Seared Tuna: to Sous-Vide or Not to Sous-Vide

Seared Tuna: to Sous-Vide or Not to Sous-Vide

Recently we were on vacation in Cabo Verde, an archipelago off the coast of Senegal where the sun always shines. We were there for the weather, 25ºC/77ºF and sunny, not the food. There is an abundance of fresh fish, obviously, but a lack of refrigeration and knowing how to cook seafood. It was very hard … Continue reading

Easy Foolproof Flourless Chocolate Cake

Easy Foolproof Flourless Chocolate Cake

Do you like chocolate? Do you like to impress your guests with your skills in the kitchen? Do you find baking a bit intimidating? Then this is the perfect recipe for you! This flourless chocolate recipe is much easier than the recipe I posted before, and just as good. But, it is much easier. It … Continue reading

Fusilli with Smoked Eel and Celeriac

Fusilli with Smoked Eel and Celeriac

This pasta dish is quick and easy enough to serve for a weekday meal, and special and delicious enough for a dinner party. It takes less than half an hour to prepare, and only a few ingredients are required. The combination of smoked eel and celeriac is a classic one in the Netherlands, and in … Continue reading

Artichoke Ravioli (Ravioli con Carciofi)

Artichoke Ravioli (Ravioli con Carciofi)

There are three things I don’t like about artichokes: (1) it is a lot of work to clean them, (2) they don’t go well with wine, and (3) you can only eat a small part of them and have to throw away the rest. Simona solved the third issue by using the discarded parts to make artichoke … Continue reading

Jalapeños en Escabeche (Pickled Jalapeños)

Jalapeños en Escabeche (Pickled Jalapeños)

The first time I made Red Snapper Veracruz, I used the last of the pickled jalapeños that Richard had sent over. The Veracruz was so outstandingly good that I wanted to make it again, and so I had to make my own batch of pickled jalapeños. As Richard kindly provides the recipe on his wonderful … Continue reading

Homemade Bergamocello

Homemade Bergamocello

Do you like Earl Grey tea? Did you know that this tea is flavored with the essential oil from the skin of bergamot orange? My homemade limoncello is a very popular digestif with my dinner guests. When I saw bergamot oranges, I thought it would be nice to try to make bergamocello rather than limocello … Continue reading

Tortellini di Valeggio

Tortellini di Valeggio

Each region of Italy has its own pasta shapes and pasta recipes. Valeggio sul Mincio, a town near Lago di Garda and the city of Verona, is famous for its Tortellini di Valeggio, tortellini made of pasta as thin as a veil with a filling of beef, chicken, and pork. To make them extra delicate, … Continue reading

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread

With our new ‘pet’, the sourdough starter that lives in our fridge and needs to be fed once a week, I’ve been baking sourdough bread and learning about it along the way. Before I started with this sourdough adventure, I was baking bread always the same according to recipes that I perfected over time: Italian … Continue reading

Piadina Romagnola

Piadina Romagnola

A piadina (plural: piadine) is a flatbread made from flour, lard, and milk or water, stuffed with salumi (prosciutto, mortadella, etc.), cheese and vegetables (such as arugula and tomatoes) and then toasted, from the region of Romagna. If you can find squacquerone, that is the regional cheese that is used for piadine. Without the stuffing, piadine are … Continue reading

Hare Loin with Brussels Sprouts

Hare Loin with Brussels Sprouts

This was the secondo of our Christmas dinner — yes I am running behind a little in posting as I also still have to post the primo — loin of hare with a sauce of port and amarena cherries and brussel sprouts with pancetta. The combination worked very well. The sprouts were very nice as I used small … Continue reading

Torta di Mele (Apple Cake)

Torta di Mele (Apple Cake)

As every year, for my birthday I baked to treat my colleagues. This year I made a pound cake, almond cookies stuffed with amarena cherries, and an Italian apple cake. Other than Dutch appeltaart (the same as American apple pie), Italian torta di mele is made with a batter similar to pound cake rather than shortcrust pastry. The … Continue reading

How to Save 50% on Beef Tenderloin

How to Save 50% on Beef Tenderloin

Tenderloin, prized for its tenderness, is an expensive cut of beef. A tenderloin tapers towards one end, and the ‘tip’ of the tenderloin is not suitable for tournedos or châteaubriand. Tenderloin tips are therefore available at about half the regular price of beef tenderloin. Other than their shape and size, their taste is exactly the … Continue reading

Homemade Italian Pork Sausage (Salsiccia Fatta in Casa)

Homemade Italian Pork Sausage (Salsiccia Fatta in Casa)

For Christmas I got a meat grinding attachment for my stand mixer, and so I can finally make my own salsiccia. Italian pork sausage (salsiccia) is an important ingredient for many Italian primi piatti, like risotto al barolo con salsiccia, malloreddus alla campidanese, and pasta with romanesco and sausage. Without the proper sausage, these dishes just won’t taste … Continue reading

Scallops, Chicken, Bergamot

Scallops, Chicken, Bergamot

This is the antipasto I prepared for our Christmas dinner. It was inspired by a dish we had at Devero** in Italy in June. This was what the dish at Devero looked like and what I wrote about it in my review: “Scallops with yuzu and chicken may sound like a weird combination, but it is very … Continue reading

Cold Smoked Salmon

Cold Smoked Salmon

I’ve had a tabletop smoker for hot smoking for years and I use it often, for instance to make hot-smoked salmon or hot-smoked scallops, or to smoke a brisket or a ham hock before cooking it sous-vide. Such a smoker does two things at the same time: cooking (it is basically a small oven that … Continue reading

Gnudi (Basil Ricotta Dumplings)

Gnudi (Basil Ricotta Dumplings)

Sometimes I get a request from a reader that leads me to discovering a new dish. For instance malloreddus pasta with fennel and sausage, now one of my favorite pasta dishes. This time it was Himeros who requested my take on basil-ricotta gnudi. These are the Tuscan name for nude ravioli, or ravioli filling that … Continue reading

Goat Cheesecake

Goat Cheesecake

A friend who came over for dinner announced he would bring a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc, a Sancerre to be more precise. This is the dessert that I came up with to accompany it: cheesecake made from goat cheese. Goat cheese goes very well with regular dry Sancerre, so I figured a cheesecake made from … Continue reading

Caviar with Corn

Caviar with Corn

Our favorite dish during our recent dinner at Inter Scaldes was the caviar with corn and oxtail. I liked the combination of corn and caviar so much, that I made something inspired by the dish at Inter Scaldes (certainly not intended to be a copy) for our Christmas dinner. It was a ‘cannolo’ of cornflour … Continue reading

Oxtail Cooked Sous-vide For 100 Hours

Oxtail Cooked Sous-vide For 100 Hours

After four years of cooking sous-vide, the longest cook I had done was still 72 hours. So far I had not encountered a cut of meat that required more. Then I read about oxtail sous-vide, cooked 100 hours at 60ºC/140ºF, and I was curious to try it. As this was a trial run, I kept the … Continue reading

Cannoli

Cannoli

Cannoli are Sicilian tubes of deep-fried pastry stuffed with sweetened sheep’s milk ricotta. Traditionally they were prepared for carnevale, but nowadays they are prepared year round and not just in Sicily. The stuffing can be enriched with chocolate chips, candied fruit, or nuts such as pistachios. I served them as dessert for Christmas this year. Cannoli are … Continue reading