The Culinist – Friday 15 June 2016


The Culinist

Cooking Tips

shutterstock_131854760This week’s cooking tips are about fruits and vegetables. Remember sharing means caring and therefore these cooking tips are not a secret!

1 ) ORGANIC, Maximize flavour in any dish by using organic ingredients. For example take a handful of organic cherry tomatoes to add color and also great taste to any summer salad or fresh tomato sauce. The great thing about organic cherry tomatoes in particular is that you get a nice bouquet of green, yellow and red touches in your dishes. However still pricey, organic produce is increasingly available in the Netherlands, and doesn’t have to be so expensive. In addition to it helps reduce the risk of cancer!

2 ) SKIN IS GOOD, Don’t remove the skins when boiling small vegetables and roots such as carrots, beetroot and new potatoes to make sure as many vitamins as possible stay in the vegetable. Remove the skins after cooking if you must, but when making a potato salad, it is also easier to remove the skins after you’ve boiled them or keep the skins on for extra flavour.

3) BALSAMIC, add a splash of balsamic vinegar to recipes with strawberries to enhance flavour! A perfect dish for summer is a green salad with strawberry balsamic vinegar. Mix 2 teaspoons of fresh strawberry purée (you can also use strawberry confiture, jam or frozen purée), 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, toss over a generous bowl of mixed greens such as rucola, lollo, chicory, romaine to coat evenly and finish with some diced fresh strawberries.

Culinist’s Favourite Eateries

This week in the Culinist’s Favourite Eateries: private dining and brunch is the new cocktail hour.

Molenpad
Eating Cafe Molenpad is one of those place that have been around for such a long time, we sometimes forget its existence  because of its classic brown interiors and simplicity of the food and drinks served. However I value Molenpad as a bit more than a simple “eet cafe” as it is called in Dutch. In winter the split-peasoup warms you up instantly and tastes like my mother used to make it, served with slices of pumpernickel and bacon or “katenspek”. Molenpad is also a favourite during summer as they have a perfect sunny terrace by on the Prinsengracht. Try one of the specialty beers on the menu and since they have a French chef the lunch and dinner options have improved significantly serving not your typical pub grub! Cafe Het Molenpad, Prinsengracht 653, 1016 HT Amsterdam. Open all days of the week for lunch and dinner from 12:00 to 01:00. $

The Cookery
Gourmet Chef Adrienne Eisma welcomes you in her home on in a renivated Gentleman’s House on the Valeriusstraat in the upscale “Oud Zuid” district. As you enter you are greeted by the celebrated chef and her hostess and guided into the livingroom where a dining table is set perfectly like photography taken from one of Martha Stewart’s interior books. The livingroom that looks more like a salon, is decorated with black and white family portraits and art. It overlooks the inner garden, as if it needed any more romance. Adrienne’s livingroom is perfect for intimate or private dinners. Each course is delicious and composed to perfection. They serve wine almost a volonte and after dessert coffee and tea are served with friandises and homemade cinnamon biscuits. It’s the prefect place if you want to enjoy a gastronomical dinner but without the fuss of a regular restaurant. Menu’s are French/Italian inspired with the use of local and seasoal produce. If you would like to use your own liviningroom to entertain Adrienne also caters on site! La vie est belle! The Cookery by Adrienne Eisma, Valeriusstraat 250 HS, 1075 GL Amsterdam. Dinner, Catering and Private Dining upon reservation. $$$

Nielsen
I love brunch, and there are very few places that do brunch they way I like it: a savoury egg dish, large glass of fresh juice and an Earl Grey tea. But at Nielsen they also do lunch very well, its club sandwich ranked second best in Amsterdam! What I noticed is that the waiters are predominantly men, that add some sort of old charm to this cozy eatery in the quaint Nine Streets District.  The menu features a variety of egg dishes, scrumptious salads, sandwiches and then  the club sandwich. Also try the omelet with mozzarella and basil, but make sure to order one to share, since this is a 3-egg omelet. Cafe Nielsen, Berenstraat 19, 1016 GG Amsterdam,  is open from Monday to Thursday for breakfast and lunch from 08:00 – 16:00, Saturdays until 18:00 and Sunday’s until 17:00. $

Must Love Food & Drinks

“Do one thing every day that scares you”, is what Eleanor Roosevelt once said. I love classic dishes, ingredients and drinks, simply because I like them – a lot – but sometimes I catch myself going for the familiar because it’s convenient. With the Culinist’s MUST Love I also dare you to step out of your comfort zone to do one thing every day that, uhm, well scares you…!

Rabarcello

Rabarcello, I sometimes dream of The bittersweet tangy flavour of Rhubarb compote, souffle or sorbet. The arrival of rhubarb on the market tells me that summer is near. This vegetable turned fruit is versatile and embodies every flavour that you can think of when imagining summer. Dutch orgins Mister Kitchens inteoduces Rabarcello  an artisan liquor derived from rhubarb. It has a sweet tarty flavour and is said to be produced without any additives. My favourite is a spritz variety which is Rabarcello with Prosecco, a perfect and refreshing cocktail for a hot summer day. www.rabarcello.com

Ponzu sauce, We all know teriyaki sauce which is actually derived from the cooking technique teri which is the glaze made from soy sauce, sake and mirin. Another nice ingredient is Ponzu sauce which is  a citrus-based sauce with a tart flavour and dark brown color. It is actually made from mirin, rice vinegar, katsuobushi flakes and seaweed. It’s a perfect ingredient to add a different twist to your salmon sashimi, tataki or tuna tartare dishes. You can buy ready-made Ponzu sauce or your own by mixing 4 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of Mirin, 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce and 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Pour over fresh salmon sashimi and top with some fresh herbs and black sesame seeds.

Salmon Sashimi Ponzu

Salted-Caramel-Puddles-IMG111227

Salted Chocolate Carmel, chocolate and salt?? Yes, it is said that adding a small flake of salt to chocolate enhances the flavour and tempers the sweetness. When contemplating which bonbons to choose from ‘the box of chocolates’ I read the enclosed card first to see if my favourite flavours are included. Salted chocolate may sound odd, but the taste is good! Different varieties are available from Hotel Chocolat, British chocolate artisans. Try the Milk Chocolate with Caramel & Sea Salt, or Salted Caramel Puddles.  www.hotelchocolat.com

The Culinist – 14 June 2013

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