My camper has been parked up since the end of August with my dear young Dutch family
Tjallien and Luuk, theirs is a long beautiful story and the wonderful thing is that they met at La Cuisine Francaise whilst working for me at one of the wonderful “Open Tuinen dagen”in 1995
They now live in part of an old farm in Broek and Waterland and their children call me Tante Pat. The first weekend was an apple harvesting in the village organised by Tjallien. Locals where allowed to gather apples and pears in all the village , helping owners of orchards who had previously not been able to harvest themselves. The apples where then taken by Tjallien to a press and brought back as juice in a packet. This was the fourth year and it is becoming a much look forward event in the village.
After the harvesting we spent the weekends foraging and made delicious jams and cordials,, some recipes are from my favourite book and others just gut feeling from Tjallien, we even got the neighbours involved and made a wonderful reship cordial from their rose hips
Jams, chutneys, vinegars, cordials and pickles are seasonal products, which give us pleasure throughout the year, hence the name preserves.
At first it may seem difficult but if you learn a few basic techniques along the way you can soon use you own creativity in ingredients, spices, seasonings and of course presentation, for gifts in pots with colorful materials, colors and forms or for daily use at home to brighten many cold cuts, cheeses, soups, roasts etc, they can even replace many a sauce on your plate
A simple sweet is also possible
Baked quinces in red wine
4 large quinces
5 tablespoons castor sugar
3 dl red wine
2 strips of lemon peel
3 cm length of cinnamon
Use a covered casserole just large enough to fit the quinces in standing up.
Place all the ingredients in the casserole and cover with the lid. Place in the oven and leave to cook for 1 ½ – 2 hours.
Serve with thick yoghurt hang up
And whilst you are busy you may like a small snack, I have truffels still in my camper luckily but you can easily buy paste everywhere now
Croque Monsieur with truffel
Tramasino bread/long sheets of Italian white bread normally used for tramasino sandwiches or use slices of white bread
For 2 dl béchamel sauce –
1 piece of carrot
12 white peppercorns
1 piece of mace
25 g butter
25 g flour
4 dl milk
salt and pepper
6 tbsp Gruyere or Emmentaler
2 to 4 tsp truffle paste
Optional smoked ham or salmon
- Bring the milk to the boil, add the vegetables and herbs and leave to infuse for 10 minutes
- Sieve and leave to cool. Melt the butter and add the flour off the heat, gradually add the milk, return to the heat and allow to come slowly to the boil stirring well . Leave to simmer gentley for 10 minutes
- Sieve the mixture through a piece of cheese cloth or a nylon sieve to get a smoother result if required
- Add 4 tbsp of the parmesan cheese and 2tsp truffle paste
- Lay the slices of bread out and smooth over a thin layer of the bechamel sauce,
- Sprinkle over a little of the remaining cheese (if desired one may alo lay on a layer of very thinly sliced ham or even smoked salmon) .
- Place on another layer of bread, smooth over a very thin layer of the bechamel sauce and cover well with the grated cheese
- Place on a baking sheet and bake in a hot oven until golden brown and crisp
- It is also possible to fry in a non stick pan if making just a few .
Frittata with potatoes and truffles
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
1 black truffle
a few drop truffle oil
a little parma
- Beat the eggs with the chopped parsley, pepper, breadcrumbs, and a little black truffle and truffle oil.
- Cut the potatoes into brunoise (small cubes) and blanch in boiling salted water for a few minutes.
- Heat a little olive oil in a non stick pan.
- Place four small mounds of the potatoes in the pan.
- Spoon a little of the egg mixture over grind the salt over the mixture and fry until golden brown on the underneath, turn over and fry for a minute.
- Place on the plates with the ham if desired and rasp the truffle and or pecorino cheese over the frittatas garnish with fried sage.
Small salad of cêpes and fresh cheese
4 large cêpes or other mushrooms
3 tbsp olive oil
fresh fromage blanc or ricotta
1 dl oil- depending on your taste olive oil, walnut, hazelnut or pine nut
3 bunches of firm salad, trevisa of radicchio or red chicory , romaine salad, watercress
4 sprigs of chervil
4 sprigs of fennel or dill
freshly ground sea salt and pepper
Place the fromage blanc or the ricotta in a clean piece of cheesecloth and leave an hour to drain
Clean the cêpes well making sure there are no worms in the stalks
Cut into thick slices
Fry the cêpes in the butter and a little of the oil of your choice and keep warm in the oven
Brush the truffles clean .
Clean the salads
Cut the shallot fine and fry softly in the olive oil or oil of your choice
Add the salad to the pan and toss carefully Remove the warmed salad from the pan , add a little lemon juice to the remaining juices in the pan , season to taste
Pour over the salad, place the cheese on the salad , top with the cepes and finely sliced truffle !!
to buy on the markets now or grate over raw thinly sliced mushrooms
More another day
It is almost 40 years since I arrived on the
Herengracht 314 in Amsterdam and started La Cuisine Francaise.
I still live in the garden and love the quietness but the hustle and bustle of the kitchen and private restaurant is nearby even though I take no part in it.
Now called ‘Eat your Heart out’ and run very successfully by Marleen Swart.
I may well publish a few old recipes in the coming months, so please bear with me. Cooking is still very much in my blood and my heart.