Grey Shrimp Risotto

I’m a grey shrimp lover! Guilty as charged…  So let me share one of my own recipes. Please when making this recipe or any other recipe with grey shrimps, BUY THEM FRESH and unpeeled… I know the peeling takes some time, but first of all they are cheaper unpeeled, but most importantly the taste is much much better!!   Don’t add any Parmesan cheese!! (this is not done with fish risotto’s or pasta’s)

What you need to get started: (for 2-3 people and even 4 people if you are tiny eaters)

  • 1 Shallot (finely chopped)
  • 500g grey shrimps
  • 2 cups of risotto rice, I prefer Carnaroli , but Arorio or Vialone Nano will also work(regular coffee cups)
  • Pepper
  • White wine
  • 1l fish stock (made from the shell of the shrimps)
  • Butter (farm butter, NO Margarine)
  • Olive oil

Get Started:

  • We first start with peeling the shrimps (you can look at one of my previous blog posts to see how you have to peel them) DO NOT throw away the shell, we’ll be making fish/ shrimps stock with them

  • Making the fish/ shrimp stock is very easy, you heat a pot with a little lump of butter  and braise the shells for a few minutes. Add a bit of wine and fill the pot with water until all shells are under water. Let it cook for about 15-20 minutes (if you want , you can add a fish stock cube or other fish if you have some, to give extra flavor, but not to many otherwise the stock will become too salty). Sieve it and your stock is ready to use.

  •  Now we have our whole basis ready, so we can start with the actual risotto.
  • Heat  a pot with some olive oil and the shallot in it. Let it braise until you see the shallot starts to become a bit glassy

  • Add the 2 cups of rice (don’t worry, 2 cups is more than enough, as the rice swells a lot)

  • Keep stirring (that rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of pot)
  • Add a half glass (or whole glass , depending how big your glasses are) of white wine . and stir it.

  • Now put the heat on medium, when you see the rice almost absorbed all the wine , you can add 2 soup spoons and stir the rice
  • From now you keep adding stock whenever you see the rice absorbed almost all the stock  (1 or 2 spoons at a time) until your stock is finished. This will take about 25-35 minutes. It is important to keep stirring  (not the whole time, but just every 2-3 minutes) to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pot

  • At the end you add a few lumps or good old farm butter (no Light products please) and stir .
  • Right at the end you can season with Pepper ( NO salt, as your stock is already salty. If somebody might want it saltier, they can add it afterwards). And add some shrimps (keep some for decorating your plate) and give a last good stir.

The finished result will look as follows

Buon appetito!

A sunny recipe with asparagus and grey shrimps

On such a sunny day, I really have to share a sunny recipe with you guys. Something simple and yummy 🙂

A recipe that fits these requirements is one of the recipes from Lisa Calcus (restaurant Les Gribaumonts), who won the 2012 BRU lady chef award.

You can already taste spring in the plate, she combines  asparagus , grey shrimps, Parma ham and emulsion of peas with tarragon.


What do you need to get started? (for ca.4 pers.)

  • 400g gray shrimps  (FYI, buy them unpeeled, this way you save money and you can use the peels to make  shrimp stock to use in sauces or a shrimp risotto)
  • 20 asparagus (white and/or green)
  • 8 thin slices of Parma ham (make sure it gets cut thin!!!)
  • Fresh tarragon (1 or 2 branches)
  • 150 g peas
  • 50 cl cream
  • 15cl vegetable stock (fresh made or bought)
  • 1 tomato (peeled, for decoration)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Siphon (tool)

Getting Started

  • Blanche the peas together with the tarragon (chopped tarragon) and let it cool down
  • Boil the cream together with the vegetable stock (until it gets thickened, no toooo liquid )
  • Add the peas and tarragon to the cream and mix it (keep a few peas for decoration) + add salt and pepper
  • Sieve the pea creamy mix and put in a siphon
  • Peel the asparagus (keep the peels) and boil them in salted water. To get a maximum flavor you also add the peels when cooking the asparagus. When The asparagus are ready (us top of a knife to check) , you can use the stock to make risotto or tastemaker for another dish…
  • Put the asparagus on a plate. Decorate your plate with some of the tomatoes (best is to slice them or cut in little cubes)
  • Add some peeled shrimps and the Parma ham
  • Finish the plate with the emulsion of peas

Only one thing left to do, or maybe 2, eating and enjoying 🙂

Spaghetti alla norma

Today I want to share again a very simple recipe and can be made in just 15 minutes

Ingredients: for 4 people (if you only take one portion)

