Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons are easy to make. They are used a lot in Middle Eastern and North African cooking to add a citrusy boost to dishes. 

Ingredients

4-6 lemons, washed per jar
1 tablespoon salt per lemon
1-2 bay leaves per jar

Method
Sterilise a couple of jars (whatever size you have).

Cut the lemons lengthways into quarters keeping the stalk end on.

Mix them with 1 tablespoon salt per lemon and stuff them into the jars as tightly as you can, add 1-2 bay leaves per jar. Gradually over the course of a few days, liquid will be released from the lemons. The liquid should cover the lemons completely.

At the end of that time they should be refrigerated. The lemons will last for a year if you make sure you use a clean spoon whenever you remove any from the jar. To use, discard the flesh of the lemons and use the rind.

 


Lemon verbena

Lemon verbena has a bright, slightly sweet, herbaceous flavour with a distinct hint of lemon. Despite its strong lemon scent, this citrusy herb has a far less aggressive lemon flavor than lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon mint, and lemongrass.

This lemon-scented herb has a number of culinary uses ranging from rich roasts to sweet citrusy desserts and jams. Lemon verbena can be used to make flavourful olive oil-based salad dressings, subtle lemon ice cream, and lemon verbena jelly, as well as season poultry dishes, salsa verde, and soups. It can be used in place of lemon zest or dried lemon as a more subtle addition to dishes, or infused into pantry ingredients like sugar and vinegar.

In Europe and other global destinations, tea lovers combine lemon verbena leaves with hot water to create a popular herbal tea known as Louisa in England, “te de cedron” in Mexican kitchens, and Luiza in Greek households. This kind of tea is also popular among French, Spanish, and Italian drinkers. Lemon verbena can also be used to make a flavorful iced tea or lemonade made with fresh lemon juice, lemon verbena, simple syrup, and mint leaves.

Lemon verbena tea made with fresh lemon verbena leaves and boiling water is commonly used to relieve the symptoms of colds including chills, fever, and congestion. Lemon verbena essential oil is also used topically to relieve muscle pain.


turmeric

Though having only recently entered the mainstream as the ingredient of the moment, turmeric – or Curcuma longa as it’s known by its biological name – has been used for millennia everywhere from China and India to Jamaica and West Africa. While it’s likely that just about every bite of curry you’ve tasted in your lifetime contains turmeric, there is archaeological evidence indicating its use over 4 500 years ago. It has also long been used as a sacred root for body embellishment during cultural ceremonies. The Hindu tradition of Haldi, for example, sees the bride and groom having a tincture of oil, water and turmeric applied to their bodies as a blessing before their wedding.

Other than its gastronomical and religious uses, turmeric was grown and harvested as a natural textile dye – for centuries the distinctive yellow of Buddhist robes got their colour from turmeric. In contemporary fashion circles, one of the world’s largest fashion dye houses, Tintoria di Quaregna in Italy, has made headlines for its return to plant-based formulas with turmeric featuring prominently. Hip cosmetics brands such as NARS, Kiehl’s and Urban Decay have also been inspired by turmeric’s ancient cultural use as a beauty aid (it’s said to get skin glowing) and incorporated it into everything from make-up and foundation to face masks and moisturisers.

And then there is the evidence-based healing and health properties of turmeric, long used in the practice of natural medicine – in particular Ayurveda, the Indian system of holistic healing. Curcumin, the compound responsible for turmeric’s vivid colour, is known to have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. This is a plant that packs a lot of punch!

HOW TO USE TURMERIC

Turmeric is on-trend, versatile, mild and earthy.

