Posts Tagged ‘Jeroen Meus’

One Saturday morning, my friend, X, came to my house to pick up her four garden chairs I borrowed from her for our housewarming.  I was in the kitchen about to prepare lunch when our door bell rang at 11 am.

By the way, X also came to my house on my invitation for the purpose of sampling my chicken steamed buns (chicken pao’s) I made a week earlier (see post here).  I froze a few and re-steamed some for her to try out.  She enjoyed the pao’s and doggy bagged (tapau) 3 buns for her boys. While we were eating pao’s and chatting in my kitchen, she asked me what I was preparing for lunch.  I placed a filled carton of twelve eggs on the table.  These!  I told her I was going to make an omelette.

1. Wholesome omelette_12 eggs

I could see the frown on X’s face.  Huh?  A dozen eggs?  You got to be kidding, right?

Nope!

A 12-egg omelette may sound rather mundane, and uninteresting or unhealthy, even. It’s like a highway to cardiac arrest if consumed by one person on a single serving; however, there’re 4 of us, hence, mathematically it’s a 3-egg omelette per person, which is about the right portion per consumption for a main meal.  Yeah, I’m consoling myself on this case to liberate my guilty conscience 😉

Well, X, my dear friend, here’s the result of my omelette, which I dubbed the “Dirty Dozen Wholesome Omelette”.  Good, eh?  😀

2. Wholesome omelette_baked

Jeroen to the rescue – Again!

As with my previous posts here, and here, this omelette recipe is from the Belgian chef, Jeroen Meus (adapted from his 4th book, Dagelijkse Kost, with some modifications).  Jeroen used bacon, cheese, mushrooms, potatoes and fresh herbs to create that wholesome touch. You could make a vegetarian version by omitting the bacon. As Jeroen would say, “pimp up your omelette!” 

I added an extra ingredient, chicken sausages to sooth the tummies of my boys 😉

Ingredients (I tried my best to translate the recipe from Dutch to English…)

  • 10 eggs (I used my “dirty” dozen)
  • 200g smoked bacon slices (I used the ready cut smoked bacon pieces)
  • 4 chicken sausages, pre-fried and cut on the bias (this was not on the recipe)
  • 150g grated cheese (I used a mix of Feta and Emmentaler cheeses)
  • 150g button mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • Boiled potatoes (diced and left to cool down)
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • ½ clove of garlic (I used 1 whole clove of garlic, minced with some coarse sea salt)
  • A few sprigs of fresh parsley
  • A few sprigs of fresh chervil
  • A knob of butter (I did not use butter)
  • A dash of olive oil
  • Freshly milled black pepper
  • Salt to taste

3a. Wholesome omelette_ingredients3b. Wholesome omelette_chervil + parsley

Method –

  • Assemble all the cut, sliced, chopped, minced and diced ingredients
  • Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan over a medium high heat and fry the bacon pieces (Note: I used olive oil in lieu of butter). Let them sizzle in the pan for a few minutes until slightly crisp.
  • Sauté the chopped onion with the bacon
  • Add the minced garlic, sliced mushrooms and the cut chicken sausages. Stir preferably with a wooden spoon.
  • Taste for seasoning, and bearing in mind that the smoked bacon is quite salty.
  • Rinse the fresh herbs, drain and chop them finely.
  • Add the chopped chervil and parsley to the sautéed mixture.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 180° C
  • Take a large bowl and break all the eggs. Whisk well.
  • Pour the beaten eggs in a greased oven dish (or round baking pan)
  • Assemble the diced (or cubed) cold, cooked potatoes in the beaten egg, making sure they are spaced evenly.
  • Assemble the sautéed ingredients of bacon, sausage, mushrooms and herbs evenly into the egg mixture
  • Sprinkle a generous helping of grated cheeses over the omelette
  • Bake the omelette for 30 minutes, until the centre is cooked through
  • Serve the omelette in wedges

Stir fried onion. garlic, bacon, chicken sausages, mushrooms, chervil and parsley

Stir fried onion. garlic, bacon, chicken sausages, mushrooms, chervil and parsley

1st Layer ->> Pour the  beaten eggs in a greased oven dish and assemble the cooked potatoes evenly

1st Layer ->> Pour the beaten eggs in a greased oven dish and assemble the cooked potatoes evenly

2nd Layer ->> Assemble the stir fried ingredients

2nd Layer ->> Assemble the stir fried ingredients

3rd Layer ->> Sprinkle your favourite cheese(s).  I used Feta and Emmentaler

3rd Layer ->> Sprinkle your favourite cheese(s). I used Feta and Emmentaler

A cross-section of the omelette

A cross-section of the omelette

Slice the omelette in wedges before serving

Slice the omelette in wedges before serving

My wholesome slice of omelette with some salads for a balanced diet ;-)

My wholesome slice of omelette with some salads for a balanced diet 😉

It was YUMMY... I had a piece the next day for lunch at work :-D

It was YUMMY… I had a piece the next day for lunch at work 😀

The omelette was not called “wholesome” for nothing.  I had that one slice with some salads, and that’s all my tummy could take.  It was really filling and wholesome.  The dirty dozen omelette lasted for at least 3 days!  Well, that’s the idea.  No further cooking for the next 2 days 😉

This dish is good for buffets and picnics and can be taken either cold or warm.

