Scallops with Pea Puree, Black Pudding and Crispy Prosciutto

This is one of those dishes that you seem to see in every series of Masterchef. In fact, to a certain degree, it should be banned from that programme!!

However, it is still a great dish and tastes fantastic, either as a start or a small main course. So bit the bullet, ignore the bad press (Probably started by me!) and enjoy!

Ingredients:

8 x Scallops

100ml x Vegetable stock

1 x Large mug-full of frozen peas

1 x Shallot (Chopped)

10 x Fresh mint leaves

2 x Slices of Prosciutto

To cook:

1. Boil the frozen peas for about 8 minutes, in the stock

2. Roughly chop the shallot and the mint leaves and add them to a blender

3. When the peas are ready, add them, with the stock into the blender and season with salt and pepper

4. Pulse the mix until it’s semi-smooth. It doesn’t want to be too runny

5. Fry the black pudding in a frying pan, for about 2 minutes, on each side

6. In a second pan, fry the scallops in butter, for about 1.5 minutes on each side

7. When the black budding is ready, set it aside and fry the prosciutto strips for about 30 seconds on each side

8. Plate up the black pudding, the puree, the scallop and the prosciutto

Well worth the effort!!

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Non-Cookers, Hell’s Kitchen and Food Delivery

Here in Amsterdam, I’d say that it’s quite interesting that most people don’t seem to cook. At least, it seems that way, as the majority of the houses/apartments have tiny kitchens. It took us a good while to find an apartment with a decent, workable kitchen. I wonder what it is. Are the Dutch scared of cooking? Maybe they’ve watched too many episodes of “Hell’s Kitchen”

Maybe they all are scared, or maybe they just don’t like doing it. There are other options, however, i.e. eating out, or maybe getting a take-away. Or maybe it’s this awesome website we found http://www.thuisbezorgd.nl/ It really is quite fantastic. Go to the website, type in your postcode (Dutch postcode, obviously) and you’re given a list of every food delivery place, across every food type. Not only that, it only shows you the ones that are open at that time! Genius!

So, if you’re in Amsterdam and you’re hungry, without the energy to cook, or go out, check the site out. You won’t regret it.

Kangaroo, with onion, mushroom white wine gravy

There’s some great meat available, here in Amsterdam and along with Ostrich, you can get Kangaroo. Whilst Ostrich is quite a gamey meat, Kangaroo is more like a mix between a fillet of beef, mixed with the taste of rump, but with a little extra flavour. It’s quite a lovely piece of meat and you should cook it with the same respect as fillet steak.

This piece of meat goes really well with a nice gravy, so onions, mushrooms and thyme, fits the bill.

Ingredients:

2 x Thick Kangaroo steaks

1 x Large brown onion, sliced

6 x Chestnut mushrooms, sliced

2 x Garlic cloves, crushed

1 x Medium glass of white wine

6 x stalks of thyme, chopped finely

500ml of Beef stock

2 x Red peppers

2 x Large handfuls of green (French) beans

To Cook:

1. Cut the peppers in half, removing the seeds, season and rub with Olive oil. Put them into a tray and put them in a oven, preheated to about 150. These will take about 25 minutes to roast.

2. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the two crushed garlic cloves, cooking for about a minute, before adding the onions. Fry until the onions are soft and have a little brown colour.

3. Next add the mushrooms and fry for about 2 minutes, before adding the stock.

4. Reduce the stock down by about 1/4 before adding the wine.

5. Next, add the thyme and reduce the gravy down to about 1/2.

6. Cook the beans in boiling water for about 5 minutes.

7. Rub the two Kangaroo steaks in olive oil and season well. Heat a griddle pan until it’s smoking hot and then place the Kangaroo in. Fry the meat for about 3 minutes on each side, making sure that you seal all of the sides.

Serve the Kangaroo with the roasted red peppers and beans, pouring over the onion and mushroom gravy.

Chicken stir-fried with chinese broccoli

Decided to post a couple of simple, but VERY tasty stir-fry recipes. The first is something I discovered, just by choosing items from the supermarket, that looked good. This is a really good way to get started with stir-frying, as you know the ingredients are good. There’ll be plenty of these quick recipes over the following few days.

Ingredients:

2 x Chicken breasts, sliced

12 x Whole baby sweetcorn

2 x Large red onions, sliced

4 x Full pieces of chinese broccoli, including stems

2 x Large thumbs of Ginger, cut into matchsticks

2 x Cloves of garlic crushed

2 x Lemongrass stalks, chopped

8 x Birdseye chillies, sliced in half (With seeds)

4 x Tablespoons of dark soy sauce

2 x Tablespoons of olive oil

2 x Teaspoons of Thai 7-spice

2 x Teaspoons of ground ginger

2 x Teaspoons of coriander

1 x handful of freshly chopped coriander

To Cook:

1. Heat up the oil in a wok

2. Add the onion and cook until soft, then add the ginger and crushed garlic. Stir fry for a minute, or so

3. Add the sliced chicken and cook until the chicken is white

4. Add the soy and stir fry for 2 minutes

5. Next add the lemongrass, chillies and spices and continue to stir fry for another 2 minutes

6. Add half the coriander and cook for a further minute

Serve with balsamic rice and garnish with the rest of the fresh coriander. Well worth the little effort and very tasty.

Linguine Lobster Fra Diavolo

We’ve eaten this in several restaurants and decided to give it a go ourselves. One particular restaurant stands out for this dish, Dan Tana’s in LA. It’s a fantastic restaurant, with amazing seafood www.dantanasrestaurant.com/ If you’re ever in the Hollywood area, then make sure you pay it a visit.

