Filed under Basics

Homemade Sauerkraut

Homemade Sauerkraut

Before we had refrigerators, airplanes, and greenhouses, fresh vegetables were hard to come by in winter. And so our ancestors developed many ways to preserve vegetables for the winter. Even though it is not a necessity anymore, we keep preserving vegetables because we like the flavors. An important example in Dutch (and other northern European) … Continue reading

Easy Foolproof Béarnaise Sauce

Easy Foolproof Béarnaise Sauce

Béarnaise is one of the classic sauces from French cuisine and it is great with steak. The traditional way of preparing it au bain marie requires quite a bit of skill, as the sauces curdles easily. It also requires you to make clarified butter first. And even though you should make clarified butter to cook the steak … Continue reading

Homemade Chipotles in Adobo Sauce

Homemade Chipotles in Adobo Sauce

My favorite kind of chiles are chipotles because of their smokiness. Chipotles in adobo sauce, a sauce made from tomatoes and ancho chiles, are a great condiment. I love them for instance with chicken, mushrooms and cream. Chipotles in adobo sauce are available in cans, but since I like to make everything from scratch, I … 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 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

Hot Smoked Salmon, Dry or Wet Cure?

Hot Smoked Salmon, Dry or Wet Cure?

When I first got a stovetop smoker, it came with a very simple user’s manual that said to season fish with salt and pepper and smoke it with 2 tablespoons of smoking dust for 15-20 minutes. This user’s manual was aimed at catching your own fish from a river and then smoking it right then … Continue reading

How to Cut a Bell Pepper

How to Cut a Bell Pepper

In a change of pace from a very involved preparation and a very sophisticated meal, in this post I’m going to show you how I cut bell peppers quickly and with zero waste. A lot of food is wasted. The statistics are staggering. One of the ways in which food is wasted is by wasteful ways … Continue reading

Homemade Guanciale

Homemade Guanciale

Guanciale is cured pork jowl. It is the traditional ingredient for Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Amatriciana and Gricia, but difficult to find outside of Italy. Pancetta (cured pork belly instead of jowl) can be used as a substitute, but of course it is nicer to use the real thing. After the success with making my own homemade … Continue reading

Homemade Ketchup

Homemade Ketchup

I’ve already posted about homemade ketchup in my most about making my first hamburgers from scratch. I wasn’t completely happy with the ketchup back then, and I’ve been experimenting a bit to find a recipe I liked better based on  a recipe posted by ChgoJohn. That recipe makes a very spicy ketchup, and I’ve made a … Continue reading

Chunky Salsa for Fajitas

Chunky Salsa for Fajitas

I’ve sung the praises of cooking from scratch before. Sure, you can buy something similar in a jar in the store. But you get to tune this homemade salsa to exactly how you like it, how about that!  You can make it as mild or as hot and spicy as you like. Or as sweet. … Continue reading

Sous-vide Salting Experiment

Sous-vide Salting Experiment

Tougher cuts of meat can be cooked sous-vide for a long time (1 to 3 days) to render them tender and keep them juicy at the same time. I’ve been cooking sous-vide for over three years, and I’ve usually salted meat right before vacuum sealing it to be cooked sous-vide. I have however also seen … Continue reading

Thai Red Curry Paste (Kaeng Kua)

Thai Red Curry Paste (Kaeng Kua)

Kaeng Kua is ‘basic’ Thai red curry paste that I will use in the next few days to make a thai red curry with chicken and thai fish cakes. Like so many other foodstuffs, thai red curry paste is better homemade from scratch than store-bought. It is to easy to prepare, the hard part may … Continue reading

Thomas Keller Got It Wrong

Thomas Keller Got It Wrong

How’s that for a title to catch your attention? Thomas Keller is a world famous chef and owns multiple restaurants. He published a beautiful book on sous-vide cooking called “Under Pressure”. In this book he writes that lobster tail should be cooked sous-vide for 15 minutes at 59.5ºC/139ºF, and many websites have published this temperature … Continue reading

Homemade Corn Tortillas and Hard Taco Shells

Homemade Corn Tortillas and Hard Taco Shells

It won’t come as a surprise that after visiting casa Remcooks, I have been inspired to do some Mexican/Tex-Mex/Southwestern cooking. Baby Lady got me a big bag of corn masa flour, needed to make corn tortillas and she also taught me how to make crispy taco shells. Thank you, Baby Lady! Making your own corn tortillas … Continue reading

