Split pea soup - winter soup

It's that time again....Temperatures are dropping and getting closer to the freezing point, wind is getting harsher and rain seems to be here all day. Time to make split pea soup, a thick, hearty soup/meal that'll get the coming winter out of your head. This soup can be served as a meal with some bread, there's quite some meat in it.


  • 500gr. split peas
  • 200gr. thick,smoked bacon. Cut in chunks
  • 1 cooked smoked sausage; +/- 250gr. Cut in rings
  • 1 small, smoked ham hock
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped in rings
Melt a big knob of butter in a large pan and fruit the onions. Clean the leeks under running water and add it to the onions. Let it fruit together with the onions for a minute or 2. Add the split peas. Normally you should let the peas soak in water overnight but I just add them to the soup and let all that simmer for about 2 hours, comes out nicely.
Submerge completely, ham hock also

When you've added the peas to the pan you put as much water in the pan untill all is submerged. Put in the ham hock and the bacon, bring to a boil and let it simmer for 2 hours.

Take out the ham hock and most of the bacon, not easy but you don't need to get it all out, leave some in the pan. Mix the soup untill you get a thick silky soup. Taste and season with pepper and salt.
Cut up the ham hock in bitesize pieces and add to the soup again together with the bacon. I usually let this rest overnight to get an even more intense taste.
You'll notice that this will turn into a thick, puree-like soup after a night so you'll need to add hot water to make it more liquid. 

Add the sliced smoked sausages, let it warm up for another 8-10 minutes and serve with some golden croutons.
You'll be warmed up under a minute! ;)




Organs and stuff @Viva m'Boma

One of the most lively neighbourhoods in Brussels when it comes to restaurants is the St.Catherine area, around the place Sainte-Catherine and surrounding streets. Situated in the heart of Brussels it offers a taste for every hungry soul. Whether  you're craving Indonesian, Vietnamese, Italian, Thai or French dishes, gourmet dining  or just a plat-du-jour you'll surely find it here! Choices enough!

One of the restaurants that's been here for a couple of years now(6 - 7?) is Viva m'boma. They started back then with a menu offering the not so popular or more forgotten cuts/pieces of meat, in specific organ meat.
Nowadays organ meat has won popularity again and the resto is widely known for this.
The interior is beautiful, dominated by white and black accents, making you think you're entering a Brasserie in Paris. Nice white tiles on the wall and a view into the kitchen in the back.

On the menu:
  • Poached  veal brain with tartare sauce
  • Pig's trotters
  • Sweetbreads
  • Kidney's
  • Cow's udder
  • Oxtail with creamy mash
It might not be everyone's cup of tea but it surely is mine.If you're not into organs, there's allways something on the menu for the more 'difficult' people ;)
The chef really knows how to prepare these delicate dishes, serving them with plenty of taste. The veal brain I had for instance was poached to perfection and served with a freshly made tangy tartare sauce that gave it just the kick it needed.

The main dish I had  was the plat-du-jour, a generous serving of 2 slabs of juicy meatloaf with a potatoe and endives mash...Delish!!!
I had to skip dessert due to the generous serving and sticked to a coffee. Oh well, there's allways a next time!



Café-restaurant de la forêt -Overijse/Jezus-Eik

If you're looking for some easy, good value for money brasserie food and you happen to be in the neighbourhood of Overijse/Jezus-Eik/Tervuren then this is the place to go. Offering a wide variety of brasserie classics as there are; cheese croquettes, mushroom toast, eels in green sauce, côte a l'os, dame blanche and many more...

+ an often changing suggestion board.

Toast Champignons - baked mushrooms on toasted bread
Escargot a la bourguignon - Snails in a garlic sauce

Delicious Mort Subite Geuze on draft -  Ideal to work up an appetite!

 Entrecôte nature bleu chaud - medium rare prime rib

The waiters are allways friendly and will adress you in 'Brussels', a language somewhere between French and Dutch. Athmosphere is lively and decoration is authentic brasserie style, don't expect  any Pinto here!

Golden brown crispy french fries with Vol-au-vent and my daughter's smile ;)

 And don't leave without having some nice dessert like ;
Profiterolles with chocolat sauce

Cheesecake with speculoos and red fruit coulis

Prices are all reasonable for the good quality you get so please,......