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped garlic glove
  • Tablespoon of flour
  • Drizzle of wine (white or red)
  •  Olive oil
  •  Salt
  •  Pepper
  • Basil (handful)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes

Get Started:

  •  Cut the eggplant in small cubes. If you have time (20min), you can put the cubes in a drainer with some salt on them, to drain the water in the eggplant. If you have no time just proceed with step 2 🙂
  • Put some olive oil in a pan.  Once the oil is hot you put in eggplant cubes and top them with a tablespoon of flour. Bake it until you see some of the cubes are a little bit colored
  • Put them on plate. Again put some olive oil in pan, fry the onion and garlic for a second and thrown in the eggplant again
  • Season with salt, pepper and chopped basil
  • Add the tomatoes, a drizzle of wine (if you want you can also add a very little bit of chicken or vegetable stock, but not mandatory)
  •  Let it cook on low heat for 10 minutes while you cook you spaghetti

Serve and you’ll see that the simple things are always best 🙂

Friday fishday recipe

For a lot of people in Belgium , Friday is a day you eat fish … So as promised, I share a fish  bordelaise recipe with a twist 🙂 and is easy to make and only in 30minutes… and served with a Leek puree…


  • 2-3 pieces of white fish (pangasius(it doesn’t always have to be expensive fish), cod fish, cat fish, etc…)
  • Olive oil

For the topping:

  • 1 tin of tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard (you can also add 2, if you like is more spicy)
  • Handful of Basil leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Breadcrumbs  (chapelure)

Side dish:

  • 2 leeks
  • 6 medium/big potatoes
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Butter
  • milk
  • Olive oil (optional, you can also bake the leek in butter)

Let’s get it on :

We first start with the fish:

–          Put the tomato puree in a little mixing bowl, add the mustard, chopped basil, salt, pepper (and if you would want some paprika powder . mix all

–          Take a baking tray and put some olive oil in it. Turn your fish in this olive oil and season with some salt & pepper.

–          Put a table spoon  of the tomatomix on each piece of fish and spread

–          Put some breadcrumbs (chapelure) on top  and a drizzle of olive oil

–          Put in a preheated oven at 185°C (365°F)for about 15minutes

As you all know I really like leek, so a leek puree would be nice to serve with it.

–          Peel your potatoes and boil in salted water

–          Wash and cut the leek

–          Put a drizzle of olive oil in a pan (but also be done with butter) and ‘stew’ (bake) them on low heat for 10-15 minutes.

–          When potatoes are done, drain them and add to leek

–          Mash all together, add a few pieces of butter (about 30gr), salt, pepper, nutmeg and a drizzle of milk

Now all is ready to serve 🙂

I served this with a nice white Sauvignon-blanc from Les Salices

White Cabbage Cannelloni

I found yet another wonderful recipe in Njam magazine, White cabbage cannelloni by Johan Segers (restaurant ‘t Fornuis).  This would actually a perfect to replace the traditional “witloof in de oven (Belgian chicory dish). What is good about this dish, is that it is easy to make, don’t need million ingredients, yummy and the ingredients are not too expensive.

You would just need ham, a ½ white cabbage (the external leaves are used to make the actual cannelloni, take about 6 to 8 of them), salt, pepper. For the’ Béchamel’  just milk, salt, pepper, flour and butter ( the last 2 to make the roux)

If you are not sure how to prepare it, You can see the master himself preparing it via following link

There are a few differences between the recipe on the website in the magazine. On website he bakes the ‘cannelloni’ before serving them, as for in the magazine it is advised to put the ‘cannelloni’ in a baking tray and putting the remaining ‘béchamel mix’ on top , some grated cheese and put it in the oven …

I would suggest try both and see which you like best…. In this way you can use all your white cabbage you’ve bought…

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing on of my very own fish recipes

Fettuccini con salsiccia e porri

I’m a leek lover, especially now in winter time I could eat it almost every day 🙂 I don’t know what it is about this vegetable, it has this sweetness in it (probably that’s what I like). Anyway last week I got a wonderful gift from my girlfriend, she gave me a new cookbook (you just can’t have enough of those)… ok ok, I  might have given her some hinds 😉  The book she gave me was ‘222easy recipes’ by Academia Barilla. In this cookbook you’ll find real ORIGINAL recipes for Italian classics. On top of that they also  they tell you from which region this recipe is from (as some people think in whole Italy you eat the same thing, which is NOT the case!!) and they also give some ‘good to know’ info on the recipe (some kind of history or product info). What makes this book different than all the orther Italian cookbooks you’ll find in the shop? Well they try to give the recipes the way they were invented  and supposed to be made… which for me is reason enough.

