A taste of Morocco… Zonder Meer*!

September 20th, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

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This year, Morocco has been on my mind and in my kitchen a lot.
The lack of sun or a crave for youth memories maybe.

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Maastricht… Dutch capital of Gourmandise

July 10th, 2011 § 5 comments § permalink

It’s been a while since I’ve been willing to share with you my crush for the epicurean city.

Maastricht, with its eternal ‘Joie de vivre’ and its oozing Gourmandise will always have a special place in my heart… It’s a city of passion, and incidentally, the place where I met my dutchie for the first time.

Since, every single time, I fall in love with Maastricht…

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Leeks, butter and lemon…

January 16th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

A bunch of young leeks from the neighbor’s garden and a roast chicken, …

Leeks, butter and lemon [1]

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Late Summer ‘Tour de France’: La Costa Vermella*

October 11th, 2010 § 6 comments § permalink

We had left in the morning of a warm friday of August. Late that night, I was driving the last stretch of the 1300 something kilometers separating The Hague from our first destination, singing along old french tunes on the radio. On the passenger seat, dutchie had long fallen under the spell of Morpheus.

Cote Vermeille [1]

It was dark and quiet now on the highway since we had left Nimes behind and I could only but guess the shapes and contours of the landscapes of the Languedoc where I grew up. And then, for a moment, I was down memory lane: some 20 years ago, we had gone down the same highway, on a bright summer day, when my mum, bro and I had missed the train to Andalusia. My father at the wheel, we were speeding towards Spain hoping to catch the train in Portbou at the border, where it would have to change tracks. Close to Perpignan, we embarked on the little coastal road oscillating with a thousand turns along the beautiful edgy slopes of the Cote Vermeille, the eastern Mediterranean coastline along the Pyrenees.

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Late summer 'Tour de France'…

September 27th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

This summer, dutchie and I decided to indulge ourselves in our own little tour de France. By car that is, although… dutchie’s ‘mistress’, la bicyclette (oups, I mean le velo) had to tag along as well.

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Late summer ‘Tour de France’…

September 27th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

This summer, dutchie and I decided to indulge ourselves in our own little tour de France. By car that is, although… dutchie’s ‘mistress’, la bicyclette (oups, I mean le velo) had to tag along as well.

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My kitchen goes skiing!

March 7th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Les menuires

The kitchen will be closed for the coming 10 days… It’s time for well deserved holidays.
Ok almost closed: it seems I’m the designated cook for the trip.
In the mean time here’s something to spice up your week a little!

See u soon!

Chicken and prawns red thai curry

4 pers. prep: 20 min cook: 15min + 10 min

Ingredients:
500g chicken filet (~3)
250g tiger prawns (raw and peeled)

400g mixed vegetables (for ex. peppers, green beans,
soja, chinese cabbage, oignons, leaks, carrots…)
cleaned, peeled and chopped400ml coconut milk
3 Tsp red curry paste
2 Tsp fish saus (Nuoc Nam)
2 Tsp brown sugar
a few kafir leaves (or 1 tsp pureed lemongrass)
5 Tsp. wok oil (or olive oil)
a handfull fresh thai basil
sea salt, pepper

Prepare your ingredients: dice your chicken filet into ~ 2/2.5 cm dices, prepare the prawns (in my case unfreeze them!), wash, peel and slice the vegetables thinly (or if you’re in a hurry use a ready “asian like” vegetable mix from your favourite supermarket…). Set aside, ready next to the stove. In a small cooking pan, mix the curry paste (I usually start with 2Tsp and adjust during the reduction), sugar, fish saus and coconut milk, add the kafir leaves or lemongrass and cook on low fire for about 15 min until the saus reduces from one third. 15 min before serving time, bring half of the oil to warm up in a wok or large pan on high fire. Sauteed the chicken for 5 min (you might need 2 rounds, so that your chicken get quickly seared and golden). Reserve. In the same wok/pan, sauteed the prawns for a couple of minutes until colored. Reserve, with the chicken. Still in the same pan, add the rest of the oil, sauteed the vegetables 3 to 4 minuts until seared but still crunchy, lower the fire, add the curry saus, chicken and prawns, cook for five more minutes. Just before serving, add the roughly cut basil, transfer to your seving dish, serve and enjoy right away, with some rice and eventually some warm nans.

Bon appétit!
 

