Sometimes you have to make choices …


 This blog will not be updated any longer.  You can still enjoy my cooking experiences on
http://culinair-atelier.skynetblogs.be (in Dutch)
Thank you for visiting. 
Food fan

11:48 Gepost door food fan | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |


Chicory with crab and tangerine


Red Chicory (Belgian Endive)
Crab meat
Cocktail sauce
Chili powder

Cut the peeled tangerine in small pieces.  Mix the crab meat with some cocktail sauce, the tangerine and a pinch of chili powder.  Pull off the leaves of the chicory and fill with the crab mixture. 

 Note: This recipe can also be made with normal chicory and imitation crab (surimi) 

 Wine: Arneis Vigna Elisa 2006 – Paitin di Pasquero-Elia

11:28 Gepost door food fan in Starters | Permalink | Commentaren (2) | Tags: chicory, endive, crab, tangerine |  Facebook |


Coq au vin with winter root vegetables

P1020615Serves 6 to 8


Chicken in Red Wine with winter root vegetables

2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
2,5 kg chicken, cut into 12 serving pieces
24 small pickling onions, peeled
l00 g smoked baron, diced
1 tbsp plain flour
1 bottle red Burgundy
1 bouquet garni
2 garlic cloves
a pinch of sugar
freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
24 button mushrooms
1 tbsp brandy
6 turnips
8 carrots
18 - 24 baby red potatoes
1 tbsp butter
freshly grated nutmegsalt
freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil and butter in a large casserole, add the chicken pieces and fry gently until golden on all sides. Remove from the casserole with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour off half the fat from the casserole, then add the onions and bacon. Fry over moderate heat until lightly coloured, then sprinkle in the flour and stir well. Pour in the wine and bring to the boil, then add the bouquet garni, garlic cloves (unpeeled), sugar, and nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the casserole, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms, then continue cooking gently for a further 45 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

In the mean time, peel the turnips and carrots and steam until almost tender.  Cook the potatoes, peel when they are tender and still warm.

Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and arrange on a warmed serving platter. Keep hot. Pour the brandy into the sauce and boil, uncovered, for minutes until reduced to about 300 m1. Remove the bouquet garni and garlic cloves. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour the sauce over the chicken. 

Heat the butter in a pan and bake the vegetables and potatoes shortly, taste to season with nutmeg, pepper and salt.         


Pumpkin Risotto


Serves 4

300 g Arborio rice
1 l vegetable or chicken stock
½ Onion
A pinch of saffron treads
Pecorino or Parmesan cheese (grated)
½ Small pumpkin
Pepper and salt

Chop the onion.  Cut the pumpkin in small pieces (about ½ cm).  Heat the stock and keep it hot. Melt in a heavy saucepan a tablespoon of butter.  Add the onion and pumpkin and sauté for a few minutes.  Add the rice and saffron and keep stirring for about 2 minutes.  Add a ladle of stock (enough to cover the rice).  Lower the heat to moderate.  Simmer, stirring constantly, adding the rest of the stock gradually so that the rice is always covered with liquid.  Exactly 15 minutes after the first stock was added, remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in a tablespoon of butter, a few spoons of grated cheese and season with salt and pepper.  Cover the pan with a lid and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Note: this risotto can be served with shortly grilled scallops. 

10:17 Gepost door food fan in Starters | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: pumpkin, pumkinrisotto, risotto, rice |  Facebook |


Californian wine

Last August we were in Sonoma County in Northern California and we visited several wine estates in Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley.  We tried a lot of good wines and some not so good ones.  Our overall impression is that the prices are very high. Comparing to French or Italian wines, Californian wines have a lot of alcohol and they are in general less refined.  What we liked a lot are the pick nick areas at the estates, that is something I wish we had in Europe.  Not everybody has the same taste, but these are our tasting notes.  

Our absolute favourite wine estate is:
Robert Young in Geyserville. 
P1010806We had a warm welcome by Bruce, he told us more about the history and served us a beautiful 2004 Chardonnay ($37). We also tasted their Cabernet Sauvignon Scion 2000 with 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot ($50).  The 2001 Scion (91/100 Wine Spectator) is a blend of 80 % CS, 11% CF en 9% M ($60), while the 2003 is made of 78% CS, 9% M, 9% CF en 4% Petit Verdot ($54).  All 3 are good structured and elegant wines.  We preferred the 2000.  Robert Young estate has a nice picnic area in the garden, where we enjoyed our lunch. This estate is worth to visit. 



