Local gastronomy - Belgium


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Foodie Facts
 

Belgium produces 172,000 tons of chocolate per year in over 2,130 chocolate shops. Our chocolate has pure cocoa flavour because we don't use vegetable shortening.

There are over 400 beerbreweries in Belgium running the gamut from white to raspberry beer. Most beers have their own glass in which only that beer may be served. Some of the most famous are made by Trappist monks.

Belgium and Flanders are particularly famous for waffles and chips. Belgian chips are often eaten with mayonnaise or served with mussels. Chicory is a popular vegetable, as are, of course, Brussels sprouts. Sea food is plentiful and trout is fished in the rivers. Soups include waterzooi which is more like a stew. Beer features in a number of recipes.

Belgian "national dishes" are fries with mussels, rabbit with plums, eel in green sauce (Paling in't Groen in Dutch) and meatballs with "rabbit sauce" - also called "hunter sauce" - (literal translation of respectively Boulets sauce lapin and Boulets sauce chasseur in French).

Brussels has 138 restaurants per square mile.

Belgium is a gourmet paradise, boasting the highest density of Michelin star-rated restaurants in Europe.

Famous Flemish brewery Hoegaarden was founded by a milkman.

Beers such as Kriek and Framboise are often served in champagne glasses to bring out their full flavour.

When producing its Kriek beer, Belle-Vue uses one pound of cherries for every three litres of beer.

Six of the seven Trappist beers are brewed in Belgium: Westvleteren - Westmalle - Achel  - Rochefort - Chimay - Orval. The seventh trappist beer is brewed in the Netherlands: La Trappe

 

List of recipes
 

  1. Chicory salad with parched pine pips and lukewarm supreme of pigeon

  2. Rabbit pâté from Brabant (Belgian province)

  3. Beef consommé with asparagus from Mechelen

  4. Asparagus cream

  5. Cream of shrimps

  6. Eel in green sauce

  7. River eel with ‘De Koninck’ beer

  8. North Sea fish and Ostend shrimps with Mornay sauce

  9. Mignonette of pork with truffle sauce Asparagus and parsley potatoes

  10. Marinated  roast pork with beer sauce “Rodenbach”and vegetables “Flandria”

  11. Chicken with trappist beer ‘Westmalle Dubbel’ and fried new potatoes

  12. Strawberries from Hoogstraten with a beer (Leffe Radieuse) sabayon

  13. Banana on vanilla ice cream with a sabayon of Leffe Triple

  14. Belgian ginger snaps with strawberries and white chocolate


 

Chicory salad with parched pine pips
and lukewarm supreme of pigeon

 


Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pigeons

  • 150 g chicory

  • 150 g apples

  • 10 cl hazelnut oil

  • 10 cl cider vinegar

  • 50 g French shallots

  • ¼ clove of garlic

  • 10 g walnuts

  • 10 g hazelnuts

  • 1/8 toast bread

  • 10 g pine pips

  • 1/20 bunch of dill

  • 100 g corn lettuce

  • 25 g butter

  • ½ lemon

  • pepper and salt

Preparation

Pigeons

  1. Fillet the pigeons.

  2. Spice the breasts with pepper and fry shortly until rosé.

  3. (You can use the drumsticks and carcasses in a poultry broth).

Chicory salad

  1. Wash the chicory.

  2. Peel the apples.

  3. Julienne the apples and the chicory.

  4. Keep in lemon water.

Vinaigrette

  1. Blend the hazelnut oil with the soil oil, cider vinegar, shredded shallots, pepper and salt  and some garlic.

  2. Finish with chopped hazelnuts and walnuts.

Toast bread

  1. Cut the toast bread in croutons and fry them.

  2. Put the toasted bread on kitchen roll paper.

Finishing touch

  • Mix the julienne of chicory and apple with the vinaigrette.

  • Dress a tower of chicory and apple in the middle of a large cold plate.

  • Put the corn salads around the tower.

  • Slice the lukewarm supreme of pigeon and dress it on the plate.

  • Finish it with a twig of dill, parched pipe pips and the bread croutons.

