zondag 25 december 2011

Chocolate cake with icing

Tessa says,"This is exactly the kind of chocolate cake i loves as a child. Sometimes i make this just chocolate, sometimes halved and filled with not-too-sweet raspberry or strawberry jam or puree and a few dollops of cream(and then i don't ice it). If you like, you might also add some chopped nuts in with the flour or scatter some over the top."

Chocolate cake with icing
Tessa Kiros, Apples for jam(page. 311)

Cuts into 10-12 slices

180g (6½ oz) butter
50g (1¾ oz) Dark semi-sweet chocolate, broken up
30g (1 oz) unsweeted cocoa powder
3 eggs, separated
180g (6½ oz) caster sugar
125g (4½ oz)/1 cup) all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons milk

80g (2¾  oz) butter, softened
60g (2¼ oz) confectioners (icing) sugar
30g (1 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons milk
2 generous teaspoons golden syrup

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/gas 4). Butter and flour a 24cm(9½ inch) springform tin. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then add the chocolate and cocoa and stir until melted. Remove from the heat. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until they are creamy and stiff. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they are foamy, then beat in the sugar. Add the chocolate mixture, a bit at a time initially to acclimatize the eggs. Next, sift in the flour and baking powder and mix well. Add the milk and mix until smooth.
Carefully fold in the beaten whites, trying not to deflate them, and gently mix until they are completely incorporated into a fluffy but dense mixture. Scrape out into the thin and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin before moving to a serving plate.
For the icing, whip the butter with the icing sugar until fluffy. Whisk in the cocoa a bit at a time so that it doesn't fly everywhere. When it is completely incorporated, add the milk and golden syrup and whisk until very smooth. Spread it over the top of the cake with a spatula, using swift smooth strokes. I like it not completely smooth but in chocolate waves.

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woensdag 14 december 2011

Daring cooks December 2011:Cha sui & Cha sui bao

Our Daring Cooks’ December 2011 hostess is Sara from Belly Rumbles! Sara chose awesome Char Sui Bao as our challenge, where we made the buns, Char Sui, and filling from scratch – delicious!

Bao yum! I thought when i saw this years last challenge. This wouldn't be so hard on me, because i did this already. But only once. That time i made steamed bao so i chose to make baked bao this time around. Baked the pork in the oven but used the searing method so baked the pork in a pan first.
Everything went well except making the dough for the bao. The dough was to wet and sticky and it took me a while to get it right by adding more flour. The taste of the Cha sui and Cha sui bao was awesome. So thank you Sara daring me to make Cha sui an Cha sui bao again.

Char Sui (Cantonese BBQ Pork)

1 pork fillet/tenderloin (roughly 1-1.5 pounds)
4 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon (3 gm) ginger, grated
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 ½ tablespoons maltose (you can substitute honey)
1 ½ tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon shaoxing cooking wine
½ teaspoon (2 gm) ground white pepper
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon (2 gm) five spice powder
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon pillar box red food colouring
(1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)
  1. Trim the pork loin to remove fat and tendon and slice lengthways so you have two long pieces, then cut in half. By cutting the pork in to smaller pieces to marinate you will end up with more flavoursome char sui. If you want to leave the pork in one piece you can do this as well. Place in container that you will be marinating them in.
  2. Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. I placed my maltose in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to work with. Maltose is quite a solid hard sticky substance.
  3. Cover pork well with ⅔ of the marinade mixture. Marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, I find it is best left to marinate overnight. Place the reserved ⅓ portion of the marinade covered in the fridge. You will use this as a baste when cooking the pork.
Cooking Method 1 - Oven
This is the first way that I experimented with cooking the char sui.
  1. Pre-heat oven to moderate 180˚C/350°F/gas mark 4.
  2. Cover a baking tray with foil or baking paper. Place on top of this a rack on which to cook the pork.
  3. Place pork on the rack and place in oven.
  4. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, basting and turning.
  5. Turn the heat up to moderately hot 200˚C/400°F/gas mark 6 for the final 20 minutes as this will aid the charring. Cook until cooked through.
Cooking Method 2 - Seared in pan & then into the oven
On reading more I discovered this method, it was meant to give a better charred finish. Not sure that it did give a "better" result, but the pork was a lot more moist.
  1. Pre-heat oven to moderate 180˚C/350°F/gas mark 4.
  2. Cover a baking tray with foil or baking paper. Place on top of this a rack on which to cook the pork.
  3. Place pork in a hot frying pan or wok. Sear it quickly so it is well browned
  4. Remove from pan/wok and place pork on the rack and place in oven.
  5. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, basting and turning until cooked through.
Cooking Method 3 - BBQ
This method I feel gave the best result. If you have access to a BBQ use it. The pork had a better BBQ flavour and was also very moist.
  1. Place marinated pork loin on the grill of your BBQ 
  2. Cook on a medium heat, approximately 15 minutes, until cooked through.
  3. Be careful to watch that you don't burn the pork.

Char Sui (Cantonese BBQ Pork)
Alternative marinade without red food colouring or maltose

1 teaspoon (6 gm) salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon (3 gm) ground white pepper
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) sugar
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon shaoxing cooking wine
1 teaspoon (3 gm) five spice
(1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)
  1. Trim the pork loin to remove fat and tendon and slice lengthways so you have two long pieces, then cut in half. Place in container that you will be marinating them in.
  2. Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine.   
  3. Cover pork well with ⅔ of the marinade mixture. Marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, I find it is best left to marinate overnight. Place the reserved ⅓ portion of the marinade covered in the fridge. You will use this as a baste when cooking the pork.
  4. Follow the desired cooking method from the previous recipe.



