Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vacation recipe: pork lion with a cucumber carrot salad

A new recipe in our vacation special. Again with the use of the skottelbraai. But also possible with a barbecue. With the summer temperatures rising again (we're in the top 10 of hottest temperatures in July in the last 100 years), this is a very simple and light recipe to make (even if you're not on vacation).

I've split the recipe for the salad. One half I made with the dressing, the other half I made without. Children aren't always to fond of a dressing, but almost every kid loves carrots and cucumber. So the vitamins can come there way without the dressing!

Ingredients (4 persons):

  • 3 carrots;
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt;
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar;
  • 2 teaspoons sugar;
  • ice berg lettuce;
  • 1 cucumber.

Pork lion

  • 500 grams pork lion;
  • 3 tablespoons soja sauce;
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar;
  • 1 teaspoon sugar;
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil.

Mix for the marinade: 3 tablespoons sojasauce, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cut the pork lion in 1.5 x 1.5 cm cubes and put the cubes with the marinade. Make sure the marinade is on all of the cubes. Leave it for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Take a stick and put the cubes on the stick. Put the sticks in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Clean the carrots. Cut the bottom and top of the carrot and slice au julienne. Put the carrot in a colander and poor the salt on top. Mix well and leave for 10 minutes. Meanwhile cut the cucumber au julienne and put in a bowl. After 10 minute clean the carrots with water and dry well. Put the carrot with the cucumber. In a small saucepan warm the vinegar slightly and whisk the sugar in. When the sugar is dissolved let it slightly cool to room temperature and poor it over the cucumber carrot mixture. Keep it in the refrigerator until use.

Heat the barbecue. When ready put the sticks on the grill. Grill in 4 minutes the pork lion until its rose in the middle.
Meanwhile put a iceberg lettuce leave on each plate in a way you get a small bowl. Put the salad on top. Put the stick on the plate and serve with bread.

4Pure: pork lion with a cucumber carrot salad

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Meadow - update fruittrees


In the last couple of weeks it's been very good weather for the meadow. First of all it was really warm and then we got enough rain. The fruit looks great!
That was a good time for taking a picture! Great to know is that not only is there a great diversity of fruit in the garden, like apples, plumbs, pears, nectarine, hazelnuts, walnuts, pears, cherries. But there are also a lot of different varieties of fruit. For example there are seven different varieties of apples, like the Ecolette and the Granny Smith. But there also are two different kind of plumbs, a sweet Reine Claude and a sort to bake with.
The walnuts are also hanging in the walnut tree and there are quite a lot of them. Great news after the bad walnut year of 2012.
I finish the post with my most favourite apple to see (the beautiful pink and intense green combining in one apple!)

Friday, July 26, 2013


Today a simple, but very nice recipe: crêpes. A wonderful recipe for lunch, from the famous book of Julia Child - Mastering the Art of French Cooking volume 1. It's a variation on the Dutch pancake, but thinner, so it's a wonderful dish in summer.

When I was prepping the dish for the picture, my eldest son Marc, who wants to become a photographer like his dad, took my camera. And with a little bit of help from his dad he made a few beautiful pictures. So hereby his very first online publication of his pictures.

The only thing you have to take in account is that the batter has to rest at least two hours in the refrigerator. When you want to eat it as a lunch, you have to make the batter early in the morning. You can make the crepes before lunch and keep them warm at a plate that is placed on top of a pan with simmering hot water.

- 1 cup - 240 mL cold water;
- 1 cup - 240 mL cold milk;
- 4 eggs;
- 1/2 teaspoon salt;
- 1 1/2 cup (188 grams) flour;
- 4 tablespoons melted butter.

Mix the water, milk, eggs and salt. Add the flour, mix and then the butter. Put the mixer high speed and mix for another two minutes. Place the batter for at least two hours in the refrigerator.

Take a frying pan with a bottom-line of 6.5 - 7 inch (17-18 cm). Put it on high fire. Poor a few drops oil in the pan and grease the bottom. Get the pan of the fire and poor 1/4 cup (60 mL) of batter in the middle of the pan. Turn the pan until the whole bottom is covered. Place the pan back on the stove and leave for 80 seconds. Loosen the crêpe from the bottom and turn around. Leave for 30 seconds and slide the crêpe on a plate. Repeat this for the rest of the batter.

And for the end result:
4Pure (Marc Janssen): Pile of  crêpes 

4Pure (Marc Janssen): Finished crêpe,

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Vacation recipe: fast macaroni

Again a very easy vacation recipe: fast macaroni. You can serve it with some good fruit, cucumber and a salad. Ideal for warm weather.
This recipe is a family recipe and the favourite meal for our youngest. When you ask him which meal he chooses as diner, he always chooses macaroni. No french fries, no pizza and no hot dog, but macaroni. He eats such a lot of it, that he even don't want a dessert.
So it's almost impossible to go on a holiday and don't cook macaroni for once. Our youngest would be so disappointed.
To prepare the macaroni you are going to need the following ingredients:


  • 125 grams bacon;
  • 250 - 500 grams minced beef;
  • 500 grams macaroni;
  • 1 onion;
  • 1 big can of tomato paste (about 60 grams);
  • dash olive oil, extra virgin;
  • to go ahead a salad, cucumber, and/or melon and Parmesan.

