Sunday, 27 November 2011

Lentils dish

From Nella on twitter I received the following recipe to make a lentil soup. Unfortunately I got the measurement wrong because I didn't know that the digital scales could be adjusted to liquid too. You've guessed it already I don't measure lot's in the kitchen. So in stead of soup it became a lentil dish but every so nice. So I give you the dish version, to feed the orphanage!

Shopping List:
8 tomatoes
500 gr red lentils (but any color will do)
100 gr fresh spinach
50 gr real butter
1 large carrot
1 red onion
2 sticks of cellery
1 clove of garlic
(fresh) ginger
1 red chilli
2 cubes of vegetable stock
herbs: (ground) cumin, coriander,turmeric
black pepper and salt

Scrape the carrots and cut the carrot into slices
Cut the celery into small pieces
Chop the red onion
Chop the garlic finely
Melt the butter in a large (soup) pot
Sauté the
onion. the garlic, carrot and celery
Let the vegetables simmer about 10 minutes until the carrot is soft
Meanwhile, peel the ginger root and cut into slices
Remove the seeds from the red chilli and cut into rings
Cut the tomatoes into chunks
Dissolve bouillon cubes in 1 liter water and bring to a boil
Add the ginger, red chilli and lentils to the vegetables in the pan
Season the mixture with ground coriander, ground cumin and ground turmeric
A short bake and then add the broth
Add the tomatoes

Bring the soup to a boil
Regular stir
Let the soup simmer gently for until the lentils are tender
You probably have to add more water

Add the fresh spinach
Let the soup boil for one minute
Bring the soup to taste (freshly ground) pepper and salt
Serve the soup in a soup bowl

We have served this dish with sausages and French bread.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Rouget with saffron sauce

Rouget with risotto and saffron sauce
This fish you will see from time to time on a French menu. Rouget, is a half red/half white small fish that swims in the Méditerranée. When you buy it make sure you ask for the rouget filet, we don't want bones do we?
Alternatively you can buy Red Mullet Filet.

Shopping List:

About 3 rouget filets per person
Risotto (150 gr. for 2 persons) *
Small courgette
Salade du mache or Rucula or similar (garnish)

For the sauce you need:

1 large shallot, minced
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup of milk
1 pinch of saffron threads
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp creme fraiche
Salt and pepper

Fry the courgette for about 10 minutes. Slice and toss in 1 tablespoon of the butter. Set aside and keep warm (in foil).
Fry the shallot in the remaining butter until soft.  (you can always add some more butter)
Mix in the flour, stirring for about 1 minute.  
Add the saffron and lemon juice and stir for 1 minute.  
Add the creme fraiche and blend.   Add salt to taste.  Set aside and keep warm.

Salade mache
Season the rouget with salt and pepper on both sides.  
Fry in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 minute per side.

Plate it up like I have done to start with the risotto, then sliced courgette, the fish and garnis with the 'salad', and serve the sauce at the edge of the plate.

Bare in mind that this dish takes some time, but it's worth it.

* Risotto: See my basic recipe: here


I know to cook a proper risotto you need time, but it's worth it. This is a fantastic basic dish for 4 persons.

Shopping list:

300 gr. Risotto
75 gr. Real butter
1.25 Liter (chicken/vegetable) stock (from cubes)
1 Onion
2 Cloves of garlic
250 ml Dry white wine

Finely cut onion and garlic
Put them in a pan with butter.
Add the risotto and let it 'swollow' the butter.
Pour the wine in the pan so that the risotto is covered and let it boil.
Then add some of the stock (don't use it all yet) and bring to boil.
Again add the stock, and again and again until the risotto is cooked.

It's nice to serve the risotto with some parmesan cheese.


If you like mushrooms, why not fry them separately in a pan and serve it with the risotto.

