Scottish pig

In downtown Edinburgh there was a shop the likes of which I’d never seen before. Its tiny window displayed nothing but this single, crisp, roasted beauty of a beast that was slowly being carved up, back to front, for the customers. It was all they served. This was one of most beautiful and disturbing shops I’ve ever seen, absolutely mesmerizing. scottish roasted pig

Exhibition buffet for Schrank 8

Michiel Schuurman is showing his graphic design and silk screened posters at home gallery Shrank 8. Of course,when my man has a solo show, I will not stand for a buffet of peanuts and salty sticks. So, I went at it: a buffet of crudites with bagna cauda, Thai basil dipping sauce and blue cheese dip. Turkish bread with edamame-ginger- miso spread, nachos with mango salsa, spicy caramelized nuts, Indonesian coconut meatballs with peanut sauce, edamame beans, salted cod balls, black bean soup with cilantro and bacon, and bite sized nut glazed chocolate cakes. With the help of the amazing Julia we got it all done in perfect time, and after the opening (and several refills!) there was nothing left but a few chunks of lemon and edamame skins. Even without the food, the exhibition is well worth your time, it will be open for the next three weeks, call ahead and you're welcome there.

RECIPES

Shrank 8 Michiel Schuurman buffet

. CRUDITES WITH DIPPING SAUCES

For the crudites, I chopped up daikon, cucumber, yellow and red bell peppers, carrots and cherry tomatoes. You could also add cauliflower, celery, or whatever vegetables you like to eat raw.

shrank 8 Michiel Schuurman crudites with dips

THAI BASIL DIPPING SAUCE

A bunch of Thai basil, which gives it a sweet, pungeant, licorice-like taste A bunch of cilantro and/or mint, whatever you have lying around A few tablespoons soy sauce A dash of fish sauce Chopped peanuts A chunk of ginger (about the size of a garlic clove) A clove of garlic A chopped red pepper or a teaspoon of sambal Juice of 1 lime A dash of sweet chili sauce and/or sugar to taste

Combine everything except the peanuts and blend with a wand blender until sort of smooth. Add the chopped peanuts and serve. This dipping sauce works perfectly as a dip for summer rolls or spring rolls, and if you thin it down a bit it makes a nice salad dressing too.

BAGNA CAUDA A classic

250 g butter 8 salted anchovies About the same amount of capers Juice of ½ lemon A clove of garlic A bunch of parsley

Melt the butter and add the other ingredients. Blend with a wand blender. As it cools down it will solidify a bit. Traditionally it's served warm, but I really like it at that halfway stage between liquid and solid. This might just be my favorite recipe in the whole world. It's so good that I never make it for myself because if I do, I'd eat a whole pack of butter in a day, and that's no good... And please, don't fear the anchovies, it does NOT taste fishy. If you prefer, you can put in less of it too.

BLUE CHEESE DIP

1 cup blue cheese 1 cup sour cream 2 tbsp finely chopped scallion 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage 2 tbsp lemon juice Freshly ground pepper

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NACHOS & MANGO SALSA

This is also in my top ten favorite recipes of all time. I don't throw a party without it! It's surprising, complex, fresh and delicious and extremely easy to make.

2 mangos, flesh finely chopped Juice of 2 limes ½ red pepper, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon sambal Small bunch cilantro 1 small onion, chopped extremely fine Salt to taste

Combine and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. You can eat it right away and it will be delicious, but it gets better if it sits for a while. Also, be careful adding pepper, it gets spicier with time. On it's own, it's great with nachos, but it also goes very well with tacos, meat, on a sandwich or even a salad. Good stuff!

mango salsa

. SPICY CARAMELIZED NUTS

Take a bunch of mixed, unsalted nuts. Heat them in a large non stick pan with three parts sugar and one part each salt, ground cumin and cayenne pepper. Use lots and lots of it. Heat it up until the sugar melts and caramelizes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. This is also a particularly dangerous dish, it's best not to make this by yourself or you will eat it all.