Baked Char Sui Bao (Cantonese BBQ Pork Bun)

Servings: 12
Filling Ingredients
350 gm (12 oz) char sui (finely diced)
2 green onions/spring onions (finely sliced)
1 tablespoon hoisin
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock
1 teaspoon (2 gm) cornflour
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
(1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)
Dough Ingredients
2½ teaspoons (8 gm/1 satchel) of dried yeast
¼ cup (55 gm/2 oz) sugar
½ cup warm water
2 cups (280 gm/10 oz) plain flour
1 egg (medium size - slightly beaten)
3 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon (3 gm) salt
Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a dash of water
(1 cup=240 ml, 1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)
Filling Directions:
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or pan.
  2. Add diced char sui to the wok/pan and stir then add spring onions, cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add hoisin, dark soy sauce and sesame oil to the pork mixture, stir fry for one minute.
  4. Mix cornflour and stock together and then add to the pork mixture.
  5. Stir well and keep cooking until the mixture thickens, 1 or 2 minutes.
  6. Remove mixture from wok/pan and place in a bowl to cool. Set aside until ready to use.
Bun Directions:
  1. Place the sugar and warm water in a bowl, mix until the sugar has dissolved. Add yeast and leave it for 10 - 15 minutes until it becomes all frothy.
  2. Sift flour in to a large bowl.
  3. Add yeast mixture, egg, oil and salt and stir. Bring the flour mixture together with your hands.
  4. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and slightly elastic.
  5. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rise until it is double in size. This will take from 1 - 2 hours depending on weather conditions.
  6. Once dough has doubled in size knock back and divide in to 12 portions and shape in to round balls.
  7. Use a rolling pin to roll out to approximately 5cm (2 inches) in diameter. Then pick the piece of dough up and gently pull the edges to enlarge to about 8cm (3 inches) in diameter.
  8. By doing this it keeps the dough slightly thicker in the centre. This means when your buns are cooking they won't split on the tops. 
  9. Place a good sized tablespoon of filling on the dough circle. Then gather the edges and seal your bun. 
  10. Place the bun seal side down on your baking tray. Continue with rest of dough.
  11. Once all buns are complete brush surface with egg wash.
  12. Place in a preheated oven of 200º C/392º F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Steamed Char Sui Bao (Cantonese BBQ Pork Bun)

Servings: 20
Filling Ingredients
350 gm (12 oz) char sui (finely diced)
2 shallots (finely diced)
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock
1 teaspoon (3 gm) cornflour
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
Bun Ingredients
1 cup milk, scalded
¼ cup (60 gm/2 oz) sugar
1 tablespoon oil
¼ teaspoon (2 gm) salt
2½ teaspoons (8 gm/1 satchel) of dried yeast
3 cups (420 gm/15 oz) plain flour
(1 cup=240 ml, 1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)
Filling Directions:
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or pan. Sauté the shallots for one or two minutes until soft.
  2. Add diced char sui to the wok/pan and stir.
  3. Add oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and sesame oil to the pork mixture, stir fry for one minute.
  4. Mix cornflour and stock together and then add to the pork mixture.
  5. Stir well and keep cooking until the mixture thickens, 1 or 2 minutes.
  6. Remove mixture from wok/pan and place in a bowl to cool. Set aside until ready to use.
Bun Directions:
  1. Scald milk and then stir in sugar, oil and salt, leave to cool until it is lukewarm. Once it is the right temperature add yeast, leave until yeast is activated and it becomes frothy, about 10 - 15 minutes.
  2. Sift flour in to a large bowl.
  3. Add milk/yeast mixture to the flour. Bring the flour mixture together with your hands.
  4. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and slightly elastic.
  5. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rise until it is double in size. This will take from 1 - 2 hours depending on weather conditions.
  6. Punch down dough and divide in to 20 equal portions.
  7. Roll each dough portion in to a 7 – 8cm (2¾ - 3 ¼ inches) round.
  8. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the centre of the round, gather the edges together at the top and place on a 8cm (3 inch) square of baking paper. Repeat until all dough has been used.
  9. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes. 
  10. Place buns in bamboo steamer, leaving space between the buns.
  11. Heat water in a wok until it is simmering and place steamers one on top of each other in the wok.
  12. Place lid on top bamboo steamer and steam for approximately 12 minutes.

dinsdag 6 december 2011

La pizza rossa

Whe are cooking al red this week for a study in Scarlet.
Whit this weeks theme for the I Heart Cooking Clubs; A study in scarlet it didn't took me long to decide what i should make going trough my Apples for Jam cookbook i found this Pizza recipe. In the red section ofcourse. It's just a plane normal pizza but the taste was magnificent and in my mind i'm making all this variations on it already, with cheese ofcourse or maybe an all sweet one with apple or other fruits. This bready crust i think it goes with everything!

La pizza Rossa
Tessa Kiros(Apples for jam, page 53)

Cuts up in to 12- 15 pieces

435ml (15¼ fl oz/1¾ cups) warm water
20g(¾ oz) fresch yeast, crumbled, or 10g(¼ oz) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
600g (1lb 5oz/4¾ cups) all-purpose flour

Tomato topping:
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove, peeled and squashed a bit
800g(1Lb 12 oz) tinned diced tomatoes
3 basil leaves, torn

Put the water, yeast, honey, olive oil and 3 fistfuls of the flour in a bowl. Mix with electric beaters until smooth. Cover the bowl and leave for 20-30 minutes, until the mixture froths up and looks foamy on top. Mix in the reat of the flour and 1½ teaspoons of salt. The dough will be very soft and sticky(don't be tempted to ad more flour). Now using a dough hook, mix for about 4-5 minutes so everything is completly incorporated. If you don't have a dough hook just mix it with your hands, slapping it from one side of the bowl to the other as it will be too soft to knead. Cover the bowl with a couple of cloths and leave it in a warm and draughtfree place for about 1½ hours, or until the dough has puffed up well.

Very lightly oil a 28x38x4cm(11x15x1½inch) baking tray. Punch down the dough with one firm blow to the centre. Spread the dough gently into the tray, right out to the edges, working it with your palms to stretch it along the tray. If it won't stretch easily, leave it to relax for another 5 minutes and then gently stretch out the dough, starting from the centre and flicking your palms across it. Make sure the dough doesn't break anywhere and that it is more or less evenly spread. Put in a warm draught-free place. Arrange four glasses around the tray and drape a couple of tea towels or a towel over them like a tent to completly cover the tray(so that the dough doesn't stick to the cloth as it rises). Leave for 45 minutes or so, until the dough has puffed up.