Oh by the way, X, what do you think of the omelette?  

I am submitting this post to the the following –

1. Little Thumbs up event with the August theme “EGGS”, hosted by Baby Sumo from Eat your heart out , organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids

th_littlethumbups1-1

2. Cook-Your-Books #3  organized by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours

Cook Your Books

And …

3. I’m thrilled to link up this super eggy recipe to the May 2015 theme for “savoury egg” dish hosted by  Dom of Belleau Kitchen‘s monthly blog hop challenge Simply Eggcellent #3 !

  

Enjoy the rest of the week!

Cheers!

 

Related posts –

Nope, this is not the bird’s nest done the Chinese way. It has nothing to do with swallows’ nest, which is synonymous to the bird’s nest soup we are akin to as the medicinal delicacy made from the salivary excretions of the cave swift(lets).

I was introduced to this dish in Belgium by my late Mother-in-law (MIL) in 1995. The classic Flemish bird’s nest is actually the encasing of a hardboiled egg in minced meat.  Sounds familiar?  I guess you would call it by Scotch eggs (in the UK) or Nargisi Kofta (Moghul kitchen).  In the Netherlands and Belgium, these are called “Vogelnestje”, literally translated as “little bird’s nest”

1. Bird's Nest1

A frugal meal

People may have associated Scotch eggs as an invention by the Scots, but there are many legends and history that have proven otherwise. Let’s just say that the Scotch eggs’ origins are rather obscure. You can check this out on the web.

If you don’t already know, “scotch” also means avoiding waste, hence would match the definition of an “economical meal”. Scotch eggs, a frugal meal make more sense 😀

My Scotch egg or better known in Flanders as “little bird’s nest” is based on Jeroen Meus’ recipe.  Jeroen is a very popular TV chef in Flanders. At the same time he runs his own restaurant called, Luzine in Wilsele and he also whipped up 4 recipe books ‘Dagelijkse Kost 1, 2, 3 and 4.  The 5th book will be on the shelf very soon.

By the way, I am the proud owner of all his 4 recipe books and will gladly buy his 5th. His recipes are no-nonsense, easy to follow and very honest and straightforward.

The “Vogelnestje” is from his 2nd book.  I have adapted the recipe with some modifications.

Ingredients –

(Makes 6 “bird’s nests”)

  • 600g minced meat (I used 1 kg)
  • 4 eggs + 1 extra egg (I used 6 eggs + 1 extra egg for binding)
  • 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs (I used a bit more than 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 knob of butter (I used olive oil)
  • Nutmeg
  • Pepper (freshly milled black pepper)
  • Salt to taste

2. Bird's Nest_ingredients1

The Tomato Sauce (Own version)

  • 2 onions (I used 1 large onion)
  • Olive oil
  • 800g tomatoes (I used 2 big tomatoes, skinned and diced finely)
  • 80g of concentrated tomato paste (I used supercirio tomato paste)
  • 1 tsp sambal, to taste (I used 1 tsp of Mae Ploy chilli shrimp paste + 1/2 tsp Mae Pranom shrimp flavoured crushed chilli)
  • 1 tsp sugar (I omitted sugar but used about 1/3 chicken stock cube)
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh thyme (I used dried thyme)
  • Fresh oregano (I used dried oregano)
  • 5 cl red wine (I used a dash of Sandeman Ruby Porto)
  • Mushrooms, thinly sliced (these are not on the recipe)

Mashed potatoes or fries (I made wedged herbed potatoes)

3. Bird's Nest_ingredients2

Method –

The bird’s nest –

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the 6 eggs and count 9 to 10 minutes.
  • Cool the eggs under cold running water and peel them.  Set aside.
  • Take a large bowl and add the ground meat with a pinch of salt and freshly milled black pepper.
  • Add the extra egg and combine this to the meat mixture.
  • Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the meat and grate some fresh nutmeg, to taste.
  • Wash your hands and knead the meat to a firm but not too dry mixture
  • Divide the meat mixture to 6 meatballs
  • Put the ball in your hand, flatten each meatball and push the centre to form a well and place a hard-boiled egg into the well. Cover the entire egg with the meat, rolling the meat with your hands until you get a smooth meatball surface.
  • Place the bird’s nests in an oven dish

