The Italian feeling

A new adventure begins
I am on my way to Padua, I was last there with my friend Pia before I started LCF in 1978
Then with a Peugeot 407 coupe with 2 windsurfers on the roof.
I am going to browse the markets and cook with friends , who have now the time to enjoy my passion too.
My first food in Italy was in San Remo in 1969, then in Varese my first plate of pasta with shaved truffles over it, never to be forgotten, after that visiting my friend Penny Radford at her Hilltop holiday homes, Prato di Sotto in Umbria, giving cooking classes there to a few of my students.

Also wine trips with Ellen Bax tasting the most fantastic wines imaginable
And even more culinary moments in the past years
I love Italy, the pureness of its food made possible by perfect ingredients.
This morning we are of to Market, I am told one of the best in northern Italy
More later
It was a lovely morning despite the weather, we had great fun buying the ingredients for lunch tomorrow. Then some culture visiting the amazing Palazzo Della Ragione .
Originally constructed in 1218 as the seat of the law courts and the city council.

Last night Foeke made a artichoke risotto ,
As you know I love artichokes and here you can buy them already cleaned
The recipe was from the seller of the artichoke !, the best way to learn , from the source.

6 young small artichokes cleaned and sliced in about 4/6 slices
1 onion chopped
Olive oil
A fresh stock (vegetarian)
one can use cubes, the Italians do
Canaroli rice
White wine
Flat leafed parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the onions in a casserole with the olive oil and cook softly for a few minutes. Add the artichokes. Pour over the wine and cook gently for 10 minutes, add a little more wine or stock if necessary to cover the artichokes
Add the rice and ladle over a little of the warm stock, when this is absorbed add a little more
Season well, when the rice is cooked , remove from the heat, add a little of the Parmeggiano cover and leave to stand
Serve with chopped flat leaf parsley and the remaining cheese

I once learned that when you press a grain of risotto rice between the thumb and index finger and you only see a small tiny white point of the kernel of the grain , it is cooked.
Risotto should have a bite to it.

Notes( I found this)
Cooking the rice al dente is the first, biggest step to greatness. Just like pasta, you want the grains to have a slight bite-you want each grain to have its own identity. The best way to test is to taste it. But if you’re unsure, employ the smear test. Take a grain and put it on a smooth surface (like a cutting board or your countertop). Press your finger into the grain and smush it down while dragging your finger across the surface. If it’s undercooked, the grain will chunk apart and you’ll be able to clearly see the white, raw center. If it’s just right, your smear will start to smooth out, but you’ll be still be able to see a little bit of the white, al dente center of the grain. If it’s overcooked, the smear will be totally smooth.


Called the “king” or “caviar” of risotto rice, chefs like to use this one for its great flavor and because each grain maintains its shape. It also produces the creamiest risotto and is more forgiving to cook with.

Tonight we are eating at one of there favorite restaurants , simple but good. I look forward to it.
Padua is not plagued by tourist despite it proximity to Venice and has some wonderful what I call real shops. Hat shops, beautiful clothes shops, real specialist shops with wonderful arrays of food, chocolates and sweet meats.
A true feast for the yes.
Most visitors are pilgrims or connected to University life.
The lively local restaurant was run by a Dutchman who had lived for forty years in Italy. The food was good we had three starters, delicious creamy baccalau, black black sepia in a delicious sauce with white polenta and a wonderful stew of stuffed small ink fish . Actually that was enough bit we had ordered one of their lovey stews too. Mine was rabbit.
Finished of by chocolate mousse wit three spoons.
The city is upstart night so we stopped fora wee nightcap in one of the local cafés
Full of students earlier it was filled with old men , then locals popping infer a simple meal.
Despite the bad weather we where out and about, the covered walkways making a it almost dry.
We had fun walking the streets , having coffe and tremizzino for lunch and we even made roast chicken followed by apple crumble on Sunday, for some of their Italian friends in their tiny kitchen with 2 small oven baking tins

We had seen puttanesca on the market and decided to make it last night, we even managed to buy a special cutter in a very small ironmongery

that and the prepared artichoke bottoms with a
Bagna Caudo made our meal last night , and a little pasta just with butter and parsley
Life can be so simple and cooking together with Foeke and Charlotte such fun.
Padua is a lovely city full of history and art and throbbing with student life
And not many tourists either, most are Italian pilgrims Foeke says.
I loved it there despite rain and snow and can imagine in summer with all the lovely terraces and the tiny cobbled streets a great place to be..until deep into the night

Bagne caudo
12 cloves of garlic ( 1 head)
100 g anchovies
1 cup olive oil ( or a little less)
20 g butter
A little lemon juice
Chop the garlic fine, chop the drained anchovies , place in a small pan with the olive oil and allow to cook over a low heat for 20 minutes , the garlic should not discolor
Purée and add the butter and lemon juice .
I used this as a dressing for the Puntanessca , it is often used as a dip sauce with vegetables and it is great dripped over a good buffalo mozzarella
Now in the plane with a few goodies in my bag and many happy memories
I must visit Italy more often…

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food and wine make good travelling companions

I have travelled with Ellen Bax  for 30 years or more and enjoyed every moment

our last big trip was Vietnam

My one dream is still India, but that may no longer be possible and they have no wine, but there is a to to still see and taste nearer to home

Vietnam- we spent the last days at a great resort on an island to recover from our tiring trip

We ate swam and slept on the oceans edge , wonderful

Last week I lunched at 212 the new restaurant on the corner of the Herengracht and the Amstel from Richard Oostenbrugge en Thomas Groot .