For the tomato topping, heat the oil with the garlic in a saucepan and, when you begin to smell the garlic, add the tomatoes, basil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 15 minutes over fairly strong heat, until the sauce loses its wateriness and starts to look thick and bubbly. If you like, you can whiz it a couple of times with a hand-held blender to make it a little smoother, but still keep some chunks.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to its hottest temperature.

Dimple the top of the dough here and there with your fingers, so that the tomato has some nests to settle into(take care not to deflate your dough, though). Scatter the tomato sauce over the top and gently spread it out with the back of the ladle. It may seem like a lot of sauce, but it keeps the pizza lovely and moist. Put the tray in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes(depending on the strenght of your oven) until the pizza is golden and a bit crusty here and there. Check that the bottom is crusty and crisp, too, and cook for longer if you need to. cut up into squares to serve. I think this is best warm but it can also be served at room temperature, or reheated.

- I used only half of the ingredients and that was enough for one round pizza baking tray.
- Heated the oven to 270C(518F) and baked the pizza for the advised 20minutes and it came out right the way whe liked it.

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dinsdag 29 november 2011

Salsicce e fagioli (Sausages and beans)

This weeks theme is " bean there done that" at the I Heart Cooking Club. To get my bean on i made this rustic dish from Tessa Kiros's first book twelve. After eating it i understood why the tuscans love this dish so much. It's on my list of comfort foods now!

Tessa Kiros says, "Tuscans are well known for their love of beans, and this rustic recipe is one of their favorites".

Salsicce e fagioli

Tessa Kiros, Twelve(p.56)

Serves 6

500G(1 lb 2 oz) dried cannellini, soaked overnight in cold water
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 sprigs of sage
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 large Italian pork sausages, about 100g(3½ oz) each
400G(14oz) tin peeled tomatoes, with their juice, chopped

Rinse the beans and put them into a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Skim the surface of the scum with a slotted spoon. Add 2 whole garlic cloves and one of the sage Sprigs. Cook for 1-1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper in the last half hour of the cooking time.
In a separate large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Prick the sausages in couple of places with a fork and add them to the pan. Fry on a medium-high heat to brown on all sides. Add the remaining garlic clove and the sage, and as soon as it begins to sizzle ad the tomatoes. The sausages should provide enough Seasoning; if not add a little salt and pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes have melted into a sauce.
Drain the cooked beans, reserving a little of the cooking liquid and add the beans to THE sausage pot. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, if necessery. Simmer for 10 minutes more, adding about 125-250 ml(1/2-1cup)of the reserved water to thin it out a little. Serve warm.

Notes: could not get any fresh sage at the moment so i used dried Sage.

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zondag 27 november 2011

Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies

This weeks cooking theme at I Heart Cooking Club is Attitude of gratitude. Wich foods are you most grateful for? Since we don't celebrate thanksgiving in Europe(Those who do celebrate, I hope you all had a wonderful time). I cooked something up with chocolate! Because i'm so grateful for every piece of chocolate that i can put in my mouth. I really have to have my "shot" of chocolate well.... almost every day. With christmas coming up i thought this would be a good choice and i'm going to give them away this year as Tessa suggested.

Tessa says, "These I learned from my American friend Sue. When I first made them my children said they were the best ever and I must definitely put the recipe in this book - so here it is. I also love them with dried strawberries instead of cranberries, and sometimes my girls prefer them without the cranberries, just chocolate. I like these small so I make them no bigger than a good teaspoon of dough, but you might like to make them larger. I also like to take them as a gift, packed in a lovely box and tied with a ribbon. Unless you have a huge oven, you will need to bake these in batches so have the two cookie sheets ready."

Chocolate & cranberry cookies
Tessa Kiros, Apples for jam(pg.58)

Makes 30 cookies

5-1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed soft brown sugar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 egg
a few drops of vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup dried cranberries (dried cherries would also be nice)

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mash up the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until well mixed, then whisk with an electric beater until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Sift in the flour and baking powder, and add a small pinch of salt. Beat with the wooden spoon to make a soft sandy mixture. Stir in chocolate and cranberries.
Lightly moisten your hands and roll teaspoons of the mixture into balls. Arrange them on the sheets, leaving a fair space between for flattening and spreading. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden and darkening around the edges. Remove from the oven, but leave them on the sheet to cool and firm up. These will keep in a cookie jar for a couple of days.

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maandag 14 november 2011

Chicken drumsticks & Wings with Orange tomato glaze

Orange skies...♪♫ is this weeks theme over at I Heart Cooking Clubs.
Orange skies bring me back to our vacation on the island of Java, Indonesia. We went there two and a half year ago when my brother in-law moved to Bali. Whe took this oppurtunity to see them again with getting to know the country. So whe aranged a ful trip from Jakarta(Java) to Bali by car with a guide and a driver. One of the last days on Java whe went to see the sunrise at Bromo vulcan. It was so breath taking beautiful when that sky turned orange from the rising sun. I Will never forget that morning.

One of our favorite foods during that travel was sweet and sour chicken, and when i saw Tessa's recipe for Chicken with orange(sweet) and Tomato(sour) glaze i immediatly decided to make them. And they where a big hit at my home!

Chicken drumsticks & Wings with Orange tomato glaze

Tessa Kiros, Apples for jam(page81)
Serves 6

110g (3 3/4oz) light brown sugar
375ml (13fl oz/1 1/2 cup) fresh orange juice
185ml (6fl oz/3/4 cup) tomata passata(pureed tomato)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon worcestershiresauce
6 chicken drumsticks
6 chicken wings

Preheat the oven to 160C (315F/Gas 2-3). Put the sugar, orange juise, tomata passata, soy sauce and worcestershire sauce in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring to disolve the sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Spred the chicken drumsticks and wings in a baking dish just large enough to fit them in a single layer and pour the sauce over the top. Bake for 2-2 1/2 hours, basting and turning the pieces over every now and then, until the chisken is crispy and sticky and the sauce is a thick sticky glaze. Serve warm, or even at romm temperature.