 

 

 

 

Rabbit pâté from Brabant (Belgian province)
 

to serve 10

Ingredients

  • 3 rabbit’s legs

  • 0.6 kg chicory

  • 0.3 kg rabbit’s livers

  • 0.4 kg minced veal

  • pepper and salt

  • nutmeg

  • 0.1  l water

  • 0.065 kg gelatine powder

  • 0.02 l muscat

  • 0.075 kg butter

Preparation

  1. Clean and rinse the chicory. Stew in butter. Season with pepper, salt and nutmeg. Drain well and squeeze with hands until free of all cooking liquid.

  2. Boil the meat in water until done. Clean the livers carefully and rinse several times under cold running water. Chop the livers finely and cut the meat of rabbit in strips.

  3. Mix everything with the herbs and minced meat and knead well.

  4. Fill a pâté mould with a layer of the meat mixture, arrange the chicory on top. Continue like this until everything has been used. The upper layer should be a meat layer.

  5. Cook in a bain marie in a pre-heated oven at 175°C and bake for 1 hour.

  6. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and pour over with the jelly prepared by stirring the gelatine powder and the wine in boiling water.

  7. Garnish with little gherkins and olives.

 

 

 

Beef consommé with asparagus from Mechelen

 

to serve 10

Ingredients

  • 4 l white strong broth

  • 0.250 kg minced beef

  • 0.5 kg leeks

  • 0.5 kg celery

  • 0.6 kg carrots

  • 0.1 kg tomato purée

  • 8 whites of egg

  • 0.5 kg asparagus

  • 0.05 kg chervil

Preparation

  1. Remove the fat from the strong broth.

  2. Clean the asparagus and cut the edible parts in 0.5 cm pieces.

  3. Put he tips of the asparagus in lightly salted water and bring to the boil. Boil until al dente.

  4. Pour off and drain. Don’t throw away the cooking liquid.

  5. Add the cooking liquid to the strong broth.

  6. Clarify the broth.

  7. Season with pepper and salt.

  8. Pass the broth through a a muslin.

  9. Finish with the asparagus and chervil.
     

 

 


 

Asparagus cream
 

To serve 10

Ingredients

  • 700 g asparagus

  • 300 g onions

  • 300 g white of leek

  • 300 g blanched celery

  • 3 l white broth

  • 0.250 l cream

  • 10 g chervil

  • 100 g butter

  • 200 g flour

Preparation:

  1. Prepare the strong white broth.

  2. Clean the asparagus. The asparagus-tips are used for garnishing. Cut the asparagus roughly. Boil the ends and skins and sieve them together with the boiling liquid, use this as extra liquid. Boil down this liquid till maximum one litre.

  3. Cut  the onions, the white of leek, the blanched celery and the asparagus roughly.

  4. Stir-fry the vegetables in butter without colouring.

  5. Coat with flour, blend and leave to dry.

  6. Moisten with strong white skimmed broth and asparagus boiling liquid and stir well.

  7. Add mix of herbs.

  8. Parboil for 30 minutes.

  9. Remove mix of herbs and mix the soup.

  10. Season with pepper and salt.

  11. Sieve through a food mill.

  12. Bring to the boil again and skim.

  13. Finish the soup with cream when sieving it.

  14. Add the garnishing.

 

 

 

 

Cream of shrimps
 


 

Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 1 kg shrimp pulp

  • 250 g onions

  • 300 g carrots

  • 250 g celery

  • 750 g tomato puree

  • bouquet garni (thyme, parsley, bay leaf

  • 2 l strong fish broth

  • 2 l strong white broth

  • ¼ l dry white wine

  • 5 cl brandy

  • 5 cl olive oil

  • 25 cl cream

  • 125 g white roux

  • pepper, salt and cayenne pepper

  • 80 g peeled shrimps

Preparation

  1. Fry the shrimp pulp in hot olive oil.

  2. Add the coarsely chopped onion, celery and carrots and fry without colouring.

  3. Flambé with brandy, add the tomato puree and white wine and boil briefly.

  4. Pour over strong fish broth and strong white broth.

  5. Season with pepper and salt and add the bouquet garni.

  6. Bring to the boil and stir regularly.

  7. Add the roux and boil for 30 minutes.

  8. Strain the soup and then strain again through a finer sieve.

  9. Bring to the boil and skim.

  10. Season, if necessary, with salt and cayenne pepper.

Finishing touch

  • Pour the cream of shrimp (or bisque) in a hot soup tureen.

