I’ve known miso for around twenty years. I got it in the health food store, which has a good japanese section. It is a thick paste, available from yellowish through mid reddish brown to deep dark brown, generally made from fermenting soybeans – sometimes other grains are added, like rice and barley. It has different tastes, from an earthy sweetness for the light ones to a deep saltiness for the darker ones. Miso can be used for marinades, sauces and soups. I use it for soup most of the time.
A true miso soup has dashi as a broth. I do sometimes use a vegetable or chicken stock cube as a starting point. You may even use water.
The dashi is made in around 5 minutes. You do need kombu, a sort of seaweed and bonito flakes, shavings of a type of tuna. You start with putting the kombu into cold water and heating it up until it boiles. After a couple of minutes you can take out the kombu and leave it for another time. I will most likely use for around four times. Then you add a tablespoon of the bonito flakes and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. After that you drain the broth. The dashi is ready.
The filling can be basically anything you have in the house. For this evening i chose the following:
2-3 cm of fresh ginger, grated
two cloves of garlic, chopped
a bit of freshly sliced red pepper
4 cm of large carrot, in 1 mm thick slices
the remaining bits of bok choy
tofu, sliced in medium blocks
The miso i mixed with a couple of tablespoons of the broth. It’s best not to cook the miso. It seems natural miso has many microorganisms which can be killed by overcooking.
When the carrot is cooked through, add the broth with all the veggies, tofu and noodles to the miso.
A half slice of nori i found in the cupboard was cut up in small pieces and thrown on top. A spring onion sliced was added as well. I finished with spreading some chili sauce on top.
Today i made onion soup. I decided that yesterday, when i went to the market. I bought a kilo of white onions.
Before i started i did do a quick search for a recipe. I came across this article How to make the Best French Onion Soup on seriouseats.com. I do think the pan i used has a really thick bottom, since i cooked the onions for an hour, and they still were not brown. Since i started at 5pm, i didn’t wait, i added two sliced garlic, a bit of flour, a bit of red wine and a liter of water with two cubes of dried beef broth. I let it simmer for another half hour to let the taste develop more.
I then tore a rye spelt bread in a couple of pieces, added some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top and put it under the grill for around 7 minutes.
It was good!
500 gr of white onions, three medium sized ones myself
50 grams of butter
a tablespoon of flour
some white or red wine, i used red, it was the only wine i had, but with the white you do keep the original colour of the onions
Last friday i saw a video on youtube from joyofbaking.com about making chocolate chip cookies. In this recipe it was clearly said you can store the dough in a refridgerator or even in a freezer and back them later. I do buy chocolate chip cookies regularly. So i thought: “I’m gonna try this!”
I got the chocolate chips at a baker closeby. The nuts i got at the Marqt. The sugar i got at the supermarket. The flour, butter, eggs and baking soda i already had. I didn’t get any vanilla extract. To be honest, i forgot about them. But i don’t miss it too much.
260 grams all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
170 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
90 grams powdered sugar
140 grams firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
250 grams semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
For the Dutch, peppers doesn’t mean peper. A pepper is a paprika. So, today i’m gonna preserve peppers. Last Saturday i bought four red and four yellow peppers at the market. I also bought a 1 liter pot at the Xenos. It is delicious, no doubt it won’t be a week til they are finished… well maybe two weeks. They are good on their own, with a bit of toasted bread, with mozzarella, with sausages, with tomatoes and pasta. Simply lovely.
I have made these before. Well, not in a pot, but for dinners multiple times. I thought about making them for this website when i saw the Dutch cooking show Koken met van boven (Cooking with from above) last friday. The show is online, but i’m not sure for how long.
Nine peppers on the baking tray. Eight i bought last Saturday, one i already had.
9 peppers, red, yellow or green
garlic, 3 cloves
a hot pepper
optional fresh herbs, like basil
At the first turn
heat your oven to 200º Celsius on a grill setting
put your peppers on a baking sheet high up in the oven
turn them every 15 minutes til they are black all over, count on 4 turns all together
in the meantime, put the pot you want to put the, in a large pot on the stove completely covered with water – cook for around 15 minutes – afterwards put the pot on a clean dishcloth and let it dry
when the peppers are black all around, put them in a plastic bag and turn it tight, leaving them in there for around 20 minutes – this will make them a lot easier to peal
cut the garlic in thin slices
cut the hot pepper in this slices, leave in the seeds
skin the peppers, take out the center piece and tear them in big pieces, make sure the inner fluids are drained
start filling the pot by putting in a bit of olive oil first, then layer like three to four pieces of pepper, put garlic and pepper on them, a bit of freshly milled black pepper and a bit of salt, put on a bit more oil and repeat until you are out of pepper
at the end, make sure all the peppers are covered with oil
All done and ready to get a bit cooler and loosen up those skins for around twenty minutes
One of my favourite youtube accounts i’m subscribed to is Joy of Baking. Cookies, candies, tarts, pies, ice cream, pancakes, puddings, all kinds of recipes you can find here.