If you like to know what the other orange dishes are, follow this link below.

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Daring cooks november 2011: Cooking with Tea!

Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

I decided to make the chinese tea eggs for this months challenge because they always looked so beautiful to me, but it never came to making them myself. So thank you sarah that you encouraged us to make something with tea. The tea eggs are not very difficult to make. But i crushed one egg in the cracking proces, because i was being so enthousiastic while cracking them up. In the end all the other eggs looked very good and the taste was awesome.

Chinese Tea Eggs

Servings: 6 eggs
6 eggs (any size)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (6 gm) black tea leaves, or 4 tea bags
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (5 gm) Chinese five spice powder
1 tablespoon (5 ml) (3 gm) coarse grain salt
toasted sesame seeds, to garnish


In a large enough pot to avoid overcrowding, cover the eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer for twelve minutes.
Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and keep the cooking water.
With a spoon, tap the eggs all over until they are covered with small cracks. This can also be done by tapping and rolling the eggs very gently on the counter.
Return the eggs to the pan and add the tea leaves or bags, Chinese five spice powder, and salt. Cover the pan.
Heat gently and simmer, covered, for one hour.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs cool down in the liquid for 30 minutes.
Remove the eggs from the liquid. Peel one egg to check how dark it is; the others can be returned to the liquid if you wish to have the web-like pattern darker. Allow the eggs to cool fully.
To serve, peel and slice the eggs in halves or quarters. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

zondag 13 november 2011


It's that time of the month again "Potluck" at I Heart Cooking Clubs where whe feature the recipes of Tessa Kiros for six months. And in here book Twelve i found this recipe for Ricciarelli or Almond cakes. And since i had a big batch of almond flour in my pantry, waiting for me to make macarons for months. I used it for this almond cakes instead.
And i totally hadn't any regrets about that after tasting the almond cakes.

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Tessa Kiros says, "These small, soft cakes are found in every shop is Siena along with the traditional panforte. They are baked on sheets or individual discs of rice paper, wich are trimmed around the cake when it is cooked and eaten with the small cake. If you do not have rice paper, line your baking tray with a piece of baking paper. When cooled, simply transfer from the baking paper to a tin".

Ricciarelli (Almond cakes)

Tessa Kiros, Twelve(page.365)
makes about 20 biscuits

300g (10 1/2oz) almond flour
280g (10 oz) caster sugar
150g (5 1/2oz) icing(confectioners) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
grated zest of 1 orange
2 egg whites
1 sheet of rice paper(or about 20 small rounds) to line the baking tray

Line a flat baking tray with baking paper.
Mix the almond flour with the caster sugar, 100g(3 1/2 oz) of the icing sugar, the baking powder and the orange zest in a bowl.
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and combine with the almond mix, using a wooden spoon. Mash the mixture together to make a sticky, wet mass.
mouls oval shapes to 6cm(2 1/2in) long x 4cm(1 1/2in) wide x 2cm(3/4in) thick onto a spoon. Slide the ovals off the spoon carefully with you thumb, and reshape any identations. Put them onto the baking tray, allowing room for them to spread.
Sprinkle the tops with 25g(1 oz), or half of the remaining icing sugar. Leave the biscuits on the tray for 2-3 hours at room temperature to dry them a little before baking.
Preheat the oven to 140C (275F/Gas1). Bake for about 30 minutes or until they are lightly golden and a little firm on the outside. The inside will still be soft.Remove from the oven. Cool slightly before sprinkling with the remaining 25g(1 oz) of icing sugar. Cut the rice paper around the bottom of the cakes. They will keep for about a week stored in an airthight container.

notes: i didn't use the rice paper, because i could'nt find any. Baked them on baking paper.

zondag 6 november 2011

Spaghettini al Pomodoro

I have been missing a couple of months fun over at I Heart Cooking Clubs.I haven't been able to join in over the last couple of months, but now i'm back. My book of Tessa Kiros (thats the chef whe will be featering the next 6 months) finally came last friday. It took 2 hole weeks to arrive, and yesterday i started immediatly. For this weeks theme "In my pasta bowl"

I made this simple but lovely pomodoro pasta bowl, deffinatly going to make that more often. Would you like to see the wath the others made this week, follow the link below. Or join in on the fun.

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Tessa Kiros says,"A general standard for measuring a superb home cook is often their pasta al pomodoro".

Spaghettini al pomodoro (spaghettini with tomato sauce)

Tessa kiros , Twelve(p190)
serves 6

1/2 quantity, about 400ml(14fl oz) tomato sauce(recipe below)
500g (1lb 2oz) spaghettini
1 tablespoon butter
about 120g(1 1/4 cups) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Make the tomato sauce.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook the spaghettini following the package instructions. If your tomato saucepan is not big enough, transfer the sauce to a bowl large enough to contain all the pasta, and keep it warm.Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add the pasta and the butter to the sauce, and mix trough quikle, adding a few drops of the cooking water is necessary. Serve immediately with the pharmesan cheese.

Pomarola semplice (Simple tomato sauce)

Tessa Kiros, Twelve(p.382)
makes about 700ml(24fl oz)

3 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
6 tablespoons olive oil
1.2kg(2lb 10oz) of ripe fresh tomatoes,skinned and chopped or
900 g (2lb) tin of peeled tomatoes with juice, chopped
about 12 basil leaves, roughly torn

Put the garlic and olive oil into a saucepan on a medium heat.
When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the tomatoes. Season with about a teaspoon os salt and a little pepper. When the tomatoes begin to boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, depending on how much water the tomatoes contain. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and cook until the tomatoes have melted into a thick, smooth sauce. Take care not to dry out the sauce. It should have a thick, soft consistency. If you prefer a completely smooth sauce, pass through a food mill or puree rougly in a blender. Add the basil towards the end of the cooking time.
If you will not be using the sauce immediately, store in a jar in the refrigerator. Cover the tomato sauce with a tin layer of olive oil. the sauce can also be frozen for future use.
If you are using tinned tomatoes, the cooking time will be slightly less. About 15 minutes from when the tomatoes begin to boil.

