, where a fuming bowl of pumpkin soup awaits me together with fresh Desem bread, creamy butter and a fragrant cup of tea.

Yet another pumpkin soup

Last week, while I was stuck in bed with the flu, shopping was the last of my wishes. Yet, I couldn’t help but dreaming for a marmite of Lapsangs’ pumpkin soup. So, as soon as I gathered enough strength, I improvised my own version of it…

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Un bol de soupe pour Sophie!

January 15th, 2009 § 3 comments § permalink

There’s nothing like a fuming cup of Erwtensoep (dutch pea soup) to warm¬†you up from head to toe during the cold dutch winter days…

Ewrtensoep

My friend Sophie would definitely agree with me… Although, she might not be¬†the most¬†objective on that one: she likes it so much she would also ask for it when visiting me in april! She’s been begging for the recipe for years now…¬†With¬†the great tips¬†provided by¬†my butcher and the icy weather¬†from the last couple of weeks I really didn’t have anymore excuses to keep¬†her waiting any longer, so here it is…

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More pumpkin… with an oriental touch

November 15th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Pumpkins are still beautiful on the market stalls and as usual, I couldn’t resist…¬†
It was a long time since I reached out for my tajine far away on the upper kitchen shelf and pumpkin goes so well with the traditionnal spices for tajines like ginger and cinnamon.
I had to give it a try.

And it was all worth it: the fragrant and warm tajine with lamb and pumpkin that came out of the kitchen was gone in no time.

Pumpkin Tajine
A tajine with an automnal vibe

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A veal stew for a 'stationfiets'

March 1st, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

One thing I love about living in the Netherlands is my ‘stationfiets’ (understand old rusty bike that nobody would want to steal from you)… About every one has one in the Netehrlands in addition to a more fancy bike for the weekends’ promenade. It is the perfect companion of the lazy french girl that I am. I use it all year long, in all weather conditions: to go to work,¬†shopping (I once carried an ironing board home on my bike)¬†or to go out for a couple of drinks. I’d even take it to do the groceries a couple of hundreds meters from home. It is old and rusty,¬†the gears don’t work anymore, it makes a funny noise when I ride it and it’s so ugly that no one would steal it. I just love it and would not dream of a fancy shiny bike instead! (My dutchie who’s more into the racing bikes thinks I’m completely insane).

About four months ago¬†my beloved bike¬†let me down in pouring rain with two heavy bags of groceries, the chain seemed to have broken. Soaked, I walked home and didn’t use it since then. After a quick look at it on a cold rainy sunday, my dutchie’s diagnostic was that I needed a new bike. Pfff. I set it in the back of the garden until better days and¬†started to enjoy the warmth of my best friend’s car every day to work while I would complain about the crowded trams in the weekends.¬† But since last month, with the days getting lighter and sunnier, I really couldn’t go much longer without a bike.¬†I went to a couple of secondhand bikes shop trying to find a replacement but no bike was old and rusty enough for me. Finally last weekend, my dutchie¬†felt sorry for me and went at the back of the garden to fix my old¬†bike the best he¬†could…

First day¬†back¬†on the bike was cold¬†but sunny, the side of the road was paved with crocuses, I was almost happy to go to work. On my way back, I could finally stop again¬†in the bankastraat* at the small vegetable stall I like so much¬†( probably the fact that the owner always gives me a¬†clementine or a prune or a couple of fragrant strawbwerries everytime I stop there has something to do with it).¬†It’s next to a pretty good butcher as well¬†so I thought¬†I’d treat my dutchie with some¬†good meat that evening, a sort of thank you for fixing my lovely crappy bike….¬†Ok,¬†I’d just bought¬†turnips to go with it too, but I know a way that no one can resist them…. caramelised with stewed veal.

