Monday, October 28, 2013

Lentil Soup with Rabbit Sausage

Today we do another lovely soup, really perfect for winter, a lentil soup. Lentils are so versatile, they can really be used in so many dishes and apart from tasting really good, they are extremely healthy, just ask any vegetarian or Vegan what they think about lentils.

To just make the soup a little different I made some rabbit sausages, cooked a bit Puy Lentils and then a little bit Chinese Cabbage. 

The Puy Lentils are one of the best Lentils available on the market, they are rich and flavorful and very dark in color. They get their name from the French city of Puy, where they were originally grown and are still a driving industry. The name is protected and the lentils are sold under the AOC label, meaning Appelation d'origine controlee, a fancy French term saying that they are under controlled production from a certain, clearly demarcated area. The special flavor of the lentils is because they are grown in the volcanic soil of the Auvergne region. So if you see them in a shop, get them and try them out

The rabbit sausage is not a real sausage, I just took the back of a rabbit, deboned it carefully so I have the fillet and the skin nicely together. Then I took a bit leg meat and made a farce, or filling with a little cream, salt, pepper and liver. I added a bit sundried tomatoes to give it a nice color. I added a bit farce next to the fillet and simply rolled it so that the skin is all around. Then I tied the sausage and roasted it in a pan and finished it off in the oven.

Sounds labor intensive? Yes it is and you really don't have to do it, just simply make the soup, and then make the sun dried tomatoes, lentils and Chinese cabbage as a garnish.

So here is the recipe for the soup, if you want to have an exact recipe for the rabbit sausage, let me know and I will happily part with it

250 g (9 oz) Puy Lentils
150 g (5 oz) Onions
50 g (2 oz) Garlic
25 ml (1 oz) Olive oil
1.2 l (1.2 quart) Chicken or Vegetable stock
250 ml (9 oz) Cream
Salt, Pepper

50 g (2 oz) Puy Lentils
50 g (2 oz) Onions
50 g (2 oz) Carrots
25 ml (1 oz) Balsamic Vinegar
25 ml (1 oz) Olive oil

1 head Chinese Cabbage
25 ml (1 oz) Olive oil
Salt, Pepper

Cut the onions and garlic in fine dices, then saute together with the lentils in the olive oil, without color
Add either chicken or vegetable stock and simmer till the lentils are very soft
Blend the soup quickly, but don't strain it, you want a bit texture in the soup
Add the soup back in the pot and add the cream

This soup is very versatile, if you are vegan then you just leave the cream away

Season to taste, if the soup is a little too thick, just add some more stock

Cut the onions and carrots in brunoise, blanch
Saute the lentils
Add stock and balsamic vinegar
Simmer till tender
Mix with the blanched vegetables, you should have no stock left

Cut the Chinese Cabbage and just saute quick in  bi olive oil
Season to taste

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chanterelle Cappuccino

It is getting colder in the northern Hemisphere, so it is a good time to do some soups again. I already did quite a few of them, but being a "soupoholic" I can never have enough recipes

This time I am making a Chanterelle Cappuccino with some rabbit fillet and a little salad. This is mainly because the under plates are nice and big and had space for some extra garnish, and it goes really well with the soup.

Chanterelles are wild mushrooms. They are yellow in color and absolutely amazing in taste. They are usually harvested wild in the forests in autumn and go great with game, as a soup or just fried with garlic, onions, butter and herbs and then served on toast
The soup is really easy to make, the mushrooms get quickly washed as they are usually still full of soil and if they are not washed properly you will have all the sand between your teeth and believe me, this is not a nice experience. At the end either top it with a milk foam or a bit soft whipped cream that is seasoned with salt and pepper and if you wish flavored with a little truffle oil. 

Of course this soup can be made as well with other mushrooms, Cepes go really well or just plain button mushrooms. I like as well the traditional wild mushroom mix with everything you can find on the market

So here is the recipe

300 g (11 oz) Chanterelle Mushrooms
100 g (3 oz) Onions
20 g (0.75 oz) Garlic
50 g (2 oz) Butter
80 ml (3 oz) White whine
500 ml (half pint) Chicken stock
100 ml (3 oz) Cream
Salt, Pepper

4 ea Rabbit fillets
Sesame Seed
Olive oil

Herbs, assorted
Lettuce leaves
Balsamic reduction

Clean the Chanterelles well in cold water, rinse well and pat dry
Peel and chop the onions and garlic
Saute onions and garlic in butter without color
Add the Chanterelles, saute a little longer
Add whitewine
Bring to the boil, then add chicken stock
Simmer for 20 minutes
Blend and strain
Put back in a pot, add cream and bring to the boil, season to taste

Season the rabbit fillets and fry them in olive oil till nearly done
Roll the fillets in the sesame seeds

This is enough for 6 generous portions

Saturday, October 12, 2013


This Filipino dish is something I have eaten the last couple of years, but never actually made it myself, so it is about time to try it out and share the results. A Polvoron is a cookie, a really amazing tasting cookie and as the name already might give away, it is a very powdery cookie. 