It was delicious, pure flavours and interesting combinations to be expected from 2 top chefs who know what they are doing, in there own special way of dining ,just a wonderful experience

Then today a very typical french lunch at Bouchon du Centre, a place one often returns to for the classic french cuisine from Lyon. A very interesting concept in a simple traditional atmosphere , a one woman show .

Tomorrow lunch at  Rijks with Ellen after a visit to the Rijksmuseum, what a wonderful way to spend Sundays !!!

No this is not a normal week but fun specially in this cold weather

16 th March I go to Padua near Venice for 4 days and we will be visiting the food markets to be sure as great friends of mine are living there for almost a year now and cooking up lots of delicious food. That is why I am going !! but firstly to see them of course but I just love cooking together with friends



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Cold weather and comfort food -puddings

As you may Have realised I do not eat many sweets but used to be a dab hand at great dessert buffets when I did a lot of catering in the 1980’s to 1990’s

Hazelnut Dacquise, Mille Feuille , Chocolate roulades, Lemon meringue pies, Trifles , Strawberry shortcakes, Pavlovas and many many more. Cakes in the form of castles, cakes which got trodden on by mistake, cakes which melted in the heat.

I wa  never really keen on cream or bavaroise but love panna cotta and baked peaches in caramel sauce , I adore raspberries and tropical fruit when ripe as I ate in Vietnam

thought this photo may cheer you up.

But I don’t often eat an apple but love them in desserts

Now with this weather my mind goes back to these puddings


Oven baked apples with orange Sabayon




12 golden delicious apples

0,75 ltr Madiera

75 gr sugar lumps



115g flour

150g Icing sugar

3 egg white

150 gr butter

finely grated orange rind



6 egg yolks

120 gr. sugar

3,5 dl orange juice

Grand Marnier or other orange liquor to flavour


almond mixture

90 g almonds

75 gr. sugar

½ egg

grated lemon rind

1 tsp lemon juice


Make the tuiles first or buy them !! brandy snaps are also good with this dish

Mix the ingredients for the tuiles together, leave in the fridge to become firm.


Smooth out in circles and bake on non stick paper at 180° C (about  5 min.).

Take out of the oven and place on  rolling pin or on a form.


Almond mixture

Grind the almonds finely, add the sugar, the egg, lemon rind and juice. Mix the mixture well Peel the apples and remover the centre core with an apple corer.

Fill the hole with the almond mixture

Place the apples in a oven proof deep dish pour over the Madeira and sprinkle with the sugar

Place in the oven for 30 minutes to bake (oven van 180° C.)

Check the madeira does not burn !

For the Sabayon beat the egg yolks with the orange juice and sugar over a moderate heat au bain marie add the Grand Marnier to taste, keep beating until it begins to thicken.

Pour of and keep warm

Serve the apples in a shallow bowl, pour over the sabayon and top with the biscuit

While in Vietnam we attended a cooking school Morning Glory in Hoi An

I bought there book a Taste of Vietnam and still mean to cook from it .

This was 4 years ago almost to this day February 2014

I loved our journey and the food was incredible, an  experience I would not have missed it for the world


Now another apple recipe

This one is a bit more difficult but delicious, we served it in our Christmas menu


Baked apple stack with Panttone “French toast “, caramel sauce and

vanilla and rum ice cream




10 cooking apples

2 tbsp sugar

50 g butter

Make small cuts in the apple to stop it bursting during cooking.

Place in a buttered oven dish sprinkle with sugar and dot with butter.

Bake in the oven at 180 ° C until tender but not collapsed. Baste from time to time.

Remove from the oven and form into squares with the help of a spatula or form into rounds in a round form


Pain perdu


1 cup sugar

12 dl milk

4 eggs

pinch of salt

10 slices of Panattone bread/cake

50 g butter


Beat half of the sugar with milk, Beat the eggs with the salt. Dip the bread in the milk then in the eggs. Heat the butter with the remaining sugar in the pan. Allow to caramelize, add the bread and fry until golden brown. Place an apple on each plate. top with the pain perdu and place a scoop of the vanilla rum ice cream on top


Serve with a caramel sauce.


200 g sugar

1½ dl water


Slowly dissolve the sugar in the water, when dissolved bring to a slow boil until caramelized. Pour on 11/2 dl warm water and allow the caramel to dissolve again. Set aside to cool.

and here is classic with a difference

Bread and butter pudding with rosemary icecream

Ingredients:                                                                 Batter

5 crisp baking apples                                                                                6 tbsp butter

2 tbsp lemon juice                                                                                     3dl milk

Nutmeg                                                                                                            2dl light cream

200g sliced almonds                                                                                Sugar

1 loaf of old bread                                                                                      Nutmeg

6tbsp butter                                                                                                  60g sliced almonds

6tbsp sugar

1¼dl cider

Cut the apples into thick slices, remove the core and pits and squeeze over some lemon

Toast the nuts, either in a dry pan or under the grill. Turn regularly

Remove the crust from the bread and cut in slices.