Buon Appetito

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Stuffed courgettes with roquefort

Even for the non-vegetables fans a great dish! 
For 4 persons

Shopping list:

2 medium courgettes
1 onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
200 g Roquefort cheese, crumbled
Cut courgettes in half lengthwise, scoop out the pulp with a spoon.
Fruit puree and let drain.
Heat oil and fry the onion 10 minutes mix with the pulp
Blanch the courgettes for 5 minutes in boiling water.
Leave to drain
the courgettes.
Preheat oven to 200 ° C.
Fill the courgettes with the Roquefort
Arrange the stuffed courgettes in a baking dish and bake 35 minutes in the oven.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Courgette soup

I know it has been a while, but here I am.  From friends of ours I got a courgette as huge as you can imagine so I decided to make soup with it.

Shopping list
1 or 2 courgettes
1 Onion
2 Cloves of garlic
Jar of green pesto
Chicken or Vegetable stock (from cubes)
Fresh herbs (basil/parseley/thyme)

Cut the onions finely (think about Gino) together with the garlic
Fry in the pan with some olive oil
Add the sliced courgettes and fry until soft
Add about 2 tablespoons of pesto
I had mine with French bread and garlic butter
Then it's time for the stock to pour in
Let them cook for about 15 minutes and then
mash them with the mixer.
Add the chopped herbs
Seasoning to taste


Put some sliced tomatoes in it
Garnish with some stripes of smoked salmon

Friday, 20 May 2011

Thursday, 7 April 2011


Pancakes I hear you thinking, yes pancakes but my Dutch way :-). Before I give you my recipe what's going to be difficult because I don't measure things, I will tell you that in The Netherlands where -shouldn't you know by now- I have been born, there are typical 'Pannenkoeken' (pancake) restaurants. It sounds a bit bizar but I searched on the internet some typical Dutch pannenkoeken restaurants so you have an idea how they look from the out and inside. The outside wasn't too difficult, but the inside was...they are nowadays so modern, so a picture of a man with a pile of pancakes but you have to look at the tablecloth ;-)

For +/- 6 pancakes:
Shopping list
About 300 grams of flour (plain)
Real butter
Almost half a liter of Milk
2 large Eggs
A pinch of salt
For the topping:
Sugar (which you prefer)
Syrop (stroop in Dutch)
Apple* (cut in small pieces or rings)
Sultana's (rozijnen in Dutch)*

I always siff the flour in a bowl then I add 2 large eggs and start stirring with a whisk, then I add milk until I have a smooth substance. And then and don't forget it because your pancake wouldn't taste as nice as it should be add a pinch of salt.

* If everybody likes their pancakes with apple and/or sultana's, it's easier to add them to the liquid, if not then  when frying the pancake, add some apple/sultana's, then put some more liquid on them to cover them.

Take a frying pan (best is to use one which you use for eggs but...any will do besides a fish one) melt some butter and then pour some of your mix so that it covers the whole bottom of the pan.
When you see that the pancake starts to get dry, put some more butter in the pan and turn the pancake. You can throw them up high towards the ceiling, but I can't.
Then just fiddle around with the pancake knife to see if it's doesn't take long!

According to taste put some syrup or sugar (whatever you fancy) on top of it and I say 'eet smakelijk'!

Tip....the first pancake is never the best, so give that to ........ (fill in the blancs) :-)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Amuse Buche variety

This is a variety I thought about myself. It doesn't have much to do with cooking but it's different to spoil your friends. There are lot's of possibilities for this 'apéro snack' and this was mine.

Shopping list:
1 Pack of Blini's
1 Pot of guacamole (or make it yourself when the avocado's are available)
1 Pot of aubergine mash
1 Pot of taramosalata (no typo here officially it's with an o).
100 Gram of serrano or parma ham

For garnishing I have used black olives (well to be precise I have used 1) and some parma ham. Just think what you have in your cupboard or fridge and use that (tomato, pepper, cucumber, herbs,....)

Toast the blini's in the toaster first. I have put the aubergine mash on top of a little bit of parma ham.

The picture tells you the story. Try it and your friends will be impressed.

Amuse Buche with salami

Our daughter worked hard in the kitchen as well on a Sunday morning and she created her own style of Amuse Buche with salami.

