Showing posts from September, 2019

Berry Meringue Pavlovas

Isn't she lovely? You might not think it from the looks of it but this is actually one of the easiest desserts ever. The only thing that takes a while is waiting for the meringue to set in the oven, but I promise you - you won't regret the wait when it's time to eat these babies.

Ingredients (makes 4):
3 egg whites (I used medium-size eggs)
165g white sugar
few drops of vinegar
100ml whipping cream
1 additional tbsp sugar
fresh fruit to top (I went for a very-berry combo: strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries)

Pre-heat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius / 210 degrees Fahrenheit

1. Take the vinegar and use it to rub the bowl you're going to use to whip your egg whites in, as well as the whisk. This de-greases the bowl, which is important for firm egg whites (they 'sink' when exposed to grease).

2. Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Do it carefully, you don't want a single drop of yolk to 'contaminate' the egg whites. If this hap…

Pizza Napoletana from Bee's Knees Kitchen

This post is a blast from the past and a real treat. In 2012, followed a pizza Napoletana baking course from Bee’s Knees Kitchen in Amsterdam, as a gift from one of my best girlfriends. The lovely ladies who ran it and gave the workshops have since moved out of the country and the cooking school is closed, but the recipes never die.

Cherry Pin Wheels

Everyone with an office job and a love of creative breakfasts should stock up on puff pastry - you know, the ready made kind you keep in the freezer. This mini obsession kept me happy for quite a while, brought on partly by just how little it takes to make a decent pastry. So far, I've played around with mango, peach, cherry, pear, apple and chocolate. These cherry pin wheels were not just delicious, but pretty to boot :)

Open Faced Asparagus and Serrano Ham Sandwich

Do you ever wake up with asparagus cravings? I did this weekend, but it was early, and I had an  equally strong need for it to involve very little effort. The perfect solution: asparagus on toast.

Ingredients (makes 1):
1 large tbsp cream cheese
1/4 avocado
handful alfalfa
few drops lemon juice
2 slices serrano ham
2 asparagus spears
dollop of butter
1 slice rustic bread

1. Peel the asparagus and cut off the bottom cm (or two, depending on how long your 'tough bottoms' are).

2. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the asparagus spears. Sautée for about 5 minutes, turning them every now and then so they don't burn.

3. In the meantime, mash the avocado into the cream cheese and add a few drops of lemon juice.
Toast the bread.

4. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the bread. Layer the serrano ham onto it, and cover with alfalfa. On top, place the asparagus spears. Serve immediately.

Tuna Tartare with Sesame Tuiles

Tuna tartare, the story holds, was invented in Los Angeles in 1983. Chef Shigefume Tachibe is believed to be the first who came up with the recipe, putting it on the menu at Chaya Brasserie that year as a Japanese-French fusion dish. Chef Shigefume did a good thing that day.

In a nutshell, tuna tartare (like its meaty cousin) is basically raw tuna steak, chopped up with a few spices tossed in. It's a wonderfully simplistic dish, and making or breaking it all boils down to the ingredients you use.

If you've got good products there's very little that can go wrong here. I found this a lovely way to serve tuna as a starter without heading straight in the sushi direction (and much easier to combine with other courses).

Ingredients (serves 4):
(time: 15 minutes)

Tuna Tartare
350g sushi-grade tuna
1 tsp dijon mustard*
6 capers, very finely chopped
1 tsp chives, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 avocados, diced
3 yellow tomatoes**
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp lemon juice

*If y…

Minneola Marmalade

Minneola tangelos are the sweeter, juicier cousins of the grapefruit and the tangerine. I can't remember having ever bought them before, and yet all of a sudden, one September they were everywhere in their deep orange splendour. What it was about the bag of minneolas I came home with that made me think 'marmalade' I still can’t say, but something did, and here it is. Sweeter than traditional orange marmalade, with none of its bitterness. An easy sell, if you ask me.

Ingredients (enough for 3 US cups, or two 340mL jam jars and a little extra):
2 cups minneola juice (4 or 5 minneolas should be enough)
rind of 4 mineolas
2 cups sugar
1.5 cups water

* Equipment: a candy thermometer

1. Juice the minneolas and pour the juice into a saucepan.

2. Using a sharp knife, cut the orange outside rind off of the remaining minneola peels, discarding the white pith. This is important - the more of the white pith you put into your marmalade, the more bitter it will become.

3. …

Caesar Salad with Chicken and Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Randomly food blog browsing one morning, I came across a recipe from Smitten Kitchen that looked - and sounded - absolutely fabulous: slow roasted tomatoes. And very, very easy - just the way I like it. All it takes is time (3 hours give or take). That sounds scary, but other than the 5 or so minutes of prep time, you mostly just wait - and there's no need to be anywhere near the kitchen while you do. When they're done, you'll see the wait was worth it - the tomatoes are intensely full of flavour and your kitchen will smell amazing.