Cooking for Mom-to-be: a nutrient bomb with trout

A nutrient bomb with trout

A nutrient bomb with trout

This Dad-to-be likes to cook. So, I’m already looking forward to making wonderful meals for baby when the time for eating from a spoon has come. One of the pleasures of that, is that I’m looking around for a good food processor. I need a new one anyway, and this is a good moment to invest a bit in a great kitchen tool. If there’s someone who has some advice, that would be welcome.

In the mean time, Mom-to-be is the one I’m preparing extra healthy and tasty dishes for. And that took a bit getting used to. What are safe foods during pregnancy, which are also giving the best nutrients for baby and are tasty, too? Fortunately, there’s a lot of great information out there on the web. Such as which fatty fish are good. You can not just serve Mom-to-be any sort of fish. You have to be careful with those that are high up there in the food chain. Such as my favorite fish: tuna. Too much mercury in that one, so a no go for Mom-to-be.

Anyway, one fish I found on the list was trout. I only made a dish with that once (not a big success), and I thought it would be nice to give the fish a second chance. From a wonderful looking recipe I found online, I created this super healthy good nutrient bomb of a dish. Almost every element in it, maybe apart from the regular potatoes, contains nutrients that are good for Mom-to-be and for baby in this sauteed trout on a mash of potatoes and sweet potatoes, assorted beans with a bit of carrot, topped off with roasted almond shavings and crispy coppa.

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An artichoke experiment

Recently, I bought some artichoke hearts. At least, that’s the best way I can describe them. Now, I know what to do with artichokes, or canned artichoke hearts (no, I don’t buy them, I just know what to do with them). But this version was new to me.

Artichokes, in a form I hadn't used before

Artichokes, like I had not used before

Normally, when I find myself in a position like this, the web helps. But, since I prefer recipes in Dutch, and in The Netherlands you buy artichoke hearts in a can, it proved to be a bigger challenge. Anyway, I found a recipe. With step-by-step instructions and pictures. Seemed good, so I gave it a go, preparing stewed artichoke hearts.

First step was to clean them. Unfortunately, the instructions on said website looked easier than it was. I did no know where to stop. I removed all the tougher leaves, but had the idea that wasn’t enough. So, with one I removed more, deciding halfway through that process that it might not have been the best idea. Or was it?

Artichokes, cleaned. But did I do enough or not?

Artichokes, cleaned. But did I do enough or not?

For the stew, I chopped some garlic cloves, a bit of yellow bell pepper, skinned a few tomatoes and removed the hard kernel. In some olive oil I fried the garlic with bell pepper for a bit, then added the tomato, artichokes and a it of tomato puree from a pack. I also added a few chopped leaves of basil.

Everything in the pan, ready for some stewing

Everything in the pan, ready for some stewing

Then I let it stew for about half an hour, and served it with potatoes and steak. The end result was reasonable, I thought, although I left too much leaves on it. Maybe I produce something better next time.

The end result: too much leaves in it

The end result, too much leaves in it

My ShareDish: Crispy Fragrant Prawns, a Jamie Oliver recipe

For the second ShareDish Wednesday I made Crispy Fragrant Jumbo Prawns, a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie book. They’re delicious, and super easy to make.

First, you get some nice big tiger prawns. Fresh, of course.

Fresh tiger prawns

Fresh tiger prawns, straight from the sea

For the crispy, fragrant jacket, you need to have some bread crumbs, and mix some lemon zest, grated parmesan, fresh coriander and a bit of olive oil into it.

Bread crumbs mixture

Bread crumbs mixture

When you have that, you can let it work a bit. In the mean time, you can clean the prawns. Chop off the head, remove the scales (I leave the last bit and the tail on), and cut open the back to remove the little intestine that’s there.

Cleaned prawns

Cleaned prawns

To coat the prawns, you need something to make the bread crumbs stick. In the original recipe, it’s egg. I added a bit of milk to that before whisking it, to keep the end result a bit more moist.

