Dutch recipe: Stewed Pears

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. It is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

Dutch FoodStewed pears are something many Dutch people like to eat with their main meal as a side dish or for desert. We never stew apples (at least not as a nation) but stewed pears are popular, and you can also buy them ready-made in the supermarket – in the fruit section, in a plastic container with some of the juice.

Stewed pears are sweet and soft and especially nice with spicy food.  We make sure they’re cooled down before we eat it; we might even refrigerate them for a while, if there’s time!

Pears

The pears we use are pears that are especially sold to make stewed pears: Giesser Wildeman pears. They are quite small, hard, and ugly looking. When cooked, they become soft and delicious.

Stewed Pears: What you need

Ingredients

1 kilogram (2 pounds or lbs) of hard pears, such as Giesser Wildeman

1 stick of cinnamon or a tablespoon of cinnamon powder

water

2 sachets of vanilla sugar, 8 grams (0.3 oz) each (this is just sugar with vanilla flavor, really)

2 tablespoons of honey (optional)

3-4 cloves

Stewed Pears: How to prepare

1. Peel the pears. You can either cut them in fours, take out the core OR leave them whole.

2. Put in a pan. If the pears are whole, stand them up in a pan that is just big enough (that way, you need less water, and the liquid will become more syrup-y).

Pears in pan w. cinnamon/cloves

3. Add water so the pears are just covered. Add cinnamon and cloves. Bring to the boil.

4. Add sugar and honey.

5. Put on a low heat for at least 1.5 to 2 hours, until the liquid becomes syrup-y. (I never manage to get a syrup, but maybe you will!) Stir every now and then.

Pears after one hour

Above the result after one hour of cooking. After 2 hours, the pears will be even more red-brown in colour:

Pears after 2 hours

6. Take the cloves and cinnamon stick out of the pan and let the pears cool down. Keep them in the refrigerator until use, and don’t forget to use the delicious syrup, too!

Pears - ready to be eaten

Potato Quiche

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. It is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


Potato Quiche with Broccoli

Potato Quiche with Broccoli

From the first time we made this, it was a favorite with the children. It’s easy to make and delicious!

The recipe I’ve got comes from a supermarket magazine (AH Allerhande 12, 2009). We make it with vegetarian bacon strands rather than real bacon, so substitute if you prefer real.

What you need:

  • 5 big-ish potatoes, that stay firm when cooked
  • 6 slices of puff pastry from the freezer. Ours are about 15 x 15 cm or 6 x 6 inches. Just use enough puff pastry to line a 24 cm / 10 inch oven dish.
  • 125 gram / 4.5 ounces of bacon or vegetarian bacon
  • 3 eggs
  • 125 milliliters / 0.5 cup of double cream (dutch: slagroom)
  • 125 gram / 4.5 ounces of chives (optional, dried or fresh)
  • 100 grams / 3.5 ounces of mature cheese

Ingredients

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 220 C / 430 F.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them into thin slices. Cook them for about 5 minutes in salted water. Drain and let cool down.
  3. Cover the quiche dish with the puff pastry slices. Cover the pastry with aluminum foil and put dried beans, lentils or baking beads on top. Put this in the centre of the oven for 8 minutes.

    Preparing oven dish

    Preparing oven dish

  4. Meanwhile fry the (vegetarian) bacon for 5 minutes until crisp.
  5. Take the quiche dish out of the oven, remove the beans and foil, and bake for another 4 minutes. Then take out of the oven again and distribute the potato slices over the dish.
  6. In a bowl, mix the eggs, cream and chives. Pour half of the mix over the potato slices, then add the bacon followed by the rest of the egg and cream mix.
  7. Add the grated cheese and bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes.

The result looks like this:

Quiche

Quiche

You can prepare the quiche one day in advance. Just warm up the finished product, covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes at 200 C / 400F.

Enjoy!

Weekend Cooking – Pizza Time!

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. It is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

Pizza on plateThis week, NumerOneSon, NumberTwoSon and me made pizza. For some people that may be something they regularly do, for others it may be something they regularly order out, but we normally don’t either – we eat deep-frozen pizzas from the supermarket (heated up!).

But, as we found, making your own pizza is fun, healthy, quite quick really and much nicer than shop-bought pizzas! NumberOneSon (13) prepared the dough. It came from a packet (add water then mix), but he managed to do it on his own, including finding the English-to-Dutch plug (from my English hairdryer) to use on the English hand mixer.

Pizza with Tomato PureeHe divided the dough perfectly over the baking tray and NumberTwoSon (11) then spread tomato puree over it with the back of a spoon. While the dough was being prepared, NumberTwoSon had been busy slicing vegetables and vegetarian sausages. These were the ingredients for the topping:

ToppingsBroccoli, sliced vegetarian sausages, pineapple chunks, onion, pepper and mozarella cheese (sliced).

We divided the pizza in four quarters, as we all like something else: the boys don’t like the onion, while my husband doesn’t like the pineapple (you’ll notice the bottom left-hand quarter on the picture below doesn’t contain any pineapple). I like it all .

Pizza when readyIt only needed 25 minutes in the oven, so that was quick work for a lovely, healthy pizza! Here’s a close-up of the result (aw, that looks odd!). Close-up of PizzaSo, the moral is: make your own pizza every now and then. It doesn’t take that much time and it’s fun to do. Even better if you can get your kids (if you have any) to join in!

Let me know what other (vegetarian) toppings you suggest for our next pizza!

Weekend Cooking: Chiang Mai

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. It is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

This week, I cooked a recipe from Weekend Cooking from last week: Margot from Joyfully Retired posted a recipe for Chiang Mai on her blog. I love Thai food and don’t need much of an excuse to try it out, so I did.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

NumberOneSon and I had this for dinner and we enjoyed it a lot. It tasted quite authentic Thai-ish, and was just the right amount of spicy.

Variations

I didn’t have sweet potatoes (and neither did the supermarket I went to), so I used “standard potatoes”. I think this was just fine. Maybe having sweet potatoes would have added something to the dish, but leaving them out was fine too.

Noodles

Noodles

I don’t eat meat, so the chicken was replaced by vegetarian chunks (made of soy). The noodles I used were different from normal. I usually have dried noodles that are a little curled in a packet. They only need a few minutes of hot water (no cooking). The noodles I used this time were much thicker and came as straight sticks in a packet. They needed 15 minutes of cooking, and were very starchy. They fitted this dish perfectly.

Thanks for sharing the recipe, Margot!

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