Silver Oak
Makes a very fine Cabernet Sauvignon, especially the 2002 with 83% CS, 11% Merlot en 4% CF ($100), but we also loved the 100 % Cab from Alexander Valley ($60).http://www.silveroak.com/ 

One of the most beautiful wine estates was:

Ferrari-Carano in Healdsburg
We decided to taste the limited wines.  We tried a very good 100% 2005 Chardonnay Emelia’s Cuvee ($36).  The 2004 Sangiovese Alexander Valley ($32) is their version of a Brunello, it is a good try, but we prefer the real stuff.  We loved their CAB’s, but absolute top was the 2003 PreVail Black Forty, Alexander Valley 87% CS, 10% Syrah and 3% CF ($80).  This was a great wine. www.ferrari-carano.com  

Papapietro Perry Winery in Healdsburg
We think that they make one of the best Pinot Noirs in the area.  The 2005 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley was very good ($42), but the 2005 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley Peters Vinyard was even better ($26).   Although we are no Zinfandel lovers, they make good ones.  We enjoyed the 2005 Zinfandel Russian River Valley, Elsbree Vineyard ($36) www.papapietro-perry.com 

At the same address you will find Anthill Farms Winery.  As they told us, a kind of a hobby project of some young winemakers.  We tried their 2006 Pinot Noir (not bottled yet).  Even tough this wine is very young, it tasted very good.   

Dutcher Crossing in Healdsburg.
Their winemaker Kerry Damskey makes very elegant wines with less alcohol.  We tasted one of the best Sauvignon Blancs (2006) from the area ($21), but also the 2004 Proprietors Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 77% CB, 23% Syrah was very good.  We also had one of the most elegant Zinfandels, the 2004 Dutcher Crossing Zinfandel.

Family Winery Forestville
Makes very nice Zinfandels, we liked their 2005 Zinfandels Russian River ($30) and the 2005 Hartford Vineyard ($50).  We loved the 2005 Chardonnay’s but also the 2005 Lands Edge Pinot Noir ($45) and the even better 2005 Seven’s Bench Pinot Noir ($55), absolute delicious. www.hartfordwines.com 

Harvest Moon

The place to be for a Zinfandel fan.  We thought that their 2006 Late Harvest Zinfandel  ($32) was spectacular.  Also the 2006 Estate dry Gewürztraminer ($20) and the 2006 dessert Gewürztraminer ($42) were very good.  www.harvestmoonwinery.com 

They make a very good 2006 River Road Ranch Sauvignon Blanc ($21).  Their Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2004 has a lot of potential. At that time this wine was just bottled 2 weeks before, and needs at least 5 five more .  We were surprised by their Tawny Port, it was very nice. 

Makes a very good 2005 Bella Vigna Pinot Noir ($40).  We also loved the 2004 Terra Felice Syrah ($45).  The 2005 Giuseppe and Louisa Zinfandel was worth to try, 16,9%! A very dark and fruity wine, tasted almost like port.
Streyker in Geyserville
We only liked the 2003 Pinot Noir, a Dijon clone from Nappa Valley and the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon ($48). www.strykersonoma.com 

Makes a very nice 2006 Russian River Valley Gewürztraminer ($24) and a very good, ready to drink 2005 Sonoma Pinot Noir ($28)
Moshin in Healdsburg
Very good 2005 Pinot Noirs ($30 en $38). 

Gary Farell in Healdsburg
Good Pinot Noirs ($32 - $50), also the Chardonnay and Zinfandel were good, but we tasted better elsewhere.     

Rued Winery
Doesn't make blends.  We liked the 2005 Sauvignon Blanc Dry Creek Valley ($16), and also their 2003 en 2004 ZIN (both $24). 
Produces Chianti and Chateauneuf du Pape clones.  They are not as good as the originals but the prices are equal. ($30).  A pity, that they don’t make typical Californian wines.   www.untivineyards.com  

We didn’t like the 2002 Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon (100%) ($50) very much, the other ones were better.  Their wines have a lot of alcohol.www.sbragia.com 

Iron Horse
We are not fond of their wines. The 2003 Benchmark Cab/Petit Verdot is OK, but not worth the money ($100).     Ridge Lytton Springs We didn’t like any of the wines we tasted (prices about $33 - $35)

La Crema in Healdsburg
Here we had some wines between $20 and $34, but none of them is, for us, worth mentioning. www.lacrema.com           


Sweet potato gnocchi (dumplings) with a peanut-coriander pesto and grilled fish fillets


Serves 4

For the gnocchi
2 sweet potatoes
ground nutmeg
1 egg
2 cups flour 

Preheat the oven to 200° C. Bake the sweet potatoes for 30 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven, and leave to cool. Remove the peels, and mash them in a large bowl. Blend in salt, nutmeg and egg. Mix in the flour a little at a time until you have soft dough. Use more or less flour as needed.

