Grouper Sous Vide with Vanilla and Lemon Zest

Sometimes I get the inspiration for a new dish from something I’ve enjoyed in a restaurant. Very seldomly I try to copy a dish exactly, but I do use the combinations of ingredients or preparations. At two Michelin star restaurant … Continue reading Grouper Sous Vide with Vanilla and Lemon Zest

Cappon Magro Sous Vide (Stack of Fish and Vegetables with Green Sauce from Liguria)

Cappon Magro is a delicious and special dish from Liguria with fish and vegetables. It is on the menu in Liguria for special occasions such as the holidays. The name means “lean capon”, which indicates that it was an alternative … Continue reading Cappon Magro Sous Vide (Stack of Fish and Vegetables with Green Sauce from Liguria)

Rose Fish Sous-Vide with Lemon-Roasted Cauliflower

Rose fish is called “Roodbaars” in Dutch, which literally translates to “Red (sea) bass”. I like all seafood so when I checked out the market and the rose fish looked the freshest, that is what I got. From the name and appearance I assumed wrongly it resembled sea bass or snapper, but instead the texture and flavor turned out to be more like cod. I prepared it like I prepare sea bass, by cooking it sous-vide and then crisping up the skin. It turned out okay, but not as nice as actual sea bass and just slightly dry and flaky. Next time I’ll prepare it more like cod, cooked sous-vide at a slightly lower temperature (45ºC/113ºF instead of 48ºC/118ºF). White fish pairs nicely with roasted cauliflower, and so I served the fish with lemon-roasted cauliflower that turned out nicely. Continue reading “Rose Fish Sous-Vide with Lemon-Roasted Cauliflower”

Spicy Sweet & Sour Pork Belly and Cauliflower

Whoa! The more experience I have with cooking, the more I dare to experiment and try new things without using recipes. In this case I made up a recipe from scratch, and I am truly amazed how delicious it turned out to be. From Paul’s That Other Cooking Blog I got the inspiration to deep fry pork belly in cubes rather than as a roulade. And from blogging about Dutch nasi with atjar I got to think about Indonesian cooking. Now this recipe is not Indonesian and not authentic, but it is certainly inspired by Indonesian cooking and uses Indonesian ingredients. Don’t worry though if you can’t get Indonesian ingredients, as I’m sure that it will be just as delicious with substitute ingredients that I will provide.

This dish is bursting with flavor. It starts with pork belly cubes cooked sous-vide for 36 hours at 60C/140F with 5-spice. (You can also prepare this without a sous-vide cooker, though.) (I have since then discovered that pork belly is even better when cooked sous-vide for 36-48 hours at 57C/135F instead.) The pork is then deep fried briefly to crisp it up. The juices from the pork belly are used to create a darkly flavored sweet & sour sauce that is bursting with flavor from sambal oelek, fresh ginger, and caramelized onions. This sauce pairs well with the juicy tender pork belly. As a contrast to the deep dark flavors of the sauce, I prepared atjar-inspired spicy sweet & sour cauliflower that is equally bursting with flavor, but in a different fresher way. Served with some rice, this was one great meal! I will definitely make this again, and I won’t change a thing. Continue reading “Spicy Sweet & Sour Pork Belly and Cauliflower”

Cauliflower Risotto (Risotto al Cavolfiore)

A few weeks ago I dined at my favorite Italian restaurant in Amsterdam: Bussia. The risotto I was served there was a cauliflower risotto and it was the inspiration for the risotto I created. This risotto is very creamy with most of the cauliflower used to make a cauliflower puree and the remainder roasted in the oven for some additional flavor and crunch. As a finishing touch I added some roasted almonds. I was happy with the result and will definitely make this again. If made with vegetable stock, this is an outstanding vegetarian dish. Continue reading “Cauliflower Risotto (Risotto al Cavolfiore)”

Pasta with Romanesco and Hazelnut

The dish with sole and hazelnut emulsion with romanesco we recently had at a fancy restaurant in Amsterdam was not such a big success because the sole was overpowered by the hazelnut emulsion, but it did inspire me to make this pasta dish because it made me realize that hazelnut and romanesco work very well together. Romanesco is an Italian green variety of cauliflower. If you can’t find it, you could substitute with regular cauliflower. A hazelnut emulsion is basically a warm mayonnaise made with hazelnut oil. I was happy with the result, as also in this pasta dish the combination worked very well and it was a nice variety from other pasta dishes that I make. Because of the nuts it is not really needed to eat a secondo of meat afterwards. And it only takes about 20 minutes to make. Continue reading “Pasta with Romanesco and Hazelnut”

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Fat from Beef Stock

This is a very simple but amazingly delicious recipe that I discovered mostly by accident. If you make beef stock from scratch and allow it to cool, a layer of solid fat will form on the top. I always used to discard this fat, but not anymore! There is a lot of flavor in it, and together with the cauliflower, ground cumin and pecorino sardo the flavor is out of this world. So next time you make beef stock, keep the fat and make this dish. I promise you won’t regret it! This is a week night dish that is … Continue reading Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Fat from Beef Stock

Penne with Cauliflower and Almonds (Penne Cavolfiori e Mandorle)

Summer still seems far away here in the Netherlands, so I felt like making this hearty pasta dish. It’s a simple dish with an original flavor, and very filling. This is not an original Italian dish; the combination of cauliflower and almonds is my own invention. Ingredients For 2 servings 150-200 grams (1/3-1/2 pound) penne pasta 300 grams (2/3 pounds) cauliflower florets 50 grams (2 oz) blanched almonds 1 garlic clove, minced 1/2 cup home-made chicken stock (or vegetable stock) 1 cup whipping cream salt and freshly ground white pepper 6 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded 1/4 cup freshly grated … Continue reading Penne with Cauliflower and Almonds (Penne Cavolfiori e Mandorle)