Fennel Ravioli (Ravioli ai Finocchi)

Fennel Ravioli (Ravioli ai Finocchi)

These fennel ravioli are heavily inspired on these fennel ‘meatballs’ (polpette) that I discovered in Sicily at the great trattoria Tischi Toschi in Taormina. I prepare a lot of fennel, either in a salad, in pasta, or braised as a side. Usually I don’t use the tops/fronds, and save them in the freezer to make the … Continue reading

Grilled Sea Bream and Fennel

Grilled Sea Bream and Fennel

Even in the moderate Dutch climate in summer we have days that are so warm that it is nicer to cook outside than inside. What is locally called “barbecue” is usually a festive meal where everyone participates in the cooking process. This involves mostly cheap meat that ends up burnt on the outside and undercooked … Continue reading

Warm-Aged and Hay-Smoked Beef Picanha

Warm-Aged and Hay-Smoked Beef Picanha

The popularity of picanha as a cut of beef to be prepared on the grill (BBQ) hails from Brazil, and that is why the cut is known under its Brazilian (Portuguese) name. It is called rump cover or rump cap in English, or staartstuk in Dutch. It has a triangular shape and is covered by … Continue reading

Rose Water Fruit Salad

Rose Water Fruit Salad

A simple fruit salad can be made special by the addition of a bit of rose water. Rose water is made by steeping rose petals in water and originates in Iran and India. It has a wonderful smell of roses. Berries you buy in the supermarket are sometimes a touch underripe, so a bit of honey … Continue reading

Sole with Mint, Peas, and Fennel

Sole with Mint, Peas, and Fennel

This is an elegant dish for a dinner party that is easy to prepare. Flatfish with mint sauce is a combination I saw in one of Biba Caggiano’s cookbooks. In this case I used sole. If turbot is the king of flatfish, then sole certainly is the queen. But you could also use turbot or … Continue reading

Sous-Vide With or Without Herbs in the Bag?

Sous-Vide With or Without Herbs in the Bag?

Before talking about herbs or no herbs, I would like to compliment SousVide Supreme for their excellent customer service. After six years of faithful service, my SousVide Supreme water oven had burnt out. I e-mailed customer support about this, and they offered to replace my faulty unit with a refurbished one. I only had to … Continue reading

Croquetas de Jamón (Iberico Ham Croquettes)

Croquetas de Jamón (Iberico Ham Croquettes)

Spain is very proud of its jamón iberico, and rightly so. The cured ham is made from a special breed of pig (known simply as iberico in Spain, but abroad often called pata negra because of the black hooves) and the best quality is fed with acorns (bellota). Jamón iberico isn’t cheap,  so when you … Continue reading

Sea Bass Ceviche with Avocado

Sea Bass Ceviche with Avocado

It is always a treat when friends cooks for me. This simple but tasty dish is based on an appetizer that our friends Merel and Barthold served at a dinner party at their house. As usual with simple recipes, it all comes down to the best quality ingredients and good technique. Ceviche is a latin … Continue reading

Enoteca Pinchiorri***

Enoteca Pinchiorri***

If you go to Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, Italy, you should go there for the wine. The name “enoteca” is already a big hint that this is the case, because it is an Italian word that means “wine library”. And not just any wine library, but one that is unique in the world and perhaps even the … Continue reading

Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

“Bravo” is a Spanish word that can mean brave (as in courageous), but also wild, rough, or spirited, as in the name of the rough coastline near Barcelona (Costa Brava). And so Patatas Bravas could literally be translated as potatoes with spirit. This tapas dish of spicy potatoes is very popular, and there are many versions. The … Continue reading

Smoked Sardines (Sardinas Ahumadas)

Smoked Sardines (Sardinas Ahumadas)

In Spain we visited the city of Logroño, which is in the Rioja wine region but also famous for its tapas scene. One of my favorite tapas I tried there was smoked sardines (served on toast with roasted bell pepper). It turns out that it is pretty simple and quick to smoke sardines at home, and … Continue reading

Croquetas de Setas (Mushroom Croquettes)