Place a layer of the slices in a well buttered oven dish or casserole

Melt the butter in a large pan, add the sugar, the nuts, the lemon juice and water or cider or apple juice. Toss in the apple chunks

Layer the apple mixture with the remaining bread in alternating layers in the dish or casserole. The final layer should be bread

For the batter, beat the softened butter with the sugar, add the eggs, milk and cream

Pour over the bread, sprinkle with the remaining nuts, sugar and nutmeg

Bake in a preheated oven at 175°C for 20mins

it could take a little longer than this so test it before taking it out of the oven .


Ingredients rosemary ice cream

375 ml milk

Bunch of rosemary

90 g sugar

5 egg yolks

185 ml cream



Heat the milk with the rosemary and half the sugar until almost boiling, leave to stand

Mix the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and beat until thick and creamy

Re-boil the milk and pour over the egg mixture, whisking well. Place the bowl au bain marie and warm gradually, stirring well until it thickens. The temperature should not go above 85ºC

When the custard is at the right thickness, place the bowl in some cold water to stop the cooking process. Leave to cool, stirring from time to time. Leave in the fridge for some time, covered

Remove the rosemary from the mixture, beat the cream and add to the custard

Churn until frozen or pour the mixture into a container to a depth of 4 centimetres.  Cover with a lid and place in the deep freezer

After 1½ hours, beat the mixture and return to the freezer. Repeat this 2 more times and leave for at least 30 minutes before serving


I hope this helps you to feel warm and spring is on its way

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Nigel Slater


Yes I do Have beetroot mania as you will know by now.


I know have a new recipe from NIGEL SLATER


My favourite English writer and cook

You can look it up on the internet. HE ROASTS THE BEETROOT IN THE OVEN WITH THE CHICK PEAS….

and I made his Gooseberry Fool with my gooseberries from the garden which I had frozen..

He has just started a new Program on BBC 2, Friday 9pm !!

Nigel Slaters Middle East the first series he has made for three years


I think well worth watching, a travel and cooking program in one in his own laid back way.


This is a recipe from Mischa de Winter who worked with me for about 10 years

We often served it for the Open Tuinendagen

He is now to be found at Amsterdam Flavours



Red Beetroot and Feta Hummus


25 g day old bread

200 g red beetroot, cooked and finely chopped

1 tsp. Tahini

1 clove of garlic crushed

2 gr ground cumin

75 ml olive oil

30 ml lemon juice

salt and freshly ground black pepper

100g Feta cheese


Place the bread in the magimix and make crumbs from, add the beetroot, the tahini, the garlic and the cumin, then slowly add the olive oil and lemon juice, then with the pulse knob incorporate the feta cheese. Season to taste.

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 Cooking is a passion one can never forget

My prize trophy

When I was just starting LCF in 1980 I went on a very expensive culinary professionals trip, we visited 4 Three star restaurants in just as many days, Paul Bocuse was one of them.Trois Gros another , the third was Alain Chapel and the fourth I cannot remember, I have never eaten so much in 4 days in my life

An experience I will never forget

Now our culinary Godfather has passed away.

He was here when Cordon Bleu was waving the wand for a few years, together with Johnny de Boer for a reclame spot..

However he spent the whole day sitting on my tribune with his wife and I chatted to him in my poor French

One thing I know is that I cannot live without cooking, it is more difficult now but I still do my best

I served my favourite recipe of Quails to some of my bridge friends this week

With fried pumpkin and onion ragout, the recipe is somewhere in my blog, but a quicker one is the following recipe and serve it with a freshly made Salsa verde.

 Oven roasted quails in pancetta with roasted tomatoes, sage and  Ciabatta



1-2 quails per person,you could you small poussin, baby chickens( the cooking time will be longer)I buy these on the Saturday market ,

2 to 3 lemons cut into pieces

1 bunch of sage leaves

Salt and pepper

100g butter

20 slices of pancetta


1 ciabatta bread cut into rough pieces

500 grams small (cherry) tomatoes

Olive oil

1kg wild spinach



Pre heat the oven to 200°C

Season the inside of the quail with salt and pepper and place a piece of lemon, a sage leaf and a small piece of butter in the bird.

Season the outside of the quails and wrap them up in the slices of pancetta. Place side to side on a baking rack from the oven and set aside.

Place the ciabatta in a roasting tin, scatter over the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt, pepper, olive oil.

Place the oven rack with the quails in the top of the oven and slide the roasting tin with the bread and tomatoes underneath.

Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. If necessary, spoon the ciabatta around from time to time and push onto the ciabatta to produce the juices

I like my quails slightly pink, but that is up too you.

You can also use the blauwe hoen legs, but then roast a little longer


Wash the spinach well and fry quickly in a little olive oil and garlic and add to the ciabatti mixture.