Divide the dough in pieces. Roll the dough out in several long snakes on a floured surface, and cut into pieces by 1 to 1 cm.  Shape them in the palm of your hand and with a fork into gnocchi.  Cook the gnocchi in salted water until they float to the surface.


For the Pesto
25 g pine nuts
30 g peanuts
1 hand full of coriander (cilantro)
½ clove garlic
100 – 150 ml olive oil

Ground the nuts and cut the coriander and mix with garlic, salt an olive oil in a blender until you become a silky, pouring dressing.  

Note: Serve with grilled fish fillets.

08:00 Gepost door food fan in Main Courses | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: gnocchi, pesto, coriander, sweet potatoe |  Facebook |


Figs filled with ricotta and wrapped in Parma ham


Serves 4

4 ripe figs
200 g ricotta
1,5 tbps liquid honey
2 sage leaves, finely cut
black pepper
4-8 slices of Parma- or another ham
Rucola (rocket or argula)
Olive oil

Cut the figs on top in 4.  Mix the ricotta, honey, sage, salt an a lot of grounded black pepper.  Fill the figs with the ricotta mixture and wrap them in the ham.  Place on a oiled baking plate and bake the figs for 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 200°C.  Add a little olive oil, pepper and salt to the rucula and serve with the figs.  

Note: leave the ham for a vegetarian starter, just place the filled figs under the grill for a few minutes until the ricotta is golden brown.
Oyster Bay, a sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand

Music: (an oldie) All this useless beauty van Elvis Costello

11:49 Gepost door food fan in Starters | Permalink | Commentaren (1) | Tags: figs, ricotta, ham, vegetarian |  Facebook |


Sushi: Tonijn- en komkommerrollen



Tot voor kort was ik helemaal niet thuis in de Sushiwereld.  Ik had het vroeger wel eens gegeten en zelf al eens geëxperimenteerd met sushirollen, maar dat was het dan ook.  Tijdens onze vakantie hebben we enkele keren sushi gegeten en ik was verrast hoe veel keuze er eigenlijk is.  De beste aten we bij Kabuto in San Francisco.  Omdat we er niets van kennen, lieten we ons verrassen.  We kregen heerlijke dingen voorgeschoteld (zie foto’s), met namen als Escolar sushi (white tuna), Red snapper, Hamachi jalapeno, Heilbot ceviche, Tuna toro, Pear en mustard hamachi en de allerlekkerste Dragon roll (avocado scampi nori vis makreel sojasaus) en tenslotte een verrassende Tempura omelet (tamago).  Naast de traditionele Japanse sushi werden hier ook ‘fusionsushi’ geserveerd.  Na ons bezoek lazen we ergens dat wanneer de sushichefs uit de restaurants in de buurt een dagje vrij hebben, ze allen afzakken naar Kabuto, wat aangeeft dat ze echt wel kwaliteit afleveren.

Kabuto: http://www.kabutosushi.com/special_sushi.html

 Alvorens ik mij ga verdiepen in de wereld van de sushi, serveer ik jullie alvast een zeer eenvoudige (beginners) versie. 


Hoso-Maki (dunne sushirollen) met tonijn en komkommer

Voor 24 stuks

2 vellen nori, diagonaal gehalveerd
1 hoeveelheid sushirijst (bereiden volgens verpakking met Japanse rijstazijn en suiker)
3 el wasabi-pasta uit een tube

90 g zeer verse tonijnsteak
10 cm komkommer
1 tl geroosterd sesamzaad
ingemaakte gember (Gari)

Nodig: Sushi rolmatje

Snijd de tonijn met de draad mee in repen van 1 cm breed. Snijd de komkommer in repen van 1 cm dik. Verdeel wat wasabi over de rijst en leg er horizontaal een rijtje tonijnreepjes op.  Rol de makisu (rolmatje) plat uit op het wenkblad. Leg een vel nori met de ruwe kant omhoog op de makisu. Verdeel een kwart van de sushirijst over de nori, maar laat aan de achterkant 1 cm onbedekt. Druk de rijst glad.

Neem de makiso in beide handen en rol hem voorzichtig, van u af, op waarbij u ervoor zorgt dat de tonijn in het midden blijft. Knijp voorzichtig in de opgerolde makisu om de nori-rol stevig te maken.  Ontrol de makisu voorzichtig en maak met de rest van de ingrediënten nog een toniin-rol. Herhaal het proces met de komkommer, die u bestrooit met sesamzaad voor u de sushi oprolt. Bewaar de sushi op een vochtige snijplank en bedek ze met plasticfolie. Uiteindelijk hebt u 3 tonijn- en 2 komkommerrollen.

