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Showing posts from August, 2019

Strawberry Tomato Summer Salad

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Beautiful summer days call for food that is fresh, simple, and as little hassle as possible. After all, who wants to slave away in the kitchen when it’s gorgeous outside. And I like tasting the sun in my mouth.

This recipe meets all those criteria - it’s quick, light, easy, but with fragrant summer flavours. At first sight, this recipe might look a little counter-intuitive. Tomatoes and strawberries? Strawberries and balsamic vinegar? But if you set your scepticism aside for a minute you’ll find that the tartness of the balsamic vinegar, the sweetness of the strawberries, that hint of basil - it all just works. Balsamic vinegar really brings out the flavor (and colour!) in strawberries - they get ever so slightly less sweet, but gain in 'umph'.


Ingredients (serves 2):
200g small roma or cherry tomatoes
200g strawberries
10 leaves basil (basilicum)
2-3 tsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions:
1. Slice the tomatoes and strawberries in half lengthwise and put them in a bowl.
2. Take th…

Cod Fish Cakes with a Hint of Mint

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Cod is a great white fish. It falls to pieces when you cook it and is soft and with butter, lovely and rich. I love it just the way it is, but this time, I wanted something different.

For some reason, I was fixating on fish fingers in mind - the kind I had as a kid, frozen from a box with a captain on it. I'm not even sure why, other than the nostalgia of the idea. I hadn't really loved them, but after two or so decades and a palette renewed many times over (every seven years, they say), I was a little curious.



The result proved it once again: things just taste better when they don't come in a box (or from the frozen food section).

I should have called these Melt in your Mouth fishcakes. Seriously. No Captain Igloo will ever compare.

Ingredients (makes 8):
300g potatoes (weight after peeling)
180g cod fish
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 small onion, finely chopped
15 mint leaves, finely chopped
50ml white wine
50ml milk
150ml water
1/2 fish stock cube (for 250ml l…

Chocolate Meringues

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Meringue-making can be a pain in the ass, and the first time I tried to make these was a disastrous failure. I added the cacao in with the other ingredients and tried whisking, but the egg whites wouldn't take up any air and I ended up with a very drab, very pointless, very dark brown mixture.

But I wasn't about to give up, so poured the gunk down the drain and tried again. The second time round I tried adding the cacao afterwards - a little bit at a time. That version actually looked like meringues, but they didn't taste right. Too much cacao. So I tried again. Below is the recipe that worked.



Ingredients (makes about 20):
2 large egg whites
110g sugar
pinch of maizena (corn starch)
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
12g cacao

Pre-heat the oven to 100° Celsius.

Instructions:
1. Before you start, make sure your utensils are clean and grease-free. Wipe down the metal of your whisk and bowl with vinegar and dry with a paper towel.

2. Begin this recipe just as you would if yo…

Rhubarb White Chocolate Tartelettes

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White chocolate and rhubarb, could it work? I’d had mini pastries a lot like this with blackberry, which I loved growing up. I wasn’t really sure about this combination, but was tempted to try it nonetheless. And not sorry, because it turns out the white chocolate was more than sweet enough to compensate for both the sugar-free shortcrust pastry dough, and the wonderful tartness of the rhubarb.
Don't take my word for it though... give it a shot and judge for yourself.


Red and Yellow Bell Pepper Soup

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From 2008-2015, I had a cooking blog - this blog. It started out small and slow - I travelled a lot back then and putting my favourite recipes online was a far lighter way of carrying them around than dragging physical cookbooks. I didn’t take pictures and was still teaching myself how to cook - much of it by way of experimentation. I was looking for a way to keep track of what I’d made, and lo and behold - Ilse’s Kitchen was born.

Years later, I began working for an NGO called foodwatch. When food became work, the blog became complicated and I took it offline. But I work elsewhere now, and food is a hobby again. And the blog has been on my mind - a lot. So after giving it some thought, and then some more, I decided to put it back up.

The principle will be very much the same as it was when I first started out - I’ll do this mostly for me. But while I’ve taken a few courses here and there, I’m no master chef - so if I can do it, anyone can. I’m happy to pass on what I’ve learned and if…