Notes: i only made half of the sauce recipe, because i didn't had any more tomatoes ad hand. But Tessa writes in her book that you can preserve this sauce very wel in glass jars for months.

dinsdag 25 oktober 2011

Perfect turkey burgers

The Ingredients:
1 Large Portobello Mushroom Cap
1 Tablespoon Coarsely Chopped Shallot
3 Tablespoons Lightly Packed Fresh Parsley
1 1/4 lbs. 85%-93% Lean Ground Turkey
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil – plus more for brushing the grill
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Sharp White Cheddar Cheese – the recipe suggested Manchego or White Cheddar (I only had sharp)
4 English Muffins – split
Dijon Mustard
Wholly Guacamole – the recipe suggested avocado, I thought I had one, but I didn’t.

Use a spoon to scrape out the gills from the underside of the mushroom cap.
Cut the cap into 1-inch pieces and transfer to a food processor. Add the shallot and parsley and pulse until chopped.
I used my blender attachment because I didn’t feel like breaking out my Cuisinart. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a large bowl and add the turkey, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.
Gently mix with your hands until just combined. The photo above is just of the mushroom mixture. I forgot to snap a photo of what the mix looked like when I added the meat.
Divide the meat mixture into 4 balls, then lightly press into 4-inch wide, 1-inch thick patties. Put patties on a large plate, cover and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. I actually put mine in the freezer for about 15 minutes. I was losing my light for evening photos.
Preheat your grill to medium. Brush the grates with olive oil. Grill the patties, undisturbed, until marked on the bottom, 4-5 minutes. Mine took 5 minutes. Give the patties a quarter turn and cook until marked again – another 4-5 minutes.
Flip the patties and grill until cooked through, 6-7 more minutes. Top each burger with cheese during the last 3 minutes of cooking and cover with a disposable aluminum pan to melt. I skipped that part because I didn’t have one.
After the 3 minutes, my cheese melted and was oozing down the sides. The burgers looked perfect!
Toast the English muffins on the grill. I brushed mine with a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil.
I combined my mustard and mayo and then spread it on the bottom English muffin piece and placed the burger on top of that. I spread my Wholly Guacamole on top of the burger and then placed the English muffin top piece on my finished burger.

The mushroom was definitely the key ingredient – it added moisture and flavor to the lean turkey. I will be making these throughout the Summer for sure.
Bring it!

donderdag 30 juni 2011

Daring bakers june 2011: Baklava and making our own phyllo!

Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

This Challenge took me more then 4(minus all the resting time) hours to make, but the outcome was more then word it. Well it started out as fun and easy just mixxing the dough by hand(don't have a stand mixer:( yet). After kneadding for 20 minutes like the recipe calls for i was glad i had a little break, because the dough had to rest.
Then it was time for the not so fun part "the rolling of the dough". I just had a normal rolling pin, and i started watching the video Erica had provided. If you see that you think that everything is going to be fine, but now i think differently about it. I spended a lot of time of time rolling the dough, and when i was reday and had all the phyllo sheets to assemble the baklava in my pan. They where stuck together, i didn't used enough flour inbetween i prsume. So started over rolling again...

Finally my baklava was ready for the oven, and it statred smelling real good. But ofcourse whe couldn't take a bite because whe had to wait another 24 hour to soak in the syrup. It was deffinatly worth the wait. This baklava is Delicious! Thank you Erica for this Dare to bake/make something out of my kitchen comfort zone.

Preparation time: The recipe may seem simple but it is a little time consuming

Phyllo Dough Mixing/Kneading: 15-25 minutes
Resting time: 30-90 minutes (longer is better)
Rolling Phyllo: varies, approx. 2 minutes per sheet

Syrup: 15 minutes plus cooling
Baklava: 30 minutes
Resting: Overnight

Equipment required:

Measuring spoons
Wooden dowel or rolling pin
Sharp knife
Measuring cups
Stand mixer (can knead by hand)
Baking dishes – 9” x 9” is recommended
Plastic wrap
Medium pot
Pastry brush
Food processor /blender

Phyllo Dough:

*Note 1: To have enough to fill my 9” x 9” baking dish with 18 layers of phyllo I doubled this recipe.
*Note 2: Single recipe will fill a 8” x 5” baking dish.
*Note 3: Dough can be made a head of time and froze. Just remove from freezer and allow to thaw
and continue making your baklava

1 1/3 cups (320 ml) (185 gm/6½ oz) unbleached all purpose (plain) flour
1/8 teaspoon (2/3 ml) (¾ gm) salt
1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) cider vinegar, (could substitute white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar, but could affect the taste)


1. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine flour and salt
2. Mix with paddle attachment
3. Combine water, oil and vinegar in a small bowl.
4. Add water & oil mixture with mixer on low speed, mix until you get a soft dough, if it appears dry add a little more water (I had to add a tablespoon more)
5. Change to the dough hook and let knead approximately 10 minutes. You will end up with beautiful smooth dough. If you are kneading by hand, knead approx. 20 minutes.
6. Remove the dough from mixer and continue to knead for 2 more minutes. Pick up the dough and through it down hard on the counter a few times during the kneading process.
7. Shape the dough into a ball and lightly cover with oil
8. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest 30-90 minutes, longer is best ( I let mine rest 2 hours and it was perfect)

Rolling your Phyllo

** Remove all rings and jewelry so it does not snag the dough**

Use whatever means you have to get the dough as thin as you can. I have included a fantastic video at the end of the post on how to roll out your phyllo dough, using a wooden dowel, which worked perfectly for me. You may also use a pasta machine if you have one, or a normal rolling pin whatever works for you.