Dien de sushirollen op de volgende manier op: Snijd de rollen elk in acht stukken met een zeer scherp mes. Veeg het mes schoon met een met rijstazijn bevochtigde doek na elke snede.

Serveer ze op een mooie schaal en geef er een schaaltje wasabi en een schaaltje gari (ingemaakte gember) en sojasaus bij. Geef iedere gast een klein schaaltje waarin hij naar believen een hoeveelheid wasabi met sojasaus mengt, waarin de sushi voor het opeten ingedoopt kunnen worden.

Tip: Vul een klein kommetje voor de helft met water en 2 el rijstazijn. Bevochtig hiermee uw handen tijdens het rollen om te voorkomen dat de rijst blijft plakken.


10:59 Gepost door food fan in Starters | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |


Agnolotti with sage


Last weekend we were in Piemonte (
Italy), one of our favourite places in Italy.  We had agnolotti, which are small ravioli, mostly filled with meat, sometimes with vegetables. 

for 6 people
The dough:
600g flour
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks

Start making the dough by beating the eggs and four together with a regular motion. If mixing proves difficult, dampen the hands with warm water and continue mix by hand.  Roll the dough out thinly, into two equal sheets, and don’t let them dry out. Place small knobs of the filling on one of the sheets of dough, keeping each portion 3cm from the next, and the same distance from the edge of the sheet of dough. Place the second sheet of dough over the first, matching up the edges. Press the dough down with the thumb around the portions of filling, pressing in both directions. Use a serrated pastry cutter to separate the ravioli.

Ingredients for the filling
450g ricotta cheese
250g grated parmesan
1 whole egg
2 yolks
250g leave vegetables of your choice (young nettle shoots or spring herbs or endive or borage, etc)
A sprig of parsley
3 leaves sage
Nutmeg, pepper, salt

Make the dough according to the preceding recipe.  Put the cheeses in a bowl and mix with the pre-cooked vegetables utter and mix to a paste with the finely chopped parsley, the sage, the nutmeg, pepper and salt, using a wooden spoon.  Make the ravioli in the usual way and cook in salted water or stock. Serve with melted butter infused with a sprig of sage, with grated Parmesan.

17:45 Gepost door food fan in Pasta | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: piemonte, agnololtti, italy, ravioli, vegetarian |  Facebook |


Holiday snapshots


Sadly but true, our holiday is over.  Click on the photo to see some of our holiday pictures.  In the next few days you will read more about our restaurant experiences, our favourite Californian wines and our preferred places.

15:11 Gepost door food fan in This and that | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: holiday, pictures, usa, summer |  Facebook |


We are on holiday!!!

My other (original) blog Culinair Atelier (in Dutch) will be updated every day. 

Do you plan a trip to Belgium?  Don’t hesitate to visit our province Limburg! We have it all; nature (national park), culture (castles, museums, churches, ancient cities, etc.) outdoor activities (cycling, hiking, water sport, etc.) good food, fine wine, great beer ...

See pictures below



09:35 Gepost door food fan in This and that | Permalink | Commentaren (1) | Tags: tourism, belgium, holiday, limburg, summer |  Facebook |


Italian Style salad


I love to create dishes with leftovers.  This is such a recipe.  I opened my fridge and there where some cherry tomatoes, black olives, a jar of artichokes hearts and Parma ham.  I also had some white bread and basil and rocket (argula).   So I toasted the bread, rubbed it with garlic and drizzled with some olive oil and placed the ham on top .  All the other ingredients, I arranged on a plate like a salad and finished it with some olive oil and red wine vinegar, pepper and salt and the ‘open’ sandwich.          Note: Serve as salad or a starter
Wine: Verdicchio, Italy
 Music: Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanagan - Ballad of the broken seas

18:46 Gepost door food fan in Starters | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: toast, wine, music, italian, summer, salad, tomatoes, parma ham, artichoke |  Facebook |


Beef carpaccio with a crunchy salad and basil oil


Beef fillet (sliced very thin)
Parmesan cheese (sliced very thin)
Rocket salad (argula)
Pine nut
Green asparagus (sliced very thin)
Alfalfa sprouts (Luzerne)
Olive oil extra virgin
A handful of basil
Black pepper
Sea salt

Roast the pine nuts in a dry hot pa, until light brown.  Mix the asparagus, alfalfa sprout, rocket and pine nuts and some olive oil, pepper and salt.  Mix the basil very fine with a pinch of salt and olive oil.   Arrange the beef on cold plates, season with black pepper.  Add the salad, drizzle some olive oil and lemon on top and finish with the parmesan cheese en some basil oil.  

