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Showing posts from January, 2020

Mac 'n Cheese

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Ok, maybe 'healthy' is overselling it a little, but at least this version contains nearly all the food groups and definitely has more veggies than the average. I like to tell myself that makes a difference.
Macaroni - with its fair share of cheese - has been in my family as far back as I can remember, but my mother knows better. She first made it as a student, when pasta was far from common at Dutch dinner tables. The instructions told her to prepare each of the ingredients, one by one. She followed them to the letter and served them all separately.

Luckily for us, her macaroni has come a way since then. When I left home, I took my mother's recipe with me and added a touch of my own here and there. The current version is a comfort food I'm happy to make in over-sized quantities and eat as leftovers for days.


Ingredients (serves 2 with leftovers):
1.5 cups macaroni  1 red bell pepper 1 green bell pepper 1/2 leek 2 medium-size onions 150g ham (I used York ham) 1.5 tbsp sweet Indon…

Green Olive Tapenade with Pita Chips

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Tapenade
1 jar (240g) seedless green olives, drained
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp capers, drained
1 handful toasted almonds, halved
5 tbsp olive oil

Thai curry pastes galore!

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The secret to a good curry, our Thai cooking teachers repeatedly emphasized, is in the curry paste. A curry paste can make or break a curry - which would partially explain why the green chicken curry I'd tried to make at home in the past didn't taste anything like the green curries in Thailand.
So - for curry paste. In class, we made the Massaman curry paste - but I managed to convince them to give me their Penang, Green and Red curry paste recipes too. So, below, everything you need for a good curry.



I will list the ingredients for the different curries one by one, and the instructions (which are essentially the same for all of them) will follow below.


Massaman Curry Paste
8 big dried red chilis (skin only, seeds removed), finely chopped
8 small dried red chilis, cut into pieces, seeds and all (so don't remove the seeds!)
4 slices (of approximately 1 x 2cm) kaffir fruit skin (or 2 tsp, if you can find it as a powder)
4 slices (2 x 2cm) galangal, chopped
4 pieces (total of…

Spaghetti with Double Meat Ricotta Sauce

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Spaghetti is an ultimate comfort food for me, and when I make bolognese sauce I often make it in bulk. Growing up, spaghetti sauce was made one way and one way only - partly because as proper brats, my sister and I would complain when the recipe was changed.  But brats grow up, and this one learned to appreciate the changes life brings - even to my beloved bolognese sauce. Here’s a double meat ricotta version to make your mouth water.. :)

Ingredients (serves 4):
500g minced meat, half beef, half pork
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 shallots, finely chopped
250g ricotta cheese
100mL red wine
800g canned chopped tomatoes
250g mushrooms, sliced and quartered
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g dried spaghetti (about 50g per person, or 80g if you use fresh spaghetti)

Freshly grated parmesan to taste


Instructions:
1. Take the shallots and fruit them in olive oil for 1-2 minutes in a large skillet.

2. Add the minced meat and garlic and stir until cooked thr…

Shrimp Boemboe Bali

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I followed an Indonesian cooking course a while back and with my fellow class mates we made one from scratch - not the kind I was used to eating when I dined out with my parents as a kid, but a lavish version with only one dish I'd ever tried before. Ajam ketjap (chicken), shrimps boemboe bali,  gado gado (vegetable mix with peanut sauce), kerrie telor (curried eggs), nasi kuning (a gorgeous yellow coconut flavoured rice) and sambal goreng tempeh kering (spicy tempeh).