Showing posts from October, 2019

Balsamic BBQ Sauce Drumsticks

Some days I just can’t be bothered to cook a proper meal. But a girl’s gotta eat, and chips alone won’t cut it. What to do? 
For some reason barbeque sauce has been occupying a lot of brain space this weekend. Maybe because I was eyeballing bottles at a specialty food store the other day. Eyeballing aside, I didn’t buy any - which got me wondering... what do BBQ sauce fans do when the stores in their area don't sell them? Having relatives mail/haul these things over is an option familiar to many an expat, but I figure it's probably more useful to know how to make it myself. And, it turns out, not so hard. In fact, not hard at all. 

Ingredients (serves 4):

12 chicken drumsticks (or, if you're cooking for two, get 6 drumsticks and keep the proportions for the sauce the same, saving your leftover sauce in a bottle in the fridge).

BBQ Sauce: 
1 cup balsamic vinegar
5/6 cup ketchup
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black…

Crab Tomato Bisque

Strolling along the Albert Cuyp market, something drew me to crab legs. The North Sea crab (Noordzeekrab), widely available in the Netherlands, is a think-shelled bugger, large and brownish-white in colour. Boxes full of crab claws were just sitting there, staring at me. The fish man came at me before I had a chance to move on. I was trapped, and bought crab claws for two.

This wasn't the first time I'd come home with crab legs. Same crabs, same fishmonger. Last fall, I'd bought them to make a crab curry inspired by a Portuguese Mozambiquan girl I used to know. I'd had them the same way when she made them once - boiled and left in the curry, claws and all. When we ate, we had to break open the curry-laden shells with a hammer, and wound up splattering orange sauce all over ourselves.

Not really in the mood for clearing orange stains, I figured I'd take a safer route by removing the crab meat from the shells before serving it up. Now what to do with it...? A bit of…

Argentinian Beef Empanadas

Having just returned from 3 1/2 weeks in Mexico, my first post of 2014 was inspired by things Latin. In Mexico City I spent some time at the house of a friend whose mother was known for her empanadas. No better time and place to learn the tricks of the trade - and as with most things I hadn't tried before, after a bit of practice it turned out to be easier than I had expected.

Chocolate Candied Blood Orange Slices

Blood oranges are gorgeous, and when years back my local eco store started selling the Italian Sanguinello, I was absolutely thrilled. Ever since, they've been a regular fixture in my kitchen. I'm a simple soul and like them because they're beautiful - and because blood orange juice is an awesome colour.

This time I felt like something a little different and made candy out of them. Not the healthiest choice, I know... #sorrynotsorry

Ingredients (makes about 26 slices):
1 cup (250 ml) water
2 cups (400 g) granulated white sugar
2 blood oranges (or 1 blood orange, and one regular orange, for some diversity in flavour)
200g dark chocolate
Optional: a few tablespoons sugar to coat the finished slices

1. Scrub the oranges under luke-warm water, then cut them in half horizontally. Cut into thin round slices, then cut these in half to make orange half moons.

2. Bring the sugar/water to a boil in a wide-bottomed pan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Turn the h…

Mushroom Ragout on Toast

What to do when you find yourself with way too many mushrooms? Make mushroom ragout, of course. :)

Cavolo Nero and Mushroom Risotto

For a while, I ordered vegetable delivery crates filled with seasonal veggies. By way of the crate I discovered cavolo nero... if it hadn't been chosen for me, I might never have given it a second look. And that would have been too bad, because then I would never have learned about all the wonderful things you can do with it.

Cavolo nero (black kale, Tuscan cabbage, or palmkool in Dutch) is an Italian cabbage with dark soft leaves. Instead of growing in heads like some other cabbage types, its leaves grow straight up like fronds... and it is, it turns out, a beloved ingredient in minestrone soups, Tuscan risotto, pasta, and even lentil dishes. I put it to the test with the first best thing I had in the pantry: some carnaroli rice. The cavolo nero passed the test with flying colours.

Paprika Egg Casserole with Green Bell Pepper

From one of my housemates, who was Bulgarian, I learned that pretty much anything can be made in a clay pot. Bulgarians, he would say, use them all the time. Sausage, potato, vegetables - you name it.

Why not, I thought, so I tried a vegetarian brunch version. It was so good I made it again the next day.