RECIPE // Making makis.

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I’ve been in love with makis and sushis ever since I first ate them, someday, a long time ago. I’ve eaten it in many places and different occasions and quality varied. I definitely did not love the sugary glue-full ones that you can find in supermarkets and even some Asian restaurants. I did love the ones I ate in China though, except for the one sushi that had a whole load of wasabi hidden under the salmon. I loved the ones I ate in Turkey too. However, it’s the Makisu, I told you about it in this article that made me go crazy for the Asian dish.

I learned to make makis at the “salon de l’alimentation” in Brussels, in 2014. Me and my boyfriend were in there, hoping for free food but such a thing was unfindable. We came across the maki stand where one could pay 5€ to learn the making of makis and then get to eat its creation. I was seduced. And so I learned.

You will need.

To make makis, you need a rolling mat, round or sushi rice, rice vinegar, nori sheets and things to put inside. Where to find the first four in Brussels? At the Asian supermarket in the city. It’s located Rue de la Vierge Noire 2, 1000 Ville de Bruxelles.

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Preparing.

You must start by cooking the rice. Instructions are on the package but if you buy this one (which is pretty good quality and price), you’ll need to add a glass and a half of salted water to every glass of rice you use. 500g are pretty much good for 10 sheets of nori, aka 80 makis. Make it all boil and when it does, stop the fire, cover up and let in rest until all the water is absorbed. This lasts approximately 15 minutes. When it’s done, take the cover away and let it rest 10 minutes. Then, proceed to add rice vinegar and salt. Not too much but still enough. Taste it and if it tastes too much vinegar, add a lot of salt and mix.

While the rice is cooking, you need to prepare everything else. I personally like salmon (raw), chicken, omelet, shrimps, avocados, Philadelphia, carrots, cucumber, peppers. You need to cook the omelet and the chicken, and cut everything into slices.

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When everything is ready, set yourself. Unroll your rolling mat with the white lines vertical in front of you. Place a sheet of nori on it. The lines you see on your nori sheet should be horizontal. Place a bowl with water in front of you. Wet your fingers so the rice does not stick and take a load of rice with them. Place it on the sheet and blend it over. The sheet should be covered with rice until the fourth line. Pay attention to the sides that needn’t be forgotten.

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When this is done, just place the things you want in your maki in the center of the rice rectangle, forming a line across it. If you want, you can first “draw” a line with Philadelphia, aioli or any other sauce you’d like to use. I’ve seen people use a mix of mayonnaise and wasabi. The more ingredients you add, the more difficult it will get to close your maki and make it look graceful.

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When you wish to close it, grab the end of your maki and the rolling mat at the same time. Hold the food inside with a finger, especially if you put a lot of it, so that it doesn’t fall off. You will bring this end to the line were your rice ends. Keep it closed with one hand and pull on the end of the rolling mat with your other hand. Do this at different points so that the maki is really tightly closed. Bring back your maki and the beginning of your rolling mat and roll once again. Then pull. Your maki will be tightly closed.

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Once this is done, it’s time to cut (unless you like to eat it like a burrito). Take a good knife to do it. You will first cut it in half, in the middle. Then cut each half in halves. And then once again. That way, you make sure the maki pieces are even. You can eat your makis right away or put them in the fridge.

I hope my explanation was clear enough. The pictures are here anyway if you have any trouble with my words. If you love makis, you really should embark into this adventure of making them. The process obviously takes some time but it can be quite fun, just do it in front of a film if you’re afraid you’ll be bored. If you try to make your own makis, tell me how it went!

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RECIPE // Garlic “stuffed” tomatoes.

garlic tomatoes

You know how much I like garlic and vegetables. If you don’t love those, you’re going to get so bored with me today. My third recipe is yet another garlicful vegetable one (okay, that’s a fruit but still). I have been meaning to post it on the blog for a few months but the problem was that I always forgot to take the result picture which is kind of inconvenient when trying to make people feel hungry about your plate. Well, I finally came to my senses and took the picture. My brother’s friend really looked at me strangely, like I was a crazy person taking photographs of the meal.

Anyway, may I present to you the garlic “stuffed” tomatoes. I keep calling them this name even though I do not really stuff them. I cook them with their inside flesh and just add everything on top.

What you will need.

An oven plate, preferably a glass one. Olive oil. Garlic powder. Breadcrumbs. Tomatoes.

