Friday, June 21, 2013

Den Haag: Sumo Sushi & Grill

Sushi! YUM!

All-you-can-eat Sushi! EVEN BETTER! :D

Sumo Sushi & Grill
Palacestraat 8
2586 HX The Hague, Netherlands

(the one at the beach)

Beautiful lunch with beautiful friends and beautiful food. :) I really miss this place.

Ice cream: Green Tea and Black Sesame.

I want Sushi joints in India! 

Store-bought Tortellini with Easy Sauce

In my last few days at The Hague, I didn't want to buy fresh ingredients that would stay over in the refrigerator after I left. I ended up buying ready made pasta from the supermarket. What I have here is ham & cheese tortellini, all made and ready to go. The instructions on the packet were clear, that I just had to boil the tortellini till they floated to the top, but it was too boring to eat them that way!

While the tortellini was coming to a boil, I heated some olive oil and threw in sliced garlic and chopped chives. As soon as the pasta was done, I drained it and dunked it into the hot garlicky oil, tossed it around, and put in some roughly cut fresh mozzarella. At this stage, I turned off the heat and kept tossing everything together. The cheese melted slightly, and coated the pasta nicely.

Some fresh pepper on top, and done. :) Ready-made tortellini made fancy in minutes.

Den Haag: The Thai Box

One of my favourite Asian restaurants, in the heart of Chinatown in The Hague, the Thai Box is located at:

Rabbijn Maarsenplein 3
Chinatown, The Hague
2512 HJ Den Haag

I went there for a quick lunch between classes with a friend, and we didn't have much time to explore their extensive menu. The people were really friendly, and the food was authentic and delicious. :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Den Haag: Dudok Café Brasserie

This is probably one of The Hague's most famous cafes. Its located at:

Hofweg 1a  2511 AA The Hague, Netherlands

+31 70 890 0100

I only went there twice, and I was with some people and all we ended up having was coffee and pie.

(above) The very famous Dudok Apple Pie

(above) Carrot Cake

(above) My favourite, the lemon pie. It was incredible, with a light floaty lemon curd, crumbly pastry and a nicely sweet, burnished meringue on top.

Definitely recommend this place to anyone visiting the city. :)

My Favourite Cafe/Lunchroom in Den Haag: Blij

In The Hague, my favourite cafe and lunchroom was this little place called "Blij", on 

Dunne Bierkade 1A  2512 BC 

The Hague, Netherlands

+31 70 889 3330

This was the place I would hit after every crazy party, whenever I needed a change of place to study better, or just to get myself some more of the amazing food there. :)

Its a beautiful little cafe on a beautiful street next to a beautiful canal. I wish I had more photos of everything I ate there. My absolute favourite there was the Chocolate Fudge Pie:

Chicken, Zuchhini, Brinjal and Spinach in Coconut Milk Curry

This recipe was the product of a combination of ideas I came across while browsing other recipes online. I knew spinach could be creamed, but I wanted to try cooking it in coconut milk instead. And I had never really cooked brinjal (aubergine/eggplant) before, so I decided to give it a go.

2 Chicken Breasts
1/2 Zuchhini
1/2 Brinjal (Aubergine/Eggplant - same thing)
Coconut Milk
3 - 4 Cloves of Garlic
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper

Wash and dry the chicken breasts thoroughly, and slice them into manageable pieces.

Slice the brinjal and zuchhini, and quarter the slices.

In a deep-bottomed pan, heat olive oil and add sliced garlic to it.

Add the pieces of chicken to the hot oil and cook until white through but juicy.

Add the brinjal and zuchhini to the pan while the chicken is cooking, and keep tossing everything around till tender. Add salt at this stage.

Remove the chicken, zuchhini and brinjal from the pan and keep aside on a warm plate. To the same pan, add some more oil if required, and the fresh spinach leaves.

Cook the spinach down until done. Add coconut milk so that the leaves absorb the liquid as they cook.

Add the chicken and vegetables to the cooked spinach in the pan. Add coconut milk as required to bring the components together.

Grind fresh pepper on top and serve with rice.

Chicken, Mozzarella, Cucumber and Zucchini Salad

This is a fresh, healthy and very filling salad (without any annoying leaves, haha) for those days when you want to feel responsible and mature.

