How I don’t mind queuing at the butcher

November 28th, 2008 § 9 comments § permalink

Hare filet with candied orange peel

I am usually not a fan of queuing… except when it comes to the weekly saturday morning food shopping: when I head to my local shopping street not yet completely awake to pay a visit to my local butcher and greengrocer, I rarely have a clear idea of what I want to cook for the weekend. 

Worst is when I watch saturday’s kitchen first on bbc… My head is then filled with dozens of possible meals, new techniques I’d like to try… that pop up in my head at a frightening rythm while I  lurk at the mouthwatering etalage and observe what others will be cooking for the weekend. Blessed are the persons waiting for their turn in front of me, the more the better, giving me the time to put a little order in my head (except when they choose that last piece i finally decided to head for).

A couple of saturdays ago, the queue was particularly long queue at the butcher, which I didn’t mind as I was  hesitating between the guinea fowl, the pheasant and the venison… I thought I’d never manage to make up my mind when one of the guys before me chose the last guinea fowl opening the view to some hare somewhat hidden behind it. It looked so fresh…

Only problem left was that I’d probably have to fight with my dutchie about who would get to cook it! I was definitely convinced when I asked the butcher to have a better look at the saddle: it was still on the bone… which meant that I could make my dutchie happy by leaving him the honour of preparing the filets (what can I say, the guy loves playing with our kitchen knives),  keeping the cooking part for myself. Plus I could give a try at preparing homemade game stock with the bones.

Dinner was a feast for the tastebuds and for the eyes. The meat turned out amazingly tender and juicy. I served it with a sauce made of homemade game stock, white wine and slowly candied orange peel in honey (I found the recipe in the meat cookbook* I gave to my dutchie for Sinterklaas last year). To go with it, I made dutch style stewed red cabbage with apples delicately spiced with cloves and cinnammon and a homemade puree. And wouaouh, what a colourful dish: intense colours in tones of deep red, pink and orange, a perfect ode to automn.

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The wind of change…

November 19th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Don’t you ever have that feeling that life is just going too fast for you at times?

Be so lucky if you don’t… I am that dreamy, somewhat lazy type of girl who likes to take life slowly, very slowly. I might seem adventurous at first sight, but god knows I’m not. Lately, a wind of change is blowing over my head. I needed it, I wanted it, and now it’s there. It’s all good things, but still, it’s all going soooo fast and I am having a little trouble to cope with everything.

Among those changes, I am working on a completely new layout for my kitchen diaries. I want it to be a surprise so I won’t tell much about it. I promise, you should all found out about it sometimes in the next couple weeks.

In the mean time, here’s something to keep you waiting….
One of these evenings, I came home from work once again exhausted, dreaming of a soup, my bed and a feel good movie. Yet, I had invited a few friends for dinner. I had bought several seasonal treats during the week: rabbit, wild mushrooms…. but I didn’t have one minute to think of what I could cook out of it.  Too tired to be fussy, my mind was quickly made. A glass of white wine in my hand to , and the cocotte on the stove, I got started. A little more than an hour later, dinner was ready… It turned out as one my favourite impro of this autumn
! a great comfy but still impressive dish that required very little prep and effort but did marvels on that cold and dark night. It would go great with a celeriac gratin or puree. I went for what I had around: red cabbage with apples. A good match too.

rabbit and mushrooms
comfy food for cold automn evenings

Rabbit with wild mushrooms
Lapin aux champignons sauvages

serves 4 pers.
prep: 10 min. cook: 1 hr

1.2 kg rabbit, cut in parts,
4 shallots, chopped,
1 garlic clove, peeled and germ removed
25 g butter,
2 Tsp olive oil,
1 “bouquet garni” (laurel, parsley, thyme)
30 cl dry white wine,
10 cl water,
3 Tsp mustard,
750 g wild mushrooms brushed, whole or halved,

sea salt and pepper to taste,

In a cocotte on high heat, brown the rabbit parts on all sides in the butter and olive oil. Add the chopped shallots, the garlic clove and the bouquet garni. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Pour the white whine and water and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat, cover and leave to simmer on low heat for 40 min, stirring once in while. Mix in the mustard, leave to simmer 5 min uncovered and finally add the mushrooms, toss to coat the mushrooms with the sauce and leave to simmer covered for 10 more minutes.

Bon appétit!

* notes

Saturday night fever…

April 9th, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

Yesterday afternoon, I left my man at home while I went ahead for a crazy shopping afternoon.
To compensate for my late return (long after all the shops had closed), I brought back a few delicacies for a romantic diner a deux. In my shopping basket were among others some guinea fowl and a dozen dutch oysters from Zeeland.

I entered the house like a tornado looking forward to show off my discoveries to my man,… only to found him lying on the couch, a plaid on his shoulders, looking back at me slowly with feverish eyes: “….. I’m siiiiiick”. He smiled gently at me when he found out about the guinea fowl and the oysters and then mumbled… “can we go to bed early tonight?”. How could I resist? The romantic dinner and the oysters would have to wait… (He was in no state to open them anyway). A quick and comforting dinner it had to be. After a quick look in my fridge and cupboards, I had gathered some fig mustard, as well as some honeycake mustard from Dijon brought from our latest trip to france and some Calvados bought in Normandy a couple of years ago… Half an hour later, diner was served! The fragrant smells of apple, mustard and calvados woke up his apetite.



Guinea fowl marinated in calvados and mustard
(supremes de pintade marines a la moutarde et au calvados)

2 pers. prep: 10 min, cooking: 10min

2 guinea fowls breasts (~300g)
2 Tsp. mustard (I used a mix of fig and honeycake mustard)
5 Tsp. apple sauce
15 cl. calvados
1 shallot
10 g butter
sea salt, pepper

In a bowl, mix the mustard, half of the calvados, 2 Tsp. of apple sauce and the chopped shallot. Add the seasoned guinea fowl. Leave to marinate for as long as you wish can: 15 min was all I got!
Warm half of the butter in a pan. Put in the marinated breasts and the marinade and cook for about 7 to 8 min on high heat. Lower the heat when the meat is golden on both sides. When the meat is almost cooked, add the rest of the apple saus, butter and calvados. Raise the fire for 1 min to finish up the saus.
Serve promptly.

Bon appetit!

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