Categories for Food

Hummus and pita bread

Last week i bought dried chickpeas and tahini at the supermarket. It is hummus time! Tahini is a made from sesame seeds. I know, i could make this myself as well, but man, i just want the hummus. So i bought it. The chickpeas i bought dry. A new thing for me. I usually buy chickpeas in a tin, already cooked. But it is a lot cheaper to cook the chickpeas yourself.

Ingredients hummus

  • 200g chickpeas
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, or 1 big one
  • salt
  • 100ml tahini
  • 4 tbsp water or cooking liquid from the chickpeas
  • 1 tsp paprika

After soaking and cooking the chickpeas most work was done. Well, apart from skinning the chickpeas. When i got the chickpeas out of the cooking liquid, i rubbed them with some kitchen paper. The white transparent skins do come off rather easily. Most were removed by the rubbing, some i had to squeeze out. Since they were well cooked, they usually just slipped out. A few more rubbings and removing of the skins later and they were all clean and tidy in the small food processor.

chickpea-cooked

I added one big garlic clove, the juice of one lemon, three serving spoons of tahini, one teaspoon of salt and paprika. I blended this for around a minute or two. After that i added two serving spoons of the cooking liquid. I blended a minute more.

I tasted the hummus. The tahini came through great. I like the taste of the sesame seeds. I realized then i had forgotten the olive oil. But it was fine, i will add the olive oil when i serve it together with the pita bread.

hummus

Pita bread i usually buy. Today i thought about what i will be eating. I still have the roasted vegetables in the fridge, but they can stay good until tomorrow. I was planning on making the hummus this week anyway, so then my mind turned to pita bread. I do have all the ingredients in house to make, so why not. First i planned to make half a recipe, but then i read that you can keep the dough in the fridge for about a week.

I used this recipe from the kitchn.

Ingredients pita bread

  • 240 ml water (not hot or boiling)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
  • 310 gr flour, i used wholemeal
  • 60 gr flour for the kneading
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil (optional)

Preparing the dough is a basic bread recipe. Add the yeast to the water and let it rest for five minutes. Weigh the flour and add the salt. After the five minutes add the flour to the water, add the oil and mix it all together. Take the dough out of the bowl, use some extra flour and knead for around 7-10 minutes. I always have some music on, so that is around three to four songs. Clean the bowl, add a bit of oil, then the dough and set it at a warm space and leave it for an hour or two.

I made the hummus in the meantime and let that rest until dinner time.

Around fifteen minutes before the rising is finished, turn on your oven to around 230ºC. Make sure to heat up a large baking sheet in the oven. You will need the heat. You may also use a cooking pan (read about that on the kitchn website). When the rising is done, get the dough out of the bowl and slightly deflate it. Now is the time to put the part you won’t be using yet in the fridge. I put in two thirds. From the other third i made three small balls and rolled them out with a bit of flour beneath them. You need to bake the breads for around three minutes.

Since this was my first time making the pita bread, only two puffed up. In the recipe it says that if this happens the oven or skillet is not hot enough. It also says you can still eat them, especially in pieces with hummus. Since this was exactly my recipe, i didn’t bother that much. The taste was good anyway.

I did eat two pita breads and enough hummus to dip each bit in. A bit of oil and some flat parsley added. I kept one pita to have an hour later with an avocado. Half.

Yum 🙂

final-hummus-pita

Published on April 19, 2016 at 6:00 by

Carrot cake

Carrot cake is one of my favourite cakes. In the medieval period it was common to use sweet vegetables for desserts. In those days sugar was a rare ingredient. Only in the 18th century sugar became more available.

These days carrot cake is popular. In the United Kingdom it is voted to be the favourite cake of all, in 2011 for the Radio Times. Most likely this revival of carrot cake started in the Second World War with the rationing in the UK.

I used the following recipe from the BBC website for a classic carrot cake.