Croquetas de Setas (Mushroom Croquettes)

During our trip to Spain last fall we gorged ourselves on researched many different types of tapas. One very popular kind of tapas that you see everywhere is croquettes with various fillings. They are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside and a great way to finish leftovers: simply mix with some béchamel … Continue reading

Frikandellen (Dutch Deep Fried Hot Dog)

Frikandellen (Dutch Deep Fried Hot Dog)

A frikandel is one of the most popular Dutch fast food items. They are usually produced from “mechanically separated meat”, which means any meat that can be obtained through mechanical means from a carcass after ‘regular’ butchering has finished. To make up for the lack of proper meat, a lot of spices are used as well … Continue reading

Spaghetti with Spiralized Zucchini

Spaghetti with Spiralized Zucchini

This is what I had for dinner tonight (followed by a secondo of chicken breast). Spiralized Zucchini (also known as zoodles) is so well known as substitute for real pasta, that we’d almost forget that it is also really good in combination with real pasta. If you remember my posts about how to choose a … Continue reading

How To Make Beurre Noisette (Brown Butter)

How To Make Beurre Noisette (Brown Butter)

Beurre noisette, literally hazelnut butter, is often used in French cooking and baking, and it is therefore good to know how to make it. The hazelnut doesn’t only refer to the color, but also to the nutty smell and taste of butter that has been treated this way. It can be used as a sauce … Continue reading

Erbazzone (Chard Pie)

Erbazzone (Chard Pie)

Erbazzone is a savory pie from the town of Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy that is filled with chard (and sometimes also other greens, including spinach). I was reminded of it when Stefano posted his version of it. As usual with traditional Italian recipes, there are many versions. But for Erbazzone there seems to be … Continue reading

Sachertorte

Sachertorte

Sachertorte is a famous cake from Vienna that I had never made before. Thanks to CampariGirl’s post I was reminded of it. A Sachertorte is a chocolate cake with two layers, separated by a layer of apricot jam and finished with a chocolate glaze. It was invented in 1832 and is still served in the Sacher Hotel … Continue reading

Risotto with Shrimp, Zucchini, and Tomato

Risotto with Shrimp, Zucchini, and Tomato

The nice thing about buying shrimp with heads and shells is that you can make a very flavorful shrimp stock using those heads and shells. Together with zucchini and tomatoes, this makes for a very nice risotto. To have a fresh and light tomato flavor, I used fresh tomatoes for this risotto. The flavors blend … Continue reading

Chickpea Muffins with Sundried Tomatoes or Peas

Chickpea Muffins with Sundried Tomatoes or Peas

Lately I’ve been creating recipes to make snacks that keep well at room temperature, are nutritious, tasty, and easy to transport. These savory muffins made with chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour) certainly fit the bill. Chickpea flour is very high in protein (22%) and fiber (10%). To flavor the muffins I use parmigiano reggiano, dried oregano, … Continue reading

Dining in France: L’Amaryllis*

Dining in France: L’Amaryllis*

L’Amaryllis is the restaurant of chef Cedric Burtin in the village of Saint-Rémy, near Chalon-sur-Saône in Burgundy, France. It is housed in an old watermill, le Moulin de Martorey. In the dining room the old cogwheels are still there, which makes for a very nice ambiance. We opted for the chef’s ‘surprise’ 8- course menu … Continue reading

Duivekater

Duivekater

Duivekater is a traditional festive bread that originates in Amsterdam and surroundings and is now still popular in the Zaanstreek where I grew up (and still live), just north of Amsterdam. There are sources as far back as the 16th century describing this bread, and it is depicted on paintings like this one from Dutch … Continue reading

Monkfish à l’Américaine (Lotte à l’Armoricaine)

Monkfish à l’Américaine (Lotte à l’Armoricaine)

I don’t prepare enough classic French dishes, but luckily Nadia of Maison Travers keeps posting recipes to inspire me to cook more of them. In this case monkfish with Américaine sauce. This sauce, originally named Armoricaine, doesn’t have anything to do with America but has instead been named after Armorica, the ancient name for the … Continue reading