Homemade Pork Stock

Homemade Pork Stock

The success of many recipes depends on using a good stock. Most store-bought stock has too much salt in the best case, and in the worst case even lacks flavor. Not to mention bouillon cubes… Homemade stock is easy to make, just put some ingredients in water and allow to simmer for some hours. It … Continue reading

Homemade Croissants and Pains au Chocolat

Homemade Croissants and Pains au Chocolat

After the success of my first homemade puff pastry, I thought croissants and pains au chocolat would be just as easy. There is one major difference though: croissants and pains au chocolat (basically croissants with a different shape and stuffed with chocolate) are made with a softer more stretchy dough with yeast. And that makes … Continue reading

Homemade Aioli

Homemade Aioli

Aioli (Catalan) or Alioli (Spanish) is the Spanish version of mayonnaise with garlic instead of mustard. It is served with various tapas. Traditionally it is made with pestle and mortar and a whisk, but a blender does a pretty good job, too. The preparation is very similar to that of regular mayonnaise. Key to successful … Continue reading

Homemade Pancetta

Homemade Pancetta

Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly. I had looked into making it myself before, but the recipes I found required a curing chamber. A curing chamber is a cabinet with controlled temperature and humidity. Even for me it seems over the top to own one. But then I realised that pancetta was originally invented to … Continue reading

Home made Puff Pastry From Scratch

Home made Puff Pastry From Scratch

Puff pastry has a reputation of being difficult and a lot of work to make from scratch. I had never attempted it before, but now that I have I thought it wasn’t so hard at all. The main point is temperature control, which is easier right now because it is winter and thus not warm … Continue reading

How to get the Seeds (Arils) out of a Pomegranate

How to get the Seeds (Arils) out of a Pomegranate

Yesterday I wrote about my ‘discovery’ of fresh pomegranate juice, and complained about the messy procedure to get those arils (seeds) out. Paul and Fae reacted that there is an easier way, which is to whack the pomegranate with a wooden spoon to let the arils fall out. Since I had another pomegranate waiting to be … Continue reading

Fresh Pomegranate Juice

Fresh Pomegranate Juice

I’ve never really liked pomegranate juice because I always thought it was too astringent. Boy was I wrong! I had just never tasted fresh pomegranate juice before. Just like with orange juice, there is a huge difference between the real thing (i.e. freshly squeezed) and store-bought stuff. A post on REMCooks.com inspired me to try … Continue reading

Duck Stock

Duck Stock

The flavor of soups, sauces, and especially risottos depends heavily on the quality of the stock used. Bouillon cubes are terrible because they are usually more than 99% salt. Store-bought stocks usually also have a very high salt content, which renders them useless for sauces and risotto. And it is so easy to make your … Continue reading

Pickled Chipotles à la Richard

Pickled Chipotles à la Richard

Ancho chile rub was not the only homemade goodness that Richard sent over, his wonderful package also included pickled chipotles. Chipotles are smoked jalapeño peppers and they are not only spicy but also wonderfully smoky. I had never tasted them prior to Richard’s surprise, and liked them instantly. I especially liked them in pork burgers. … Continue reading

Richard’s Ancho Chile Rub

Richard’s Ancho Chile Rub

Months ago I received a surprise package from Richard McGary with a challenge and lots of chile peppers. One of the contents of the package was a jar with Richard’s homemade Ancho Chile Rub. This is a spice mix with ancho chile as the main ingredient that I liked a lot. I tried it with … Continue reading

Tuna Confit Sous-Vide

Tuna Confit Sous-Vide

Canned tuna is cheap, but often of inferior quality. The tuna is dry and tastes mostly of salt. I have found good quality ‘organic’ canned tuna from the Ortiz brand, but that is more expensive than sashimi grade fresh tuna. So when I read about tuna cooked sous-vide with olive oil at 71ºC/160ºF for an … Continue reading

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Homemade Flour Tortillas

After yesterday’s post telling you about making the components for fajitas from scratch, it’s not much of a surprise that today’s post is about making homemade flour tortillas. I have a confession to make. I’m not good with rolling pins. Maybe it’s a matter of patience (of which I have very little), but I always … Continue reading

Salsa Roja (Roasted Tomato Salsa)

Salsa Roja (Roasted Tomato Salsa)

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I like making everything from scratch using fresh ingredients. Chicken fajitas are one of my favorite dishes to prepare when I don’t have time and/or equipment to make everything from scratch (like when we are vacationing in an RV), as they are very … Continue reading