Note: Carpaccio is a typical Italian starter of very thin shavings of raw beef. 

09:50 Gepost door food fan in Starters | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: carpaccio, raw beef, asparagus, parmesan, basil oil, italian |  Facebook |


Scallops with almond crust, Pata Negra ham and a cauliflower puree

1aaaServes 4

 12 scallops
almond flower (
grounded almonds)
½ cauliflower
2 tbsp butter
Pata Negra ham

Steam the cauliflower until tender, mix while adding small amount of butter until you become a smooth puree.  Taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Serve immediately or warm au-bain-marie.    Coat one side of the scallops wit the almond powder, and bake them shortly on both sides until golden brown.   Put some of the cauliflower on the plates; arrange the scallops on top with a slice of the ham.   

Note: you can also use other kinds of ham.

Wine: Mille X – Costières de Nîmes – 2006

 Music: Shut your Eyes – Snow Patrol      

11:01 Gepost door food fan in Starters | Permalink | Commentaren (2) | Tags: scallops, cauliflower, pata negra |  Facebook |


Seafood pasta

1 aServes 3-4











Seafood (shrimps, prawns, squid, scallops, clams, mussels etc.)

1 onion

1 clove of garlic

olive oil

1 small glass dry white wine


1 can peeled tomatoes (diced)

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley

400 g spaghetti

a pinch of chilli powder

Pepper & salt



Clean the seafood, peal the shrimps and/or prawns, and cut the squid in rings.  Wash the clams and/or mussels and cook in a small amount of white wine.  Drain, but keep the liquid and put it true a fine sieve.  Soak the saffron in the white wine.  Cut the onion in half and then in slices, chop the garlic.   Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until softened.  Add the white wine with saffron and the cooking liquid from the clams.  Leave to cook for an few minutes until the liquid is increased.  Add the tomatoes and half a can of water.   Season with salt, pepper and chilli.  Leave to cook over medium heat for 8 – 10 minutes.  Cook in the meantime the spaghetti ‘al dente’.  Ad the prawns and/or the shrimps to the sauce and cook form 2 minutes.  Then add the squid, scallops and mussels and/or clams, leave to cook for 1 minute.  Drain the pasta mix with the pasta and serve with chopped parsley.


Note: you can also use firm white fish


Wine: Italian Pinot Grigio


08:00 Gepost door food fan in Pasta | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: spaghetti, seafood, italy, wine |  Facebook |


Aubergine with parmesan crust

1 auberg2Servers 4






2 Aubergines (Eggplant)

½ cup dried breadcrumbs

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Pepper & salt

2 egg whites (beaten)



Peel the aubergine and slice thin (4-5 mm). Mix in a shallow dish, the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese with some pepper and salt. Put in another shallow dish the beaten egg whites. Coat the aubergine slices in the egg white and then in the breadcrumbs, making sure that they are completely covered. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the aubergine. Fry for a few minutes on each side over medium heat until golden brown.

Note: Delicious as a vegetarian hamburger with baked onions and tomato ketchup.

Wine: A Corbières from the Languedoc

Music: Gold - Ryan Adams

07:30 Gepost door food fan in Side dishes | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: aubergine, eggplant, vegetarian, italian, parmesan, music, wine |  Facebook |


Fennel carpaccio

naamloos2Serves 4


2 fennel bulbs (with green tops reserved)

Parmesan cheese

1 Lemon

Olive oil extra virgin

Pepper & salt


Slice the fennel very thin and arrange on 4 plates.  Drizzle some lemon juice and olive oil on top of the fennel.  Finish with thin slices of Parmesan cheese, pepper and salt and the finely chopped fennel tops.    



14:05 Gepost door food fan in Starters | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: salad, fennel, easy, summer, parmesan cheese, vegetarian |  Facebook |


Grilled vegetables with anchovy purée

20212This is a recipe from the Provence in the south of France


Serves 4




1 small yellow pepper

1 small red pepper

8 asparagus tips

1 fennel bulb

2 firm plum tomatoes

1 zucchini

1 small eggplant

olive oi1, extra virgin

2 sprigs thyme

fleur de sel de Camargue

1 dl anchovy purée (anchoïade)


Clean the vegetables. Remove the seeds and membranes and use only the flesh of the peppers. Do not cut the asparagus. Cut the fennel in four, top to bottom. Halve the tomatoes. Cut the zucchini and eggplant in thin slices. Marinate the vegetables for 2 hours in a flat dish with about 1 inch (2 cm) olive oil and thyme. Drain on a rack and use the oil later.


