Category: Eat.

It’s a Date! – Not just for Valentine’s Day…

..it's a date!

..it’s a date!

Somewhere around Christmas it was, I guess, that I had bought the Medjool Dates at Lidl. For a nice snack or something on Christmas Eve, or one of the other days we had the family over.

But, as usual, the dates weren’t the only items bought for that purpose. So, we had to postpone them, and postpone them.. and.. well, you get the idea.. and given the date (Teehee! another ‘date joke’) of this post.. it took me a while to finally prepare them for a little snack. But what a day it was to do it! Tomorrow will be the day that René will run his first ever Half Marathon, so we had to make sure he/we ate enough ;) So the dates served as a nice little starter!

This is not really a recipe, then, though.. just a suggestion, and some minor instructions. Because it’s just dead simple. If you can’t do this, you’re an idiot.

So.

What you need:

  • Dates, halved, pit removed
  • Cream Cheese
  • Garlic, crushed
  • Chorizo, finely chopped

What you do:

  • Mix the cream cheese, garlic and chorizo.
  • Stuff it in/on the dates
  • Eat it.
  • Lick your fingers because the cream cheese is everywhere by now.

Can also do this with other kinds of spicy meat. Perhaps even with salmon. Or without meat. Or with goat’s cheese and bacon. Or without cream cheese and just eat the dates, plain, as they are.

Enjoy!

I’d like to think it’s healthy – spelt pancakes with goats cheese, walnuts and some honey

... rollin', rollin', rollin'...

… rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…

Having a look at the inside of my fridge in search for something to eat for lunch, I found some left over soft goats cheese.

Win. Always.

But what next? Well, it’s been at least two weeks since I had some spelt pancakes, so why not combine the two? Another extremely amazing adventure unfolding right here in my kitchen. Oh yes. Thrilling.

So. I tried it. And I loved it! So now I can blog about it, so that you can try it, and love it. Too!

For spelt pancakes, you need:

  • 100 grams of spelt flour
  • 1 egg (or half, but I was too lazy to grab myself a mug to beat it in so that I could only use half..)
  • about 150ml of milk, but just add enough that your mixture is not too doughy and not too wet. Just like when you make, well, pancakes. (Didn’t see that one coming, did you?)
  • a bit of salt (1/4 teaspoon?)

Mix all the ingredients together, put some oil in a frying pan and bake the pancakes. The quantity above will provide you with about 4 or 5 pancakes. Today I just made two, so only made half of this.

And, when you’re done with that. Just crumble some goats cheese on the pancake, followed by some crushed walnuts and a bit of honey drizzle. Just like this:

Simple, yet satisfying!

Simple, yet satisfying!

And then, roll them! Easy to prepare in advance too for a day at the office.

Christmas Dinner Sneak Peak

..if it walks like a duck... and talks like a duck... I've put it in the oven too soon ...

..if it walks like a duck… and talks like a duck… I’ve put it in the oven too soon …

So, this year, before doing the actual Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day with my parents and sister, we’ve decided (or, well, actually, I have decided) to give some things a test run, just to see what needs to be tweaked, whether the timings are alright, and so on and so forth.

Tonight was, therefore, duck night. Because one of the two main courses will be (yes, two main courses..) duck! Quack!

For the try out the main thing was to see whether my timing calculations would give me a perfectly rose chicken breast. Which, as you can see in the picture above, was a success! Hurray!

Another item on the to-do list was to see whether it would go well with a butternut squash and sweet potato puree.  It did. Puree might need some minor spices tweaks, but otherwise, it was good!

The potato wedges were just there as a filler for today, since today we’re not doing a 5-course meal. How strange.

But, in terms of taste, the duck was perfect. Nicely seasoned with some pepper and salt and later some cinnamon and honey. But there’s still something missing. A sauce-ey item, probably, so I’ll be looking for that in the next few days. If you’ve got an idea, please, let me know.

Obviously, there will also be some different presentation, but today wasn’t about that..

But, for now, the test run was quite a success! Cannot wait for Wednesday.

And until then, here’s what I did.

For the duck:

  • Preheat the oven at 175 degrees Celsius.
  • Score the skin/fat layer like this:

    ..hope the duck's not cross with me...