Or with small leaves just toss through

Recently I could not cut my pumpkin in half and Marleen was not here to help me 

so I put it covered in the oven with a little water and then after about 20 minutes I took it out and cut through it like butter

Meanwhile I made my diner, a salad of Cavolo Nero and beetroot with a dressing with this new vinegar I have been given, it is from a producer in Venlo.

Food Delicious Azijn- Top !

I don’t like sour but this I could almost drink.

the Tomato Basilicum is already finished it was houdbaar until 1.05.2019!!!!

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Cavolo Nero recipes

Article DeTelegraaf February 2001

The Risotto recipe follows and does a recipe for Polenta

Risotto from the garden




50g butter

1 tbsp olive oil

2 finely chopped shallots

200g Cavolo Nero or green cabbage finely chopped

1 tsp salt

450g Aborio rijst

1½ litre chicken stock, this is lovely when freshly made but I use Porcini stock cubes sometimes

1 piece of parmesan cheese (crust) scrape it clean and wash well before using (Only if you have it in house)

salt and fresly ground black pepper

50g butter

50 to100g grated parmesan cheese

chopped leaf parsley




Melt the butter and oil in a pan with a thick bottom add the shallot and fry for a few minutes until soft but not coloured, add cheese crust and  the cabbage and allow to cook for a few minutes, with aloud on the pan.

Add the rice to the pan and raise the heat slightly, stir well until every grain of rice is covered in oil, this takes a few minutes and is called toasting the rice.

Heat the stock and add 1/2 of it to the rice, and let it be absorbed over a medium heat, then add the remains stock, soup  ladle by soup ladle , one at a time, wait until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more, keep stirring lightly until the stock is absorbed, and it is a creamy mixture . Continue until the rice is cooked about 16 minutes.

Take a piece of rice between the thumb and the index finger and press to feel the centre of the rice grain.

If the grain has three small white points then it is cooked.

Add a nut of butter and the cheese and leave to stand for a few minutes.

Add the chopped parsley if desired before serving.


If any risotto s left over, make balls of it with a piece of cheese in the middle and fry for the borrel.



Creamy Polenta with Cavolo Nero




300 g very fine cornmeal

½ litre milk

½ litre water

1½ tl (15 g) salt

pepper freshly ground

a light oil

600g Cavolo Nero or (2 bulbs raddichio treviso)

25 g butter

2 cloves of garlic

grated parmesan cheese


Pour the water and milk into a large pan with the salt and bring to the boil

Remove from the heat and pour the cornmeal into the pan stirring well with a strong wooden spoon or I use a thin rolling pin. Return to the heat and cook on a low heat, stirring weel , for about 35 minutes

Clean the Cavolo Nero and remove any which stalks, blanch in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, drain well  and with cold water. Press out any moisture and then  lightly cook the garlic in the butter and toss in the Cavolo Nero.

Spoon this through the polenta and add the cheese and if necessary  a little more milk, it she be quite soft and creamy

You could serve a little fried small cubes of pancetta as a topping for this or Ganda Ham, sort Parma Ham from Gent

An Idea

Cavolo Nero is Your stampot instead of boerenkool.. I think it has more flavour !!!

Brandt&Levie have a good recipe with knolselderij(celeriac), Pastinaki(parsnips) and Palmkool,(Cavolo Nero) served with their delicious rookworst and fried pancetta.

They are to be found on the Saturday Market in Amsterdam Zuid, Jacob Obrechtstraat (Plien). Organised by a cooperation of inhabitants of Oude Zuid

I often stop by there on my way back from the bos with Jolly, it is less busy than Noordermarkt and they have some good stalls, the vegetable stall, with goods from the local farms  run by the inhabitants , who take it in turn to serve. Also Lindenhoff , my favourite poelier , forgot the name !!and lots of local incentives and of course Brandt &Levie


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A traditional Christmas menu




I dined in the brasserie of Hotel L’Europe last week and was surprised to be served this classic dish of marble de Foie gras

Here is a similar recipe made with a mousse of Foie gras which was on our menu about 20 years ago

it isn’t difficult!

Further the venison fillet is just so delicious with it lovely rich sauce and just needs popping in the oven for about 15 minutes, then a few minutes rest before serving

and the dessert can be made in advance

Marbré de pigeon et de foie gras

250g foie gras from a block (tinned)

125 g butter

100g Parmaham

12 thin slices of cooked pigeon or duck breasts or even smoked beef

100 g  mousse de canard


Puree the foie gras with the mousse, carefully fold in the creamed butter, season with pepper and fresly ground sea salt


Line a bread tin with plastic foil.

Line the sides and bottom with the parma ham, then make thin layers of the foie gras mousse and the thinly sliced pigeon breast ending with the mousse, lay on some Parma Ham, cover with plastic foil and leave to firm up.

Cut with a good sharp knife when still cold, lay on the plates and allow a few minutes to come up to temparature

Serve with a few grains of salt on the terrine

A small mache salad and a little confit of onions goes well with this


Medallions of stag with Sauce Bordelaise, traditional accompaniments


1 kilo deer or roe deer filet , (rug)


2 glasses of red wine

2 dl olive oil

10 juniper berries

1 teaspoon finely ground bay leaves

salt and black pepper

50 g clarified butter



Prepare the meat, remove any of the fleece (thin white skin)this will help to stop it shrinking

Cook the red wine to a glaze. Allow to cool.