1.Unwrap your dough and cut off a chunk slightly larger then a golf ball. While you are rolling be sure to keep the other dough covered so it doesn’t dry out.
2. Be sure to flour your hands, rolling pin and counter. As you roll you will need to keep adding, don’t worry, you can’t over-flour.
3. Roll out the dough a bit to flatten it out.
4. Wrap the dough around your rolling pin/dowel
5. Roll back and forth quickly with the dough remaining on the dowel (see attached video for a visual, its much easier then it sounds)
6. Remove; notice how much bigger it is!
7. Rotate and repeat until it is as thin as you can it. Don’t worry if you get rips in the dough, as long as you have one perfect one for the top you will never notice.
8. When you get it as thin as you can with the rolling pin, carefully pick it up with well floured hands and stretch it on the backs of your hands as you would a pizza dough, just helps make it that much thinner. Roll out your dough until it is transparent. NOTE: you will not get it as thin as the frozen phyllo dough you purchase at the store, it is made by machine
9.Set aside on a well-floured surface. Repeat the process until your dough is used up. Between each sheet again flower well. You will not need to cover your dough with a wet cloth, as you do with boxed dough, it is moist enough that it will not try out.

After i poured in the syrup.

Baklava Recipe

Adapted from Alton Brown, The Food Network
30 servings


For the syrup:
·1 1/4 cups (300 ml) honey
·1 1/4 cups (300ml) water
·1 1/4 cups (300 ml) (280 gm/10 oz) sugar
·1 cinnamon stick
·1 (2-inch/50 mm) piece fresh citrus peel (lemon or orange work best)
·a few cloves or a pinch or ground clove

When you put your baklava in the oven start making your syrup. When you combine the two, one of them needs to be hot, I find it better when the baklava is hot and the syrup has cooled


1. Combine all ingredients in a medium pot over medium high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar has dissolved
2. Boil for 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
3. Once boiled for 10 minutes remove from heat and strain cinnamon stick and lemon, allow to cool as baklava cooks

Ingredients for the Filling:

1 (5-inch/125 mm piece) cinnamon stick, broken into 2 to 3 pieces or 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (8 gm) ground cinnamon
15 to 20 whole allspice berries ( I just used a few pinches)
3/4 cup (180 ml) (170 gm/6 oz) blanched almonds
3/4 cup (180 ml) (155 gm/5½ oz) raw or roasted walnuts
3/4 cup (180 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) raw or roasted pistachios
2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm/ 5 1/3 oz) sugar
phyllo dough (see recipe above)
1 cup (2 sticks) (240 ml) (225g/8 oz) melted butter ** I did not need this much, less then half**


1.Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.
2.Combine nuts, sugar and spices in a food processor and pulse on high until finely chopped. If you do not have a food processor chop with a sharp knife as fine as you can. Set aside
3. Trim your phyllo sheets to fit in your pan
4. Brush bottom of pan with butter and place first phyllo sheet
5. Brush the first phyllo sheet with butter and repeat approximately 5 times ending with butter. (Most recipes say more, but homemade phyllo is thicker so it's not needed)
6. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
7. Continue layering phyllo and buttering repeating 4 times
8. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
9. Continue layering phyllo and buttering repeating 4 times
10. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
11. Continue layering and buttering phyllo 5 more times. On the top layer, make sure you have a piece of phyllo with no holes if possible, just looks better.
12. Once you have applied the top layer tuck in all the edges to give a nice appearance.
13. With a Sharp knife cut your baklava in desired shapes and number of pieces. If you can't cut all the ways through don’t worry you will cut again later. A 9x9 pan cuts nicely into 30 pieces. Then brush with a generous layer of butter making sure to cover every area and edge
14. Bake for approximately 30 minutes; remove from oven and cut again this time all the way through. Continue baking for another 30 minutes. (Oven temperatures will vary, you are looking for the top to be a golden brown, take close watch yours may need more or less time in the oven)
15. When baklava is cooked remove from oven and pour the cooled (will still be warmish) syrup evenly over the top, taking care to cover all surfaces when pouring. It looks like it is a lot but over night the syrup will soak into the baklava creating a beautifully sweet and wonderfully textured baklava!
Next morning all syrup is absorbed
16. Allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled cover and store at room temperature. Allow the baklava to sit overnight to absorb the syrup.
17. Serve at room temperature

After 24 hours when all the syrup schould have been absorbed.

Freezing/Storage Instructions/Tips: There are a few ways to store your Baklava. It is recommended that you store your baklava at room temperature in an airtight container. Stored at room temperature your baklava will last for up to 2 weeks. You will notice as the days pass it will get a little juicier and chewier. You may choose to store it in the fridge; this will make it a little harder and chewy, but does increase the shelf life. You can also freeze your baklava and then just set it out at room temperature to thaw.

Additional Information: I have included some videos and links to help you through the process

How to roll the phyllo dough -

Excellent 3 part video showing the whole process -

Making Hollow Baklava Rolls- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FvM8cWzjKI

Making Baklava Rolls - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H51egHWv0sQ

Nut Free Baklava –

Gluten Free Baklava

woensdag 15 juni 2011

Home-made granola with berry compote

In a few days it will be Fathersday, so this weeks theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs is "Pops is tops". So it time to honour my dad with a home made meal, but i got stuck with this delicious granola recipe. My father eats granola at breakfast and dessert as he pleases. So it was time i make some my own, to give him this sunday.

I adjusted the original recipe. I used hazelnuts instead of mixed nuts. And after the granola was finished to make the dessert i changed the fruitcompote in a fruitpuree. The first time i made granola myself, and o boy how lovely is that. Again a winner i whil try to make granola more often.

original recipe can be found here.

• 200g mixed nuts
• 400g rolled or jumbo oats
• 100g pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds
• 400g runny honey
• 200g strawberries, hulled and halved
• 200g raspberries
• 200g mixed dried fruit (raisins, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, chopped apricots)
• 500ml plain yoghurt


Jamie says:This healthy pud is quick, easy – and tastes delicious!

