vrijdag 23 april 2010

Impromptu dessert

Yesterday we had an unexpected dinnerguest. One of the salesmen from Jaaps company was here and they needed some time to talk - and we all needed to eat. As our guest has been on the road for over two weeks now I suggested the men to come over for a home cooked meal - I was making a huge lasagne anyway. They happily agreed.
Having guests in your house is not a regular 'thing' in HongKong. Or in our appartment. The dinnertable is permanently in use as a desk - so I had to clear that out. Having guests is definitely good for the appearance of ones little house!
Usually the two of us have dinner on the couch - so laying the table was a new concept in this appartment.

While laying the table a dessert came to my mind. So simple - and so good!

quick summerfruit icecream

300 grams of frozen red fruit, mixed (I have them premixed in my freezer, ususally to add to smoothies in the morning)
150-200 ml of cream ( I had one of those long life packages lying around)
3 tablespoons of yoghurt
2 tablespoons of sugar
to taste a dash of rosewater, rosesyrup or perhaps a nice liqueur, I used rosesyrup. (not required but it does add a certain ' je-ne-sais-quoi'!)

-Add all ingredients in a stand-alone blender or in a high jar when using an immersion blender

because the fruit is frozen you get instant ice cream, soft and creamy.
Either serve immediately or place in the freezer until it's dessert time. When frozen hard give it ten - fifteen minutes to soften.

Serve in nice glasses, just like it is or with some extra cream, a cookie or liqueur on top.

Mango and orangeblossom water, one fruit only, banana with chocolate sprinkles or caramel on top...

zaterdag 10 april 2010

the Japan-files

the stories are in Dutch but the pictures of Japan speak for themselves...

My wonderful week in Japan is documented and updated here !

zondag 4 april 2010

zaterdag 3 april 2010

egg-free ' mayonaise'

OK. I am cool. I am very, VERY cool. I made mayonaise....!
I've always been a little intimidated by home made mayonaise. And I was ok with the store-bought ones. And I don't use that much mayonaise. So, no reason yet to try making my own. I did bookmark a few recipes for 'easy' or 'one step' mayo - all involving immersion/hand held blenders (staafmixer in dutch). Now THAT's a tool I love and can handle. And own. And enjoy. Due to tiny kitchen space many other toys will not make my shelves here in HK, but this one is a joy.
So, back to the mayonaise.

As a part of my morning rituals I read the new entry on David Lebovitz's blog. About eggless mayonaise. EGGLESS?!?!?!
A little more reading brought me here and here. OK. Officially we cannot call this mayonaise because it contains no eggs. BUT...it is an emulsion (oil in liquid) and it's silky, creamy, light and taste a lot - well- like mayonaise!

It's open for variations: different oil will give slightly different flavor, one can stirr in a variety of herbs or spices, even some caramelized onions (or onion jam from a jar :-) ), some yoghurt or mustard.
It will be a beautiful dip for crudite's of steamed artichokes, spread it on (toasted) bread or pita, use in salads or on sandwiches.

I feel a potato-salad coming up. Or deviled eggs. Or tuna salad. Or maybe with lots of fresh herbes, some extra lemon juice and some yoghurt stirred is as a sauce for fish - or asparagus?

The use of an immersion blender is highly recommended in this recipe, or a small tabletop blender.Regular blenders may be to large for this small amount.

egg-free mayonaise with parsley

1/3 cup (80 ml) cold milk, whole (in dutch: volle melk)
1 teaspoon fresh lemonjuice
1 small clove of garlic
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup (+/- 180 ml) vegetable oil. I used sunflower with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and next time I might try rice bran oil

- In the high plastic or glass jar that comes with the immersion blender mix the milk, lemon juice, pepper and peeled garlic. (or use any high glass jar that can hold around 2 cups)

-Buzz for around 30 seconds until frothy

- with the motor on high speed (if you have options :-) ) very slowly start to add the oil, drop by drop. It might emulsify and thicken - but that could also only start to happen towards the very end. Keep blizzing!

- Continue to add the oil, gradually increased to a thin stream, until the mayonnaise is thick and smooth. Be patient, it may take a few minutes before it resembles mayonaise.

- If you are happy with the thickness of the mayonaise stop blending. You may have a little oil left, or you may need to add just a little more. This can vary every time.

- Add a little salt to taste.

- finely chop the parsley and add to the mayonaise. Ajust seasoning with a little more salt or lemon juice.

- transfer to a smart looking jar :-), that looks nice and professional in your fridge!

* note: as lemon juice does curdle milk don't add too much
**note to myself: next time use a little more lemon juice and only half a garlic clove. Will try the stirring in yoghurt or mustard after finishing. Or a tablespoon of truffle-oil (definitely less or no garlic when using truffle-oil)

This dip will keep in the fridge for at least a week (and probably longer).