1 January 2017

Smoked mackerel, baby beetroots, horseradish creme

Whisk 3 tbs creme fraiche with 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 full tbsp of horseradish.
Cut 2 small gurkins in very small cubes.
Plate with the flakes of smoked mackerel. Add halved baby beetroots. Add gurking dices and some sauce. Decorate with pee shoots (or water cress)

3 August 2016

Courgette pancake, Brie, warm cherry tomatoes

Put the oven at 180C. Get the Brie out of the fridge.

Grate a courgette (zuchini) and some Parmesan cheese

For 4 pancakes you'll need:
2 cups of grated zucchini, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan, 3/4 cup of four
Mix well. Add pepper and salt and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg.

Put the tomatoes in the oven for 10-15 mins

Melt butter in a frying pan. Use 3 tbsp of the courgette-mix for 1 pancake
Cook 2 mins per side

Serve as shown, with some chives

2 August 2016

Baby beetroot, puff pastry

The greengrocer had these lovely baby beetroots, smaller than a golfball and I could not resist them.

They were pre-cooked so all I had to do was heat them up. To do that I warmed a bit of butter and a splash of olive oil and added a teaspoon go caster sugar, a splash of apple vinegar, salt and pepper. Halved the beets and warmed them up slowly. Stirring from time to time.

I had put the oven on 185C and used a saucer to cut 2 rounds out of frozen puff pastry, which I put between to buttered sheets of baking paper. The top layer weighted down with coins, to avoid the dough rising.
This way I baked them for 10 minutes, then removed the coins and top layer of paper and baked for another 8 mins till nice and brown.

In the meantime I made a vinaigrette from a teaspoon of Dyon mustard, a tsp apple vinegar and 5 tbsp olive oil. I cit a shallot finely and did the same with parsley.

In the end I put the hot halved babies on the pastry and spooned the vinaigrette and the beet juices over it. (inspired by Veg!, Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall)

NB Next time I might use flatbread dough instead of the puff pastry...

Marinated courgette, mozzarella

Cut the ends of 2 courgettes, then cut them lengthwise in 2 mm thick slices.

Put the courgettes in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of oil and use a pastry brush to get them all lightly coated.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a fairly high heat. Working in batches, sear the courgette slices for about 2 minutes on each side until tender and golden. Transfer them to a shallow dish.

Take the frying pan off the heat and let it cool down a bit. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, finely sliced garlic and the zest of a lemon. Heat very gently for a few minutes – the residual heat in the pan may be enough – you just want to take the raw edge off the garlic and infuse the flavours into the oil.

Pour the infused oil over the courgettes. Add some salt and pepper, a little squeeze of lemon juice and torn  mint or basil leaves . Toss together, cover and leave for 1 hour at room temperature

Serve with the torn mozzarella scattered over it

(From Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Veg!)

3 July 2016

Chicken fajita for posh people

The best way to eat fajita is with your hands but if you crave decorum and want to use fork and knife, here you go. From top to bottom:

Basil Leaves
Creme fraiche
Red fajita sauce from a jar
Red onions
Basil leaves
Grilled paprika
Grilled chicken

29 June 2016

Herring, beetroot salad

In a sense this could be a Thai recipe, combining salt (herring) with sweet (mayo, beetroot) and sour (gurkins, vinegar, capers, Granny Smith)). Basic ingredients are equal parts of boiled potatoes and beetroot, in 5x5 mm dices. The dressing is made from mayonaise and horse radish, but I added a little apple vinegar. A quarter Granny Smith, finely diced, slices of a shallot, spoonful of capers and finely cut gurkin or cornichons. Spoonfull of dill. Mix and taste, leave in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. Taste again, now you can always add more of one of the ingredients. Or if sour is not your favourite use a sweet apple and leave out the vinegar.
Mine was served with samphire. I like the raw, salted herring on top, but others mix the herring with the salad.

24 June 2016

Cod, salsa verde and a very special mash

Start with the salsa verde: a handfull of parsley, basil and in my case wasabi rucula with a clove of garlic, salt (to take away the bitterness), pepper and olive oil. Use a blender. Then add finely diced gurkins and capers. Done.

Fry a finely sliced shallot and garlic clove in some butter till soft (to be used in the mash)

Put the oven on 200C. Boil some potatoes. 5 minutes before they are done start with the cod fillets. Use a plastic bag with some flour to cover them lightly. Fry them in butter, 3 minutes on one side, 3 minutes on the other. Stick the pan in the oven.

In the meantime mash the potatoes. While they are still hot stir in the shallot and clove and some watercress (or, as I did, wasabi rucula if you can find it). Then small, halved cherry tomatoes (3 pp) and a spoonful of sour cream.

Now the fish is cooked, so serve as shown. A great recipe from Koken VTM, the Belgian tv channel.