Veau mijoté aux navets glacés (0)
How to bring a carnivore to eating turnips…

Stewed veal and caramelised turnips
Veau mijoté et petit navets caramélisés

serves 4 pers.
prep: 20 min. cook: 1h20 min

Ingredients:
1kg stewing veal, cut into large cubes,
3 shallots, thinly chopped, 
60g butter,
20 cl dry white wine (I used a chardonnay),
1 bouquet garni (bay leave, thyme, parsley)
500g young round turnips, peeled and sliced in ~1/2 cm thick slices
2 Tsp honey,
sea salt and pepper to taste,
 
Veau mijoté aux navets glacés (1)Veau mijoté aux navets glacés (3)

In a cocotte or in a heavy bottom pan, brown the veal in half of the butter on high heat until coloured on all sides. Add the chopped shallots and the bouquet garni. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour in the white wine and lower the heat. Simmer covered for 1 hour.
In the meantime, melt the rest of¬†the butter and¬†one Tsp honey¬†in a wide pan on¬† medium heat. Dispose the turnips slices one next to each other in the pan (you can proceed in two times if they do not fit all at once), season with salt and pepper, add a couple of Tsp from the stewing¬†veal sauce and¬†the rest of the honey cook for 10 min until on each size until the turnips are nicely caramelised and tender. Keep an eye on your pan as it might be necessary to adjust the heat or add a couple of Tsp extra stewing veal sauce or water so that the turnips don’t burn. After your stew has nicely simmered for one hour, add the caramelised turnips carefully to the stew and leave to simmer covered for 20 more minutes on very low heat. Et voila! Serve with mashed potatoes, celeriac or parsnips. The stewed veal made this way can serve as a basis to many stews. You can serve it as is, without thje turnips, or use carrots, parsnips, oignons, whatever you fancy or have¬†at hand that day.


Bon appétit!

Veau mijoté aux navets glacés (4)

* The bankastraat is full of great little food shops, in addition to the butcher Matla, there’s also a ‘natuurwinkel’ and a great delicatessen shop, Grandjean. Check the ‘Shop for food in NL’ page for more details

A veal stew for a ‘stationfiets’

March 1st, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

One thing I love about living in the Netherlands is my ‘stationfiets’ (understand old rusty bike that nobody would want to steal from you)… About every one has one in the Netehrlands in addition to a more fancy bike for the weekends’ promenade. It is the perfect companion of the lazy french girl that I am. I use it all year long, in all weather conditions: to go to work,¬†shopping (I once carried an ironing board home on my bike)¬†or to go out for a couple of drinks. I’d even take it to do the groceries a couple of hundreds meters from home. It is old and rusty,¬†the gears don’t work anymore, it makes a funny noise when I ride it and it’s so ugly that no one would steal it. I just love it and would not dream of a fancy shiny bike instead! (My dutchie who’s more into the racing bikes thinks I’m completely insane).

About four months ago¬†my beloved bike¬†let me down in pouring rain with two heavy bags of groceries, the chain seemed to have broken. Soaked, I walked home and didn’t use it since then. After a quick look at it on a cold rainy sunday, my dutchie’s diagnostic was that I needed a new bike. Pfff. I set it in the back of the garden until better days and¬†started to enjoy the warmth of my best friend’s car every day to work while I would complain about the crowded trams in the weekends.¬† But since last month, with the days getting lighter and sunnier, I really couldn’t go much longer without a bike.¬†I went to a couple of secondhand bikes shop trying to find a replacement but no bike was old and rusty enough for me. Finally last weekend, my dutchie¬†felt sorry for me and went at the back of the garden to fix my old¬†bike the best he¬†could…

First day¬†back¬†on the bike was cold¬†but sunny, the side of the road was paved with crocuses, I was almost happy to go to work. On my way back, I could finally stop again¬†in the bankastraat* at the small vegetable stall I like so much¬†( probably the fact that the owner always gives me a¬†clementine or a prune or a couple of fragrant strawbwerries everytime I stop there has something to do with it).¬†It’s next to a pretty good butcher as well¬†so I thought¬†I’d treat my dutchie with some¬†good meat that evening, a sort of thank you for fixing my lovely crappy bike….¬†Ok,¬†I’d just bought¬†turnips to go with it too, but I know a way that no one can resist them…. caramelised with stewed veal.