Heat the grill to a high temperature. Grill the marinated vegetables on both sides. Turn the vegetables 90°, to create a diamond pattern. Arrange on a plate and sprinkle with fleur de sel de Camargue. Serve with well-seasoned anchovy purée.


Anchovy purée

100g salted anchovies

2 dl extra virgin olive oil


Drain the anchovies of excess oil and place in a small saucepan.  Add olive oil and leave to steep over low heat for at least 2 hours.  The fish has to ‘melt’.  Blend the mixture well an store in a cool place.




Stuffed baby squid with cherry tomato salsa

1 inktivisServes 2






6 baby squids (cleaned, keep the tentacles)

3 eggs (hard boiled)

½ tbsp chopped chives

1 tbsp chopped flat leave parsley

1 tbsp butter (soft)

Pepper & salt



300 g cherry tomatoes (cut in half)

olive oil


1 clove of garlic (chopped)

1 tbsp chopped chives

4 tbsp white wine vinegar

½ tbsp sugar

Pepper & salt


Chop the eggs and tentacles fine and mix with the butter and the herbs.  Taste with salt and pepper.  Fill the squid tubes with this mixture and close them with a wooden toothpick. 


Soak the saffron in the vinegar.  Bake the tomatoes with the garlic on medium heat in some olive oil.  Add the sugar and the vinegar and a splash of hot water.  Leave to cook until the tomatoes are almost tender.  Taste with salt and pepper.  Add the filled squid to the salsa and let them cook for a few minutes.  Remove them from the pan, keep them warm and let the salsa cook until all the liquid is evaporated. 


Note: If you can’t find fresh squid, use frozen squid.


Wine: A white Burgundy or a Californian chardonnay



10:25 Gepost door food fan in Starters | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: tomato salsa, summer, wine, squid |  Facebook |


Fine salad with nut oil dressing

1sla1This salad taste great with lamb and oven potatoes.
Serves 6








  • ½ head of red lettuce
  • 1 head of radicchio
  • 10 radishes (sliced)
  • 2 tbsp roasted seeds (pumpkinseeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts)
  • 1 handful of argula (Rucola)


  • 2 tsp hazelnut oil
  • 2 tsp walnut oil
  • 2 tsp pumpkinseed oil
  • 2 tsp fine olive oil extra virgin
  • 4 tsp red wine vinegar
  • pepper & salt


Cut out the hart of the radicchio and make the leaves (6 leaves) loose very carefully (they will be used to fill) and cut the rest very fine.  Rinse the lettuce and mix with the fine radicchio, radishes and argula in a bowl.  Mix all the ingredients for the dressing and spoon over the salad, add the seeds and mix well.  Fill the radicchio leaves with the salad and serve.


Note: You can buy the seed mixture ready to use or roast in a hot and dry frying pan.   





09:13 Gepost door food fan in Salads & Dressings | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: nut oil, light, salad, radiches, argula, summer |  Facebook |


Spicy chicken with peanuts

naamloos1This recipe is based on the Chinese Kon Po Kai.  I  usually add bamboo sprouts and I replaced the spring onions with normal onion.


Serves 4




  • 400 g chicken fillet
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 fresh small red peppers
  • 2 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 1 piece of ginger (sliced)
  • ½ cup bamboo sprouts
  • 2 tbsp shaoxing wine or medium dry sherry
  • ½ small onion (sliced)
  • 50 g roasted peanuts



  • 8 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp  shaoxing wine or medium dry sherry
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 el corn starch
  • 1 egg white (whisked half)



  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Cut the chicken in strips and put in a bowl.  Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and add to the chicken.  Leave to marinade for at least half an hour. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce.  Clean the peppers, remove de seeds and slice very fine.  Heat the oil in a wok, add the peppers, garlic, onion, bamboo sprouts and ginger.  Stir well and add the chicken.  Stir fry for one minute, add the wine and stir fry for one more minute.  Add the sauce mixture and leave to bind (ad some corn starch if needed).  Serve with sticky rice.

08:50 Gepost door food fan in Main Courses | Permalink | Commentaren (3) | Tags: rice, chicken, peanuts, spicy, chinese, asian |  Facebook |


Rigatoni al Pomodoro e Ricotta

1rigatoneServes 6
Rigatoni with tomato and ricotta sauce






  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 900 g canned Italian plum tomatoes with their juice, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 450 g rigatoni
  • 240 g/1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Pour the oil into a medium-size saucepan. Add the garlic and heat until it is just translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer over low heat until the liquid has evaporated, about 50 minutes.  Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the rigatoni until al dente. Meanwhile, put the ricotta in a bowl and crumble it with a fork.  Set the bowl in a pan of hot water and leave to heat the cheese.  Add the basil to the tomato sauce and season with salt and pepper.  Stir well.  Drain the pasta and transfer it to a warm serving bowl. Add the tomato sauce and half of the ricotta, and toss gently. Cover with the rest of the ricotta and sprinkle with Parmesan and serve at once. 