Ingredients carrot cake

  • 450ml vegetable oil
  • 400g plain flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 550g sugar
  • 5 free-range eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 525g carrots, grated
  • 150g shelled walnuts, chopped
  • currants

Ingredients icing

  • 200g cream cheese
  • 150g caster sugar / powder sugar
  • 100g butter, softened

I did make a mistake and added the sugar to the dry ingredients. When i just reread other recipes, it was more common to add the sugar to the wet ingredients. Other than that, this is simply mixing all the ingredients together, apart from the carrots and the walnuts. These are added when all the other ingredients are thoroughly mixed. The ingredients for the icing are simply mixed too. Start slowly with this, as the powdered sugar wafts up lots.

I baked two cakes with this mixture. A loaf shape and a round cake mix. The loaf i will take to my mum when i go and see her this Friday. I put the icing in a seperate box for her, this will keep the cake fresh for a longer time.

The use of oil and the carrots gives a moist cake. This also means the cake can be preserved for longer times than other cakes. I looked it up: seven days in the fridge, two days at room temperature. In the freezer up to 6 months. But really, who would want to keep it for so long!

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All the ingredients for the carrot cake
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The dry stuff and the wet stuff
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Dry and wet mixed together
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I had a slice of the cake while it was still warm. Since i plan to keep the cake for a couple of days in the fridge, i saved the icing separate in a plastic box
Published on April 14, 2016 at 6:00 by

Gado gado

Around two weeks ago i made myself nasi goreng with peanut sauce and tofu. Nasi goreng is a very common dish in the Netherlands. Indonesia used to be one of our colonies. We still have many Indonesian restaurants. Conimex is sold here in like forever, or as long as i can remember. Or, as you can read in the linked page (Dutch) Thuis in de Oosterse keuken, available since 1932.

Of course i didn’t use any Conimex in the recipe for my gado gado. I mean, it is so well known, it can’t be good.

Gado gado is a Indonesian salad. You can use all sort of different vegetables. I used broccoli and french beans. Cucumber and coriander for some freshness. One day i had boiled potatoes, the next i cooked some basmati rice. I had fried tofu, the second day marinated them in some ketjap manis.

First i made a peanut sauce. I used different recipes as a starting point. This one from Ottolenghi and one from Rasamalaysia.

I used the following ingredients for the peanut sauce. This gives a sauce for around four people.

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
  • 2½ tbsp sambal manis
  • 2 small pieces galangal
  • 4 medium shallots
  • trassi
  • 80ml vegetable oil
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 90g palm sugar
  • ½ tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp thick tamarind water (tamarind paste whisked in water)
  • 225g roasted peanuts, without skins
  • 450ml water
  • 200ml coconut milk

I followed the next steps, basically following Ottolenghi’s steps. I did add the trassi and used the palm sugar insted of normal sugar. In the chinese supermarket the Sambal Olek wasn’t available, i got the Sambal Manis in stead.

  1. Whiz the garlic, lemongrass, sambal, galangal, shallots and trassi in a food processor. Heat up the oil in a saucepan and cook the paste over a low heat for around 40 minutes, stirring regularly.
  2. Mix the salt, sugar and paprika with the tamarind and add this to the cooked paste. Cook for 10 more minutes.
  3. Wiz the peanuts, not too fine, and add them to the cooked paste with the water. Let this simmer for a further 20-25 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and stir. Done!

For the gado gado cook any vegetable you can not eat raw. I had a simple version. I cooked some broccoli and french beans. I cooked some basmati rice and added coriander leaves. I sliced a fourth part of a cucumber. Tofu was fried and afterwards put in some ketjap manis to marinate a bit. The wrong order, i know. Still enjoyed the taste. I didn’t have any eggs. I had eaten two eggs for breakfast, that was enough for me.

I had some kroepoek with the meal. I had bought some of the dried paste you can fry your own kroepoek (krupuk?). Simply heat up some plain vegetable oil and wait till its hot enough for a kroepoek to fry quickly. Afterwards i put the finished kroepoek on some kitchen paper to get most of the oil out of it. Great with the gado gado. I used a vegetarian kroepoek one.

Lovely meal. Especially the peanut sauce!