    ..hope the duck’s not cross with me…

  • And season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Bake it, on its skin, for 5 minutes in a frying pan on medium heat. You won’t need any butter or oil, for the duck skin and fat layer provide you with more than enough.
  • After 5 minutes, turn it and bake the meaty side for about a minute, turning it a bit to its sides too to make sure that there’s no more raw meat visible on the outside.
  • Place the duck in an oven dish, skin side up. Season with a proper amount of honey and cinnamon. Drizzle with the fat from the frying pan and put it in the oven for about 12-13 minutes.
  • After it’s done, leave to rest in some tin foil for 5 minutes.
  • Serve sliced and, again, with some of the fat from the oven dish.  And with a sauce of some kind.

For the puree, you need:

  • half a butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • ± 200ml beef stock
  • spices to taste. I’ve used cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, pepper, clove,

And what you do is, very simple..:

  • Preheat the oven at 220 degrees Celsius.
  • Bake the butternut squash and potato on a tray (covered in some sunflower or olive oil) in the oven for about 35 minutes or until they’re both nice and tender.
  • In a food processor, mix it with the stock (add in parts, until you think it has reached a good consistency).
  • Add spices to taste and stir.

Hopefully I can give you an even better recipe next week!

Easy Butternut Squash Risotto with a Zesty Twist

Who can resist a risotto like this???

Who can resist a risotto like this???

This was supposed to be a post long run carb load.  But we ended up DIYing ALL DAY today… so, it ended up being a post painting, sawing and screwing marathon carb load.

It still was good.

I have posted a similar recipe earlier, I believe, but just to be sure, here it is again, with the zesty twist.

What you need (serving 2):

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced (roughly)
  • 150 grams risotto rice
  • a bunch of spinach, blanched
  • 1 shallot onion, finely chopped
  • 1 single clove garlic, crushed
  • 500ml of boiling chicken stock
  • some grated cheese
  • a tablespoon creme fraiche
  • zest of one lemon

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius
  2. Put the squash dices in the oven for around 25 minutes. Until they begin look a bit brown. They must be very soft.
  3. Process the squash dices in a food processor together with the creme fraiche and some of the grated cheese until it’s a puree.
  4. Heat a heavy pan and saute the shallot and garlic until the shallot starts to look like it’s ready to become a bit brown.
  5. Add the rice and stir for a minute or two.
  6. Add 200ml of the chicken stock and stir quickly. Then, leave to simmer until most of the stock has been absorbed. Shuffle the pan every now and then to prevent it from burning but stir as little as possible. Keep adding more stock until the rice becomes soft(er).
  7. Add the lemon zest.
  8. Stir in the puree and spinach, remove it from the fire, cover it with the lid and leave it to rest for about 1 minute before you serve.

This time I served it with a few caramelized vine tomatoes. Just because it looks nice…(OK, it also tastes great..!)

Orange Rocky Road Clusters

Approved.

Approved.

Everyone who’s coming to tonight’s Track Attack session at Dorothy Hyman Stadium will function as my guinea pigs! Isn’t that lovely?

Last week, on a whim, I bought some cooking chocolate and some orange extract, inspired by the Terry’s Chocolate Oranges we got after completing 4 Silkstone Shuffles!

And, when I was figuring out what to bake for this week’s track attack, I figured I should use these ingredients with whatever I had left in the cupboards, which resulted in some nuts, some (extra) hazelnuts and raisin/dried fruit mix.  The result of it: Orange Rocky Roads! And I hope they taste as good as they sound… ;)

So, here’s what I did.

What you need:

  • cooking chocolate, I used two packets of Morrisons home brand, but I imagine all kinds of chocolate will do… really
  • 2.5 teaspoons of orange extract
  • 3 hands full of dried fruit
  • 2 hands full of mixed nuts
  • some additional hazelnuts
DSC_0015

Stuff.

And:

  • mortal and pestle (if you
  • 2 pans and some boiled water to melt the chocolate ‘au bain marie’
  • a baking tray + baking paper

What you do:

Crush the nuts a bit. Not too much, since you don’t want nut dust. Do the same with the hazelnuts:

Crushed nuts..

Crushed nuts..

Melt the chocolate! Always a nice thing to do…

Hmmmm....

Hmmmm….

Add the orange extract to the melted chocolate…

Orange extract

Orange extract

It really smells like oranges.. times 1024..

It really smells like oranges.. times 1024..

Mix the melted chocolate with the dried fruit and nuts mixture…

Chocolate bliss...

Chocolate bliss…

And then make nice little heaps of the mixture on a baking tray lined with baking paper!

Heaps and heaps of chocolate...

Heaps and heaps of chocolate…

Done!

Omnom (times 1337)

Omnom (times 1337)

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