Risotto with Pear, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts

Happy Christmas everyone!

Risotto with pear and gorgonzola is a well-known dish in Italy. I had made it before, but a post by Francesca about risotto with speck and apples reminded me that I had never blogged about it. To add some crunch, I decided to include some walnuts as well. The combination of the sweet pear, piquant gorgonzola, and crunchy walnuts works very well with the creamy rice. Continue reading “Risotto with Pear, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts”

Grilled Octopus with Octopus Sponge, Bell Pepper Coulis and Romanesco

This is another dish that came out of the collaboration with Teun and Albert. I wanted Teun to try octopus sous-vide, and I remember how much I liked the char-grilled octopus at La Madia in Sicily. Although we ended up doing something different, our original idea was to do something along the lines of the octopus dish from La Madia. That dish featured a rock. Due to timing constraints (and also because the rock at La Madia wasn’t very tasty even though it looked great), we decided to go for a soft octopus sponge cake instead.

Recently, Paul of That Other Cooking Blog wrote about a microwave brioche. This is a trick that was originally devised by Ferran Adrià of El Bulli. A batter with a lot of eggs is siphoned into paper cups with nitrous oxide and then cooked for 30 seconds in a microwave oven to get a sponge cake. As octopus leaks a lot of juices when cooked, we thought it would be nice to reduce those juices to a thick octopus syrup and use that to flavor a sponge. We thought it would pair well with a bell pepper coulis, and when we realised our menu needed more vegetables we also included some oven-roasted romanesco (green cauliflower). Continue reading “Grilled Octopus with Octopus Sponge, Bell Pepper Coulis and Romanesco”

Duck Leg a l’Orange Sous-Vide

Sous-vide confit of duck leg is great, but I thought it should also be possible to do a more juicy less flaky texture. Some experimenting with times and temperatures showed me right: 24 hours at 64.5C/148F yielded tender juicy duck legs. Duck with orange is a classic combination from French cuisine, known as Canard à l’Orange. And so a very simple but very stylish and tasty dish was born. Ingredients? Duck legs, an orange, salt and pepper, and a teaspoon of honey. That’s it! The duck is cooked in its own fat. Perfect simplicity or simple perfection? Continue reading “Duck Leg a l’Orange Sous-Vide”

Corn Soup with Crab

When I read about the “Luscious Creamy Corn Soup with Crab” on Richard McGary’s blog REMCooks, I immediately knew I just had to try this. I hardly ever cook with either corn or crab, so this would be something new and exciting. It was quite a bit of work, but it turned out great! This is a very elegant dish for a fancy dinner party or special occasion. Thanks for the idea, Richard! The local North Sea crab is a bit different from the king crab that Richard used. King crab is available here, but only deep frozen and ridiculously … Continue reading Corn Soup with Crab

Butternut Squash Lasagne (Lasagne alla Zucca)

Pumpkins and Butternut Squash are in season again, and M&M inspired me to make butternut squash lasagne. I used her recipe for Roasted Carrot and Butternut Squash Lasagna as a starting point and made my own version. Often I find dishes with pumpkin or butternut squash to be lacking in taste, but this turned out really well. This was also the first time I made fresh wholemeal pasta, since I agree with M&M that it complements the squash nicely. You could also make it with white flour only as the difference in taste was quite subtle. Making lasagne from scratch … Continue reading Butternut Squash Lasagne (Lasagne alla Zucca)