Shopping list:
1 Cucumber
1 Salami
1 Tin of black olives

The idea is to layer all the ingredients which need to have the same size to start with salami, cucumber, salami, olive.

Amuse Bouche with Salmon

It doesn't happen often that the whole Au Bellefleur team is working at the same time in the kitchen. But Sunday morning we all worked very hard on our own dishes.
Let's start with the Amuse Bouche with smoked salmon for 6 persons.

Attention: this dish has to refrigerate overnight.
Shopping list:
80-100 gr. smoked salmon
2 shallots
1 stick of celery
3 Table spoons of double cream
1 Lime (use half a lime)
(Sea) salt ...just a pinch
Cyenne or paprika powder (garnish)

In a food processor or blender just mix all ingredients, then transfer them to a small bowl, cover it and refrigerate overnight. This was the result!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Crème Brûlée

There are many crème brûlée recipes, with or without some fruit as a surprise to the dish. Inspired by John Burton Race recipes, here's the one we serve in

Here's enough for 4 persons

Shopping list:
4 Egg yolks
180 gr. Caster sugar
2 Vanilla pods (or vanilla essence)
140 ml Milk
350 ml Double cream or Crème fraiche
Optional: raspberries to place underneath

Put the egg yolks and half of the sugar into a bowl.
Split the vanilla pods in two and scrape out all seeds into the egg yolks and whisk until smooth.
Add the milk, whisk in the cream (or crème fraiche) and pour the liquid into ramekins.
They need to refrigerate for 1 hour before you can cook them.

Pre-heat the oven to 150 degr.C.

Fill a shallow roasting tin with water to a depth of 2.5 cm, place on the stove and bring to just below the boil.
Put the ramekins into the water and place the tin into the oven.
This will take about 1 hour to set.

When they are cooked, remove from oven and roasting tin, because they need to cool down.

When they are cold, pre-heat the grill to its highest setting, sprinkle the tops with the remaining sugar
and when you see that it's caramelizing under the's ready to serve immediately.

If you make crème brûlées regularly, it's worth to buy a blow-torch, that saves you the hustle of the grill.

Why not putting a drop of Cognac in yours!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Mousse au Champagne with red berries

This dessert is a winner even if I say so myself and I haven't met anybody who didn't like it.
For 4 persons this is what you need.

Shopping list:
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 dl Champagne or sparkling wine
2 tablespoons of Pineau des Charentes or sweet sherry
4 tablespoons of white granular sugar (basterdsuiker)
A tiny little bit of nutmeg
A tiny little bit of cinnamon
2.5 dl double cream
Red/black berries, fresh is always better but otherwise buy a frozen mixed pack of red/black fruits (remember if frozen to defrost a few hours before using it).
Choco sticks or something else for decoration

Whisk the cream with (normal) sugar until it gets the thickness of porridge.
Mix the lemon juice with champagne, pineau or sherry, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Stir until the sugar has disappeared.

Add little by little the cream and stir.
Divide the fruit in 4 'verrines'.
Add the mixture of the mousse.
Decorate with some chocolate sticks.

All together it will take you about 10 minutes to make this desert, however, you can beat the cream earlier and stall it in the fridge until needed.  But only the cream!!!! Not with the mixture because it will be flat as a pancake ;-)

Monday, 31 January 2011

Eton Mess my way

Eton Mess, for the non-Brits some more explanation. This desert normally consists of a mixture of strawberries, pieces of meringue and cream. All the students at Eton College eat this dish after the annual cricket game against students of Winchester College. Throughout the years the recipe has been changed slightly and here was my version of yesterday's Eton Mess.

Shopping list:
Eton Mess with cherries
Cherries or other red fruit (or a mixture of raspberries, black currant, red berries...)
Cream (in my area you cannot get double cream -slagroom- so I use fresh crème d'entière)
Meringues (home made or bought at the baker's)
Chocolate sticks

Make sure when you use cherries to remove the stones.
Mix the cream with sugar, until the the texture is firm (you can put it away in the fridge until needed)
Break the meringues to pieces.