Mix the olive oil the juniper berries, the bay leaf and salt and pepper into the wine

Pour this over the meat and marinade for several hours.

Remove the meat from the marinade and dry well.

Heat the oil in the pan and when hot add the butter. Quickly sear the meat on all sides  set aside

When needed place the meat in a roasting dish and roast in the pre-heated oven for about 15- 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the cut of the meat  at (180°C)

Allow the meat to rest before cutting into thick slices(medallions).

Reserve any cooking juices and add to the sauce.



50 g butter

100gr bacon cut into pieces

250g mushrooms e.g. mousserons

1 dl red wine

1 glass port

3 dl game stock

Melt the butter and fry the bacon in the butter until the juices run, add the mushrooms to the pan and fry until golden brown. Remove from the pan, deglaze the pan with the red wine and port and simmer until the red wine and port is reduced to a third, pour in the stock and leave to simmer slowly on a low heat. Before serving add the mushrooms and bacon to the sauce. Add any juices from the roasting of the meat


Parsnip puree

2 onions

1 kilo parsnip

100g butter

2 –3 dl cream

Cut the parsnips into pieces. Melt the butter in a large pan or casserole and add the onions and the parsnips and fry until they just begin to colour, add the cream and cook on a very low heat until the parsnips are cooked. Stir well to avoid the parsnips catching on the bottom of the pan.

Smash with a fork to a fine puree. Keep warm au bain marie

vegetable garnish

500 g sprouts

50 g butter

2 shallots chopped


Clean the sprouts and cut into each sprout into quarters. Melt the butter in a pan, fry the shallots and sprouts stirring well, add a little water or stock season with salt and pepper and cook until tender but not soft


Prune tart with Armagnac, macadamia nuts and buttermilk ice cream

Serves 6-8


Ingredients:                                                                                             Garnish:

250g prunes without stones                                                         2 fresh figs

Red wine or strong tea to soak the prunes                            100g macadamia nuts

25g soft butter                                                                                                        100g sugar

1 tbsp. Armagnac

2 tbsp. marmalade                                                                              Ingredients buttermilk ice cream:

1 to 2 tbsp. sieved apricot jam                                                                      750ml buttermilk

1 vanilla pod

Rich pie pastry: (pâte sucrée)                                                        250g sugar

150g flour                                                                                                3 egg yolks

75g butter                                                                                                250ml of cream

75g sugar or icing sugar                                                                                     1 tbsp. lemon juice

3 egg yolks

A few drops of vanilla essence



Sieve the flour on a marble slate and add the salt, make a well in the middle and add the remaining ingredients. Knead these ingredients together (without the flour) with the fingertips of one hand.

When a soft paste is formed, clean fingers and mix the flour with the paste with a pallet knife. Knead the dough into a ball, wrap in aluminium foil, leave to rest in a cool place for at least an hour.

Roll the pastry out on a floured cool surface, lay on a flan ring or 22cm pie dish. Place greaseproof paper on top of the pastry and pour on baking beans. Bake in a hot oven (210-220°C) for 10mins.

Remove the beans and the paper and return the tart to the oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking.

Remove the tart case from the form and leave to cool completely.


Soak the prunes a few hours or overnight in red wine or tea, drain well and place in a buttered pan.

Add the Armagnac and the marmalade, cover with buttered paper and place on a low heat to soften.

Allow the mixture to cool, puree to a thick mixture in the food proc essor or chop with a knife.

Spoon the mixture into the form and spread out, cut the figs in slices and place in a circle in the centre of the tart.

Place the macadamia nuts in a pan with a thick bottom, add the sugar and place over a medium heat to caramelise. Turn out onto a lightly greased baking sheet and leave to harden.

Crush the nuts and sprinkle around the edge of the tart. Heat the jam and brush over the figs.

Serve with buttermilk ice cream:


Cut the vanilla pod lengthwise and place in a pan with the cream over a low heat to infuse for 10 minutes. Leave to stand to allow the aromas to optimize.

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and creamy, stir in the warm cream.

Rinse the cream pan with cold water. Pour in the egg cream mixture and stir over a low heat until 85°C, do not boil. Leave to cool well.

Add the buttermilk and scrape out the vanilla from the vanilla pod. Place in the ice cream machine, churn to a creamy consistency and place in the deep freeze until half an hour before serving.



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I am not a pheasant plucker I am a pheasant pluckers son !!!

I had forgotten how delicious pheasant can be

In the days of La Cuisine I often ate it, as I did many other things I don’t do so quickly now as I am alone

However now and again I have the pleasure of cooking for friends, my bridge friends and visitors from abroad then I try to do my best in my small galley kitchen or my camper van. As you know it is my passion.


This recipe I made Friday for our Bridge pro Patrick van Zinnicq Bergmann and our lesson quartet .


