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)

» Read the rest of this entry «

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.

» Read the rest of this entry «

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

Where's the meat?

October 13th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Lately, one of my carnivore relatives who had just discovered my blog made the remark that there was something essential missing on this blog: MEAT! I didn’t believe her until I went through my archives… Since I started this blog, I hardly published a couple of meat recipes. I was schoked, I had to rectify that.

So, readers, here is the truth: I am far from a vegeterian. I LOVE meat, all kinds of meat (except maybe some of the pork pieces). One of my favourites is a juicy and rare “cote de boeuf” from the barbecue… that says it all. I cook meat too: in tajines, stews, on the grill… Yet, I must admit that since I moved in with my dutchie and discovered his innate talent and pleasure in handling meat I often leave him my place in the kitchen when meat is involved. What can I say: when it comes to love… and perfectly cooked meat, it is all a matter of compromises!

If I can convince my dutchie in giving some of his secrets away, I’ll be introducing a new post category in the near feature to give you a glance of his cooking talents: there will be plenty of meat! In the mean time, here’s a sample of my personal meat recipes. The recipe itself is a chutney that makes a perfect stuffing or sauce with white meat (veal, chicken or pork “filet mignon”).

grapechutney_veal2006_1grapechutney_veal2006_2
grapes_chutney_chicken2007_2grapes_chutney_chicken2007
On top is the veal tenderloin version, below is the chicken version.
Personnaly I have a little preference for the veal. I leave the choice to you!

Grapes chutney saus

prep: 10 min cook: 15 min

Ingredients:
400g ripe green grapes (preferably without pit)
1 small red oignon
1 tsp of rasped fresh ginger
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 clove
10 cl dry fruity white wine (chardonnay, viognier…)
1 knob of butter
sea salt and pepper to taste.

Wash the grapes, peel half of them and then halve them all, remove the pits if necessary. Chop the oignon in thin slices. In a small cooking pan, sauteed the grapes, oignon and spices with the butter for 5 min on high fire. Add the wine and bring to boil. Lower the fire after the 1st boil. Leave to reduce for 10min (check once in a while so that you don’t end up with burned jam).This chutney is perfect to use as a filling or a sauce with white meat such as chicken filet, veal or pork filet mignon. I like to make a crust of filo or puff pastry around the meat. Then bake in the oven at 200 deg C for 10 to 20 min depending on the weight of your meat portions.Bon appétit!

Where’s the meat?

October 13th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Lately, one of my carnivore relatives who had just discovered my blog made the remark that there was something essential missing on this blog: MEAT! I didn’t believe her until I went through my archives… Since I started this blog, I hardly published a couple of meat recipes. I was schoked, I had to rectify that.

So, readers, here is the truth: I am far from a vegeterian. I LOVE meat, all kinds of meat (except maybe some of the pork pieces). One of my favourites is a juicy and rare “cote de boeuf” from the barbecue… that says it all. I cook meat too: in tajines, stews, on the grill… Yet, I must admit that since I moved in with my dutchie and discovered his innate talent and pleasure in handling meat I often leave him my place in the kitchen when meat is involved. What can I say: when it comes to love… and perfectly cooked meat, it is all a matter of compromises!

If I can convince my dutchie in giving some of his secrets away, I’ll be introducing a new post category in the near feature to give you a glance of his cooking talents: there will be plenty of meat! In the mean time, here’s a sample of my personal meat recipes. The recipe itself is a chutney that makes a perfect stuffing or sauce with white meat (veal, chicken or pork “filet mignon”).

grapechutney_veal2006_1grapechutney_veal2006_2
grapes_chutney_chicken2007_2grapes_chutney_chicken2007
On top is the veal tenderloin version, below is the chicken version.
Personnaly I have a little preference for the veal. I leave the choice to you!

Grapes chutney saus

prep: 10 min cook: 15 min

Ingredients:
400g ripe green grapes (preferably without pit)
1 small red oignon
1 tsp of rasped fresh ginger
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 clove
10 cl dry fruity white wine (chardonnay, viognier…)
1 knob of butter
sea salt and pepper to taste.

Wash the grapes, peel half of them and then halve them all, remove the pits if necessary. Chop the oignon in thin slices. In a small cooking pan, sauteed the grapes, oignon and spices with the butter for 5 min on high fire. Add the wine and bring to boil. Lower the fire after the 1st boil. Leave to reduce for 10min (check once in a while so that you don’t end up with burned jam).This chutney is perfect to use as a filling or a sauce with white meat such as chicken filet, veal or pork filet mignon. I like to make a crust of filo or puff pastry around the meat. Then bake in the oven at 200 deg C for 10 to 20 min depending on the weight of your meat portions.Bon appétit!

Missing mum's magical cooking

October 6th, 2007 § 1 comment § permalink

I might not have told you yet: I am blessed with a morrocan mother and a wonderful cook. She can cook about anything and always makes it magical. I still remember when my bro’ and I would go to a fancy restaurant with my parents when I was little. We would of course always try the dishes from one another and comment passionately on our favourite… A couple of weeks later it would usually come out of our own kitchen right into our plates, more delicious than ever. Our favourite game back then was to make her guess the secret ingredient of the chef and observe his surprised look. She hardly ever failed! I wish one day I can do that too.

