Sunday, October 3, 2010


The Dutchess does not cook here anymore......she has moved!!

If you want to enjoy more delicious recipes of here, you better hurry to:

hope to see you there!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pulled Pork

Okay, I know, I promised you to post about the Pork Shoulder…..but finally... here it is!!!

Always wanted to make Pulled Pork but the fact that it would take so many hours I never thought I ever would….. Remember, I don’t have a smoker, just a regular Weber and that makes it a bit more difficult. But I did it!!
Wew! I decided to buy a small shoulder (bone in), only 2 lbs so that would mean it would be ready in about 6 hours, and that I could manage!

I choose this recipe from Noskos (sorry it’s in Dutch) and used the same rub (Southern Succor Pork Rub) and oh I can tell you it was a huge success!!! Now that I found out I can do this, I definitely will make it more often!

For the Southern Succor Pork Rub I used (not quite following the original recipe):
¼ cup (ground) black pepper
¼ cup paprika powder
¼ cup light brown / cane sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

This mixture was too much for the small amount of meat I had, but you can store it for later use.
Let the shoulder marinade for at least one day (in the fridge of course).

It was not easy keeping the temperature of the Weber at a constant low between 225 – 250F, so if you’re gonna try this too on a regular barbecue, keep an eye on the temperature!

I also used some wood chunks from Baxter's Original and I used the whiskey soaked almond chunks, oh I love whiskey! After 2 hours I sprayed the meat with a mixture of apple juice and whiskey, repeated this every hour and enjoyed the smell!!

Note: the Pork Shoulder is ready when it has reached 190F.

This might not be the usual way to make Pulled Pork, but it worked for me and that’s the most important!

The result:

I used the Pulled Pork in the baked beans (mentioned here), of course for Pulled Pork sliders with Big Butz BBQ Sauce (Original) served with coleslaw, and there’s still some pork left in the freezer that I want to use in a pasta sauce!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Smoked Chicken with Cranberry BBQ Sauce

The title of this post should have been " Lamb with Cranberry BBQ Sauce", and it’s all my fault. On Saturday I found out that my butcher didn’t had enough lamb left…should have ordered it in advance. So that’s the reason why it’s chicken now. Anyway....

Not that I don’t like chicken, but lamb…. You know…
But the good thing is, now I could use the wood chunks “ almond/whiskey” (from Baxter's Original, see this post …and that made me smile again as soon as I realized that!

So it became smoked chicken, corn on the cob and…..scalloped potatoes! As soon as the weather gets colder that’s one of my favorite side dishes. A few years ago I bought a combi microwave oven, and that “ combi” is the big trick. Scalloped potatoes are now ready within 25 minutes!

We’re gonna start with the marinade for the chicken: in a bowl pour 1 cup olive oil, add fresh thyme leaves, black pepper, 2 tablespoons Jack Daniels (or more…) and about a tablespoon of your favorite bbq rub. Add the chicken breasts and cover it with foil. Let it marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

In the meantime I prepared the scalloped potatoes. Butter a large oven dish and slice potatoes. Make layers with thin red onion slices, potatoes and crumbled soft blue cheese (or another soft cheese). In a large measuring cup you pour 2 cups of cream, some crushed garlic, fresh thyme leaves, black pepper and 2 cups of milk. Pour this over the potatoes and add some aged cheese. In a combi oven this is ready within 25 minutes, in a regular oven it takes about an hour (400F). Of course I could have done this on the Weber too but I didn’t, I’m sorry….

The Weber was clean again after the Pork Shoulder Event (that’s gonna be the next post!!) and ready for a new session.

As soon as it had reached the right temperature (around 325F) it was time to put the corn on the grill because they needed more time than the chicken. Life can be so simple sometimes!
After 10-15 minutes I added (soaked in water) a few wood chunks and the chicken went on the grill, indirect, for about 10 minutes.
Move the chicken breast to the direct heat and brush them with the cranberry bbq sauce (yes the one and only from Big Butz). Repeat this every 2 minutes, keep turning and brushing the chicken.

The corn I brushed with butter and some herbs as soon as they got off the grill. And this is the result:

Really tasty and delicious!! The chicken was moist and had a really smoked taste and with the Cranberry Sauce it was super! (Excuses for the lousy picture...)
Serve with a cold Shiraz Rosé and I promise you’ll have a delicious dinner!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


So many little time. Why do weekends only have two days? Who decided that anyway?? Wanna talk to that person...

