1000 Posts in 5 Years

Today exactly five years ago, I posted for the first time to announce the birth of this blog to the world. My mission was then and continues to be to “strive to share every single interesting experience with respect to food and wine” with you all. The blog hasn’t been just about sharing, but also for my own record keeping. I use my own blog posts regularly to recreate recipes that I had perfected before. There are so many recipes by now, that sometimes I’m not sure whether or not I have posted about a certain recipe or not, and run … Continue reading 1000 Posts in 5 Years

Fit for a Board: Bistecca alla Fiorentina

Conor has invited me to join his board. He had commissioned four handmade chopping boards to be cut from the same block of walnut by his friend Terry from 2 Wooden Horses and has sent them as Christmas gifts to Richard, Nick and myself. As chairman of the board, Conor challenged us to use the board. And so all four board members are showing today what they have done with their boards.

The first thing that came to mind was a dish that is certainly fit for a board: Bistecca alla Fiorentina. This is a T-bone steak as it is served in the Tuscan city of Florence. I have prepared the Bistecca alla Fiorentina in the traditional way that doesn’t take into account the latest ideas on how to prepare a steak but is delicious anyway. A true Bistecca alla Fiorentina should be of a special Tuscan breed of cattle called Chianina. It should be about two fingers thick (4 cm or 1.5 inches, about 750 grams/26 oz). It should be cooked over a charcoal fire and otherwise as little as possible should be done to it: only salt and freshly ground black pepper should be added, strictly after cooking. Such a simple preparation with such a lot of flavor is certainly fit for a board of which Conor is the chairman.

And so thanks to Conor, Kees was building a charcoal fire in our back yard in the middle of January. Luckily the local hardware store still had some leftover charcoal from last season.
Continue reading “Fit for a Board: Bistecca alla Fiorentina”

Flank Steak Sous-Vide with Tian Provençal

When Clayton told me he’d be coming over to Amsterdam for a vacation, I thought it would be nice to cook dinner for him and his friend Paul.

Clayton is one of the founding fathers of the International Shanghai Chicken Project. I know he’s very interested in sous-vide, so I picked some nice sous-vide dishes. I prepared sous-vide sea bass with crispy skin, sous-vide chicken ravioli, sous-vide wagyu flank steak with tian provençal as a side. To include something Dutch, I ended with an apricot vlaai (tart from Limburg). Continue reading “Flank Steak Sous-Vide with Tian Provençal”

My Entry for the International “Shanghai Chicken” Project

A week ago we launched the international “Shanghai Chicken” blogging project together with Clayton and John. The rules we set for this project were very simple:

  • Prepare a dish inspired by Bamboo Restaurant’s Shanghai Chicken.
  • It has to include chicken, chiles of some sort, vegetable greens, and nuts.
  • It could be a known recipe or one of your own — traditional or newly invented.
  • Blog about your dish or send me photos and a description of what you did and I will post about it here.

So far not only Clayton and John/Sybaritica, but also Genie/Bunny Eats Design and Paul/That Other Cooking Blog have posted their takes on Shanghai Chicken. It is very interesting to notice how all of their entries are very different. Some more bloggers have announced that they will participate. I plan to do a wrap up of all the entries received so far next week. You can participate whenever you like, but if you want to be listed in my initial wrap up you should post something by Saturday, June 22, at the latest.

Here’s my own take on Shanghai Chicken. Continue reading “My Entry for the International “Shanghai Chicken” Project”

The Chilehead Challenge

Blogging has many rewards. It is a nice way of keeping track of my own recipes, it is great to receive feedback from all over the world, and it is wonderful to learn so much and get so many new ideas from other bloggers. Blogging has also turned out to be a great way to meet wonderful people. Some of the highlights so far have been Conor’s visit and a surprise invitation to dinner by Teun and Albert. And I won’t even begin to mention all the great people I’ve so far only interacted with online.

Richard McGary of REMCooks is a mutual blogging buddy of Conor and myself. After Conor’s visit, Kees knows him as ‘the pouring shot guy’. Richard always has great recipes and I’ve already prepared quite a lot of them to great success. Richard and his wife the Baby Lady are very fond of bold flavors, which is clear from the high number of recipes with chile peppers on REMCooks.com.  I have no qualms in calling them chileheads, because they are proud to refer to themselves that way.

I never used to eat a lot of spicy food, but over the years I’ve grown more used to it and now I am cooking pretty spicy dishes on a regular basis. Still, I tease Richard now and then when he posts yet another chile recipe. Also because he uses all kinds of chile peppers that I am not familiar with. Richard probably thought it was time both Conor and myself would get more familiar with chile peppers, because as a gift from him we both received a box from Texas in the mail that was filled with all kinds of chile peppers! The box contained enough capsaicin to eradicate a small village 😉 Continue reading “The Chilehead Challenge”

Food Blogging Without Boundaries

On the 1st anniversary of StefanGourmet.com I wrote “ I would love for all of my blogging friends to meet and go on a big cooking spree together, but alas that’s not going to happen with the distances involved.” Conor from ConorBofin.com then responded “Your cook-up idea appeals.” And now, less than three months later, he is here with ‘the wife’ visiting for a weekend of cooking, eating, and a great time. I welcomed them with a dinner that included ravioli with a filling inspired by ChgoJohn’s recipe and PutneyFarm’s brownies for dessert. To include more of our blogging friends in this, we are making Richard McGary’s Butter-Poached Lobster Tails tonight. I couldn’t have … Continue reading Food Blogging Without Boundaries

1 Year StefanGourmet.com!

On November 30, 2011, at 11:07am I posted for the first time on this blog, explaining why I had decided to start blogging. Now, exactly one year later (with a little help from WordPress’s scheduling feature), I am looking back on a wonderful year of food blogging. What I didn’t realize when I started, is that blogging is as much about receiving as it is about giving. I was hoping to receive some feedback on my posts, and after a slow start that really took off and all your nice comments and ‘likes’ have become somewhat of an addiction. But … Continue reading 1 Year StefanGourmet.com!