Casserole of pheasant and wild mushrooms



2 pheasants

2 tbsp oil

2 tbsp  dl balsamic vinigar

2 tbsp  honey

1 tsp herbs mixed (thyme , oregano etc)

2bsp oil and 50 g butter

100 g pancetta (optional)

1 small glass of grappa

2 glasses red itaian wine

3 bayleaf

2 pieces of ginger cut finely

4 onions cut in rings

50 g dried mushrooms (porcini, pied de mouton, chantarelles, trompet de mort)

soak in warm water

1 litre chicken stock ( the real thing )

Garnering : chopped parsley


Method :

Rub the oil, balsamico, honey and herbs onto the breast of the pheasants.Leave to stand for a time

Heat the oil in a thick casserole add the butter and when foaming brown the breast of the pheasant, (I used my Creuset pan , which is ideal for this). Remove the pheasant from the pan and add the onions and ginger, be careful not to burn them as the honey from the pheasant could catch on the bottom of the pan.

Return the pheasant to the pan , pour on the grappa and flame if desired(be careful)

Add the red wine and simmer for a few minutes, add the sieved water from the mushrooms and the mushrooms , rinsing them of to remove any sand.

Then add the bayleaves and the stock, bring slowly to the boil and simmer over a gentle heat or allow to cook slowly in a pre heated oven 180°-190°C for 1 hour, or until the meat falls from the bone.

Allow to cool in the liquid.

I then plucked of the meat and kept covered , in a cool place, reduced the cooking liquid slightly after removing any excess fat with kitchen paper, and seasoned to taste.

at the last minute I reheated the casserole, then slid the pheasant in to reheat


300 gr dried white beans – cannellini beans  -soaked overnight in cold water

1 onion, peeled

1 bay leaf

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

olive oil

salt and pepper


Drain the soaked beans and put into a saucepan with fresh cold water to cover. Bring to the boil and ladle off the scum. Add the onion and bay leaf and reduce the heat to a simmer. DO NOT ADD SALT AT THIS STAGE!

Cook gently for about an hour. When the beans are soft remove from the heat and discard the onion and bay leaf. Drain the beans but keep back about a cupful of the cooking water. Purée the beans in the kitchen machine or through a mouli – add the garlic and season to taste. Add olive oil and some of the cooking water to obtain a smooth thick cream. Keep warm.


this way is does not catch on the bottom of a pan

Buy the very best tomatoes  you can find and slice thinly. Make a circle on each plate with the tomatoes and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt. Spoon a good dollop of the hot bean mixture in the middle and serve with the pheasant. This may also be served with some slices of crusty bread or focaccia.


It was delicious but I forgot to make a finish photo

I served it with a Burgundy wine .

and another idea !

Pot roasted pheasant with sausage  quince sauce  Savoy cabbage and grilled sweet potatoes


Ingredient:                   (6 person)


100g sausage Italian Luganega or chorizo

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of rosemary

5 fresh sage leaves

4 cloves of garlic

20 black peppercorns


2 pheasants

2 tbsp olive oil or duck fat

5 dl stock



Method :


  1. Cut the sausage into pieces
  2. Heat the olive oil or duck fat in a heavy casserole with the garlic, sage and rosemary for a few minutes. Remove the herbs and set aside.
  3. Fry the pheasant on all sides to a golden color and set aside
  4. Add the pieces of sausage to the pan and fry until golden brown, add the onions and continue to cook until soft and translucent
  5. Add the herbs to the pan with the peppercorns, pour in the stock and bring to the boil
  6. Place the pheasants on top, cover with a lid and bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the oven at 190°C
  7. Remove the pheasant from the pan cut off the legs and return them to the pan
  8. Return the pan to the oven with the lid off for 20 minutes
  9. Meanwhile remove the breasts from the carcass and keep warm
  10. Cut the pheasant breast into pieces and add to the casserole just before serving

Savoy cabbage

Heat a little duck fat in a thick casserole. Cut the Savoy cabbage in a thin chiffonade.

Add to the pan and fry over a moderate heat stirring continuously. At the last moment add a little cumin if desired salt and fresh ground black pepper.


Grilled sweet potatoes


Cut the potatoes into thick slices , brush with olive oil and sprinkle with ground sea salt, lay on a piece of foil on a baking sheet and place under the grill, when beginning to brown turn over and brown the other side.

and another

Roasted pheasant with Vin Santo and pumpkin gnocchi

instead of pumpkin Gnocchi you could serve Pumpkin chips much easier

Vin Santo is a holy wine made from grapes. This wine has been in barrels for at least 3 years and resembles sherry and Madeira.



2 pheasants

Some herbs, for instance thyme, sage, chilli

Celery stalks

4 tbsp olive oil

1 glass of liquor e.g. grappa

2 glasses of Vin Santo

Salt and pepper

25g soaked mushrooms

1-2 dl cream



Place the celery and herbs in the cavity of the pheasant breast.

Rub the breast with salt and thyme and lay a thin slice of fat over the breast. Heat the oil in the pan wit a few cloves of garlic.

Roast the pheasants until golden brown, turning and basting the meat the whole time.

Pour off the extra fat and deglaze the pan with an eau de vie such as grappa and flambé (be careful)!