For this recipe I used live lobsters, but if you can’t get hold of any, or have an aversion to killing them, you can still use pre-cooked Lobster, however the taste won’t quite be the same.

Ingredients:

2 x Live Lobsters

1 x Jar of Passata

1 x Small tin of tomato paste

1 x Small bunch of parsley, chopped finely

1 x Small bunch of basil, chopped finely

1 x Long red chili, chopped finely

2 x Teaspoons of hot chili powder

2 x Cups of fish stock (Or make the stock yourself, with the Lobster shells)

4 x Small shallots, finely chopped

2 x Cloves garlic, crushed

To Cook:

1. Boil salted water in a large pot. There needs to be enough water to cover the Lobeters

2. After having had the lobsters in the freezer for a while (To put them to sleep/slow their bodies down), place them head first into the boiling water. You need to make sure that the water is correctly boiling.

3. Cook the lobsters for about 12 minutes (The timing does depend on size, so take a look at cooking instructions on the internet for size/time)

4. Take the lobsters out of the water and set aside to cool slightly

5. Fry the garlic and shallots in a large, deep frying pan. Once the shallots are soft, add the chopped chillies and fry for another couple of minutes.

6. Next add the passata and tomato paste, along with the chili powder and chopped parsley.

7. After 3 minutes, add the fish stock and fry for a further 10 minutes.

8. In the meantime, cut open the lobster and remove the tail and claw meat. Slice the meat up and add to the sauce, along with the basil.

9. After two minutes, it’s ready to serve.

Serve with Linguine. It’s a delicious meal 🙂

Hoisin Pork and Special Fried Rice

Here’s a great recipe for pork tenderloin. This is one of our favourite recipes and it gets made frequently. This is a great main course to follow my salt and pepper squid (Recipe in the food and travel talk section).

Ingredients:

2 x Lean pork tenderloins

4 x Tablespoons of honey

4 x Tablespoons of Hoisin sauce

4 x Tablespoons of Chinese cooking wine

2 x Teaspoons of Chinese 5 spice powder

6 x Chestnut mushrooms, quartered

1 x Head of Chinese greens

2 x large thumbs of ginger, cut into matchsticks

3 x Garlic cloves, crushed

3 x tablespoons of Oyster sauce

2 x Red chillies, chopped into rings

1.5 x large cups of rice

3 x eggs

1 x Tablespoon of Sesame oil

1 x Chicken breast

2 x large cups of peas

To Cook:

1. Marinate the pork in the hoisin, honey, chinese cooking wine and 5-spice. You can marinate the pork for as long as you like, but if you can leave it for 24-48 hours, you get the best results. Remember to turn the pork over regularly, during the marinating.

2. Too cook the pork, cut the tail pieces off and set aside and then place the rest into an oven at 190 degrees, for approx. 25 minutes. Baste the pork in half of the remaining marinade and the second half 15 minutes into cooking.

3. Cut the greens in to chunks and stir fry them with the garlic, ginger chillies in the oyster sauce

4.  Fry the chicken and tail pieces of the pork, with olive oil, in a wok and then set aside.

5. Boil the rice until done – Probably about 10 minutes

6. Mix the egg with the sesame oil and season, before frying, omelette style, in the wok.

7. Chop the egg, chicken and pork tail and add to the rice in the wok. Stir fry.

8. When the pork is cooked, slice it and place on a plate.

9. Serve the pork with the stir fried vegetables and the special fried rice.

This is a really tasty recipe and is easy to prepare. Enjoy!

Salt and Pepper Squid

We’ve always liked squid, whether it be deep fried in batter, tempura, or Salt and pepper. I think my first taste of squid in batter was at about 17 years old, whilst on holiday with my parents. We had walked up to what looked like, a chip van, however, it wasn’t chips people were eating from the paper cones, it was deep fried battered squid.

Since then, we’ve enjoyed plenty of squid, but our favourite is salt and pepper squid. Here’s a great version of the latter.

Ingredients:

4 x Squid tubes

2 x Tablespoons of mixed Sezchuan peppercorns

2 x Tablespoons of crushed/dried chillies

1 x Tablespoon of Salt

2 x Spring onions

2 x Red chillies

3 x Garlic cloves

6 x Tablespoons white flour

1 x Bunch of coriander, chopped

To Cook:

1. Cut the squid tubes down the side and flatten them out. NExt cut it into 2 inch square pieces. Next, score the outside of the squid in a criss cross pattern.

2. Put the salt, peppercorns and dried chili into a pestle and mortar and grind up hard, into a powder. Add the mix to the flour in a bag.

3. Put the squid pieces into the bag and coat it all in the flour mix.

4. Heat vegetable oil in a deep fat fryer, to 170 degrees. If you don’t have a fryer, then a wok can be used instead.

5. Chop the red chillies and spring onions into rings and slice the garlic cloves thinly.

6. Fry the chillies, spring onions and garlic slices in a little olive oil, until they are toasted and crispy and put them aside.

7. Once the oil in the fryer is at 170, drop batches (6-8 pieces) of the squid into the fryer basket and lower into the fryer. Cook each batch for about 30 seconds and then empty onto kitchen paper.

8. Once all of the squid is ready, plate up, sprinkle the chili, spring onions and garlic on top, along with fresh chopped coriander.

Serve with a sauce, such as a chili dip, soy sauce, or oyster sauce. Absolutely delicious.