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Wrap with Eggplant Pesto

29 Mrt

This recipe is one of my favorites! Me and my brother have come across this dish at a theater festival in the Netherlands. During the summer that I worked there at the ticket center, I loved this dish so much, I ate it every night :). Sometimes with fish, sometimes with chicken or beef, it didn’t matter which version of the wrap I chose, the taste of the pesto together with eggplant was perfect with everything! After several nights in a row me and my brother asked the chef for the recipe and I we were so glad he gave it to us! Yesterday I made these wraps with homemade tortillas, which makes it even more delicious. To make tortillas yourself is really easy. Click here for the recipe.

Ingredients

(for 2 people)

4 small eggplants, 30 g. basil, 25 g. of Parmesan cheese, 1 clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons of pine nuts, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, 10o g. rocket salad, 6 small wraps (buy them or make them yourself), 300 g. of white fish(filet) or chicken.

Preparation

Preheat the oven on 200 degrees Celsius. Cut the eggplants vertically in half. Lay them in the oven for 15 minutes, so the vegetable will dry. Roast the pine nuts shortly in a pan until they are brown.

Put the basil, pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, garlic and salt and pepper together in a jar. Blend them until they become Pesto.
Take the eggplants from the oven and peel the vegetable meat out. Add this to the jar with pesto. Blend them together so the pesto becomes mixed with the eggplant.

Meanwhile, you can make the flower tortillas.

Cut the chicken into small pieces and bake them seasoned with salt and pepper. If you want to use fish instead, go ahead :).

Take a flower tortilla, put some rocket salad on it, the fish or chicken and add the eggplant pesto. Buon appetito!

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Eggplant alla Parmigiana

18 Okt

This recipe was introduced to me by Sophie Dahl’s book ‘Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights’. As I already mentioned before, I love the feeling of having something on the stove or in the oven and this recipe uses both :). When I pick up the cookbook and try to find the recipe, the book falls automatically on the right page and the page is dirty from spilled tomato sauce. I have tried different versions of this recipe, however I keep using it again because Sophie Dahl has the perfect suggestion for the tomato sauce between the eggplant slices.

Ingredients

3 medium eggplants, sea salt, 125 ml olive oil, 1 large onion, 2 toes of garlic, 3 cans of peeled tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar, 50 g. of basil, 300 g. or 2 balls of mozzarella, 100 g. of grated Parmesan cheese and a bit of breadcrumbs.

Preparation

Heat the oven until 200 g. degrees. Slice up the eggplant in 1 cm. thick slices, sprinkle them with sea salt and leave them to dry for 20 minutes. Please watch out with the sea salt! Because the first time I made this recipe I was a little bit too exciting with sprinkling the sea salt and when we ate it we got a stomach ache from all the leftover salt grains..

Heat up some olive oil and bake the onion and the garlic softly until they glace. Add the peeled tomatoes, salt and pepper. Sophie Dahl suggests to add brown sugar and some balsamic vinegar to the mix and I think this makes the tomato sauce perfectly sweet. Just put some balsamic vinegar in it as you prefer. Then leave the pan on the fire for 20 minutes with the lid on.

Sprinkle a bit of olive oil on the eggplant slices and put them in the oven for 15 minutes until they get brown. Grease an oven dish with olive oil and take the eggplant slices out of the oven and make a layer in the dish. Then, just as in normal lasagna, make layers of basil, mozzarella, tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese until you are out of ingredients . Finalize with a mix of Parmesan cheese, basil and breadcrumbs. Put the dish in the oven for 20 minutes and serve it with a green salad as you prefer. Buon appetito!


Thanks to Sanne for the recipe tip!

The Perfect Lasagna!

10 Okt

The Italian food culture is one of the most appreciated food cultures of the world and every household cooks Italian once in a while. However, because everyone loves a good Italian meal, plenty of recipes can be found in cookbooks and on the internet. And not all of the recipes are that good.. I absolutely adore the lasagna, but I have tried several recipes to find the perfect one. For instance, in the Netherlands a lot of students use the standard meal package from Knorr for lasagna. However, it tastes nothing like what the perfect lasagna should be! The bechamel is a mess and the tomatoes in the sauce are hard to find..

Several years ago, my  parents got the best Italian cookbook and we have been making perfect italian dishes from it ever since. Unfortunately it is hard to find, because it is not published anymore, but if you are lucky you can find it on eBay, marktplaats or bol.com! For those of you who are not lucky to possess this pearl, I will present the perfect lasagna recipe! Yes, it takes a lot of work.., but hell yes it is good! If you prepare everything from scratch, even the bechamel sauce, you can be proud at yourself and serve a wonderful meal to your lover or friends!

For 4 people with good appetite

Ingredients

Bolognese sauce: (you can also use this bolognese sauce to serve with just spaghetti!) 1 carrot, 1 celery, 50 g. pancetta or smoked bacon, 1 onion, 2 toes of garlic, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 300 g. chopped beef, 1 can of pealed tomatoes (400 g.), 300 ml. of red wine mixed with 1 block of meat stock, salt and pepper. Bechamel sauce: 50 g. of butter, 50 g. of flower, 750 ml. milk, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Pasta layers: about 250 g. of lasagna layers (if you use fresh pasta, make sure you cook it for 4 or 5 minutes before you use it in the lasagna), salt, 200-250 g. of Mozzarella, 100 g. of fresh Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of butter.

Preparation

For the Bolognese sauce, wash the carrot and the celery and chop them in small parts. Chop also the onion, garlic and pancetta. Heat up the pan (save the lid for later) with butter and oil and stir the chopped ingredients together. Crumble the chopped beef until it’s done. Add the can of pealed tomatoes and squeeze them in the pan. Also add the whine with the block of meat stock. Season it with salt and pepper and leave it with the lid on the heat for 1 hour. Then the Bechamel sauce. I know it is hard, but you can do it! Just keep breathing and stirring. Put the butter in a small pan and let it melt, but done let it get brown! Use a wooden spoon and stir bits of flower through the butter until the mix looks smooth. Add small bits of milk and stir with a whisk to prevent the sauce to clot.  Leave the sauce for 10 minutes on a low fire and season it with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Finally cut the Mozzarella into small pieces and preheat the oven at 200 degrees.

Take a plate for the oven and put some Bechamel sauce in it. Then add lasagna layers, Bolognese sauce, Bechamel sauce, Mozzarella and so on. At last put some Bechamel sauce on the dish and finalize it with fresh Parmezan cheese. Put the dish in the oven for 40 minutes. If you are with 6 people, you can make a nice green salad on the side. I hope you enjoy this lasagna as much as I do! (Thanks to Anne for the recipe tip!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Authors: Cornelia Schinharl & Sebastian Dickhaut. Publisher: The House of Books. ISBN: 90-443-0096-2.