About Red Curry and the new Mortar & Pestle…

Red Curry Paste

 

We’re back in town! For the travel stories, ok…I skipped writing about Singapore and Indonesia because 1) Singapore doesn’t have the “asian” charm and not really Culinary worth writing a lot about, except it’s pricey and we didn’t spend enough time to discover the “real food” 2) Indonesia was postcard beautiful, so we spent our days on beaches,in the sea and on funny islands.
What I missed the most (together with friends and family of course) was having a proper kitchen!
So here we are, with a Thai recipe. Sure it doesn’t taste exactly like their red curry but it was a fair attempt.
If you’re not interested in having your face covered with splashes of Chili (Auch!) or chunks of Galangal root use a blender or buy ready made curry paste, honestly it tastes great too but nothing beats the pride of  serving a dish made from scratch.

Here we go:

For the red curry paste:

3 red Chili’s (dried if you like it Hot!) // 2 cloves of garlic // 2 shallots// 3 cm of fresh ginger// 3 cm of Galangal// 2 tbsp of Coriander seeds// 1 stalk of lemon grass// 2 tbsp of tomato puree//

For the stew:

8 Chicken thighs// 4 Lime leaves // 1 L of Coconut milk// 1 red bell pepper// Green beans// 3 tomatoes// 3 potatoes// 1 tsp of salt// Chicken stock// 1 shallot // 3 carrots 

For the vegetables, just add whatever you like. No rules except 2 if you use tomato or pepper remove their peel and chop everything into large chunks.Heat up vegetable oil or coconut oil and add chopped shallot and boneless chicken thighs. Add the curry paste and stir until it starts to brown then add coconut + vegetables.
Let it reduce until you have the desired flavor, in this recipe I used 1 L of coconut milk which is a lot but it gives you the freedom of serving it like soup or a bit more reduced (which i prefer, the flavor is more intense)

An excellent recipe when serving a crowd, you can make the paste days in advance and keep in the fridge or in ice cube holders in your freezer.
Serve with multigrain rice and finish off the curry with fresh Coriander.

Thai Red Curry

รับประทานอาหาร
( Bon Appetit in Thai, if you can read thai and it means something dirty, sorry I used Google translate 😉  )

xxx
Marie

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Halloween Pumpkin Salad

pumpkin salad

Personally I’m not a big Halloween lover, commercial nonsense that make children’s blood sugar levels rise to unknown heights.
But what I do like are pumpkins! Delicious meaty orange goodies but why didn’t they make them square shaped?
You can easily recreate a Halloween Horror fest by trying to cut their peels off…
That’s why for your own safety, it’s better to roast them with their peels on 🙂 .
This salad has it all, sweet , sour, salty ,earthy flavours.

1 small pumpkin// fresh spinach // pumpkin seeds// feta cheese // garlic// sage // salt and pepper

for the vinaigrette:

1 cooked beetroot// raspberry vinegar// 2 tsp of sour cream// a pinch of cumin // salt and pepper

Heat up your oven to 200°C and roast slices of pumpkin together with garlic and sage leaves for 20 minutes. Season your pumpkin before roasting.
Heat up a skillet and roast pumpkin seeds, keep an eye on them because the roast very fast.
Rinse fresh spinach leaves several times.

For the vinaigrette, blend all the ingredients together and taste.

Combine all ingredients together and crumble some feta cheese over it all.

Enjoy!!

xxx

Marie

Multigrain Rice// Mung Bean Sprouts// Pear// Ground Beef…

Mung Bean dish

I have to admit I’m not a rice lover ( Sushi, paella, risotto- yes please!).  Generally, and especially here in our European countries, rice in restaurants is served as “hey, salmon goes with rice, let’s pop some unseasoned Uncle Ben’s on a plate”.
Not that bad if you do add flavour to it, try multigrain rice (add least it gives you some bite) and instead of salt, use soy sauce and sesame oil.
My husband would say -how strange it is to refer to Mathias as “the husband” happy strange though – WHAT IS YOUR OBSESSION WITH KOREAN FOOD?!
Dunno really, I just love it. Lovely ingredients that make spicy,healthy, garlicy and tasty dishes.

Rice:

// 250 gr multigrain rice// 1/4 cup soy sauce// a good splash of sesame oil// 250gr Mung bean Sprouts// 300gr of pure minced beef// 1 spring onion//
1 chopped pear// hot pepper flakes// 

seasoning sauce:

2 cloves of chopped garlic// 1/4 cup soy sauce// 2 spring onions// 1/2 chopped onion// 1 tsp hot pepper flakes// roasted sesame seeds// 1/4 cup of soybean paste//

Steam mung bean sprouts for 3 minutes, cook rice according to package instructions, mix rice with soy sauce, hot pepper flakes, sesame oil and cooked minced meat.