Egg and milk, the glue for the crust

Egg and milk, the glue for the crust

Take the prawns by the tail, pull them through the egg/milk mix and then through the bread crumb mix. Put them on an oven tray covered with baking paper.

Prawns ready for the oven

Prawns ready for the oven

Bake them in the oven (at aboout 200º C) until they look ready. Pink tails and a golden jacket. It will take about 10 minutes.


Crispy fragrant jumbo prawns

Crispy fragrant jumbo prawns

Food lovers and home chefs: Share your dishes in 2012 with #ShareDish

As 2011 is drawing to a close, Françoise Lin and I are working on a great new project for 2012: #ShareDish. Being passionate home chefs, foodies and travelers, we thought it a great idea to create a monthly forum, on which people can share their dishes.

Every first Wednesday of the month will be #ShareDish Wednesday. We will set a theme, and ask you, our fellow food lovers, home chefs and travelers, to make a dish that fits the theme, take a photo of it, and share that photo (plus the recipe, of course) through Twitter or Facebook. Obviously, you can use earlier work, especially if you have blogged about your creations before, and don’t hold back: you can share as many dishes as you like.

For those that feel less comfortable in the kitchen: you’re welcome to join in with dishes you have enjoyed, but which are made by others.

Oh, and before I forget: make sure the photos and recipes you share are your own, or give credit to the source.

The first #ShareDish Wednesday will be on 4 January 2012, with the theme ‘New Year’. We thought it fits nicely with the time of year, and a new project. Any types of dish photos are welcome, whether it is a traditionally French Galette des Rois, or a dish you made for the first time. Feel free to interpret the theme as it inspires you! Françoise and I will be hosting the first #ShareDish Wednesday, but if you want to join us next time, let us know. We can use your help.

To follow #ShareDish Wednesday, search for it on Twitter and like our Facebook Page.

Gehaktballen met kaas

A Clear Blue Sky's Meatballs

Gehaktballen: simpel, maar erg lekker en veelzijdig. Op brood, bij pasta of gewoon met aardappelen en groenten. Mijn favoriete recept gaat ongeveer als volgt: stop 500 gram rundergehakt, 100 gram verkruimelde blauwaderkaas (bijvoorkeur cabrales, maar roquefort of gorgonzola mag ook), 1 ei (rauw), 1 zeer fijn gesnipperd sjalotje, paneermeel, wat italiaanse keukenkruiden (vers of uit een potje), zout en een paar druppels worcestershire saus in een grote schaal en meng het goed. Draai daarvan balletje die qua formaat het midden houden tussen een golfbal en een tennisbal. Deze braad je in een pan met verhitte olie en boter in ongeveer 10 – 15 minuten gaar (afhankelijk van de grootte).

De droom van Clotilde

Zucchini with goat cheese

Clotilde Dusoulier leeft een droom. Ze woont in de wijk Montmartre in Parijs en heeft van haar hobby haar werk gemaakt. Ze kookt, schrijft daarover, en over alles wat er mee te maken heeft, op haar weblog. Dat is zo succesvol, dat ze er tegenwoordig van kan leven. En, haar eerste kookboek is inmiddels uitgegeven.

Het kookboek staat vol eenvoudige gerechten. Niet zozeer in de bereidingswijze, als wel vanwege de ingrediënten. Niet verwonderlijk, gezien de titel van zowel weblog als kookboek, zijn courgette en chocola de favorieten.

Ik heb het uiteraard getest en een van de eenvoudige gerechten gemaakt. Courgettecarpaccio met geitekaas, basilicum en frambozenazijn. Een prachtige combinatie. Maar wat nog meer aanspreekt uit haar kookboek, is de toelichting op haar kookfilososfie: gebruik recepten als inspiratie en niet als handleiding. Een recept is een uitgangspunt waar je zelf rustig een variatie op kan fantaseren. Dat kan wel eens mislukken, maar daar leer je dan weer van. Dat alles resulteert in een inspirerend kookboek. En van Clotilde, daar gaan we vast nog meer van horen.