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Guinea-fowl with brusselssprouts and polenta

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Since my childhood I’ve loved guinea-fowl. My grandma prepared the best dish ever from that little, fragile bird.

In Belgium it’s very popular to eat with caramelized endives or when you are just simply tired of the chicken dishes.

Here is my own recipe:

Ingredients: four guinea-fowl filet or legs, 150 gr bacon or pancetta, four carrots, some celery, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 tbs butter and 1 tbs oil, 1 dl red wine and 4 tbs porto wine, chicken or wild broth, 1 tbs of flour, salt and pepper

for the brusselssprouts: 200 grs brussel sprouts, 1 onion, salt, pepper, 1 tbs brown sugar, 2 tbs red balsamic vinegar or sherry

Method: Clean the fowl by plucking out any additional feathers. Rub with salt, sprinkle with thyme. Clean vegetables, chop them.

First, melt the butter with the oil in a casserole and, keeping the heat fairly high, fry the guinea fowl until they are a good golden brown.

Then turn them over and brown the other side, which should take about 8-10 minutes altogether.  When they brown, remove the joints with a draining spoon and keep to one side.

Brown the pancetta in the same greese for 5 minutes, followed by the shallots. Then return the guinea fowl to the casserole, tuck in the sprigs of thyme and the bay leaf, then add the crushed garlic. Now season with freshly milled black pepper and just a little salt, then pour in the wines. Put a lid on and simmer over a very gentle heat for 45 minutes. Then add vegetables and wild broth and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. When the vegetables are tender remove the guinea fowl, pancetta, shallots and vegetables and transfer to a warm serving dish. Keep warm.

Discard the herbs, bring the liquid in the casserole up to a fast boil and reduce by about one third. Next, mix the arrowroot to a paste with a little water, then add a little of the hot sauce. Now add all the arrowroot mixture to the rest of the liquid and bring to the boil, whisking all the time until the sauce has thickened. Pour the sauce over the guinea fowl and serve with the brussels sprouts.

Brussel sprouts caramelized in sugar

Method: Clean the sprouts, cut them in two. Heat butter and oil mixture in a large frying pan and gently cook the shallots and the sprouts together.

 Sprinkle them with salt, and add sugar. Let them caramelized in the oil and butter mixture. Continue steaming adding some water for 4-5 minutes or so, which should be enough to just half-cook them.

When the shallots have softened, remove them from the pan. After that, turn the heat up under the frying pan. Add sherry or balsamic vinegar; let it bubble and reduce  liquid while you constantly turn the sprouts over and over to soak up the flavour of the vinegar. If it’s necessary add some water. Flavour with salt and pepper. When the sprouts are tender add to the guinea-fowl as a sidedish.

Bon appetite!!

Just desserts-Tricolour sorbets

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Tricolour sorbets

After Christmas beware of the not welcome kilos what we had put during the festive season I decided to eliminate the heavy desserts from the menu and replaced with some refreshing sorbets such as Pomegranate, Green tea (Macha) and Lemongrass sorbet. I have to admit to prepare them was the easiest job ever..

Here are two recipes:

For the Pomegranate sorbet you need: 1 pomegranate, 200ml water, 200gr sugar, 1 tbs lemon juice +200ml lemon juice, 5 tbs pomegranate syrup, 1 eggwhite

decoration 1 fresh figue, few pomegranate seeds

Bring 200ml water and 200gr sugar to boil in medium heat stirring often until sugar dissolves. Let it cool. Add syrup, stir in lemon juice, granatapple syrup, whisked egg white and a pinch off salt. Mix well. Transfer into a shallow baking dish. Freeze until solid (6 hours) Next day break frozen mixture with a fork into large pieces. Puree in a food processor until smooth (2-3 minutes). Freeze the sorbet again until ready to serve. Decorate with fresh figue slices.

Lemongrass sorbet: lemongrass, 200ml sugar, 200ml water, 1 tbs lemon juice, lemon zest, 1 eggwhite, fresh grated ginger prepared with honey and lemon juice

Bring 200ml water and 150gr sugar to boil with the lemongrass. Add grated lemon zest. Let it cool, steep aside for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and pour into a bowl. Add lemon juice, whisked egg white and a pinch of salt. Mix well and freeze until solid. Do the same process as above. Decorate with grated ginger.

Green tea icecream: 3 tbs green tea powder, 1 cup heavy cream, 2 cups cold milk, egg yolk, 1 cup sugar, 1 tbs cornstarch

In a saucepan, heat milk slowly to boiling. Then add green tea leaves and cover. Let steep (simmer) for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar and cornstarch. Remove milk from heat and strain out the tea leaves. Whisk in egg mixture, whisking constantly to keep the eggs from cooking in the hot milk. When mixture is starting to thicken, transfer to a larger bowl and allow it to cool. Then stir in the heavy cream. Freeze mixture for at least 2 hours before serving.


A usual day in January

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Hello world!

First of all happy new year to every wordpress blogger’s mates and also to the not wordpress people!

The three kings’s is over. I dismantled the Christmas tree. Cleaned out my apartment and stored the decorations for next year.  I had already updated my day planner for 2011. This year there are no round birthdays, no milestone anniversaries but the good news is there are still plenty of occasions to celebrate.

There is no doubt I am a sucker for celebrations. Whether they are birthdays,  anniversaries or graduations, or anything related to a holiday, I am always ready to a lunch or a dinner party, bake a delicious cake and decorate a table or even transform my entire apartment according to a theme such as carnival, girls movie night etc.

That’s exactly what happened yesterday. After an unusual mild weekend I woke up for a snowstorm. Only just looking out of the window I felt the cold. People at work looked tired and colourless. I also  felt frustrated until I’d figured out I should invite some friends for a dinner. And I did. Arriving home I invaded my kitchen and in half an hour a wonderful Fennel dish was on the table. Later it evoked a wow effect from my friends because since the dioxin mizeria has reared its head in Germany everybody tries to avoid eating meat. But not only that was the reason they simply couldn’t stop eating it because of the perfect combination of the fennel and the spices.

here is the recipe for 4 persons:

4-6 fennel bulbs, 2-3 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs balsamic vinaigrette, 1 bunch of spring onion, 4 potatoes (peeled and sliced), 2 fresh parsley (peeled) , 2 cloves garlic, salt and pepper to taste, 200 gr cream or sour cream, 200 gr grated parmesan, 2 dl white wine, 1 chicken stock, 1 teasp of fennel seeds

1. Clean and cut the fennel bulbs into 1 cm slices, peal and cut the potatoes and parsely. Chop the spring onion. 2. Heat oil in a skillet and cook fennel with the potatoes and onion and parsely for 5-8 minutes. Pepper and salt and flavour with fennel seeds. Pour balsamic vinaigrette on it and put aside. 3. Peel the garlic gloves, smash them. Heat oil in an other skillet and soate the garlic. Add cream, chicken stock and white wine let the chicken stock dissolve. 4. Preheat oven (200 C gasmark 400) Arrange fennel with the potatoes etc into a casserole then pour over cream and wine mixture and put in the oven for 25 minutes..

ENJOY..I forget to take picture but I will compensate you later..