Mix everything together for the seanoning sauce.

Serve in a big plate and enjoy!

xxx
Marie

A Nordic Salad

quinoa salad

What’s been up lately… We got married last week and holidays are almost over!
It’s tricky to keep up with some healthy lunch food when you’re at home for the holidays but here’s a delicious and light salad.

Mixed Quinoa// juice of half a lime// cucumber// radishes // Dill // Herb Cream Cheese
Smoked salmon// Maldon Salt// Spring Onion //

Cook Quinoa according to package instructions, cool down. Chop up radishes, cucumber , dill and spring onion.
Crumble up soms herb cheese.

And that’s it!

Bon Appétit & enjoy your holidays!

xxx

Marie

Happy Colourful Tuesday

Asian salad

This will get your 5 a day fruit/veg in just 1 dish & it’s easy!

Udon noodles// Edamame Beans// Enoki mushrooms// Coriander// Daikon// Cucumber// Carrot// Roasted Sesame seeds//
Cooked Ham// Agave Syrup// Soy Sauce// Spring Onion

Cook Udon noodles for 3 minutes in boiling water, cool down. If  Edamame Beans are still frozen you can steam them for about 12 minutes. Rinse and chop up your vegetables. You need to cut of the lower part of the Enoki mushrooms, for this dish I prefer them raw.( Handle with care, they are fragile)
Cut the ham into cubes, boil for 3 min  1 cup of soy sauce together with a good squeeze of Agave syrup. Pour over the ham and keep warm in your oven.
You can add whatever herbs you want to this dish, mint, coriander, spring onion or other Asian herbs.
Normally you would serve this with a very elegant vinegar, that’s where you are wrong. The harder I try the more I come up with these strange combinations *blushing cheeks*

Sweet Chili sauce// homemade Mayo// lemon or lime juice

Until you become a smooth liquid mayo/vinegar.

Enjoy!!

xxx

Marie

Sushi// The World Cup// Grüner Veltliner

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Yes, I have gone Bonkers… Last tuesday was our National Team’s first game in the World Cup Football.
They won !! Mathias (the anti-football-christ) was startled by my passion for the game. I had to express my ecstatic joy with someone. Only Buddy (the dog) left, I can tell you the poor fellow now spontaneously goes into hiding-mode when whistles blow and green colours appear on the tv screen.

What I mean is, there is no point spending time in your kitchen when more exciting things are going on in Sunny Brasil. There is simply no dish (trust me, I did some research) which doesn’t include heating up, messing around with sauces and risking messy stains on your sofa expect Sushi/Maki.
Prepare everything upfront and stock everything in your fridge.

As I try to keep my elegance while screaming, cursing and frowning let’s sip some wine instead of Beer, I am a woman after all ;-).
You must all think, wine?! Sake is THE drink with sushi, yes you’re right but try this Grûner Veltliner wine for a more European twist! It’s definately worth it.
This Austrian white wine is cultivated on sandy and gravel soils which makes it unique, fine, elegant and fruity. Most importantly some freshness that goes perfectly with the fatty, salty flavours of Maki and California rolls.

Grüner Veltliner Federspiel 2013

FRAUENWEINGARTEN Grüner Veltliner Federspiel 2013

 

For the Maki & California Rolls:

A note of confidence to everyone: IT IS NOT AS HARD AS IT LOOKS!! Yes you might have sushi rice stuck to everything but just keep a bowl of hot water aside to remove the rice from your fingers.

Avocado// deseeded cucumber// FRESH salmon (don’t even think buying your fish in the supermarket) //FRESH tuna// wagame // pickled ginger// wasabi// Nori leaves//sesame seeds//Rice Vinegar// Sugar

You can buy a Sushi Kit if you make this for the first time, cook the sushi rice according to package instructions but keep an eye on the rice, stir from time to time.
Keep in mind that the rice needs to be stone cold before rolling sushi. Chop up the avocado, cucumber and fish in long, fine pieces. If you try this for the first time, Maki ( rice rolled in seaweed) is perfect.

I taught our friends at Sophie’s Bachelorette Weekend how to make it and they were all surprised how easy this is!!