Spicy caramelized nuts

. BOLINHOS DE BACALHAU Brasilian salted cod balls

450 g salted cod 2 medium crumbly potatoes 2 eggs, whisked ½ cup breadcrumbs (Japanese panko works well) ½ onion, finely minced 1 clove garlic, finely minced 2 tbsp parsley, chopped Juice of 1 lemon Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Chop the cod into small pieces and put in a large bowl filled with water. Change the water every 20 - 30 mins for a few hours, until the fish is no longer overly salty. Boil the potatoes and mash them. Finely chop the fish and add to the potatoes with the rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate for a while to firm up, and form balls. If the mixture is still to soft and wet, add more breadcrumbs. Form the balls and refrigerate until use. If you feel they are still a bit soft, you could freeze them. You can deep fry them or fry them in about ½ cm of oil until golden brown. Squeeze over lemon and enjoy!

bolinhos de bacalhau salted cod balls

. INDONESIAN COCONUT MEATBALLS & PEANUT SAUCE

500 gr organic ground meat - half beaf/half pork or all beef 200 gr dried grated coconut 2 eggs, whisked 1 tsp trassi (fermented shrimp paste) 1 tbsp ground cumin 1 tbsp ground coriander seed 1 red pepper, finely chopped 1 onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely minced Salt to taste

Add 6-7 tbsp hot water to the coconut. Dissolve the trassi in a spoonful of hot water. Combine all the ingredients and form balls. You can refrigerate them but usually they are quite firm so you could fry them right away. They are an absolute party favorite, whenever I dished out a plate of meat- and fish balls they were gone before I'd turned my back.

Peanut sauce: 4-6 tablespoons high quality peanut butter The inner part of a stalk of lemon grass, finely minced 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 onion, caramelized (sauteed for ½ hour - 1 hour until nice and dark and sweet) ½ red pepper, chopped or a teaspoon sambal Juice of 1 lime A bit of coconut milk (optional)

In a pan over low heat, saute the garlic and lemongrass in a bit of oil. Add about four tbsp of the peanut butter and the rest of the ingredients, stir until combined and add water as needed to make a smooth paste. If the flavors are too strong, gradually add more peanut butter to taste. It's hard to give a set recipe for this sauce, you really need to taste it as you go and adjust it to your liking. This sauce goed well with meat, warm vegetables or on a sandwich.

coconut meatballs with peanut sauce

. CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE NUT GLAZE

See the recipe for this cake here. Instead of using a big cake tin, you divide the batter over small cake forms and keep an eye on them as they bake. They need about five minutes less time in the oven. Just squeeze them, if they feel a bit firm, they should be fine. Just taste one to check and be sure. Finish just like the big cake, and allow the glaze to set.

miniature chocolate cakes

. And this was what we were left with. We hope everyone enjoyed it!

shrank 8 michiel schuurman

Tortilla time II

My last post made me hungry for more tortillas! I made quasi Mexican tortillaswith spicy chicken, flavored rice, beans, guacamole and grilled vegetables.

RECIPE

mexican tortilla

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Spicy chicken

This spicy, marinated chicken is more Asian than Mexican, but the flavor goes very well with the other dishes. Use organic chicken meat for superior flavor, pound the following ingredients in your mortar (or chop finely and mix) and marinate the sliced chicken in them for about half an hour to a few hours.

Juice of 1½ lemon or 2 limes 2 cloves garlic 1 red pepper or 1 heaping teaspoon sambal A big dash of soy sauce A big dash of fish sauce A teaspoon of sugar or honey and/or some sweet chili sauce The stems of a bunch of cilantro

Drain the chicken (save the marinade) and add to a hot, hot oiled pan. The chicken will release more juice, drain if necessary and fry until nicely browned. Add the reserved marinade and boil down until the chicken is covered in sweet sticky brown juice. Serve with some fresh cilantro.

spicy chicken

Grilled onions, zucchini and bell pepper

Saute a couple of big onions (as many as your pan will take, really, you can use them for anything in the next few days) in a heavy bottomed pan. The longer you give them, the more beautifully they will caramelize and brown. It can take from twenty minutes up to an hour. Cut up a bell pepper and grill it in a hot pan with barely any oil. Add a bit of water to the hot pan every now and then, the steam will cook it more quickly. Cook the zucchini in the same way, but with a bit more oil and add a clove of chopped garlic.

grilled vegetables

Simple tomato salsa

A can of tomatoes Two cloves of garlic ½ red chili pepper (or to taste, if you can find some crazy Mexican chili or smoked chili powder or a nice sambal, go for it) Some pickled jalapeños A bunch of cilantro Salt to taste Lime juice or rice vinegar to taste A dash of sugar

