Sous vide baby carrots with bulgur, goat cheese, and pistachios

This elegant vegetarian appetizer was inspired by a more elaborate version we enjoyed at Alma** in Lisbon. The combination of flavors and textures is very nice. The sweetness of the carrots goes well with the tartness of the goat cheese … Continue reading Sous vide baby carrots with bulgur, goat cheese, and pistachios

Modernist Cuisine Shrimp Cocktail

In the same session as Modernist Cuisine Pulpo a la Gallega, we also prepared the Shrimp Cocktail from the Plated Dishes volume of Modernist Cuisine. This preparation is quite a contrast with the traditional Avocado and Shrimp Cocktail I blogged about a few days ago. It looks very pretty and is a lot of work. The combination of beets, shrimp, passion fruit, and horseradish is original and works quite well. I liked the passion fruit ‘leather’. We were not enthusiastic about the passion fruit brown butter fluid gel or the pressure-cooked sesame seeds. The verdict? It was an interesting experience and quite tasty, but I don’t think I will make this dish again. Continue reading “Modernist Cuisine Shrimp Cocktail”

Thai Green Curry with Shrimp

Sometimes I can be a bit of a purist (OK you may laugh). Everyone can do as he pleases in the kitchen and everybody can eat what he likes, but please let’s not confuse each other by calling things what they are not. If you want to eat spaghetti with bacon and cream, fine, but don’t call it carbonara (which is made with guanciale or pancetta and eggs, and definitely without cream). There is nothing wrong with using garlic and parsley in a pasta sauce with meat and tomatoes, but don’t call it bolognese. I always try to prepare dishes as authentic as possible, which is sometimes difficult as most of the dishes I cook have not originated in the Netherlands. So I try to research and disclose it on my blog when I am not sure about the authenticity or when I cut corners.

What does this introduction have to do with Thai green curry? I’ve never been to Thailand and I don’t eat at Thai restaurants often, but when I do I tend to like the food. And so I thought I’d do some research and try to prepare an authentic Thai green curry. I found the High Heel Gourmet blog and had a blast reading it. You think I am a purist about Italian food? Check out this lady! I quote: “If you want to follow the “Do it yourself” recipe that uses green onion, cilantro, ginger root, lime juice and THE WHOLE POD of cardamom to make green curry paste so much, go ahead, but don’t call it Thai curry paste and please, don’t serve the curry to the Thais. They would barf!” I love it! She even critiqued Richard’s green curry, but was very nice about it.  (That is actually how I discovered her blog.)

As the High Heel Gourmet appears to know her stuff, I decided to go by her rules. I managed to find the authentic ingredients as specified and prepared my first Thai green curry with it, and absolutely loved it! Also my friends loved it, who have been to Thailand and who eat at Thai restaurants all the time. The curry had great depth of flavor and tasted very fresh. This was of course due to making fresh green curry paste from scratch. That is not a lot of work if you own a blender, the work is in finding the ingredients. It was hot but not extremely hot, and you can of course control the heat by using less or more chili peppers. Continue reading “Thai Green Curry with Shrimp”

Homemade Gravlax

Stéphane Gabart has beautiful photograph on his blog My French Heaven, and the recipes he shares with us are both simple and delicious. His post on gravlax inspired me to try this for myself. Gravlax or gravad laks is salmon cured with salt and sugar. This used to be a method to preserve salmon, and nowadays it is still prepared for its nice flavor. The name actually means “buried salmon” in Scandiavian languages, as the salmon used to be buried on the beach to preserve it.

Gravad lax tastes similar to smoked salmon, except that it’s not smoked. It is very easy to make your own, which will certainly impress your friends. All you need is sushi grade salmon and some patience. Continue reading “Homemade Gravlax”

Herring Ceviche with Cucumber Foam

The inspiration for serving herring marinated in lime juice with cucumber comes from an amuse bouche served by Albert when he cooked dinner for us.

Brined herring is a Dutch delicacy, prepared by ripening the herrings for a couple of days in oak barrels in a brine. The pancreatic enzymes which support the ripening make this version of salt herring especially mild and soft. Marinating it in lime juice (ceviche style) makes it even milder and softer.  As brined herring is served with pickled cucumber and raw chopped onion in the Netherlands, I prepared the foam with cucumber, yogurt, and raw shallot (a variation of a recipe that came with the iSi gourmet whip). The combination with the herring worked out great and I will definitely make this again.

Continue reading “Herring Ceviche with Cucumber Foam”

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”

Linguine ai gamberoni alla Fra Diavolo (Linguine with flambeed shrimp, garlic and chile pepper)

I was intrigued by this recipe by Pasta Princess since it involves flambéing the shrimp, and decided to make my own version with some alterations. As far as I’ve been able to find out by googling, Fra Diavolo is a recipe that is typical of the Italian kitchen in the United States. Nevertheless I tried to make this recipe like I believe it might be made in Italy. I like Pasta Princess’ suggestion to serve this over home-made pesto fettucine, but since I made this after work and didn’t have time to make fresh pasta, I used linguine as this type is … Continue reading Linguine ai gamberoni alla Fra Diavolo (Linguine with flambeed shrimp, garlic and chile pepper)

Penne with Asparagus and Goat cheese

Emmy Cooks blogged recently about “an automatic bond among people who spend the day in serious contemplation of what to eat next”. When I read that, I realised that I am such a person, too. I also realised that I also feel this bond with my fellow food bloggers out there, even without ever having met them yet. I don’t think about food all day, but I do care a lot about what I eat and make an effort to eat well as often as is pratical. I think this is only logical as I believe that food is something to enjoy … Continue reading Penne with Asparagus and Goat cheese

Pairing wine and cheese, revisited

Four weeks ago I had organized the first cheese & wine tasting event for friends at my house. Last night was the second evening with mostly the same wines and cheese, but some differences and better pictures. For the full story, please check out my post about the first evening. Soft cheese with light white wine With a caprese salad this time we had an Arneis instead of a Gavi. Both are good matches, but if memory serves me right this was slightly better because this specific Arneis was a bit ’rounder’ and therefore a slightly better match for the … Continue reading Pairing wine and cheese, revisited

Risotto sous-vide with Asparagus and Goat cheese

The traditional way of making risotto is a bit of a chore. Sauté a minced onion, toast the rice, add wine, and then keep adding stock and stirring for around 18 minutes. Finish with some butter and in many cases (but not always) grated parmigiano. Adding the stock in parts instead of all at once is needed to get the correct texture: the grains of rice will stay whole instead of breaking and will release more thickening starch. I don’t mind the effort, but for a weekday meal after work or for a dinner party it is not very convenient. … Continue reading Risotto sous-vide with Asparagus and Goat cheese

Pairing Wine and Cheese

Wine and cheese are a great match. But not just any wine with any cheese. Restaurants still offer a mix of very different cheeses with a glass of port. However in cases that different styles of cheeses are served together, they should be paired with different styles of wine as well. Last night we tasted 12 different wines with 12 different cheeses with a group of friends. We combined 7 types of cheese with 7 types of wine and tasted which combinations worked best. We had the cheese and wine for dinner, augmented with home-baked Italian bread and vegetable antipasti (sautéed mushrooms, roasted peppers, … Continue reading Pairing Wine and Cheese

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)