I usually use up to seven or eight tomatoes when cooking for four people. However, don’t forget that I do not cook carbohydrates with it. Those are usually alone besides the main dish which is generally meat or fish.

What you will do with all of these.

First, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Then pour some olive oil inside your plate. You don’t need to pour a lot because you can spread it with a cooking brush. Wash the tomatoes and cut them in half. It’s best to cut one tomato at a time and place it in the plate. That way you can make sure they all fit in. Before you place it in the plate, put some olive oil on it with the brush. Of course, place them with the cut part on top.

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After they are all placed, take a tea spoon and your garlic powder. Pour half a teaspoon of this on each half tomato. When this is done, pour a whole teaspoon of breadcrumbs on them, thus covering the garlic. Lastly, pour very quickly olive oil on the tomatoes but it does not have to wet all the breadcrumbs.

Stuffed tomatoes

When this is done, you can put your preparation in the oven for 40 minutes. I tried using real garlic pieces once but they kind of roasted which did not taste great.

This meal is great to serve which grilled chicken, salmon or another fish for example. I love this recipe because it’s pretty easy to accomplish and doesn’t need much ingredients. The cooking is quite long though but it gives you more time to prepare the meat or fish, without worrying about anything else.

I hope you’ll love it as much as I do. Tell me how you liked it when you try it. May we meet again for another post. ■

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RECIPE // nappa cabbage and duck breast marinated in herbes de Provences.

dusk breast and nappa cabbage

No outfit this week, only a small, simple and healthy recipe that has nappa cabbage (or pe-tsaï) as main ingredient. I’ll also explain to you how to give a pleasant twist to a fillet of duck breast.

To begin, what is a nappa cabbage?

It’s a cabbage variety (riiiight?) made green leave and white stems whose texture looks like onion’s one. Not only is it very good but it also has very few calories. Indeed, it contains only 12 calories per 100 grams.

How do I prepare it?

There are only two ingredients: the cabbage and three cloves of garlic that you chop in small pieces. You tear off the stems and approximately cut the green part form the white part with a knife. After having proceeded on the whole cabbage, cut the white part in small squares. In order to do that, begin by dividing the stem in two with an incision in length then cut those two new pieces in a lot of smaller pieces that shouldn’t be any longer that 1,5cm. I know my explanations are clumsy but I’m unfortunately not (yet) an expert when it comes to writing recipes.

The second step consists of cutting the leaves in smaller pieces. There’s not special technique here, just take the whole bunch of leaves in your hand, try and maintain it in one place and then try to make squares out of it. They do not have to be small, 4 centimeters is perfect. The goal is for the leaves to adopt a spinach aspect once cooked.

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pe-tsai

chou chinois recette

ail garlic

How do I cook all of this?

Put a pan on the stove (I think this is the word) with some vegetal oil (olive oil is okay too). Once the oil is hot, throw the pieces of garlic in it and let them cook a few seconds while trying not to let them burn. Once they’re turning brown, you will not feel anything other than this burned garlic during the degustation.

Then add the white squares and let them cook for 5 minutes. Don’t forget to mix vigorously with the garlic so that nothing burns. After those 5 first minutes of cooking, add the leaves over and mix everything so that the leaves can cook properly. Let them cook for 5 minutes and the preparation is over. The white part will have cooking for 10 minutes.

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nappa cabbage

What about the duck breast?

To get the same result as I did, you need to buy a fillet of duck breast. The preparation consists of cutting the fillet in small slices like in the pictures (scissors do it well) and cover them with a “sauce” on both sides of every slice. This sauce is nothing else that a mixture of a lot of olive oil and herbes de Provence. They truly give a lot of taste to the meat and make entirely disappear the taste of blood or simply duck that the meat could have. Some carnivores in the family complained but personally, I prefer the duck this way!

The cooking is simple. Put a “grill” pan on the heat. Once it’s hot, lay the slices flat on the grill so that they do not overlap. There is no nedd to add any fat element such as oil or butter because, well, there already is oil on the duck itself and also because the duck breast has a lot of good fat that is very effective for cooking. Do not take of the fat part before cooking. The cooking itself is very quick. Let the meat a maximum of 5 minutes on the heat and that is only if you want it well-done. Of course, do not forget to turn every slice in the middle of the cooking.

carnard aux herbes de provences

fillet of dusk breast

The post is already over and I leave you with it to return to studying. Consider this article as a compilation of two recipes and not a unique one as those two preparations can be eaten with several other food. I’m personally a fan of this type of meal: meat or fish with vegetables. So many different combinations are possible. I hope you’ll try it and overall, like it. If it’s the case, don’t hesitate to give me your impression. May we meet again for another post x

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dusk breast and chou chinois

RECIPE // Mediterranean white fish.