Blend it all with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth. I like to make it quite spicy to complement the other, softer flavors.

tomato salsa

Quick half-mashed beans

Gently saute a minced clove of garlic. Add a handful of your caramelized onions (or saute an onion with the garlic), and add a big can of beans. Add about ½ teaspoon of ground cumin, coriander seed, cayenne pepper and paprika, plus salt and pepper to taste. Take an immersion blender (or potato masher) to the pan and puree about half the beans. Add some water if desired.

mexican beans

Simple guacamole and/or sour cream

Mash an avocado with some lime juice, salt and pepper. You could thin it with some sour cream or 10% fat yogurt if you like. Cilantro is always good in guacamole, or a touch of garlic or green onions, or some chopped red chili peper.

guacamole and sour cream

Assemble!

Warm a few tortillas in a dry frying pan. I smeared my tortillas with some grilled pepper-eggplant dip. To make this, steam a chopped eggplant until soft, add a grilled red pepper (from a jar works just fine) a few heaping spoons of the spicy tomato salsa, which will provide all the flavor you need. Blend until smooth, adding perhaps just an extra squeeze of lemon or lime and salt to taste.

I also added some steamed, flavored rice. Saute a clove of garlic and an onion (or use the caramelized onions, very nice), and add a cup of dry basmati rice to the oil. Stir over medium heat until the rice turns translucent. Add a cup and a half of boiling water with bouillon (vegetable bouillon powder, a bouillon cube or stock instead of water all work beautifully). Steam the rice in a covered pan for about ten minutes, just taste for doneness and serve.

So, smear your tortilla with the eggplant (this is very optional), spread some lettuce (also not very Mexican at all, I just wanted greens and had to put them somewhere), rice, beans, fresh diced tomatoes, grilled vegetables and plenty of chicken. The tricky part is not to over-stuff, or it won't close. Add some dollops of cream and/or guacamole, as much fresh cilantro as you can stand and enjoy!

tortilla assembly

Tortilla time

Making tortillas is like making a sandwich: anything goes and they're hard to mess up. For this one I made garlicky yogurt eggplant withParmesan (recipe stolen from the great Nick Schonfeld), and added baba ghanoush, lettuce, grilled onions and peppers and fresh mint.

RECIPE

tortilla time .

Yogurt eggplant:

Fry a sliced eggplant in oil with finely minced garlic. Remove from heat and add plenty of Greek or Turkish yogurt (or any other 10% fat yogurt) and a handful of grated or flaky Parmesan cheese.

Assemble:

Spread some baba ghanoush or tahini on a warmed tortilla, cover with plenty of lettuce, slowly grilled onions and bell pepper. Top with the yogurt eggplant, lots of fresh mint, a squeeze of lemon and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Or come up with your own variation, any vegetable lying around in your fridge will do. Fold it up burrito-style and tuck in!

Korean food in Amsterdam

I haven't had the pleasure of eating Korean food too often, it's hard to find around these parts, but I finally found a place in Amsterdam(well, Amstelveen) that serves a good bulgogi. This barbequed beef (tongue in this particular shot) is served with lettuce, grilled mushrooms, rice, powerful sesame dipping sauces and lots of different spicy pickled vegetables like kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage). Definitely a favorite! I'll try to make it at home sometime, in the meantime, visit Damso, where we went, or pick another one of these Korean places. Sadly, you'll find none of them can be found within the Amsterdam belt highway, they're concentrated around the Amstelveen area.

korean food damso restaurant amstelveen

Sander

Is a friend and a very good cook. He brightened a sad day with this gorgeous grilledherb stuffed trout with a homemade bearnaise sauce and rosemary potato mash. As a starter, we had deep fried smelt with a generous squeeze of lemon.

RECIPE

grilled herb stuffed trout fish recipe

This is how it goes according to Sander:

The trout was stuffed with herbs (fresh bay leaf, parsley, thyme) and grilled. Very nicely done and of course served with lemon. For the sauce: beat two egg yolks with some lemon juice and herb vinegar. Put on low heat and whisk in cubes of butter. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper and chopped dill or tarragon. We had the tarragon, it was great. The smelt is just shaken in a bag of flour, deep fried and served with lots of lemon. Very, very good.

deep fried smelt fish recipe

Homemade chocolate cake

I found a perfect recipe for chocolate cake, it never fails. It might be in a box but I swear I made it myself.There is absolutely no flour in it, so you can taste the chocolate much better.