Recipe from Lorenza de’Medici 



16:58 Gepost door food fan in Pasta | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: pasta, ricotta, rigatone, tomato, summer, italian |  Facebook |


Asparagus with Pata Negra ham and a white wine sabayon

aspergeI love asparagus, green or white.  Here, the season almost ends.  We can buy asparagus all year long, but then they are imported and not from good quality.  Because the taste is so delicate I keep de recipes simple. Like this one.


Serves 4

  • 20 white asparagus
  • 8 slices of Pata Negra ham  

The sabayon

  • 4 egg yolks
  • a pinch of salt
  • 120 g butter (melted)
  • 1 glass dry white wine



Peel the asparagus, cut away the ends and cook them in salted water. For the sabayon, place the egg yolks, salt and white wine into a bowl that fits snugly over a pan of boiling water. (Note: The boiling water in the pan must not touch the bottom of the bowl). Whisk the ingredients continuously until the mixture thickens to a consistency where soft peaks are almost formed when the whisk is removed.


Arrange the asparagus on 4 plates, spoon a little bit of sabayon on top and finish with slice of ham.


Note: Taste great with new cooked potatoes. 


Wine: Puligny-Montrachet 2002 - Vincent Girardin


Music: The Complete Stax/Volt singles: volume 4 van 1959-1968



Find out more about Pata Negra here!

07:00 Gepost door food fan in Main Courses | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: asparagus, pata negra, sabayon, season, music, wine |  Facebook |


BBQ Ratatouille













1 head of garlic

1 onion

Peppers (red, yellow, orange)


Cherry tomatoes

Courgette (Zucchini)

Aubergine (egg plant)

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Pepper & salt

Herbes de Provence (mixture of dried herbs)


Preheat the barbecue.  Leave the head of garlic whole and cut a slice on top of it.  Wrap in aluminium foil and put for 25 minutes on the BBQ.  Cut all the vegetables (except tomatoes) in cubes (eatable size).  Put the vegetables and tomatoes in a shallow (BBQ proof) dish, drizzle some olive oil on top and season with the herbs.  Place the dish on the BBQ and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Remove from the BBQ and squeeze the garlic out of the cloves on top of the vegetables, add some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper and salt.  


Note: Ratatouille is a rich vegetable Provençal stew.  It can be eaten hot or cold, as a main course or served as an accompaniment to meat dishes or in this case with a nice sausage or some chicken.


Tomato tartare with asparagus and balsamic vinaigrette

1aServes 4










12 white asparagus (peeled)

12 green asparagus

6 ripe tomatoes (peeled en seeds removed)

1 tbsp freshly chopped basil

½ tbsp freshly chopped chives

½ tbsp freshly chopped flat leave parsley

pepper & salt

1 tbsp olive oil



1 tsp mustard

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

pepper & salt


Cook the asparagus al dente in salted water. Place immediately in ice water to keep the colours fresh.  Mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette.  Cut the tomatoes, just before serving, very fine.  Mix the tomatoes with the herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Arrange the asparagus and the tartare on a plate.  Drizzle a bit of the vinaigrette on top of the asparagus and garnish wit a basil leave or some chives.


Note: You can make the tartare in advance, but then you have to put it in a sieve, so that all the juices can drain.


Wine: Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand


Music: Fevers and Mirrors – Bright Eyes


Fennel risotto with caramelised fennel and a king prawn skewer with Xeres syrup

1aServes 2


The risotto

200 g Arborio rice

750 ml chicken stock

1 small shallot

½ bulb of fennel (green tops reserved)


4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Cut the shallot and fennel very finely. Heat the stock and keep it simmering over low heat.  In a saucepan heat the butter.  Add the fennel and shallot and cook over medium heat until tender, add the rice and stir for 2 minutes.  Pour in enough stock to cover the rice.  Simmer, stirring, adding the rest of the stock in batches in order to keep the rice always covered with liquid.   Remove the saucepan exactly 14 minutes after adding the first stock.  Stir in the Parmesan, 1 tbsp of butter and the finely cut fennel tops, season to taste.  Cover and allow the risotto to rest for a couple of minutes.