Mussels in white wine sauce

Lovely mussels recipe and a typical Belgian/dutch way of serving them. Good quality seafood, some vegetables, seasoning and a splash of wine....that's all it takes!!
This is a dish for 2 persons, so about 1.5kg per head. We're big mussels eaters but you can count about 1kg. per person normally!

Estimated preparing time: 30 minutes

  • 3kg. of mussels
  • a big glass of dry white wine, +/- 20dl
  • 2 big onions, cut in rings
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped roughly
  • 2 carrots, chopped in thin rounds
  • 1/2 bush of flat parsley, chopped up
  • 2 chillis, chopped finely and deseeded
  • a pinch of dried chilli powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 spring onions, chopped roughly
  • handfull of cilantro, chopped finely   Keep this aside together with the spring onions

Prepare the mussels in 2 pots, so divide them in 1.5kg servings. Divide the greens and wine in 2 equal amounts.

heat up some olive oil in the pots and throw in the onions, carrots, celery, parsley and chillis.

Add the mussels, dried chilli powder and the white wine and turn up the heat. Put the lid on the pot and let this cook for 5-8 minutes, add the spring onions and cilantro and season with salt and pepper, shake well and serve!



Halloween pumpkin risotto

A nice rich and creamy pumpkin risotto to be served as an appetizer or as main dish. Ideal for cold fall weekend days ;)


  • 600gr. of pumkin, cleaned and seedless and diced in small cubes(+/- 1cm)
  • 1,3lt of chicken stock
  • 300gr. or risotto rice - Arborio or carnaroli
  •  about 50gr. of grated parmesan cheese and some slices for decoration
  • a couple of sage leaves
  • 1 challot, finely chopped
  • a glass of white wine
  • couple knobs of butter
  • salt and black pepper
  • olive oil
Make sure the chicken stock is warm.
Heat up some olive oil in a pan and fry the diced pumpkin until soft. Keep about a third apart for later and put the rest in the blender.

 Blend until you get a fine pumpkin puree, add some water if necessary. Season this puree with black pepper and salt and keep aside.

Heat up a couple of drops of olive oil in a large pan and fruit the challots.
 Add the risotto rice and stir firmly. As soon as the rice starts to get translucent you add the glass of wine and just let the alcohol cook out, this won't take long.
 Then you start to add the stock, ladle by ladle. You add one ladle and when the risotto starts to get dry you add another one. This takes about 15mins to get the rice 'al dente'. Make sure to taste from time to time, you don't want this to be overcooked and mushy but not undercooked neither. The grain should be soft but still with some bite. Now add the grated parmesan and let it melt under the rice.

 Add the pumpkin puree and diced pumkin and stir well. 
Throw in some knobs of butter, taste and season with salt and black pepper to your liking.

Heat up some olive oil in a small pan and fry the sage leaves shortly.

Take a big ladle of risotto and plate it on a dish, decorate with slices of parmesan and some sage leaves.



Chocolate mascarpone cake

An easy Chocolate cake recipe, based on a creamy masacarpone and fresh cheese filling. The chocolate is flavoured with powdered ginger but you can also buy chocolate with ginger allready in it if you can find that!


  • 250gr. mascarpone
  • 200gr. fresh cheese
  • 150gr. dark chocolate
  • 50gr.melted butter and some more for greasing the form
  • 150gr. JulesDestrooper butter waffels (or ginger bisquits or any type of hard cookie...)
  • 2 eggs
  • 35gr caster sugar
  • 1 tsp. powdered ginger
  • Springform of 20 Ø
Preheat your oven at 190°.
Break up the waffles in pieces and put them in the blender, pulse and grind to a fine crumble.

Mix the crumble with the melted butter  and spread this in the springform. Press well with the back of a spoon, certainly on the edges. Bake this in the oven for 5 minutes. Take it out and let it cool down and turn down your oven to 170°.

Mix the mascarpone with the fresh cheese to a smooth cream. Break the eggs and put them in the cheese/mascarpone cream together with the sugar.

Melt the chocolate 'au bain marie' and add the ginger to it.

Add the melted chocolate to the mascarpone/cheese mixture and pour it in the form. 
Put in the oven for 50-60 minutes. Take it out and go around the edges of the form with a thin knife to cut the the cake loose from the side of the form. Let the cake cool completely down in the form. 
Don't worry if the cake collapses a bit, that's normal.