In this book you’ll find recipes for all levels, a kitchen nightmare until pro cooks.I want to share a recipe from them to show you that easy, cheap, fast made and yummy can go together…. So NO excuses not to try this!! You just need some pork sausages (try to get some good sausages from your butcher), take off the skin and bake in some olive oil. (crush the sausage while baking)

Add chopped leek. Bake it for a while.

Deglaze with white wine (add a drop of water) . Boil pasta (fettuccine or tagliatelle will also do fine)FYI just water and some salt NO OLIVE OIL!!

Once you cooked the pasta (al dente) you add it to the sauce and add a lump of butter. Mix it all with spoon or fork and let it cook together for a few minutes and serve with some parmesan cheese.

It might seem simple, but trust me you’ll like it (if you like leek obviously)

FYI, you can also follow Academia Barilla on Twitter, as they share lots of great recipes…


Competition for Mcdonalds

I thought it was time to give you guys another recipe… although fort his recipe I can’t take credit

As this recipe come from the wonderful people of ‘Taste of Home’.  The recipe I want to share with you is Basil Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise.

I must admit that I first I was a little bit scared of the sundried tomatoes being too salty, but when I saw you first had to put the tomatoes in boiling water ( to take away most of the saltiness) I was reassured.

I did change a few things from the original recipe as I’m not really a fan of Light products. I used a mayo made with olive oil instead of  Light mayo. I left garlic away (although I think it would indeed give another dimension to the burger… I also think that you can easily replace the Mozzarella , you can use cheddar or another cheese that melts well.

But 1 thing is for sure, this was one NJAMMY burger!! (OK, the picture of the original might look better)

What kind of Pasta?

Some people say that every pasta is alike. Well, those people are wrong 🙂

Which pasta I’ll be eating, will depend of the sauce it is with… for example I would only eat regular Spaghetti with Vongole or trofie with pesto sauce, when I eat a sugo di carne (bolognaise) I’ll be tempted more to eat penne or maybe some taglierini, etc…. I know, it might sound strange and maybe it is something Italian, but that’s the way it is … You try it at home and you’ll see, it really makes a difference!!

Last night I actually found a very nice infographic created by Charming Italy together with Barilla. They made a whole chart with all different kinds of pasta where you they help you to find to the right pasta, but also if you’re eating somewhere and wondering which pasta you’re eating, this chart will help you discovering which pasta it is.

If you want to have a closer look at this chart you can find it on the following link

These are obviously not ALL the types of pasta that exist, but I’m sure you’ll discover and learn new pasta’s thanks to this chart

A trip down memory lane: Spezzatino

This recipe actually brings me back right to my childhood, as my dad and grandmother made this dish soooooooo many times. The original recipe is with veal stew meat, but as I was a picky eater when I was young (now I made up that lost time 🙂 ) my dad used to make it with chipolata sausage… so if you prefer the original recipe, just use the veal instead of the chipolata.

This is a dish you can make for 1 up to a whole bunch of people and best to serve with Polenta or boiled potatoes. Ok, here we go. With what remains you make use to make a pasta.

For  4 pers.


800 g chipolata (beef or veal stew meat)

1 big finely chopped onion

25 g butter

Olive oil

3 dried bay leaves

Fresh rosemary

Paprika powder

Little bottle of red wine

Pepper, salt

Peas (frozen, amount according to liking)

Kenya (frozen, amount according to liking)

2 big finely chopped carrots

2-3 tins of peeled (chopped) tomatoes

1-2 chicken stock cubes


Get started:

Bake the meat in a large cooking pot with a little bit of butter and olive oil and some Rosemary until nice golden brown.

You now add all the chopped vegetables  (not the tomatoes) and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until you see the vegetables start to brown

Quench with the red wine, add the tomatoes  and add the salt, pepper, bay leaves, chickenstock and paprika powder. Also add water until all is under water.Let is cook on a low/medium heat for about 2 hours (stir from time to time)

until it basically looks like picture below 🙂

Best to serve with polenta which is ver easy to make!!

Google for food & drinks

I discovered a very nice recipe/drinks search engine  (thanks to @70percentsteph) where you  can find some nice and simple recipes just by entering an ingredient you have, you crave or you dislike (if you want to work the other way). This engine is called Gojee and is worth a visit!! I got hungry while watching, if I wasn’t wounded  I immediately start cooking

Just to give you an example, I gave Lemons as a crave… and the engine gave me a whole list with yummy suggestions

So if you’re still looking for some Christmas food, this might be the place to find you menu