Pour the warm Vin Santo over the pheasant, grind over a little black pepper and place the lid on the pan.

Place on a low heat or in a moderately heated oven and turn the heat down after 7 minutes. Turn the pheasant every 15 minutes and baste with the cooking juices. The pheasant should be ready in ¾ hour to 1 hour – quicker if roasted in the oven. Remove the pheasant from the pan and keep warm.

Pour a little water / stock in the pan and scrape any cooking rests from the bottom. Bring to the boil, add the cream and the mushrooms, simmer for a few minutes and season to taste.

Cut the pheasant in four pieces, serve on plates or in a deep serving dish and pour over the sauce.


Ingredients gnocchi:

1kg Bildstar potatoes and 450g pumpkin

1½tsp salt

1-2eggs (optional)

200-250g flour (type 00)

60 g unsalted butter

Sage, finely chopped

50g parmesan cheese (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper








Cook the potatoes in the skin, pour off the water and allow to dry in the pan for a few minutes and then remove the skin. Cook the pumpkin in boiling water or stock and drain well in a colander.

Puree the potatoes and pass the pumpkins through a moule de legume.

Place the purees on a piece of marble or smooth working surface thinly dusted with flour, leave to cool slightly.

Add salt and flour (and eggs if desired) and knead to a smooth dough.

Roll out with by hand into sausage shape, cut into pieces of about 3cm long.

Dust a fork and your hand with flour and press the fork against the gnocchi to obtain a ribbled effect (this can also be done by pressing the dough against a cheese grater)

Bring a large pan of water with salt to the boil and slide a few gnocchi at a time in to the water. Once they rise to the surface, count out ten seconds and then scoop them out of the water, leaving them to drain on a moist tea towel. Repeat with all the gnocchi.

Heat the butter, add the sage and toss the gnocchi in the pan. Sprinkle with the cheese if desired, grind over a little black pepper.















Written by Comments Off on I am not a pheasant plucker I am a pheasant pluckers son !!! Posted in Recipes

Italian menu – autumn as yet no photos!

I came across this in my files and thought you may enjoy some of the recipes

The lasagne is already in my blog…

the dessert the chocolate tart was a real favourite , good for Christmas

Zucchine ripiene con pinzimonio ai funghi

Stuffed courgettes with a mushroom vinaigrette




  • 3 courgettes (medium)
  • 6 dried tomatoes
  • 200 g breadcrumbs
  • fruit pulp from the courgettes
  • 100 g almonds
  • 1 tin of chopped tomato
  • 2 tbsp oil



  • Cut the courgettes into pieces of 5 cms, remove the fruit pulp (with the aid of a “pomme parisienne”) leaving a cup in the courgette.
  • Chop the fruit pulp in the food processor and add the tomatoes, the breadcrumbs and the almonds. Mash till it’s creamy.
  • Fill the courgettes with this mixture. Pour the chopped tomatoes in an ovenproof dish and place the courgettes on top. Sprinkle with oil and cover with aluminium foil. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200oC for 20 minutes or until the courgettes feel done. Remove the paper for the last 5 minutes. Remove the courgettes from the oven dish, mix some olive oil through the cooking juice and flavour it with salt and pepper; spoon over the filled courgettes.


Vinaigrette with morels


  • 1 shallot
  • 6 morels, well washed and soaked in a little of water
  • 100 g “trompet d’amour” chopped
  • 100 g fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil, extra vergine
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • some chives
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes, cut in very small pieces



  • Chop the shallot finely and fry in 2 tbsp of the olive oil until soft. Add the the morels and the mushrooms and fry for a few more minutes.
  • Add the wine vinegar, and cook for a few minutes. Add the chopped chives, salt and pepper to taste and enough oil to give a beautiful vinaigrette.



Egg pancakes with wild spinach, Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella and pine tree seeds with raisins



Pancakes ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • a pinch of saffron, soaked in 25 cc hot water
  • salt and pepper



  • 500 g cooked wild spinach
  • 3 balls Mozarella, chopped
  • 100 g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 100 g pine nuts
  • Nutmeg, salt and black pepper
  • 25 g butter for frying



  • 1 dl cream



  • Beat the eggs with a fork in a bowl. Add little by little the flour, the soaked saffron and seasonings.
  • Melt the butter in a pancake pan and fry thin pancakes. Let them cool down.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing.
  • Distribute the stuffing over the pancakes, roll them and put them in a greased dish
  • Pour the cream on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  • Put the dish in the oven (180oC) for 20 minutes. After ten minutes cover up with aluminum foil.


Sardines filled with pine nuts




  • 3 tomatoes, in slices
  • ½ kg fresh sardines
  • 90 grams raisins
  • 90 grams of pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin



  • Clean the sardines, remove the heads, tails and bones, wash and pat and filet them dry.
  • Soak the raisins in hand-warm water till they are soft, remove the water and pat them dry.
  • Mix the raisins with the pine tree seeds, bread crumbs, garlic, pepper and olive oil
  • Place the sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet, wrap a sardine around each slicee of tomato and spoon in the filling.
  • Place in a hot oven for 10 minutes.