Lemon rice
4 pers. prep: 5 min cook: 15min

Ingredients:
300g pandan or thai rice,
100ml coconut milk,
500ml water,
the zest of a lemon,
1 lemongrass stick,
sea salt and pepper to taste.
In a pan, pour the rice and cold liquids. Add the lemon zest and lemongrass, season to taste. Bring to boil on normal fire, then cover up and lower the fire. After about 15 min, the liquids are absorbed and your rice is ready.

Go West: Sea, Sun and…. Fruits de Mer

September 30th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Ils ont les chapeaux ronds, vive la bretagne… Ils ont les chapeaux ronds, vive les Bretons!

Dinard
La grand plage in Dinard

I know I’ve been complaining about the weather quite a lot on this blog lately… well, not today!
Last weekend me and my dutchy went west to Brittany for a family weekend.
I couldn’t have dreamt for a better time to introduce my dutchie to the laidback way of life and many treasures of Bretagne… I just wish we had a few extra days.

garden_mamieYas
The garden in Dinard

On Friday morning, we reached the north coast of Bretagne and beautiful St Malo bathed with sun and enjoyed a delicious meal in Dinard in the warmth of a sunny terrace: I still remember the taste of the fabulous “galettes de sarrasin” (traditional savoury buckwheat pancakes) that the grandmother of my girlfriend prepared especially for our venue. With a full stomach and after a deserved walk along the beach overseeing St-Malo, we were back on the road crossing the green and hilly countryside of Bretagne towards the south coast, to our final destination, the small village of Colpo next to Vannes. My uncle and his wife were of course awaiting us with another delicious meal, and many stories.

josselin
The castle of Josselin

My uncle is one of the best storytellers I happen to know. In a few words he takes you back to the ancient times of Bretagne among the Celts and Gallos, Merlin, the dukes of Brittany and other heroes who made Bretagne the mysterious and eclectic place it still is today. On Saturday, after a late breakfast in the garden we managed to have a peak to the almost closing market of Vannes. I like the end of the market, when the stalls are being packed with a rare efficiency, when the late clients run for the last bargains of the day… After a quick look into “les Halles”, the daily covered market with its many cheese, charcuterie and butcher stalls, we headed to the covered fish market where we made our way with difficulty around the flooding waters announcing the cleaning and closing time. Despite of the turmoil around we could still admire some of the largest specimens of the day, such as the shark on the picture below or this white tuna from the island of Yeu. We were so busy looking around that I left almost empty handed, with just a pot of buckwheat honey.

shark_vannes
Fish market in Vannes

After a tour of the city guided by my favourite guide and uncle, we left the already dying effervescence of the closing market towards St Goustan, a small harbour along the Auray, a river ending its journey in the Gulf of Vannes. This small harbour dates back to the roman times when fleeing from the huge roman galleys, the Gaul where escaping upstream on their small crafts. There, we lost track of time enjoying mussels and cervoise in a little bistro terrace along the river.

golfeDeVannesostreiculteur_vannes
huitres_vannesbigorneaux
Oyster farm “La Godaille”

In the end of the afternoon we drove along the Gulf. It was too late for our original plan to reach one of its entrances in Locmariaquer famous for its Megalithic monuments which date as far as between 4700 and 3800 BC. However, there was no way we would skip a visit to an oysterfarm… our dinner was at stake. We stopped  at the “Godailles” oyster farm close to Baden along the Gulf where a large choice of fresh oysters with various sizes and shapes, palourdes (clams) and bigorneaux (winkles) where awaiting us. They are bred directly in the gulf, along the currents. We settled for four dozen of “creuses n3”, a dozen of clams and a few hundred grams of winkles to nibble. Before we left her, the oyster farmer insisted on giving us a bottle of sea water and some laurel leaves to cook the bigorneaux. What a delicious dinner we made back in Colpo!

bigorneaux2huitres_vannes2palourdes

Bigorneaux
winkles

apetizer
serves 4 to 8. cook: 3 min

Ingredients:
300g of winkles,
1.5l sea water,
1 laurel leave,
pepper to taste
small picksRince the bigorneaux still alive. Put the sea water to boil with the laurel and pepper. Cook the bigorneaux for 3min…. Nibble with a glass of fresh white wine while your uncle and husband are opening the oysters. 
Bon appétit!

Morocco, here I come!

April 11th, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

My kitchen will be closed for Easter! I’m off to Morocco for a long WE with my mom.In the mean time, I wish you a sunny easter and please do not steal your little brother’s chocalate eggs and rabbits! There will be plenty for every one.See u next week,m.

marrakech_fountain

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