Part I of the German Christmas cookie series!!
There will be 4 parts to this series. All recipes are property of Felix, as he transcribed them and decorated them at a very young age.
These are very delicate delicious vanilla sugar cookies.
- 300g white flour
- 250g butter
- 125g sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 125g ground almonds
- 2 packets of vanilla sugar
- A few spoonfuls of powdered sugar
- Mix together the flour, butter, sugar, egg yolks, and almonds (do it with your hands).
- Leave the dough for 1 hour in the fridge.
- After an hour, take the dough out of the fridge, and form tiny little horns.
- Bake at 180c for 15 minutes (ish), or until they are slightly golden, but not too much.
- Once out of the oven, throw them 4 at a time, face down, into a bowl filled with vanilla sugar & powdered sugar.
- Set aside and let cool.
This doesn’t look good.
Don’t lie to me… the photo is not great.
BUT the taste is 150% delicious. The weird thing is, it’s not actually Korean. It’s just flavored with Korean chile paste ‘Gochujang’, and has mung beans which are also very popular in Korean cuisine.
The recipe comes from Nigella (doesn’t everything delicious?!) from this cookbook gifted to me by my bestie Bibs.
This recipe is an easy, short-cut way to satisfy those Korean cravings, when you are too embarrassed to go back to the Korean restaurant for more Kimchi Jiggae- for the 3rd time this week…
- 500g minced beef
- 1 1/4 cups/200g brown rice
- 1 regular can chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup gochujang
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 300g mung bean sprouts
- Put the beef and the rice in the slow cooker.
- Pour the chopped tomatoes into a large jug. Fill the can with water, and swish it into the jug as well. Add the gochujang and the soy sauce, and stir to combine. Pour over the beef and rice into the slow cooker. Stir everything to ensure it's all fully mixed.
- Turn on low and cook for 4 hours.
- Just before the end, pour the beansprouts into a large bowl, and cover with boiling water and a lid for 1 minute. Drain, and pour into the beef and rice mixture.
- Put the lid back on for 5 minutes, then switch off the slow cooker and serve.
- If you do NOT own a slow cooker, fear not. Follow the same instructions, but pour everything into a cast-iron casserole dish, adding an extra 125ml water, and baking for 2-2.5 hours at 180c. At the end, do the bean sprout process explained above.
This is really healthy and really tasty. Whenever you have a hankering for pasta, but you are feeling really guilty, go for this. It has the same feeling because of the tomato sauce, but you’re only eating white fish.
You can serve it with whatever you wish, it’s pictured here with white rice & sautéed broccoli, but any green vegetable will be a nice compliment and if you want it to be one step healthier go for brown rice.
- A large glug of olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- 400g can chopped tomato
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme, or a few sprigs of fresh
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 cod fillets or another white fish
- Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add the onion, and stir around a bit to soften (5 minutes), before adding the garlic. Stir around for a few more minutes and add the tomatoes and the thyme.
- Simmer gently for 5-10 minutes, before adding in the fish, and covering each filet with a bit of sauce.
- Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the fish flakes apart. Season well with salt and pepper, and serve.
Armenian preserved walnuts are the biggest surprise of 2016. No one saw it coming.
It all started when I took a day off with a friend here in Brussels, to do a full pampering luxury day. We went to the spa, we relaxed, we went out for an 8 course lunch, we had cocktails. A little bit of everything.
At this fancy restaurant where we had our lunch, we had these walnuts for dessert. We. were. floored. We couldn’t help but ask the waiter how they made them. He pointed outside, and said ‘you buy them in a jar at the Polish store next door, they cost 5 euro.’ The mark up was criminal.
Jaws on the floor.
So since then, I’ve been on a quest to get back there, to buy my own and to recreate this magical moment. Thoughtful & generous Felix offered to drive me, and all of a sudden there we were.
The lady at the store was very interested about how I heard of them, and what I was going to do with them etc. She mentioned that they are delicious on fromage frais and I’ll admit I’ve done it and it’s incredible.
- 1 Jar of Armenian Preserved Walnuts
- Vanilla Ice Cream (or fromage frais)
- We don't really need a recipe here...
- I think it looks nice with the walnuts halved on top, and the most critical part is to drizzle plenty of the sugary syrup from the jar over the ice cream.
- Easiest dessert of all time.
Just another slow cooker miracle.
This one requires a teensy bit a of pre-work- probably 15 minutes worth before you can throw everything into the slow cooker, but it’s absolutely worth it.
You can eat this chili as soon as it’s done, but it’s honestly better 2-3 days later when all of the flavors have melded together.