Torte Carciofi with lasagne


  • 500 g fresh lasagna pasta
  • 6 artichokes (preferably fresh)
  • 8 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 sausages
  • 5 dl béchamel sauce (see recipe)
  • 90 grams fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 220 g Mozzarella cheese, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons marjoran
  • 2 tablespoons chopped borage
  • salt and freshly ground pepper



  • Trim the artichokes and remove the hay. Cut into 4 or 8 like a cake and keep in water with a squeeze lemon juice until ready to use.
  • Fry the artichoke bottoms for about 10 minutes in 4 tbsp of olive oil.
  • Remove the skin from the sausage, fry in the remaining olive oil till crumbly (use a fork). Drain the fat off.
  • Heat the oven till 180o
  • Cut the lasagna leaves in pieces (the size of the oven dish), cook them (3 leaves per time) in boiling water with 1 teaspoon of salt per liter, cool them in cold water. Dry them on a cloth.
  • Grease the oven dish with butter. Lay a few slices of lasagna leaves in the bottum of the dish.
  • Mix the béchamel sauce with the sausages and the artichokes.
  • Spoon 1/3 of the béchamel mixture onto the lasagna leaves, fill the cavaties with another layer of lasagna leaves. Repeat with the remaining filling. Cover with the chopped Mozzarella and the grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake in the oven during 20 – 25 minutes.



Béchamel sauce


  • 25 g of butter
  • 25 g of flour
  • 3 dl milk
  • salt, white pepper



  • 1 shallot
  • 1 piece of carrot
  • 12 white pepper corns
  • small piece of mace
  • ½ bayleaf



  • Bring the milk almost to the boil with the vegetables and herbs. Let it infuse for about 10 –15 minutes. Sieve and let cool down.
  • Melt the butter and off the heat add the flour. Stir in the cold milk a little at the time.
  • Return the pan to the heat and bring slowly to the boil stirring well. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes on a very low heat.



Guinea fowl with morels



  • small pot of truffle-paste
  • 4 guinea fowls
  • oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 dl chicken broth
  • 1 glass of Grappa
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • 2 shallots
  • 100 g of cold butter
  • 20 g dried morels



  • Cut the double breast from the carcass and trim the edges.
  • Make an opening under the skin and spoon in the truffle-paste.
  • Reserve the wings to make a stock and use the legs for a confit.
  • Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the guinea fowl breasts with the skin side upwards on the baking sheet.
  • Just before baking sprinkle the guinea fowl with salt and pepper and bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes at 180°C.
  • Chop the shallots and fry in 25 grams of the butter until soft, add the Grappa and the white wine and reduce to 1/3. Add the stock and simmer until a tasty sauce is obtained.
  • Add the morels to the sauce and beat in the remaining butter just before serving.
  • Serve with a ratatouille of summer vegetables and risotto or potatoes.


Risotto in bianco conagliata e basilico




  • 1 liter of chicken stock
  • coarsely ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 125 g of unsalted butter
  • 1 red onion, peeled and minced (or one white onion)
  • 1 celeriac, the white part + the leaves chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 300 g of risotto rice
  • 150 ml dry vermouth
  • 6 tablespoons fresh basil, coarse-chopped
  • juice and shredded lemon rind of 2 – 3 lemons
  • 100 g Parmesan cheese, freshly abraded
  • 5 tablespoons Mascarpone cheese



  • Heat the chicken stock and check if it is tasty
  • Melt half the butter in a wide pan
  • Fry the onion and the chopped celeriac until soft but not coloured
  • Stir in the garlic and the celery leaves
  • Turn up the heat, add the rice and stir for a few minutes to toast the rice
  • Add the vermouth and half the chicken stock, keep stirring. Once the rice has absorbed the stock add the remaining stock little by little stirring continuously.
  • Add the greater part of the basil, the lemon rind and juice to taste, 50 grams of the Parmesan cheese and the Mascarpone
  • Do not stir too long, the mixture must be creamy
  • Serve with the remaining basil leaves and Parmesan cheese



Chocolate, nut and orange tart



  • 200 g of flour
  • half a teaspoon of baking powder
  • 65 grams of sugar
  • salt
  • ½ shredded orange rind
  • 150 g of cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice



  • Place the grated orange rind, sugar, butter, egg and a pinch of salt in the food processor.
  • Process for a short time until the ingredients are mixed.
  • Add the flour and a little orange juice and mix with help of the pulse to a smooth dough.
  • Leave in the refrigerator to firm up.



  • 150 g of sugar
  • 85 g of butter
  • ½ orange, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 200 grams of nuts
  • 85 g plain chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons of liqueur



  • Place the nuts and the chocolate in the food processor and roughly chop.
  • Cream the butter with the sugar and the grated orange rind.
  • Add the eggs one at the time and stir in the flour and the ground chocolate and nut mixture. Add a little liqueur if desired.
  • Roll out the pastry into a circle and use to line a 22 cms loose bottomed tart form. Prick the base with a fork, spoon the filling unto the base, smooth out and bake in a pre-heated oven of 190°C for 25 min.


Written by Comments Off on Italian menu – autumn as yet no photos! Posted in Recipes