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Place the nuts into a plastic bag, squeeze the air out and seal the bag. Gently bash with a rolling pin until they are lightly crushed, then tip them into a mixing bowl and add the oats and seeds. Warm up the honey to make it extra runny and stir it into the oaty mixture with a wooden spoon until everything’s lightly coated.

Tip the mixture onto a baking tray and spread out roughly with the wooden spoon. Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the mixture is crunchy and a dark golden brown. Meanwhile, place the strawberries and raspberries in a pan on a medium heat for 10 minutes until nicely stewed.

Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool, then break up the toasted seeds, oats and nuts into clumps and mix in the dried fruit. There you have it: granola! Serve the granola in small bowls or glasses. Top with the plain yoghurt and the hot fruit compote. Any leftover granola will keep in an airtight container for about a month.

Tip: Use any leftover granola as a nutritious breakfast. Serve with natural yoghurt or a splash of milk.

dinsdag 14 juni 2011

Daring cooks june 2011: Potato salad

Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana!

Last week tuesday the new herring season started in the netherlands, and as always it got kicked of with a fish auction. The profit of the first barrel at the auction is going to an charrity( a different one every year). After that the dutch people go mad for this fresh raw herrings. So thats why i decided to make an potatosalad with raw fish in it and it was delicious. If you like to know more about the duth herring look here and here.
An herring contains the following vitamins:A1, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D en E and is a good source for omega-3.

"A dutch"Potato salad with herring and red bellpepper
Original recipe can be found hereservings: 4

1 pound(1/2kg)small potatoes
8 slices whole-wheat bread
1 jar roasted red pell peppers preserved in water, drained
4 raw herring, skinned and deboned
fresh chives
Lettuce(use any kind you like, i used crisphead)

for the dressing:
3 spoons light mayonaise
3 spoons yoghurt
1 spoon white winevinegar
salt and pepper

1.Peel the potatoes and boil them till tender but not to soft, let them cool completly.
2.Toast the bread.
3.Drain the bell pepper and cut in small pieces.
4.Clean the fish(i had mine cleaned at the market)and cut into a 0,25/0,50inch pieces.
5.Cut/chop the chives into small pieces.
6.make the dressing: mixx together the mayonaise,yoghurt and the vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
7.Put the lettuce on one big plate or divide on 4 smaller plates to make induvidual potions.
8.Whisk together the cooled potatoes, pepper, herring, chives and the dressing. put the salat on the plate you made already.
9. Garnish with some chives.

Jami thank you for this great and healty challenge!

zaterdag 11 juni 2011

wicked chicken with coleslaw

It's that time of the month again, Potluck week at the I heart cooking Club. So we can make any recipe of Jamie Oliver we want or crave. Since my Mr. R had been sick for most of the week i chose a light meal with chicken and bread and coleslaw on the side. He hadn't been eating for some days but was craving for a tasty sammie now he was feeling better. Whe liked this easy dinner a lot end i'm going to make this one more often. Thats for sure. Never had been making my one coleslaw either, and how easy is that! And even more delicious(i Thought) because it was made in my own kitchen and not in a factory wich puts in preservatives so it keeps longer in the groceriestore.

Recipe can be found here
(serves 4)

for the sandwich:
• 4 chicken thighs, preferably higher welfare
• zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 red chilli, halved, deseeded and thinly sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 fresh rolls, halved

for the coleslaw:
• 2 carrots
• small white cabbage, outer leaves torn off, cut into 4 wedges
• 1 small onion, peeled and very finely sliced
• 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• a handful of rocket(i used mixed salat)


Preheat your oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Mix the chicken with the lemon zest and juice, the sliced chilli and the garlic, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and leave to marinate for half an hour.

Peel the carrots, throw away the peel and then keep stripping until you get a pile of carrot ribbons. Slice the cabbage as finely as you can with a sharp knife. Place the carrot and cabbage in a bowl with the sliced onion, the mayonnaise and the mustard. Mix well and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the chicken thighs on a tray, skin side up, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the meat’s cooked through.

Take the chicken thighs out of the oven, leave to cool slightly until you can handle them and then pull the bone out of the middle (you might need a little knife to do this).

Toast the halved rolls under a hot grill or in the oven, and fill with rocket salad and a chicken thigh. Serve with the coleslaw and tuck in!

Tip: If you don’t like the idea of cutting out the bone, buy your chicken thighs ready boned.

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zondag 5 juni 2011

Salt cod soup (Zuppa di baccala)

I'ts sunday again the last day of the week to admit our weekly cooked up dishes at I Heart Cooking Clubs. This weeks theme to cook one of Jamie Olivers recipes is Somethings Fishy! I had the feeling for some nice hot soup today so made his italian sald cod soup, it tasted good i thought but Mr.R(my boyfriend) didn't agree with me on that. He thinks it was to hot by the use of the red chili pepper, i loved it.


• 310gsalt cod or 600g fresh cod, haddock or monkfish fillets
• 1 white onion, peeled
• 2 small carrots, peeled
• 2 sticks of celery, trimmed, pale green inner leaves reserved
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
• a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, stalks and leaves separated
• extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small dried red chilli, crumbled
2 x 400g tins of good-quality plum tomatoes
425ml light chicken stock, preferably organic
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon


Did you know that cod used to be a very highly prized, valuable trading commodity? Wars and battles were won on salt cod because, of course, in the old days ships were sailing for weeks or months and the sailors would have a very unhealthy diet. Having salt cod on board as a source of protein kept them going, and it meant they could jump off the boat with enough energy for a bit of fighting when it was required! All kinds of cultures began to salt fish – I suppose Iberian and Nordic countries are particularly well known for still doing it today. And certainly the Italians are more than partial to their fair share of it. Hundreds of years ago the only way to get fish into the centre of Italy would have been to use preserved fish like salt cod. It might sound obvious, but this is why Tuscan cooking is predominantly meat- and bean-based. In the old days the only common fish recipes would have used either preserved or fresh lake fish.

Unless you live in a country where it’s prevalent, like Portugal or Spain, salt cod can only be bought in good delis. Try to hunt out the real baccalà, but if you can’t find any then simply buy some fresh fish which can be salted overnight. As salt cod is preserved using copious amounts of salt, avoid seasoning this soup at all or do it right at the very end.