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All the ingredients for the peanut sauce. The trassi was still in a drawer, i did add that too.
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The paste for the peanut sauce cooking on a small fire
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The peanuts and the water added to the paste.
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The kroepoek before and ...
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... after they were fried.
Published on April 4, 2016 at 6:00 by

DIY: Fermenting your own sauerkraut

Today i started making sauerkraut. I have read about this process, fermenting, for years. Last year on the Rotterdamse Oogst Markt i talked with the girls from Ferme Kolen. I bought some kimchi then.

Fermentation is used in many different foods and drinks. Beer, wine and cider converse sugar into ethanol. Bread uses the yeast to produce CO2. Sauerkraut, sausages, kimchi, yogurt, miso, soya all use fermentation to alter the taste and make the end product more usable.

The pot will need to stand in room temperature for around two to three weeks. A white mould can appear on the surface, i do need to remove that as fast as possible.

I used the following recipe.

  • 1 kilo white cabbage
  • 5 gr mustard seeds
  • 4 gr juniper
  • 3 gr caraway
  • ± 22,5 gr salt
  • a few peppercorns

Sauerkraut is the easiest fermented product to make. I used some spices to add a bit of flavour, but you can make it with only the white cabbage and salt. I will see how this will evolve and report back here.

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Starting out with white cabbage, salt, juniper, mustard seeds and caraway. I did add some black peppercorns at the end.
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Slicing the cabbage as thinly as possible. Next time i use my mandolin and grate them really fine.
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Adding the salt, 22,5 grams for 1 kilo of cabbage. After a couple of minutes of crunching and munching and stamping with clean bare hands the cabbage gets moistened. Here you see the spices put on top of the cabbage after the first kneading. After this the spices gets kneaded in the cabbage for a few more minutes.
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The pot i wanted to put the cabbage into broke. I had this other pot, not ideal, i hope it will work fine. On top i put a big leaf from the outside of the cabbage. The core of the cabbage is used as a weight with which to crunch all the cabbage down. I did add some salted water to get the cabbage completely covered with it.
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I use a dish cloth to close up the pot.
Published on March 30, 2016 at 6:00 by

Soda bread

I do enjoy baking my own bread. Sofar i used the recipe for the rye spelt bread i posted here in January this year. Only when i had a cold for a week or two, i bought bread in the shop. Today i made another bread, for the first time: soda bread.

I have read about soda bread before. I know it is quick to make. You do not need to knead the bread and let it rise for an hour or more. It is a chemical process, with baking soda and a sour milk.

So today i checked my stocks and went to the shop: i needed buttermilk and more wholemeal flour. I had decided to use the recipe in the Guardian on the How to cook the perfect soda bread page.

The one thing i changed is the treacle. I don’t have it. I’m not even sure we have that ingredient here in the Netherlands.

OK, i just looked it up. It is most likely the same as keukenstroop. Which we do have. I’m not a big fan myself, or better said, i never bought the stuff. Anyway, i used two tablespoons of honey. Works just as well.

Ingredients

  • 450g coarse wholemeal flour
  • 50g rolled oats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp treacle
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 450ml buttermilk (or sour milk, or milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 1 tbsp melted butter, to finish

I did buy the buttermilk from the Weerribben. This is made in the old fashioned way. Originally buttermilk is the liquid which is left behind after churning butter or cream. In our present day supermarkets it is more common to have buttermilk that is soured with different cultures. I’m not a big milk fan, i never drink it. I did taste the buttermilk though and i did enjoy the taste. I’m not going to drink it that much, but still 🙂

Making the bread is really easy. You do need to heat up the oven to 200C first. Once the oven is warmed up, put all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Make a well in the middle. Stir the honey and buttermilk together than pour this into the well. Stir this very quickly together with a fork, later on with your hands. Shape the dough into a round, cut a deep cross into it. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour. After it is baked, brush with melted butter.

You can not keep this bread very long. This is the one issue which has prevented me from making it. I ate it with the leek potato i made earlier this week. Tomorrow i will get more, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not sure it will be good to eat on Friday. We will see.

Published on March 17, 2016 at 6:00 by

A work day

Today i did some work. I had some css work this morning and a design job in the afternoon. I tried to keep it simple. Often that is the best way to handle it.