  • Concoct a warm tea or iced tea with thinly sliced fresh turmeric and ginger, sweeten with honey.
  • Make your favourite curry paste using turmeric and coconut oil. Store in a jar in the refrigerator and use in a sauce or when you make chicken, prawn or any other curry
  • Add a bit of grated turmeric and cardamom to hot chocolate for a mild earthy flavour.
  • For a pick-me-up a wellness shot mix grated turmeric, ginger and freshly squeezed orange juice. Add a little cayenne pepper at the end. Fresh mango or pineapple juice works just as well.
  • Mix turmeric and paprika and sprinkle over cauliflower florets. Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. Roast in the oven at 180 degrees in the oven on a tray until golden brown. You can do the same with butternut or pumpkin.
  • Add to carrot, pumpkin, corn or sweet potato soup.
  • Spice up breakfast by adding a teaspoon or two of freshly grated turmeric to your flapjacks recipe. Serve with ginger honey.
  • Garnish your favourite cocktail with a ribbon of fresh turmeric just before serving and watch the colour change. Magic.
  • Add a bit of turmeric for your Asian style broth or any mash such as potato, sweet potato, pumpkin or carrot and potato.

GROWING TURMERIC

  • Turmeric is a fast grower, shooting new growth from the tubers in early summer. They can quickly grow up to two metres within a few weeks.
  • Turmeric is easy to grow during the warm summer months when plants will need regular watering. Grow tubers in pots with a fertile compost mix that drains well. Tubers should be kept dry when they are dormant.
  • We love turmeric because it’s such an easy grower. The leaves are very attractive but it’s the flowers that are the real show-stoppers. They’re like hidden gems between tall, lush growth.
  • It’s a little known fact, but the flowers also taste good!

Beetroot

Beetroot, freshly harvested, are super-sweet, ready to eat after boiling for a much shorter time and just delicious without anything added. The balance of the sweetness and almost liquorice lingering aftertaste is amazing.

This is a two-in-one vegetable because the young leaves and the root are both edible. In the old days, beetroot was quite ordinary – cooked and served as a salad with sweet vinegar, or commercially pickled, causing everything else on the plate to turn red.

Nowadays, however, the humble beetroot has reinvented itself. It’s trendy for good reason: its health benefits are numerous (beetroot is a rich source of nutrients), and its versatility makes it ideal for use in all types of cuisine. Different varieties of beetroot now being cultivated are still finding their way into the market. Even the young leaves can be steamed or boiled – they have the taste and texture of spinach.

BEETROOT FOR BREAKFAST

  • in a fresh juice with ginger and fresh apple
  • in a beetroot soufflé with melting Gorgonzola
  • scrambled eggs on toast with beetroot chutney

BEETROOT IN A SALAD

  • cook with roasted butternut and toasted pumpkin seeds; serve with a cinnamon and balsamic reduction dressing
  • cook and slice with pitted fresh cherries, raspberries, sliced baby radish and red basil; toss with walnuts and a walnut dressing
  • cook and grate over a potato salad with a mustard and lemon vinaigrette
  • top julienned fresh carrots with fresh julienned beetroot and thinly sliced shallots; serve with an orange and dill dressing with grated orange rind
  • cook and top with rocket and an anchovy dressing

BEETROOT FOR LUNCH OR DINNER

  • cook and bake in a quiche with prosciutto, Parmesan and caperberries
  • cook and peel whole beetroot while still warm; serve with Boursin, toasted pine nuts and pomegranate syrup, seasoned with salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • cook or pickle as part of a beef or ostrich burger with a generous dollop of beetroot and onion chutney
  • top a carpaccio of raw beetroot with lightly smoked grilled trout; serve with a horseradish dressing and warm crusty bread
  • slice beetroot on a toasted baguette with ham and melting Brie; top with a beetroot pickle
  • as a warm creamy soup with lightly smoked mussels
  • in a risotto with star anise and shaved Parmesan
  • as part of a vegetarian lasagne, using only cooked sliced beetroot and steamed beet greens with sautéed red onion and béchamel sauce; top with Gorgonzola and Parmesan
  • roast and serve with seared duck breast and a ground coriander and orange sauce

PINK BAKING AND COOKING WITH BEETROOT

  • add beetroot coulis to your favourite cheesecake recipe
  • add grated beetroot to your rich chocolate cake to keep the cake moist and give a dark red colour
  • add a little beetroot juice to icing for a pink colour
  • add a little beetroot juice when melting white chocolate for drizzling over cake or any baked goods
  • add beetroot juice to waffle mixture to make pink waffles
  • add a little beetroot juice to cooked rice
  • enhance any red or pink colour with beetroot juice instead of food colourant

