I’m enjoying an intimate breakfast for 2 this Christmas morning. I’ve decorated the table and put a lovely breakfast for me and my PIL. May you have a lovely Christmas.
My favourite food writer at the moment is Gizzi Erskine. I have her book ‘Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic’ for a while now and I’ve tried a lot of recipes since then. Love the food. Love the food writer (and chef). She’s so stylish. She reminds me of Holly Golightly in one of my favourite movies “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, even though miss Golightly can’t cook.
Today I want to share with you my favorite food from “Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic”: crispy-skin salmon with wasabi soba noodles. A true winner.
In the book this food was prepared with black soba noodles. But it´s so hard to find any, so I settled with regular noodles. The taste is still delicious.
Crispy-skin salmon with wasabi soba noodles
Recipe for 4
- 250g soba noodles (if you can find black ones, they’ll look beautiful)
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
- a 3cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 salmon steaks, skin on
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon wasabi
- 50g sugar-snap peas, diagonally sliced
- ½ red pepper, seeded and cut into matchsticks
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 spring onion, cut into matchsticks
- 3 tablespoons groundnut oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. If you don’t like crunchy rawness of the vegetables, you can parboil them for a little while. But if you cut them really thin, it’s not necessary to parboil them.
Meanwhile, mix the soy sauce, mirin, grated ginger and sugar in a bowl. Soak the salmon steaks in this marinade for 5 minutes, or longer.
For the noodle sauce, mix the mayo and wasabi together in a mixing bowl. Add the warm noodles, along with all the veggies, and mix thoroughly. Divide between 4 plates.
Take the salmon out of the marinade and wipe off any excess. Keep the rest of the marinade.
Fry the salmon in a pan, skin side down, in the oil for 6 minutes or until the skin has turned really golden and crisp. Be careful not to cook it too quickly – otherwise the sugar in the marinade will burn. Turn the salmon over and finish cooking it on the other side for a couple of minutes or until golden.
Remove the salmon from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Pour away the oil, then add the reserved marinade to the pan and leave it to bubble away until slightly syrupy.
Lay a piece of salmon on each plate, drizzle with a little of the marinade and sprinkle over some sesame seeds.
Yesterday my mum’s birthday. We held her birthday bash in my sister’s restaurant. I have made a cake with yellow and creamy orange roses (she loves yellow roses, that’s why). My hand is aching because I have to mould and color the marzipan by hand. That’s right, I don’t have equipment for that, because I don’t decorate cakes a lot. So at the end of the day I could not see another marzipan rose anymore.
I have to admit, it may not be the worlds most beautiful cake, but I made it with love and patience. And the cake was yummee: everyone liked it.
After the party, all the guests received my mum’s speciality as a give-away: spekkoek. Spekkoek is a Dutch-Indonesian layered cake and contains spices such as cinnamon, anice, clove and mace. It is a labour-intensive cake, so it’s only made and served during special occasions. But that’s another story.
Remember a few days ago I was talking about preparing my own vintage tea party? Well, today was the day. I have prepared my own tea party and made some lovely treats. Most of them are from the book ‘The Vintage Tea Party’ by Angel Adoree. My friend Ingeborg assisted me with preparing the food and the decorations.
This is the list with what we made for this day:
- French Macarons
- Cake of pear with dark chocolate
- Lolly’s of jamsandwiches
- Tomato-mozzarella balls
- A flag of sandwiches with roastbeef and cucumbers
- Welsh Rarebit
- Green Jasmine Tea with bubbles
- Lemon and lime granite
- Lots and lots of tea
We’ve already skipped some treats such as muffins and scones, otherwise it would be too much. But believe me, if it was up to me, I would have made a lot more.
The cake of pear with dark chocolate really surprised me, though. Usually, I’m not a fan of baked or cooked fruit (except for bananas), but I really love this cake. Or, in fabulous English: ‘tart’.
Here is the recipe of the Cake of pear with dark chocolate. I translated it from Dutch, as my version of the book is in Dutch, so I might have used other words than the original.
Cake of pear with bittersweet chocolate
- 115 gr. Butter, plus extra to grease the pastry mould
- 100 gr flour, plus some extra
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 175 grams fine granulated sugar
- 4 small pears, chopped, plus 1 pear to garnish, diced in slices
- 175 grams dark chocolate, chopped in small slices, plus some extra to garnish
- 100 ml crème fraîche, to garnish
- Preheat the oven till 180oC.
- Grease a spring cake tin of 23 cm with butter and cover with some flour. Strain the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. Mix in a large bowl the eggs with a mixer till a white, thick mass. Add the sugar and mix well together for a couple of minutes. Set aside.