RECIPE

chocolate cake . . I picked this recipe from foodnetwork.com after comparing a few dozen of them, and added a few final touches. It's so good because of its pure chocolate flavor, it looks great and it never fails. Always a winner, especially still warm and served with ice cream. A red fruit coulis works great too (or both).

550 g dark chocolate - as dark as possible, I found a kind with crunchy dark cocoa bits which is great, chocolate with nuts is nice too. 115 g unsalted butter 9 eggs, separated 3/4 cups sugar 100 ml heavy cream Any kind of nuts to top the cake or to crush and add to the batter, or both.

Melt 450 gs of the chocolate and butter. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until light yellow. Whisk a bit of the chocolate butter mixture into the yolks, add another spoonful and another (so it doesn't cook the egg), and add the rest of it.

Whip the egg whites until stiff and fold in the chocolate mixture. Pour into a 24 cm buttered or paper lined spring form cake pan. Bake at 180 °C for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out dry.

Melt the remaining 100 gs of chocolate and whisk in the cream. Spread it over the top of the cake for a beautiful shiny finish. It tastes really good too, none of that sugary frosting nonsense, just really pure creamy chocolate taste. It'll pour all over the place, but that's okay, it'll set soon enough. It might work better if you chill the cake first, but who has the patience for that? Just make sure you have something underneath the cake that can deal with it. Top it with nuts now if you like, they'll sink right into the chocolate layer. .

whole chocolate cake

Summer rolls

I made summer rolls, the most delicious Vietnamese snack everinvented. Actually I wouldn't know about that, I've never been to Vietnam, but they make a pretty good reason to go there all by themselves. They're hard to come by in Amsterdam, so I just make my own. Unbelievably fresh and tasty!

RECIPE

vietnamese summer rolls

. Summer rolls aren't hard to make, but it's a bit of work. Take your time and enjoy it, preferably make them together. Summer rolls are just sheets of rice paper, soaked in hot water until they're soft and filled with lots of delicious fresh vegetables, herbs, tofu, shrimp, even mango if you like it. The trick is to have all your ingredients ready, so you can set up an assembly line and to eat the rolls as soon as they're done. It's like sushi: if you wait for more than an hour, they become dry and tough and gross. If you have to wait for a bit, make sure to cover them with a damp towel. I'm pretty sure the ingredients I chose aren't all authentic, but I think it's okay to

adjust to your liking. You can easily find recipes online if you're interested in the real thing..

. Ingredients:

Rice paper (get it at your local Asian supermarket)

Lettuce: soft, smaller leaves - Boston or romaine lettuce is often mentioned but I found that this lettuce mix was just fine.

(Thai) basil, cilantro, mint: any of these or a combination are fine, just make sure to use lots of it because it makes it taste so fresh. Especially Thai basil makes a big difference if you can find it.

Strips of fried tofu with soy sauce or whatever sauce/spices you like, or boiled shrimp. Fried sliced mushroom, preferably shiitake, also with a little soy- or oyster sauce. Bean sprouts, raw or blanched. Crushed peanuts.

Lay out your ingredients, lettuce first, and roll it up like a little mini burrito. Serve with a Vietnamese dipping sauce: something with fish sauce, lime juice, red pepper, garlic, ginger and maybe a little soy sauce and sugar. Hoisin sauce works nicely too, or even that sweet egg roll chili dipping sauce from a bottle. .

summer rolls rice sheet

summer rolls assembling

Breakfast in bed

Bed bound for a week and a half due to a persistent bout of flu, my whole life took place in a few square meters.It was very relaxing to just eat, sleep and watch season after season of tv shows for that long. My body seemed to be saying 'if you're not going to take a vacation, I will'. The breakfast served here is a shiitake green onion omelet with garlic rubbed toast, hummus and mixed sprouts, cucumber and apple-orange juice.

RECIPE

breakfast in bed .

