Mmm…wonton soup – I don’t know why I never thought to make it before! This dish was a success and I will definitely make it again. I made two changes to the recipe: 1) the supermarket in Chinatown sells wonton soup base, so I didn’t make my own and 2) I couldn’t find yellow chives, so I used scallions. I thought it was really interesting how the dish is prepared. You need two pots – one for the soup broth and the other with boiling water. When you’re almost ready to eat, you carefully place the wontons into the boiling water. Once they float to the top they’re ready, placed into each individual bowl, and topped with broth.
I wound up making a lot of wontons, so the next day Koen fried them in a wok and we dipped them in sriracha and sweet chili sauce – yum!
Sometimes when I’m looking for inspiration for dinner, I first have a look to see what I have at home. When I searched my kitchen I found cannelloni tubes. I have tried different recipes, but Mario Batali’s Cannelloni al Forno (Casalinga Style) is my favorite. Casalinga is Italian for “housewife”, so you know that this is a comfort food recipe. The only change I make is not adding the bechamel sauce on top. I don’t love dishes that are too creamy or too cheesy (which is weird because I love cheese), so I just grate parmesan on top of the tomato sauce before baking. This recipe was again a success and made enough dinner for 2 evenings!
This year Koen and I decided to host a Thanksgiving dinner. It had been 3 years since my last Thanksgiving dinner, so I was excited to recreate all of the dishes – especially since I’ve been cooking so much this year. Koen and I divided the dishes and the results were delicious! I was so busy taking photos of all the food I forgot to take photos of us and our guests haha. But here are all of the dishes and links to the accompanying recipes.
Wednesday, August 15th, was a national holiday in Belgium. Because I am also off on Tuesdays, I invited Barbara and Sofie (2 of my sister-in-laws) to come to Antwerp and visit museums and also Rubensmarkt, a special market in the Grote Markt that always takes place on the 15th of August, where the vendors are all dressed in 17th century clothes. During the 2 days, we visited the Fotomuseum (FoMu), Sofie’s choice, and the Museum aan de stroom (MAS, featured in this post: Part II), Barbara’s choice. We also had time to visit a couple of cafés and make a delicious dinner!
There are so many ways to serve tomatoes, with so many varieties and means of preparation. With such a versatile vegetable, Koen and I are able to incorporate tomatoes in some form into our meals at least a few times a week. This week especially I’ve been enjoying them with the warm weather.
Oven baked tomatoes over linguine, tomate aux crevettes
This week has actually felt like it is really Summer here in Antwerp. What better way to celebrate than with Vietnamese Summer rolls? Sunday is always my day off, so I took advantage of the sunshine and visited China Town. Although it’s called China Town, maybe Little Asia is a better name because they sell food from all Asian countries, including Vietnam. It’s also the only recognized China Town in Belgium!
China Town is located close to the Central Station and the Koningin Astridplein. I passed the fair on my way. There always seems to be a fair somewhere in Antwerp.
I have fond memories of my Grandpa’s fried okra, and as a Southern girl, the only way I wanted to prepare my okra was to fry it! So tonight I made a Southern dinner for Koen and me: BBQ porkchops, fried okra, and mashed potatoes. I also feel it’s worth noting that I used American barbeque sauce (Sticky Fingers’ Habanero Hot, my favorite, that my mother brought me in April). If you buy barbeque sauce here, whether as a sauce or even as a chip flavor, it tastes completely different – and to me, not nearly as delicious!
A few nights ago Koen and I had Cobb salad for dinner. Cobb salads are typically American, so I wanted to make it for Koen – plus a lot of his favorite things are in it! In order of the rows I made, from left to right, the ingredients are: avocado, boiled egg, bacon, tomatoes, chicken, and Roquefort, all over mixed greens with a red wine vinaigrette. The salad was a success and in Koen’s top 5 of dinners I’ve ever prepared!
Belgian endive, as the name suggests, is a very popular vegetable here! In Dutch it’s just called witloof. Loaded with vitamins and a delicious bitter flavor, Belgian endive is available year round to make a variety of dishes from salads to casserole type meals. One of my favorite summer combinations is with apple, bacon, and egg. Tonight Koen made the dressing with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, and cilantro, which made it extra fresh!