Categories for Food

How to cook perfect food

The Guardian food & drink pages are a weekly visit. So it was a big surprise to me when i found out i missed a part of the site all along, the How to cook the perfect... The past days i spend dreaming away with the basic and sometimes not so basic recipes which are part of this section.

The following recipes are simply the ones my eye fell on first. It’s nowhere near a complete list.

Felicity Cloake is the writer of these articles. She goes through all the ingredients for the recipe, talks about the different approaches other well known chefs have and takes sides. You get a feel for what is the main taste of the recipe and what would technique would work best to get the final result.

Today i set myself the task of making one of these recipes. The Mackerel pate!

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Published on May 13, 2015 at 6:00 by

A normal day

Today was a normal day. I did sleep well. Honestly! And i did feel a bit tired, but not too much. I actually watched this BBC show on tv ‘Homes under the hammer’ this morning for a bit. Well ok, i missed half of it, but still! It was months ago since i last saw that. And then i went out for some shopping. I needed to get some catty litter, mustard. I also got some chocolate. Hmmm 🙂

In the afternoon i went out again and walked to Joline Jolink‘s shop, which is around 25 minutes walking. I got myself the green sweatpants which were alluring me for quite some time. They are the ones you see at the top of this post. I am wearing them now and they are wonderful!

When i got home one of my customers called about work. I needed to do some logo refinements.

After that i made some dinner. A salad with fennel, lettuce, potatoes and parsley and chives. The dressing had anchovy, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, an apple vinegar and olive oil. It was lovely.

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Tonight i’m gonna watch another Harry Potter movie on tv. Hopefully i will have another sleepfull night.

Good weekend!

Published on May 1, 2015 at 6:00 by

White asparagus and potatoes with hollandaise sauce

One of the new vegetables in springtime is asparagus. Here in the Netherlands they are mostly grown in Limburg, a province in the south eastern part.

I just read the wikipedia page i’ve linked to, and it does seem that it’s almost exclusively eaten in the north western part of Europe. Please correct me if i’m wrong. The countries mentioned in the wikipedia post are: Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

I’ve grown to love asparagus. I do love green and white, but yes, i do prefer the white ones in springtime. There are many recipes for asparagus, most of them not very complicated. You can add a nice ham, or salmon, or boiled eggs which are finely sliced. The asparagus itself is quite tender. You do need to break of the lower part of it and peel it close towards the top. I use the peelings and lower buttons in the water while i get it to boil before i add the asparagus itself.

The potatoes i skin and boil for around 20 minutes. I used Roseval, a good waxy potatoe ideal for this recipe. I also use herbs, in this recipe some flat leaf parsley and chives.

The hollandaise sauce i made is easy. It’s a sort of mayonaise with melted butter. An egg yolk, some white wine vinegar, a bit of mustard, salt and pepper are first whisked together. Then the melted butter is slowly added and whisked at the same time.

It is a light and a bit sweet recipe. Wonderful!

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Published on April 29, 2015 at 6:00 by

Shop: Wijnkoperij Platenburg

I do love to drink a glass of wine during the weekend. In the winter i usually drink some red, in summer i tend to prefer white. Or rosé. It’s not that i know enough about wine. It is such a vast area. I only know some little corners here and there. I do follow a wine tasting channel, WineAlign. But i don’t even dream of ever getting that level of knowledge.

Wijnkoperij Platenburg is my favourite shop to buy my weekly wine. A few wines i do know. The Syrah from La Tour des Dames is by far the wine of my choice. A dry Riesling like the Reichsrat von Buhl Pfalz is another pick. And i do sometimes go for the sweet Moscatel, which i was only adviced about a few months ago.

In my series of posts about shops i do enjoy shopping at, i asked for an interview. They know my blog is still very young, but the owners Ger and Lia Platenburg happily agreed.

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Published on April 14, 2015 at 6:00 by

Paella

It was a drab, grey, stormy, dreary sunday. The windows were wet the entire day. Some bords on my little balcony fell over. I did very little. I watched some sunday morning tv. I listened to some music. I cooked paella.

This evening i watched Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I have seen it before. Some parts were entertaining. I did enjoy the fight!

I’ll leave you with the paella recipe. My apologies for the out of focus pictures. It’s a nice recipe, which you can adjust to your liking.

Bye bye!

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Published on March 30, 2015 at 6:00 by

Beet feta salad

Apart from preparing the beetroots and cooking the potatoes, this is a quick salad to make! The combination of beetroot and feta is great. The potatoes are optional. They do make a more filling salad. If you don’t have potatoes, a slice of toasted bread can be served alongside.

I do like to bake my own beetroot. It’s easy, you wrap it in tinfoil and put it in a hot oven for an hour. If you want, you can buy the already cooked beetroots in the supermarket, but you should try baking your own, it does taste better!

You may use the regular deep purple red beetroots like i did today. But you can also use the yellow beetroots. You may use the chioggia beetroots, but i do prefer these rasped raw in a summer salad. It leaves the color rings intact.