If using fresh cod, haddock or monkfish, pack it in a few handfuls of sea salt overnight and rinse it before using. If using proper salt cod, soak the fillets in cold water for 24 hours, changing the water a few times during this period. This way, the fish will rehydrate and the saltiness will be removed before cooking. (If the fish is more than 2cm thick it might need up to 36 hours’ soaking.)

Chop the onion, carrots, celery, garlic and parsley stalks. Heat a splash of olive oil in a saucepan, and add the chopped vegetables, parsley stalks and dried chilli. Sweat very slowly with the lid ajar for 15 to 20 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the stock and bring back to the boil.

Break up any larger pieces of tomato with a wooden spoon and drop the salt cod fillets into the hot soup. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, just until the fish has poached and flakes apart when prodded with a fork. Pick out any bits of skin. Gently fold the flakes of fish through the soup, taste and season with pepper, salt (if needed) and a little lemon juice. Chop the parsley and celery leaves and scatter over the soup. Drizzle with plenty of extra virgin olive oil.

• from Jamie's Italy

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zaterdag 28 mei 2011

Meatballs and pasta

Mad about herbs is this weeks theme at I Heart Cooking Club to cook with one of Jamie Olivers recipes. I decided to make spagetti with meatballs, and it was rockin'. The flavours of the herbs where great together. Feel free to join in!

serves 4-6

• 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
• 12 Jacob’s cream crackers
• 2 heaped teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 500g good-quality minced beef, pork, or a mixture of the two
• 1 heaped tablespoon dried oregano
• 1 large egg, preferably free-range or organic
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• olive oil
• a bunch of fresh basil
• 1 medium onion
• 2 cloves of garlic
• ½ a fresh or dried red chilli
• 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 400g dried spaghetti or penne
• Parmesan cheese, for grating


Meatballs are fantastic! They’re perfect like this, with a one-minute homemade tomato sauce and spaghetti, but you could also try polenta or simple chunks of fresh crust bread. I like to make meatballs with a mixture of beef and pork, as I think it gives a really wonderful flavour and texture.

To make your meatballs
• Pick the rosemary leaves off the woody stalks and finely chop them
• Wrap the crackers in a tea towel and smash up until fine, breaking up any big bits with your hands
• Add to a mixing bowl with the mustard, minced meat, chopped rosemary and oregano
• Crack in the egg and add a good pinch of salt and pepper
• With clean hands scrunch and mix up well
• Divide into 4 large balls
• With wet hands, divide each ball into 6 and roll into little meatballs – you should end up with 24
• Drizzle them with olive oil and jiggle them about so they all get coated
• Put them on a plate, cover and place in the fridge until needed

To cook your pasta, meatballs and sauce
• Pick the basil leaves, keeping any smaller ones to one side for later
• Peel and finely chop the onion and the garlic
• Finely slice the chilli
• Put a large pan of salted water on to boil
• Next, heat a large frying pan on a medium heat and add 2 lugs of olive oil
• Add your onion to the frying pan and stir for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly golden
• Then add your garlic and chilli, and as soon as they start to get some colour add the large basil leaves
• Add the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar
• Bring to the boil and season to taste
• Meanwhile, heat another large frying pan and add a lug of olive oil and your meatballs
• Stir them around and cook for 8–10 minutes until golden (check they’re cooked by opening one up – there should be no sign of pink)
• Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer until the pasta is ready, then remove from the heat
• Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions

To serve your meatballs
• Saving some of the cooking water, drain the pasta in a colander
• Return the pasta to the pan
• Spoon half the tomato sauce into the pasta, adding a little splash of your reserved water to loosen
• Serve on a large platter, or in separate bowls, with the rest of the sauce and meatballs on top
• Sprinkle over the small basil leaves and some grated Parmesan

- didn't had any jacob cream crackers so i used bread crumbs instead
- for the minced meat used half beef half pork like Jamie suggested.
The meatballs where absolutly delicious, this recipe was a real winner and whe don't fancy red sauce on our pasta but after this we do.
From Jamie's ministry of food.

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vrijdag 20 mei 2011

Pancakes USA Stylie

Now whe are on our vacation in the USA this is one of our favorite breakfasts. Made this a few weeks ago before whe left, to get in The mood. A few days ago whe where even surprised to see this pancakemachine in The motel we stayed. Only one push one the button and in 45 seconds two pancakes came out of it. But this recipe is deffinatly better then the machinecakes.


• 3 large eggs
• 115g/4oz plain flour
• 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
• 140ml/5fl oz milk
• a pinch of salt

These American pancakes are great! Instead of being thin and silky like French crêpes, they are wonderfully fluffy and thick and can be made to perfection straight away. Simple, simple, simple – my Jools goes mad for them.

First separate the eggs, putting the whites into one bowl and the yolks into another. Add the flour, baking powder and milk to the yolks and mix to a smooth thick batter. Whisk the whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter – it is now ready to use.

Heat a good non-stick pan on a medium heat. Pour some of your batter into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes until it starts to look golden and firm. At this point sprinkle your chosen flavouring (see below) on to the uncooked side before loosening with a spatula and flipping the pancake over. Continue frying until both sides are golden.

You can make these pancakes large or small, to your liking. You can serve them simply doused in maple syrup and even with some butter or crème fraîche. Or if you choose to sprinkle with a flavouring, try one of these...

fresh corn from the cob
crispy bacon or pancetta
stewed apple
grated chocolate
anything else you can imagine...

PS Blueberry pancakes (above) are great but you must try the corn pancakes. On one condition – you must use fresh corn. To do this, remove the outer leaves and carefully run a knife down the cob – this will loosen all the lovely pieces of corn – and sprinkle these raw over your pancake, before flipping it in the pan. I like to have some grilled bacon over my corn pancakes, drizzled with a little maple syrup. This sounds bloody horrid but it honestly tastes great!

From happy days with the naked chef.