4. Bird's Nest_egg shaped minced

  • Preheat the oven to 180° C
  • Put a frying pan over medium heat, melt a knob of butter (Note: I omitted this step.  I baked my bird’s nests in the oven with some olive oil, turning once or twice until the crusts turned golden brown)
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Check if the meat is cooked by inserting a toothpick in the meatball. If the toothpick comes out dry, the meat is cooked.5. Bird's Nest_oven baked1

Method –

The sauce –

  • Place a casserole over medium high heat and drizzle some olive oil.
  • Peel and chop the onion coarsely
  • Sauté the onion and stir frequently
  • Add a spoonful of sugar (I replaced sugar with some chicken stock cube), the concentrated tomato paste and the chilli shrimp paste.
  • Keep stirring and then pour the ruby porto (in lieu of red wine) until the alcohol evaporates.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and the sliced mushrooms.
  • Sprinkle the herbs in the pot and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.
  • Taste the sauce for seasoning before serving.

How to serve –

  • Cut each meatball in half and place the halves on a serving plate.

I served my bird’s nest with homemade baked potato wedges and braised Belgian endives (witloof) with the special sambal and porto sauce.  It was scrumptious!

6a. Bird's Nest3

6b. Bird's Nest4

6c. Bird's Nest5

I’m quite sure I’ve done justice to Jeroen’s “Vogelnestje” 😉

I am submitting this post to the Little Thumbs up event with the August theme “EGGS”, hosted by Yen from Eat your heart out organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids

th_littlethumbups1-1

As well as to –

Cook-Your-Books #3  organized by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours

Cook Your Books

Ciao and enjoy the rest of the week!

Asparagus is available all year round, but spring is by far the best season to sample fresh asparagus. Last Spring, it was, by accident, that I passed by the city of Leuven.  It was one of those few impromptu trips I made with my younger son to the city on a weekend.  I couldn’t remember what it was that we wanted to do at the city, but I remembered ending up having “sushi” at a Japanese restaurant. The sushi was fantastic but this is not what I wanted to write in this post.

After our meal, we wound up at the Grand Place in the centre of Leuven and were astounded by a multitude of people thronging the square.

What’s going on?

If you looked closely at the picture above, the ladies were not posing in front of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  It was a makeshift structure set up especially during the Agricultural Fair last spring.

White Asparagus

I have never used white asparagus in my cooking; but I bought a bundle of these at the Fair because they were so fresh! When we went home, I was still not very sure what to do with those white asparagus. At first, I wanted to make asparagus soup.  Nah!  That’s too ordinary.

Then I remembered the Flemish (Belgian) version of preparing these asparagus. I got this recipe from one of the local Belgian chefs, Jeroen Meus.

The Belgian kitchen

The Belgian kitchen is the least known kitchen outside of Europe. To really know the true image of the Belgian kitchen, I noticed that “less is more”.  This recipe requires very little, but topnotch ingredients.

Ingredients –

12 white asparagus

Salt

200 g farm butter to make clarified butter (I used Solo Light. Next time will stick to farm butter)

A bunch of curly leaf parsley

4 hard boiled eggs

Nutmeg

Black pepper

Preparation –

Peel the asparagus with a vegetable peeler to remove the woody layer of the asparagus stalk starting from the head down to the end, like so –

Wash the peeled asparagus and apply gentle pressure to the end of the stalk and break the thick woody end.

Fill a cooking pot with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Place the asparagus in the cold water and heat the cooking pot over low heat. Bring the water to the boil and immediately turn off the heat.  Allow the asparagus to rest in the warm water and put a timer on for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the amount and size of the asparagus.

The asparagus should be al dente. Scoop the asparagus and drain them on a clean kitchen towel.

For this dish, you need clarified butter. Gently melt the butter over low heat.  Once the butter has melted, stir gently with a ladle or spoon and remove the residual milk floating on the butter.

Keep the warm clarified butter over very low heat. Add the chopped parsley, lightly mashed hard boiled eggs, grated nutmeg, and freshly milled black pepper and salt to taste.

From the pure, simple and straightforward kitchen – Belgium at her best!

Smakelijk!

This was our starter that day! I concede it’s time I re-visited this dish because it was really YUMMY:-D

Spring Cleaning

By the way, if you are wondering why these posting frenzies lately, I’m just “spring cleaning” my picture folders.  There’re a million and one pictures I took the past years, just waiting patiently to be storied and posted.  Slowly but surely, I’ll get there 😉

Anyway, I am also taking the advantage – this week in particular – to post and post and post….

For the record, the post will be late next week on as the author will be back to real(ality) work, so be warned 😀

See you soon.

Cheers!