  • Put shrimps and cream in a sauce-boat and give to the restaurant.

Finishing touch in the restaurant

  • Fry the shrimps in a little butter in a sauteuse, flambé with brandy ad quench with cream.

  • Reheat and pour into hot consommé bowls.

 

 

Eel in green sauce

 

To serve 10

Ingredients

  • 1500 g eel

  • 200 g shallots

  • 200 g garden sorrel

  • 200 g spinach

  • 40 g chervil

  • 40 g parsley

  • 20 g lemon balm

  • 20 g sage

  • 2 l fish stock

  • 0.2 l dry white wine

  • 2 lemons

  • 50 g butter

  • 2 yolks

  • 0.15 l cream

  • salt, pepper, mix of herbs

Preparation:

  1. Leave the eel in salted water for some hours, to drain the blood.

  2. Prepare the fish stock

  3. Stew the chopped shallots in butter without colouring.

  4. Add the chunks of eel and stew, without colouring

  5. Add the mix of herbs and season it with pepper and salt

  6. Moisten it with the white wine, a little lemon juice and degreased fish stock

  7. Simmer covered for 10 minutes over a low heat.

  8. Add the chopped herbs and the vegetables.

  9. Simmer again covered for 10 minutes over a low heat

  10. Prepare a liaison with the cream and the yolks.

  11. Bind the liaison with the broth. It shouldn't boil anymore.

  12. Season with pepper and salt and some lemon juice.

  13. Dress the eel on the plates and leave to cool.

  14. When cooled, put it in the fridge.

 

 

 

River eel with ‘De Koninck’ beer

to serve 10

Ingredients

  • 8 large eels

  • 0.6 kg butter

  • salt, pepper

  • 0.250 kg shallots

  • 0.06 kg mustard

  • 0.2 l wine vinegar

  • 0.05 kg sugar

  • 1 bottle (25 cl) De Koninck beer

  • 0.6 l strong fish broth (instant)

  • 0.06 kg chopped parsley

Preparation

  1. Clean the eels , rinse thoroughly and chop into fillets.

  2. Season with pepper and salt. Cover lightly with flour and remove excess flour.

  3. Melt 250 g of butter in a pan with a thick bottom. Fry the fillets and simmer gently. Remove from the pan and keep hot.

  4. Remove the fat from the pan and melt butter in the same pan. Sautée the coarsely chopped shallots. Add the vinegar and reduce  by half.

  5. Add the strong fish broth and the beer and reduce again by half.

  6. Thicken with the remaining butter and the mustard.

  7. Stir through the chopped parsley just before serving.

  8. Taste the sauce. When it is too bitter, add a pinch of sugar.

  9. Put the eel on the plates and pour over the sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

North Sea fish and Ostend shrimps
with Mornay sauce




 

 

To serve 10

  • 1000 g fillet of fish, in chunks (e.g. cod, sole, turbot,…)
  • 400 g shrimps
  • 1 l béchamel sauce
  • 400 g grated gruyère cheese
  • 0,200 l dry white wine
  • 1 l fish broth
  • 50 g shallots
  • 1 piece of lemon
  • 50 g butter
  • pepper and salt

Preparation

  1. Prepare the fish broth

  2. Prepare the mornay sauce:

     - add the grated gruyère cheese to the béchamel sauce while stirring.

  3. Prepare the fillet of fish:

     - stew the shredded shallots in butter without colouring

     - arrange the chunks of fish on the shredded shallots

     - season with pepper and a little salt

     - sprinkle with lemon juice,  moisten with dry white wine and degreased fish broth

     - cover with greaseproof paper

     - put on cooker and simmer for 2 minutes, just below boiling - point

  4. Arrange the fish in an ovenproof dish, add the shrimps and dress with the mornay sauce

  5. Prepare au gratin in an oven

 

 

 

 

Mignonette of pork with truffle sauce
Asparagus and parsley potatoes

 

 


Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 720 g mignonette of pork (4 times 180 g)
  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • 100 g breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 25 g flour
  • 4 dl demi-glace sauce
  • 2 dl Hollandaise sauce
  • 10 g truffle
  • 500 g new potatoes
  • 150 g butter

Preparation

Mignonettes of pork

  1. Coat the mignonettes with flour and breadcrumbs.

  2. Fry until crunchy in clarified butter

  3. Remove the fat and keep warm.

Asparagus

  1. Peel the asparagus from top to bottom. Break off the harsh part at the bottom and cut them such that they all have the same size.