Stephanie Jaworski is an excellent explainer of the right way to approach a recipe. She is calm, knows the ins and outs of the recipe, knows the difficulties and explains them patiently. Her website joyofbaking.com has been online since May 1997. There are many many recipes online.
I will list a couple of my favourite recipes from the site.
You can check the playlists on her youtube account.
I was subscribed to other cooking channels on youtube, but after a time i got a bit tired of those too happy faces, the recipes in which i wasn’t interested and the obvious commercial content.
Last week i watched a long clip about how to make French Baguettes. It was amazing. It made me wanna do it! Which i didn’t. But yes, i will bake bread. Soon! I do need to look up a good recipe. Sour dough or yeast? Plain flour, spelt, rye? Sunflower seeds? Pumpkin seeds? Anything else? I will need to do some research. My favourite bread at the moment is a spelt rye bread from the Marqt, so that would be a good place to start.
Another favourite which i should start working on is macarons. Hmmm 🙂
There are a few other cooking sites which are in my rss feeds. These two are the best for me.
Since 18 June the new haring is in the land. They are a Dutch delicacy. There are many free standing stalls around town where you can buy only haring and sometimes other fish too. I bought mine today at the stall close to the Albert Heijn nearby. I had two to take with me and one on a sandwich to eat straightaway.
I made a salad, inspired on the salad i saw in a book i have Koken als Kaatje. It’s not as fancy plated, but i still liked it lots.
2 harings, slightly frozen (mine were in the freezer for around 4 hours)
Granny Smith apple
vinegar ( i used apple cider vinegar, but you can use a white wine if you wish)
Making the salad
i bought the harings around 2 – i went back home, cut away their tails, wrapped them in cling film and put them in the freezer for like 4 hours
at dinnertime i made the dressing, the vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard whisked, olove oil added
the spring onions chived and added to the dressing
got the harings from the freezer and laid them on the working bench
i used the mandoline to cut the Granny Smith apple in 2 mm thick slices, cut those in small square pieces and added them to the dressing
i cut the haring in thin slices, also around 2 – 3 mm thick and laid them on top of the salad
i sliced basil and tarragon
after thinking for a bit, i decided to toss everything together, i left it standing till the haring was fully defrosted
This was delicious!
Last week i ate the haring with oven roasted beetroot and boiled potatoes. It’s all pink though, but still yummy! And of course a new haring eaten with its tail in your hand is good too. The really young new haring i eat without onions usually, but sometimes it is good with onions too.
I’m not sure people not from the Netherlands will enjoy this as much as we do. To me, they are simply delicious, but i’m also used to them. So well.. you should give it a try!
Today i did some work and went to the market. They changed the market. It was set up differently. Luckily the Meiden were still at almost the same place. A boy complained about more rules, more ways to get a fine if you do something wrong. He also said the atmosphere was getting less pleasant. It’s hard for me to say anything useful about this. I am so a bystander. There was also a women with a lovely small dog. I did a search to see if i could find the breed. I do think the Havanese is close, but the dog did go to a dog groomer a couple of times a year to get his hair shortened. The woman let the dog walk to me, while i was sitting at the side of the market eating some fries with a peanutsauce. It was simply adorable!
At the market i got foods to make me a laksa. I had done a search before to see what would go in the paste. I used this one, but there are many many more. I did forget the palm sugar, which i still had in my house. I added it later on when the soup was done. A bit too much i’m afraid.
I also made way too much. I left half the bowl for tomorrow. I did make paste for a couple of days. I did use the lemon grass, three madame jeanettes, ginger, galangal, shallots, garlic, cilantro and tamarind. I also used some dried shrimp. And i also got some fresh turmeric root, which was bright bright orange. I also did add some coconut oil through the paste.
For the soup i added some more coconut oil, the paste and let it bake for a bit. I boiled some water and added that after a few minutes. I then added a chicken stock cube. I opened a can of coconut milk and added half of it. I had also bought fresh uncooked shrimp, i cut those in smaller pieces and added them. Then i cut some cucumber, paksoi, cilantro, basil and spring onions. Before i started on the soup i had cooked some mie which i had put aside. I put the mie in the soup with all the vegetables. After a few minutes i poured it in the bowl. Afterwards i added a bit of chili sauce. It was lovely.
The rest of my day was restful. I even thought for a while i was gonna put in a break page for today, but the soup really woke me up and i thought i would write a bit about that.
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!
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.
Tonight i’m gonna watch another Harry Potter movie on tv. Hopefully i will have another sleepfull night.