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Somehow I find bacon not a very ladylike type of meat. It must be because of the value that men attach to it: somehow it adds to their manhood. How? I don’t know. Since I am a woman I’m the wrong person to ask. But in time it has affected me in my attitude towards bacon… Sad actually…

Well anyway, this is a potato leek soup with crispy bacon. It might not be feminine, but it tastes awesome.

Serves 8

This is what you need:

  • 1100 gr. leek
  • 270 gr. potatoes
  • 1.5 onion
  • butter
  • 1.5 liter chicken stock
  • 250 gr. bacon strips
  • chives
  • 300 ml. white wine

Here we go:

Start by slicing the leek finely 1100 gr in total. Keep a little leek on the side for garnish. Coarsely chop the onion and fry them in a little butter in a large pan. Then add the leek and white wine and let them simmer on a low fire until it becomes almost syrupy.

Heat the stock in a separate pan.

Then slice the potatoes into thin slices and add them to the leek. Stir well and then add the stock. Let the whole simmer for another 10 minutes. Then use a hand blender to puree the soup.

Fry the bacon and cut the chives. Add a little of both to the soup just before serving.

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Red lentils… I find them kinda difficult. They don’t taste bad but I always found it hard to make a red lentil soup that was full of flavour. Green and black lentils just have a little more flavour of their own I think. So what about the red ones? I was convinced there was a way to make a nice red lentil soup, but I only really started trying after having had a really great red lentil soup at a cultural event in Amsterdam.

Without any recipe to start with I made this red lentil soup with cumin and coriander. I think I came close to the one I had that time in Amsterdam and it is definitely on my list of soups I have to make again one day. Let me know what you think!

This is what I used:

  • 250 gr. red lentils
  • 2 potatoes (medium to large)
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp kurkuma
  • 2 tsp curry
  • 4 tsp cumin powder
  • Fresh coriander (10 gr)

Here’s how:

Take a big pan and add the lentils and 2 liters of water. Bring the water to a boil and then put the heat down and boil the lentils for 45 minutes.

While you’re waiting: Peel and dice the potatoes, onion and carrots. Clean the celery stalks and slice them. Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the onions with the coriander seeds, kurkuma, curry and cumin powder.

When the lentils have cooked for 45 minutes add the potato, carrots and celery stalks with the spiced onions. Let the soup cook for another 15 minutes. Use a hand blender to give your soup a more smooth consistency. I always leave some chunks in because I like the bite it gives to the soup. All up to you though! Add pepper and salt to taste.

Finely chop the fresh coriander. Before serving add the fresh coriander.

Bon appetit!

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Minced meat, curry, banana, pineapple, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes…

I have to admit: when my friend summed up the ingredients of this Germany-Meets-Tropics oven dish my eyebrow went up for a few seconds, while my eyes rolled to up to help my brain imagine what this would taste like. I had to try it to know what the fruit combined with the sauerkraut would do, and can imagine you would feel the same way.

Well all I can say is: Trust me on this one: Tropical Sauerkraut from the Oven

What you need:

  • 2 onions
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 500 grams of minced meat
  • 1500 gr. potatoes
  • Milk & butter
  • Pepper & salt
  • Curry 4 tsp
  • Chili powder 1/4 tsp
  • Cooking cream 4-6 tbsp
  • Pineapple (can 140 gr.), keep the juice
  • 2 bananas
  • 500 gr sauerkraut (non flavoured)
  • Breadcrumbs

Let’s go:

Peel the potatoes and cook them in a pan with water and salt. When the potatoes are done, drain them in a sieve. Then put them back into the pan and add a little milk and a tablespoon of butter. Mash the potatoes to a smooth mash. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the onion and cut it finely. Peel and mince the garlic cloves. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic a few minutes. Then add the minced meat, curry and chili powder and mix well. Add pepper and salt to taste. When the meat is done add the diced pineapple and sliced banana and a few tablespoons of cooking cream to create a light smooth sauce. Heat the mixture while stirring gently.

Put the mixture into an oven dish, covering the bottom evenly. Then drain the sauerkraut and press the water out. Divide the sauerkraut over the meat and fruit. Then cover the sauerkraut with a layer of mashed potato. Sprinkle some breadcrumbs over the mashed potatoes. This will give the dish a nice crust.

Put the oven dish into a preheated oven. Bake for 40 minutes at 180 degrees.

Let me know what you think!

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Brunkartofler – Danish Caramelised Potatoes – is a danish side dish that typically accompanies the Flæskesteg (pork roast) on the Christmas table. Brunkartofler (‘brown potatoes’) thank their name to their light brown colour of the caramelised sugar. These potatoes are quite sweet as you can imagine. Therefore the danes usually also serve normal potatoes with it, so you can mix and match to fit your own sweet tooth.