  2. Bind them together with some string and parboil in salted water.

  3. Leave them in their juice until just before serving.

  4. When the asparagus are cold they can be warmed up in butter.

Parsley potatoes

  1. Wash the new potatoes and boil them in their skin.

  2. Leave to cool and peel.

  3. Coat the potatoes with hot butter and chopped parsley.

Sauce

  1. Whisk some ice-cold butter knobs under the sauce.

Finishing touch

  • Dress the meat on a large plate and add asparagus ad parsley potatoes.

  • Put a slice of truffle on the meat and pour over a little sauce.

  • Dress the asparagus with a little Hollandaise sauce and finish with some green.

 

 

 

Marinated  roast pork
with beer sauce “Rodenbach”
and vegetables “Flandria”




 



To serve 10

Ingredients

  • loin of pork
  • 100 g smoked ham
  • 1200 g onions
  • 6 (25 cl) bottles of beer (Rodenbach)
  • 1 l brown broth
  • salt and pepper
  • flour
  • 100 g butter
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 6 bay leave

Preparation

  1. Stick 1 cm wide and 20 cm long strips of smoked ham into the pork

  2. Brown the loin in a pan

  3. Slice the onions and brown

  4. Scatter over the meat and add thyme and bay leaves

  5. Pour over the Rodenbach and the broth

  6. Stew until done

  7. Arrange the roast on a dish and keep hot

  8. Season the sauce and remove the thyme and bay leaves

  9. Pour the sauce over the meat

  10. Garnish with parsley

Vegetables Flandria

Tomato in the oven with a stuffing of green herbs

Ingredients

  • 600 g Tomato type c
  • 150 g shallot's
  • 5 g garlic
  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g parsley
  • 50 g chervil
  • 4 g tarragon
  • 40 g chives
  • 1/4 of a toast bread
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. Cut off the bottom of the tomato.

  2. Scoop out the tomato, season with pepper and salt, drain.

  3. Crush the garlic.

  4. Fry the shredded shallots and the garlic very briefly.

  5. Leave to cool

  6. Chop the green herbs finely and blend them with the shallots and garlic.

  7. Thicken the mix with fresh breadcrumbs and butter.

  8. Season with salt and pepper.

  9. Fill the tomato with help of a piping bag with the mix of herbs.

  10. Put the tomato lids back on the tomatoes.

  11. Put in a greased ovenproof dish.

  12. Put in the oven at 180c° for 9 min.

French beans in bacon.

Ingredients

  • 500 g French beans
  • 300 g smoked lean bacon
  • 100 g butter

Preparation

  1. Boil the beans al dente in hot water with salt.

  2. Cool them under cold running water.

  3. Take 8 to 10 beans and roll them in a rasher of bacon, cut off the ends of the beans.

  4. Heat butter in a saucepan until it has browned.

  5. Fry the bean rolls.

  6. Season with pepper.

Braised chicory Flemish style

Ingredients

  • 1000 g chicory
  • 75 g butter
  • 1 wedge of lemon
  • pepper and salt

Preparation

  1. Grease the sides and bottom of an ovenproof dish

  2. Arrange the heads of chicory in layers

  3. Season each layer with lemon juice, pepper and salt 

  4. Moisten the bottom of the ovenproof dish

  5. Put the knobs of butter on the last layer of chicory

  6. Cover the chicory with greaseproof paper and place the lid ovenproof dish

  7. Bake ‘al dente’ on greaseproof paper in the oven at 200° C

Potatoes au gratin

Ingredients

  • 1800 g potatoes
  • 3 l milk
  • 0,1 l cream
  • 50 g butter50 g garlic
  • 150 g cheese (Gruyère), grated
  • pepper, salt, nutmeg

Preparation

  1. slice the potatoes

  2. grease a  fireproof dish and cover with some crushed garlic

  3. arrange the potatoes in the dish like rooftiles

  4. sprinkle each layer of potatoes with pepper, salt, nutmeg, cheese and crushed garlic