Garlic toast:

Slice your favorite bread (sour dough works very well) and drizzle it heavily with olive oil. It's okay if the bread is stale, it's one of the best things you can do with old bread. Put it in a hot oven (180-200 °C) until it starts to brown and feels crispy. You could also do it in a pan, or in a toaster. If it's toasted, add the oil afterward, or your toaster gets oily. Slice a clove of garlic in half lengthwise (you can leave the skin on) and rub the bread thoroughly with it. Add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. This is also great with some fresh chopped herbs on it if you have some lying around: parsley or cilantro, and maybe even some lemon.

Hummus:

The hummus used here is from a pack, it was a pretty good one, but of course there's nothing like making your own. It's so simple, too. I know you're officially supposed to cook your own chickpeas for this but I'm way too lazy for that. So I just take a can of chickpeas (drained), the juice of a lemon, a small clove of garlic (finely minced), salt and pepper and mash the lot with an immersion blender. I add some olive oil, but not that much. If I've got time, I'll take that garlic and a finely chopped onion and fry them in some olive oil until they're soft and sweet, and add them to the hummus before mashing. I definitely prefer cooked garlic over raw in spreads, you can use more because it's much less sharp. Officially I think you're supposed to add tahini (sesame paste) as well, but I prefer it without.

Omelet:

Slice your shiitake mushrooms and fry them in some oil until brown. Add about half a chopped green onion halfway through, and a dash of soy sauce at the end. Set aside. For the perfect fluffy omelet (I finally listened to all those tv chefs and it really does work), heat a non stick pan until very, very hot and add some oil and butter. The pan should be so hot the butter melts and turns brown immediately. When the butter is brown (but not smoking), add one, two or three eggs (whisked). They should start setting at the bottom within seconds, and now you take your spatula or a fork and sort of scramble the egg while it's still liquidy. Because you mixed it up, the bottom of the pan is now again covered with liquid egg, which will set as well, and the top of the egg is sort of half liquid, half solid. If you use three eggs, repeat this step, otherwise you've got too much liquid egg. Allow to set until just barely solidified, another few seconds, but never let it get tough and leathery. The egg should not be in your pan for a long time at all. This is the moment where you add your shiitake-onion mixture (or fresh herbs, or grated cheese, or anything else you like), fold the omelet closed, and serve. With a bit of practice, it will be seriously fluffy, and crispy on the outside.

Caramel ginger chicken

It's evil food (so bad for you), but it's love food at the same time (so, so good).Caramel ginger coated chicken wings with sticky rice and an orange shiitake salad with an orange-ginger-sesame dressing. Guaranteed to win hearts over.

RECIPE

caramel ginger chicken

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Caramel Ginger Chicken:

This recipe comes from a cooking class my mom took with a Chinese lady in San Francisco. We rarely eat it, because my mom likes to try new recipes whenever she can, but I still consider it a family favorite. Especially with sticky rice!

800 gr organic chicken wings 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup fish sauce, warm 1 tbsp soy sauce 4 shallots, thinly sliced 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 1 tbsp peeled and finely shredded 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 green onion, thinly sliced Some cilantro

In a large, heavy pan, sear the chicken in a bit of oil until golden on all sides. Set the chicken aside but don't clean the pan.

For the caramel sauce: cook the sugar in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat, until amber in color, continuously stirring. It might smoke slightly. When all the sugar is caramelized, immediately remove from the heat and add the warm fish sauce and soy sauce. It is extremely hot and will bubble vigorously, so beware of splattering. Return the mixture to low heat and boil gently, swirling it around untill the sugar dissolves completely - about three minutes.

In the chicken pan, saute the garlic, ginger and shallots, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the chicken and the warm caramel sauce. Bring the lot to a boil, cover and let simmer gently for 20-25 minutes, until tender.

Serve with short grain sticky rice sprinkled with gomasio (sesame, toasted until fragrant and crushed with salt with a mortar and pestle), and salad or warm green vegetables.

. Orange Shiitake Salad:

Mixed lettuce 2 oranges divided into sections. See how to make perfect sections here. If you're lazy, just cut slices, I don't like the orange membrane so I section them. Reserve the leftover orange juice for dressing. Shiitake mushrooms Soy sauce Cilantro

Dressing:

I can't give amounts here, just taste and adjust as you go along.

Juice from the oranges and/or a lime Soy sauce Sesame oil Some ginger and garlic, minced extremely finely Gomasio (sesame, toasted until fragrant and crushed with salt with a mortar and pestle) Black pepper, sambal (chili paste) or a finely chopped red chili