Technique Thursday: How to make awesome French Fries

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The fries in Belgium, plucked fresh from noisy street vendors, are something special. Each bite begins with the satisfying crunch of a crackling, golden "skin", followed immediately by soft, steamy insides that melt, almost immediately, on the tongue. With just enough oil to help it all slide down, the fries - amazingly - are never greasy. You'll be happy to know that you can experience Belgian-quality fries in you own home. The key is twice-frying the potatoes. Basic Recipe (full … [Read more...]

Menu: Belgium

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When I had trouble deciding which dishes to make (big surprise), you guys helped me out on our Facebook page by suggesting I make it all! Yikes!  Although I'll be busy, I am happy to oblige... I mean who wouldn't love a menu like this... Vlaamse Asperges (White Asparagus a la Flammande) [Recipe] White asparagus cooked until tender with a chunky sauce made with hard-boiled eggs, butter, lemon juice, and parsley. Baked Belgian Endive with ham & cheese [Recipe] Barely bitter endive, … [Read more...]

About Belgian Food

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In general, Belgian food is a balancing act between the rustic and the exotic. Belgians love most any kind of meat, not limited to chicken, beef, ham, and veal, but including specialties like pate, goose, duck, boar, partridge, and any kind of sausage. Escargots, or snails are also popular, as are mussels, trout, perch, turbot, shrimp, and eel. Even with such an extensive list, many Belgians claim steak and French Fries their most beloved dish. Still others enjoy Stoofvlees (meat stew) with the … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Belarus

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I cannot lie. Sure, I've tried. But I learned early on that lying is much more humiliating than the truth. No matter how bad the truth seems to be. Of course, not being able to lie has its distinct disadvantages. Like having to admit embarrassing things, like how I got stood up this week. No, not by my husband (he knows better than to do that - love the sweet man). Remember the lightening bolt of good fortune I had a few days ago? When I ran into a real, live Belorussian (at … [Read more...]

Recipe: Strawberry Kisiel (Thick Strawberry Puree)

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Makes about 1 1/2 quarts Strawberry Kisiel is easy to make and very tasty. The sweet dessert remains light and refreshing. Unless, of course, you serve it over a bowl of vanilla ice cream... which I totally recommend. Ingredients: 1 lb fresh strawberries (or other seasonal berries) 4 cups water 4 Tbsp cornstarch sugar to taste (between 1/2 and 1 cup is about right) Method: 1. Puree strawberries with sugar in a blender or food processor. Pour into a pot and heat over … [Read more...]

Recipe: Rye Bread

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Makes 1 large loaf, or 2 small My husband called this "the best rye bread I ever ate."  A nice, dense crumb, with a mild rye flavor. The sugar and honey make this loaf wonderfully addictive. Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups warm water 3 tablespoons honey 1 Tbsp sugar 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast 1 3/4 cups rye flour 2 teaspoons salt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour Optional: caraway seeds (for top of loaf) Method: 1. Place … [Read more...]

Recipe: Borshch/Borscht Soup from Belarus (Beet Soup with potatoes)

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Serves 6 This soup is popular all over eastern Europe, specifically in the Ukraine. This version hails from Belarus where they add big chunks of potatoes. The longer it cooks, the happier this Borshch tastes. Ingredients: 1 large onion, chopped 1-2 large russet potatoes, as desired 2 Tbsp vegetable oil 2 beets, diced 2 carrots, sliced 2 turnips, diced 1/2 a green cabbage, sliced thinly 6 oz can of tomato paste 1 Tbsp sugar 2 Tbsp vinegar salt and pepper 32 oz beef … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mushroom stuffed Draniki (Potato Pancakes/hash browns stuffed with mushrooms)

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Makes about 6 Draniki Pan-fried until crispy and hot, mushroom stuffed draniki taste like pumped up hash browns. Really great comfort food. Belorussians eat these with sour cream, although I know Americans will like them with ketchup. Ingredients: Mushroom filling: 1 oz dried wild mushroom blend (or a handful of fresh mushrooms) 1/4 cup minced red onion 1 tsp dill salt pepper Draniki: 1 1/2 lbs of potatoes, peeled 1/4 cup flour 1 egg 1/4 cup … [Read more...]