It’s hard to imagine someone not liking the taste of beetroot. I do love it myself. But, if you really don’t like beetroot, i’m sorry. I can’t think of another vegetable taking the place of beetroot. Better skip this recipe if you really can’t stand it!

Ingredients salad

  • 1 beetroot
  • 2 potatoes
  • around 80 grams of feta
  • a handful of rocket salad
  • 1 -2 spring onions

Ingredients dressing

  • vinegar, white or red wine or apple
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard
  • fresh thyme, picked loose
  • salt
  • pepper

Preparation

  1. wash the beetroot, wrap it loosely in tin foil and bake for an hour in a 200°C warm oven
  2. after around 40 minutes, wash the potatoes and cook them for the remaining 20 minutes
  3. press the garlic, put all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bottle and shake the dressing
  4. put the rocket in a bowl
  5. slice the spring onions and add
  6. slice the feta and add
  7. slice the potatoes and the beetroot and add
  8. drip a few tablespoons of the dressing over the salad and toss the salad a bit
  9. eat!
Published on March 13, 2015 at 6:00 by

Rhubarb crumble

An easy recipe, and this time i got it from the BBC website. I bought the rhubarb last tuesday at the Meiden. It’s a lovely thin pink rhubarb, nothing like the tougher, broader and darker sticks you can get in summer. I couldn’t resist getting some!

This is a real easy recipe you can simply make during the week while you make your dinner. Or anytime you want to basically.

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Published on February 27, 2015 at 6:00 by

Market stall: De Meiden – Groenten en Fruit

My visits to the market were irregular up until a year ago. Then i discovered the Meiden, or as you say in English, the Girls. They have a big vegetables and fruits market stall. I buy my veggies and fruits at them at least once a week. When i have the time i go there on Tuesday as well.

They have an excellent mixture: Roseval potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, leek, rocket salad, fresh garlic, onions, apples, pears, bananas, raspberries, grapefruit, rhubarb, mango, beans, spinach, sauerkraut, parsnip, cantarelles, portobello’s, tarragon, parsley, coriander. The list goes on and on. Basically anything you want.

I asked them if they wanted to be in my blog as a first post on where i do my shopping in Rotterdam. They said yes!

This morning, Tuesday morning 24 February, we had a short talk about their stall and the market.

Their mother, Nella, started working on the market when she was 19, in the stall of her father-in-law. He was of the old school, have the good stuff up front, sell the bad stuff at the back first. When Nella started for herself, she decided it was gonna be different for her. It’s all good stuff.

I usually go straight to the market stall of the Meiden. Sometimes i get me a turkish pizza. Or a roll with raw herring. Or chips! Hmmm. But i do see the other stalls around. There are a couple of other good ones, but not with as many options as the Meiden have. The only other i go to is one for some floury potatoes. I do see a lot of stalls with a supermarket structure, where you pick your own veggies and pay at a counter. That is OK, i bought stuff there too. Or stalls where everything they sell is packaged in plastic. Where i think ‘ooh, that must have been really cheap to buy’.

I’m happy i found the Meiden, happy with what they sell, happy with the price too. Yes, i know they are more expensive as other stalls on the market, but it’s still cheaper than a supermarket most of the time.

I also like it that they help me. I give my shopping bag to them, they package all the veggies and fruits for me. And you actually do get a receipt!

Daisy and Elice, and Nella too! thank you for allowing me to write this post. Please, keep on doing what you do!

On Tuesday and Saturday the Meiden stand on the Central Market on the Binnenrotte. On Wednesday they stand on the Ommoord market on Hesseplaats.

Facebook page and article on De Meiden
The Facebook page. Liken!
Article on De buik van Rotterdam. You can read the comment i made there in November 2014, yeah.. in Dutch.


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Daisy (26) and Elice (22). Nella isn’t here today

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Published on February 25, 2015 at 6:00 by

Meatballs and mash

I never made meatballs like these until a couple of weeks ago. These are the proper large meatballs which i used to get at home. I had a sandwich with a meatball at the frietshop Fritez here in Rotterdam. I did ask for the recipe for the meatballs when talking to the cook there. She told me you need to first bake them, then add a broth and slowly simmer them. So i decided to make meatballs myself, and hey, i’m turned into a fan! Especially since i discovered the minced beef at the butcher Mellegers close to my home. Where i got told the AH supermarket sells that kind of minced beef as a tartaar, which is sort of a chopped steak. I didn’t ask what sort of meat is inside the minced beef sold at the AH, it does scare me a bit. My advice, get some good minced beef!

The mash is simple. Just a couple of root vegetables cooked together. Then some butter, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. I should get a proper potato crusher. The one i had has broken down. I use a masher now. The mash is not as finely crushed, but still pretty good!

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Published on February 17, 2015 at 6:00 by

Soup with vegetables and pancetta

Today i’m making soup, a sort of minestrone with a sort of pistou. I did look up some recipes in my soup recipe book and did use it as inspiration. This is what i picked out today. It will last me for four days, at least.

I bought most of the ingredients today. Some i already had. Some i forgot! Like the parmesan cheese for the pistou. But i do think i can manage without.

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Published on February 11, 2015 at 6:00 by