Originally the Polvoron comes from Spain and is traditionally made from September to January. The major difference between the Spanish and the Filipino version is that in Spain lard is used whereas in Philippines butter is used
Toasting the flour
The most well known ones here in Philippines are made by a company named Goldilock's and they taste amazingly good. It is something like the Halo Halo, I just need it to exist, I can eat them all the times......but careful, they do have a couple of calories.
Adding the milk powder
The making of these cookies is actually really, really easy, it just takes a little patience. They are not baked, but the flour is toasted in a dry pan, slowly toasted, that is where the patience comes in, don't go too high in the temperature just to push the process, the result will not be good as flour burns very easily in a hot pan. The flour has to be toasted as this cooking process will prevent the cookies to taste like just plain flour, but give them the typical Polvoron flavor 
Adding the sugar
Then when the flour is toasted one simply takes away the pan from the flame and adds the rest of the ingredients one by one. First the milk powder, then the sugar and at the end the butter. By then the mix should already be a little cold. Then the mix gets stirred till everything is nice and evenly crumbly.
Adding soft butter
At the end the mix gets pressed in the special Polvoron forms, this uses a little force as otherwise they will crumble when held with the fingers. If you don't have these forms just use a cookie cutter and press the mix in them.
Mixing well

I keep these cookies always in the fridge. The butter hardens and will hold the cookies better together, they will keep fresh as well as otherwise with the butter in the cookie, they would go off quite quickly when left outside.
The Polvoron moulds

500 g Flour
500 g Milk Powder
500 g Sugar
300 g Butter

Toast the flour in a hot pan till very light brown. The smell will be lovely when it is done, just a bit toasted in the nose
Remove pan from the heat
Add Milk powder and mix quickly
Add sugar and mix again
At the end add the butter which has to be room temperature
Now mix the whole thing thoroughly, best you a kitchen mixer
Press the mix in Polvoron forms
Leave over night in the fridge
Serve within a week of making

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pancit Palabok

Today we will cook something really special, something we usually eat when we go to Market Market as one of the food stalls is preparing it very nicely. The dish is called Pancit Palabok, one of the many types of Pancit. Again, there are many, many recipes and I will not say that this one is the real one, but you have to know that this Pancit Palabok was extremely tasty.
The cooked rice noodles
The origin of Pancit is Chinese and it is called Palabok because of the orange colored, shrimp flavored sauce that is poured over the noodles. If you look in Chinese cuisine you won't find Palabok, that is truly Filipino
The Annatto Seeds in the water
I think for this recipe it is of utmost importance to really use good quality products, especially the smoked fish that goes in, only buy the best. (No, it is not the wild Norwegian salmon that goes in, but local sardines…….and they taste great just plain on their own) Then use the freshest prawns you can find, it is worth it and make sure the chicheron is really fresh, if you don’t make it yourself. That would be a lot of work, but I just want to emphasize how important the freshness of the ingredients is for this dish.
Ground Chicheron
The color of the sauce we get from Annatto Seeds, this makes the sauce look like it is a lobster sauce which sort of makes sense because there is the smoked fish and the shrimp with it, even so there is often as well beef or chicken stock in it, so the flavor is really intense
Smoked Fish
The chopped Garlic
The chopped onions
The boiled eggs

The cooked Prawns


1 Packet Rice noodles (Pancit or Palabok Noodles)
Walter as per recipe given on packet

Quarter cup Annatto seeds
Quarter cup Water
50 ml (2 oz) Oil
50 g (2 oz) Garlic
100 g (3.5 oz) Onions
150 g (5 oz) Ground Pork
200 ml (7 oz) Shrimp Juice (cube)
200 ml (7 oz) Pork stock
30 g (1 oz) Flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Cooked eggs
Cooked Shrimp (Prawns)
Boiled Pork
Smoked Fish
Fried Garlic
Kalamansi (small limes from Philippines)


Soak the rice noodles in water for about 15 minutes.
Drain and set aside.
Cook the sauce by heating a saucepan.
Pour-in the cooking oil.
When the oil is hot enough, put-in the ground pork, garlic and onions and cook for about 10 minutes
Dilute the annato seeds in pork broth then starin and pour the mixture in the saucepan.
Bring to a boil
Add the shrimp cube and stir and simmer for 3 minutes
Add the flour gradually while stirring.
Add the fish sauce and ground black pepper then simmer until sauce becomes thick.
Set aside.
Meanwhile, boil enough water in a pot.
Place the soaked noodles in a strainer (use metal or bamboo strainer) then submerge the strainer in the boiling water for about a minute or until the noodles are cooked. (make sure that the noodles are still firm) Remove the strainer from the pot and drain the liquid from the noodles.
Place the noodles in the serving plate.
Pour the sauce on top of the noodles then arrange the toppings over the sauce.
Serve with a slice of lemon or calamansi. Share and enjoy!

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