Anyway, let's get started. What was on the menu last weekend? A Pork Shoulder for Pulled Pork, a meatloaf, some chicken. That was all I could manage in 2 days. The Pork will make a nice appearance later this week, and so will the chicken.
That leaves us with the meatloaf for this post. I've never made it before, so I was very curious how that would turn out. Meatloaf is not so well known here in The Netherlands, yes we do know meatballs but that's something different. Totally different!

I found a yummylicious looking recipe on the website of Noskos and because I know his recipes always work out great, I choose this one. Of course I changed the ingredients a little bit, can't resist that!

What do you need:
3 lbs minced meat (beef and pork)
2 eggs
1/3 cup Big Butz Cranberry BBQ Sauce (or another bbq sauce)
some milk (about half a 1/4 cup)
bread crumbs (I used Panko)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
dried parsley
1 tablespoon Tabasco
black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and spoon the meatloaf mixture on a foil sheet, like this:

Prepare your barbecue, and soak some wood chunks, I used plum wood chunks . Only 3 chunks and that turned out to be enough.
When the Weber had reached 350F I placed the meatloaf on the grill (indirect). After half an hour, incise the loaf (see picture) and brush it with barbecue sauce (again I used the Cranberry Sauce).

After this I also placed the baked beans (it's a recipe called Keri's Hog Apple Baked Beans and I found it here (it's the dutch version) on the Weber:

One hour later the meatloaf was ready:

Dinner is ready!! Of course this was waaay to much meatloaf for one dinner, so some went in the freezer for the next time and some I left in the fridge to eat for lunch (or breakfast...). As I said before, I served it with the baked beans (oh and btw these beans taste so good, unbelievable and definitely a keeper) and mashed potatoes with celeriac (cook them together and proceed as if you make regularly mashed potatoes. The celeriac gives it a yummy sweet taste):

Let me tell you something, this was GOOD!!

And now the question is, what do you drink with of course! A Malbec from Argentina matched perfect!


Monday, September 20, 2010

A Special Package

Dear Santa,
I know you're very busy, but the package I received last week was waaaay too early!!
But I'm not complaining, please keep sending new wish-list is already on it's way to the Northpole!!

Wooh!!! Now this package made my day, made my week!!! And I assume you want to know what was the content of this box (yeah you do, don't you...??) .... okay, I'll show you:

* one bag of plum wood chunks
* one bag of whiskey soaked almond wood chunks
These came from Baxter's Original

* two jars of Big Butz BBQ Sauce Original
* two jars of Big Butz BBQ Sauce Cranberry
These came from Big Butz BBQ Sauce

I have lots of ideas for great meals with it, so stay tuned!

I'm a happy Dutchess!!

#Note for my Dutch readers: make a calculation before you order such products in the USA….customs is watching you and will charge you extra : 19% over the products costs + shipping costs + ensurance! You will be charged for this when the package is being delivered at your door.
If you want to know more about this, you can check it here nederlandse douane

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bread from Max Poilâne

Yesterday I enjoyed some "petits pains" from the famous bakery Max Poilâne, from Paris. At this moment their website is under construction but you can click on their Lyon website and have a peek at the assortment.

And no, I didn't travel to Paris to buy some of this famous and delicious bread....although that wouldn't be such a bad idea!! You can buy it here in Holland, fresh delivery every day from Paris...isn't that amazing....??

At youtube I found this. You really have to watch it, it's beautiful!

If you ever have the chance to try some of his bread, don't hesitate. You'll love it!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Speechless Sunday

Fancy Super Sandwich

Most of the time on Fridays I try to avoid cooking as much as possible. And the last few weeks I ended up making sandwiches, great sandwiches, and this time I discovered the Fancy Super Sandwich. And together with a bottle of wine, I say it's a perfect start of the weekend!

Last time, a friend of mine came over and I actually wanted to make salmon burgers. But she's not much of a fish-lover so that plan got canceled. And while doing some shopping, I found this:

Mayonaise with truffle!!!! Wow....there are a few things I'm really addicted to, and truffle is definitely on that list!! Never bought a fresh truffle, not even a little part of it because of their price...only good truffle salt, truffle oil and now Oh and btw....if you ever find salami with truffle, buy it and make an omelet with it....that's what you would like every (sun)day!! ok, I got sidetracked now, back to the sandwich!