When it comes to her specialty dishes and in particular morrocan ones, I always have an hesitation before I decide to cook it.  Could I stand the comparison? Couscous, tajines and pastillas hardly ever come out of my kitchen, partly because of that. Last weekend, I realised that it was at least a year since I took out my tajine from the top shelf. I missed it (plus I remembered the little of envelope full of saffron that one of my girlfriend’s mom brought me back from morroco). So, I gave it a try thinking of my mom and her magical fingers. The empty tajine and my guest satisfied looks after the prunes and veal tajine I cooked that evening left me with the dreamy thought that maybe one day, I could be a magical cook too.

tajine_pruneaux1
No way I’ll be a magical photograph though
It was impossible to find any correct picture of my cooking…
Caught in the action, I forgot to adjust the manual settings of the camera!

Tajine de veau aux pruneaux
Prunes and veal tajine

main dish
serves 5 to 6. cook: 1h15

Ingredients:
1.5 kg of veal (lower leg or pieces to stew),
600 g oignons,
500 g prunes (with or without pit, it’s your pick),
3 shallots,
50 g butter,

1 tsp ginger pouder,
1 tsp cinnamon,
a couple of coriander seeds,
1 tsp of peppercorns
1 Tsp sea salt
1 generous pinch of saffron
1 large bowl of warm tea.
1 cocotte or a large tajine (keep the decorated ones for serving, they don’t handle the fire well. Mine is one for cooking but it was slightly too small, so I only used it to serve)

tajine_pruneaux2tajine_pruneaux3

In a bowl, pour the warm tea over the prunes, and set aside. Clean the meat an cut it in large pieces (~6×6 cm). Peel and chop the oignons and shallots. In a pestle, pour all the spices, salt and pepper and grind them thinly. Put 2/3rds of the butter to melt in the cocotte on high fire. Season the meat with 2/3rds of the spices and brown it on all sides (it’s better to proceed in two times). Reserve and pour the remaining butter, the oignons and shallots and the remaining spices.

tajine_pruneaux4

When the oignons get transparent pour back the meat and cover with the tea in which you marinated the prunes and if necessary a little bit of water, just enough to cover the meat. Lower the fire, cover the cocotte and leave to simmer for 1 hour. Have a look from time to time to check the fire isn’t to high. After one hour, add the prunes and a tablespoon of honey and leave to simmer for 15 more minutes. You’re done. You can serve write away or warm up later.

In morroco, we usually eat tajines all together from the same dish, with our hands and a lot of fresh morrocan bread, and salads on the side. However I usually choose for a more european version as my dutchie cannot part from his cudlery. If you recognise yourself or your guests in him, serve the tajine with fragrant basmati or thai rice. It’s a perfect match.

Bon appétit!

Missing mum’s magical cooking

October 6th, 2007 § 1 comment § permalink

I might not have told you yet: I am blessed with a morrocan mother and a wonderful cook. She can cook about anything and always makes it magical. I still remember when my bro’ and I would go to a fancy restaurant with my parents when I was little. We would of course always try the dishes from one another and comment passionately on our favourite… A couple of weeks later it would usually come out of our own kitchen right into our plates, more delicious than ever. Our favourite game back then was to make her guess the secret ingredient of the chef and observe his surprised look. She hardly ever failed! I wish one day I can do that too.

When it comes to her specialty dishes and in particular morrocan ones, I always have an hesitation before I decide to cook it.  Could I stand the comparison? Couscous, tajines and pastillas hardly ever come out of my kitchen, partly because of that. Last weekend, I realised that it was at least a year since I took out my tajine from the top shelf. I missed it (plus I remembered the little of envelope full of saffron that one of my girlfriend’s mom brought me back from morroco). So, I gave it a try thinking of my mom and her magical fingers. The empty tajine and my guest satisfied looks after the prunes and veal tajine I cooked that evening left me with the dreamy thought that maybe one day, I could be a magical cook too.

tajine_pruneaux1
No way I’ll be a magical photograph though
It was impossible to find any correct picture of my cooking…
Caught in the action, I forgot to adjust the manual settings of the camera!

Tajine de veau aux pruneaux
Prunes and veal tajine

main dish
serves 5 to 6. cook: 1h15

Ingredients:
1.5 kg of veal (lower leg or pieces to stew),
600 g oignons,
500 g prunes (with or without pit, it’s your pick),
3 shallots,
50 g butter,

1 tsp ginger pouder,
1 tsp cinnamon,
a couple of coriander seeds,
1 tsp of peppercorns
1 Tsp sea salt
1 generous pinch of saffron
1 large bowl of warm tea.
1 cocotte or a large tajine (keep the decorated ones for serving, they don’t handle the fire well. Mine is one for cooking but it was slightly too small, so I only used it to serve)

tajine_pruneaux2tajine_pruneaux3

In a bowl, pour the warm tea over the prunes, and set aside. Clean the meat an cut it in large pieces (~6×6 cm). Peel and chop the oignons and shallots. In a pestle, pour all the spices, salt and pepper and grind them thinly. Put 2/3rds of the butter to melt in the cocotte on high fire. Season the meat with 2/3rds of the spices and brown it on all sides (it’s better to proceed in two times). Reserve and pour the remaining butter, the oignons and shallots and the remaining spices.

tajine_pruneaux4

When the oignons get transparent pour back the meat and cover with the tea in which you marinated the prunes and if necessary a little bit of water, just enough to cover the meat. Lower the fire, cover the cocotte and leave to simmer for 1 hour. Have a look from time to time to check the fire isn’t to high. After one hour, add the prunes and a tablespoon of honey and leave to simmer for 15 more minutes. You’re done. You can serve write away or warm up later.

In morroco, we usually eat tajines all together from the same dish, with our hands and a lot of fresh morrocan bread, and salads on the side. However I usually choose for a more european version as my dutchie cannot part from his cudlery. If you recognise yourself or your guests in him, serve the tajine with fragrant basmati or thai rice. It’s a perfect match.

Bon appétit!

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