 

No fear & GOOOOO BELGIUM!!! Sorry I really can’t help it.

xxx

Marie

Flower Soup, Colourful Salads and my first Cake!

Orang Lentils

 

Plenty of reasons for a Food Party lately, Mathias & me celebrated our 5 year Anniversary and the Blog is 1 year Old, Hurray!!
As some of you might already know, my dessert skills are as developped as my Ironing skills… but these events called for a festive cake!
So full of good intentions I chose a very easy pre-fab cake mix but there was mixing, egg whisking, rolling out, decorating involved!
It was a cream filled sponge cake covered with almond frosting ,it took me a bit more time to clean the kitchen which was covered in eggs, flour and milk.
Note to self: do not start mixer when not yet in bowl…
We enjoyed it with a delicious glass(es) of Autréau Champagne of 2006, yes dear blogger friends sometimes Champagne has a specific year to it.

Cake

 

I can give you the recipe of Herby Orange lentil salad:
Cook orange lentils according to package instructions, be sure you rinse them several times before. Cool down and add a huge splash of good quality olive oil and season.
This salad is an excellent way to empty your fridge, no culinary boundaries here! For this recipe I added:

Steamed mangetout, Pomegranate, Mint, spring onion, deseeded cucumber, radishes.

For the Parmesan crusted Cod:

Steam cod for 15 minutes and season, Cover with shaved Parmesan and grill in your oven until you see the cheese turn brown, sprinkle with olive oil and chopped Basil.

Ideal for a dinner party with friends so is this starter with no-stress: Soup 🙂

Soup

 

The best soups are often the ones where you mix all leftover vegetables together, in my opinion there is no such thing as a recipe for soup. Just basic rules: cook onions in a little butter, add all desired vegetables, add stock and cook for about 20 minutes.
If you manage to find some dried flowers in your favorite store, add those at the last minute that way your soup becomes an elegant and festive starter!

Voilà!

Bon Appetit dear friends!

* Don’t forget to follow “whenspoonmeetspot” on Instagram for daily recipe ideas 🙂

 

x Marie

-Colorful Vegetables with a Dill Cream Cheese Dip-

IMG_0650

 

Last Tuesday we went on a Culinary Journey with the Cooking Club *Les Gourmettes* , it starts to seem more like an eating Club than Cooking, considering our latest projects…
This time it led us to J.e.f  a Ghent based restaurant, the Chef is a member of The Flemish Foodies: A group of 3 young admirable Chefs.
It was certainly not your average fine dining restaurant, first of all the whole concept behind J.e.f is Sharing. Each guest receives his own plate and cutlery and food starts to hit the table 🙂
The presentation, originality, taste = Wauuw.
I fell in love with an Appetizer made of Cucumber with a Dill Dip beautifully presented! So today I couldn’t choose which vegetable to take so I made a whole Garden…

Here we go:

Chop up whatever vegetable you can eat raw, I found these gorgeous colored carrots.
For the Dill dip; Blend Cream Cheese with Pepper, Sea Salt, fresh Dill, a tsp of mustard and a squeeze of Honey and Lemon.
Add some fresh herbs to the plate, like Mint, Lemon Verbena, Scallions,…

Enjoy!

Beetroot-Cherry Caviar, Hummus & Quinoa Salad

IMG_0484

 

Cooking disaster struck yesterday… Mathias was gone for two days and I wanted to make a typical Belgian dish ( Beef cooked in Brown Beer that we call Stoofvlees) to surprise him. The surprise  was burnt stew.
Very strangely I have never managed to make it, the first time I used the wrong beer and it was disgusting and yellow where it’s supposed to be Brown. Second attempt was burnt. I let it rest for a while now :-).

So today a Healthy Salad which is very hard to ruin! United Nations called 2013 The Year of Quinoa, to be honest I find Quinoa in itself pretty bland. So plenty of veggies and sauces do the trick!

Here we go:

Rinse the Quinoa several times and cook for 12-15 minutes ( 1 Volume of Quinoa = 2 volumes of water).
Grill slices of Eggplant and Zucchini after marinating them in olive oil,lemon juice, salt & pepper.
Make Hummus ( Chick peas, olive oil, lemon juice, Cumin and a tsp of Garam Masala)
Blend Beetroot with olive oil, salt & pepper. I still had some Cherries left so I threw them in. I didn’t taste them that much because the beetroat has such a strong taste but it added a little sweetness.

Do you have a dish that never seems to work?

In the meantime, Enjoy this one 😉 And you’ll be the first ones to know when my Stew had succeeded!!