Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sea bass on a bed of fennel and tomato

Time for some fish. Almost every Saturday I make my way to the market, and I love it so much. There is a great market closeby (Ten Kate market), with a nice mix of fruits, vegetables, weird stuff and fishfishfish. The fish is fresh and surprisingly cheap. Really uncomparable to the stuff you can get in the average supermarket here - where it's prepackaged and overpriced.
Last Saturday the fish stand had sea bass on offer. I bought a nice two person-sized one and continued my round past different stalls, buying different vegetables and fruits. At home I searched the internet a bit, and decided to make the following: (and it was FABULOUS!)

Sea bass on a bed of fennel and tomato (serves 2)

500 g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm slices
olive oil
1-2 fennel bulbs (top and bottom cut off), sliced (NL= venkel)
2-3 tomatoes, cut into wedges (NL=partjes)
4 anchovy fillets (in oil, from a jar of can)
4 cloves of garlic, cut into large chunks
300 ml water + bouillon cube
bunch of fresh dille
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 sea bass (about 300 g), cleaned but with head (NL=zeebaars)
2 lemon wedges

* preheat the oven to 200 C
* boil the potatoes for 7 minutes and drain
* rub some oil in an oven dish and spread out the potatoes, making 1 layer
* put the fennel, tomatoes, anchovies, garlic pieces, some dille (not all of it) and the oregano on top of the potatoes
* boil the water and dissolve the cube in it with a fork
* pour the bouillon over the vegetables and place in the oven for 25 minutes
* rinse the fish under the running tap (NL=kraan) and pat dry with some kitchen towel
* make 5-6 undeep incisions into the skin on both sides of the fish, rub some olive oil onto it and sprinkle salt and pepper outside and inside of the fish
* put 2 lemon wedges and some dille in it's stomach opening
* place the fish on top of the oven dish and bake for 20 minutes more

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cauliflower soup

So, it's been a while. A long, long while. My life has changed radically. The cute little house in the forest is still there...but I'm no longer in it. At least not permanently. It will now be a place to hide from the big, bad Amsterdam.
Yes, I've moved back. I found a job and a house, and I'm enjoying the buzz of the city once again. Looking out of my window I no longer see deer jumping around, it's just the neighbors across the street closing their curtains. It's a different life, completely. Not so much time for blogging anymore! But, now that everything has settled down a bit, I think I'll start again. Even if it's just as a notebook for myself.
Today I will start with a recipe I got from my mother-in-law. It's delicious, fresh and very pure. It sounds a bit complicated, but actually it's quite simple. Just try it!
I'll serve it tonight on my Easter dinner, followed by lamb, spring vegetables and a dessert.

Cauliflower soup (serves 4-6)

1 cauliflower (NL=bloemkool, S=blomkål)
1,25 L water
1 large tablespoon of butter
1 onion, chopped
1 sellery stick, chopped
2 tablespoons of flour
100 ml cream
50 g grated pecorino and some extra to serve
nutmeg (NL=nootmuskaat, S=muskot)

step 1
* cut the cauliflower in half. divide in two parts, and cut one part in nice florets, without the green
* bring 1,25 L water to the boil in a large pan and add the florets. boil for around 5 minutes, until just tender
* when that's done, take out the cauliflower with a (slotted) spoon and put it a bowl to use later. don't throw away the water!

step 2
* cut up the other half of the cauliflower, including the green, in large chunks
* take a large pan and fry the onion and sellery in butter, until soft and shiny
* add the unboiled cauliflower and greens, and 2 tablespoons of flour and keep frying for a minute, while stirring
* add the water you used to boil the cauliflower in and cook for 20 minutes

step 3
* purée the soup and add 100 ml of cream, the pre-boiled florets and 50 g of pecorino
* taste, and add salt and pepper
* serve with freshly grated nutmeg and some extra pecorino or parmezan

I changed the recipe a little bit - originally it has carrot instead of sellery, and parmezan instead of pecorino. All variations taste good. What I especially like about this soup, is that it's creamy but still has texture, and that it's very pure in flavour. Vrolijk Pasen!