This is my last cooking piece in 2022 – i NRC there’s no room for pots and pans on the 24th and 31st of December – and since you’ve already planned your Christmas dinner and it’s still far too early to talk about the oliebollen, I don’t think it’s a bad time to take stock currently. year. By which I obviously mean the last cooking year; I am happy to leave the political annual report to my colleagues. Though. Isn’t food pure politics these days?
When I recently interviewed the Ukrainian cookery writer Olia Hercules – on Saturday her Christmas menu was in NRC – I asked her if there were any dishes she had stopped eating since the Russian invasion of her homeland because they were too Russian. She told me that there is really something she absolutely does not want to eat anymore: shchi. And do you happen to remember what we started this year? To be exact, on January 8th I published a recipe for this classic Russian cabbage soup. Good job, it said above the piece. And shchi is also a super good soup, but less than two months later I definitely wouldn’t have written about it anymore.
On the other hand, within the framework of the same classic series, there was a reader’s request to cook chicken Kiev. The war was less than a week old at the time. I hesitated and decided not to. Yes, food lends itself well to statements and can be used to show solidarity, but it felt a little premature.
Speaking of politics. Have you noticed that in these pieces we only eat meat or fish once a month at most? I hope, to be honest, that you hadn’t noticed at all, that every Saturday morning you just thought ‘gosh, nice, let’s try it’ and that, so to speak, only after eating, you rub yourself contentedly in the stomach. , have realized that the food being enjoyed was vegetarian or entirely plant-based.
It was even rarer; to be precise, we only ate meat or fish eight times in 2022. Which usually also involved a classic, requested by you as a reader yourself. Why am I emphasizing this? For the few times we eat animals here, there are always nagging letters from readers who want to see their paper completely converted to veganism. It is of course free to send angry letters. But dear vegans, I really do my best for you. (Or rather: for the climate and the animals.) Just as I do my best to continuously present all my readers with something that will make them happy.
Yes, food is more than ever a political act. We all get to vote with our forks every day. But let’s not forget in our zeal how good food and cooking can be. How good it can feel to feed your roommates, your friends, your family, or just yourself something you’ve put your attention and love into. How food can satiate, connect, comfort, and how it offsets the less pleasant things in life. I can only hope that with my recipes, vegan or not, over the past year I have been able to contribute a little bit to such joy. As far as I’m concerned, it will be paramount again in 2023.
Furikake seed crunch
Something delicious with coffee always comes in handy during the holidays, right? These crispy waffles of seeds and furikake are quite addictive, perhaps because they are not very sweet. Furikake is a Japanese litter made from seaweed and sesame seeds. The salty, slightly spicy nature of the nori, plus a pinch of chili flakes and salt, makes for a really interesting flavor and, if you ask me, insanely high edibility.
For a drum full:
50 g pumpkin seeds;
50 g of sunflower seeds;
50 g of hemp seeds;
15 g furikake;
¼ chili flakes;
¼ teaspoon salt;
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Heat preheat the oven to 200 degrees. (Or do crunch when the oven is already on for something else.) Spread a piece of baking paper over the work surface and have a second sheet of paper and a rolling pin ready.
Do seeds, furikake, chilli flakes and salt in a frying pan and roast on medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Pour in the maple syrup and heat, stirring, for 30-60 seconds, until no more liquid maple syrup is visible.
Security deposit the seed mixture on the baking sheet. Quickly place the 2nd sheet on top and roll out the mixture with the rolling pin into a large flat wafer – think 25 x 30 cm, but it certainly doesn’t have to be neatly rectangular. Remove the top paper and lift the wafer with the bottom paper and the whole onto a baking sheet. Bake the waffle in the oven for 6-8 minutes, until it is golden brown, but not too dark. Let the waffle cool on a wire rack and break it into small pieces.
Furikake can be bought ready-made, but it is also very easy to make yourself. Except in the seed pod, it is a good condiment over a soft-boiled or poached egg, over avocado toast, poke bowls and much more. If you are only making the furikake for savory dishes, it is very nice to also mix in ½ -1 tbsp of crumbled katsuoboshi (dried bonito flakes, available in Asian stores). I wouldn’t do that for the frog.
For a small jam jar filled:
5 sheets of nori;
50 g white sesame seeds;
25 g black sesame seeds;
½ tsp fine sea salt;
½ teaspoon chili flakes;
½ teaspoon of sugar
Time schedule the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan for aromas. I often coarsely grind 1/3 of this sesame mixture in a coffee grinder and then add it back to the whole seeds, but it’s not necessarily necessary.
The nori must first be toasted. If you have a gas stove, do it like this: light a flame, pinch a sheet of nori between tongs and run it back and forth over the gas burner in a quick, sweeping motion a few times until the nori feels crisp. If you cook on induction, you can heat the nori sheet in a dry frying pan.
Do the sesame seeds in a bowl and crumble the nori on top. Add salt, chilli flakes and sugar and mix. Store the furikake in a jar.