Veau mijoté aux navets glacés (0)
How to bring a carnivore to eating turnips…

Stewed veal and caramelised turnips
Veau mijoté et petit navets caramélisés

serves 4 pers.
prep: 20 min. cook: 1h20 min

Ingredients:
1kg stewing veal, cut into large cubes,
3 shallots, thinly chopped, 
60g butter,
20 cl dry white wine (I used a chardonnay),
1 bouquet garni (bay leave, thyme, parsley)
500g young round turnips, peeled and sliced in ~1/2 cm thick slices
2 Tsp honey,
sea salt and pepper to taste,
 
Veau mijoté aux navets glacés (1)Veau mijoté aux navets glacés (3)

In a cocotte or in a heavy bottom pan, brown the veal in half of the butter on high heat until coloured on all sides. Add the chopped shallots and the bouquet garni. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour in the white wine and lower the heat. Simmer covered for 1 hour.
In the meantime, melt the rest of¬†the butter and¬†one Tsp honey¬†in a wide pan on¬† medium heat. Dispose the turnips slices one next to each other in the pan (you can proceed in two times if they do not fit all at once), season with salt and pepper, add a couple of Tsp from the stewing¬†veal sauce and¬†the rest of the honey cook for 10 min until on each size until the turnips are nicely caramelised and tender. Keep an eye on your pan as it might be necessary to adjust the heat or add a couple of Tsp extra stewing veal sauce or water so that the turnips don’t burn. After your stew has nicely simmered for one hour, add the caramelised turnips carefully to the stew and leave to simmer covered for 20 more minutes on very low heat. Et voila! Serve with mashed potatoes, celeriac or parsnips. The stewed veal made this way can serve as a basis to many stews. You can serve it as is, without thje turnips, or use carrots, parsnips, oignons, whatever you fancy or have¬†at hand that day.


Bon appétit!

Veau mijoté aux navets glacés (4)

* The bankastraat is full of great little food shops, in addition to the butcher Matla, there’s also a ‘natuurwinkel’ and a great delicatessen shop, Grandjean. Check the ‘Shop for food in NL’ page for more details

Warm and spicy, very comfy…

February 23rd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Today, I’d like to give a little praise to the foodies¬†around the net who make me drool regularly¬†in front of my computer.¬†¬†To start with, I’ve chosen two seasonal treats I have tested and adopted because they are all¬†I like¬†on lazy winter days like today… simple, warm, spicy, very comfy. Sounds good to you too?

Velouté anisé (2)
A spoon of provence… The warm and fragrant ‘velout√© anis√©’ from Miss Epices’

The first one is a long time favourite I picked from my¬†online french recipe bible Marmiton*. I’ve been¬†using and abusing from Marmiton for ages before I even had set my eyes on the foodies blogging network. I mostly use¬†it to¬†look for cooking techniques and inspiration on how to cook a¬†specific ingredient. However, there are a¬†couple of¬†recipes that I follow almost to the letter, like this fragrant and velvety fennel and zucchini soup from Miss Epices, exhaled with a gulp of¬†pastis and a¬†dash of lemon juice. The zucchini gives it an amazing smooth and velvety texture. It’s warm and refreshing at the same time, a trip to provence at every spoon. I love it¬†during the cold winter¬†nights when I feel nostalgic of my Provence but¬†it also makes an original¬†soup dish¬†for a fancy¬†dinner.