I did go to the supermarket this afternoon. I bought two more leeks. I wanted to make a leek and potato soup. Very simple recipe. Fry some leek, i used two. Add a sliced clove of garlic. Add a liter of hot water, two cubes of broth. Two handfuls of potatoes, sliced in half a centimeter width. Let it simmer for around twenty five minutes. Added a bit of cream. Yummy.

Tomorrow i’m gonna visit my mum. Not sure i will walk from the train station, depends on the weather.

I hope you will have a nice day. Enjoy it!

*kiss*

Published on March 15, 2016 at 6:00 by

Homemade Chicken Soup

I have actually turned a bit sick for real. My throat hurts. I’m dizzy. My temperature is up a bit, 37,5 around 5pm this Sunday – its bound to get higher during the evening. I’m really tired.

Yesterday evening, Saturday, i watched Twilight with pleasure. I have seen it before, but did enjoy it again. One thing though, i would be so turned of by the cold feeling! I can not imagine falling in love with an actual cold dead person. Brrrr. Even if he looks as dreamy as Robert Pattinson. And that glittering chest does nothing for me either.

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Anyway, on to the food of the day, homemade chicken soup. It is the second time i’m making this. Saturday i bought all i needed on the market. When i got home i put on 2 liters of water, added the chicken, added the outer leaves of the fennel, half a large carrot, the green bits and outer leaves of two leeks, finely sliced pieces of the stem of broccoli, the outer three stems of celery, two leaves of a herbal plant whose name i can’t remember, and i’m simply too tired to really go search for it. I let it cook on a low temperature for around three hours yesterday. Let it cool and stay outside the fridge for the whole night.

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Today i got out the chicken, got all the meat of it and put the meat back in the soup. I also took out all the vegetables and threw them away.

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The bones i gave to my cat. He was curling around my legs the whole time i was cleaning up the chicken. 🙂

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I had fennel, leeks, celery, carrots, french beans, onion, garlic, small tomatoes i got in London. I also added a hot pepper, slices of ginger, the whole bunch of tarragon, a bit of rosemary. I had tasted the soup before i added a bit of salt, around two teaspoons.

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I added all the veggies to the soup, sliced quite fine. I added around two three tablespoons of olive oil, a bit of fine spaghetti i have lying around still. Half an hour later, done!

Espcially with the cold i’m having, the pepper and the ginger do add a bit of needed zing.

Lovely!

Published on February 15, 2016 at 6:00 by

Steak and chips

Today i made steak and chips with mayonaise. The entrecote i bought at the butcher Mellegers. It was expensive, but for this time i did buy it.

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The mayonaise i made with a new recipe. It is made with a immersion blender. You need the following:

  • an egg, the yolk and the white
  • one teaspoon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons of vinegar, i used a white wine
  • 250 ml sunflower oil
  • salt and pepper

Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. Put the egg, mustard, vinegar and oil in a high narrow mixing bowl. Add the salt and pepper. Put the blender in at the bottom, turn it on and move it slowly upwards. After around 20 seconds you are done.

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For the chips i bought special chip potatoes in the Marqt. I did ask what sort of potato it was, but nobody knew. The special vegetable man wasn’t there. Next time i’m there i will ask him. I’m curious.

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Cut the potatoes in 1 cm square pieces. First i thought about frying them. Since i don’t have a fryer, or a thermometer who goes up to around 200ºC, i decided for a oven chip. The chips were cooked in boiling water for around 4 minutes. The oven was preheating to 240ºC. The chips were coated with a mixture of sunflower and olive oil. The recipe said fry them for around 20 minutes, but it took me 30 minutes for them to get brown at the edges.

I didn’t eat all of them. A couple are saved for tomorrow where they will warm up in the oven.

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The entrecote was prepare really simple. In a small frying-pan heat up butter and a bit of oil. Put in the meat, at room temperature, and bake for 2-3 minutes each side. Get out of the pan and leave for around 5 minutes to rest. Eat up!

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No other vegetables. I did eat the meat before the potatoes were ready. It was finger licking good!