Hi again dear readers! Today, I’m sharing with you my favorite and very personal recipe called “Mediterranean fish”. I named it this way because it’s essentially made of olive oil, tomatoes, fish and garlic. Actually I just made a recipe that my mom got from the internet better. The original one did not use garlic but onions. And I cannot eat a meal that smells like onions all over.

INGREDIENTS FOR TWO PEOPLE.
500g white fish (cod is optimal, but I also use coalfish)
2 tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
A lot of olive oil

Bonjour mes chers lecteurs ! Aujourd’hui je partage avec vous ma recette favorite et très personnelle que j’appelle “poisson méditerranéen”. Je l’ai appelé ainsi car il est composé essentiellement d’ail, d’olive et de tomates. En fait, c’est l’amélioration d’une recette que ma mère avait trouvé sur internet. L’originale n’utilisait pas d’ail mais des ognons. Et je ne peux pas me nourrir d’un plat qui goute et sent les ognons en puissance.

INGREDIENTS POUR DEUX PERSONNES.
500g de poisson blanc (du cabillaud, mais j’utilise aussi du lieu noir)
2 tomates
2 gousses d’ail
Du sel et du poivre
Beaucoup d’huile d’olive.

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First, preheat your oven at 200°C then take a plate like in the picture, put a layer of olive oil in it and with a brush, extend it to the all surface. Then cut two cloves of garlic in little pieces and if possible, make the pieces even smaller with a machine.

With a coffee spoon, take half the cut garlic and put it in the plate, try and spread the pieces all over the surface. Salt and pepper heavily both sides of the fish and then place it in the plate. Pour olive oil all over your fish and then put the other half of your cut garlic on the fish, all over its length.

Premièrement, il faut préchauffer le four à 200° et sortir un plat comme montré sur la photo. Au fond, mettez une première fine couche d’huile d’olive que vous pouvez étaler avec un pinceau. Ensuite, coupez deux gousses d’ail en petits morceaux et si possible, hachez les encore plus petits à la machine.

Avec une cuillère à café, prenez la moitié de l’ail et étalez-le au fond du plat, sur toute la surface. Salez et poivrez fortement les deux côtés du poisson et placez-le dans le plat. Versez de l’huile d’olive dessus et étalez l’autre moitié de l’ail sur le poisson, sur toute sa longueur.

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Then cut the tomatoes in little pieces, optimally in 8 and pour them all over the fish. Pour olive oil again. Your fish has to be quite immerged in the olive oil so it can be tender but not too much or it will shattered into pieces if you cook it too long.
Ensuite, coupez les tomates en petits morceaux, en 8 ou en plus et placez-les au-dessus du poisson et un peu partout dans le plat. Versez de l’huile d’olive à nouveau. Le poisson doit être immergé dans l’huile pour être tendre mais pas trop non plus au sinon il commence à se désintégrer si on le laisse cuire trop longtemps.

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When your oven is ready, you only have to put your preparation in it and wait 20 minutes. It’s okay if it cooks a little bit too long, I never had a real problem with it even though it can become too tender and lose pieces.

This is one of my favorite recipes and the one that I’m most proud of. I consider it very healthy despite of how much olive oil it contains. It’s very simple and uses only basic ingredients. Well, it’s a basic not so basic.

I hope you will try it and hopefully love it, I see you soon for another post!

Quand votre four est prêt, il ne vous reste plus qu’à y mettre votre préparation et attendre 20 minutes. Il peut cuire un peu plus longtemps s’il y a des problèmes de timing, ça n’a jamais été un problème pour moi-même s’il peut devenir trop tendre et se désintégrer.

C’est donc une de mes recettes préférées et celle dont je suis la plus fière. Je la considère comme très saine malgré la quantité d’huile qu’elle contient. Elle est très simple et n’utilise que des ingrédients basics. C’est basic mais pas complètement.

J’espère que vous l’essayerez et que vous l’aimerez, je vous retrouve bientôt pour un autre post !

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