What you need: (serves 4)

  • 1 kg peeled and boiled small new potatoes (dry)
  • 75 gr sugar
  • 50 gr butter

Time for action:

Put the sugar into a cold frying pan. Spread the sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan. Then turn on the heat and melt the sugar on a high heat untill it starts to brown. Then add the butter and stir well for about 2 minutes. Turn the heat down and add the boiled, dry potatoes and glaze the potatoes in the sugar while continuously stirring. The sugar caramelises pretty fast so keep an eye on the potatoes and keep turning them. Enjoy!

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Thinking back of my time in Spain I still find it pretty amazing that I did not gain 500 kilos. I went out for dinner and drinks so often… On Monday there was Salsa class, Tuesday and Wednesday there were quiz nights in different Irish pubs and Thursday, Friday and Saturday were the ‘regular’ party nights. Basically Sunday was my only rest day in the week.

You can imagine there was a lot of wine involved. In Spain, ordering wine will automatically grant you a tapa. Multiply this by x number of wines and then again with the number of friends you have with you and you’ll have a pretty varied ‘free meal’.

One of the standard tapas we would get or order are patatas bravas: fried potatoes in a spicy sauce. The sauce is hard to find outside of Spain so here’s a little write up so you can make your own.

Ingredients

  • 3 big potatoes
  • butter
  • 1 big onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • salt and pepper
  • half a glass of white wine
  • optional: tabasco

How to do it

Peal and boil the potatoes. Then cut them in dices and fry them in a little butter.

For the brava sauce cut the onion and bell pepper finely. Heat a the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion untill it gets a nice glaze. Then add the minced garlic chilli powder  and the bell pepper. Add pepper and salt to taste and, if you like spicy, a frew drops of tabasco. Stir fry for a few minutes and then let it simmer on a low fire for about 10 minutes. I love adding half a glass of wine, but if you don’t want to go there you can add a little bit of water to make sure the mixture doesn’t get too dry. Before serving, put the sauce in the blender and pulse a few times to make sure the large chunks are out of the sauce.

Serve on a plate on top of the fried potatoes. Enjoy!

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As a follow up on my previous post on Bavarian cuisine, I could not resist to include a good old Bavarian Potato Salad – Kartoffelsalat. This recipe goes well with the roasted porc from the previous post, but could also be a real eye catcher for a barbeque. The good thing is, that it is not all potatoes and cream, like the ready made potato salads you buy in the supermarket. It is much more yummy, just look at the ingredients and you’ll get the point.

For 4 persons you need: 

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 300 ml vegetable stock
  • 200 gr onions
  • 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons medium to hot mustard
  • 300 gr cooked sausage
  • 2 bunches of radishes
  • 25o gr cress
  • 8 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pine kernels as a garnish

Jetzt geht’s los!

You can either peel the potatoes or leave the skin on, what ever you like. If you go for the second option, make sure that the potatoes are clean. Boil the potatoes in water with a little salt and –  when they are done – slice while they are still hot. Put all the potato slices into a big mixing bowl.

Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a pan and add the finely chopped onions. Let it boil for a couple of minutes and then pour the stock with the onions over the potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, sugar and mustard to taste. Let the mixture cool down completely.

Then take the cooked sausage and peel it if necessary. I used the traditional Dutch ‘rookworst’ to give this German dish a little Dutchness. Cut the sausage lengthwise and then in slices. Next, slice the radishes and also wash and cut some of the leaves of the radishes. In a separate bowl add the sausage, radishes, cress, oil and radish leaves and add salt, pepper and a little sugar to taste. Add this to the potatoes and mix.

Ausgezeichnet!

 

http://www.bavaria.by/potato-salad-with-radishes

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Take your biggest soup pan out of your cupboard for this spicy vegetarian curry soup! It is full of taste, low on fat and very nutritious. Ideal for when you need to feed a hungry crowd (or yourself)!

Remember that when you freeze part of it down for later, the spiciness will tone down.

 

Here’s what you need for 8 persons:

  • 1 pumpkin of average size
  • 4 potatoesIMG_5508
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 parsnips
  • 6 carrots (medium)
  • 4 courgettes
  • 400 gr. green peas
  • 1 liter vegetable stock
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • salt pepper
  • fresh coriander
  • 2 table spoons butter
  • 1 table spoon curry
  • 1 table spoon garam masala
  • 2 table spoons kurkuma
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 table spoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes

Here’s what to do: 

First start with the hard work: Cutting all the vegetables! Peel and cut the pumpkin, potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots into medium sized dices. These vegetables are meant to cook first. Then slice the courgettes and keep them in a separate tray or bowl.

Once this is done we can start the cooking. Put your pan on a low fire and melt the butter. Then add the curry, garam masala, kurkuma, ginger and chilli flakes. Press the 4 garlic cloves and add it to the spice mixture. Mix the spices with the melted butter. Then add the pumpkin, potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes and carrots and mix the whole into the pan. Let it fry for a couple of minutes and then add the vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil and then let it boil for another 45 minutes on a low fire.

Then add the sliced courgettes, peas and coconut milk and boil for another 15 minutes.

Almost done! Just add pepper and salt to your liking and use some fresh coriander as a garnish.

Bon apetit!