Saturday, November 26, 2011

The daring kitchen: cooking with tea


Blog-checking lines: Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

As written before, I am terribly late with this post. This should have been posted around the 14th november, but due to a lot of circumstances, it didn't.
But not blogging it was not an option, because the recipe was so great.
I've never cooked with tea before so this was a challenge. And I am thankful to Sarah that she did challenge us to do it.
I've made tea smoked salmon with wasabi latkes. I've found the recipe at www.foodnetwork.com.

It's really an easy recipe but the unique taste of the smoked salmon combined with the spicy latkes was delicious. My childeren loved it and so did my husband and I.

Next time I blog I hopefully have some pictures of my meadow procect included as well. Due to the fog that's almost all the time around it, I couldn't make them before. But the project is going so quick. But that for the next post.

Here's the recipe for the smoked salmon with wasabi latkes. Enjoy it.


- 1 pound salmon fillet, center cut, skin off;
- 1/2 cup mirin;
- 1/2 cup water;
- 1 tablespoon sugar;
- 1 tablespoon salt;
- 1/4 cup ginger julienne;
- 1 teaspoon toasted Szechwan peppercorns;

Smoking mix:
- 1 cup long grain rice;
- 1 cup sugar;
- 1 cup oolong tea or black lychee tea;
- 1 piece aluminum foil;
- 2 wet cloths;

Wasabi Potato "latkes" 

- 2 cups warm riced potatoes (boiled in salted water, drained well);
- 1 tablespoon butter;
- 1/4 cup sliced green scallions;
- 1 tablespoon horseradish;
- 1 tablespoon wasabi powder mixed with a little water to form paste;
- Salt and black pepper;
- 1 cup all-purpose flour;
- 3 eggs, beaten;
- 1 cup bread crumbs.


Cut the salmon in 4 equal pieces and place in a small hotel pan or baking dish. In a bowl, mix together mirin, water, sugar and salt, stir until dissolved. Add ginger and peppercorns to liquid. Pour brine on salmon and marinate for 1 hour. Pull salmon out of brine and place in a bamboo steamer. In a wok lined with foil add the rice, sugar and tea. Mix well and turn wok on medium heat. When mixture starts to smolder, place bamboo steamer on top. Seal the seam between the bamboo steamer and wok with wet cloths. Turn wok down to low and smoke for 15 minutes. Turn wok off and let smoke another 15 minutes. Salmon will be about medium rare and should be served warm.

Wasabi Potato "latkes"
In a bowl, mix warm potatoes and butter. Mix in scallions, horseradish and wasabi. Season with salt and pepper. Shape potato mixture into 2 1/2 inch diamater cakes. Dredge the cakes in flour followed by egg and finally panko. Deep fry cakes at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Friday, November 25, 2011

FFwD: herbed olives


I haven't been blogging last week for good reason. I didn't have my computer at home. I blinked my eyes and then it was gone. My husband needed it for very good reasons (he had a business exchange), where he held a demonstration of his photography work (he is a very good photographer in my opinion (check out: www.janssen-fotografie.nl if you like). And I could not post.
But today he came back and here I am again.

In America yesterday was thanksgiving, and I do love the idea to be grateful. So we also stood still at that day, to be grateful. We don't know thanksgiving in the Netherlands, so we still had to work. The turkey didn't make it to my plate therefor.
But I had a few guests on wednesday for a very nice workshop, and I had to take care of the snacks.
We were free to choose something from the great book around my french table from Dorie Greenspan and I choose the herbed olives.

It was a great succes. I only forgot to get the kernel out of the olives, a small error.
And not only did this taste great (and also did smell very good), it looked great in the jars.

We aren't supposed to blog the recipe on the blog, but you can find it on the internet, for example at the following link:

And don't forget to give your partner an olive before you kiss him / her (because of the garlic added).

Friday, November 18, 2011

FFwD: Braised cardamom curry lamb


Another Friday and it has been two Fridays ago, that I've blogged on French Fridays with Dorie. It has been two busy weeks. I had my birthday and because I like to cook, I made everything myself (sorry no pictures and no recipes... yet). I haven't blogged that because I wouldn't make it on time on my birthday party. But I did have quite a few good recipes, I discovered. A red velvet cupcake, one from DC cupcakes with strawberry and champagne and one with a chocolate ganache. Great taste all three of them and I will make them again and blog it, I promiss.
I also made an Indian buffet with the curry we made for the Daring Kitchen and butterchicken, three salads and rice. And it was all gone.

The last two weeks were also busy weeks in my garden and I suspect there will be another two weeks of work. We (and by we I mean my dad and me (and for a great deal my dad)), are making and painting the two large containers for the fruit bushes. A lot of them, but not all, have to be planted in october - november. And they are probably going to arrive tomorrow. A littlebit (say 3 days) to soon, but they have a container around their roots, so lets hope for the best.

But I also had my cooking memberships from the daring kitchen and french fridays with Dorie. I'm already to late with the daring kitchen, so I'll blog that saturday (I hope).
But I'm on time with my FFwD blog and it was so in style with my birthday party. We ate braised cardamom curry lamb.
I went to the grocerystore around here and I've been looking for the curry mentioned in the recipe. There wasn't any curry. So I thought lets make it from scratch. And that's what I did. But my curry was very, very, very hot. So it took over a lot of the taste of the Dorie recipe. I like hot, so I didn't care that much, but my husband found it to be to much.
Through the hot flavour the taste was really sweet and the lamb was tender. The potatoes did taste really nice.
It should have been a great recipe without the hot spice, I'm sure.

We aren't supposed to write the recipe on this blog, but you can find it at the link followed:

See you on saturday.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Update of my meadow (2)


I promised to  blog two weeks ago for an update on my meadow. But the weather was not that nice and it was more work than was expected, so you can guess it took a little bit longer. But as the saying is, good work takes time. The herb garden is finished. Without the planting though.

First there was a tractor which ploughed the grass we had sowed in spring.
Then there were at least three trucks full of sand to heighten the herb garden. When we looked a few weeks ago we estimated that the height of the sand would be one board high to level everything out. We made the containers for the roses (they will be placed on the end of the herb garden) two boards high.
We weren't quite right. The height difference from the beginning of the meadow untill the end of the herb garden is two boards (about 50 cm, 20 inch).  That became a lot of sand. Then the sand had to be leveled, as seen on photo 2. And we placed a canvas to keep the weed out of the gravel. We've measured out where the containers should be placed and filled them with sand. At last we put the gravel in. The gravel looks a bit yellow, but that's the mudlayer on the gravel. After a big rain shower the definite color will be seen.
For the last picture I placed the pergola. But it's got to have it's definite place in the future. It will be placed a lot higher, as you can guess after reading this. Stairs will be made to go to the kitchen garden. In the big containers and on the pergola, roses will be planted. I hope they will come soon. The firm said the roses would be delivered this week, but I haven't gotten them yet.

The herbs can't be planted yet, because of the mild frost we are already experiencing. The plants are already there in the two containers in the back of the second photo so in the early spring the transplant will be done. When I moved them in this season the roots wouldn't be strong enough to live through the frost and all my work would been gone away. I don't want that off course.

The wood for the other containers and the chicken coop has just been delivered. Wow, the timing is really great.

I am certainly very glad with the end result for this week: