Caldiflour taco's with almond butter

An unkown gem

This recipe is inspired by this one from Bon Appetit. Sandy made it so many times at home that we’ve edited it to our taste

Ingredients

  • 12 corn tortilla’s (small ones, 15 cm wide)

  • 65 grams of almond butter (you can get this in most supermarkets. It’s near the peanut butter, not the normal butter because it doesn’t contain dairy)

  • 1 green chili (preferably Jalapeno) - grated or cut into very tiny pieces. Leave the seeds in if you want it spicy.

  • 3 cloves of garlic - grated

  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

  • 120 ml sunflower oil or other neutral oil

  • 4 tsp ground cumin

  • 4 tsp smoked paprika powder

  • 1 big cauliflower or two small ones - cut into 5 cm sized flowers

  • a few cilantro leaves

  • 50g feta - crumbled

  • 24 slices of quick pickled radishes (find the recipe here, you should have these in your fridge 24/7)

  • 24 slices of quick pickled red onions (find the recipe here)

Instructions

  1. Mix the almond butter, chili, garlic, lime juice and 3 tbsp of water, and 1 tsp of salt in a bowl. Set aside.

  2. Mix garlic, oil, cumin, paprika in a big bowl, add the cauliflower, and some salt. Toss it around, so the cauliflower is tossed on all sides.

  3. Put the cauliflower on a baking sheet in the oven at 220 degrees Celsius until dark and crisp. For us, this takes around 25 minutes. But just check every 5 minutes after 20 minutes, and you’ll be fine.

  4. Once the cauliflower is finished. Toast the tortillas in a pan and spread your almond butter sauce on it. Then at the cauliflower and top with cilantro leaves, radishes, and pickled red onions and feat

Enjoy!

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Flambeed Boudin Noir 🔥

The least kosher dish that will impress your friends.

Hi friends,

All of my e-mails have been mostly meatless. This one won’t be - Sorry. The next ones will be vegetarian friendly again.

To me, there are two types of cooking. “Weekday-cooking” means doing everything in your power to make an enjoyable meal within 30 minutes. And then there’s “going all out” creating something that your guests won’t forget — something that people will be raving about and posting on Instagram.

This dish is one of the latter categories; it has all the components: ingredients you would never think work together, it looks great, and you can set stuff on fire. Literally. How often have you seen somebody do this in their home kitchen?

Yep, I thought so. If you cook it for friends, they’ll believe you’re a pro, but the secret is: it’s straightforward, and except for burning down your house, there’s not much that can go wrong.

Burning your apartment can easily be avoided if you follow two rules. Rule number one: limit the amount of alcohol you add to the pan. There’s a video of me failing to do this that I will show on request. Rule number two: don’t light it while it’s under the hood. The hood or whatever exhaustion system you use should be turned off.

Boudin Noir in dutch is “bloed worst” (blood sausage). In English, people often call it “black pudding”. My Jewish grandmother refers to it as the least kosher ingredient out there because it contains blood, the consumption of which is forbidden by Jewish law. It might sound gross, but 1) it’s not - even my grandmother loves it - and 2) it’s made from blood, which is often just thrown away, so you can feel good about wasting less meat.

Ingredients

for 6 servings

  • 250 grams Boudin Noir sliced. Ask your butcher for one that is soft, so it will fall apart when you bake it. In Dutch we have a word for it called “rul”.

  • 3 pears (you can replace this with Apple) - diced in 1cm thick slices

  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons of Calvados - if you don’t have it pear liquor or vodka will work too.

Instructions

  1. Bake the pears for a few minutes until they get glassy
    Add the cinnamon and the boudin noir to the pan.

  2. With a spatula, cut the boudin noir in small pieces and move around the pan for about 2 minutes until it’s baked through

  3. When the boudin noir is done, add the Calvados, remove the pan from the stove and set it on fire!

I’ve served this as a dish on its own, but I also combined it with coquelet as a starter. You can even combine it with ice cream and make it a meaty desert.

Hope you like it! Let me know if you made it and be careful with fire.

xoxo Sam

This piece was originaly published in Earnest (WeTransfers’ internal magazine).

Salmorejo

It’s peak tomato season. You can get great tomatoes on the market now - or if you’re lucky like me: you can harvest them in the garden. This is the perfect reason for me to write about my favorite dishes ever. I vividly remember seeing someone make it for the first time. I saw someone throwing very expensive tomatoes in a blender, and I thought “why would you do something like that?”, but I was wrong. Ten minutes later, there were two dishes on the table: an incredible soup called salmarejo. And a delicious dip, made from its residue.

Salmorejo is a Spanish cold tomato soup that can be compared with gazpacho, but it’s way more refreshing and subtle. It’s less complex to make, and I’ve yet to meet someone that didn’t ask me for the recipe after I made it. It looks like this:

Salmorejo is probably the ultimate recipe, and I’m not kidding. I think I tend to love minimalist recipes that are just there to get the most out of an ingredient. And Salmorejo is the best example of that. It’s like eating a raw tomato, but times a hundred.

It’s easy to make, it takes no time, and the ingredient(s) are easy to get. What goes in, comes out: nothing gets wasted in this recipe, and the higher quality tomatoes you put in, the better the soup is going to be. It looks good too:

It’s cheap. Although tomatoes can be expensive, it’s the only ingredient you need to buy. Because it’s served cold, you can make it in advance, bring it to a picnic, eat it for two days. It’s vegan! It’s everything, so let me explain to you how to make it

How to Make Salmorejo

For 4 servings you will need:

  • 4 cloves of garlic - peeled and cut in small bits

  • about 100g of old breadcrumbs - if you only have fresh bread, toast two slices and put them in the mixer

  • 1kg of the best tomatoes you can find. Getting great ones is the most impactful thing you can do for this dish. Try to get a mix of things and include small tomatoes, like cherry tomatoes because they often have a very strong taste.

  • High-quality olive oil

  • Something acidic: Like red wine vinegar, or lemon juice

The steps

  1. Wash the tomatoes. With big tomatoes, remove the white parts around the stem.

  2. Blend the tomatoes until they become a soup.

  3. Using a food mill (in dutch: roerzeef) strain all the tomato skins from the soup. Keep the skins, because you can make a dip out of it. If you don’t have a food mill, you can just use a regular strainer.

  4. Put the soup in a pan or bowl and add the garlic, half of the breadcrumbs, and about 60mL of oil. Also, add a tiny drop of lemon juice or vinegar to it.

  5. Blend this again and taste: it should be smooth, but not like a mousse. If it’s to smoothy, add some bread. If it’s too firm add some oil. And blend again.

  6. After you’ve found the right consistency, you add some salt and pepper to bring it to taste. The salt makes the tomatoes come alive.

    And that’s it! You’re done.

    In the rare scenario that “just salmorejo” is not enough, you can add a boiled egg, some tuna salad, or dried ham to it.

    You can eat immediately or keep in refrigerated and eat it in the next two days.

The dip

From the skins that are left after straining, you can make a fantastic dip.

  1. Add all the skins to a bowl. Add a drop of red wine vinegar, some salt, some crushed black pepper, and a good amount of good olive oil.

  2. Mix and serve with (salted) crackers.

That’s it for this issue. I haven’t been writing for a while, because I was very busy with other projects, and because I was trying things that were too hard. From now on I will just share recipes that I love every now and then.

Talk soon!

xx Sam

Making Fresh Pasta

Make your processed food from scratch

Hi friends,

These are strange times; we’re all stuck at home. While this is because of a serious disease with a terrible impact on the world, I wanted to focus on the only positive aspect: we have more time to cook.

I’ve been receiving more messages about cooking than ever before, so I'm trying to write more. I have to say it's challenging to find energy in this crisis, but I hope I will figure that out in the coming weeks.

I’ve asked you on Instagram whether you'd want smaller episodes or one big one. The smaller format won, about 92% of you voted for it, so in the coming months - I'm afraid we'll be stuck at home for a while - I will try to send one issue around one topic every so often. Let's go. 

With all that time, there are many things that we can cook that we usually don’t have the time for, like Boef Bourginion or a good Bolognese. That's a lot of fun, but what I’ve been enjoying more is diving deep into straightforward recipes, by making everything from scratch. Most of us eat Pasta at least one time every week but have never made the pasta ourselves - let’s use this time to do that.

Making Pasta From Scratch

Big disclaimer: I’m not Italian; I didn’t grow up making pasta. According to some, I have no right to speaking here. But I will anyways, unsubscribe if you don’t like it.

Fresh homemade pasta is not “de facto” better than the dried stuff you get in the supermarket. It's just very different. For starters, it contains egg, which makes it more nutritious and flavorful. I love that, especially with a subtle sauce. Dried pasta is much more firm, which works well with heavy sauces, like a bolognese. 