BEETROOT IS BEST WITH:

PROTEIN: anchovies / bacon, prosciutto, salted pork / smoked fish, trout / venison

PRODUCE: apples / cherries / pears / raspberries / lemons / oranges / cucumber / ginger / horseradish / onions / shallots / potatoes / rocket

HERBS AND SPICES: allspice / star anise / cloves / curry / cumin / mustard seeds / chives / mint / dill / nutmeg / curry leaves / parsley / tarragon / watercress / radicchio

CONDIMENTS: mustard / vinaigrette / balsamic vinegar / sherry and red wine vinegar / walnut oil / brown sugar / balsamic reduction

DAIRY: butter / cream / crème fraîche / sour cream / Parmesan / Boursin / cheddar / ricotta

NUTS: walnuts

TIP: ABOUT THOSE BEETROOT STAINS…

Beetroot is a water-soluble dye; using hot water will react as a fixative for stronger colour. Use cold water and rub your hands with salt and lemon juice to remove stains on your skin. For stains on fabric, rub raw pear on the mark before washing in cold water. Then wash with soap.


Vegetable Boxes from Lindenhoff

Our friends at Lindenhoff have two fantastic boxes available at restaurant prices, both filled with seasonal products. The first called ‘Hollandse Glorie’ or Dutch Pride is filled with onions, potatoes, leeks, Belgian endive, carrots and garlic and retails now for €11,25. The other box is the ‘knollen bundel’ or root vegetable box filled with Jerusalem artichoke, parsnip, celeriac and salsify. It retails for €12,25. You can order the boxes through us and pick them up from our venue at the Westergas. The first person to order a box via us will get another box free as a gift. Email us at bernadette@amsterdamflavours.com to order. Please order before 18.00 so that the delivery can be ordered for the following day.


Bilder & de Clercq's New Recipes week 35 - 2017

As the chefs of Bilder & de Clercq, we develop new recipes for them every week. We'll keep you updated with the week's newest recipes. This weeks recipes are:

KofteCalabrese SausagesThai Mussels


Bilder & de Clercq's New Recipes week 33 - 2017

As the chefs of Bilder & de Clercq, we develop new recipes for them every week. We'll keep you updated with the week's newest recipes. This weeks recipes are:

Egg curryPumpkin RavioliHarissa Steak end


Bilder & de Clercq's New Recipes week 19 - 2017

As the chefs of Bilder & de Clercq, we develop new recipes for them every week. We'll keep you updated with the week's newest recipes. This weeks recipes are:

Salade nicoiseBucatini Japanese cabbage


Bilder & de Clercq's New Recipes week 16 - 2017

As the chefs of Bilder & de Clercq, we develop new recipes for them every week. We'll keep you updated with the week's newest recipes. This weeks recipes are:

Rocket SoupPancakes with PineappleSmoked Haddock Risotto

 

 


Fresh Herbs and Spices and the Noordemarkt

Saturday's are one of our favourite days of the week. After a slow start, there is nothing better than to wonder the small streets of the Jordaan and head over to the bustling Noordemarkt.

We've spoken before about the array of ingredients on offer. But, with the cold wintery weather, we are going to get some fresh herbs to make a big batch of soul-warming chicken soup and the best harissa you will ever taste!

There are beautiful bundels of soup herbs that you can buy to add to your pan of steaming goodness. They also make the most amazing table decorations if you're hosting a dinner. Another thing we're also going to be getting, which you don't see too often and will be the prefect addition to our soup is lovage (maggi in Dutch). It comes in herb and root form and is similar in flavour to celery. We'll put some of the leaves and the peeled root into the soup, but the root is also perfect grated into salads.

So if you're going to do groceries today, maybe add a few of these items to your list. Wishing you all a delicious weekend. Happy eating!