Pear and ginger crumble (2)
Warm, spicy, crunchy… soothing! The pear and ginger crumble from Holler

The second one was a¬†‘love-at-first-sight’¬†encounter,¬†a couple of weeks ago while I was drooling in front of the round-up of the Januari in the bag challenge on Julia’s A slice of cherry pie. I was in¬†pretty¬†bad shape that day: feverish, with a flu and a red clown like nose, longing for something sweet, warm¬†and spicy to pep me up. The pear and ginger crumble from Holler on her vegeterian blog Tinned Tomatoes was my salvation. The juicy pears, the spicy ginger and the crunchy almonds. It looked perfect. It was perfect:¬† warm, spicy, fudgy and crunchy… Soothing. Like Holler advises,¬†it will do miracles with a scoop of vanilla ice cream… or a spoon of cr√®me fraiche.¬†I had to slightly adapt the recipe because I was missing a few ingredients and¬†because I was craving for¬†candied chinese ginger (while Holler used powdered ginger). Thank you so much Holler, I think this crumble will become a regular in my kitchen!

That’s it for today, but I’m working on a new section in the sidebar so that¬†I can share¬†my ¬†‘drooling’ and ‘to-do’¬†list with you in the near future. In the mean time, I’ve posted my versions of Miss Epice’s and Holler’s recipes below… Take a look at the original recipes on Marmiton (in french)¬†and Holler’s blog.

Velouté anisé (1)
Velvety fennel and zucchini soup with a dash of Pastis
Velouté anisé
 
source: Miss Epice on Marmiton (in French)
serves 4 to 6 pers.
prep: 10 min. cook: 15 min

Ingredients:
1 large zucchini roughly chopped,
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped (keep some of the green leaves to decorate)
1 Tsp olive oil,
750 ml chicken or vegetable stock,

salt and pepper to taste,
1 Tsp cream cheese (optionnal)
A gulp of pastis,
A dash of lemon juice.

In a deep cooking pan, sauteed the zucchini and fennel in the olive oil for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Pour the stock and season to taste with salt and pepper. When it comes to a boil, lower the heat and leave to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the fennel is tender. Leave to cool a bit before blending the soup with the cream cheese. Heat up on low heat, and season with a gulp of Pastis and a dash of lemon juice just before serving.

Bon appétit!

Pear and ginger crumble (1)
Pear and ginger crumble
Crumble aux poires et au gingembre

source: Holler on Tinned Tomatoes
serves 6 to 8 pers.
prep: x min. cook: y min

Ingredients:
4 firm and juicy pears (I used Doyenne the Comice which are quite large, count ~1kg fruit), peeled and chopped in chunks,
50g candied chinese ginger (I thought it was perfect, my dutchie thought it was a tad too much… maybe I’ll try 25g next time!), chopped thinly,

Juice of half a lemon, (I usually pou the juice directly on the pears when I peel them to avoid oxydation)
3 Tsp raw cane sugar,
a pinch of cinnamon,
a pinch of cardamom,
freshly ground pepper,
a knob of butter,

For the crumble topping:
80g butter, cold, and cut in small pieces,
50g finely ground almonds,
50 g all purpose flour,
3 Tsp raw cane sugar,
a pinch of salt,
zest of a lemon,

2 handful of blanched almonds halves,

Usually, I first prepare the crumble dough: In a bowl, mix the butter with all the other dough ingredients (except the almond halves) with a wooden spoon until it crumbles (you can also use your fingers, but the warmth of your body might have the butter melt faster that you would like). Refrigerate until further use.

Preheat the oven at 180 deg. In a frying pan, melt the knob of butter and throw in the pears and lemon juice, the ginger, sugar and spices. Toss a couple of minutes on high heat until the flavours and juices get together.
Pour in a large oven dish greased with butter and sprinkle withe the crumble dough and the almond halves. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crumble crust turns golden. Serve slightly warm.
Bon appétit!

* With more than 40000 recipes to this day, Marmiton is a very complete and well organised recipe database in french¬†where anyone can post, search, comment on¬†recipes. Attractive with seasonal¬†themes, cooking and decoration¬†tips and¬†workshops animated by famous french bloggers. Ok, it’s all in french¬†but if you’re not a french speaker, you might want to¬†have a look at it’s little english brother Let’s cook french

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