Swordish, Fennel and Orange Salad

It is great to live on a latitude of 52 degrees in summer, because we get so much sunlight in the evenings. Now it’s payback time however, as the sun sets very early. When I saw fresh swordfish at the fishmonger (rather than frozen, which is usual), I decided to make this salad to bring a bit of the brightness of summer into the dark winter. The swordfish is served raw in this salad. If you don’t like that, you could briefly sear it in olive oil over very high heat and still serve it with a fennel and orange salad. Continue reading “Swordish, Fennel and Orange Salad”

Langoustine Tartare with Mandarin and Bottarga

One of the best dinners we’ve had so far this year was at La Madia in Sicily. One of the dishes there was Battutino di gambero rosso, maionese di bottarga di tonno e olio al mandarino.

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The dish at La Madia

This is what I wrote in my review: “Carpaccio of prawns, flattened into a perfect disc, served with a bottarga mayonnaise and mandarin olive oil. It was suggested to spread out the ‘mayo’, which we did, and it was a great combination with the prawns and didn’t overpower them. Great balance of flavors, although I may have liked a slightly ‘fresher’  taste.”

The type of prawns used in this dish is not available fresh in the Netherlands, but I love raw langoustines (scampi) that are locally caught. When I saw fresh langoustines at the market, I decided to create a dish that was inspired by the combination of flavors at La Madia. The result was an appetizer of langoustine tartare with mandarin zest infused olive oil, mandarin juice, bottarga, and mandarin. It was very nice as a small appetizer (amuse bouche). The flavors worked very well together, and I liked that it was ‘fresher’ than the dish at La Madia. The dried bottarga was not as smooth as the bottarga mayo at La Madia, but it was nice all the same. Continue reading “Langoustine Tartare with Mandarin and Bottarga”

Sarde a Beccafico (Stuffed Sardines)

Apart from the fennel balls, I prepared another antipasto for my Sicilian dinner: Sarde a Beccafico. We really liked this dish when we had it at Tischi Toschi, and I copied the presentation from there. Sarde a Beccafico can be served either as antipasto or as secondo (main course). Sardines are stuffed with bread crumbs, raisins, anchovies, parsley, pine nuts, sugar, and baked in the oven with some orange juice. This dish is very tasty and easy to prepare if you ask the fishmonger to turn the sardines into fillets for you.

Continue reading “Sarde a Beccafico (Stuffed Sardines)”

White Asparagus Ice Cream with Truffle

This unusual appetizer was inspired by a marvelous dish we had at El Celler de Can Roca. I am not claiming it is a recreation of the dish, it was merely inspired by it. I liked my simpler version too, and from the use of fresh black truffle it’s still not that humble. I had never made asparagus ice cream before, so I was pretty happy with how this turned out. I’ll have to think of a good substitute for the truffle (suggestions are welcome), because it’s the white asparagus ice cream that really shines here and the price of fresh truffle would … Continue reading White Asparagus Ice Cream with Truffle

Mackerel & Sauerkraut Quiche

Mackerel is healthy to eat because of the omega-3 fatty acids it contains. After discovering by accident that sauerkraut and smoked mackerel go really well together, I decided to try making a mackerel & sauerkraut quiche. And guess what? It was really good, so I’ve been making it more often since. Apart from the baking time it doesn’t take much time to make it at all, as little as 5 minutes if you use a store-bought pie crust for the quiche. I’ve found that it’s not easy to make a better pie crust yourself than what you can buy in the … Continue reading Mackerel & Sauerkraut Quiche

Risotto ai gamberoni (Risotto with jumbo shrimp)

When you are cooking with jumbo shrimp, always try to buy them with heads and shells on and peel them yourself. It is a little bit of work, but you can make a delicious stock from the heads and shells that is excellent to make a risotto or paella or to use for pasta sauce. If you are not using the heads and shells straight away, just throw them in the freezer until you do. Next time you will be able to make this very tasty risotto, for which you will need more heads and shells than than you will … Continue reading Risotto ai gamberoni (Risotto with jumbo shrimp)