- 2 small or 1 large ancho chile(s)
- 250ml hot water
- A large glug of vegetable oil
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon of dried chili flakes
- 1.4 kilos Boneless shin of beef (carbonnade meat), cubed
- 150ml Bourbon whiskey
- 1 33cl Bottle of Mexican beer, or lager (I used Maes)
- 400g Dried black beans
- 200ml Water
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- First of all, you should soak the beans in cold water overnight before you cook. It makes them easier to digest.
- When you are ready to cook, put the ancho chiles in a measuring cup, and add boiling water to the 250ml mark.
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and cook, stirring every once in a while, for 5 minutes or until they start to soften. Add the garlic, followed by the cumin, coriander, and chili flakes. Stir.
- Add the cubes of beef, and then the bourbon and let it bubble up before pouring in the beer.
- Add in the black beans and the ancho chiles ripped up, along with their soaking liquid (warning do not touch the wet ancho chiles with your fingers, I put my hands in tiny sandwich bags and ripped them apart like this). Add the water, salt, and maple syrup, and stir to combine.
- Pour this into the slow cooker and set it for 10 hours on low.
Mung beans are hugely neglected, in comparison with other peas, and often confused with beans or lentils.
They are in fact peas, with lentil-like qualities when cooked for longer periods of time.
This is great, and I realize it looks like a lot of things I cook… so sorry for that, I do love a lentil/bean/pea stew/daal/casserole!
- 1 large tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3/4 inch/2 cm cube of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 chili
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 bell peppers (red and yellow, or any colors will be fine)
- 2 medium potatoes/or 3-4 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 cups mung beans, rinsed and picked over
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 500g fresh spinach, washed and chopped
- 3-4 tomatoes, chopped
- Juice of 2 limes,
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh cilantro/coriander to serve
- Heat the ghee or oil in a large pan, and throw in the cumin. Stir for a minute and then add the onion, garlic, ginger, chili, and peppers. Sauté until translucent and softened, stirring regularly.
- Add the potatoes to the pan together with the turmeric.
- After another minute or so, stir in the mung beans and the water. Bring to a boil and then turn down and let simmer for 45 minutes.
- While it's cooking, chop your spinach and tomatoes, and juice the limes.
- After it's cooked for 45 minutes, add in the spinach and tomatoes, and let cook for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and pour in the lime juice, and add salt and pepper until the flavor really pops.
- Serve sprinkled with fresh cilantro/coriander.
- If you want this to serve more people, just put it over rice.
Doesn’t get much easier than this. It can be done in the slow cooker (the ultimate easy), or in the oven for a few hours (easy but does require you to be home, so more of a weekend dish).
It’s a British beef stew, which originates from Nigella in Simply Nigella, and slightly tweaked by me.
Honestly my biggest headache is going to the butcher and trying to translate what I need into French. It’s the one place I can’t seem to get my point across and I almost always walk out with something other than what I was looking for.
The original recipe calls for boneless beef shin. I gave the butcher a direct translation and he looked at me like I was the strangest customer he had ever served. If anyone can make a translation and send it to me I’ll give you a million dollars.
Stay tuned after this, we are also not finished with the beef stew series, next up is a true Belgian beef stew- Carbonades a la Flamande with a recipe given to me by my dear friend Bas (but you need to wait until next week for it!)
- 800g stew beef, without the bone, and chopped into cubes (ask the butcher for something that will become really soft after cooking for a long time) If you can find boneless beef shin, go for it
- 250g prunes
- 150ml Guinness beer
- 250ml stock (beef or vegetable, or chicken)
- 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
- 1/3 cup molasses (oil the measuring cup with a light vegetable oil before pouring in the molasses
- 2 short cinnamon sticks
- 3 bay leaves
- Put the beef and prunes together in your slow cooker.
- In a bowl, mix the stock, Guinness, molasses, and salt. Pour over the beef and prunes in the slow cooker. Add the cinnamon and bay leaves, and turn it onto low for 8 hours.
- That's it! You can eat this for several days after cooking, and it only gets better with age.
- If you prefer to cook it in the oven, put it in a cast iron pan with a lid, into a pre-heated over at 150c, and cook for 2-3 hours. Add a bit of water if the sauce gets dry (you won't have this problem with the slow cooker).
- You can serve this with whatever you want, crusty bread, rice, buttered noodles, or potatoes. Here in the picture it's made with mashed potato and spinach puree. Peel and chop 6 potatoes, put into a pan and just cover with water. Cook on high with the lid on until the potatoes are tender (timing depends entirely on the size of your cubes). When tender, reserve some of the cooking liquid, and blitz the potatoes with a hand blender. Add alternately splashes of milk and splashes of cooking water until you get the consistency you like, and then mix in a handful of frozen spinach. Stir until warmed through and combined.