Are you ready? Then watch this:

Halleluya!! The Best Sandwich I've made so far!! You want to know more?? Ha, I knew it!
It's a baquette, with the mayonaise on both bread sides, some arugula, a lot of thin sliced roastbeef and grated Parmesan cheese......Heaven # 1.

Are you still with me?? Trust me, it was good. Very good.
Too bad I ony had the ingredients for one sandwich for both of us, but there's more....Not as good as the one with the truffle, but certainly a good second!!
Take a look at this piece of heaven:

And this, this is a sandwich with layers of cheese, grilled eggplant and roasted red bell peppers. The dressing is a mix of mayonaise and yellow mustard. Put it on a panini grill just long enough to let the cheese melt and .... heaven # 2!!

I think this is enough for one post. Try it, enjoy it and oh you want some wine with it? I opened a bottle of Pinot Noir, it matched the second sandwich the best, but that was no surprise.


Sweet and Sour Zucchini

The book I always rely on when I want a recipe from the Italian kitchen is The Silver Spoon (De Zilveren Lepel in Dutch) my favorite Italian book! I received the book about one year ago, and have made a lot of recipes. All turned out great, and that's a big hurray, because that doesn't happen often (too bad).
This book reveils to you all the secrets of the Italian kitchen, and it's great for beginners but also for more experienced home cooks.The book contains more than 2000 recipes, so I'll be busy for a while!!

Last week I had an overload on zucchini's, yellow and green, and wanted to make a new dish. Sweet and Sour Zucchini, does that sounds good to you?? Well it certainly did to me!

Grab your knife and chopping board, and chop with me through this easy recipe:

The Ingredients:
0,5 cup raisins
5 anchovies fillets (from a jar)
1/4 cup pine nuts, roasted
olive oil
3 zucchini, chopped
1 clove of garlic,
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar

In a bowl with hot water, soak the raisins. Chop the anchovies in little pieces.

Heat the oil in  a large pan and add the zucchini. On medium heat, and don't forget to stir. After 10 minutes, add the garlic (use a garlic press). Stir and add the raisins (not the water!), the pine nuts, vinegar and sugar and some salt.

Give it a good stir and bring it to a boil, let it simmer for a few minutes and then add the anchovies. Let this simmer for 10 minutes. Taste if you need to add more sugar or vinegar. It should have a, of course, sweet and sour well balanced taste.
And that's it!

I served it with chicken breasts (grilled, cast iron), spaghetti with olive oil and parmesan cheese, and a simple green salad with tomatoes.

And then, the wine. Difficult because of all the different tastes. You could serve a white wine but I was in the mood for red and choose a Zinfandel from the US. Okay I know, it should have been an Italian red one maybe, but the Zinfandel was a great match too!!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

ribeye and more

Ooooh I missed my Weber!! But today was W-Day again! Summer has returned for 2 maybe 3 days so I really needed to whipe off the dust that had found my barbecue and go for it!
And that my dear friends, I wrote more than a week ago...time flies when you're busy!! Didn't had time to finish this post, and oooh I knew you would gonna love it, so I had to hurry.
And here it is!!!
After some discussion about Halloumi and Yanni Cheese with my friends Cyndi and Wilfred I came to the conclusion that I just had to try it myself to find out what the raving was all about! And so I did! Now I still don't know if Halloumi is the same as the Yanni cheese, but I think it's very close! If you can help us out here, let me know please.
Okay before we have lift off, as you know, Holland is a cheesy country, so I guess we are spoiled. Why do I tell you that? Because the Halloumi disappointed me a litte bit. Not that it was not tasty oooh nooo!!! But a bit too much salt and the structure...well....not quite what I expected but I enjoyed it anyway.
Hey....anything coming from the grill is good!!
But I really want you to try it for yourself and make up your own mind about this. Because taste is difficult, and very personal!!!
Let's start with a Greek Salad:
you need tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper, onion and feta. Cut it all into bite-size-pieces except for the onion, slice that one very thin.
Mix it all in bowl and make a dressing of 1 part vinegar, 3 parts olive oil and oregano. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and you're done!

Now let's move over to the grill! I started with the greek potatoes because they need 50-60 minutes. The last 15 minutes I added the ribeyes and the Halloumi cheese. The ribeyes (I just couldn't resist) I sprinkled with some Cajun Foreplay

As you can see, the Halloumi doesn't melt. I grilled it for 2 x 5 minutes. The ribeyes only for 5 minutes, then you let them rest until the cheese and potatoes are ready.

For the Halloumi cheese I made a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, pepper and fresh oregano. Drizzle that over the cheese as it comes from the grill. Oooh ain't that a lovely picture!!

And this is the result on the plate: it doesn't get any better than this...okay almost close then!

And now all you need is a wine!
I served it with a Shiraz Rosé (yes, again, you really have to try it because it's soooo good and matches with a lot of dishes) but a red Shiraz would go great with it too!

And stay tuned, because I know what is gonna be the next recipe.......!!! (don't you love those cliffhangers at the end of a soap episode??)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kabobs with Salsa Verde

Now don't get intimidated with the title of this dish. It's just skewered beef with a green cold sauce! 

Half of this recipe came from my butcher, but I thought it needed more. Be honest, what's a barbecue without bacon?? Nothing, you got that right.
So I added bacon, but I wanted to give the meat more taste too. Therefore I thought why not add a rub to this recipe. A real good herb rub for beef I found on the website of Gary Glen. If there's anyone who knows all about the ins and outs of grilling, it's him (yeah don't be shy Gary!) so make sure to check out his great website! I used his Herb Meat Rub, but left out the fennel, since I'm not fond of it, but if you like it of course you can add it!

Let's start!

Ingredients for the kabobs:
beef tenderloin
cherry tomatoes
1 red or white onion, cut into big pieces
thick pieces of bacon, cut into big pieces

Ingredients for the rub:
1 tablespoon ground black pepper  
1 tablespoon non-iodized salt  
1 tablespoon garlic powder  
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper  
1 teaspoon cumin  
1 teaspoon dried marjoram  
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
1 teaspoon dried thyme  
1 teaspoon coriander

Ingredients for the Salsa Verde:
2 pickles
2 filets of anchovies
1 tablespoon capers
1 cup flat parsley, only the leaves
10 basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon french mustard
salt and pepper

- Cut the beef in big chunks and add the rub, let this rest for at least 1 hour.
- Put all the ingredients for the Salsa Verde in a blender and let it mix until you have an almost smooth salsa. Place this in the fridge.
- Preheat your grill.
- Skewer the beef together with the onion parts, tomatoes and bacon.

These kabobs don't need a lot of time on your grill (just a few minutes), just make sure you have a real hot fire!

Can you smell the fabulous flavor??

Serve the kabobs with the Salsa Verde, a butter bean salad and bread (on the picture there's green olive bread and regular white bread).

And if you want some wine with this dish, a Nero d'Avola or a Shiraz paires very well!

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and Gary, thank you!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Caponata alla Nigella

Today I'll give you a recipe for a sidedish. An Italian dish, and to be more specific a Sicilian one. This is a great recipe, adapted from the lovely Nigella Lawson. If you're not familiar with her, make sure you get to know her and her recipes!
Italian dishes always make me smile, they add a little sunshine to your dinner! So does this recipe, but I have to add, again, to buy good food! It makes the difference between a great dinner and a disappointed one. Taste is everything, and you DO want THAT don't you!?

What do you need:
1 eggplant, chopped
olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grated dark chocolate, I used Green & Black's
4 tablespoons capers
14 cup green olives
1 egg, hard boiled

Fry the eggplant in olive oil for a few minutes. When done, put them on a plate and sprinkle some sea salt over it. Add some new oil to the pan and fry the celery for a few minutes. Add it to eggplant (you see the beautiful color of the celery??? almost luminous!!).

Add some new oil to the pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes, some salt and pepper and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

In another (small) pan heat the sugar and vinegar, add the chocolate, capers and olives.

Stir until the chocolate has melted, and add it to the tomatoes and onion mixture.

Let this simmer for 5 minutes more. Then add the eggplant and celery and give it another 15 minutes.

Serve the Caponata on a big plate, and add the hard boiled egg. Et voilá, this is the result:

This side dish goes very well with the chicken with lemon and garlic I posted earlier. But fish or lamb will go very well with it too!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chicken with Lemon and Garlic

This recipe has only 6 ingredients, and I know you're thinking this can't be good. May I say that you're wrong, so wrong....? Ok, there, I said it!
Because this, my dear friends, is a great summer dish so you better hurry before the wind and rain comes around the corner. I'm sorry to post this just now as August is halfway gone, but I only discovered it myself yesterday!