1 Cucumber, slices into rounds and each round halved
1 Zucchini, sliced into rounds and each round quartered 
1 Chicken Breast
Fresh Mozzarella cheese

Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
1 Clove Garlic
White Pepper

In a pan, heat a bit of olive oil and gently fry the chopped garlic in it. Thoroughly wash and dry the chicken breast, then slice it into manageable pieces. Place those pieces carefully in the hot pan and toss around till thoroughly cooked. Remove the chicken from the pan, and add the zuchhini to the remaining oil. On medium heat, let cook till done but still firm.

In a bowl, toss together the cooked chicken and zuchhini, cut cucumbers and the fresh bits of mozzarella. Drizzle lemon juice on top.

I know it sounds crazy because half the components are cooked (and therefore warm) and the other half is raw and cold. But it actually ends up going quite well together, and this is a complete meal by itself!

Chicken with Spices and Cream

Like everything else I cook, basic ingredients, simple methods, and no complications.

Chicken (breasts)
Mustard Seeds
Cumin Seeds
Red Chilli Powder
Fresh Cream
Olive Oil

Wash the chicken breasts thoroughly. Coat lightly with olive oil, and rub in some red chilli powder, mustard seeds and turmeric. Cover and set aside for fifteen-twenty minutes.
In a pan, heat some olive oil, throw in some cumin seeds until fragrant, and lightly fry sliced onions and garlic. Place the pieces of chicken in the pan, and let cook till completely done but still tender. Keep the heat medium-high, so that the chicken develops a nice colour on the outside. Add fresh cream, stir everything together and heat through till it slightly bubbles. Can garnish with fresh coriander.

Rice Noodles in Simple Anchovy Cream Sauce

This is, again, a product of having almost nothing in the kitchen left to cook with. So I threw together some things that were lying around, and I think I've finally found an acceptable way for me to enjoy anchovies! :P

Rice Noodles
Fresh Cream
Salt, Pepper
Olive Oil

Soak the rice noodles in hot water for about ten minutes (or as per instructions on the packet). Meanwhile, in a pan, heat some olive oil and fry up some finely chopped, or minced, garlic. Place the anchovies in the hot garlic-ky oil, turn down the heat, and mush them around until soft. Turn off the heat and pour in the fresh cream, whisking everything lightly together. Pour the sauce over the rice noodles, lightly coating. Can garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

What's a Raclette?

Thanks to a wonderful French friend, I know what a raclette is.. I think. Wikipedia can explain better though:

 The Raclette cheese round is heated, either in front of a fire or by a special machine, then scraped onto diners' plates; the term raclette derives from the French word racler, meaning "to scrape," a reference to the fact that the melted cheese must be scraped from the unmelted part of the cheese onto the plate.

A modern way of serving raclette involves an electric table-top grill with small pans, known as coupelles, to heat slices of raclette cheese in. Generally the grill is surmounted by a hot plate or griddle. The cheese is brought to the table sliced, accompanied by platters of boiled or steamed potatoes, other vegetables and charcuterie. These are then mixed with potatoes and topped with cheese in the small, wedge-shaped coupelles that are placed under the grill to melt and brown the cheese. Alternatively, slices of cheese may be melted and simply poured over food on the plate. 

And this is how we did it. :)

Alho Francês à Brás - Leeks and Potato Crisps

Living in the Hague, I had a lovely Portuguese roommate who taught me how to make this really quick, really easy student dish - leeks with potato crisps and eggs/cream. It was so simple and so delicious, I loved it and would wait for her to cook it again and again. She explained that the dish originally uses Bacalhau (codfish) but since that was harder to source in the Netherlands, we used leeks instead, which is a wonderful vegetarian alternative. The following recipe, I'm pasting here, in her words. :)
ok, so for a good quantity you would need:
2 bags of chips
2 leeks
1 onion
3/4 cloves of garlic
olive oil
2/3 eggs
black olives (optional)
coriander (optional)

You cook the sliced onion and garlic in the pan with olive oil until it turns golden and beautiful. then you add the pieces of leek and leave it there for maybe 10 min. Meanwhile you mix the eggs with some salt and black pepper (forgot to mention that) and prepare the chips (smash them), then add the chips to the leek and the eggs and mix it.
You might have to add some water through out the "process" so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, then just cook it for another 5/7 min, and when it is done just serve it with the olives and coriander. 

The alternative, completely vegetarian option is to skip the eggs and use fresh cream instead. The vegan version would be to use soya cream. The end result is still great, and its quick and perfect for a busy student meal. :)