Salmon Coconut Chowder

Chilly temperatures are upon us (at least here in NL). I’ve already started switching my closet as summer jackets will no longer cut it for me. And with that, hearty and comforting dishes will be on our house’s menu more often. This is a bit of an Asian take on chowder. I used coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass and chili (this soup is not spicy but you can always add more chili). For some crunch and extra flavor, I topped it with fried onions. I also used beer in this soup. Pieter thought that the combo was a bit weird, until he tasted it. It works, so now it is here on the blog.

This recipe serves 2-3 people.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 leeks, finely chopped

3 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger

2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped (white part only)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1 cup of pilsner beer

1 big head of salmon

1.5 litters of vegetable stock (1 cube of vegetable stock mixed with 1.5 litters of boiling water)

4 small potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes (I used the kind for mashing because it will thicken the soup)

400ml of coconut milk

Salt

Kernels of one corn

200grs of skinless salmon filler, sliced into cubes

Extras:

Fried onions (store bought)

Coriander leaves for serving

Lime wedges

Crusty bread

 

In a large pot, place the vegetable oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the leeks, ginger, lemongrass, garlic and chili. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring. Then add the beer and let it simmer till half of it evaporates. Then add the head of salmon and the vegetable stock. Let it simmer for 1/2 hour.

Once the 30 minutes have passed, remove the salmon head. Carefully remove as much salmon meat as you can from the head. Be careful to discard of any bones. Shred the meat with a fork and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

Add the coconut milk and potatoes. Give it a good stir and let it simmer for another 30 minutes over medium heat.

Once the soup has reduced, add the shredded salmon (head) meat and the corn kernels. You can now also add the salmon fillet cubes, so that they cook in the soup. This will only take a couple of minutes. For presentation purposes, I cooked the salmon cubes in a pan with a bit of vegetable oil and a sprinkle of celery salt. This will only take a couple of minutes till the salmon is golden on all sides.

Serve the soup with a sprinkle of crispy fried onions and chopped coriander. And some crusty bread & lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!

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Beer Cheese Fondue

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I have not been shy about my love for cheese. If you look at my Instagram account, you can see that I cannot go too long without it.  But it is only since I moved to the Netherlands, that I started to make cheese fondue. Not being a cold weather person, cheese fondue is something I do look forward to in the winter. I finally got a Fondue set which means I can finally serve it properly. This Fondue Set Pro is by the Dutch brand Boska. It specializes in everything to serve cheese. I’ve been using their cheese boards since last year and I really love their products. They are aesthetically pleasing and functional. And of course, not just for cheese. This fondue set comes with a 1 litter pot made out of cast iron and a stove with a burner which helps keep the cheese warm. It is very easy to clean. As it is cast iron, I just used very hot water to rinse it off. The cheese just came off without any effort. You can make enough cheese fondue in this pan for 6 people as an appetizer. But if you are having it as dinner like we did, it serves about 4 people.  You can see the fondue set pro by clicking here.

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Back to the cheese fondue, I went for a more German approach here by adding beer. Since we are in the Netherlands I also used a young Gouda, which adds more flavor since Emmental is pretty bland. Once ingredient that you might find uncommon here is the use of lemon juice, I read here that it helps with the stability of the cheese, and it actually goes well with the cheese.

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With the dippers, you can be creative. This time I served it with a baguette, homemade soft pretzels, endive leaves (which I really enjoyed), sautéed asparagus and Brussels sprouts, Thinly sliced black radishes and pear. But you can also add some meat like sliced sausages if you like.

This recipe serves 4 as a main course.

Ingredients:

For the fondue:

350grs of Emmental, grated

170grs of Gruyere, grated

250grs of Young Gouda, grated

330mil of Pilsner beer, plus a bit more to loosen up the fondue if needed (I used Flensburger beer)

1 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch

Juice of ½ a lemon

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of white pepper

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon of mustard (optional)

1 clove of garlic, cut in half

For the dippers:

A baguette, sliced into cubes

Soft pretzels, you can find the recipe by clicking here.

Sautéed asparagus

Endive leaves

Sautéed Brussels sprouts

Pear, sliced

Black radish, thinly sliced

 

 

Before you start making the fondue, start prepping all your dippers.

To make the fondue, shred the cheeses and mix them with the cornstarch.

Rub the garlic clove all over the inside of a medium saucepan. Then add the beer and let it come to a simmer over medium heat. Then add 1 handful of the grated cheese and stir with a wooden spoon until the cheese has completely melted. Then add another handful of cheese and continue stirring. Repeat until you are done with the grated cheese. Then add the lemon juice and spices to taste.

I really enjoyed this cheese fondue with mustard. Since I only had whole grain mustard and for the pictures I wanted the cheese to be completely smooth, I only added it after taking the pictures.

If the cheese gets too thick, you can always add a bit more beer at a time to loosen it up a bit.

Transfer the fondue to a preheated fondue pan and enjoy.

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