There are a ton of ways to make fresh pasta, and frankly, there’s not a perfect way. Pasta is almost always delicious, so it’s gratifying to make, you can’t screw it up. Like everything I share: making pasta is not hard. It also doesn't take much time. In fact, I think after you've made it once, you probably want to make yourself more often.

Click here for my basic recipe that can’t go wrong, even if you don’t own a pasta machine.

Where to take it from here?

After you’ve made it the first time, it’s time to experiment. Making pasta means you’re in control of the structure and the flavor. For example, if you use semolina in your dough, it will make sauces cling more to the pasta, where Typo00 flour can make it very silky. Or you can salt the dough so that you don’t need to cook it in salted water.

Did you, by the way, know that you can cook pasta just as well in cold water as warm water? And that it’s also fine to cook it in very little water? My favorite food writer, Harrold McGee, wrote an article on that in the NY Times. It’s fascinating that the pasta cooking tradition is so strong that he only found this out in 2009. Harrold calculated that if everyone adopted his technique, it would save between 250.000 - 500.000 barrels of oil per year.

Another fun thing to try out is ravioli, the process of making the dough is the same; you should optimize for a stretchy dough that’s thin and fill it with whatever you like, as long as it’s not too watery from the inside. It’s a good way to get rid of leftover meat and produce.

Is this useful when the lockdown is over?

Yes! You can keep fresh pasta in the freezer for a very long time, so you can even make a massive batch during the current lockdown and then eat from that for the rest of the year. I think that once you’ve acquired the pasta making skill, you will realize it’s not as time-intensive as it sounds, you can easily do it on weekdays. It’s a lot of fun to make with friends - when you can see them again - too. You can even call rolling spaghetti the machine together “romantic”… (I didn’t make that up)

What to eat it with?

In my opinion, it's best in simple recipes. Like Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe or -if you've just one a lottery- pasta with black truffle:

Sandy recently introduced me to Kale Pesto. Pasta Pesto is one of these go-to student recipes because nothing can go wrong; it’s cheap and delicious. This is all of that, but better. I’d suggest adding a little bit of lime juice at the end too, to give it a little bit of an acidic edge.

That’s it for this issue. As always, thanks for reading, and I hope I’ve inspired some of you to make this at home.

x Sam

P.S: Big shout out to my love @sandyvanhelden for making the illustration for this issue.

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Fresh Pappardelle

A great way to start making you own Pasta

What do you need?

It’s a lie that you need any special gear to make pasta at home. Yes, it’s easier if you have a mixer and a pasta machine, but it’s by no means necessary. In this recipe, I will explain how to do everything without any special gear.

Is this the best pasta recipe?

No, it’s a basic one, an easy one, I won’t dive into the complex details and art of pasta making. If you’re into that, I recommend this post on the science of pasta making.

Ingredients

Per 100 grams of pasta (1 serving):

  • 100 grams flour - can be all-purpose, typo 00 or semolina, or a mix. I normally go for 50/50 all-purpose and typo 00 for good silky pasta.

  • 1 whole egg

  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients either by hand or in a mixer. If you’re doing it by hand make a mountain with the flour on a surface and make some kind of crater in it, then crack the eggs in the middle.

  2. Knead it all into a big firm ball, for about 10 minutes. This is harder than you think, the ball will be pretty strong. If the dough is too sticky, add some flour. If it's too dry, add a bit of water. 

  3. Wrap the ball in plastic and let it rest for about an hour (it’s not a problem if you rest it for longer). If you want to refrigerate or freeze the dough to use later, you can do that too.

  4. After resting, cut the ball into fist-size pieces.

  5. Now use a pasta machine or a rolling pin to make the balls flat. Once it’s pretty thin, fold it the long sides back into the middle and do it again, repeat that two times. If you don’t have a rolling pin, use a bottle of wine.

  6. Now it’s time to make the dough thin enough to make pasta with. If you are using a machine, it’s easy, gradually increase the thin-ness of your pasta machine until it’s the second to thinnest (7 on mine). If you don’t have a pasta machine, use a rolling pin to make it so thin that you can almost see your fingers through it, but not yet. (For spaghetti you want to get thinner, but I like pappardelle a little thicker).

  7. Lay everything in sheets on a cutting board and cut it into Pappardelle, between 2-3CM wide.

  8. Make small heaps with the pappardelle and use flour so the things won’t stick to each other (see the header image).

Cook them between 50 seconds and 2 minutes in unsalted water (we salted the dough, so we don’t need to salt the water) and eat them with your favorite sauce, enjoy!

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