Actually you make some layers of fruit, cream and meringues.

In yesterday's Eton Mess I have used cherries from our own tree. I had frozen the cherries and the result was better than I thought it would be.

The picture tells the story.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

French Onion Soup

Tonight for dinner I just fancied some hot soup and I decided to make a French onion soup. I do remember that I have made it ages ago and that it didn't taste that much of onion soup, but more experienced and wiser I gave it another go.

For 3-4 persons (depends about size of your soup bowls)

Shopping list
3 White onions
2 Cloves of garlic
Chicken stock (from cube) 600 ml
Dry white wine
Cheese (grated)
(French) bread
Cognac (optional)

Cut the onions roughly.
Take a large sauce pan and put +/- 25 gr. non salted butter until melted
Then put the onions in together with 1 table spoon of sugar
Stir and simmer for 10 minutes until they get a nice brownish colour
Peel and cut the garlic and add to the onions
Then and I'm sure you like that one, pour half a glass of white wine
and 600 ml of stock. Bring it to the boil.
Lower the heat, put the lit on and let it cook for another 15-20 minutes or until onions are soft.
Switch on the grill for the last bit of your soup.
After the soup is ready, you can -optionally- add a little drop of cognac.
I didn't add any salt and pepper in mine.
Then pour the soup in a oven/grill proof bowl, add a piece of french bread or toast,
some grated cheese and put it for a very short while in the grill. Keep on looking....
until brown/melted.

As you can see I didn't put my bowl of soup under the grill because our grill isn't really
that good, so I used the oven which explained the melted cheese but not brown coloured.

Bon appetit!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Salmon sauce

This is a dish that is nice all year long; easy, and all ingredients can be bought all year round as well.
It's a sauce for 4 persons

Too big for this recipe :-)
Shopping list
3 shallots
200 gr salmon filet (no bones)
100 gr smoked salmon (if you buy it in little cuts pre-packed it's much cheaper)
1 small glass dry white wine (according to taste)
1/2 teaspoon saffron powder (for the colour)
100 gr mascarpone*
3 tablespoons cut chives
125 gr mushrooms

* You can change this into blue cheese or mon chou, then add 1/4 litre cream.
You can also add some pieces of sun-dried tomatoes, from the jar.
If you don't like mushrooms, then leave them out.

If you have chosen to use the mushrooms in this dish, then clean (with kitchen towel), cut them and fry them first.

Peel and cut the shallots.
Cut the salmon in small pieces
Put in a sauce pan the wine with the shallots and saffron to boil till the quantity is reduced to 1/4.
Add the mascarpone (or the other cheese with the cream, sun-dried tomatoes)
Stir and bring it to boil again and let it gentle heat for 10 minutes.
Add the salmon and heat all for another 2 minutes.
Salt and pepper according to taste.
Finally add the chives

Nice to serve this sauce with pasta, especially penne or tagliatelle.

Bon appetit

Monday, 3 January 2011


I can't say that I am getting over-excited by white mushrooms, however, if you mix them with some other sorts, a new starter (or lunch) has born.

For 2 persons:

Shopping list
White mushrooms
Chestnut mushrooms (kastanje)
mushrooms (cantharellen)
Porcini or Cep mushrooms (Eekhoorntjesbrood)
1 Shallot
100 Gr. Blue Cheese* (Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Danish Blue)
White bread for toast
Olive Oil



* Why don't you use Stilton...I bet somebody gave you some for Christmas!

If you have the chance to get the mushrooms from the green grocers, just ask for a hand full of each, 3 sorts will do the job perfectly.

Cut the mushrooms to an eatable size.
Cut the shallot, but not too small.

Put some olive oil in the frying pan until hot.
Add the shallot and mushrooms and keep stirring
When almost ready, put the blue cheese over the mushrooms and let half of the cheese melt a bit, but make sure you will still see some of the cheese so it's not going to turn into a cheese sauce.

Toast some white bread and serve it separately.

Enjoy this tasty and quik starter.