Fritter the onion. Cut the bacon in small slices. Put a frying pan on low heat and add the bacon. After 1 minute add the onion and bake for another 4 minutes. Meanwhile boil water in a big pan. Add the minced beef to the onion / bacon mixture and bake it until it's well done. When the water boils add the macaroni and cook as written on the directions on the package. We love to cook it just al dente. 
Spoon the beef mixture on the sides of the frying pan and put the tomato paste in the middle. Bake the tomato paste for about two minutes. You know when it's right when the aroma of the paste changes from sour to sweet. The same happens with the flavor of the paste. When you bake it for about two minutes it becomes a little bit sweet. When you don't the paste tastes sour. 
Mix the tomato paste with the beef and turn the heat of. Drain the macaroni and add a dash olive oil. Mix very well. Then add the beef mixture and again mix very well until every macaroni piece got a nice orange/red color. Serve this with a salad, cucumber and/or melon and you've got a delicious meal. (we also love to grate some Parmesan on it, to taste even better!)

4Pure: super fast macaroni

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Vacation recipe: hamburger with bun the luxe

There is one dish that my eldest son loves: A hamburger with a bun. He loves it (of course) with french fries, but if we try to keep things a little bit healthier, we eat a salad or roasted potatoes as a side dish.

We try to keep the hamburger as healthy as possible, by taking a quality hamburger and combine it with lettuce, cucumber and tomato.
On vacation we've got a skottelbraai. A very popular sort of barbecue in Holland. But you can also use the skottelbraai as a big frying pan. Today a recipe with the skottelbraai: a hamburger with bun the luxe.

Ingredients (4 persons):

  • 4 hamburgers (the best you can get);
  • 4 hamburger buns;
  • 2 tomatoes;
  • 4 slices bacon;
  • lettuce;
  • 50 grams feta;
  • salt en pepper.

Wash the lettuce and tomatoes. Cut the lettuce in sizes just a little bit bigger than the bun. Slice the tomato. Cut the buns through. Crumble the feta with you fingers and add a little bit of salt and pepper.

Cut with a sharp knife a little bag in the hamburger. Put one tablespoon of feta in the hamburger and press the sides, so the cheese won't leek out.
Turn on the skottelbraai (or barbecue). Bake the bacon crispy and leave it to drain the excess fat on kitchen paper. Grill the inside of the buns, until you see the grill marks in it. Lay each bun on a dish. On the bottom of the bun, put the lettuce.
Grill the hamburger, about 3 minutes on each side, until it's done. Put the hamburger on the lettuce. Top with bacon and tomato and as last the top of the bun.
Have a nice meal!

4Pure: skottelbraai  hamburger bun de luxe

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Broad bean salad

In Holland we had warm weather. The sun was shining and I love a salad in this weather. I worked in the meadow today and there were quite a lot broad beans and lettuce. That is a great base for a nice salad with some bacon and honey.
If you don't like the bacon, or you are a vegetarian, you can use sun-dried tomatoes instead.

- Broad beans, about two hands;
- Lettuce, different kinds, about two hands;
- 150 grams bacon;
- 1 teaspoon mustard;
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra vierge;
- 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar;
- 2 teaspoons honey.

Bring water with one teaspoon of salt to a boil and cook the broad beans for three minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Get the skin of the big broad beans. Warm a frying pan and bake the bacon until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper. Break the bacon in small pieces. Mix the lettuce, broad beans and bacon well.
In a second bowl whisk olive oil, mustard, vinegar and honey. At taste add some vinegar or honey. Poor the dressing over the salad and eat immediately.
This is a very nice dish with a baguette or a bruchetta.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Salad with melon, ham and mozzarella

Now the vacation is over and we're open in business again. The weather is great here in Holland. A lot of people are still enjoying vacation and so for the next couple of weeks we're going to blog a few vacation recipes. They are easy to make, delicious and don't need a lot of utilities.

We start with a light salad: a melon salad. Ideal for lunch (and we enjoyed it very much).

1 cantaloupe melon;
200 grams mozzarella;
2 tablespoons olive oil, extra vierge;
salt en pepper;
raw ham, which is the top of the hams in your vacation area (in Spain the Iberisch ham is one of the best);
fresh basil leaves.

Cut the flesh of the melon in small triangles of about 2 cm. Cut the mozzarella in the same size. Season with salt and pepper at taste. Poor the olive oil on top and mix everything very well.
Cut the basil leaves and mix the through the salad. Put the salad on a plate. Around the salad put a circle of the best raw ham of your vacation area.