Published on January 27, 2016 at 6:00 by

Erwtensoep, or Split Pea Soup

Yesterday i was a bit thrown off my regular day rhythm. The news of David Bowie’s death on 10 January did make me sad. I did read facebook posts a lot more than i usually do. I also watched a late night documentary David Bowie: Five Years, read online articles and obituaries. It was hard to stay away from. I didn’t know the man. I only bought a greatest hits album and Earthling in the 90s. I liked that one. Still do. But i did like him. He actually was in my daydreams. He was the man i talked with about my byciclerepairman.

Today i was in better form. I did went out to the market and bought some remaining vegetables to make a split pea soup. Or rather, a Dutch erwtensoep! Haven’t made this many times, i do usually by a tin, i admit.

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Ingredients

  • green split peas, i used 250 grams, half the packet i bought
  • 1 large onion, cut in small pieces
  • 1 winter carrot, cut in small pieces
  • a few bits of celery, cut
  • bacon, in small slices
  • garlic, around 4-5 cloves, sliced in small pieces
  • 2 broth cubes, i used vegetable, you can use beef, or chicken if you want to
  • potatoes, also cut
  • half a celeriac, cut in small pieces,
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • a bush of celery, the spice
  • a Dutch smoked sausage, this is a hard one to get if you don’t live in the Netherlands, i guess any type of smoked sausage will do, cooked and sliced in small slices

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Start with the onion sweating them in a bit of vegetable oil. I went through my herb and spices drawer and added some caraway and coriander seed. After a few minutes i added the carrot, garlic and celery. One and a half liters of water added to this, the two broth cubes and the split peas. Let this simmer for 45 minutes.

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After 45 minutes add the potatoes, leeks, celeriac and celery. Let the soup simmer on for around 30 minutes.
Prepare the sausage as needed, either warm it up in hot, not yet boiling water or cook it till it is done when it is a raw sausage. This will take around 15 minutes. Slice the sausage in small pieces and add these to the soup.

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The soup is done once the peas are cooked through.

Serve the soup in a large bowl with either bread with butter or with smoked bacon, katenspek.

I honestly enjoyed this soup. It was a lot fresher than the ones bought in tins. I could have used more split peas, as most photos online are usually of a very thick soup. But i don’t mind that really. There are so many vegetables in this soup that it is a very rewarding meal. Enjoy!

Published on January 13, 2016 at 6:00 by

Bread

Today i baked my first bread ever!

I haven’t eaten it yet. It is still cooling down. I will take a slice this evening. Curious!

It does feel heavy. But when i knock on the bottom with my finger, i hear a good hollow tick.

I did use a recipe from Nigel Slater which was published in the Guardian. I did divide it by two, since i only wanted to make one loaf. I also left out the parmesan. I didn’t have any. The honey and the walnuts i did add. I had plenty of those in my house.

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Ingredients

  • 200 g spelt flour
  • 200g rye flour
  • 50 g wheat flour
  • 5 g yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 300 ml warm water
  • 1,5 tbsp honey
  • 50 g walnuts

It wasn’t very difficult. But i do know, since it is my first, that many things could have gone wrong. I might have kneeded it not long enough. Or too long! I might have baked it too long. A bit.. like 5 minutes. But still, it was a good thing for me to do. I still have enough flour to make 4 other loaves. I will buy some more seeds, i like that. And yeah, i might give the parmesan a try.

I did do some research beforehand. Especially about sourdough. But most recipes for that said it would take a couple of days to make. So i’m starting with yeast, simple dried yeast. I will make a sourdough starter one day. Curious!

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Add all the three flours into a large bowl together with the dried yeast and the salt and stir. Warm the water with the honey slightly, mix with the flours. Once everything is mixed, put the sticky dough on a floured surface. Knead the dough by hand, pulling and stretching the dough, for a good five minutes.
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Lightly oil the bowl, put the dough back into it. Cover with a tea cloth or clingfilm and set aside for an hour.
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Remove the dough from the bowl, knead again for around two minutes, this time adding the nuts. Shape the dough into a nice oval long shape and leaf for half an hour. Set the oven to 220ªC 15 minutes before. Bake for 30 minutes, until crisp.
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This bread should keep for a couple of days, wrapped in foil or film.
Published on January 7, 2016 at 6:00 by