  5. put the next layer of potatoes in the other direction

  6. sprinkle again with pepper , salt, nutmeg, cheese and crushed garlic

  7. make at least 3 layers

  8. pour over a mixture of milk and cream

  9. sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and finish with knobs of butter

  10. put in an oven at 200° C and bake for 50 mins

  11. transfer the dish to a salamander or an oven to crust

     

 

 

Chicken with trappist beer ‘Westmalle Dubbel’
and fried new potatoes

 to serve 10

Ingredients

  • 10 fillets of chicke
  • 750 g mushrooms
  • 300 g pearl onions
  • 300 g strips of bacon
  • 1 bottle (33 cl) Trappist Westmalle Dubbel
  • 5 dl veal broth
  • 2 kg new potatoes
  • 500 g butter
  • pepper and salt

Preparation

  1. Fry the fillets of chicken in butter, season with pepper and salt.

  2. Remove from the pan and keep hot in tin foil.

  3. Quarter the mushrooms and fry gently with the pearl onions and the bacon.

  4. Quench with the beer and the broth. Boil down till the sauce has slightly thickened.

  5. Whisk a pat of butter through the sauce the very last minute. Season with pepper and salt.

 

 

Strawberries from Hoogstraten
with a beer (Leffe Radieuse) sabayon

to serve 10

Ingredients

  • 1.250 kg strawberries
  • sugar
  • juice of 3 oranges
  • 0.1  kg almond flakes
  • sabayon
    • 10 egg yolks

    • 0.250 kg fine sugar

    • 1 bottle Leffe Radieuse

Preparation

  1. Clean the strawberries, drain and remove calyxes.

  2. Transfer the strawberries to a bowl. Halve large strawberries.

  3. Strew with sugar and pour over orange juice. The juice enhances the natural flavour of the strawberries.

  4. Mix the yolks, the fine sugar and the beer in a saucepan.

  5. Whisk until the sugar has been solved.

  6. Beat up until foamy but firm mixture over a low heat.

  7. Serve the strawberries in a soup plate and pour over the sabayon.

  8. Garnish with roasted almond flakes.
     

 

Banana on vanilla ice cream
with a sabayon of Leffe Triple

 

To serve 10

  • 0,500 litre vanilla ice cream
  • 10 ripe bananas sliced thinly
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 250 g castor sugar
  • 20 cl Leffe triple

Preparation sabayon

  1. Blend the egg yolks, castor sugar and Leffe triple in a sauce pan.

  2. Beat up till the castor sugar is dissolved, with the help of a whisk.

  3. Beat up the mixture over a low heat till frothy but firm.

Serving method

  1. Put two scoops of ice cream in a soupplate or in an ice coupe.

  2. Top with slices of banana.

  3. Cover with the sabayon

 



 

Belgian ginger snaps
with strawberries and white chocolate

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 400 g strawberries
  • 100 ml cream
  • lemon balm

White chocolate

  • 250 g white chocolate
  • 50 ml milk
  • 250 ml cream

Sauce

  • 200 g strawberries
  • 60 g sugar
  • lemon juice
  • 50 ml dessert wine

Belgian ginger snaps

  • 100 g butter
  • 125 g flour
  • 250 g sugar
  • 4 g cinnamon
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 50 ml water

Preparation

Ginger snaps

  1. Stir the butter, the water, the sugar and the cinnamon until very smooth.

  2. Add the flour and almonds.

  3. Pipe on little balls on a well greased baking tray.

  4. Bake in an oven at 200 °C until they turn light brown.

Chocolate

  1. Warm up the milk and melt the white chocolate in it.

  2. Stir in the whipped cream.

  3. Leave to set in a cold place.

Sauce

  1. Warm up the wine, add some lemon juice and sugar.

  2. Wait until the sugar is dissolved.

  3. Add strawberries and mix very finely.

Finishing touch

  • Put a ginger snap on a plate and pipe on a rosette of whipped cream in the middle

  •  Put halved strawberries around this rosette and repeat this.

  • Put a ginger snap on topDust with icing sugar and garnish with some lemon balm.

  • Add a tablespoon of strawberry sauce and 2 quenelles of chocolate