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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Sea, Sun and Spring veggies

April 2nd, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

For a blink, Petit Tom and I teleported ourselves in the middle of Moroccan Spring and It felt like heaven after all those long dark winter days inside…

What a joy to watch Petit Tom avidely laying out his eyes on the breaking waves of the Atlantic ocean for the 1st time,…

Or just to sit side by side, laughing anf babbling, on the terasse in the afternoon shade,…

Before finally pigging out on super fresh fish and all these delicious spring veggies and fruit that we will still have to long for a while back in NL: the first strawberries, tiny zucchini, tender green peas and mini artichokes…

Spring tajine with veal, artichokes and green peas

Until I blink again, here’s a taste of my Moroccan spring with this delicious spring tajine with veal, green peas and baby artichokes that I’ve been saving you since last spring… (and the delicious pea shell soup you can cook with all the pod shells you will end up with afterwards)

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Monday’s quickie special: roasted roots and sausage…

January 31st, 2011 § 4 comments § permalink

On mondays, I like quickies… food-wise I mean. Uncomplicated food, comfy, and prep’ed in minutes. Something to rest from my weekend cooking frenzies. Something to start the week on a good bite.

Roasted root vegetables and sausage

I’m sure you enjoy them too, once in a while and probably more often that you dare to admit…

So, let me introduce a new style of recipes on the blog: the ‘Monday’s quickie specials’. No long stories, no fancy step by step recipes. Just ‘a little bit of this and a lot of that’ kind of cooking. Hope you like these quickies as much as we do ūüėČ !

Here we go…

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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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Fighting for the last bone…

November 14th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

If I tell you that the scene below was immortalised one couple of Sundays ago at my dinner table, you might wonder what on earth I serve my guests for dinner for them to fight over the last bone with such rage.

Hungry

Well I did too, because in less time I needed to have a bite myself that’s about all that was left of the generous pieces of full flavoured autumn lamb that won me over in the display of my beloved butcher…
Not less that one whole boned shoulder and four shanks that had been patiently simmering on my stove through the afternoon until falling of the bone, slowly but surely caramelised with the toffee like dates and delicately topped with shiny, deep pink drops of a ripe pomegranate.

Now if I tell you we were only four and there was enough for an army, this might convince you that there is something almost magic about the tajine like recipe I’m about to share with you. If not, take a look further down this post for a quick glimpse of what it looked like before landing on my dinner table or even better, check out the link to the original ‘grimoire’ from which I stole this mouth-watering spell, my favourite foodies magazine, the french ELLE a Table.

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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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Lamb at last!

June 10th, 2008 § 3 comments § permalink

I’ve been away from this blog much longer than I expected. I ve missed you all. Good and bad things have happened in my life the last months,¬†and I just couldn’t keep up. It’s a long and pretty boring¬†story that I’ll spare you but here I am, not yet back at the top of my shape, but back nonetheless!¬†

Now, I know¬†I’ve missed a lot¬†of chances to share with you my dutch spring favourites… the asparagus¬†and spring lamb are now almost out of season! but I’ll do my best to make it up to you¬†with at least two new toys to help me entertain you in my kitchen: the kitchen aid I’ve always dreamt about thanks to my lovely mother in law and last but not least a far too good camera for my limited experience: a Nikon D60. It’s going to be fun!

Some time ago already, I’ve promised you some lamb… I know the season of the spring lamb is over, but I thought I’d keep my promise and share with you at least¬†one of the two recipes that have enlightened my spring this year. It involves slow roasting.¬†A technique that I’ve been lurking at for a long time, but rarely came to it ’cause of my¬†tendency to plan my meals at the last minute (litteraly).¬†Here it goes:

slow cooked leg of lamb (3)

One sunday long ago, I had time on my hands and a large leg of lamb in the fridge… after lurking at delicious recipes for lamb slow roasting on the internet (on Chocolate and Zucchini and Top Slurp avec Estebe among others) and a bit of exploration in my cookbook collection¬†we ended up with a¬†perfectly caramelised and falling of the bone leg of lamb for dinner. The result was delicious and it was gone in no time.