- Heat up the butter in a saucepan until golden brown. Stirr occasionally. Pour the brown butter in a bowl. Set aside.
- Add one-third of the flour and baking powder and mix well together with the eggs and sugars. Stir half of the brown melted butter until batter is smooth. Stir again another one-third of the flour, then the other half of the brown butter and finally the rest of the flour. Stir until batter is smooth.
- Pour the batter in the spring cake tin. Pour with some chopped pears and dark chocolate on top of the batter.
- Bake for 40 – 50 minutes in the preheated oven until golden brown and until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool for 10 minutes. Serve the cake warm and garnish every piece of cake with some crème fraîche, one slice of pear and some rasped dark chocolate
Note: this recipe is from the book ‘The Vintage Tea Party’ by Angel Adoree.
If you’re not a cooking princess, try making the Tomato-Mozzarella bites. It is really easy and it’s a real treat to the eye.
Using a toothpick or a large barbecue bamboo pick, spear a pomodori tomato, a piece of fresh basil and a mozzarella ball. If you don’t have mozzarella balls, use a large mozzarella and chop it in small squares, like I did. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Place on a serving dish. Mix in a small bowl 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Use it as a dipping sauce for the Tomato-Mozzarella bites.
Sometimes you just take a look at your agenda and know that today is the day that you’re gonna visit an annual fair somewhere in Utrecht, for example. And then you go to the place where this fair’s supposed to, but it’s not there. Is it the wrong address? Is it the wrong date or time? Or are you just dreaming? Anyway, you just can’t figure it out anymore. But while you’re busy getting astray, you come across a second-hand store that you wanted to visit ages ago, but you haven’t visit before because back then, you couldn’t find it. Today was such a day for me. Luckily, the day was not a total loss, because I ran into this beautiful small tea set, just a slightly bigger than a children’s tea set. The beautiful teapot is about the right size for 500 ml tea, and the teacups are so tiny that it would be perfect for espresso or a café dopio. Hmm… maybe it’s an espresso set, disguised as a vintage tea set. I admit, the idea is lovely and I haven’t seen such espresso sets before.
Although I’m the lucky owner of a lot of teapots (unfortunately missteapot.wordpress.com isn’t available, otherwise that would be the name of my blog, because teapots are my passion), and I have made an oath to myself to not buying anymore teapots until I have a decent show-case to display my collection, I just couldnt resist! Now I’m the proud owner of a complete tea set with a sugar-bowl and a milk jug. And it’s for such a small price, even for a second-hand. (Do you often have the feeling that since Julia Roberts wore her vintage Valentino to the Oscars, everything that’s second-hand got more expensive than it used or supposed to?)
So this is a part of my teapot-collection. Believe me, I have more, lots more.
I só need a showcase now.
Even though I live in the heart of the Netherlands (Utrecht), but the small town Deventer will always have a special place in my heart. After all, I had lived in this town almost all my life, so I know my way around there. Some of you may wonder: ‘what’s so special about Deventer?’And others will simply ask ‘where on earth is this place?’. Well, to answer the last question first: Deventer is in the east of the Netherlands. Just google it ;). And what’s so special about it? Well, even though Deventer is small by size, it has large events, such as the biggest bookmarket in Europe, Deventer on stilts (international stiltperformers and streetartists) and of course the Charles Dickens festival around christmas. But Deventer is also known for it’s little things in life. For example: the many whimsical and artistic shops, the beautiful sightseeings and the best house I’ve ever had and now I don’t have anymore (but that’s another story).
When I visit Deventer, I always go to ‘A taste of Honey’, an inspiring and delightful corner where you can have a nice pot of tea served in vintage china, delicious bagels and the best (pricewinning) homemade applepie in the Netherlands. Just like today, Stephan, the host of this place, greet me with a warm welcome and a ‘we’ve-missed-you-around-you-haven’t-been-here-for-aaaaaages’-chitchat. That’s so nice about a small town, where you’re not thát anonymous. Too bad the restaurant dog Miller is not in the house.
And just like today I ran into a brand new store in this small town, called ‘Hemelse Hebbedingen’ (heavenly goodies). It’s a great store where they sell the best looking shoes and clothes ever, and stuff of Papaya Art! Woohoo… I’m crazed about Papaya Art, so every store that sells some of their items, is always a winner for me. I couldn’t help but buying something from Papaya. This time a lovely storage can with 18 postcards of birds in it. I’m a sucker for postcards, hence for my postcrossing.com membership. I’m also a sucker for birds: they’re one of my biggest inspiration. And I’m a sucker for nice storage cans with nice shapes and art. So you can see why I had to buy it.