A rice dish with eggplant, beef and raisins

A long time ago, I left my parents house to study at university in the big city of Amsterdam. My mother gave me a book of recipes as I had already showed signs that I would not be eating pizzas and French fries all the time but actually do some cooking. In my first studentRead More

Milan-style Ossobuco and ceps risotto

The other day I made a grilled chicken with lemon and did not feel like throwing the remains away so I turned it into a chicken stock. Then my wife suggested I made risotto and then I saw nice veal shank at the butcher’s. The ossobuco, “bone with a hole” can be made in advanceRead More

My French oxtail soup

Here we have a culinary and national identity conundrum. Let’s start by saying that oxtail soup is a hearty winter dish using relatively cheap ingredients. Personally, I always associate oxtail soup with England, so my French version replaced the porto with a Banyuls and added some root vegetables that do not enter in the originalRead More

Vegetable Jalfrezi

The other day I made an Indian dish of vegetable Jalfrezi, using ingredients I could find on the market plus some special spices that are also available in some supermarkets as well as in specialised stores. Indian cuisine is not as widely available in France as in Britain and in Paris there is a relatively strongRead More

I love this plaice – Plaice on the grill with vegetables

When I was young and lived in the Netherlands, my mother would sometimes serve us fried plaice. Apart from regular steamed mackerel, and rare moments with cooked eel, that is the only fish I can remember of my diet then. Nowadays she has branched out to Tilapia and other exotic fish species that are availableRead More

Pasta, pesto and sausage for the Sopranos

The death in Rome of James Gandolfini, the American actor who played a leading role in the Sopranos series, gave me pause to think. At just 51, his demise was a reminder that a heart attack can strike anytime. Especially if you do not exercise regularly and do indulge in the pleasures of life. ItRead More

Duckling legs with prunes, beans and tomatoes

Duck is widely used in France, especially in the south-west where they also stuff ducks for the liver. Duck meat is often tough and needs long cooking. On the market in Dieppe, I found a farmer who sold ‘canetton’, ducklings. Not the small birds with a soft down, but larger, almost half-size, birds. This meatRead More