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E(x)ggs-Benedict

4 Mrt

It must have been all brought under your attention that the Pope in Rome resigned on the 28th of February. Last week when I was on holiday in Austria he said goodbye to everyone of his staff and flew by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo, where he will reside for two months. I read on this nice blog that while the helicopter was flying above Rome, thousand of church bells were ringing. Although I am not religious at all, I have the feeling that this must have been a magical moment. I just feel so excited living in this eternal city during such a historical moment in time! That’s why I want to feature this amazing but difficult recipe, which I was send by my friend David, whom I met during my Italian lessons at the language school. Eggs Benedict is a traditional American breakfast of poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. I had never made or even eaten this before, so this was my first introduction. Although the recipe was difficult to make by myself (I got some help of my fidanzato J), it worked out fine and tasted delicious!

Ingredients

5 tablespoons of white wine, 1 tablespoon of tarragon vinegar (dragon in Dutch; I used normal vinegar because I couldn’t find the tarragon version), 5 grains of pepper, 1 leave of laurel, 2 egg yolks, 75 grams of melted butter, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 2 egg, salt and pepper and 2 slices of toasted bread (and some parsley if you’d like).

Preparation

First, melt the butter and separate the egg yolk from the egg white.

Cook the wine, (tarragon) vinegar, grains of pepper and laurel together for 5 minutes in a small pan on low fire. Then, separate the liquid from the herbs and put the wine in a glass bowl. Add the egg yolk and mix it. Heat up some water in a pan and hang the bowl with the mixed egg yolk on the pan, to heat it with steam. Add the melted butter slowly and mix it gently until the sauce gets thicker. Then, take the bowl and put it in cold water for about 10 seconds. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl with a lid to keep the sauce warm.

Heat up 1,5 liter of water and 2 tablespoons of regular vinegar with 2 teaspoons of salt until it almost cooks. Break and egg in a ladle or a soup spoon and put is gently in the hot water. Poach the egg for 5 minutes (for soft boiled) or 7 minutes (for hard boiled). Don’t let the water cook! Meanwhile, toast the bread slices. If the eggs are done, put them on a plate with paper towels to let them dry a bit. Then, put the toast on a plate with on top the poached eggs and then the sauce. Finally add the parsley, salt and pepper. Buon appetito!

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Dutch Peasoup with an Italian Twist

23 Jan

Last week I was in the Netherlands for my new job and I realized that I had missed the winter conditions so much! Here in Rome it’s just around 13 degrees and this weekend it was raining constantly. But, even though I am complaining right now, in 2 months the weather will definitely be much better!! Anyway, I got this amazing cookbook of Sophie Dahl from the girlfriend of my brother over christmas, and one of the recipes is a perfect example of the situation I am in right now. A peasoup with homemade pesto! When I told my boyfriend, or ‘fidanzato’ in Italian which sounds more mature than boyfriend :-), that we were about to eat peasoup, he looked at me almost disgusted! The peasoup that we dutch people are supposed to eat when we go iceskating outside, is not an extremely delicious dish.. however, this recipe of Sophie Dahl made the whole memory of thick and not so tasty peasoup go away!! And please, make the pesto yourself, because it’s soooo good..

Ingredients

For the pesto: 1 hand of fresh basil (only the leaves), 1 clove of garlic, a few tablespoons of pine nuts, 4 tablespoons of oliveoil, 25 g. of grated Parmezan cheese (Grana Padano for instance), salt and pepper. For the soup: 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 small onion, 2 small zucchini chopped in pieces, 8 dl. of chicken or vegetable stock, 450 g. of peas (from a can or from the freezer), 1 large hand of rucola.

Preparation

Add the ingredients for the pesto together in a bowl and blend them until you will get a smooth sauce. You can also make it a bit thinner with some water. Flavor it if you’d like. Then, add the olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion. Wait until the onion is soft, then you can add the chopped zucchini and stock. Let it simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the peas and the rucola and heat the soup until it cooks. When the soup cooks, let it on the fire for about 3 to 4 minutes until everything is soft. Take the blender again and blend the soup until it is smooth. Let everyone add the pesto to their soup themselves. Buon appetito!

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