Don't let the amount of garlic scare you, I'm not forcing you to eat them, but oh you're missing something if you don't.... Just pick a good day for this dish....the next day no vampire will come near so that's one benefit!

And a short remark about the lemons: buy organic ones! Since you're using the whole lemons: organic ones don't have a waxed coating.

The ingredients:
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (ask your butcher or do it yourself, depending on which mood you're in)
1 bulb of garlic, leave the cloves unpeeled
2 lemons, cut into 8 pieces each
a handful of fresh thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
half a cup white wine
black pepper

Preheat the oven to 325F.
Put the chicken pieces in a roasting pan or other shallow oven dish, add the garlic, lemon, thyme and olive oil. Use your hands to mix it all and coat the chicken with the oil. Make sure you place the chicken after this with their skins down. Sprinkle the wine over the chicken and add some freshly ground black pepper and cover it tight with aluminium foil.

This goes in the oven for about 90 minutes. I had a small chicken, for a big one you'll need 2 hours. After that amount of time it looks like this:

While you remove the foil, rise the temperature of the oven to 400F. Put the chicken back in the oven for 30-45 minutes, until the chicken has a nice color and the lemons are caramelized...oooh yummy...

I served this with a vegetable stew called "caponata" (recipe will follow soon) and bread. But baked potatoes with rosemary and sea salt and a green salad will also make you happy.

This is really so easy and amazingly delightful!!

Now, which wine should you serve with this? A Chardonnay from Chile I had. And don't let the amount of lemons makes you think this dish will taste sour, because it doesn't. It's very sweet because of the slow cooking! Therefore the Chardonnay!


Sunday, August 8, 2010


Now, who doesn't like pizza....everybody luvvvvs it and I'm not talking about those cardboard flying saucers that you can buy for less than 2 Euro's, those aren't worth to be called pizza! No, I'm talking about homemade pizza, with all the toppings you like, coming straight out of your own oven! Or, from the barbecue, of course, but this time I made them in the oven....sorry if I disappointed you now....!!

If you never tried it because you thought it was too difficult or you get nightmares even thinking about making your own dough....please read this, I'm gonna convince you that it is EASY!
So, put your legs on the table and we'll start (yes, it is that easy!)

The dough comes from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, it's a great book written by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François. It contains lots of recipes for bread, pizza, dessert, anything with dough!

All you need is a big container with a lid, a wooden spoon and a thermometer and of course the ingredients:
3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon granulated yeast
1,5 cup water, lukewarm (that means absolutely NOT warmer than 100F, check with thermometer!)
This amount is enough for two large pizza's or several small ones, of course.
The original recipe also has sugar in it, but I omited that because I think it's too sweet.

Mix the flour and the yeast in a big bowl. In the container goes: water, olive oil and salt. Then you add the flour, all at once and start stirring until there are no dry spots of flour left. If the dough is too wet, add some more flour, if you think it's too dry add some water or olive oil.
Put the lid on loosely, don't close the container! Put it on the counter and have a glass of wine.

The dough needs approximately 2 - 2,5 hours to rise, so maybe you'd better take a bottle of wine.

This is how it looks after stirring, before rising:

In the meantime:
gather all the toppings you want, like onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, salami, garlic etc. etc. Anything you like! But there are three things you really need:
1 can of peeled tomatoes
dried italian herbes
shredded cheese. I used shredded Gouda cheese.

Use a blender for the tomatoes, in order to get a smooth tomato sauce, but some tomato chunks are okay.
Preheat the oven to 500F or use the crisp program if your oven has one.

When the dough has risen, scatter some flour over it and pull out half of the dough with your hands.
Now you can make the pizza, flatten the dough with a a rolling pin or simply use your hands. Put it on baking paper, a pizza stone, or as I did, use a crisp plate for pizza. 

Divide some tomato sauce over the dough and start building your pizza. End with the dried herbes and the cheese.
The first one I made, with onions, prosciutto, red bell pepper, and garlic:

After 12 minutes (when using the crips program or a pizza stone) or about 15 - 20 minutes when you use a regular oven method, it is ready!!

The second one (mine!) had salami, mushrooms, garlic, onions, jalapeno slices (from a jar) and green olives:

And I almost forgot to make a picture of the result, so here are the last 2 pieces.... :

And now I'm hungry, you too??

Try it, and enjoy!!