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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

Dutch comfy food for a monthly mingle

January 27th, 2008 § 5 comments § permalink

In the heart of the dutch winter, when it’s freezing cold outside, dark and rainy, when my stomach crave for some comfort food that will warm me up from head to toe… I cook dutch!¬†When it comes to winter comfort food, dutch know their way in the kitchen: steaming hot erwtensoup (pea soup) with smoked sausage, creamy potato hutspot* or stamppot* with chicory or¬†boerenkool,¬†served with meatballs, sausages or bacon and a rich flavoured gravy… Might not¬†sound like¬†michelin star¬†gastronomy to you, but I¬†assure you,¬†once you have tried the real homemade stuff, you’ll ask for more.¬†

I’ve been willing to post about my¬†weakness for dutch winter food since the beginning of the winter season but didn’t come to it yet.¬†Then last week, I stumbled over the theme¬†of¬†the Monthly Mingle event organised by Meetah from What’s for lunch honey? : comfort food! What a perfect occasion. Further,¬†some days ago,¬† while having dinner in a dutch “Eetcaf√©”, I¬†couldn’t help overhearing¬†some expats at a table next to me complaining of the lack of culinary traditions in Holland….

So, to lovely Meetah and¬†to all the too many expats in the Netherlands who cannot stop complaining about the lack of culinary culture in this country… Here’s one of my dutch winter favourite comfort food, the dutch ‘boeuf bourguignon’, the king of dutch stews,¬†the ‘Hachee’. ¬†Lean stewing steak,¬†a lot of¬†shallots and oignons, browned in butter and delicately flavoured with juniper berries, bay leaves and cloves, simmered slowly¬†in a lot of beer until the meat falls apart… Lekker**!

Hachee
The king of dutch stews


My recipe is probably far from the traditionnal one but has been approved by many dutch so far. It is inspired from my favourite dutch cookbook¬†(in english! …didn’t speak dutch at the time I got it): “Dutch cooking – The new kitchen” from Manon Sikkel and Michiel Klonhammer.
Just like boeuf bourguignon, in private, I love to have my Hachee with macaroni. When I have guests, I’ll serve it with a celeriac mash. Always a success.¬†


Hachee
Dutch hash stew РBoeuf mijoté à la hollandaise

serves 6 pers.
prep: 30 min. cook: 2 hrs

Ingredients:
1.5 kg lean stewing steak, diced in chunks fom ~3×3 cm
1 handful flour,
60g butter,
200g shallots, peeled and chopped
500g onions, peeled and sliced thinly
500 ml beer,
1 Tsp sugar

2 bay leaves,
3 cloves,
6 juniper berries,
sea salt and pepper to taste,
optionnal: 2 slices of bread generously spread with mustard

Hachee ingredients


Put the pieces of meat in a plastic bac with a handful of flour and shake to coat the meat. Melt the 2 thirds¬†of the¬†butter (40g)¬†in a cocotte or heavy casserole and sear the meat on high heat (proceed in two¬†batches to get the meat nicely brown). Reserve the meat, add the remaining butter and sauteed the onions (reserve ~100 g for later)¬†and shallots¬†over¬†a low to medium heat until transparent.¬†Pour back¬†the meat, season to taste with sea salt and pepper and add the sugar, the cloves, bay leaves and juniper berries. — At that moment, the original recipe calls for¬†two slices of bread crust removed, spread with mustard and added in chunks to the cocotte which should help thicken the stew (use then 750ml beer). Somehow, I have always inadvertantly missed that step without consequences, but will surely try it next time.¬†— Then cover with beer and leave to simmer covered for about 2 hours. Serve hot with macaroni al dente or mashed¬†celeriac or potatoes.¬†

Eet smakkelijk!
potato
My dutch potato “stampper”

Mashed Celeriac
Purée de Céleri rave

serves 6 pers.
prep: 10 + 5 min. cook: 20 min
Ingredients:
1 celeriac (~800g), cleaned, peeled and diced in 2 cm x 2 cm chunks***
4 potatoes (~300g), cleaned, peeled and diced
30g butter,
10cl liquid cream,

1 Tsp coarse sea salt,
pepper to taste,

Put a large amount of water to boil together with 1 Tsp of sea salt. When the water is boiling, add the celeriac and potatoes and cook for 15 to 20 min on medium heat or until the celeriac and potato are tender. Drain. Add half of the liquid cream, slightly warmed, ¬†and mash using a fork or a dutch “stampper”¬† (don’t blend, the mash should be coarse). Add the butter and eventually add some more liquid cream to adjust the texture to your taste. Season with freshly crushed pepper. Serve hot!
If you wish, the vegetables can be boiled in advance, don’t drain and reserve covered until¬†15min before serving. Then reheat on low-fire, mash and season at the last moment.

Bon appétit!

* stamppot is a typical winter dutch dish calling for boiled potatoes coarsely mashed with roughly chopped season vegetables (raw or cooked) such as chicory, white loaf, carrots and oignons (this latest version being called hutspot)
** Lekker is dutch for yummy!
***  To avoid browning, keep covered in cold water seasoned with lemon juice

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