White sauce is known as béchamel in France or besciamella in Italy and is an important basic sauce that is used in many dishes like lasagna. White sauce is made using only three ingredients: milk, butter, and flour. Most recipes … Continue reading How To Make White Sauce The Easy Way (Béchamel / Besciamella)
Spain is very proud of its jamón iberico, and rightly so. The cured ham is made from a special breed of pig (known simply as iberico in Spain, but abroad often called pata negra because of the black hooves) and … Continue reading Croquetas de Jamón (Iberico Ham Croquettes)
During our trip to Spain last fall we gorged ourselves on researched many different types of tapas. One very popular kind of tapas that you see everywhere is croquettes with various fillings. They are crispy on the outside and creamy … Continue reading Croquetas de Setas (Mushroom Croquettes)
Next to paella, tortilla española or tortilla de patatas is one of the most famous national dishes of Spain. It can be found on restaurant menus, but it is also served as tapas. Patatas means potatoes, and that about sums it … Continue reading Tortilla de Patatas o Tortilla Española (Spanish Potato Omelette)
Beurre noisette, literally hazelnut butter, is often used in French cooking and baking, and it is therefore good to know how to make it. The hazelnut doesn’t only refer to the color, but also to the nutty smell and taste … Continue reading How To Make Beurre Noisette (Brown Butter)
As promised in my review of sous-vide equipment, I’m going to write more about sous-vide techniques. This is the first post in a series, that will be in the new categorie “Sous-Vide tips & tricks“. In cooking we often strive to … Continue reading Post Sous-Vide Searing by Deep Frying
Limburg is a province in the South of the Netherlands that is famous for its pies, known as vlaai. I’ve already posted recipes for a version with cherries, kersenvlaai, and one with apricots, abrikozenvlaai. One of the most famous types is … Continue reading Gooseberry Meringue Pie from Limburg (Kruisbessenvlaai, Krosjelevlaai mit Sjoem)
Doesn’t this cherry ricotta tartlet look great? It is not only as delicious as it looks, it is also very easy to make and does not require any baking (or any baking skills for that matter). So you don’t have … Continue reading No-Bake Cherry Ricotta Amaretti Tartlets
Béarnaise is one of the classic sauces from French cuisine and it is great with steak. The traditional way of preparing it au bain marie requires quite a bit of skill, as the sauces curdles easily. It also requires you to make … Continue reading Easy Foolproof Béarnaise Sauce
My favorite kind of chiles are chipotles because of their smokiness. Chipotles in adobo sauce, a sauce made from tomatoes and ancho chiles, are a great condiment. I love them for instance with chicken, mushrooms and cream. Chipotles in adobo … Continue reading Homemade Chipotles in Adobo Sauce
To celebrate the coming of Spring I wanted to create a dish with spring vegetables, and came up with these wonderful ravioli filled with baby asparagus, snow peas, peas, baby carrots, ricotta, parmigiano, and basil. Served with a fresh tomato … Continue reading Ravioli Primavera
Pastiera is a traditional Easter cake from Naples, filled with boiled wheat, ricotta, and candied citrus. The wheat provides an interesting texture and also makes the cake quite filling. The candied citron, candied orange, lemon zest, orange blossom water, and … Continue reading Pastiera Napoletana
Fennel develops a great flavor when it is braised slowly until it lightly caramelizes and becomes mushy, and it pairs well with fish. In this case I chose whiting, and used the heads and bones of the fish to make … Continue reading Risotto with Braised Fennel and Whiting
Do you like chocolate? Do you like to impress your guests with your skills in the kitchen? Do you find baking a bit intimidating? Then this is the perfect recipe for you! This flourless chocolate recipe is much easier than … Continue reading Easy Foolproof Flourless Chocolate Cake
There are three things I don’t like about artichokes: (1) it is a lot of work to clean them, (2) they don’t go well with wine, and (3) you can only eat a small part of them and have to throw … Continue reading Artichoke Ravioli (Ravioli con Carciofi)
Do you like Earl Grey tea? Did you know that this tea is flavored with the essential oil from the skin of bergamot orange? My homemade limoncello is a very popular digestif with my dinner guests. When I saw bergamot … Continue reading Homemade Bergamocello
As every year, for my birthday I baked to treat my colleagues. This year I made a pound cake, almond cookies stuffed with amarena cherries, and an Italian apple cake. Other than Dutch appeltaart (the same as American apple pie), Italian torta … Continue reading Torta di Mele (Apple Cake)
Since I had some lovely homemade sausage, I thought it was time to try another Italian classic: ravioli filled with sausage and potato. Another version of sausage ravioli is with ricotta and spinach, the Bartolini version. As I wanted the … Continue reading Sausage and Potato Ravioli (Ravioli di Salsiccia e Patate)
Homemade ravioli are my signature dish. These delicate pasta pillows stuffed with goodness are a great way to impress your guests, and would be perfect for a Christmas dinner. You can make them in advance and when it is time … Continue reading Top 10 Secrets to Make the Best Homemade Ravioli From Scratch
In a change of pace from a very involved preparation and a very sophisticated meal, in this post I’m going to show you how I cut bell peppers quickly and with zero waste. A lot of food is wasted. The statistics … Continue reading How to Cut a Bell Pepper
My first try making fish paste from scratch was a bit of a disaster, but the thai fish cakes (tod mun pla) made with store-bought fish paste were such a big success that I wanted to try again to make … Continue reading How to Make Fish Paste For Thai Fish Cakes From Scratch
Puff pastry has a reputation of being difficult and a lot of work to make from scratch. I had never attempted it before, but now that I have I thought it wasn’t so hard at all. The main point is temperature control, which is easier right now because it is winter and thus not warm in the house. Puff pastry puffs up because it has a lot of layers of flour and butter. In this recipe, there will be 256 layers! Temperature control is so important because the butter should be soft enough to be able to handle the dough, but not melted to keep the layers intact. This means that a cool room temperature of 18ºC/65ºF is ideal in your kitchen when you make this.
There are several reasons for making your own puff pastry rather than running to the store:
- Your own puff pastry will only contain flour, butter, water, and salt. Nothing else.
- You will have bragging rights.
- It will probably taste better (depending on the quality of the store-bought pastry).
- It is cheaper than store-bought.
Running to the store is faster (depending on where the store is), as making your own puff pastry does take about 4 hours. However, most of that time is inactive time with the dough resting in the fridge. Continue reading “Home made Puff Pastry From Scratch”
I served this delicious cake to my parents for dessert when they came over for dinner, and everyone loved it. I got the recipe from the newspaper a long time ago, and found it when I was sorting out old recipes. It’s so good I regret not making it earlier. Ingredients 500 grams (1.1 lbs) ripe plums 50 grams (1/4 cup) sugar juice and zest of 1 orange vanilla bean For the dough 150 grams (11 Tbsp) butter at room temperature 150 grams (3/4 cup) sugar 2 eggs 85 grams (1/2 cup) flour 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 100 grams … Continue reading Cake with Plums, Almonds and Orange
I have tomato envy. I read all those posts of fellow food bloggers who are buying heirloom tomatoes at farmers markets, or even harvesting perfectly ripe tasty tomatoes from their own backyard. And given the local climate here, I have to make do with tomatoes that come from a greenhouse and are just not the same. If you do have access to good tomatoes (as well as fresh sea bass), do yourself a favor and make this recipe. I promise it will be an outstanding way of tasting what summer is supposed to taste like! This is one of the … Continue reading Sea Bass poached in fresh Tomatoes (Branzino al Pomodoro Fresco)