Sunday, 25 August 2013

Lemon Mayonnaise from Scratch

If something's typically Belgian, it's got to be fries with mayonnaise. I confess I didn't actually like mayonnaise before moving here. Well I had only tasted the fast food version. Turns out, the homemade stuff tastes quite different (quite a few restaurants here serve it with their fries, which they serve with most dishes).
Of course it's still to be eaten in moderation as it's not exactly good for you, but you know, every once in a while...

Anyway, I took that recipe from my big "150 Dutch & Belgian Recipes" book, which as you'd expect from the title covers quite a lot...

Here we go:
- 1 fresh egg yolk
- 5ml/1tsp mustard powder or mustard (I used Tierenteyn mustard, a Ghent specialty)
- 15ml/1tbsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar (of course for lemon mayonnaise, use lemon juice... duh)
- salt and ground black pepper (I hadn't thought of it, but I have lemon pepper that would have gone well in there... next time I guess!)
- 120ml to 200ml/4-7fl oz vegetable or sunflower oil (I used the full 200ml, but the mayonnaise tastes a little greasy to me, so I might reduce it next time)

1. Mix the egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice/vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl (I put that in the mixer, but if you're going to do it by hand they advise placing the bowl on a wet towel so it doesn't move while you whisk).

2. Whisk the mixture vigorously with one hand while adding the oil drop by drop with the other. When it begins to thicken, add the oil in a thin and steady stream (again, the mixer is your friend here).
Stop when the mixture is thick and creamy.

3. Check the seasoning, then serve.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Panzanella Salad

Here's one of my go-to salad recipes, courtesy of Dutch celebrity chef Rudolph Van Veen. The Dutch call this tomaten broodsalade ("tomato bread salad"), which I find a tiny bit funny:)
Here's the original recipe, and here's my version:

a few tomatoes
1 or 2 spring onions
a few gherkins
some fresh thyme
2 slices of old bread
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

(The original recipe uses garlic/capers/basil/white wine vinegar instead of spring onions/gherkins/thyme/balsamic vinegar)

1. Cut the veggies (yes, I know, botanically tomatoes are a fruit!) and herbs into pieces. 
2. Cut/shred the bread into pieces and sauté it in olive oil. 
3. Mix everything together, seasoning with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Here's what you get:

It makes a nice light dinner with some salmon filets:
And... a lot of it came from the garden:
And the thyme too, but it's now too dark to take a picture:)