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Showing posts from February, 2020

Green Bell Pepper with Cream Cheese and Caramelized Onions

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I've been holding out on posting this recipe for a while because whenever I make them, I forget to write down the quantities - it's more of an "a little of this, a little of that" approach to cooking. I got back into stuffed bell peppers while visiting my parents in Mexico City over Christmas last year - we've had them often over the years, mostly because they're good but also because they're a very easy (and, cutting excepted, relatively fuss-free) starter to large dinner parties.

Because they really are that convenient - this is pretty effortless as far as cooking goes - I made about ten of them for the goodbye lunch I threw when I left Mexico last January. It was my first attempt at cooking for fourteen people, and I'm proud to say it didn't go too badly. Planning was a big factor, and the great thing about these (like many other recipes I like to include on my list for dinner parties) is that you can make them ahead. And you probably should, t…

Penne with Smoked Salmon and Cherry Tomatoes

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My go-to easy meals are almost always pastas - I can think of few feel-good meals that are easier and less time consuming to make. What I love most is that you can add just about anything you like. It doesn’t matter if you stray from the traditional, just combine the flavours that make your heart sing. 
Here’s a lovely smoked salmon and cherry tomato penne. 


Ingredients (serves 2):
120g penne (use 50-60g per person for dried pasta, or 90g per person if you use fresh pasta)
100g smoked salmon
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion
1 clove garlic
250 mL cream
Dash of white wine
1 tbsp Olive oil
Salt, pepper and parmesan to taste


Instructions:
1. Chop the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes.

2. Press the garlic over the onion mixture and add the cherry tomatoes. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes, then add a dash of white wine.

3. Sauté for a 2-3 minutes more, then add the cream. Heat, stir and add almost all the salmon (reserve a tiny bit for the end). Season with salt and black pepper …

Bangers 'n Mash - Dutch Style (Boerenkool Stamppot)

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You can't get much more Dutch than 'stamppot'. Based on the most important of national staples, the potato, the stamppot has earned itself a place in history, and a firm place in the hearths and homes of most Nederlanders. There are few meals better suited for dreary winter weather. Say it the way it sounds, as stamped pot, and you should get the idea - the stamppot is basically a large pot of potatoes and some kind of vegetable, stamped to a multi-coloured mash. Favourites at our house were cabbage-based - andijvie, boerenkool, or sauerkraut, although we've made them with beetroot too on occassion. They were alright, but I was never too excited. They were always the same. Because we lived abroad as I grew up, I never got to try them at other people's houses - this was just not something the non-Dutch seemed to cook. 

Chocolate Energy Breakfast Bars

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I usually have yoghurt and cereal for breakfast on weekdays, normally with some raspberries, strawberries or blueberries thrown in. Or, if I'm fresh out of fruit, a teaspoon of jam to make it all sweeter. Maybe a boiled egg on the side.
Lately though, I've been finding myself, more and more often, all out of time. So I thought I’d try something I could make ahead. The answer that came to me: energy bars. Except, unlike the store bought kind, you can make these to have exactly what you want in them, and leave out what you don't. And it turns out - making your own energy bars is easy, I don't know why I’d never done it before. Doing it at night and letting them set in the fridge shaves making breakfast right off my morning routine those extra early days :)

This is one of those recipes that doesn’t require exact quantities. You can put in whatever you like - dried apricots or figs, any variety of nut, nougat, cereal, etc. Remember, they're going to be your energy bar…