The caramelised fennel

½ bulb of fennel

100 ml chicken stock

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

pepper & salt


Slice the fennel very thinly.  Heat the oil and butter in a pan and add the fennel.  Stir for 2 minutes.  Add the stock and lower the heat over moderate and leave to cook.  When the stock is evaporated, the fennel will slightly caramelise.  Remove the pan when the fennel colours light brown.  Season with salt and pepper.


The King prawn skewers

6 king Prawns (raw)

wooden skewers


Remove the shells and the vain.  Spike the prawn on the skewers and grill in a griddle pan until pink. 


The Xeres syrup

500 ml Xeres vinegar (Sherry vinegar)

1 tbsp brown sugar


Add the vinegar and sugar in a heavy pan and cook over high heat until syrupy.



Arrange the risotto, fennel and prawn skewer on a plate and finish with the syrup.


Note: This risotto goes also well with baked cod. 







10:02 Gepost door food fan in Starters | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: risotto, prawn, fennel, xeres |  Facebook |



beef-casseroleThis is a typical Tuscan recipe.  We first ate it in a small restaurant in Montalcino.  The original recipe is with veal shank (the translation for stinco).  I made my own version and it taste as good.


Serves 4


1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

500 g beef filet (cut in squares 4 cm)

1 cup dry white wine

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary

2 bay leaves

1 Cup Balsamic vinegar

1/2 Cup Meat Broth

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste



Preheat the oven to 200°C.  Melt the butter in a casserole and the oil over medium heat. Add the meat. Season with salt and pepper.  Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides.  Add the balsamic vinegar, garlic, rosemary, and bay leaves. Cover the casserole with a lid or aluminium foil. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Turn the meat and add the broth. Cover and bake for 1 hour more, or until the meat is very tender. Add a little more broth or water, if necessary, to keep the meat moist. If the juices are too thin, boil them until reduced and slightly syrupy.


Note: Serve with baked potatoes and a simple green salad.

Wine: A Chianti or even better a Barolo


This is how real stinco looks:




Cauliflower Sushi

bl4Serves 4
  • ½ cauliflower
  • 2 nori sheets  (Paper thin sheets seaweed, used to make sushi )
  • 1 fresh salmon filet
  • 2 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • Wasabi (Japanese horseradish)
  • Bamboo mat to roll the sushi



Separate the cauliflower and put in a blender until it looks like couscous.  Bring salted water to boil and add the cauliflower couscous just for one minute. Drain and leave to cool on a plate.  Mix in the mirin and taste with salt and pepper.  Cut the salmon in thin strips (about 1 cm).  Place a Nori sheet on the bamboo mat.  Arrange on 1/3 of the nori sheet the cauliflower couscous.  Put in the middle of the cauliflower a line of salmon and a small amount of wasabi.  Roll the sushi with the bamboo mat (see picture) and use some water to close the roll.  Cut in pieces and serve.  


Note: Wasabi is very spicy.

13:15 Gepost door food fan in Starters | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: salmon, sushi, cauliflower, vegetables, wasabi |  Facebook |


Cinnamon ice cake with pear

1 ijs

  • Speculaas (typical Belgian cinnamon cookies)
  • Cinnamon ice
  • Vanilla ice
  • Pears
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Vanilla sugar
  • Marsala (Sweet italian wine)


Crumble the cookies and place a thin layer on the bottom of a small mould.  Spoon on top of the crumbles a layer of vanilla ice, then a layer of cinnamon ice and finish with another layer of crumbles.  Cover the moulds and place in the freezer until serving.  Peel the pears, remove de seeds and slice.  Bake the pears softly in some butter, add some Marsala wine and leave to cook until the alcohol is evaporated and the pears are soft.  Taste with cinnamon powder and some vanilla sugar.  Serve the ice cakes with the pear.


Note: Place the moulds shortly in warm water to remove the cakes.   

16:41 Gepost door food fan in Desserts | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: cinnamon, ice, cakes, cookies, ice cakes, puddings, marsala, pear |  Facebook |


BBQ: Fish duo with green asparagus and parmesan cheese


Fresh tuna steaks

Fresh swordfish steaks

Green asparagus (ends cut)

Parmesan cheese (sliced)

Olive oil extra virgin

Capers (in salt, rinsed)



Sea salt) 


Grill the asparagus and the fish very shortly (Tuna has to be still raw inside).  Arrange on a platter.  Drizzle a bit of oil and lime juice on the fish and the asparagus.  Season with salt and pepper.  Put some capers on the fish and finish the asparagus wit some Parmesan slices.


Wine : Louis Latour, Saint Véran, 2005, Les deux Moulin

17:00 Gepost door food fan in BBQ | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: tasty, bbq, fish, swordfish, tuna, asparargus, wine, easy, quick |  Facebook |